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The progressive bid to save capitalism
#1
From the media on the left there have been some articles about different ideas for changing our economy coming from different progressive politicians. I thought we might compare and contrast their feasibility and potential effectiveness. Assuming the blue wave and all.

Sanders: A law that requires corporations to pay a tax equal to the amount of public assistance their employees collect.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/0...100-public

Clinton: A sovereign wealth fund for all U.S. citizens. Effectively becomes basic income but in the form of dividends from a massive investment fund.

https://www.vox.com/2018/8/28/17774334/s...solidarity

Warren: A law requiring the largest corporations to make a citizenship pledge and allow employees to vote on board membership (note that this is not the same as employee-ownership, but is akin to the stakeholder capitalism practiced in Germany).

https://www.vox.com/2018/8/15/17683022/e...rporations
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

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#2
Of the three, Clinton's Sovereign Wealth Fund will be the vehicle to end plutocratic practices, but it will take at least 5 decades to grow large enough to do that, and will be fought at every turn. The corporate penalty tax will kick in immediately, and could be used to fund the Sovereign Wealth Fund. Warren's idea is less powerful than Clinton's but also much quicker acting, but is unlikely to have any direct impact on salaries but plenty on working conditions.

In all, good ideas all around.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#3
I would not have liked the American government to invest in oil and gas production; that production needs to be stopped asap. But I like the general ideas that are being explored. Something viable from this list is likely to be adopted during the 2020s. It's good people are developing the ideas. Investments need to be targeted toward enterprises that the country needs, in my opinion, which likely leaves out a considerable portion of the business that is now conducted in the USA. The government just joining the investment game might raise more money than if the investments are socially responsible, but it's better to let the private sector take all the risks on investments that are not in the national interest-- according to progressives at least.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#4
Eric, I think the idea is that all Americans then join the investor class. Everyone becomes a capitalist and so capitalism serves the people better. I know you are strongly against fossil fuels but there is no way they are going away any time soon. But I agree with David that it would take a long time for such a fund to really grow to a point where the benefit to ordinary citizens is substantial. But it might be a good thing from an "America first" perspective as it could let ordinary Americans ride the wave of the rising "developing world" instead of just being victims of outsourcing and foreign competition.

I also agree that they are all good ideas and I think that Warren's is the least disruptive in the short term but has great long-term potential. Imagine if the Big Tech companies that are taking over society had voices on their boards speaking on behalf of ordinary people.
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#5
(08-31-2018, 10:55 AM)sbarrera Wrote: Eric, I think the idea is that all Americans then join the investor class. Everyone becomes a capitalist and so capitalism serves the people better. I know you are strongly against fossil fuels but there is no way they are going away any time soon. But I agree with David that it would take a long time for such a fund to really grow to a point where the benefit to ordinary citizens is substantial. But it might be a good thing from an "America first" perspective as it could let ordinary Americans ride the wave of the rising "developing world" instead of just being victims of outsourcing and foreign competition.

I also agree that they are all good ideas and I think that Warren's is the least disruptive in the short term but has great long-term potential. Imagine if the Big Tech companies that are taking over society had voices on their boards speaking on behalf of ordinary people.

Yes, I am against an investment scheme that invests in fossil fuels; it would be counter-productive. Fossil fuels do need to go away over the next few decades; that's the number one priority of our times. Capitalism often does not serve the people, it serves first and foremost the capitalists; so it wouldn't serve the people if everyone became the capitalist. Most people are not capitalists, in the way that capitalism's leaders and bosses are. There might be possibilities in such a fund though, no doubt, if it were more socialistic I guess, in what it invests in. There are always enterprises, and entrepreneurs create wealth. So I am not anti-capitalist per se. But using pure capitalism as a government cure for the economy would probably fail, for as great as capitalism can be, it is also the source of most problems in a capitalist society, and government needs to counteract those in a consistent way. None of the three ideas alone would solve our economic problems, but I wouldn't expect one plan to do that.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#6
(08-31-2018, 08:31 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(08-31-2018, 10:55 AM)sbarrera Wrote: Eric, I think the idea is that all Americans then join the investor class. Everyone becomes a capitalist and so capitalism serves the people better. I know you are strongly against fossil fuels but there is no way they are going away any time soon. But I agree with David that it would take a long time for such a fund to really grow to a point where the benefit to ordinary citizens is substantial. But it might be a good thing from an "America first" perspective as it could let ordinary Americans ride the wave of the rising "developing world" instead of just being victims of outsourcing and foreign competition.

