Saturday, April 22, 2017

We Can Do An Amazing Amount Of Whatever We Can Imagine Doing Now...

...And that is both our blessing, and our curse.

Amazing kinds of new flying machines. Amazing kinds of everything that can just be printed. Inching closer to genetic solutions to a host of very serious physical maladies. Experience retrieval systems that would seamlessly allow anyone, in virtually any situation, to understand what to do next, if called upon to do so (married with the right kind of combined vision glasses, or contact lenses, bone conduction sound processing, and perhaps some kind of haptic latex layer over the skin). Maybe even true faster than light travel.

Interestingly enough, that really isn't the issue any more. What is at issue is what feeds into the making of our imaginations, and consequently, what is then more likely to come out?

I ask this question now, having just recently posted on the proposed march for science, because not only scientists, but the rest of us as well, ought to be thinking about this sort of thing precisely because so much depends on it.

If my imagination has been stoked a great deal more for the receipt of fantasies along all of the lines of our base instincts, you can imagine as well just the kinds of excess that web porn today, and sci fi, have only started to rev the engines on. The extra incentive here, unfortunately, is that there is also the nitro that this hothouse environment we call Capitalism feeds on, and sweats out in grand profusion: Money.

In a sense, you could see this as an economy driven in ever greater degree by an underlying, and unbelievably profitable, addiction as a path to power. Is that really the ever more structurally self perpetuating direction you want society to head in?

We can't get rid of our base instincts, any more than we can simply forget the mind sugar diet we've already been fed on. We can, however, work to emplace a quite different structural imperative. One that can at least remove the hothouse environment that feeds into addiction so easily. One that would take away the commercial aspect of message so that the incentive to continue to manipulate base instincts would be greatly reduced. And one that would make working with more of our neighbors a natural part of community life. A life direction therefore more mutually involved, and organically supportive.

Call me crazy but it just seems like common sense to see that, if you want citizens able to make good decisions you first need to get back to the basics of what makes a person confident, well adjusted, and self motivated. All things that require a sense of meaning, worth, and a host of ever more demanding cognitive skills. If you think that's going to work continuing down this path of commercialized fantasies as commodities then it's already too late for you.

All of you need to think long and hard about these things. You need to be demanding the very same thing of everyone you know, and that they pass that along to all of their acquaintances. We are at an unprecedented moment of decision here. A very big moment of choice. Which direction will humanity go in? Who will lead the change if we make the right choice? If you've been thinking at all, in your heart, and in your head, you know that business as usual has to stop. The sooner the better.


Images For Amazing New Inventions

See also:
Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons Why’ Carries Danger of Glorifying Suicide, Experts Say





Be There Or Be Flat Earth Square

Everything is politics now because everything involving money is political, and everything involving politics is money. You have to become involved if you want to change that fundamental dynamic.

March for Science: Scientists Hit the Streets to Demand Respect, Funding

See Also:

This Is How Climate Change Might Kill Us


Why the Menace of Mosquitoes Will Only Get Worse




Friday, April 21, 2017

Just In Case There's Lingering Doubt About The Planet Getting Hotter

And if you think a money oriented economy is going to be able to handle all of the collateral effects this is going to have you have been drinking too much of our de facto ex presidents Kool Aid.

A Terrifying Chart Showing How Much The Earth Has Warmed Since 1880



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Academic Validation That We Absolutely Need To Reinvent Our Relationship...

 ...Between providing for ourselves, and providing for the communities to keep it all working together.

As the books referred to in the New Republic article, linked below, indicates, it is simply time to realize that Capitalism, with the technological change it has wrought, has taken us as far as it can in performing as a social/economic operating system.

Sure, it had it's day. It created an almost unbelieveable avalanche of both material, and technological gain. That it also did a behemoth's bulldozering of the planet as collateral damage, though, must be acknowledged as well; which is undeniably why the problem is so much more complicated now, but that is damage we just need to try and move on from.

In any case, though, the bottom line is that work, as a commercialized, and specialized, mass production for mass consumption, process can't apply anymore; especially when the principal consumer can no longer compete viably as the holder of a skill commodity. The once virtuous circle of capital to productive structure, to wage induced skill application, to market varied quality and variety, to wage earner consumption, to capital return with profit, no longer works, and doesn't make sense any more.

