Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

AGW in general => Policy and solutions => Topic started by: Sigmetnow on January 04, 2015, 02:40:11 AM

Title: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 04, 2015, 02:40:11 AM
Economists, scientists, and even the current Pope, and Catholic Bishops from every continent, are calling for an end to capitalism.  They see this new paradigm as positive, not destructive.  Eminently doable.  And already underway.

Quote
Worried about the shit hitting the fan on climate change and other major crises? Good. Because those crises prove that we have an unprecedented opportunity to change the world.
...
Far from being all doom and gloom, continuing global economic fragility is symptomatic of a fundamental shift in the very nature of civilization itself. The new era of slow growth and austerity has emerged because the biosphere is forcing us to adapt to the consequences of breaching environmental limits.
...
This fundamental shift has also brought about significant changes that offer profound opportunities for systemic transformation that could benefit humanity and the planet. These five interlinked revolutions in information, food, energy, finance and ethics are opening up opportunities for communities to co-create new ways of being that work for everyone. This year we could discover that the very disruption of capitalism itself is part of a major tipping point in the transition to a new post-industrial, post-capitalist paradigm.
Quote
THE INFORMATION REVOLUTION...

The world is currently, quite clearly, at the dawn of a huge technological revolution in information that has already in the space of a few years transformed the way we do things, and is pitched to trigger ongoing changes in coming decades.

THE ENERGY REVOLUTION...

Seba told me that conventional EROIE calculations are potentially misleading because they ignore critical costs and externalities, especially in land and water usage, waste and pollution. Applying the concept of Energy Payback Time (EPBT) to photovoltaic (PV) solar panels—where EPBT is how long it takes to produce the same quantity of energy that was used to create and install the panels—Seba notes that recent thin film technologies will pay back this energy in around just one year. After that point, effectively, energy is generated for free. If a thin film panel produces energy for 25 years, then its EROIE is 25. “This is far higher than the published results for most forms of energy today, including oil, gas, wind, and nuclear,” Seba said....

THE FOOD REVOLUTION...

With global food prices at record levels in the context of these challenges, combined with the pressures of climate-induced extreme weather, volatile oil prices, and speculation by investors, the incentive to develop greater resilience in locally accessible food production is also growing....

THE FINANCE REVOLUTION...

The information, food and energy revolutions are being facilitated by a burgeoning revolution in finance. Once again, the emerging trend is for new models that give greater power to the crowd, and undermine the authority and legitimacy—and even necessity—of the traditional, centralized banking infrastructure....

THE ETHICAL REVOLUTION...

The old and new paradigms can be clearly related to two quite different value systems. The first paradigm, which is currently in decline, is that of egoism, crude materialism, and selfish consumerism....

In contrast, a value system associated with the emerging paradigm is also supremely commensurate with what most of us recognize as ‘good’: love, justice, compassion, generosity. This has the revolutionary implication that ethics, often viewed as ‘subjective’, in fact have a perfectly objective and utilitarian function in the fundamental evolutionary goal of species survival. In some sense, ethics provide us a value-driven benchmark to recognize the flaws in the old paradigm, and glimpse the opportunities for better social forms.
Quote
The model that is fast developing and disrupting this paradigm from within, is one premised on open access to information; distributed and effectively free, clean energy; local, community and democratic ownership over planetary resources; and a form of prosperity and well-being that is ultimately decoupled from the imperative for endless material accumulation.
http://motherboard.vice.com/en_uk/read/the-end-of-endless-growth-part-2 (http://motherboard.vice.com/en_uk/read/the-end-of-endless-growth-part-2)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 04, 2015, 02:41:17 AM
Quote
You are not just a consumer. You are a citizen of this Earth and your responsibility is not private but public, not individual but social. If you are a resident of a country that is a major carbon emitter, as is nearly everyone in the English-speaking world, you are part of the system, and nothing less than systemic change will save us.

http://www.salon.com/2014/12/27/rebecca_solnit_the_age_of_capitalism_is_over_partner/ (http://www.salon.com/2014/12/27/rebecca_solnit_the_age_of_capitalism_is_over_partner/) 

Quote
Catholic Bishops from every continent denounce fossil fuel use and capitalism, "which is a human creation."

Striking a similar note to Naomi Klein’s recent book, “This Changes Everything,” the bishops’ statement also argued that global capitalism and its economic systems, as currently designed, are incompatible with long-term ecological sustainability: “The main responsibility for this situation lies with the dominant global economic system, which is a human creation. In viewing objectively the destructive effects of a financial and economic order based on the primacy of the market and profit, which has failed to put the human being and the common good at the heart of the economy, one must recognize the systemic failures of this order and the need for a new financial and economic order.”

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/12/11/3602596/bishops-end-fossil-fuels/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/12/11/3602596/bishops-end-fossil-fuels/) 

Quote
In recent months, the pope has argued for a radical new financial and economic system to avoid human inequality and ecological devastation. In October he told a meeting of Latin American and Asian landless peasants and other social movements: “An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.

“The system continues unchanged, since what dominates are the dynamics of an economy and a finance that are lacking in ethics. It is no longer man who commands, but money. Cash commands.

“The monopolising of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness,” he said.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/27/pope-francis-edict-climate-change-us-rightwing (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/27/pope-francis-edict-climate-change-us-rightwing)     
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 04, 2015, 02:43:28 AM
It's not just the super-wealthy who vote with their money these days. 

Quote
Equity crowdfunding will be huge: CEO
In fact, the demand for crowdfunding, whether it be for projects or for financing start-ups, is becoming so mainstream that it will define the decade, he said.

"It's a really exciting industry, the 80's was all about desktop computing, the 90's was all about online commerce, and the early 2000's was all about social networking," Rubin said. "And this decade will go down as the decade of funding by the time it's over."

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101693940 (http://www.cnbc.com/id/101693940)   
Quote
Solar-roadway backers set crowdfunding record
http://www.cnet.com/news/solar-roadways-tops-1-5-million-sets-indiegogo-record/ (http://www.cnet.com/news/solar-roadways-tops-1-5-million-sets-indiegogo-record/)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on January 04, 2015, 10:42:33 AM
Like I've replied to crandles on the global economics-thread (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,741.msg42706.html#msg42706), maybe it's not capitalism that needs to be replaced, just this version of it: The free market fundamentalist capitalism that strives for endless growth, maximum profits by externalizing the costs to public health and the environment.

I believe an important aspect of this system is the absolute need for everything to be without limits: profit, possession, power. Which is why I find your last few links about crowdfunding so interesting.

The argument is that by limiting profits and possession, capitalism will no longer be capitalism. But crowdfunding shows that it's still possible to generate capital for investments, but the capital belongs to much more people than just the (super-)wealthy. This means that much more people benefit from it.

It almost feels like a crossover between capitalism and communism. It also feels much more democratic.

It would work even better if there was a cap on the amount someone can earn and possess. This cap would have to be culturally accepted, of course, which is a problem right now due to decades of conditioning.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: crandles on January 04, 2015, 12:54:06 PM

My problems can't be fully fixed if those aspects of this version of capitalism (the limitlessness) aren't fixed.

Fair enough if we have different views.


I want a capitalism where the government sees an important role for itself in internalising the externalities where these are or are likely to become problems. This is the standard economics answer when externalities like carbon pollution is a problem. 'Crony capitalism' should also be seen as an abhorrent crime.


While vast and growing difference in wealth vs poverty is not desirable, I see adverse effects in trying to reduce them. That doesn't mean do nothing but the benefits and adverse effects have to be considered for each possible remedy to see if it is sensible rather than assuming the goal of reducing inequity is more important than any possible adverse effect which seems the implication of a ban on further inequality.

I think I would suggest that ensuring social mobility through success is possible may well be more important than wealth redistribution.

The wealth distribution problem seems a separate problem to climate change issues to me. In fact if there was some magic solution to wealth distribution so that wealth was spread more evenly, wouldn't this result in an increase in consumer spending?

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on January 04, 2015, 03:14:08 PM
"wouldn't this result in an increase in consumer spending?"

The richest aren't consumers?

But yeah, redistribution alone is not adequate, but I would say it is necessary.

The larger issue with the collapse of societies, not just capitalist ones, is that elites get more and more separated from the lives of others and from the consequences of their decisions and lifestyles, while at the same time obtaining ever more total control of those decisions.

Even if GW were not in the picture, the dynamic of ever richer elites having ever more power (and wealth is, of course, power) would pretty much inevitably lead to collapse, based on the dynamic of pretty much every civilization that has gone before.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: crandles on January 04, 2015, 03:51:24 PM
"wouldn't this result in an increase in consumer spending?"

The richest aren't consumers?

Of course the richest are consumers but their propensity to spend their wealth is less than that of poorer people.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on January 04, 2015, 04:31:23 PM
And what do they do with the rest of it?

Invest.

Invest in what?

Oh, mining, factories, transportation, merchandising...all the things that accelerate GW and the general transformation of the natural world into persistent toxins.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on January 04, 2015, 06:37:09 PM

My problems can't be fully fixed if those aspects of this version of capitalism (the limitlessness) aren't fixed.

Fair enough if we have different views.


I want a capitalism where the government sees an important role for itself in internalising the externalities where these are or are likely to become problems. This is the standard economics answer when externalities like carbon pollution is a problem. 'Crony capitalism' should also be seen as an abhorrent crime.


While vast and growing difference in wealth vs poverty is not desirable, I see adverse effects in trying to reduce them. That doesn't mean do nothing but the benefits and adverse effects have to be considered for each possible remedy to see if it is sensible rather than assuming the goal of reducing inequity is more important than any possible adverse effect which seems the implication of a ban on further inequality.

I think I would suggest that ensuring social mobility through success is possible may well be more important than wealth redistribution.

The wealth distribution problem seems a separate problem to climate change issues to me. In fact if there was some magic solution to wealth distribution so that wealth was spread more evenly, wouldn't this result in an increase in consumer spending?

Crandles

Is it not true that if we look at the history of capitalism it is fair to say that it did not exist in any form (many would argue not at all) before the rise of the industrial revolution?  Which was in turn driven by the increasing per capita energy available? 

If one digs into the structure of capitalism and how it functions it seems pretty apparent that it simply cannot function without constant growth and continuing access to vast amounts of cheap energy.  The growth of the capitalist economic practices and access to vast amounts of cheap energy is exactly what has driven us into our current predicament.

You speak in mythological terms when you repeat the standard memes of capitalist ideology.  But, setting aside that they have been a major factor in our so badly exceeding the Earth's carrying capacity and are a large contributor to furthering climate change in defiance of common sense, why not examine a few of these myths to see how true they really are.

Does capitalism really make for better quality of life?  I think the answer is no and here are some of the reasons why.

First and foremost is that most of what we think of as a better quality of life is really the effects of our consumption of resources and the biota of the Earth in quantities far beyond its carrying capacity.  I too can live like a king if I steal from the future.  But it does not mean the system I use to do that is admirable, just, moral, or actually works.

Capitalism cannot be sustainable as it requires growth in order to function.  We live in a finite world and we must stop growing.

As others have and would point out.  Capitalism counts success not in invention, or respect but in accumulation of wealth.  In a finite world this eventually leads to vast wealth for a few and almost nothing for the rest.  That this is happening has been masked by the process of consuming resources far beyond the globes carrying capacity and accessing millions of years of stored solar energy.  Many think their quality of life was improved but they do not understand what it means to the future for them to live the way they do.  It also leads to collapse when the growth causes the natural systems to fail due to overuse. Or the climate to be changed. 