I also agree that they are all good ideas and I think that Warren's is the least disruptive in the short term but has great long-term potential. Imagine if the Big Tech companies that are taking over society had voices on their boards speaking on behalf of ordinary people.

Yes, I am against an investment scheme that invests in fossil fuels; it would be counter-productive. Fossil fuels do need to go away over the next few decades; that's the number one priority of our times. Capitalism often does not serve the people, it serves first and foremost the capitalists; so it wouldn't serve the people if everyone became the capitalist. Most people are not capitalists, in the way that capitalism's leaders and bosses are. There might be possibilities in such a fund though, no doubt, if it were more socialistic I guess, in what it invests in. There are always enterprises, and entrepreneurs create wealth. So I am not anti-capitalist per se. But using pure capitalism as a government cure for the economy would probably fail, for as great as capitalism can be, it is also the source of most problems in a capitalist society, and government needs to counteract those in a consistent way. None of the three ideas alone would solve our economic problems, but I wouldn't expect one plan to do that.

There are several reason why this is a good idea, and one runs counter to your preferences.  The idea is simple: owning large stakes in everything gives the general public a big say in every decision by every company n the country.  If they insist on only listening to the investment class, then being the biggest fish in that class makes the sovereign wealth fund the boss's boss.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#7
As I see the progressives have really not produced an comprehensive alternative to the Economic Nationalism and Protectionism which has been advocated by right-wing populist politicians and candidates across the world. The Economic Nationalists have a generally negative view towards the concept of environmental sustainability, indeed in many countries these reject the concept of environmental sustainability. Indeed some of them rally against renewable energy because they argue it leads to high energy prices. For example; segments of the Australian Liberal Party, the US Republicans, Canadian Conservatives and the German Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) party.

To give an example of this sort of thinking effect's on policy, in Australia large segments of the ruling Liberal and National Parties are opposed to a carbon emissions trading scheme or tax. This stems from a reject of anthropogenic climate change and not to mention the influence of the coal industry lobby among politicians. So far we have had a proposed carbon emissions trading scheme shot down back in 2010, a carbon tax which was introduced in the same year. Both of these events happened under a federal Labor government and when a change of government occurred in 2013 the governing Liberal-National Party Coalition abolished the tax. Just recently the current Coalition developed something called the National Energy Guarantee which was half-baked attempt in emissions reduction. Opposition from the Liberal Party room resulted in the downfall of the last Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and I don't know what will happen to it under the new Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Therefore; an economic model needs to be developed based along the principles of environmental sustainability and reject the idea of constant economic growth (which I believe clashes with environmental sustainability). I do need to do some research on the economists who are either working on or developed such a model.
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#8
(09-02-2018, 08:28 PM)Teejay Wrote: As I see the progressives have really not produced an comprehensive alternative to the Economic Nationalism and Protectionism which has been advocated by right-wing populist politicians and candidates across the world. .............
.......
Therefore; an economic model needs to be developed based along the principles of environmental sustainability and reject the idea of constant economic growth (which I believe clashes with environmental sustainability). I do need to do some research on the economists who are either working on or developed such a model.


Yes, two references:

1.  Block, Fred L., and Margaret R. Somers. The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi's Critique. Harvard University Press, April 2014. 
2. Jacobs, Jane. Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics. New York: Random House, 1992.

Model

1. levels of common resources, protected resources, private resources
2. flows between the above resources.
3. Precautionary caps are used to regulate the flows between the various accumulations.

Assumptions:
1. Use Jacobs description of guardian (government) and commercial (business) in symbiotic relationship
2. Use Polanyi's description of economic theory.

Assume:  The Lockean Proviso supports the privatization of the commons and must remain true for the continued justification of private property rights by individuals and corporations. The Lockean Proviso was devised as the criterion to determine what makes property acquisition just. When the Lockean Proviso is not true then private property acquisition is unjust to others.

