(This post may evolve; updates [1, 2, 3, 4.])
Prime assumption: We're all in this together; every child should be planned - but then *only* if there exists sufficient resources. No man is an island - and disunity, even 'mere' disharmony - is death.
land, fertiliser, machines, fuel, workers -> farmer -> food
deposits, machines, fuel, workers -> miner -> ore, coal, oil
raw inputs, fuel, workers -> refiner -> metals, fuel, fertiliser
metals, fuel, workers -> manufacturer -> machines
supplies, workers -> retailer -> distribution
?, workers -> banker -> finances
Not shown are any non-essentials; wide/flat-screen TVs, say.
(TVs are notional entertainment but are actually mind-control.)
Also not shown are 'incidentals' like building, other infrastructure and transport, then 'wastes;' CO2, pollution, used-up/worn-outs etc.
All workers are people; some workers *do* things, others organise. All people continually need food, early-on education and finally pensions.
All people need 'services,' i.e. Drs & haircuts.
Organisers demand higher rewards(?)
Accumulators demand profits(?)
Intermezzo: Obviously, "?" mark especially questionable aspects.
The absolute priority (AP) is a) sustainability and b) that all people get enough food and adequate services. Anything else is utterly stupid (Oh! Sorry! Try: Not compatible with 'enlightened altruism') - and implies a total failure of the organisers.
In a 'money' economy, it means a dignified (= no slur) and adequate minimum 'living' income, whether working or not. Unemployment should (properly!) be seen a) as a wasted resource & worse b) as a failure of organization. There are sooo many things that could be done, should be done...
Nothing need - nor should it - be 'gifted;' any 'welfare' is provided by the system as a whole to *responsibly* fulfil the AP.
This (i.e. nothing should be 'gifted') also applies to profit; all unearned, super or simply excess profit should be reserved for down-the-track AP (i.e. tax all fat-cats down to 'reasonable' excess.)
IF some are starving THEN a) improve distribution or b) reduce population (by natural attrition!)
Fazit: We can tell by simple inspection that the current system is failing. We must change for the better, soonest - the current trend looks horribly like becoming catastrophically terminal.
Update 1; 15:59. Money is the root of all evil...
Money is both a medium of exchange and a store of value (if you can set some aside, extra to & beyond personal survival, say). It used to be that money was 'real,' i.e. lumps (or coins) of gold, silver etc.. No very fair; people could walk around & stub their toe on a lump of metal - and become instantly rich (via 'unearned income.') Also not too practical for the filthy-rich, carrying all that heavy stuff around. 'Luckily,' after Nixon bankrupted the US around Aug'71, we all moved to 'fiat' currencies, but as usual inequalities were 'built in;' like the US demanding that oil be denominated only in *their* currency. Paraphrasing, some fiats were more fiat than others. ( 'oily aside' below.) Long story short, money is now created by computer key-stroke - then lent out, *at interest*. IF one carries this too far - i.e. creates too much, THEN the inevitable result is inflation (too many $s chasing too few goods.) Consider the permanently rising stock-exchanges; prices (but *not* necessarily values) of stocks, houses & commodities all going up, up, up - whilst wages are going down, down... (if one has a job). Then, there are the rent-seeking speculators. IF the RBA can target an inflation-rate of 2-3%, THEN why not target 0%? (V.good Q.) Back to 'at interest,' who gets it? - i.e. Q: Who gets the interest? A: Firstly, the banks; Q2: Why that? Q3: Did they actually do any 'work?' A: If so, then not much. Interest is raised, so some say, to 'ration' money, and the fact that interest is charged allows 'entrepreneurs' to say "Well, 1st of all we have to make enough to pay off our loans, then just a wee bit for ourselves." ("A wee bit" is always good, especially since the rich are getting ever richer.) Another long-story-short, Q: IF creating/lending $s is done at some profit THEN who should get it? A: The sheople, that's who (otherwise known as the commonwealth; a good name for a people's bank, eh?) Money is a *perfect* 'natural' monopoly, see below. Nothing against 'fair reward for effort' mind, just against 'unearned income.' Also see 'debate' on 'resource rent,' and returning some value to the sovereign resource owners (that's us, we the sheople.)
(Oily aside: IF you need oil THEN you need $US. Sooo, make a widget (Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, V-dub ... electronics, etc. etc.); send it to the US, get $US back. Buy oil, burn it. Ooops! ... IF you need oil THEN you need $US, make *another* widget ... meanwhile, over there; print, print, print. More fool you - actually fooling all of us, we having *no* choice, let alone no democratic choice ... we slave, they print - *huge* deficits! And then far too many drive ghastly, over-gross gas-guzzlers, the worst being Hummer-type SUV/4WDs. Less than 5% of the world's pop. consume about 25% of resources = cause 25% of world's pollution, 25% of world's CO2 emmissions.)
Update 2; 14:51. 'Natural' monopolies; water, roads, electricity etc. - aka democratic utilities vs. 'user pays.'
This one is a snack: without water, we'd all die. Without roads, we'd be stuck - especially out in the sticks. These are 'single occurrence' utilities. Same for electricity & fixed 'phones. Even for mobile 'phones, what possible sense is there in building duplicate systems - which must then cross-communicate, by definition and in practice involving losses? Yet the erring neoliberal ideology demands that all such be 'privatised.' Fools. IF we demand competition THEN it should occur on the 'input' side; i.e. 1) who can provide the best (i.e. most cost-effective) equipment and 2) who can install it most efficiently? Governments can finance such projects best, since they have the lowest 'borrowing' costs. After that, 3) who can run these 'natural monopolies' best? Perhaps 'some contractor(s)' may be the answer to these 3 Qs, but no 'profits' need be considered (beyond the curly interest charges, see 'money' above); the users, we the sheople, were and should again simultaneously be the (egalitarian) owners. How did such neoliberal privatisation, toll-booth insanity ever get suggested, let alone implemented? Tip: another total failure of the organisers... aka anti- and un-democratically, assisted by corruptly erring economists. Among other organiser-crimes and not only on this theme, we were lied to = deliberately, cynically deceived, also via and actively augmented by 'our' public broadcaster, the AusBC.
Update 3; 21:21. For what it's worth (voodoo economics):
«When you turn an economic system into a religious cult as has happened with Friedmanite/Randian voodoo economics the consequences are completely predictable: and we’ve seen those consequences again and again. When is someone going to say ‘All of this is bullshit. Let’s start over. Let’s stop these people plundering the economy for the profit of 1% of the population and starting wars to feed the amoral corporate monster they’re part of’? The values of the corporate state and the economic rationalists are not human values and that’s why they pollute everything they cannot kill and deliberately create a human underclass as economic cannon fodder. It’s blindingly obvious to me that they have to be stopped before they destroy the earth and everything on it, including us.»
[comment by diamond, May 17 at 5:43 am #]
Update 4; 25May. Rush update, will itself be updated:
May 24, 2010
What Would Jesus Say?
The Chicago Boys' Free Market Theology
By MICHAEL HUDSON
«... once at a party, Milton Friedman replied to her suggestion of better public welfare and medical care, “Mrs. Kahn, why do you want to subsidize the production of orphans and sick people?”»
Comment #1: Contrast Hudson's MF quote to my 'prime assumption.'
Comment #2: I omitted 'FIRE' in my 'essential' description.
Comment #3: [more to come]