Tag Capitalism

The Daily Mail would rather everyone worked longer hours for less

Pub­lic sec­tor staff spend nine fewer years at work over life­time than private employ­ees AND earn 30% more

Appar­ently this isn’t an indict­ment of the private sec­tor but of the pub­lic sec­tor. Go figure.

Tax the hell out of Wall Street

Mark Cuban in response to yesterday’s stork mar­ket panic:

Tax every single share of stock that is bought and sold 25 cents per trans­ac­tion … If you are a true investor. Someone who wants to own a share of stock in a com­pany you believe in, then its an amount that is not going to impact your invest­ment decision mak­ing pro­cess … If you are a day trader, you are going to have to be right more often or actu­ally hold on to stocks for a longer period of time. That’s ok. I know it will be rough on some of you that make a liv­ing this way. But in real­ity, you don’t add any­thing to the markets.

Inside the Collapse

Last year I remarked on the subprime mort­gage induced fin­an­cial collapse:

To blame indi­vidu­als act­ing within the rationale of a sys­tem for pro­du­cing unwel­come out­comes is to deny the fun­da­mental flaws of the system.

Michael Lewis, author of The Big Short, being inter­viewed by 60 Minutes on the collapse:

The incent­ives for people on Wall Street got so screwed up that the people who worked there became blinded to their own longterm interests because their short-term interests were so overpowering.

Sounds like the defin­i­tion of cap­it­al­ism to me.

Supreme Court puts final nail in coffin of U.S. democracy

In 1886 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that cor­por­a­tions had the same con­sti­tu­tional rights as a per­son. This was the begin­ning of the end of any mean­ing­ful form of demo­cracy in the U.S.

David Korten alludes to the reason:

The private-benefit cor­por­a­tion is an insti­tu­tion gran­ted a leg­ally pro­tec­ted right — some would claim oblig­a­tion — to pur­sue a nar­row private interest without regard to broader social and envir­on­mental con­sequences. If it were a real per­son, it would fit the clin­ical pro­file of a sociopath.

The basic design of the private-benefit cor­por­a­tion was cre­ated in 1600 when the Brit­ish crown chartered the Brit­ish East India Com­pany as what is best described as a leg­al­ized crim­inal syn­dic­ate to col­on­ize the resources and eco­nom­ies of dis­tant lands to bene­fit wealthy investors far removed from the social and envir­on­mental con­sequences. That design has ever since proven highly effect­ive in advan­cing the private interests of the world’s wealth­i­est people at enorm­ous cost to the rest.

The private-benefit cor­por­a­tion uses its eco­nomic power to privat­ize (intern­al­ize) gains and social­ize (extern­al­ize) cost.

The power afforded to cor­por­a­tions in the U.S. has, until now, been slightly cur­tailed by lim­its imposed on cor­por­ate spend­ing in polit­ical cam­paigns. In a sweep­ing decision a right-wing major­ity U.S. Supreme Court has ruled to lift these limits.

Cor­por­a­tions, and the rich behind them, finally own Amer­ica. Demo­cracy for the rich.

The 20th cen­tury has been char­ac­ter­ised by three devel­op­ments of great polit­ical import­ance: the growth of demo­cracy; the growth of cor­por­ate power; and the growth of cor­por­ate pro­pa­ganda as a means of pro­tect­ing cor­por­ate power against demo­cracy.
Alex Carey, Tak­ing the Risk out of Democracy

Food for thought

Chan­nel 4’s Dis­patches last night: Do You Know What’s in Your Break­fast? A reminder that, in cap­it­al­ism, it’s not the job of the food industry to provide good healthy food. Their job is to make as much money by whatever means neces­sary, even if that means sneak­ing copi­ous amounts of sat­ur­ated fat, sugar and salt into your child’s diet.

We invaded Iraq and all we get is this lousy t-shirt’

They invade and lay waste another coun­try, des­troy the lives of mil­lions of Iraqis for gen­er­a­tions to come, all on some trumped up drivel about “weapons of mass destruction.”

Now they’re arguing over the real reason. Oil. It’s not enough that con­trol of Iraq’s crude is being div­vied up amongst the cap­it­al­ists of the world. Thomas Pick­ens — an oil tycoon and polit­ical act­iv­ist who hasn’t served a day in the army him­self — has been arguing a line, and accord­ing to Reu­ters, recently told U.S. con­gress that he thinks U.S. cap­it­al­ists alone are “entitled” to Iraqi crude because “we” spent bil­lions of U.S. taxes and the lives of 5000 U.S. army pawns invad­ing and occupy­ing the country.

Classy.

The Billion Dollar Gram

Infographic com­par­ing rel­at­ive spend­ing of vari­ous multi-billion-dollar budgets. Keep it in mind next time you con­sider vot­ing for any of the major polit­ical entit­ies that have helped cre­ate such a world.

(via Dar­ing Fire­ball)

Australian town bans bottled water sales

Someone’s cot­toned onto the fact that they’re being conned:

[The town of] Bundanoon’s battle against the bottle has been brew­ing for years, ever since a Sydney-based bever­age com­pany announced plans to build a water extrac­tion plant in the town. Res­id­ents were furi­ous over the pro­spect of an out­sider tak­ing their water, truck­ing it up to Sydney for pro­cessing and then selling it back to them. The town is still fight­ing the company’s pro­posal in court.

Then in March, Huw King­ston, who owns the town’s com­bin­a­tion cafe and bike shop, had a thought: If the town was so against host­ing a water bot­tling com­pany, why not ban the end product?

On Wed­nes­day, 356 people turned up for a vote — the biggest turnout ever at a town meeting.

Only two people voted no. One said he was wor­ried ban­ning bottled water would encour­age people to drink sug­ary drinks. The other was Geoff Parker, dir­ector of the Aus­tralasian Bottled Water Insti­tute — which rep­res­ents the bottled water industry.

Bankers being scapegoated

Bankers are pre­dict­ably being scape­goated.

To blame indi­vidu­als act­ing within the rationale of a sys­tem for pro­du­cing unwel­come out­comes is to deny the fun­da­mental flaws of the system.

If you want an eco­nomy dom­in­ated by injustice and greed then keep put­ting your trust in the ideo­logy of the free mar­ket eco­nomy and those who pro­mul­gate it.

If you want an eco­nomy that pro­pels us all for­ward together, then look else­where.