We ordered a video of his and watched it. I was disappointed that this very bright economist and professor could not get past the 30 year mantra of “no regulations.” His final argument against them was that there was no sense putting in regulations because corporations would just lobby against them and eventually get them removed. To me this is more than an absurd argument it is so irrational and idiotic that it is irrational. Regulations are just laws, laws that are put in place to keep the market place equal.
Capitalism was at its most powerful, vibrant and healthy during the heaviest period of regulations our nation ever had, as a matter of fact all economists agree that regulations equal the playing field, spread wealth and actually promote unprecedented financial growth across all sectors. One can not argue with the fact that post WWII, post-Rosevelt (who put most of these regulations in place) the economy was booming. The average American family was able to survive on one income, and not just white-collar traditionally middle-class jobs, but blue-collar jobs. For example my father-in-law supported his wife and child comfortably working as a service station attendant until getting a better job with more mobility.
The problem was that the wealthy 1 percent who own pretty much everything didn’t really like sharing the wealth, even though they too benefited from a thriving economy. Their businesses made more money than ever before because more people could afford to buy things, there was more disposable income. However human nature (as usual) with its dark side seized the hearts of those who had been most special and where now having to pay 90% tax – that’s right, they paid 90% tax far more than socialist democracies of Europe do, even the most extreme like Sweden, Norway and Denmark – their highest tax bracket is 50%. But when you make 999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999.00 that’s still a lot of cash, even with a take home of 10%, of course there were always ways around this tax bracket and I doubt any of the wealthiest Americans ever paid more than 50% tax. But back to my point, they couldn’t stand the uppity middle-class nipping at their heels and potentially turning their reigns around with their new money and their new sense of entitlement, after all that was their money and sense of entitlement.
OK, so here’s my metaphor to explain the idiocy of the argument the professor made about anti-regulation. His argument is akin to stating: Well, we should just stop making rape, murder, stealing, conning people and all criminal activities legal because sociopaths will still do those things anyway and they’ll always work against the law so the law will eventually just be useless – there will be prison overcrowding and it will be expensive for us to pay for as taxpayers. So everything should just be made legal and people should be allowed to do whatever they like irregardless of what harm comes to others due to the sociopaths actions since we can’t stop them.
Does this make sense? No.
And if one proposed it, one would be thought a lunatic. This truly is the essence of the professors argument.
Because corporations don’t want rules and will work to destroy them – we should not have any rules. His new paradigm for business is a ridiculous example of some Silicone Valley dudes who get together in a garage and start a software company where they are all equal. That’s seriously his answer to our economic meltdown. We should all be equal partners in our jobs and be able to come to work in shorts if we want with “a puppy or toddler in tow.” Here’s a little news flash for the professor – not everyone wants to be the boss. Not everyone should be the boss. Some people just want a job and don’t want to take the risk associated with starting a new business and some people are not capable of participating at this level. This is great for those who want to participate in this paradigm, but having been in a band I know how hard it is to get along with 2 other people let alone 100 people and come to consensus. There’s a reason humanity gravitates toward alpha personalities like George W. Bush (and it’s not for his intellectual prowess) it’s for his sureness, his sense of entitlement and his willingness to take the reigns of leadership, not everyone wants to be a leader. In fact I would say from my time on this planet most people don’t want to take that role, it’s the rare few who do.
Again the lack of psychological savvy in discerning a political or economic system is remarkable, have we learned nothing from this meltdown or the break down of the Soviet Union? Our system is the other side of the same coin as the old Soviet system. They had an elite group of people (bureaucrats) who doled out a standard allotment of money to the masses. People were seen almost as ants in a colony, which didn’t much allow for those who were ambitious to get ahead, but it did help those who couldn’t make it without help. In their case the system failed due to the greed and corruption of the few bureaucrats who skimmed the cream off the top and kept everyone else at subsistence level. The same could be said in a way of our system although it is from the opposite side of this ideology. Instead of all for one and one for all – communism. We are an all for one f***k you, get your own bootstraps to pull yourself up from, these are mine, society. But in truth no one gets anywhere alone – no man is an island, without proper education, a nurturing environment to grow up in and help, support and love from those around the individual, the individual can attain little (if you haven’t read Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell by now – do so!) Our system has promoted the delusion of the maverick, the rugged individualist who by their own pure genius and hard work rises to the top of society to strike it rich. To make matters worse we are lied to and told we are all equal in this ability!
Really, so a kid whose mom is a crack addict and has 10 other brothers and sisters each from a different father, all of whom are in jail and who lives in abject poverty, is sexually assaulted and has an inferior education where he’s passed ahead every year because the system doesn’t care about him and graduates or leaves at 16 from high school unable to read has the same chance to be head of a company like Microsoft as Bill Gates whose parents sent him to private school and who had the rare opportunity start programming in high school when most college students didn’t even have access? Yeah, right. It’s an absurdity to think we are all equal.
We are all equal in God’s eyes. We are all of equal value, but we are not all given equal opportunity, or equal gifts or guidance.
So Denise what do you propose we do about it?
I propose we deal with reality. Corporations are made up of human beings. Human beings are imperfect and have dark sides. In this competitive world the sociopath has a huge advantage – without a conscious one can do whatever one likes to get what one wants no matter the consequence. And so like those who would murder someone for a few bucks, those who would destroy the Gulf – make it a dead zone never to be restored in our lifetime to what it once was – should not just pay for every hair brained scheme that Kevin Costner or whoever else dreams up and do whatever it takes to fix the situation financially, but environmentally – the executives in charge should be criminally charged and imprisoned for criminal neglect. Neglect that led to the deaths of nearly a dozen human beings and countless sea creatures. The laws or regulations for corporations should not just be strengthened to impenetrable force, but they should include jail time for infraction of these regulations and corporations should not be able to contribute to a single candidate or have any voice on capitol hill – lobbying should be made illegal. Period. NO EXCEPTIONS! The only voice in a Democracy that should count and was intended to count when our constitution was invented, was the voice of the people. It seems we are the only voice now that has no say.
And oh, yeah there should be laws governing the 4th estate (news outlets.) If a “news outlet” is primarily editorial, great then there should be a banner on that station flashing, “this is the expressed opinion, and our opinion only not necessarily imbued with any facts or actual reporting in the traditional sense. We do not use journalistic standards of checking sources and can not vouch for a thing we are purporting.” And if it’s on the radio, this should be said every 10 minutes in-between commercial breaks. People have the right to now the truth and they need to know if they are being manipulated and tricked. It’s unfortunate that many Americans can’t discern this for themselves, but if that is the case then we need to let them know that the rules have changed on them.
Many blessings… next post I’m working on is the market in relationship to Oil and Gold…