Saturday, February 25, 2017

Life First

Our human values should firstly derive from giving our fellow humans respect, respect as beings much like ourselves, with their values, proclivities, sensitivies, etc.

We may believe our way is better, but we cannot assume it so, or pretend we can determine the ultimate values of another person, say whether extending life or ending suffering is more important.

This is essential in creating a free, and not a totalitarian society.  The Pursuit of Happiness is what we must allow others to do for themselves, even if by our standards it harms themselves.  This only ends when somebody else is adversely affected.

Most Americans I've met, and I think most people generally, intuit this.  There's the phrase, "if it doesn't bother me, so what?"

And that's correct, generalized to everyone.

But personal freedom is not the same as freedom to organize the productive resources of society.  The latter is no longer a personal but a collective matter.  Therefore in my view, liberty does not include "business liberty," "corporate liberty," or anything else like that.

In my view, ownership rights are always second class, if that.  Ownership takes a back seat to what is actually best for the society.  Corporations might be better managed by public minded groups than private minded ones--the latter whose interest is in privatizing wealth for themselves.

It is not only proper (and essential!) to have good government regulation, in my view mere "regulation" isn't enough.  In many cases outright public ownership of things would be better.

In the future, that's what we will need, more and more, if there is to be anything but total breakdown.

The total breakdown of extraction and exploitation and growth capitalism will almost certainly be in the next 100 years, as temperature rises about 5 degrees C.

Extraction, exploitation, and growth have been what made possible the fantastic growth (and if you consider that wealth, which it is to many) of human society.  It is part of what might be considered the technological advancement.  But going forward such a population as we have not is neither sustainable nor needed for technological advancement, as little as 100 million humans would be sufficient for continuing long term very high end technical advancement.  It's hard to know what the sustainable limits would be for any level of suffering and/or technical advancement, but they are most certainly less than 1/3 present and likely well below 1B under any kind of human system we are likely to see.

And another problem is the great overshoot will take much time and work to recover from.

Now we get to some other questions.  Since we have respect for others,  we must also grant them equality.  In the most basic terms, we must not let them suffer loss of a good life if we can avoid it.

In the most advanced terms, the best society is exactly that which lifts each person up to their best possible level of themselves and all others...through that society.

That is fundamentally what we must be shooting for.  Not one which lets the rich get as rich as possible, or even preserves the value of currency.  No one should expect currency to be especially stable.  From a personal standpoint it either is spent immediately or converted into some form of inflation protected savings.  Inflation protection is not a service that society need provide, or should provide, in comparison to employment.  Maximum employment is the essence of wealth.

More people, at crappy employment, isn't.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Capital Mobility

Capital Mobility is a more caustic neoliberal force than the more intuitive trade in goods by distant producers.

It seems inevitable today, but foundational economists Adam Smith and David Ricardo assumed no capital mobility.  Capital mobility changes everything.

With capital mobility, highly automated factories and procedures, inexpensive global transport, and so on, the global wealthy can drive an infinite race to the bottom in wages.

A good economy is one that is good for everyone, this was not what any economist would admit to enabling.  Capital mobility was hardly considered into the the 1960's.

As well, financial de-regulation (began with Carter, accelerated under Reagan) further propels the global race to the bottom in wages.

Of course, mainly what so-called trade agreements are about are corporate rights to supercede human ones, in the interest of greater and greater profits, and lowered quality of everything, including life.

Not really trade at all, but things that, help improve capital mobility.