The wealth disparity of today is far in excess of any other time in history.  True social stability is not possible when so few have so much and the rest have little.  It is worth noting that the modern man living in the capitalist system works much harder and longer hours on a yearly basis than the common man has at any other time in history.  At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in England the budding capitalists were having such difficulties getting people to work for them that they used their power to change English law on use of common land in order to destroy the economic basis for the vast majority who made their living from the land.  This forced the largely rural population, which lived close to sustainably, off the land and into factories where our revered capitalists forced them to work 16 hour days 6 days a week and their children to work 10-12 hours a day.  Before this time the typical rural dweller worked well under 8 hours a day.  Thus we created the wage slave who had no choice but to work this way to survive.  And we revere the economic system and the men who drove it?  Is this sane?

Here in America we have this huge myth of the American Dream.  That we are all equal and that anyone can succeed if they work hard.  Upward social mobility. But the reality of such is far from this story and always has been. Before the rise of the economy due to exploitation of fossil fuels it was actually very rare even in America for someone to rise far above the station of their birth. For a time, when growth was most rampant, it did become more common.  But this was due to the growth rate creating such demand that it created an opening for many from the working and middle class to move up the ladder.  But this growth painted a false picture of what was going on.  In today's America it is once again very unusual for someone to rise far above their original station in life just like in the past. Our top universities are chock full of the scion of parents already stationed high in life.  Only a select few reach these places via ability and qualifications anymore (and it was never very high in any case). The rich ensure that their children are given the most resources and the best places in the system.  Endless numbers of studies have born this out.  But we have this mythology that people rise to the top and change the world and become fabulously wealthy.  If you examine the backgrounds of most who make this apparent leap and become icons of the system you find almost none who actually fit the myth.  But it sells so well.    Social mobility in the US according to figures has plummeted over the last 30 years.  Wealth disparity is killing us and I cannot see any national or social benefits to having it continue to increase.  Contrary to your implication the wealthy consume vastly more per capita than the common person does.  It is a mistake to confuse the percentage of ones income used in consumption with the absolute total.  In the future there will be no more meaningful social mobility to come for anyone as what is coming is a dramatic reduction in lifestyles and consumption as we revert to systems much closer to sustainable levels.   We have no choice in this as it is just going to happen.  If you burn the candle from both ends you get a brighter flame - but only for a time.  Our time is drawing to a close.

For everyone ( or even large numbers of people) to accumulate great wealth requires that such wealth be accumulated from somewhere. Our revered capitalist systems have used their power to take much of that wealth from their "colonies" and have systematically stripped the 3rd world for it.  Access to fossil fuels has allowed us to mask all sorts of problems which are now coming home to roost in the guise of climate change and a destroyed nature.   Growth will stop because the laws of physics and nature will not allow it to continue. 

Capitalism is a dead man walking.  The necessary parameters for its existence will not be present in due course and it will fade away.

As SH indicated above, of all the forms of economic philosophy ever thought up by far the worst is almost certainly capitalism.  It is a suicidal system in the long run.   In the short it can be great for the winners, but ask the 3rd world it has raped over the last 150 years how much they have benefited from it.  Ask our descendants how much they appreciate us living large at their expense.

I often point out to my fellow citizens in these types of discussions that the programming we have all had about the evils of socialism, communism (and I have to point out how and why socialism and communism are not the same thing as that is what most Americans are taught) and anarchism are completely inaccurate from a historical basis.  The philosophical constructs of socialism, communism and anarchism were largely thought up in response to the perceived evils of capitalism. Most of those evils do exist in practice.

If one looks at various economic systems it would seem to be hard not to come to the conclusion that free market capitalism is the worst that has ever been implemented on a wide scale.  It is wise to note when one says that that there has never been a country run via true communist or socialist principals so please do not bring up the Soviet Union as an example of communism or the countries of Europe as examples of socialism.  One was just a dictatorship which killed off the real communists in the early years and the others were merely versions of capitalism with some slightly  different social constructions.  And as we know there has never been a country operated under anarchist principals.

But the bottom line is capitalism will cease to exist in the not too distant future.  When growth via what ever means are possible stops, it stops.  We will revert to other economic forms used in the past

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: crandles on January 04, 2015, 07:59:27 PM

Is it not true that if we look at the history of capitalism it is fair to say that it did not exist in any form (many would argue not at all) before the rise of the industrial revolution?  Which was in turn driven by the increasing per capita energy available? 


So are you saying you would prefer the industrial revolution not to have happened? Is that the cause of climate change problems now or would it have been preferable for industrial revolution to have happened and a carbon tax implemented 25 years ago when it was clear that the externalities of fossil fuel burning were going to become a problem?

Quote
If one digs into the structure of capitalism and how it functions it seems pretty apparent that it simply cannot function without constant growth and continuing access to vast amounts of cheap energy.  The growth of the capitalist economic practices and access to vast amounts of cheap energy is exactly what has driven us into our current predicament.

I have seen people assert things like 'cannot function without constant growth' but I haven't found much in the way of evidence that I accept. Maybe I am just blinkered into not believing it or am not looking hard enough.


Quote
our so badly exceeding the Earth's carrying capacity

Have we? Where is the evidence that we cannot grow GWP more in sustainable directions when there are suitable taxes/fines discouraging unsustainable activities?


Quote
Before this time the typical rural dweller worked well under 8 hours a day.

Really? I would suggest farmers work long hours.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 04, 2015, 08:53:03 PM
Here is one alternative scenario.

Every adult receives a monthly income.  Enough to live on, modestly but not poorly.  (This presupposes universal health care is in place.)  It would take the place of patchwork social programs such as Social Security/Disability, Food Stamps, utility bill assistance, etc. in the U.S.

http://www.salon.com/2013/10/11/rather_than_savage_cuts_switzerland_considers_star_trek_economics/ (http://www.salon.com/2013/10/11/rather_than_savage_cuts_switzerland_considers_star_trek_economics/)

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/14/opinion/wheeler-minimum-income/ (http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/14/opinion/wheeler-minimum-income/)

Everyone receives the benefit, regardless of other wealth or income.  So you do not need to work if you do not want to.  If you do work, it's more likely it will be a job you like to do, so one side affect is that global quality of work should improve.  Distasteful jobs could end up having the best benefits, in order to attract workers.

If you don't want to work, what will you do?  Study, volunteer, participate in the arts, tend to your garden, care for the grandchildren.  Or, nothing at all.  You choose your lifestyle, and you choose where your money goes.

To limit over-consumption, particularly by those with more wealth, there are curbs on the amount of material goods you may purchase. Beyond that limit, you may save your income, spend it on sustainable services, or pass it to your heirs.  Or, you may give it away; for example: crowd-funding.

This scenario would make it easier to shut down carbon-intensive industries that claim that Providing Jobs is more important than the Environment.  And if consumer curbs were in place, people would have to think more long-term about their purchases:  Do I really want this, if it means I can't get something else?  Will it last?  Will the return on investment happen if given more time?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on January 04, 2015, 10:00:23 PM
Quote
I think I would suggest that ensuring social mobility through success is possible may well be more important than wealth redistribution.

I'm not talking about wealth distribution per se. This would mean that everyone gets a more fair piece of the pie, but you know what the problem is? The pie is too big. This is not just about the super-wealthy 1% vs  the rest. It's also about the super-wealthy 1% + the rest vs nature.

I'm talking about setting limits to things like possession, capital, material goods. Can you please explain why such a limit would hamper social mobility? I think it's easier to argue the opposite (see what JimD writes about the rich and powerful ensuring their offspring gets the best positions, regardless of talent or merit).

Is it possible that you immediately feel a knee-jerk reaction coming up when it is suggested that there should be a limit to anything? I mean, isn't consumer culture teaching us every day of our lives that only the sky is the limit? Wouldn't it be horrible if you could only own 100 million dollars, but no more? My God, it feels like dying. Well, that's your conditioning talkin'.  ;)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 05, 2015, 04:57:11 PM
Who would be better at redistributing wealth:  the government, or individuals?
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-03/piketty-says-gates-loves-his-book-while-disagreeing-on-tax-plan.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-03/piketty-says-gates-loves-his-book-while-disagreeing-on-tax-plan.html)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 05, 2015, 05:44:24 PM
The New Patron of the Arts Is You
Quote
Micro-celebrity and self-funding alone probably can't sustain an artistic middle class community. But Patreon's $10 million milestone and Kickstarter's almost $1.5 billion in pledges are evidence of a promising new infrastructure that helps artists make a living in the era of free content.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-02/omg-the-new-patron-of-the-arts-is-you.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-02/omg-the-new-patron-of-the-arts-is-you.html)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on January 05, 2015, 06:25:41 PM

So are you saying you would prefer the industrial revolution not to have happened? Is that the cause of climate change problems now or would it have been preferable for industrial revolution to have happened and a carbon tax implemented 25 years ago when it was clear that the externalities of fossil fuel burning were going to become a problem?

The industrial revolution could not have been stopped and no one at the time had any understanding of the eventual downsides.  Hard to lay blame of climate change on them even though our industrial civilization is responsible for it.  Kind of water under the bridge. 

We can look back on what occurred and see where we are going to end up and easily, however, come to the conclusion that on balance the final cost accounting of the industrial revolution will be a net negative.  It is going to be the prime cause of catastrophic collapse. 

Should we have done more sooner?  There is no point in such a question.  Not taking action when we knew better is one of the great weaknesses of human nature.  Unfortunately we are still arguing about taking immediate action ... or waiting decades still.  Nothing on that front has changed.

Quote
I have seen people assert things like 'cannot function without constant growth' but I haven't found much in the way of evidence that I accept. Maybe I am just blinkered into not believing it or am not looking hard enough.

Hmm..well I don't know what part of the evidence is causing you issues so it is hard to address them.  I am pretty sure if you dig into the subject deeper you will come to the same conclusion - there is always good discussion to be had on the subject. Others may jump in here and comment in a helpful way also.  One fact that I have focused on is that in our current system there is not one central bank in the world that does not have an inflation target in place that is lower than 2%.  In other words, they do not believe their capitalist economies can function without constant growth.   One does not have to read much to get a feel for how deeply economists fear zero growth and even more deflation.  I take it we are probably near a consensus that we must convert to sustainable economic systems (like we were pretty close to prior to the advent of fossil fuel use) as wee go forward in time. I see no aspect of capitalism which is compatible with sustainable systems.   

The carrying capacity issue.
Quote

Have we? Where is the evidence that we cannot grow GWP more in sustainable directions when there are suitable taxes/fines discouraging unsustainable activities?

I must be frank here and start out by saying your statement is deeply wrong.  There are many scientific studies available on the subject and even the most optimistic come to the conclusion we are well past the global carrying capacity.  I have dug into many of them and studied this off and on since the publication of the original Limits to Growth work in the 1970's.  A middle of the road number would be that we are using 3 times the resources of the globes carrying capacity and it may be as high as 5.  And let us not forget that our consumption, environmental degradation and climate change all contribute to lowering the global. carrying capacity.  What population of humans can the globe support sustainably.  A very hard number to quantify as everyone uses different criteria.  Before the advent of technology the number was clearly not above 1 billion and if one eliminates irrigation systems less than that. 

But your idea of legislating and taxing unsustainable activities means that you would have to tax out of existence almost all of modern civilization.  No more cement, no more steel, no more cars, no more electricity, no more military, no more computers and the list is endless.  There is simply nothing sustainable in modern civilization.  It is not just carbon emissions it is the use of resources at greater than a sustainable rate.  Loss of top soil, deforestation, over fishing, extinction of other species.

