“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

irresponsible socialism: now more than ever!

I left the following rather mild comment on an economics site about “WHAT SHOULD BE DONE”, thee Chernyshevsky caps included : “Hike the capital gains tax to 39 percent, Start separate tax categories for the individuals making more than 400 thou and more than a million thou per year and bring their marginal rates back to pre-Reagan levels. Remember, spending is great. It is what the gov. should do. And it should do it without the keynesian mumbo jumbo, which is a political stupidity. Instead of a stimulus, a patchwork of government spending justified, each piece, by the product or service it will bring. This is where economists, who live in a world of aggregates, have no psychological feel for the way the voter thinks at all. To call it a stimulus was from the beginning an idiocy. But spending on infrastructure, spending on research, taking over some banks and backing massive, trillion dollar loans to the middle class - that is an idea whose time is still here.”

In reply, I was told, as I often am told, that I am a socialist. I have no business experience. I am one of those people who have the attitude of all take and no give. I am one of those people who say about our massive deficit that it should be paid by “anyone but me.”

This rather charmed me. Anyone but me is an excellent guide to our current crisis. Firstly, of course, one should refute the nonsense that businesses live on the Responsible Me principle. In fact, capitalist enterprise in our epoch is founded wholly on anyone but me. This is standard practice - one always tries to offload costs. Ask the oil companies who cleans up after they cut canals through bayou country and the swamps start to salinize. Anyone but me. Ask the power companies who should pay for the enormous costs of nuclear accidents. Anyone but me. Ask the banks who should pay for trillion dollar mistakes in trick investing involving useless financial instruments. Anyone but me. Anyone but me is the principle of the top 1 percent income bracket.

Luckily, that bracket makes enough that whacking them with taxes will not diminish their life styles in any noticeable way. Their healthcare will be excellent, their vacations will be primo, their children will go to the best schools, etc. Money, at a certain point, is all about power. And power is there to ensure that the anyone but me ideology works every time there is an oopsy moment. It is, in other words, insurance against the supposed 'Darwinism' of capitalism.

After the GAO report on the 16 trillion - trillion - dollars in 'emergency loans', at emergency interest rates of less than one percent, hat floated the entire investor class over the last three years, I would think that there'd be a certain shame about pretending that us 'socialists' know nothing about business. We do - we just don't know how to do socialism. The wealthy, however, have perfected that art. It is time to learn from them.

1 comment:

Brian M said...

Fwoar, roger...you are just on fire this month!