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Imagining an Economy That Serves the 99%


#1

Imagining an Economy That Serves the 99%

Tim Koechlin

The United States is among the richest societies ever. But despite all of its productivity, all of its abundance, and all of its potential, the US economy does not adequately meet the needs of the human beings who give it life, rely on it, and live and die by it. We can do way, way better.


#2

“Economics” is an illusion. Value and Values are not. Money is an extremely imperfect instrument, by design. Pitchforks may be used in non-traditional ways, as appropriate. They may take many forms, the limit of which is only governed by the human imagination. Let’s get thinking.


#3

This would be a “new economy” only for Americans; many other countries have it already, at least to some extent. Please read Anu Partanen’s The Nordic Theory of Everything. She compares Scandinavian countries with America. Like heaven and hell.


#4

We’re not going to be on e of the richest long. All those dodd frank repeals and bills for higher risk on the betting on our bank accounts and 401k’s (that Glass Stegal had prevented) is for the next collapse. They’re looting us. They will make bad bets for us and short the opposite side taking all the money that is lost. After that, I agree, we need an economy that serves the 99%.


#5

This comment doesn’t even make sense. It’s like saying “science is an illusion.” Economics is an interpretation of how people interact and transact with one another. It’s not a discussion of tangible reality. How can tangible reality be an illusion?

This article is completely backwards. And a few of the lines are downright comical. Like the claim that we should support human prosperity instead of economic growth. That’s the most obvious oxymoron I’ve ever read. What is economic growth? In a market economy economic growth means the continued growth in the aggregate prosperity of society, as an economy is just the aggregation of individual choices. You can have a completely stagnating or declining economy, while the prosperity of everyone improves. That purported logic makes absolutely no sense.

And what’s a corporation anyway? It’s just a conglomeration of people. So when you claim that cutting “corporate profits” is the key to a more prosperous nation, you once again fail to even understand what you are talking about. If all corporations were forced to produce breakeven results, no one would even start a business. Individuals would have no reason to invest as shareholders. The entire economy would plummet.

What this author also inherently implies is that every tax dollar will be spent perfectly efficiently by the government instead of being left with the individuals that earned it. Certainly there’s an important role for government. But not every government dollar is spent equally. So when the author says that his wealth tax or some other tax will produce $___mn of tax revenue, what does that mean? How will that money be spent? Should it have been left with Apple or Joe the Plummer to be spent freely? Or siphoned off to a bureaucracy to spend it based on political motivations? What is “smart infrastructure” anyway? It’s never defined. But it’s clearly within reach. We just need the brilliant experts in Washington to show us the way.


#6

“Economics was intended to be an interpretation of how people interact and transact with one another.” Yes. But for several decades (perhaps centuries), economics has been a game intended to drive the maximization of “economic” activity (think GDP). My TRUE economic activity is securing enough resources to eat healthily, have secure shelter, and watch the children, flowers, and animals manifest their glory. It has nothing to do with producing something for those that define economics in their own best interest. It truly is a game as presented in most every context in which the media will share. I am blessed to have secured my shelter and resources with which to feed myself. Am I to run around like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off and produce for the proverbial “man”? No effing way. My dog’s butt needs scratching, despite not being able to define that as “economic” activity.


#7

It is true that the mainstream metrics that capitalist economists use to measure economic growth relate to the aggregate magnitude of production and services. However, even the most right wing economists, acknowledge that such metrics do not reveal how wealth generation is dispersed among the general population. For example, earlier this year, USA Today reported that 85% of the wealth generated last year went to 1% of the worlds population.

Simple arithmetic shows that, when using wealth generation as the metric, the economy can stagnate, or decline, and, nonetheless, lead to huge gains in overall prosperity if the wealth is distributed equitably among the other 99%.


#8

The art of describing socialism without speaking its name.


#9

Among the top 20 industrial nations the U.S, is the only one that does not have an industrial policy. This is in effect a statement that our economy is not regulated for the benefit of the people as one would expect of any nation with a representative form of government. The people of the Social Democracies of Western Europe expect and demand of their governance that their economies be managed for their benefit.

Our country’s governance is dysfunctional. The reason for the dysfunction and the cure are staring us directly in the face. The problem is too much money in politics and the cure is to change Congress. Only we voters can affect the needed change and that is by getting rid of any congressmen or candidate that takes special interest money.

The most important question this midterm has got to be “do you take special interest money?”. If we could make this a single issue election on the subject of election reform we could regain control of what is supposed to be our republic. Without true election reform our future will be nothing but politics as usual.