What we MUST do is dramatically reduce our footprint on this globe.  I have no illusions that we will ever get to a truly sustainable civilization.  But there is a very big difference between being able to maintain for 50 years and 100,000 years.  If we are going to be smart we should be shooting for the later and not the former.  If we reduce our footprint sufficiently it buys us time to rebuild and regrow and, hopefully, do a better job next time.  This time was a huge failure.  We have fallen on our face many times as a species so one more is no big deal unless we fail to leave ourselve sthe option to rebuild due to stupidity.  Unlike the others we have survived in the past this collapse is a global one and we do not have all the unexploited territory to move on to nor the huge boost from fossil fuels next time.


Quote
Before this time the typical rural dweller worked well under 8 hours a day.

Quote
Really? I would suggest farmers work long hours.

No there is also a lot of work which has been done in the area of how much work subsistence farmers did.  Studies, research and direct observation of those still farming this way come up with numbers like 4-6 hrs a day with long periods in the off season where there is almost no work done at all.  Planting and harvesting are the busy times.  Modern farmers work extreme hours (I used to be a farmer and I worked 12-14 hours a day 7 days a week from mid-Feb to Thanksgiving.  But this was not the norm before we switched to capitalist forms of production.  I was trying to grow food for hundreds not myself and my family.  As soon as you have to grow extra to be able to buy things you are on a cycle that will eventually consume all of your time.  The amount of time we civilized people work a day is the highest it has been throughout history.  Of course that will change when all us working types are replaced by robots :) 

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on January 06, 2015, 05:28:22 AM
(duplicate; please delete)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on January 06, 2015, 05:32:48 AM

Apologies if this has already been linked:

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/28358-something-that-changed-my-perspective-karl-polanyi-s-the-great-transformation (http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/28358-something-that-changed-my-perspective-karl-polanyi-s-the-great-transformation)

One of the take-away lines:

Quote
the market economy isn’t a beautiful self-correcting machine, as neoclassical economists would have you believe. It instead voraciously consumes the society and natural environment in which it sits unless it is curbed.

And, at the end:

Quote
we seem to have the veneer of democracy while in fact moving strongly in the direction of an authoritarian business-state combine, an improved version of Mussolini-style corporatism.

Even though it seems unlikely that this system will unravel, the dissolution of a much more successful-looking world order was simply inconceivable in the summer of 1914.

Highly-integrated cross-border market systems are more fragile than they seem, and we are stressing this one in far more ways than was the case a century ago.


Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 06, 2015, 05:19:28 PM
The new economy will include a lot of sharing.
Quote
Toyota has announced that it will allow its competitors to use any and all of its 5,680 patents for hydrogen fuel cell cars, a move the company hopes will jump-start the widespread commercial production of cars powered by zero-emission hydrogen gas.
...
If the move sounds familiar, that’s because it is very similar to what famously innovative electric car company Tesla Motors did this summer. In June, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company would let its competitors use its patents under what Bloomberg Businessweek called “open-source-inspired agenda” at Tesla. “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology,” Musk said at the time.

The reason both Toyota and Tesla would want competitors to use their technology is simple: without more production of these low-emission cars, there is little incentive to create the expensive infrastructure needed to make them mainstream. Electric cars need recharging stations; hydrogen cars need hydrogen gas filling stations. Without that infrastructure, it is unlikely that either electric or hydrogen cars would be able to compete with the massive gas-powered vehicle market.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/01/06/3608292/toyota-hydrogen-fuel-cell-patents-for-everybody/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/01/06/3608292/toyota-hydrogen-fuel-cell-patents-for-everybody/)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 07, 2015, 06:08:44 PM
As well as reducing waste, sharing increases the subset of people who have access to nice things.
http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nbc-news-channel/sharing-economy-seen-growing-379342403636 (http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nbc-news-channel/sharing-economy-seen-growing-379342403636)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 07, 2015, 06:42:27 PM
"Collectively, the poor have enormous purchasing power."

Quote
... Porter has been less interested in how companies can get a leg-up on their rivals and more concerned with improving the planet. His theory is called "shared value," and it says that companies can and should solve social problems—and they can make money doing it. He believes that companies are entering a third phase in their relationship with society. The first was about philanthropy, where business donates money to causes. The second was about "corporate social responsibility," or minimizing their social or environmental harm. The third is about solutions: actual products and services with a social purpose.

"The ultimate impact businesses can have is through the business itself," he says in an interview. "There are huge unmet needs in the world today. The question now is how to get capitalism to operate at its best because capitalism is fundamentally the best way to meet needs. If you can meet needs at a profit, you can scale."
www.fastcoexist.com/3039695/never-mind-corporate-responsibility-companies-can-solve-actual-social-problems (http://www.fastcoexist.com/3039695/never-mind-corporate-responsibility-companies-can-solve-actual-social-problems)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 07, 2015, 07:08:31 PM
Would more women in higher positions make a difference?

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Foundation (IMF):
Quote
(CNN)"When there is a very difficult situation, women are called in to do the work. To sort out the mess."

Christine Lagarde is the woman who has been tasked to do just that. She has led the IMF since 2011 amidst the organization being in the center of scandal; regarding its former managing director as well as a global economic crisis.
...
"It's a common trait of women, to be concerned about the collective success more than about their individual visibility respectability and success."
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/06/business/christine-lagarde-leading-through-crisis/index.html (http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/06/business/christine-lagarde-leading-through-crisis/index.html)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: johnm33 on January 07, 2015, 07:58:57 PM
Wili  Abandoning the evoluton of society to market forces leaves us only the game theory option of societal developement, best illustrated by the social insects and their models which have all evolved in a moral vacuum, at least from a human perspective. Although you could make a case that every civilisation has tended towards that model, [a central sociopathic despot who breeds as much as possible surrounded by a pampered elite protected by an amoral police/armed force from a multitude propogadised/intimidated (as opposed to pheremoned) into acting against their own best interests]   With nsa all pervading surveilance,  in-vitro fertilisation, msm propoganda, prospects for a succesful transition to that model have never been better[?]
Crandles, perpetual growth is demanded by the way money is created. All of our money is created as debt, either when the gov. signs off on a bond or when an individual signs off on a loan, when that happens the 'bank' creates a 'credit' in the appropriate account this is 'money' which didn't exist before. No money is created to pay the interest, so individuals have to compete for the money for both that and to repay their debt, and often the way this happens is by borrowing more, in past times to invest in more production, but more commonly now to buy [speculate] in to scarce resources whose increase in value will exceed interest charges. Of course every new entrant to the economy has also to borrow to participate.  Although inevitably there will never be enough money for everyone to pay their debts or interest and consequently periodic crashes must occur where the less astute/ connected see their wealth/debt written off, all their own fault?
The gov. just recycles the debt always borrowing to pay off interest and principle. This seems fair enough until you consider the relative cost of the gov. creating it's own money. Lets say the gov. orders 1M in notes, from the printers, of 100,50,20and 10 denomination at a ratio of 2,4,20 and 20. and they cost about .10 each to print so total cost is 4,600. Now instead it asks a bank for the same 1M of credit cost is 1m + [say]2% so in the first year 20,000 and every year after that too. Leading to http://www.nationaldebtclock.co.uk/ (http://www.nationaldebtclock.co.uk/) (present interest charges £68Bpa iirc) makes you wonder if gov.even has the power to create it's own money.
Since a fiat currency is no more than a token commonly believed in and accepted  for value in trade and tax, perhaps issuing the money as debt to all citizens equally at a subsistence+ level (from the citizens fiat bank) would be the most democratic way to introduce it into circulation, apart from spending it on essential infrastructure projects that have to be centrally planned. To prevent endless inflation you'd need some taxation say 20% of turnover for corporations and on earnings above subsistence+ level and a 2% transaction tax, an inflation +2% tax on all wealth/ assets for corporations, but only on that above the average for citizens and interest at 5% on a citizens debt, plus the added bonus of no need for crashes.
As good a place as any to start
http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2013/03/what-is-modern-monetary-theory-or-mmt.html (http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2013/03/what-is-modern-monetary-theory-or-mmt.html)
" And, as hard as this is for non-economists to believe, the models which these ‘mainstream’ economists make do not even try to account for money, banking or debt. This is one big reason why virtually all members of the economics profession failed to see the housing bubble and were then blind-sided by both the 2008 financial collapse and the grinding, on-going Eurozone crisis which has followed in its wake. And the current group-think among ‘mainstream’ economists is yet another case where failure is no obstacle to continued funding – or continued failure. The absence of any sort of professional, intellectual or academic accountability will be a theme here."
Some economists did foresee the crash and are worth reading http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2009/07/15/no-one-saw-this-coming-balderdash/ (http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2009/07/15/no-one-saw-this-coming-balderdash/) i follow Hudson, Keen , Roubini and Schiff and mmt generally, as time permits.
So that's yes to capitalism, but not as we know it, lower key, more creative destruction, no growth imperative, and more egalitarian.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on January 07, 2015, 08:07:03 PM
Thanks, john. I knew most of that, but it's nice to see it so clearly articulated. And I liked your ant analogy. It reminded me of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFg21x2sj-M (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFg21x2sj-M)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: johnm33 on January 07, 2015, 10:24:59 PM
wow!
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on January 08, 2015, 05:32:32 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCkCVFI3934#t=824 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCkCVFI3934#t=824)

 Rethinking Economics in the Age of Climate Change

The economics section starts at about minute 19.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 24, 2015, 05:30:48 PM
Capitalism plus sharing.
http://money.cnn.com/video/smallbusiness/2015/02/23/homeless-pizza-post-it-notes.cnnmoney (http://money.cnn.com/video/smallbusiness/2015/02/23/homeless-pizza-post-it-notes.cnnmoney)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 04, 2015, 07:17:44 PM
Etsy's IPO Is a Direct Challenge to Wall Street's Beliefs
Will investors embrace a company that says it cares about more than the bottom line?

Quote
Etsy's initial public offering is about to question Wall Street's conscience: Will investors embrace a company that wants to do good while it does well?

For three years, Etsy has been what's called a certified B Corporation—a distinction given to companies that pass demanding standards of benefiting the community, environment, employees, consumers, and suppliers. At Etsy, this includes giving all employees 40 hours of paid volunteer time every year, paying employees more than 40 percent above the local living wage, and covering 80 percent of workers' health insurance premiums, according to the company's 2013 Values & Impact Annual Report.

In Etsy’s pursuit of investors—and a $1.8 billion valuation— the company's values are central to the pitch. It is asking future stockholders to be OK with a management team that refuses to squeeze every penny of profit out of its 1.4 million active sellers or sacrifices community benefits to slash costs.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-02/etsy-s-ipo-is-a-direct-challenge-to-wall-street-s-beliefs (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-02/etsy-s-ipo-is-a-direct-challenge-to-wall-street-s-beliefs)

"Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods."   https://www.etsy.com (https://www.etsy.com)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 15, 2015, 05:02:19 PM
One U.S. Company’s New Minimum Wage: $70,000 a Year
Quote
Mr. Price’s small, privately owned company is by no means a bellwether, but his unusual proposal does speak to an economic issue that has captured national attention: The disparity between the soaring pay of chief executives and that of their employees.