The thing is, there is another aspect to why Capitalism no longer makes any sense any more. And it is related to the change in sense modalities that societies go through when they move from a typographic mind set, back to a more multi sensual, oral type mindset; much as Marshall McLuhan described it (primarily) in "The Gutenberg Galaxy." Of course the arc described there was culture going from oral (the tribal default) to typographic. Electrification of information flow reversed this process so that we have been moving back to a more tribal oriented, multi sensual mind set. And just so we're clear here, this makes a big difference in how we experience, and conceptualize things (as a lot of Mr. McLuhan's work indicated).

The major point of the differences is that we require greater involvement in depth in what we do as a natural course of living. It simply cannot be oddly sequenced, disconnected chunks of busy time any more. It has to be integrated, broadly connected and, most importantly, meaningful interaction that defines daily life. Which then demands that the way we organize things must also be structured so as to facilitate this new kind of "thoughtful, loving structure." A way to make keeping things going, and keeping ourselves prospering, just part and parcel of community life. Something. I hasten to add, that is quite possible if we would just put, even a small part, of the same creativity that has kept Capitalism going far longer than it would otherwise, to work on making it happen.

This is a big choice moment folks. Your choice. Don't blow it.


The United States of Work




Monday, April 17, 2017

Which Is Why We Can't Do This With A Money Based Economy!



THE GREEN PLANET


They'll probably want to go with the cheapest option which is, oh, only $450 billion.

First Our Solar System, And Then Others...

...But we have to do this without the baggage that the economics of scarcity have burdened us with through most of our history. Which is why it is mandatory that we ditch Capitalism right now!


BECAUSE 'COLONIZING' ALWAYS GOES WELL...


It is small-time to make just the world a better place. The real opportunity lies in making the universe a better place.



More Greed In Medicine


GREED SPREADS THROUGHOUT THE BODY


Cancer drugs cost more in the US than anywhere in the world.
There's an old saying among four wheelers: "The better the four wheel drive, the farther from civilization you are when it finally breaks down." The corollary to that in Capitalism is "The more successful a manufacturing company, the more community wide disaster there is when the company finally stops competing there."

Whole communities. Decades of structure, and generations of working families building their ties together; all around the livelihood of making something. And then it just gets pulled out from under the entire community (either in major portion, or all together).

But that's just the way it is with Capitalism. Disruption, though quite a motivator for competition, is by definition a significant shaking up of things. And especially with hyper technology thrown into the mix now. And the really sad part is that all of that generational knowledge gathered into people, and structure, is still there. Still able to make things. Just not with the currently valued efficiency the world demands. And in letting that structural whole wither, and crumble away is a true crime social equity, and common sense. Of the highest degree.

That kind of whole, in case you have forgotten, is what swung from making cars, to making bombers, in very short order, I might add, for usual human institutions. And I say that not in the sense that we're likely to need mass produced bombers again, but in the sense that something else might crop up critical, and needed in significant quantities.

The problem is none of our political leadership, or our political structure for that matter, is ready to accept the fact that humanity as a whole is facing a World War 2 crisis. The enemy here isn't a Fascist despot, or an Imperial power, but survival itself. Between an ever increasing global population, decreasing resources, and ever more extreme weather, we are between the proverbial rock, and a hard place, but with the water rising rapidly. And though things aren't truly desperate yet overall, the time for that approaches. This when our focus should be nation wide mobilization to begin the many, long lead time developments, that will give us the flexibility, to lead the rest of the world in getting our species through this. As opposed to the "government as reality TV show" we have now.

If you do not understand this yet you are either: 1. Willfully ignorant. 2. Profitably anesthetized. 3. An idiot. or 4. You just don't care anymore.

It is my hope; my faith, that the majority of us are still none of these.


JANESVILLE: AN AMERICAN STORY



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Organizing Stream Content Providers For YouTube, And Twitch, Is Great...

...Not only because there is a valid "employee, employer" equity issue going on here, but also because of the parallel going on between the language used to describe this situation, and how it can also be used to talk about a wage earner's relationship to our current economic operating system.

We can see this at play in the recommended article on the subject linked below. Of particular interest to me especially is the very first paragraph:
"Unique to the digital age is the video content creation industry, one where employees are “users” and employers are “platforms.” In it, workers aren’t owed squat. When there are tech issues, they can visit the support page. When there are platform updates, a lot of the time, the press knows first. Full-time YouTubers and Twitch streamers, workers whose livelihoods depend on these platforms, are weed-whacking their way through the nascent industry’s first labor issues. And while it’s a new industry, there’s one old, time-tried solution to users’ grievances: organization."
One can, in a sense, look, at Capitalism as a "platform." The interesting part here, though, is that, on the one hand we have the fiction that no one actually owns it, and on the other we have the fact of corporations, which are quasi citizens now, and who make up most of its fabric, which are owned, one way or another, by those who have accumulated the most counters. We use the productive structures thus created to create enough counters for ourselves so that we can provide the consumption that keeps everything going, and that's pretty much all that we are here for now.