The Lockean Proviso is true when there is enough left in common for others and the quality is good enough so that others are not deprived of the use of the common resource. An unsustainable world is when the quality of the commons is depleted so that others are deprived of resources.
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#9
(09-03-2018, 05:51 PM)igranderojo Wrote:
(09-02-2018, 08:28 PM)Teejay Wrote: As I see the progressives have really not produced an comprehensive alternative to the Economic Nationalism and Protectionism which has been advocated by right-wing populist politicians and candidates across the world. .............
.......
Therefore; an economic model needs to be developed based along the principles of environmental sustainability and reject the idea of constant economic growth (which I believe clashes with environmental sustainability). I do need to do some research on the economists who are either working on or developed such a model.


Yes, two references:

1.  Block, Fred L., and Margaret R. Somers. The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi's Critique. Harvard University Press, April 2014. 
2. Jacobs, Jane. Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics. New York: Random House, 1992.

Model

1. levels of common resources, protected resources, private resources
2. flows between the above resources.
3. Precautionary caps are used to regulate the flows between the various accumulations.

Assumptions:
1. Use Jacobs description of guardian (government) and commercial (business) in symbiotic relationship
2. Use Polanyi's description of economic theory.

Assume:  The Lockean Proviso supports the privatization of the commons and must remain true for the continued justification of private property rights by individuals and corporations. The Lockean Proviso was devised as the criterion to determine what makes property acquisition just. When the Lockean Proviso is not true then private property acquisition is unjust to others.

The Lockean Proviso is true when there is enough left in common for others and the quality is good enough so that others are not deprived of the use of the common resource. An unsustainable world is when the quality of the commons is depleted so that others are deprived of resources.

Thank you for that, it is much appreciated.
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#10
(09-03-2018, 05:51 PM)igranderojo Wrote:
(09-02-2018, 08:28 PM)Teejay Wrote: As I see the progressives have really not produced an comprehensive alternative to the Economic Nationalism and Protectionism which has been advocated by right-wing populist politicians and candidates across the world. .............
.......
Therefore; an economic model needs to be developed based along the principles of environmental sustainability and reject the idea of constant economic growth (which I believe clashes with environmental sustainability). I do need to do some research on the economists who are either working on or developed such a model.


Yes, two references:

2. Jacobs, Jane. Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics. New York: Random House, 1992.

It's a good book, very recommendated.
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#11
(09-03-2018, 07:35 PM)Hintergrund Wrote:
(09-03-2018, 05:51 PM)igranderojo Wrote:
(09-02-2018, 08:28 PM)Teejay Wrote: As I see the progressives have really not produced an comprehensive alternative to the Economic Nationalism and Protectionism which has been advocated by right-wing populist politicians and candidates across the world. .............
.......
Therefore; an economic model needs to be developed based along the principles of environmental sustainability and reject the idea of constant economic growth (which I believe clashes with environmental sustainability). I do need to do some research on the economists who are either working on or developed such a model.


Yes, two references:

2. Jacobs, Jane. Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics. New York: Random House, 1992.

It's a good book, very recommendated.

She's GI generation, and apparently coined the phrase "social capital."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Jacobs
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
Reply
#12
(09-02-2018, 07:38 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(08-31-2018, 08:31 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(08-31-2018, 10:55 AM)sbarrera Wrote: Eric, I think the idea is that all Americans then join the investor class. Everyone becomes a capitalist and so capitalism serves the people better. I know you are strongly against fossil fuels but there is no way they are going away any time soon. But I agree with David that it would take a long time for such a fund to really grow to a point where the benefit to ordinary citizens is substantial. But it might be a good thing from an "America first" perspective as it could let ordinary Americans ride the wave of the rising "developing world" instead of just being victims of outsourcing and foreign competition.

I also agree that they are all good ideas and I think that Warren's is the least disruptive in the short term but has great long-term potential. Imagine if the Big Tech companies that are taking over society had voices on their boards speaking on behalf of ordinary people.