The United States has one of the world’s largest pay gaps, with chief executives earning nearly 300 times what the average worker makes, according to some economists’ estimates. That is much higher than the 20-to-1 ratio recommended by Gilded Age magnates like J. Pierpont Morgan and the 20th century management visionary Peter Drucker.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/14/business/owner-of-gravity-payments-a-credit-card-processor-is-setting-a-new-minimum-wage-70000-a-year.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/14/business/owner-of-gravity-payments-a-credit-card-processor-is-setting-a-new-minimum-wage-70000-a-year.html)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on April 15, 2015, 07:09:19 PM
I enjoy watching Noam Chomsky speak. Coincidentally I came across this video on Youtube today:

Why you can not have a Capitalist Democracy

http://youtu.be/8mxp_wgFWQo (http://youtu.be/8mxp_wgFWQo)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 19, 2015, 01:51:14 AM
Rich neighbors refused to let George Lucas enlarge his movie studio, so he’s building affordable housing there, instead.
http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/04/18/rich-neighbors-refused-to-let-george-lucas-build-studio-so-hes-building-affordable-housing-instead/ (http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/04/18/rich-neighbors-refused-to-let-george-lucas-build-studio-so-hes-building-affordable-housing-instead/)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 27, 2015, 12:24:27 AM
New York Mayor Champions Economic Justice in Sustainability Plan

Quote
OneNYC is the most ambitious strategy in the nation to link the fight against income inequality with climate action and may inspire officials in other municipalities to follow.
...
Besides the income equality component, the other major addition is a new plan to reduce New York City's landfill waste to zero by 2030 through aggressive composting and recycling programs. Cutting New York's waste will also help the city reach its goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, known as 80x50, which de Blasio announced in September.

The target will require drastic reductions in greenhouse gases from buildings, which account for 75 percent of the city's emissions. The de Blasio administration also said it will expand development of renewable energy sources and will cut energy consumption at wastewater treatment plants to reach the 80x50 goal.
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/24042015/new-york-mayor-champions-economic-justice-sustainability-plan (http://insideclimatenews.org/news/24042015/new-york-mayor-champions-economic-justice-sustainability-plan)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 01, 2015, 02:18:22 AM
Video: Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States, speaks at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.  Topics include GDP, inequality, green business, and climate change.  April 29, 2015.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=di-aimmdiDA
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 06, 2015, 07:39:54 PM
Why Exercising Is a Higher Priority Than My Career
Quote
If exercise stops, then my health goes downhill. With the loss of physical health my productivity at work goes down. I become depressed. I lose motivation to do the things that makes my business successful. I’ve learned firsthand that excellence in one area of my life promotes excellence in all other areas of my life. Exercise is the easiest area of my life to control. It’s easy to measure. Either I get it in, or I don’t. When I do, it lifts up all other areas of my life, including my business.
http://time.com/3843445/exercising-higher-priority-business/ (http://time.com/3843445/exercising-higher-priority-business/)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 11, 2015, 07:28:47 PM
Re-thinking capitalism in the U.S.:  Uber workers are not quite employees, not quite independent contractors.
http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-08-11/all-hail-uber (http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-08-11/all-hail-uber)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: anotheramethyst on August 20, 2015, 08:24:35 AM
while there has never been a true communist market, there HAS been one solid example of q purely free, capitalist market.  it's called the black market.  that's the only market in the world that operates without regulation or oversight.  WHY would anyone want to model an economic system on that? 

also, wealth accumulation has been a bad habit of homo sapiens ever since it was possible to store wealth, with the rise of agriculture and the cultivation of grain.  the problems we face are deeply ingrained in the system.  as individuals we can value ideals more than material objects, but as long as our system is based on monetary value and accumulation,  greed will continue to drive society as a whole.  we need to change our value systems AND our means of sharing resources.  i imagine this happening as families and communities pool resources and operate as a unit within the system.  each can become a bubble where "all of this belongs to all of us" and everything is shared, but trade outside the bubble is normal.  if that's a viable alternative, more people will join each resource pool.  i don't know if it can work.  but that's how i picture it.  and when i'm imagining a future that didn't have a fiery human-caused apocalypse, i picture a future where everyone is provided with basic needs and social standing comes from creativity and contributing to culture, but there is no ability to accumulate wealth at all.  i thonk status alone would motivate people to contribute to society.  money serves as a proxy for status right now anyway. 

now ask me if i think this will actually happen...... lol
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: crandles on August 20, 2015, 02:27:36 PM
also, wealth accumulation has been a bad habit of homo sapiens ever since it was possible to store wealth, with the rise of agriculture and the cultivation of grain.

Storing grain to avoid famine if there is one year with bad weather causing crop failure is a bad habit???? What about coping with 2 years with bad weather? What about 3? When does it become a bad habit? Surely there is some level at which it is good?

Quote
but there is no ability to accumulate wealth at all
So someone who wants to save up for a more comfortable retirement and is willing to forego some current spending to have that higher level of spending later is prohibited from doing so? Sounds rather dictatorial, don't you think?






Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on August 20, 2015, 02:34:24 PM
Storing grain to avoid famine if there is one year with bad weather causing crop failure is a bad habit???? What about coping with 2 years with bad weather? What about 3? When does it become a bad habit? Surely there is some level at which it is good?

It becomes a bad habit as soon as it breaches the limit of necessity + a bit.

Quote
So someone who wants to save up for a more comfortable retirement and is willing to forego some current spending to have that higher level of spending later is prohibited from doing so? Sounds rather dictatorial, don't you think?

That depends on the standard of living. If someone is hoarding 10 billion dollars in assets, whereas 10 million would  be more than enough for one family (3 generations at least), that should be prohibited. Because that 10 billion is paid for by other people and by the environment.

It all boils down to the question: how much does a person need. Not an awful lot, even if advertisements try to make us believe otherwise.

The cap needs to be put in capital.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Tor Bejnar on August 20, 2015, 03:31:54 PM
Quote
how much does a person need. Not an awful lot

But I need this forum ... and my wife says that's asking a lot!
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: anotheramethyst on August 21, 2015, 09:01:37 PM
also, wealth accumulation has been a bad habit of homo sapiens ever since it was possible to store wealth, with the rise of agriculture and the cultivation of grain.

Storing grain to avoid famine if there is one year with bad weather causing crop failure is a bad habit???? What about coping with 2 years with bad weather? What about 3? When does it become a bad habit? Surely there is some level at which it is good?

Quote
but there is no ability to accumulate wealth at all
So someone who wants to save up for a more comfortable retirement and is willing to forego some current spending to have that higher level of spending later is prohibited from doing so? Sounds rather dictatorial, don't you think?

when you're storing excess grain as a way to control the food supply of other people not related to you, it's a problem.  this thread is about alternatives to capitalism, by the way.  if you like capitalism, that's great.  maybe you can find an "is capitalism good or bad?" forum.  this thread is about other alternatives to capitalism.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on August 21, 2015, 10:46:14 PM
"wouldn't this result in an increase in consumer spending?"

The richest aren't consumers?

Of course the richest are consumers but their propensity to spend their wealth is less than that of poorer people.

Well that depends on how you look at it right?  A poor person tends to spend near or even more than 100% of their income as that is necessary to survive and provide for their family.

A rich person with 10,000 times the wealth of that poor person might spend 10-20% of theirs.  But that results in a very different kind of spending (much more wasteful) and of a whole different magnitude.  Plus they 'invest' their excess into vehicles which are designed to return to them 'rents'  from those same poor people. 

Capitalism. 

BTW:  Free markets and capitalism do not have to exist together.  It is quite possible to have a free market and not have capitalism.  It is the capital accumulation part that breaks down eventually in a finite world.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 22, 2015, 04:44:41 PM
Storing grain to avoid famine if there is one year with bad weather causing crop failure is a bad habit???? What about coping with 2 years with bad weather? What about 3? When does it become a bad habit? Surely there is some level at which it is good?

It becomes a bad habit as soon as it breaches the limit of necessity + a bit.

Quote
So someone who wants to save up for a more comfortable retirement and is willing to forego some current spending to have that higher level of spending later is prohibited from doing so? Sounds rather dictatorial, don't you think?

That depends on the standard of living. If someone is hoarding 10 billion dollars in assets, whereas 10 million would  be more than enough for one family (3 generations at least), that should be prohibited. Because that 10 billion is paid for by other people and by the environment.

It all boils down to the question: how much does a person need. Not an awful lot, even if advertisements try to make us believe otherwise.

The cap needs to be put in capital.

Saving for a rainy day (or as insurance against extreme weather  ;) ) is a must for any economic system, and certainly a beneficial idea on an individual level, as well.  I also agree that after a certain point it crosses over into "hoarding" territory, necessitating redistribution.

But what if you are hoarding lots of something nobody wants? 
Or something potentially causing a risk to yourself or others?  Like uranium.  Or cats.  :)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 22, 2015, 05:34:15 PM
Redistribution of wealth....

CBS "Sunday Morning" TV show raises enough money from viewers to dig a well and supply water to many Navajo Nation families who live without running water.
https://www.facebook.com/CBSSunday/photos/a.10150237448611337.357140.121317881336/10153631720041337/ (https://www.facebook.com/CBSSunday/photos/a.10150237448611337.357140.121317881336/10153631720041337/)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on August 22, 2015, 06:33:15 PM
I'm guessing that not much if any of those donations came from the top 1% much less the top .001%. That's the wealth that really needs to be 'redistributed.'

This is just proof that those with little money are much more willing to help those with less, than are those with lots of money.

This is well documented for a long time. IIRC, there was a book on it way back in the early '90s, something like "Charity Begins at Home."

Ah, yes. Here it is: http://www.amazon.com/Charity-Begins-Home-Generosity-Philanthropic/dp/0465009611 (http://www.amazon.com/Charity-Begins-Home-Generosity-Philanthropic/dp/0465009611)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 22, 2015, 06:58:08 PM
Yes.  The Sunday Morning effort was more an example of a "sharing economy" -- although they did receive "inquiries from corporations interested in helping."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharing_economy
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: anotheramethyst on August 22, 2015, 08:43:57 PM
here's an option for transitioning away from capitalism:  employee owned businesses.  i've actually seen 2 success stories here.  in spring grove, il, scot forge is widely reputed as the best place to work.  all their workers are well paid and many retire in their 30's and 40's.  it's an employee owned steel factory.

in the rio grand valley, tx, vtci is the local phone coop.  it pays back all profits to its customers as dividends, which the customers LOVE!  it also creates a strong incentive to invest in the business, so the company laid miles of fiber optic cable throughout this tiny rural area in south texas in the late 1990's.  even now, their internet and phone plans are higher quality than what's available in chicago, il, AND they still paid dividends to all their customers every year (on a 4 year delay, the only complaint).

richard wolff has a lot to say on the subject, here's an interview.  you can also find his videos on youtube.
http://www.rdwolff.com/content/democracy-work-cure-capitalism (http://www.rdwolff.com/content/democracy-work-cure-capitalism)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on August 22, 2015, 10:31:26 PM
AA, I once read a very interesting and inspiring book by a Brazilian businessman called Ricardo Semler (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricardo_Semler) about just that.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: icefisher on August 22, 2015, 11:34:01 PM
What Neven said goes for me too!! 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 23, 2015, 02:00:12 AM
If you have been following the U.S. presidential candidate races (my sympathies, if so ::) ), you may have heard about Bernie Sanders, the self-described socialist senator from Vermont.  He has some very reasonable ideas about reforming the U.S. economy.