Because of the quasi citizenship of corporations their true owners can have the best of both worlds. This is because corporations can have the best rights of citizenship (especially where free speech is concerned), but also be quite limited in the amount of responsibility one might also demand of them. And so us content providers (workers) are left carrying most of the responsibility burden, but are then not only getting less and less say on how things are run. Sure, we can shout our lungs out, and if we really gather together, that can be a pretty potent thing, but for how long? When you have to get back to making sure there's food on the table, a roof over your head, a keeping a sense, getting harder all the time, that you still have some kind of intrinsic value?

The fact of the matter now is that free speech in the age of electro amplification is a joke; at least in its current manifestation when people, with a lot more counters than we will ever hope to have, can do the kind of amplification that spreads a message out way beyond just making it louder; as in having distribution across both a full spectrum of channels, as well as over far larger time spans, where consistency, as well as high tech, message engineering, can have the best, overall effect.

This is why we have to begin the process of changing to an alternative by doing an employee buyout. Purchase the whole damn thing outright, give fair compensation to the former owners, and then take full possession of the platform we make work every day. Take possession. Rationalize and humanize it. Make it truly equitable for all of those who work to keep it going while we figure out how to do away with needing money at all.

It's Time For YouTubers And Twitch Streamers To Organize





Saturday, April 15, 2017

Going Single Payer For Everything Might Save Us A Considerable Amount Of Money

As complicated as our economy is I'm not even going to attempt to guess at even a ballpark figure, but it does stand to reason in general.

Between streamlining the military (think about how much simplier things would be there if profit wasn't involved), and working an integrated unification of both the information aspects, and the means of physical delivery, of health care. Especially in health care.

Just in rationalizing, and finally standardizing, the information flow of patient data, procedures data, procedure charges, and the cross checking of plan coverage against procedure appropriateness, in relation to diagnosis, would involve what I have to believe would be unbelievable savings; and I say that after having had about six years experience in developing, and supporting, the data collection, and distribution system for a fair sized, regional remote billing organization (Health Services Northwest, an on again, off again, partnership between the Providence, and Swedish, hospital groups).

All of you out there ought to be giving an employee buyout of America some very serious though.


WE'LL PAY MORE FOR MORE PARKS


Looking at the list of expenditures, it is clear why some say the U.S. is a giant insurance company with an army. Half of all spending goes for Social Security benefits and health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, while another 20% is for defense and military benefits.



Friday, April 14, 2017

Like I Said...

...Who would want to even think of wanting to keep an economic operating system as fragile as capitalism?

If We owned everything we probably wouldn't have to worry about having a stock market at all, let alone the nervous nellies that make up a significant portion of its traders. And since we'd be working for ourselves, the automatic incentive of keeping the profits going would be there because that's the only way we could continue operating generally without resorting back to income taxes again. And that's something I don't think anybody needs to be very "uncertain" about.

As More and More Red Flags Go Up, Is Wall Street About to Start a Slide



And Yet People Are Still Starving In Many Areas Of The World

This has always been one of Capitalism's biggest contradictions: That it would rather let surplus production sit useless than get it to those who are in desperate need of whatever might be involved. The cost of getting it to those in desperate need, of course, as well as the write off of original production costs, always makes for an argument that keeps things all bound up until the commodity in question either goes to rot, or becomes useless in some other fashion.

It's unfortunate that there's never been a mechanism that allows producers to clear surpluses from the distribution system, get the supply back in balance with self supportive prices, and yet still make use of the items; especially when it is food.

It seems to me that, if we owned everything, there might be a way to channel the costs, and get the product used, that wouldn't pile unserviceable debt on the producers. It would simply have the government buy the product at cost, using that purchase price as a further employee buyout debt servicing, and then charging the government expenditure on the Foreign Policy budget. If we also then had a world public transportation utility, supported by the UN as a whole, the product could be delivered, en mass, to wherever it was needed, with the world sharing that cost.

A lot of "ifs" to be sure. A lot of good things start with "ifs" though. If you are really of a mind to make things better. We just have to forge a common way of looking at the problem, and then negotiate our way to making the solution happen.

Grains piled on runways, parking lots, fields amid global glut






Thursday, April 13, 2017

You Can't Do What Bernie Really Wants To Do...

...With the Democratic Party involved. At least not as that party is constituted presently.

