In which I get ranty about money and politics

Or rather, in which I link you to other people being ranty. I’ve had some of these sitting around for a dog’s age, and I’m never going to wrangle my thoughts into anything like a coherent enough mass to make an actual post out of it, so instead you get other people being articulate for me.

Must the Rich be Lured into Investing? Who are the Real “Job Creators?”Supply Side [economic theory] assumes that the rich have a zillion other uses for their cash and thus have to be lured into investing it! Now ponder that nonsense statement. Roll it around and try to imagine it making a scintilla of sense! Try actually asking a very rich person. Once you have a few mansions and their contents and cars and boats and such, actually spending it all holds little attraction. Rather, the next step is using the extra to become even richer.

How Capitalism Kills CompaniesThere’s no limit at all to the amount of growth that the public companies will demand: in 2007, for instance, after a year when Citigroup made an astonishing $21.5 billion in net income, Fortune was complaining about its “less-than-stellar earnings”, and saying — quite accurately — that if they didn’t improve, the CEO would soon be out of a job. We now know, of course, that most if not all of those earnings were illusory, a product of the housing bubble which was shortly to burst and bring the bank to the brink of insolvency. But even bubblicious illusory earnings aren’t good enough for the stock market.

Central Tendency in Skewed Distributions: A Lesson in Social JusticeThe point being, the lesson of the positive skew, is that the distance between being middle class and being poor is very, very small.

Radical Solutions to Economic InequalityThere is something almost quaint — but decidedly refreshing — about the commissioners’ blunt language. “Effective action by Congress is required…,” the report proclaimed, “to check the growth of an hereditary aristocracy, which is foreign to every conception of American Government and menacing to the welfare of the people and the existence of the Nation as a democracy.” Far from debating whether “corporations are people,” the commission took for granted that concentrations of corporate power were undemocratic, that gigantic fortunes “constitute a menace to the State,” and that it was the duty of government to restore a balance of power.

Jubilee. Jubilee. Jubilee.Reduce the principle, forgive a portion of the debt, proclaim a jubilee. It would save taxpayers money. It would keep hundreds of thousands of families in their homes.

But it can’t happen if we decide to act like jerks.

Person, Person, Corporate Asset.

And one I missed including in the race-related link dump, that you absolutely should read if you have not already: Teju Cole on The White Savior Industrial Complex.

0 Responses to “In which I get ranty about money and politics”

  1. pentane

    I think the best comment I read in that whole lot was in the Jubilee article and it stated that (paraphrase) If I jubilee would work, we wouldn’t need to worry about a jubilee because communism would’ve worked.

    • Marie Brennan

      Do I think a full-bore jubilee could work? No. But I believe there’s room to do smaller-scale things along those lines, and we ought to be trying.

  2. d_c_m

    My Hubby the Economist is right with you dear friend. We as a country are choosing to be greedy rather than sharing. It is the sharing that would make us all rich.

    Plus, and I don’t know any statistics or research on this, but I do wonder if we had universal health care if some people just wouldn’t go out and start their own businesses or consulting jobs. I think that the need for health insurance might hold some people back.

    Also Hubby the Economist says that more jobs are created by small businesses than large ones. In short you are correct: The rich want to get richer and not create more jobs.

  3. shveta_thakrar

    Yep, we as a society (and a world, really) have a lot of dumping to do in regard to old ideas about money (and how it’s okay to have huge class disparaties, etc.).

    • Marie Brennan

      It’s just so odd that a hundred years ago, Americans were vastly more willing a) to call it a problem and b) to do something radical about it.

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