Agenda for America
12 Steps Forward
http://www.sanders.senate.gov/agenda/ (http://www.sanders.senate.gov/agenda/)

Bernie Sanders questions morality of US economy
http://www.cnbc.com/2015/05/26/bernie-sanders-questions-morality-of-us-economy.html (http://www.cnbc.com/2015/05/26/bernie-sanders-questions-morality-of-us-economy.html)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on August 23, 2015, 02:55:30 PM
here's an option for transitioning away from capitalism:  employee owned businesses.  i've actually seen 2 success stories here.  in spring grove, il, scot forge is widely reputed as the best place to work.  all their workers are well paid and many retire in their 30's and 40's.  it's an employee owned steel factory.

in the rio grand valley, tx, vtci is the local phone coop.  it pays back all profits to its customers as dividends, which the customers LOVE!  it also creates a strong incentive to invest in the business, so the company laid miles of fiber optic cable throughout this tiny rural area in south texas in the late 1990's.  even now, their internet and phone plans are higher quality than what's available in chicago, il, AND they still paid dividends to all their customers every year (on a 4 year delay, the only complaint).

richard wolff has a lot to say on the subject, here's an interview.  you can also find his videos on youtube.
http://www.rdwolff.com/content/democracy-work-cure-capitalism (http://www.rdwolff.com/content/democracy-work-cure-capitalism)


In Riverside Ca., and I'm sure many other municipalities, the municipally owned water and electrical service provide utilities to the residents with no profit or dividends being paid to anyone. Plus governments can borrow at much lower rates should a cash influx be needed.
Privatization is the enemy
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 23, 2015, 08:12:45 PM
Bernie Sanders Takes Aim At 'Greedy' Koch Brothers
Quote
"For the life of me, I will never understand how a family like the Koch brothers, worth $85 billion, apparently think that's not enough money."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-koch-brothers_55d9ca6ee4b0a40aa3ab3642 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-koch-brothers_55d9ca6ee4b0a40aa3ab3642)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 02, 2015, 10:20:11 PM
Excellent 36 minute video interview with Bernie Sanders, discussing his ”Democratic Socialist” policies.
At minute 27, he brings up climate change, as a global issue.
Last minute or two, he speaks of his support for a universal income.

Bernie Sanders: The Vox conversation
https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=em-subs_digest-vrecs&v=S5vOKKMipSA
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 26, 2015, 10:16:25 PM
What If the Richest Person in Every Country Gave All Their Money to the Poor?
It'd mean more in Sweden and not much in India
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-22/what-if-the-richest-person-in-every-country-gave-all-his-money-to-the-poor- (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-22/what-if-the-richest-person-in-every-country-gave-all-his-money-to-the-poor-)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on September 27, 2015, 10:40:48 AM
What If the Richest Person in Every Country Gave All Their Money to the Poor?
It'd mean more in Sweden and not much in India
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-22/what-if-the-richest-person-in-every-country-gave-all-his-money-to-the-poor- (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-22/what-if-the-richest-person-in-every-country-gave-all-his-money-to-the-poor-)

How silly is this? First they say 'what if the rich gave all their money to the poor', then they reduce that to just the richest person, after which they conclude it wouldn't amount to much, because some countries have a lot of inhabitants and others don't.

It would be much more interesting if they gave an example of the wealth of 1% richest people distributed over 15% of the neediest. But of course, it would be much better if that money wasn't given directly to the neediest (like winning the lottery and then spending everything), but used to improve houses and infrastructure, make it easier to provide for basic needs (efficient woodstoves, LED lighting, renewable energy, a garden for everyone), convert the armies in the world to peacekeeping/rebuilding organisations, education, preventive health care, sustainable agriculture, reforestation, etc, etc.

The idea of putting a cap on how much one person can own, is so anathema, that you'll see more and more of this speaking-to-power stuff in mainstream media as the crisis deepens.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 27, 2015, 02:22:01 PM
How silly is this? First they say 'what if the rich gave all their money to the poor', then they reduce that to just the richest person, after which they conclude it wouldn't amount to much, because some countries have a lot of inhabitants and others don't.

I agree; I was disappointed they limited it to the easy math of the one richest person's wealth and their country's population number.  But it's not the type of math you see very often, so I hope it inspires others to total up the global 1% and suggest how and where it might do the most good.  Get people thinking.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 29, 2015, 03:49:36 AM
Bill Gates: ‘The Private Sector Is Inept’, Only Socialism Can Save The Planet
http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/10/27/bill-gates-the-private-sector-is-inept-only-socialism-can-save-the-planet-video/ (http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/10/27/bill-gates-the-private-sector-is-inept-only-socialism-can-save-the-planet-video/)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 14, 2015, 05:39:19 PM
"Prosperity index" measures other things besides wealth.
http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/11/02/this-is-most-prosperous-nation-in-world-hint-not-us (http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/11/02/this-is-most-prosperous-nation-in-world-hint-not-us)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 28, 2015, 04:17:07 PM
Not sure what kind of economic "-ism" this is.   ;)

Cards Against Humanity Makes $71,000 on Black Friday by Selling Absolutely Nothing
Quote
Cards Against Humanity, the popular and politically incorrect party game, offered a Black Friday deal like no other this year: you shell out $5 and get absolutely nothing in return.
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/cards-against-humanity-makes-71-000-selling-absolutely-nothing-n470526 (http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/cards-against-humanity-makes-71-000-selling-absolutely-nothing-n470526)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: GeoffBeacon on November 30, 2015, 06:10:40 PM
PROSPERITY INDEX OR HAPPINESS INDEX?

On the BBC World Service bookclub, novelist Joseph Franzen said this (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p036scpn) (at 32:40)

Quote
American consumerism, which is all about maximum options, holds ridiculous conversations about private health insurance being superior to government health insurance  because you have many more choices.

It's all a big lie.

America really does have the best system of civil liberties in the world outside remote Amazonian tribes that can do whatever they want but Americans are not happy inspite of being so free.

It's a measureable fact.

It turns out that fairly highly regulated countries in Europe have the highest happiness and satisfaction levels. So another big lie about freedom is that it has even a correlation with happiness.

Obviously we are not talking about places where political freedoms are severely compromised.

Although even there, one of the things I discovered talking to people that had grown up in East Germany was that they don't remember the time as being that bad because with the repression came a whole body of things they did't have to worry about.

You didn't have to worry about having a place to live, having enough to eat, having  a place to go to school or health insurance. So paradoxally I suspect even a place like East Germany was less unhappy in toto than Texas is now because it's this constant stress: so many choices, so many things you have to take care of by yourself because we are free, free, free.

No one can stop you and let's not even get into the freedom to bear arms. Just look at the body count in America ...

HOW WILL CAPITALISM REACT TO THE AI REVOLUTION AND CLIMATE?

The combined effect on jobs of the AI revolution and a limit to economic growth that climate imposes means all kinds of jobs will be threatened. I have written a few things on this topic but have just condensed them into one piece  Jobs and climate change (http://ow.ly/VgIUA)

The skilled will be losing jobs as computers replace them. Better education won't help.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 07, 2015, 02:55:19 AM
Finland plans to pay everyone in the country $876 a month
Quote
Imagine this: as you're worried about how to pay bills and make your rent, you get a check from the government for $876. Every month.

That's what Finland is doing. The Nordic nation is getting closer this month to finalizing a solution to poverty: paying each of its 5.4 million people $876 tax-free a month — and in return, it will do away with welfare benefits, unemployment lines, and the other bureaucracy of its extensive social safety net.

The concept, called basic income, has been a popular source of debate among academics and economists for decades, though Finland would be the first nation in the European Union — and the first major nation anywhere — to actually implement the idea on a universal basis. The basic income was popularized by the economist Milton Friedman in the 1960s as a "negative income tax."
http://mashable.com/2015/12/06/finland-basic-income-800-euros/ (http://mashable.com/2015/12/06/finland-basic-income-800-euros/)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 04, 2016, 05:06:21 PM
Yellen's Job Puzzle: Why Are 20-Somethings Retiring?
Americans are increasingly foregoing paychecks due to disability, school or retirement
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-04/yellen-s-job-puzzle-why-are-20-somethings-retiring- (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-04/yellen-s-job-puzzle-why-are-20-somethings-retiring-)


Is the traditional school->work->retirement model being rewritten, by society itself?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on January 04, 2016, 10:01:55 PM
Re: unemployment increase in the USA in in younger cohort

Perhaps the youngsters are opting out because they see that the game is rigged ?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 09, 2016, 02:45:44 PM
The linked article states that key Republicans are calling for a "convention of the states" to reshape the US Constitution more to their likings.  It seems like it is time for less self-serving interests to step-up and legally change the US into a more sustainable system:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/08/politics/greg-abbott-texas-rubio-constitutional-convention/ (http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/08/politics/greg-abbott-texas-rubio-constitutional-convention/)

Extract: "Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday revealed his plans for a "convention of the states," the first in more than 200 years, as part of a larger effort to reshape the U.S. Constitution and expand states' rights.
"We are succumbing to the caprice of man that our Founders fought to escape," Abbott said in a statement followed by a speech at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. "The cure to these problems will not come from Washington, D.C. Instead, the states must lead the way."
Abbott, despite deep ties to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, has yet to endorse a candidate in the GOP's 2016 presidential primary race, but he might now have some common cause with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who in scattered comments over the past month and then more explicitly in a USA Today op-ed on Wednesday, proposed a constitutional convention as a means of "reduc(ing) the size and scope of the federal government.""
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on January 16, 2016, 08:55:00 PM
I'm not clear on the "What and How" but the answer to WHEN? is Pretty Damn Soon!

From my economic perspective, I have consistently argued that this growth system (capitalism) which is constrained by a finite resource (earth) with feedback loops that have significant lags (AGW for example) under "Business as Usual" behavior is destined to collapse. I have often referenced or suggested the books of a researcher for whom I have a great deal of respect. Among  many other books, Donella Meadows authored "Limits to Growth" which was published in 1972 and "Thinking in Systems" which was posthumously published in 2008. I would encourage  everyone to read these. They are fascinating, accessible and entertaining. Donella was a research fellow at MIT when she published "Limits to Growth" and taught at Dartmouth College for 29 years, beginning in 1972 until her untimely death in 2001 at the age of 60.

If you want to get an understanding of the challenge humanity is facing, these two books are essential reading. Systems thinking allows a person to see the interconnectedness of trends and  events that seem totally unrelated.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne have recently completed research that set out to  evaluate the predictions that "Limits to Growth" made in 1972. The research is complete and "Limits to Growth", which predicts an overshoot and collapse before 2070, is remarkably accurate.  Current population, economic and environmental trends are frighteningly in line with the forecasts set out in the book.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on January 17, 2016, 03:47:17 PM
Global capitalism seems to be undergoing a few 'bumps' right now.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on January 17, 2016, 04:57:44 PM
I'll 2nd SH's post.  I am a strong advocate of systemic thinking.  It is the only rational approach to problem solving.  I own the full set of the Limit's to Growth series of books (the most recent published in 2012) and they have proven to be by far the most accurate assessments of where we would end up if we followed BAU paths.  45 years after the original study we are dead on the track to have a substantial civilizational collapse mid century.  And this study did not take into account any aspects of climate change as it was essentially unknown at the time. The study was all about finite resources and global carrying capacity.  From the systemic point of analysis to add in the massive effects of climate change can only result in one eventual outcome if we continue to follow BAU approaches.  Catastrophic collapse.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 18, 2016, 04:29:47 AM
In my opinion many of the ideas in the new Jeremy Rifkin book: "The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism", is an exampled of systemic thinking and offers a clear path to replacing our current system of crony capitalism with a sustainable economic system that can address the problems of climate change.  Collaborative Commons (as opposed to the tyranny of the commons), is in line with some of the later thinking of Karl Marx, which I cited in my Reply #39 in the Adapting to the Anthropocene thread at the following link:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1308.msg57468/topicseen.html#msg57468 (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1308.msg57468/topicseen.html#msg57468)


With regards to collaborative commons, also see:

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/nov/07/radical-new-economic-system-will-emerge-from-collapse-of-capitalism (http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/nov/07/radical-new-economic-system-will-emerge-from-collapse-of-capitalism)

Extract: "The creation of a new economic system, Rifkin argues, will help alleviate key sustainability challenges, such as climate change and resource scarcity, and take pressure off the natural world. That’s because it will need only a minimum amount of energy, materials, labour and capital.