And what Bernie really wants to do is Socialism, of one form or another; something that's quite understandable with the way Capitalism usually treats basic human needs. The problem is, trying to mold Capitalism in some way so as to accommodate true socialism just doesn't work very well; especially when the rest of the world is likely to stick with very competitive Capitalism. You are very quickly put into the position where balancing costs, equitably distributing payment burdens, and still remain competitive, without also controlling profits (without capital then running away from under you), is not something meant for high probabilities of success.

Then you add the further problem of what doing more attempts at reform always do now, put more turbulence into very complex systems; turbulence that spreads out in waves through the multi dimensional matrix we call an economy, causing ever more unanticipated events of collateral damage. Which then create even greater problems needing to be fixed, with further inputs of instability just feeding on itself on growing waves of cascade effect.

My wish would be for such well intentioned, and smart, people like Mr. Sanders would be to step back and consider the larger implications of what is really going on with our problem with Capitalism. The very fact that, as a product of 18th and 19th century typographic thinking (linear, one thing at a time, segmentation; residing in Newtonian, as opposed to Einstein, physical, and meaning, space), it no longer has any of its original validity remaining. Not now that we've infused ourselves into an electro, turbocharged, multi dimensional matrix of interaction, effect, and more interaction.

It would be a system that wouldn't make any sense any more even if it hadn't been mutated by the technology it helped to create. We find that simple fact hard to see precisely because the mutation is resplendent with not only narcotics for every imagination, but with intrigues for every desire, as well as excess beyond any means of resistance.

In point of fact then we need to be rid of it. And the sooner the better. My sincere hope is that people are going to be more and more receptive to this notion. It's up to people in intelligentsia, business, and politics, to help that notion develope.


Bernie Sanders -- Democrats Win If We Mobilize And Educate




More Capitalist Contradictions


LOBBYISTS ARE THE WORST, PART 1000


"Tennessee will literally be paying AT&T to provide a service 1000 times slower than what Chattanooga could provide without subsidies."

Why Can't We Put This Sort Of Thing To Work...

...To help us manage our own management, production and distribution system? As opposed to making our skill as a commodity simply less desirable, and thus all of us, less competitive, as well as more prone to unemployment?

That's the choice we have in either taking things over and working our own operating system, or staying with the current, quite obsolete, economic operating system.

It really is that stark, and that simple. And you'd better make the right choice while you still can.


THE FLOOR IS JAVASCRIPT


This group of smart robots can sort 200,000 packages a day without taking a break.



Fragility. However We Love, Or Loathe, It, We Ignore It At Our Great Peril

Fragility isn't something we normally take to with loving arms, but there are quite notable exceptions. Babies. Kittens. That collector's item, whatever, that is so beautiful, who cares how fragile it is. You get the idea.

In electronics, of course, and especially for the military, however, fragility is to be avoided like the plague. As you could imagine, during the time of vacuum tubes that was a very tricky problem. They did a pretty good job with them, given the circumstances but, as the g forces kept climbing in virtually all situations, you can bet your ass they saw silicon based electron manipulation as a god send.

For some reason, a lot of times when I think about fragility, amidst great outward chaos, I have a very clear image of various scenes from the movie "Sorcerer." And by that I mean the one done in 1977, directed and produced by William Friedkin and starring Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, and Amidou. This was a wonderful production that still holds up quite well I think. It depicts a group of really down and out misfits, in a really backwater, third world country. They are all, barely surviving here, and desperate to a point that is made quite visceral when you watch. The other main plot point is an oil rig fire that must be put out some number of miles away, but for which no means of air lift can be of help.

So. To put out the fire requires a counter blast explosion. The only explosives are not where they need to be and, to make matters worse, they are very old sticks of dynamite that have been sitting in a hot environment, and sweating nitro for far too long. The only thing left to do? Pay some idiots just desperate enough that a, only modest amount of cash to the business folks, would entice them to try and get the dynamite to the fire. Through some very bad ass jungle, and virtually non existent roads, with at least one bridge from the absolute hell of rickety, and ready to break.

It is a pretty stark example of what people can be made to do when they see the least little bit of hope in a sea of abject hopelessness. What's really interesting in this, though, is that this is also how I see where we are today. Only in this case the we are the desperate guys, our country is that bad ass truck they get to custom configure, and the thing we are carrying is our economy. And what we are driving too is a metaphor for what our economy, and our desperation, create together; the next fire that is always there to be put out.

