Sci-Fi Character Freebies
See my gsite for two freebies:
1 is a lekku package for V4, the other is a 3 eyed purple alien dude for poser.
On Market Forces
I find the notion that market forces are somehow inevitable and unstoppable, to be, bullshit.
Markets are what people and institutions make them, and that comes as much down to planning as it does chance, or some "invisible hand".
Machiavelli once described fate as a river, which is both out of one's control (i.e. floods, drought, etc), but also within our control for those who are wily enough (i.e. dam the river, build a bridge). I may be wrong on this, it's been some time since I read The Prince.
Markets are much the same. The rules and structures we utilize are vital in allowing us to to harness the power of markets while avoiding the pitfalls of avarice run amok.
In that vein, I advocate simple rules for ruling markets, as increasing complexity (e.g. hedge funds) is what got us into this mess. So, I propose that we eliminate the corporate veil that dilutes responsibility for corporate actions on managers and stockholders alike. Basically, if you own or run a company and the "company" fucks up, YOU pay the price. No more Bhopal disasters going unpunished.
Also, all white collar crime will have the same punishment; testicular electrocution. An alternative would have to be found for those without testicles.
A simple and elegant solution that goes to the root of our economic problems, n'est pas? Even if it doesn't, "Electro-shock My Boss" would make a hell of a reality show!
These days, we appear to live in a faith-based economy. Little ones and zeros zip around the globe, from one bank account to another. They represent wealth, but produce little of value or use for human-kind, except another stock bubble. Too much of the economy is speculative, and too much of the "real" economy is geared towards selling and making stuff no one really needs.
The only reason those ones and zeros have value is because people believe they do. A bank is only required to keep a small fraction of the money you deposit on hand, the rest they lend out. This cycle repeats itself as the money lent out is deposited into another account when a purchase is made, over and over again. In this way, banks "invent" new money that never existed before, it comes out of nothing, but it needs to be paid back with interest, to them. This system works, so long as people believe in the system. When belief falters, and everyone tries to pull out at once, people are shocked to find there's not enough in the bank to cover all the deposits. So, the withdrawals accelerate, as people seek to get out before the system fails, which in turn accelerates the crash. The only solution we seem to have to this scenario is for the government to guarantee bank accounts. The ability of the state to pay in such a crisis of faith rests on the state's ability to borrow money, which in turn is affected by faith the market has that the state will be able to pay it back. If people stop believing in the market, the market fails.
So... a little simplistic, as I'm not an economist. Still, as I see it we've got a faith based economy, and I feel like an atheist.
I'd consider myself well educated, I've got a good job, I'm a professional. That said, all I want to do is learn to farm, to hunt, to prepare my own food and to build things.
If and when it all comes crashing down, my "education", career and profession won't count for much. Chasing riches is foolish, while learning to "live poor", outside the market economy, enhances your chances for survival.
I shouldn't say such things, as avarice is now a virtue, poverty a vice. Sit, stand, kneel pray...
I've been up on my high horse lately.
It's time to get off, before I'm thrown off.
So be it,
Oh man, I am soooo drunk right now...
Those who work in the mills should own them. Overcome the sins of the market and extend democracy to the workplace. ~attributed to Noam Chomsky, quoting others in a 1995 lecture on education and democracy.
One problem with those on the left, I find, is that too often they take problems in the society stemming from the market and propose political solutions. I think we forget, that feudalism didn't die, it faded away as it became economically irrelevant.
If you want to kill capitalism, build a better economic system first, from the bottom up.