He says few people are aware of the scale of danger the human race is facing, particularly the growing levels of precipitation in the atmosphere, which is leading to extreme weather.

“Ecosystems can’t catch up with the shift in the planet’s water cycle and we’re in the sixth extinction pattern,” he warns. “We could lose 70% of our species by the end of this century and may be imperilling our ability to survive on this planet.”"

Also see:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Rifkin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Rifkin)

Extract: "Rifkin's 1981 book Entropy: A New World View discusses how the physical concept of entropy applies to nuclear and solar energy, urban decay, military activity, education, agriculture, health, economics, and politics. It was called "A comprehensive worldview" and "an appropriate successor to ... Silent Spring, The Closing Circle, The Limits to Growth, and Small Is Beautiful""
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 19, 2016, 10:17:36 PM
At Davos, the WEF is consider how to "Master the Fourth Industrial Revolution", including a circular economy:

http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/19/news/economy/davos-2016-industrial-revolution-old-problems/ (http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/19/news/economy/davos-2016-industrial-revolution-old-problems/)

Extract: "Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution."
Fourth industrial revolution? For me any mention of industrial revolution conjures up textile factories, soot-covered children up chimneys, and aggressive looking Luddites. Instead Schwab wants us to consider a fresh revolution, all about technology and how mankind can put it to the best possible use.
"We must have a comprehensive and globally shared understanding of how technology is changing our lives and that of future generations," says Schwab.
Given that Oxford University academics warned recently that robots threaten mankind's very existence, he surely has a point."



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-lacy-/the-circular-economy-is-a_b_9012234.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-lacy-/the-circular-economy-is-a_b_9012234.html)

Extract: "Little more than a month after many of us were at the Paris climate summit, there are several familiar faces in Davos. The Paris accord set a firm path that will allow commitments to become reality, even with its shortcomings. For business leaders that means investment decisions will become easier to make. And they know that meeting in Davos presents the best chance to get into specifics.
As Dominic Waughray wrote on these pages recently, the World Economic Forum has played a strong part in bringing together businesses, investors and policy makers, including forming an alliance of CEO Climate Leaders. Last night it put the circular economy at the forefront of delegates' minds by hosting the Circulars, the awards that recognize individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to new business models and mindsets that decouple growth from the consumption of scarce natural resources.
In their second year, the Circulars seek to highlight how achieving the ambitious aims agreed in Paris does not require a trade off with growth. That's because circular business models drive growth. And they unlock the revenues we are otherwise throwing away by pursuing the traditional 'take, make, waste' model of doing business.
For forty years until the turn of the millennium, business got used to commodity prices decreasing as growth surged. But this pattern then reversed dramatically, as the rise of urbanization intensified shortages of many resources while putting others such as water and soil under great stress. In recent years, prices have skyrocketed and crashed dramatically. Prices for metals like copper, iron, tin and nickel, have nearly doubled between 2000 and 2015. The real price of oil in August 2015 was still 55 per cent higher than in August 2000.
We face a shortfall of 8 billion tons in constrained resources by 2030. That translates to $4.5 trillion of lost growth that year, or as much as the U.S. consumes annually today.



The circular economy is about more than recycling and managing landfill. We need to look at all four dimensions of waste as an opportunity. Find value in wasted resources that could become renewable, such as biofuel. Exploit the wasted capacity in property or assets that could find a market, such as the 60 percent of Europe's truck capacity that remains empty most of the time. Reduce the wasted lifecycles that currently see products discarded rather than refurbished, often because they are not built to last. Finally, secure the wasted embedded values by finding uses for otherwise rejected materials."

See also:

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3055503/experts-agree-climate-change-is-the-most-serious-of-all-the-threats-facing-the-planet (http://www.fastcoexist.com/3055503/experts-agree-climate-change-is-the-most-serious-of-all-the-threats-facing-the-planet)

Extract: "But that's not how it's seen by 750 experts from business, academia, civil society and the public sector. Surveyed by the World Economic Forum for its latest Global Risks report, the respondents rank climate change as the gravest threat facing the planet over the next decade. In its potential impact, it's a more serious problem than weapons of mass destruction, cyberwar, terrorism, interstate conflicts, and every other conceivable menace.

One reason climate change figures strongly is that it feeds into other problems. "Climate change is exacerbating more risks than ever before in terms of water crises, food shortages, constrained economic growth, weaker societal cohesion and increased security risks," says Cecilia Reyes, chief risk officer at Zurich Insurance, a major reinsurance group."
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 30, 2016, 03:11:47 PM
After I Lived in Norway, America Felt Backward. Here’s Why.
A crash course in social democracy.
Quote
In the Nordic countries, on the other hand, democratically elected governments give their populations freedom from the market by using capitalism as a tool to benefit everyone. That liberates their people from the tyranny of the mighty profit motive that warps so many American lives, leaving them freer to follow their own dreams—to become poets or philosophers, bartenders or business owners, as they please.

Maybe our politicians don’t want to talk about the Nordic model because it shows so clearly that capitalism can be put to work for the many, not just the few.
http://www.thenation.com/article/after-i-lived-in-norway-america-felt-backward-heres-why/ (http://www.thenation.com/article/after-i-lived-in-norway-america-felt-backward-heres-why/)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on January 30, 2016, 03:53:38 PM
Quote
Extract: "The creation of a new economic system, Rifkin argues, will help alleviate key sustainability challenges, such as climate change and resource scarcity, and take pressure off the natural world. That’s because it will need only a minimum amount of energy, materials, labour and capital.

Quote
"We must have a comprehensive and globally shared understanding of how technology is changing our lives and that of future generations," says Schwab.
Given that Oxford University academics warned recently that robots threaten mankind's very existence, he surely has a point."

ASLR

Yes there is a lot of great talk out there...but no progress.   A lot of this talk addresses sustainability, waste, the problems with the profit motive, 'old' industries and the like.  But when you really look at what is going on it is pretty much falls into the talking about it to feel good category.  These types of statements are anything but new as they have been being made by environmentalists and political scientists as far back as the 1970's - in political science terms for a couple of hundred years.  And the sophistication of the talk is no more complex now either.  We have spent my entire life listening to talk like this.

But these same people are not out there beating the drum against over population and spending their money to help people stop it.  They are not out there refusing to participate in the global growth model nor spending their money fighting against it.  I could go on for some time on this talk and no action but we all know this situation. 

Adding billions of people to the planet absolutely requires the expenditure of vast amounts of resources to provide them with the minimal human requirements to live.  This growth model plays inevitably into the capitalistic growth paradigm and the wealth and power it generates flows to those who want to continue BAU.  And we know where that goes.

So the real question is not what we need to change as we know all the things we need to change and we have known them for decades.  The real question we need to answer is since we know we are out of time already how do we start this change and have it executed in no more than 20-25 years.  Which is probably a far too generous amount of time to avoid severe collapse problems.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on January 30, 2016, 04:19:14 PM
After I Lived in Norway, America Felt Backward. Here’s Why.
A crash course in social democracy.
Quote
In the Nordic countries, on the other hand, democratically elected governments give their populations freedom from the market by using capitalism as a tool to benefit everyone. That liberates their people from the tyranny of the mighty profit motive that warps so many American lives, leaving them freer to follow their own dreams—to become poets or philosophers, bartenders or business owners, as they please.

Maybe our politicians don’t want to talk about the Nordic model because it shows so clearly that capitalism can be put to work for the many, not just the few.
http://www.thenation.com/article/after-i-lived-in-norway-america-felt-backward-heres-why/ (http://www.thenation.com/article/after-i-lived-in-norway-america-felt-backward-heres-why/)

Yes Norway lives a very rich lifestyle.  But how do they get away with it? 

https://www.regjeringen.no/no/aktuelt/the-norwegian-welfare-model---prosperous/id709446/ (https://www.regjeringen.no/no/aktuelt/the-norwegian-welfare-model---prosperous/id709446/)

This model is based upon some factors which are out of the reach of the vast majority of countries.  Just like the US uses its advantages to maintain its position in full knowledge that others could not hope to do the same.

Norway has vast fossil fuel wealth and this is the foundation of its current wealth.  That fossil fuel wealth has bought a lot of advantages.  It also has enormous amounts of hydro power which is also not available to most other countries.  Thirdly it generates  a lot of GDP from fishing, forests and mining.  A key factor in Norway being able to live as it does is it has one of the highest ratios of valuable resources to population of any place on Earth. 

Even then the link above states:

Quote
As you can see on the slide (slide 7), there are some countries with higher birth rates than Norway, but except for Iceland, these countries have low labour market participation among women. There are also countries with higher employment rates, but many of these are struggling with low fertility rates.

The unique combination of high labour force participation and high birth rates is crucial for sustaining Norway's good economic performance.

So it is essential for Norway to maintain a high birth rate to sustain its economic performance.  Need I point out this is a big ass problem and sort of contrary to the suggestion that there is something sustainable about the way Norwegians live?   Yeah Norway is a hell of a nice place to live but then so is NYC if you are rich.  But the world cannot all live like rich people do.  There is not enough to go around.  I am pretty much a socialist but the northern European version of socialism, while much more attractive than the neo-con mess we have in the US, is not anywhere near where we need to go in terms of our global problems - unless of course you have a slick way of eliminating about 5 billion people.  Then we might be fine.

If you want to read what conservatives say about Scandinavian political/economic structures chekc the below link out - it is very harsh.  And I disagree with a bunch of it, but there are some good points there as well.  But the real takeaway is that these countries are hybrid capitalist/socialist countries just like the US but with the emphasis placed somewhat differently.  But to a real socialist ..um not so much socialist at all.

http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/11/scandinavia-isnt-a-socialist-paradise/ (http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/11/scandinavia-isnt-a-socialist-paradise/)

For another critique:

Quote
To begin with, explains Swedish scholar Nima Sanandaji, the affluence and cultural norms upon which Scandinavia’s social-democratic policies rest are not the product of socialism. In “Scandinavian Unexceptionalism,” a penetrating new book published by the Institute of Economic Affairs, Sanandaji shows that the Nordic nations’ prosperity “developed during periods characterized by free-market policies, low or moderate taxes, and limited state involvement in the economy.

Sounds like what?....
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 30, 2016, 06:42:40 PM

ASLR

Yes there is a lot of great talk out there...but no progress.   A lot of this talk addresses sustainability, waste, the problems with the profit motive, 'old' industries and the like.  But when you really look at what is going on it is pretty much falls into the talking about it to feel good category.  These types of statements are anything but new as they have been being made by environmentalists and political scientists as far back as the 1970's - in political science terms for a couple of hundred years.  And the sophistication of the talk is no more complex now either.  We have spent my entire life listening to talk like this.