The thing is, however, what really amazes me here is how we so readily seem to accept the fragility our economy has; and in this I am talking about the bedrock idea that Capitalists always refer to when they talk about what markets require: As little uncertainty as possible. What would then be one of the greatest contributors of "uncertainty?" The thing that always makes variables go crazy: Turbulence. Especially turbulence coming from many, as well as unexpected, sources. And as we are now driving through a new information jungle of our own making (in physical and meaning space), which we understand only a little more than squat about, we get a lot of turbulence from a lot of unexpected sources. Which makes the package we carry cranky, unpredictable in its own right, and subject to not putting out enough juice (it sweats it's own form of nitro, which we try to control, with its own problematic degree of success) out for the rest of us to keep this crazy truck going at all, let alone successfully through some really bad bush.

To make matters worse, though, we have to drive our truck around carefully, so as to avoid running into, or make common tracks, impassable, for other desperate drivers of other trucks; each carrying equally fragile cargo.

And so I ask myself again. Why on earth would we put up with fragility worse than the cheapest vacuum tubes of the early fifties? A situation made even worse by the fact that the g forces involved are getting worse (because of all of the big problems we've ignored for so long), even as the economic operating system's fragility increases. Is this not a perfect definition of madness stacked upon even more madness? If it isn't, I'd sure like someone to explain to me how that could be so.

Become better informed. Ask deeper questions. Take peaceful action.









Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Institutionalizing A Right Wing Ideological Imperative

Can we stop pretending that, just because a guy has great legal technical skills, he is somehow then automatically going to be make decisions on purely technical legal merits? Please?

I know, there is always the possibility that a judge will grow in maturity, protected by the life time appointment, but anyone who thinks that puts high odds on our newest court member should really think seriously about avoiding gambling altogether; as his decision record clearly suggests. You can say this because, once born an ideologue, one tends to stay as such; especially when one may also have rich benefactors who guided them throughout their development. Everybody in Washington DC knows this. No one is going to be surprised at all when the new guy votes very conservatively on matters that come before SCOTUS.

The fact of the matter is that SCOTUS became irretrievably politicized once the Republicans decided that a sitting President did not have the right to have a nominee considered for the court, at all; no hearings. No interviews. No real excuses; other than it's his last year in office. I mean, seriously?

And why stop at just a year, if you really don't like the guy. Why not limit the guy you don't like to only his first 100 days in office? That's when any supposed mandate has its most sense of validity. And after that the rest of the term is just as a lame duck. Why not? It makes just as much arbitrary sense as the last year in office.

What we are talking about here, of course, is just another aspect of what too much money in political life, for far too long, has done to foul it up with the structuralization of assumed privilege; where money itself ends up deciding what is important (especially too it), and what is not. Of how things will be done then, and of how they will not be allowed to be done.

And lest it is also not clear to you, the Republicans in both houses know only too well how incompetent, and/or how crazy, our de facto ex president is. They know this and they don't care nearly enough to do anything about it yet because they think they can cement a good deal more of the structuralization already described into place, now that they control both houses, and, presumably the crazy guy as well. That it hasn't been going so well for them only serves to emphasize just how crazy it is to think you can work with crazy and not live to regret it.

There is also another kind of crazy that is making things hard for the Republicans, however, that I need to acknowledge: The fact of one particular form of Capitalism's own contradictions. Some money people want to embrace the global trade version, leaving local markets to fend for themselves, and others want to try and invent a new kind of bunker-ized, fortress America, Capitalism; apparently thinking we don't need anybody else (any more than we need science, or facts, or face a radically changed world). Which is simply indicative of one big industry group being at odds with another big industry group, and heaven help all of us, down in the trenches, between them all.

And this is just part of the reason why I am advocating the sweeping changes that you have seen described in this blog. I remain convinced that, if you spend even a modest amount of time in researching all of the ins and outs of this mutated monster of an economy, you will too will come to understand the need for change of that depth, breadth, and height.


MAKING ALL THE RIGHT CHOICES


With the Federalist Society, Leonard Leo has reared a generation of originalist élites. The selection of Neil Gorsuch is just his latest achievement.





In An Interum, Transition Government, One Thing I Think We Should Consider...

...Is a variation on our present Legislative branch of government.

[
The transition I'm talking about here would be the one instigated if a new political party -- my
fantasy post on same depicted a Libertarian Socialist party being elected precisely as a movement
to organize a constitutional convention in order to make changes to our constitution, so as to make
an alternative to Capitalism possible -- actually came to power. In order to make all of the other
structural changes (see here for a look into what some of those changes might be), we would need
to nationalize everything, which I posted on here, and here
]

I would keep the Senate the way it is, but I would change the House of Representatives. I would replace it with a nationwide, popular vote; after all, who better to represent us than ourselves.

