Almost everyday I read posts online that interest, infuriate, stimulate, inspire, or otherwise move me. Almost everyday I'll share three short snippets.
Ask me anything
November 30, 2013
"If you happen to be mostly depressed about the state of your life, I don’t know whether you feel like doing impulse control. If you are like me and you see that you have a bunch of ambitions that you actually think you have a reasonable chance of realising in life, you may be very different in terms of your willingness to give up the almond croissant. But if I feel that everything I’ve hoped for never worked, then what am I restraining myself for? That’s a completely legitimate way to think. And I think that it may well be that a substantial part of the reason why the poor look as if they’re taking worse decisions is because they don’t care enough, and they don’t care enough because they really, probably rightly, see that their chances of getting somewhere very different are minimal. If you’re never going to climb up that hill towards attainment, then you might as well not try. There’s no point pushing the rock up the hill and having it roll down on you."
"Where are Hong Kong’s resources? Where are South Korea’s resources? Where are Taiwan’s resources? Where are the resources of most of Europe? The answer, of course, is that those resources are primarily in the impoverished world and that natural wealth has been confiscated through inequalities of trade to become the wealth of the imperial-centers-of-capital ."
J.W. Smith at The Institute for Economic Democracy. The Secret of Free Enterprise Capital Accumulation
Book: Economic Democracy: The Political Struggle of the Twenty-First Century, 4th Edition
"So what Anderson and Bows are really saying is that there is still time to avoid catastrophic warming, but not within the rules of capitalism as they are currently constructed. Which may be the best argument we have ever had for changing those rules."
Naomi Klein at Alternet. Naomi Klein: Why Science Is Telling All of Us to Revolt and Change Our Lives Before We Destroy the Planet
Climate scientists are coming to some incendiary conclusions.
"Economists always ask us to ‘imagine’ how things must have worked before the advent of money. What such examples bring home more than anything else is just how limited their imaginations really are. When one is dealing with a world unfamiliar with money and markets, even on those rare occasions when strangers did meet explicitly in order to exchange goods, they are rarely thinking exclusively about the value of the goods."
David Graeber at Naked Capitalism. On the Invention of Money— Notes on Sex, Adventure, Monomaniacal Sociopathy , and the Function of Economics
A Reply to Robert Murphy’s ‘Have Anthropologists Overturned Menger?
"This falsely inflated market doesn’t have the steep lead-in of a financial bubble, and that graph up there just keeps on rising and taking a bigger and bigger piece of the pie. And back to Psycritic’s question, it doesn’t burst or pop like financial bubbles. It seems to grow unaffected by those usual market forces economists so love to talk about. What do you call a market like that – a falsely inflated market that is unopposed by any apparent forces to hold it in bounds? I personally think it’s called a Monopoly , and I don’t think we’ll be able to do anything about it until we come to grips with what that means. I wish it were a financial bubble, but it’s not. The medical analogy for an economic Monopoly is cancer – something that grows without restraint until it destroys its host. That’s a real possibility with the Healthcare Industry."
"A person’s ability to delay gratification—forgoing a smaller reward now for a larger reward in the future—may depend on how trustworthy the person perceives the reward-giver to be, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder."
"High finance has become the modern mode of warfare. After indebting countries, creditors lobby to privatize natural monopolies and create new monopoly rights for themselves. It aims at what military force did in times past, but at a lower cost. It is cheaper to seize land by foreclosure than by armed occupation, and to obtain rights to mineral wealth and public infrastructure by hooking nations on debt. Subject populations will not fight back as long as they can be persuaded to accept the occupation as natural and even helpful."
"What is required both for long-term human survival, and for the creation of a new condition of “plenitude,” is a smaller ecological footprint for the global economy, coupled with a system of comprehensive social, technological, and economic planning—one that is of, by, and for the people.* It means abandonment of the myth of absolute economic growth as the panacea for all of society’s ills, and the downshift to a sustainable, steady-state economy rooted in the development of human community rather than individual accumulation."