The fundamental problems we have as a community are not being addressed. We have a Congress that simply does not have our best interests at heart in their legislative actions. Our governing system is one of legislation for sale. Only 6 of the 535 members of Congress do not take special interest money. We have had at least four decades of congressional candidates seeking special interest money, for TV ads, and sellings their souls to get it. The end result is 529 legislators doing the bidding of the 1% and the corporate and financial industries, while ignoring the needs and wants of the American People.

In most western democracies the taking of special interest money (also called bribery) by those in or seeking office lands them in jail. Here our Congress, backed by a politicized Supreme Court, has not only made the practise legal but has opened control of our electoral system to essentially unlimited amounts of money. This allows those who exercise their political influence thru our elected officials to control governmental processes in perpetuity. Money buys votes!

As sick, frustrating, and pervasive as the present rigged system is; it has an Achilles heel: That is that our elected representatives must stand for reelection every 2 or 6 years. If we would judge them on whether or not they take special interest money and favor a complete rewrite of election law we would have a Congress with a completely different set of values. This should be the overriding criterion for our votes in this year’s midterm election. It is a simple, straight forward question: “do you take special interest money”?

Reelection rates for Congressional incumbents is historically in the 90+% range despite their historic approval ratings being below 60% and currently around 17%. We voters need to somehow get past this disconnect. Any Congressman or candidate that takes special interest money is simply not worthy of our votes. We need to act accordingly. We need a movement to: CHANGE CONGRESS.


#10

What he was perhaps trying to say is economics comes from humanitys illusions about life. Our economy emerges from two of these illusions the dual illusions of disunity and insufficiency. Humans believe we are seperate from each other and the corrollary belief that there’s not enough to go around creates the on the ground economic system.

Please read the book Tomorrows God… Chapter… Throwing out the money changers again for a detailed explanation and ideas about creating a new economy that serves the highest good of all not just profit in a survival of the fittest competiton for the few . “The fit are not fit until the all are fit.”


#11

Imagine all you want. That is as close as your going to get to an economy that serves the 99 percent without bleeding for it. It will take your blood and possibly your life to change the system that holds you in perpetuity as a wage/debt slave to the corporations and your faceless masters. You can’t vote your way out without campaign finance reform…you know that subject you have been socially programmed to avoid…and you can’t get there through the existing system which is designed to deny you representation. It never ends, and people never learn…and its time to go walk the dog because I am once again disgusted with the society in which I live.


#12

Our corporate 1% media perpetuates the lie, our supremes gave us money is speech and the more money you have the more free speak you have. The courts jail the lesser evils (people) and hold no corrupt politicians, corporations accountable, lying us into wars and repeating the lies but it is all about protecting corporate interests around the world (the 1%).


#13

We could try to restore the so-called “Fairness Act” in which radio and TV were required to broadcast opposing views during political campaigns. Since these media still hold public attention and are completely controlled by rightwing interests, their message is unfairly one-sided and requires campaign expenditures to dispute unfairly biased propaganda.

I consider the worst failings of capitalism as monopolistic, that is, large businesses force small business into bankruptcy and then buy them out to control their market customer base. The largest corporations eventually control the largest markets which are dependent upon longest distances of transport. Those manufacturers who can gear up mass production to highest quantities via downplaying the impacts of petroleum refining and use and exploit subsistence labor, are able to undercut small business into bankruptcy. I end up concluding the environmental impact and exploitation of subsistence labor is a better argument than restoring the Fairness Act to overthrow corporate control.


#14

Pair down the military to 10% of where it is now - leaves about $100 billion to protect our shores and no-efin-fenced borders. Eh, voilĂ !


#15

Fair enough. But these, ironically, are your own personal preferences. Mine are different. And that’s fine. I want to make lots of money and have material wealth to enjoy for myself and my family. You care about watching flowers grow. I won’t stop you. You’re free to do as you please. Just don’t impose your preferences on me and then claim that your ideals aren’t initiating force and coercion on others.


#16

The problem with this logic is that since you’re not producing any net new wealth and are just distributing what’s alrwady been produced, you will slowly erode away the wealth that has been generated and destroy society. That is exactly what we’ve seen happen in socialist/communist societies, whereby a previously reasonably prosperous country will immediate exhibit starvation and famine once pure socialism is implemented. It’s like clockwork.


#17

A logique du chaudron i.e. faulty reasoning.

The focus on social justice, equity and sustainability will lead to a balanced economy not the destruction of societies. On a planet, such as earth, with finite resources and delicately balanced ecological systems, it is the notion of ever increasing wealth and the associated inceasing rate of consumption, that is inconsistent with the continued viability of the planet.