You could also think of it as simply folding in the idea of citizen initiatives, only in this instance with a chance for a citizen petition to finally come to a full, national vote (which begs obvious questions on how we do that on a new scale, given the chaos of our current voting infrastructure; which certainly deserves an answer, but I won't go into that now), given it passed some combination of preliminary signature drives. And then, of course, you would still have the Senate, with Senators voted in as now, to run a checking balance.

As far as our doing a employee buyout, via an equity consolidation, refinancing (America Inc.), I think I was amiss for not going into enough detail on how everything was going to be managed; especially as the intent was for the Federal Government to do nothing more than set wage, price and profit limits, management wise (only if the situation warranted it of course, as with rationing, or production directives).

The central point here is that this would not be intended as any kind of centrally planned economy; which history has already passed a thumbs down verdict on. No, the idea here would be to set up partnership councils (or "cooperation councils" as I referred to them before) at successive levels, starting at least at the City level, and made up of civic leaders, labor leaders, and company heads. These groups would have to have some kind of voting arrangement, and power for the vote to wield, but I'd hate to try and specify that now; leaving that particular, important detail, to the final negotiation process.

I also don't think I made an emphasis on an unavoidable consequence of such a move. To be completely up front here, a number of industries might likely become superfluous in the turnaround, which would mean a significant number of people out of work. In some cases it would be in the finance industry as debt trading would become problematic, and the stock exchanges as well. For those at the higher wealth levels they'd have the opportunity to start new businesses (which I failed to provide as a possibility, in some way, for the wage earners, initially, and it ought to be there). Other enterprises, in other industry groups might also become quite problematic. That's the bad news.

The good news is that the workplace of America Inc would be a lot more forgiving of taking your time to find  new work; as in any temporary job will automatically have its base pay supplemented (to a living wage minimum) by the Federal government to service the refinancing debt.
Health Care would have the ultimate single payer, and supplier, to keep costs, profits, and wages, under the control of actual limits. And best of all, I've got several, very big, and very necessary, public works projects ( see here, here, and here), proposed that would set about creating, new living space, public power, and transportation, infrastructure, the likes of which no one has ever seen before. Which will mean a lot of work for a lot of people.

All you have to do here guys is start thinking it's possible. Then you can start considering all of the ins and outs of the approach, and come up with your own concerns, questions, and maybe the spur to look into some of the economics aspects here in greater depth. You could come back then and give me proper hell for that "obvious" thing that I didn't see; because it was right in front of me, no doubt.

In any case, though, talking about "Nationalization" doesn't make you an automatic Communist. Any more than it makes you some South American, Socialist state of the past, who put the best industries in the pockets of the Junta leaders, and left the industrialists, and entrepreneurs out in the cold; along with the rest of the proletariat, eventually, of course.

No, this would just be a smart business decision made by the majority of the employees of this working nation. A business decision to give the wealth holders fair value for their property, but make it clear, none the less, that management overall, for at least the last 30 or 40 years, has just made a horrible mess of things; a mess that's simply intolerable for the rest of us. Intolerable for the planet as well. We just do the buyout, and then get to the adult business of running a proper balance between practical matters of efficiency, and a compassionate understanding of what basic human needs are.

Make no mistake here, though. It will be argumentative. Frustrating. And not very nimble at all at first. And difficult though it may be, it will start us down the road of engaging each other more directly as a natural part of everyday community life. Get us to find ways to cooperate even if we don't agree on all hot button, cultural issues, because we don't do that at far greater cost.

What we've done for ourselves, predicament wise, is very easy to illustrate. We have, in effect, put ourselves into a variation of the "frog in the pot" experiment (which I'm sure, many of you already know about). That's where the pot, also containing water, is very slowly having the temperature of the water raised. The frog, in this case, doesn't know anything about making water hotter, so you can count on cooked hopper there. We, on the other hand, have been telling ourselves for years now that the pot is slowly having the temp raised, but we refuse to really (and I mean really) take it seriously. And we remain in the pot, doing the usual stupid things that put us here in the first place, and apparently not giving a damn if we get cooked too, or not.

I vote that we stop being stupid frogs, and get our asses up, motivated, and out of this circular rutt we're getting cooked in, so we can do something about it.

What do you say?





Tuesday, April 11, 2017

You Got To Pump It Up

And so fakery comes full circle, back to the basics of making something of little intrinsic value have a lot more shine than it was ever meant to have.

