Monday, June 25, 2012


(In yet another ‘book review’) Joe Stiglitz, in his newly released book, The Price of Inequality, returns to this theme of a divided society.
Lynn Parramore: An argument has been made, particularly since the end of the Cold War, that capitalism is great at producing things that can improve our lives, and so we ought to therefore tolerate some unfairness. What's wrong with that narrative?

Joseph Stiglitz: Well, capitalism does have a lot of strengths, including producing things that are very innovative. But what drives capitalism is the profit motive. You can profit not only by making good things, but also by exploiting people, by exploiting the environment, by doing things that are not so good. The narrative that you describe ignores the extent to which a lot of the inequalities in the United States are not the result of creative activity but of exploitive activity. And if you look at the people at the top, what is so striking is that the people who've made the most important creative contributions are not there.

By that I mean the really foundational things like the computer, the transistor, the laser. And how many people at the top are people who made their money out of monopoly -- exercising monopoly power? Like bankers who exploited through predatory lending practice and abusive credit card practices. Or CEOs who took advantage of deficiencies in corporate governance to get a larger share of the corporate revenues for themselves without any regard to the extent to which they have actually contributed to increasing the sustainable well-being of the firm.

While our Nobel laureate makes some interesting points, he offers no hints or strategies for dealing with this, er, ‘crisis’.

And that’s perfectly understandable, the system wasn’t designed to prevent usurpation (hijacking) by the ‘self-serving’ (the > One Percent.)

The system doesn’t have the tools necessary to shut it down and reallocate power to that rarest of commodities, ‘Men both ‘Good and True’.

Understand, one of the hottest debates during the constitutional convention centered on providing the people with some sort of mechanism to keep the newly formed government ‘in check’.

And the argument that won the day was, ‘It won’t be necessary so long as there are men both good and true in charge of government.

So tell me good citizen, when was the last time ANY candidate ran on the ‘good and true’ platform?

Whose campaign literature used You can trust Moe; he’s both Good AND True ?

The ONLY (post revolution) example of a ‘good and true’ politician happens to be Roosevelt (Franklin D.) and there’s still a mountain of ‘irregularities’ that get swept under the rug when discussing his unprecedented three terms in office.

Even Jefferson despaired over the notion that the ONLY thing protecting our new republic was ‘faith’ (in men both good and true.)

And Jefferson is one of the few who were permitted to attend the constitutional convention, so he knew there was NOBODY there that matched the description.

230 plus years later and we are seeing how prescient Mr. Jefferson actually was.

The ‘royalists’ won the day after all.

The ‘peons’ were not only muzzled but hog-tied. They had no voice and no representation in the government, leading the > One Percent to conclude that the ‘revolution’ had reached a ‘successful’ outcome.

And our failure to rein them in then has resulted in this latest disaster we are faced with today, one that threatens to end in the destruction of our species.

Ms. Parramore taunts us with Mr. Stiglitz’s ‘nightmarish vision’ for our future and Hollywood’s recent obsession with Zombies (who in real life are simply cannibals.) should be all the ‘hint’ we need for what ‘they’ (the > One percent) have in mind for the bulk of humanity.

And I just ‘re-combed’ the article and have determined Ms Parramore lied, Sadly Joltin’ Joe still has a 'sunny side up' attitude when it comes to (his personal) the future.

Sadly, his ‘prescription’ is to use capitalism to save capitalism…and that ain’t never gonna work because we arrive back at the ‘men, both good and true’ conundrum.

No such animal so there’s no point in even going there.

If we are to have even a tiny hope of turning this mess around we must put the levers of power beyond the reach of the self-interested.

Hanging as many of them as possible for treason wouldn’t be a ‘bad start’ as far as rescuing our species is concerned.

Because it is not just about ‘changing direction’, we also need facilitate communication that will allow us to grow together rather than this conservative focus on demonizing the phantom ‘other’.

If we can’t put our minute differences behind us we will never be able to move forward.

A Simple Plan lets us move forward, it provides you with ‘you space’ that is separate from the ‘we space’ necessary to conduct the business of life for all.

‘Birds of a Feather’ is no accident. People are different and if we don’t start off accommodating those differences, people will find their own way to accommodate them…usually with disastrous results.

I will say up front that the goal of the ‘Birds of a feather’ program is to, er, ‘spawn’ a ‘one people’ movement.

Wondering what this ‘Birds of a Feather’ bullshit is…go read A Simple Plan, it’s all there.

Maybe Mr. Stiglitz should read it too, he might learn something.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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