JimD,

Thanks for your typically thoughtful response.  Perhaps a blog-forum is not a good format for discussing the points that I am trying to make, as mapping the road to a more sustainable world economy is part of a "wicked problem" with many chaotic aspects that can be difficult to follow/understand.  For example, I have repeatedly stated that I believe that following the most probable future pathways will result in hundreds of millions of people beginning to die circa 2050, with most likely billions of people dead circa 2100.  Nevertheless, that leaves several billion people left by 2100 who will be living a post- 4th Industrial Revolution existence with heavy emphasis on more sustainable information intense livelihoods such as those currently being developed today by such individuals as Zuckerberg, Musk, Page, etc..  As Alphabet/Google is about to pass Apple as the highest market valued company in the world, I provide the following linked article about what Alphabet/Google is actually doing and will likely achieve in the next few years.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/24/technology/larry-page-google-founder-is-still-innovator-in-chief.html?_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/24/technology/larry-page-google-founder-is-still-innovator-in-chief.html?_r=0)

Extract: "He intends to push even further with Alphabet, a holding company that separates Google’s various cash-rich advertising businesses from the list of speculative projects like self-driving cars that capture the imagination but do not make much money. Alphabet companies and investments span disciplines from biotechnology to energy generation to space travel to artificial intelligence to urban planning.
Investors will get a good look at the scope of those ambitions on Feb. 1, when the company, in its fourth-quarter earnings report, will disclose for the first time the costs and income of the collection of projects outside of Google’s core business.

In the investor letter, he put it this way: “Sergey and I are seriously in the business of starting new things.”"

See also the following article & associated Alphabet org chart image.
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/01/2016-google-tracker-everything-google-is-working-on-for-the-new-year/ (http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/01/2016-google-tracker-everything-google-is-working-on-for-the-new-year/)

Very best,
ASLR
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: johnm33 on January 30, 2016, 09:09:58 PM
As to the how, Steve Keen one of the few eonomists who called the 2008 crisis has been advocating a helicopter drop of money for about 10 years. It looks like the Swiss may try it.
"With Citi's chief economist proclaiming "only helicopter money can save the world now," and the Bank of England pre-empting paradropping money concerns, it appears that Australia's largest investment bank's forecast that money-drops were 12-18 months away was too conservative. While The Finns consider a "basic monthly income" for the entire population, Swiss residents are to vote on a countrywide referendum about a radical plan to pay every single adult a guaranteed income of around $2500 per month, with authorities insisting that people will still want to find a job."  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-29/helicopter-money-arrives-switzerland-hand-out-2500-monthly-all-citizens (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-29/helicopter-money-arrives-switzerland-hand-out-2500-monthly-all-citizens)
Personally I'd prefer it if every adult citizen had access to a limited amount of credit from their central bank, on the same terms as the bankers. In the UK £72,000 would do it, make that available at the rate of £12,000 a year, if you have debts you must use it to pay down part of those debts, if not you get it as credit at the beginning of the month. Same for those working and not, but if your not working you lose all other benefits.
http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2009/07/15/no-one-saw-this-coming-balderdash/ (http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2009/07/15/no-one-saw-this-coming-balderdash/)
You rarely see poor bankers and it's largely because of their priviledged access to cheap credit, why should that be?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on January 30, 2016, 10:04:44 PM
a) The article cited from the Federalist (at http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/11/scandinavia-isnt-a-socialist-paradise/ (http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/11/scandinavia-isnt-a-socialist-paradise/) )  is written by an undergraduate and it shows: no cites, no references, many assertions ...

b) Mr. Nima Sanandaji is a denier who is coauthor of "The Global Warming Scam" with Fred Goldberg.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: James Lovejoy on January 31, 2016, 12:24:30 AM
Jim D January 30, 2016, 04:19:14 PM
 
Quote
So it is essential for Norway to maintain a high birth rate to sustain its economic performance.   Need I point out this is a big ass problem and sort of contrary to the suggestion that there is something sustainable about the way Norwegians live?

Norway's birth rate is high by 1st world standards, but most countries would benefit from the Norwegian fertility rate.

Replacement Level Fertility Rate  - 2.1 (in developed countries, 2.33 world  wide)
Norwegian Fertility Rate              - 1.9
Pakistanian Fertility Rate             - 3.7
Nigerian Fertility Rate                 - 5.7
Indian Fertility Rate                    - 2.5
Iraqi Fertility Rate                       - 4.0
Ethiopian Fertility Rate                - 4.5
Mexican Fertility Rate                  - 2.3
Egyptian Fertility Rate                 - 3.3
Indonesian Fertility Rate             - 2.5     
Philippino Fertility Rate                - 3.0

It's true that many European countries have fertility rates lower than Norway, down as low as 1.3, but if more countries reduced their fertility rates to that of Norway they'd be better off.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on January 31, 2016, 01:40:54 AM
As to the how, Steve Keen one of the few eonomists who called the 2008 crisis has been advocating a helicopter drop of money for about 10 years. It looks like the Swiss may try it.
"With Citi's chief economist proclaiming "only helicopter money can save the world now," and the Bank of England pre-empting paradropping money concerns, it appears that Australia's largest investment bank's forecast that money-drops were 12-18 months away was too conservative. While The Finns consider a "basic monthly income" for the entire population, Swiss residents are to vote on a countrywide referendum about a radical plan to pay every single adult a guaranteed income of around $2500 per month, with authorities insisting that people will still want to find a job."  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-29/helicopter-money-arrives-switzerland-hand-out-2500-monthly-all-citizens (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-29/helicopter-money-arrives-switzerland-hand-out-2500-monthly-all-citizens)
Personally I'd prefer it if every adult citizen had access to a limited amount of credit from their central bank, on the same terms as the bankers. In the UK £72,000 would do it, make that available at the rate of £12,000 a year, if you have debts you must use it to pay down part of those debts, if not you get it as credit at the beginning of the month. Same for those working and not, but if your not working you lose all other benefits.
http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2009/07/15/no-one-saw-this-coming-balderdash/ (http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2009/07/15/no-one-saw-this-coming-balderdash/)
You rarely see poor bankers and it's largely because of their priviledged access to cheap credit, why should that be?

Desperate acts by desperate people trying to keep an unsustainable system afloat. Modern capitalism, around for about 200 years, can only be characterized as a spectacular failure.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 06, 2016, 08:53:18 PM
Why young people in the U.S. love the presidential candidate who calls himself a "democratic socialist."

The sexist double standard behind why millennials love Bernie Sanders
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-double-standard-behind-why-millennials-love-bernie-sanders/2016/02/04/dce7b458-cb85-11e5-a7b2-5a2f824b02c9_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-double-standard-behind-why-millennials-love-bernie-sanders/2016/02/04/dce7b458-cb85-11e5-a7b2-5a2f824b02c9_story.html)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Chuck Yokota on February 07, 2016, 03:12:27 AM
Naomi Klein: “There are no non-radical options left before us”
The famed author of "This Changes Everything" explains why markets cannot be relied on to solve global warming

http://www.salon.com/2016/02/04/naomi_klein_there_are_no_non_radical_options_left_before_us_partner/ (http://www.salon.com/2016/02/04/naomi_klein_there_are_no_non_radical_options_left_before_us_partner/)

Quote
. . .
Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity. I began with the most basic question:

This changes everything — how?


Naomi Klein: So the ‘this’ in This Changes Everything is climate change. And the argument that I make in the book is that we find ourselves in this moment where there are no non-radical options left before us. Change or be changed, right? And what we mean by that is that climate change, if we don’t change course, if we don’t change our political and economic system, is going to change everything about our physical world. And that is what climate scientists are telling us when they say business as usual leads to three to four degrees Celsius of warming. That’s the road we are on. We can get off that road, but we’re now so far along it, we’ve put off the crucial policies for so long, that now we can’t do it gradually. We have to swerve, right? And swerving requires such a radical departure from the kind of political and economic system we have right now that we pretty much have to change everything.

We have to change the kind of free trade deals we sign. We would have to change the absolutely central role of frenetic consumption in our culture. We would have to change the role of money in politics and our political system. We would have to change our attitude towards regulating corporations. We would have to change our guiding ideology.

You know, since the 1980s we’ve been living in this era, really, of corporate rule, based on this idea that the role of government is to liberate the power of capital so that they can have as much economic growth as quickly as possible and then all good things will flow from that. And that is what justifies privatization, deregulation, cuts to corporate taxes offset by cuts to public services — all of this is incompatible with what we need to do in the face of the climate crisis. We need to invest massively in the public sphere to have a renewable energy system, to have good public transit and rail. That money needs to come from somewhere, so it’s going to have to come from the people who have the money.

And I actually believe it’s deeper than that, that it’s about changing the paradigm of a culture that is based on separateness from nature, that is based on the idea that we can dominate nature, that we are the boss, that we are in charge. Climate change challenges all of that. It says, you know, all this time that you’ve been living in this bubble apart from nature, that has been fueled by a substance that all the while has been accumulating in the atmosphere, and you told yourself you were the boss, you told yourself you could have a one-way relationship with the natural world, but now comes the response: “You thought you were in charge? Think again.” And we can either mourn our status as boss of the world and see it as some cosmic demotion — which is why I think the extreme right is so freaked out by climate change that they have to deny it. It isn’t just that it is a threat to their profits. It’s a threat to a whole worldview that says you have dominion over all things, and that’s extremely threatening.
. . .
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on February 07, 2016, 04:23:17 AM
Yes, Naomi has it basically right.  The old ways of green and black bau will not work.

This naturally leads to a command economy which is oriented with its sole goal the survival of as much of civilization as can be managed.  No more capitalism, no more consumerism, dramatic downgrades in lifestyles, public transportation systems, local production, heavy taxes on the wealthy,  a strong focus on population reduction, junking much of the useless technology and infrastructure.  And so on.

Not much chance of this happening but it is what is required.  I'll sign up at the first appearance of it.  Until then I sit in full opposition to the bau camps.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 07, 2016, 05:31:52 PM
Naomi is spot on. Looking for market solutions to a problem that is being created by the proper functioning of the markets is going to be the death of us.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on February 18, 2016, 02:47:53 AM

Not much chance of this happening but it is what is required.

No chance of this happening without violence at an unimaginable scale,
and violence at such a scale will kill us just as surely as AGW will.

Which nations will fight for their right to continue their usage and export of fossil fuel?
Which nations will fight for their right to halt everyone's use and exports of fossil fuel?
Which state leaves their resources untapped to please the Feds?
Which province leaves their tar in their sand to please the Feds?

Which country will be the first to deploy a bicycle battalion?
Which country will be the first to paddle or sail into the fray?

All wars are ecological disasters.
Major wars are won by the side that expends the most energy.

Peace & cooperation are the minimum required for ecological survival.
Huge military might will be required to enforce compliance.

We lost this one in 1980.
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 18, 2016, 03:31:28 AM
Nearly 40 years ago.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 18, 2016, 05:12:18 AM
Nearly 40 years ago.

The reason that we did not act adequately 40, or 20 years ago, or now, is because people cannot see beyond their own ignorance.  Which means that we must work diligently on reducing ignorance as much and as fast as practicable.  The "Adapting to the Anthropocence" has some ideas on this matter, including insight on how to see that by learning to cooperate we help ourselves.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 25, 2016, 08:03:10 PM
Refugees in Jordan Are Using Their Eyes to Pay for Groceries
An iris-scanning system is helping them get the food they need in the most secure and efficient way possible.
Quote
The days of dealing with stolen food vouchers and prepaid electronic cards are gone for Syrian refugees in northern Jordan. Instead, they can now pay for groceries with their eyes when checking out at the supermarket.

On Tuesday, those living in King Abdullah Park refugee camp started purchasing food simply by looking into a machine.

The technology, headed by the United Nations World Food Programme, is nothing new, considering the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees already uses iris-scanning technology to identify refugees when they first register with the agency; in March, the agency also partnered with Jordan-based banks so refugees could get cash from ATMs through the eye-scanning system. However, this is the first instance of it being implemented in select supermarkets.