Facade products. Facade leaders. Facade issues. And yet we still try to maintain the facade of representational government, when we know a good portion of has been bought relatively cheap.

Getting rid of Capitalism isn't going to rid us of the human propensity for trying to put one over on the other guy, but it would sure go a long way in not having things be such a hot house environment for it; especially with that magic elixir of a fertilizer they call money.

SEC Cracks Down on Fake Stock News





What Do I Mean When I Say "Ask Deeper Questions?"

It boils down to simple dictum: When you are told something, don't take any of it at face value. And don't make assumptions about intent until you do know more; which is precisely the point. You have to look deeper to get the full context of what you are being told.

A good case in point is the Syrian bombing. Out of the gate, it looked like a much needed turnaround for our de facto ex president; taking bold action to smite that Assad evil doer. And criminy sakes! Fifty nine Tomahawks? That should be pulverize city if ever there was one. Case closed. Right?

Absolutely not as it turns out and, thankfully, people like Lawrence O'Donnell had the guts to go against the grain of the usual pundits and ask the deeper questions (last Friday). And now we know that there really couldn't have been any way that Putin didn't know ahead of time that Assad was going to use those chem weapons. And the attack itself was little more than expensive window dressing, requiring little more than sweeping up a bit so bombing could begin anew.

This then begs the questions that are asked quite well on the more recent O'Donnell, "Last Word" clip linked below. And when you take that in, combined with this clip from Rachel Maddow's show, you get a picture that really reiterates why I have no problem what's so ever with referring to the head clown, in the clown car that has become of the White House, as our de facto ex president. And I can say that because it really doesn't matter whether he's guilty of an actual crime or not, the bottom line is incompetence, and probable pathological, personality instability, require that he be removed.

THE LAST WORD 4-10-17 The Trump admin's incoherent foreign policy




Monday, April 10, 2017

Selling America To Ourselves

The more I think about this method of nationalization the more interesting it becomes. In a way, it is nothing more than accounting sleight of hand, but in another, it is a fair way to compensate holders of all the assets the nation possesses.

Think about it. In essence the government would issue a new kind of repayment bond. Something like $300 to $400 trillion in these bonds would have to be issued. From that point on, however, all other debt paper held between all citizens and corporations, as well as all debt between corporations would vanish as it would all just become debt that America Inc LLC would owe to itself.

All Americans would be given a share of these bonds as already indicated in the previous post. In essence becoming debt/value instruments held by us, for us. Payment on this debt would be instituted only when a citizen needed healthcare, or training, or supplemental payments to bring their wages up to what would be established as a minimum living wage (which would be treated separately from what a job might pay on it's own). Supplying any of these would retire a portion of that debt. Current large wealth holders would be given lump cash down payments initially, with further monthly payments if they decided they wanted to cash out of the arrangement altogether, but with forfeiture of further citizenship. And foreign held government bonds would be honored as they always have been.

As the government would then be a giant corporation it would no longer need to collect taxes, operating instead on over all entity profit (incentives to maintain same set up by a combination of salary caps set initially at, say, a half million a year for management positions, but with bonus payments provided when profit goals are met, that could push that to, say, a million a year in total), with, again, the extra funds transfers serving to pay down the bond obligation.

I set this up with the major portion of the bond share distribution going to the middle of American wealth holders, and I did that for a reason. These are the people who have created the majority of job supporting businesses across the nation. The small, to medium sized businesses, in retail, and manufacturing, that make up the bulk of American entrepreneurial enterprise. The question then becomes what could these people do with that extra allocation? They could use it to start new enterprise entities that would create more jobs; in essence making a proposal to set up this new entity and getting the funds to do so as a debt paydown. Not only could they then draw a new salary as part time manager for said entity, they could also receive a percentage of the profit as well (all of which might be allowed to surpass nominal salary caps).

Again, this is just me spitballing ideas off the top of my head. I am sure there are a lot of specifics that I am missing here, but that shouldn't stop us from gaming whatever scenario that might hold promise. The thing is, we are not only in desperate need of creative new thinking, but thinking that has to be way outside ordinary notions of the cash box, if we are to navigate translation to something better than the mutated monster we now call Capitalism. Something that can hold us over until we figure out how to organize things without the need for money at all; which can be done. Which must be done if we're to have any chance of addressing climate change, and an ever more immense global population.

A cost based economy, with all of its contradictions, and absurdities (like human skill still being a viable competing commodity, or livelihoods based on mass production and consumption) cannot hope to cope with the effort that will need to be expended to meet the challenges we all see looming over us. Our survival as a species, as well as the survival of the rest of the planet depends on it.