Yes, I am against an investment scheme that invests in fossil fuels; it would be counter-productive. Fossil fuels do need to go away over the next few decades; that's the number one priority of our times. Capitalism often does not serve the people, it serves first and foremost the capitalists; so it wouldn't serve the people if everyone became the capitalist. Most people are not capitalists, in the way that capitalism's leaders and bosses are. There might be possibilities in such a fund though, no doubt, if it were more socialistic I guess, in what it invests in. There are always enterprises, and entrepreneurs create wealth. So I am not anti-capitalist per se. But using pure capitalism as a government cure for the economy would probably fail, for as great as capitalism can be, it is also the source of most problems in a capitalist society, and government needs to counteract those in a consistent way. None of the three ideas alone would solve our economic problems, but I wouldn't expect one plan to do that.

There are several reason why this is a good idea, and one runs counter to your preferences.  The idea is simple: owning large stakes in everything gives the general public a big say in every decision by every company n the country.  If they insist on only listening to the investment class, then being the biggest fish in that class makes the sovereign wealth fund the boss's boss.

In a sense, that would be a real public takeover of those companies that have "gone public," but today are run by the investor class, which usually also consists of the officers of the companies themselves. Seems like a challenge, but a possibility.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#13
Prabhat Sarkar's theory, superimposed on S&H's, strongly militates against any attempt to "save" capitalism: Where the last Crisis knocked the acquisitive age down, this Crisis will knock it out - just as where the American Revolution Crisis knocked the intellectual age down, the Civil War Crisis knocked it out - and before that, where the Armada Crisis knocked the warrior age down, the Glorious Revolution Crisis knocked it out.

Indeed, this is exactly why the "S" word - socialism - is no longer an obscenity (or at least nowhere near as much of an obscenity as it was, say, 80 or 90 years ago).
"It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger, for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth" - Lamentations 4:9
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#14
(08-28-2019, 08:46 AM)Anthony Wrote: Prabhat Sarkar's theory, superimposed on S&H's, strongly militates against any attempt to "save" capitalism: Where the last Crisis knocked the acquisitive age down, this Crisis will knock it out - just as where the American Revolution Crisis knocked the intellectual age down, the Civil War Crisis knocked it out - and before that, where the Armada Crisis knocked the warrior age down, the Glorious Revolution Crisis knocked it out.

That's a revolutionary idea if true - but why is it like that?
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#15
(09-01-2019, 12:55 AM)Hintergrund Wrote:
(08-28-2019, 08:46 AM)Anthony Wrote: Prabhat Sarkar's theory, superimposed on S&H's, strongly militates against any attempt to "save" capitalism: Where the last Crisis knocked the acquisitive age down, this Crisis will knock it out - just as where the American Revolution Crisis knocked the intellectual age down, the Civil War Crisis knocked it out - and before that, where the Armada Crisis knocked the warrior age down, the Glorious Revolution Crisis knocked it out.

That's a revolutionary idea if true - but why is it like that?

It is also possible that the warrior elite would seek to have the formality of private ownership but with 

(1) high taxes on egregious consumption that interferes with the objectives of the warrior elite
(2) less mass admiration for capitalists 
(3) the power of capitalists greatly reduced in politics
(4) the norm of barracks-style equality in economic result, and
(5) less production and consumption of frills and fluff, but more economic discipline -- and equality of result 

The warrior elite is usually drawn (at least initially) from the working class which sees more opportunity in military service than in servitude toward entrenched capitalist elites. But note well the old saying: the ancestor of every king is a soldier.  

It could be that the real losers of the warrior era are the bureaucratic elites of the monopolistic, vertically-integrated entities. The chaos of the collapse of the plutocratic order can look much like the Great Depression of the 1930's. Thus capitalism may recover -- but as smaller-scale capitalism with more capitalists competing  on a smaller, more localized scale. Individual capitalists will not make enough profit with which to support huge (and really parasitic) bureaucracies. let alone pay lobbyists and bribe politicians. So what happens to the bureaucratic elites of the last stage of plutocratic dominion? Many will find that they must become capitalists (which they are not).  

A soldier society puts much value into physical fitness, which means that children are to be spared the stunting effects of hunger that the plutocrats of capitalism in the latter stage use as a threat. Capitalism need not be transformed into a Bolshevik nightmare, but it can be more competitive and equitable.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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