Sunday, April 9, 2017

How Do You Nationalize An Immense Productive Base Equitably?

At least long enough so that you had time to begin to figure out how to do the transition to an alternative, while keeping things going as they were with the minimum of chaos possible in the meantime?

It certainly can't hurt if we start doing some spitball calculations and see what they might suggest.

What if we tried to figure out a total value (have it linked, say, to the price of gold per ounce, minus the difference between the inflation rate of gold, and Inflation generally in the economy -- call them gold equivalents, expressed as either our, or another's currency, and/or bulk commodity items, required to trade for an ounce of gold.) of all private, and commercial, property, as well as in place equipment, in the nation (save a single home an adult owns, and lives in), and say that it is now confiscated under eminent domain.

[
  According to the latest (2014) Wikipedia entry (which I realize is probably only an educated guess):
  The financial position of the United States includes assets of at least $269.6 trillion (1576% of GDP)   and debts of $145.8 trillion (852% of GDP) to produce a net worth of at least $123.8 trillion (723% of   
  GDP)[a] as of Q1 2014.
]

What if we took that number, (minus debts as indicated, but also rounded down for allowance of things not yet considered, to, say, $50 trillion), and then said, we will divide it up amongst the population, for compensation of said confiscation, thus:

1. One quarter ($12.5 trillion). would go to wage earners who held no previous real estate, or commercial property. This would also be the default for anybody else not specifically covered in the other two groups below.

2. Two quarters ($25 trillion) would go to those who held a (to be decided) minimum amount of real estate, and/or commercial property. but were not in the top 10% of wealth holders in America now.

3. The last quarter ($12.5 trillion) would go to the top 10% of wealth holders in America.

After which we would declare that the nation now owns everything, and that every working person has a share of that ownership.

The government would then decree that everyone would stay in their existing jobs for an initial research and determination phase of transition. In this phase coordination councils (one for each main industry group), made up of industry leaders, and community representatives, would be created to administer enterprise operations. The government would set limits on all wages, prices, and profits, but would leave day to day management to the coordination councils (with regional sub councils as needed). All wages would then be paid by the government, with all profits returning to the government. Wages kept below (by market forces, and/or wage limits) a minimum determined as a living wage would be supplemented by withdraws from an individual's ownership share account, and paid by the government, who would become banker in trust for all share amounts, as well as the accounts clearing house for all other transactions. Anyone wishing to leave the country and take their shares with them could do so, but at the cost of citizenship, and owning any further shares (and where the government would have the right to break the disbursement of said shares up as an initial lump sum, with follow on monthly payments, for an orderly control of outgoing share amounts). As this might, in any case, also create supply disruptions for a while, the government might also have to ration certain commodities, but set it up so that anybody could pay extra premiums, to a point, through their share accounts, to get more limited items (perhaps setting up bidding exchanges in the case of high demand items).

What should be emphasized here is that you get your living wage padded paycheck only if you work at a job, and that everybody gets help in getting trained (paid for by the share account), in order to do so. Minimum human provisions would also be made for those who don't wish to work (subtracted from share accounts), but full voting rights of a citizen would not be allowed, and only minimum needs met.

As this would set up a complete clearing of all pre existing debts, it would undoubtedly lead to a consumption increase, which would have to be managed carefully so as to keep demand and supply in the best balance possible. It would also, I think, help us to start weaning ourselves from dependency of foreign suppliers of things we need, if we set the planning up properly.

The research and determination phase would then give us a chance to start breaking things down into what productive means we want to keep, and support, and those that we simply won't need anymore (all of marketing, and a good part of product packaging, as well as a good portion of consumer product manufacturing (which is where getting a handle on how we can standardize as much as possible for component modularity -- across as wide a range of all production as possible -- would be a huge plus, setting the stage for automated production of such modules, and much easier user assembly of final, end use items, for example).

Once we had that breakdown we could then start to figure out how each community could start to organize themselves so as to see to their own needs as much as possible. Creating the task groups that citizens in each community would need to chose from to fulfill their multiple task work for citizenship requirement. Thus enabling them to do better follow on as regards to the full training needs they'll need to get people missing basic skills up to speed for handling more than a one skill work requirement.

Again, this is just me, without very definite numbers, spitballing. Even so, it does at least hint at the suggestion that we could start a transition, Nationalization and all, and the world for us wouldn't necessarily end. Just some more things to think about as you consider the idea that "there just has to be a better way of doing things than what we have now."