“We are really capitalizing on technology that already exists,” Dina El-Kassaby, regional communications officer for WFP, told Mashable. “We are just giving this technology a retail spin.”

The system analyzes biometric registration data supplied by the UNHCR that can identify a refugee quite literally in the blink of an eye. Once a person is confirmed as a refugee in the UNHCR’s data bank, payment is deducted from the individual's monthly food allowance, and a receipt is printed.
http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/02/17/refugees-are-using-their-eyes-pay-groceries (http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/02/17/refugees-are-using-their-eyes-pay-groceries)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 30, 2016, 07:16:00 PM
More on "The Circular Economy".  (See ASLR's reply #66 above.)

By Walter Stahel

Quote
... A 'circular economy' would turn goods that are at the end of their service life into resources for others, closing loops in industrial ecosystems and minimizing waste (see 'Closing loops'). It would change economic logic because it replaces production with sufficiency: reuse what you can, recycle what cannot be reused, repair what is broken, remanufacture what cannot be repaired. A study of seven European nations found that a shift to a circular economy would reduce each nation's greenhouse-gas emissions by up to 70% and grow its workforce by about 4% — the ultimate low-carbon economy (see go.nature.com/biecsc).
...
Circular-economy business models fall in two groups: those that foster reuse and extend service life through repair, remanufacture, upgrades and retrofits; and those that turn old goods into as-new resources by recycling the materials. People — of all ages and skills — are central to the model. Ownership gives way to stewardship; consumers become users and creators3. The remanufacturing and repair of old goods, buildings and infrastructure creates skilled jobs in local workshops. The experiences of workers from the past are instrumental.
...
A circular economy is like a lake. The reprocessing of goods and materials generates jobs and saves energy while reducing resource consumption and waste. Cleaning a glass bottle and using it again is faster and cheaper than recycling the glass or making a new bottle from minerals. Vehicle owners can decide whether to have their used tyres repaired or regrooved or whether to buy new or retreaded replacements — if such services exist. Rather than being dumped, used tyres are collected by waste managers and sold to the highest bidder.
...
Yet a lack of familiarity and fear of the unknown mean that the circular-economy idea has been slow to gain traction. As a holistic concept, it collides with the silo structures of academia, companies and administrations. For economists who work with gross domestic product (GDP), creating wealth by making things last is the opposite of what they learned in school. GDP measures a financial flow over a period of time; circular economy preserves physical stocks. But concerns over resource security, ethics and safety as well as greenhouse-gas reductions are shifting our approach to seeing materials as assets to be preserved, rather than continually consumed.
http://www.nature.com/news/the-circular-economy-1.19594#auth-1 (http://www.nature.com/news/the-circular-economy-1.19594#auth-1)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 29, 2016, 01:10:06 AM
Have a parking fine?  In Lexington, Kentucky, you can pay it in canned food.

Lexington, Kentucky accepts food for homeless as parking ticket payment
Quote
Ten canned food items will give you a $15 credit on parking citations; most parking meter citations in the area are for that amount. And for tickets that are more than $15, you can bring in more cans!
http://www.today.com/kindness/lexington-kentucky-accepts-food-homeless-parking-ticket-payment-t57456 (http://www.today.com/kindness/lexington-kentucky-accepts-food-homeless-parking-ticket-payment-t57456)


LexPark collects 10,000 canned food items in ‘food for fines’ program
Quote
The Lexington Parking Authority collected 10,000 canned goods and other food items as part of its five-week “food for fines” program.

The program — now in its second year — allowed people to pay traffic and parking fines with canned goods. All donations received by LexPark were given to God's Pantry Food Bank.

According to God’s Pantry, 10,211 pounds, or 5 tons, of food were received, which is the equivalent of 8,370 meals. The program started Nov. 16 and concluded Dec. 18. In 2014, only parking citations were eligible for the food for fines program. This year the program was expanded to include traffic citations. Last year, LexPark collected 6,200 food items.
http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/counties/fayette-county/article52957725.html (http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/counties/fayette-county/article52957725.html)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 15, 2016, 03:52:32 PM
Naomi Klein argues climate change is a battle between capitalism and the planet
Quote
The climate crisis, by presenting the species with an existential crisis and putting us on a firm and unyielding science-based deadline, might just be the catalyst we need to knit together the great many powerful movements bound together by the inherent worth and value of all people, and united by the rejection of the ‘sacrifice zone’ mentality.”

Canadian writer and activist Naomi Klein made these remarks in London last week in a lecture (available online) commemorating Palestinian theorist Edward Said. She was inspired by his argument that many peoples have been classified by imperial powers as “the other” – less than fully human – and said the climate crisis was entrenching inequality across the globe.
...
Bellamy Foster says an “ecological civilisation” is a necessary transitional society beyond capitalism, defined by far more substantive equality of global resources and burden-sharing of cutbacks in consumption between rich and poor states and people.
http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/naomi-klein-argues-climate-change-is-a-battle-between-capitalism-and-the-planet-1.2647166 (http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/naomi-klein-argues-climate-change-is-a-battle-between-capitalism-and-the-planet-1.2647166)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 06, 2016, 07:46:09 PM
The Land Below Zero: Where Negative Interest Rates Are Normal
Denmark has been an upside-down world for longer than any other country. The sky hasn't fallen yet.
Quote
In Copenhagen, bicycles take undisputed priority over cars and even pedestrians. A sizzling restaurant scene has made foodie fetishes of moss, live ants, and sea cucumbers. Despite a minimum wage not far below $20 an hour and some of the world’s steepest taxes, unemployment is almost the lowest in Europe. Parents happily leave infants unattended in strollers on the sidewalk while they stop in to cafes.

Clearly the usual rules tend not to apply in Denmark. So it’s no surprise that the country in recent years has added a major new entry to its sprawling repertoire of eccentricities: Since 2012 it’s been a place where you can get paid to borrow money and charged to save it.

Scandinavia’s third-largest economy (the population is 5 million, and there are about as many bikes) is deep into an unprecedented experiment with negative interest rates, a monetary policy tool once viewed by mainstream economists as approaching apostasy, if not a virtual impossibility. Companies—though not yet individuals—are paying lenders for the privilege of keeping funds on deposit; homeowners, in some cases, are actually making money on mortgages.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-06/denmark-land-below-zero-where-negative-interest-rates-are-normal (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-06/denmark-land-below-zero-where-negative-interest-rates-are-normal)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ralfy on June 08, 2016, 08:36:16 AM
Given limits to growth,

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse)

the only way out is a global state capitalist system, with resources used to meet basic needs of the most number of people. Any surplus will have to be kept and used for emergencies such as natural disasters. Wants can be met only when population, etc., stabilize.

Unfortunately, this will require widespread understanding of points concerning limits to growth, extensive cooperation between various groups, the removal of profit-making, higher degrees of empathy, etc.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: anti-revisionism on June 09, 2016, 11:57:12 PM
welp, I guess rapid climate change, the final crisis of capitalism, yet again demonstrates the superiority of the science of dialectical materialism and marxism-leninism  8)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ralfy on June 10, 2016, 03:13:29 AM
Or just science.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 10, 2016, 05:09:23 PM
What's in a name?

This Chinese Dynasty Needs a Name
Quote
The Communist Party of China, it is frequently asserted, is a misnamed organization. That's because, since the party began experimenting with private enterprise in the 1970s, it has shed much of the intellectual baggage associated with Marx, Lenin and that ilk.


...The dynasty model works like this: After a period of decline or even chaos, a new ruler takes power -- usually by military means -- and establishes a new dynasty. Some of these are short-lived -- the first imperial dynasty, the Qin, lasted just 15 years -- while others bring centuries of peace and prosperity.

From a Chinese historical perspective, then, the American republic at age 240 looks like a quite successful dynasty that's been showing signs of age lately, not necessarily the "end of history."
http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-07-08/this-chinese-dynasty-needs-a-name (http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-07-08/this-chinese-dynasty-needs-a-name)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: GeoffBeacon on July 10, 2016, 05:59:55 PM
Perhaps we should take a lesson from the "father of capitalism", Adam Smith

Quote
Adam Smith’s Critique of International Trading Companies… (http://ptx.sagepub.com/content/36/2/185.abstract)

Such companies, in Smith’s view, had corrupted and captured many European and non-European governments and undermined their societies’ ability to engage in peaceful transnational affairs and equitable self-rule. In contrast with Smith’s well-known concerns about the rise of commerce in modern Europe in his four-stage account of social development— which were outweighed, in his view, by the many material benefits and personal liberties brought about by the eclipse of feudalism—his narrative of globalization offers a trenchantly critical appraisal of commercial practices that ultimately undermine many of the gains that the initial rise of modern commerce once made possible…
Adam Smith, Timothy Worstall and large international companies (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/adam-smith-timothy-worstall-and-large-international-companies/)

BP and Shell
Quote
The United Kingdom government held talks with Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc to ensure British energy companies were “well-placed to pick up contracts in the aftermath” of the Iraq invasion in 2003.
Chilcot report: oil groups lobbied UK government ahead of Iraq war (http://gulfbusiness.com/chilcot-report-oil-groups-lobbied-uk-government-ahead-iraq-war/)

I have heard others say they didn't actually lobby for the war. Must do some more searches.

We haven't  time to change capitalism completely but we could control it better.

Taxing CO2 emissions $1000 a tonne would help.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on July 12, 2016, 02:15:20 AM
Given limits to growth,

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse)

the only way out is a global state capitalist system, with resources used to meet basic needs of the most number of people. Any surplus will have to be kept and used for emergencies such as natural disasters. Wants can be met only when population, etc., stabilize.

Unfortunately, this will require widespread understanding of points concerning limits to growth, extensive cooperation between various groups, the removal of profit-making, higher degrees of empathy, etc.

I presume this is a typo.  Did you mean to write 'socialist' in place of capitalist?  There are some extremely strong arguments out there which come to the conclusion that there is no solution possible in a capitalist system...whether global or national in scale.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 12, 2016, 04:59:48 AM
Perhaps we should consider the insights of Karl Marx about what comes next.  To this end I re-post the following extracts about Paul Mason's vision for a utopian postcapitalistic global socio-economic system.  In the following linked article Mason makes it clear that Marx has been mis-understood for over a century (see the last link to an open access copy of: "The Fragment on Machines" by Karl Marx); in much the same way that Charles Darwin has frequently been misinterpreted (i.e. Darwin proposed "natural selection", not "survival of the fittest"):

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/17/postcapitalism-end-of-capitalism-begun (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/17/postcapitalism-end-of-capitalism-begun)

Extract: "Capitalism, it turns out, will not be abolished by forced-march techniques. It will be abolished by creating something more dynamic that exists, at first, almost unseen within the old system, but which will break through, reshaping the economy around new values and behaviours. I call this postcapitalism.
As with the end of feudalism 500 years ago, capitalism’s replacement by postcapitalism will be accelerated by external shocks and shaped by the emergence of a new kind of human being. And it has started.

New forms of ownership, new forms of lending, new legal contracts: a whole business subculture has emerged over the past 10 years, which the media has dubbed the “sharing economy”. Buzzwords such as the “commons” and “peer-production” are thrown around, but few have bothered to ask what this development means for capitalism itself.

I believe it offers an escape route – but only if these micro-level projects are nurtured, promoted and protected by a fundamental change in what governments do. And this must be driven by a change in our thinking – about technology, ownership and work. So that, when we create the elements of the new system, we can say to ourselves, and to others: “This is no longer simply my survival mechanism, my bolt hole from the neoliberal world; this is a new way of living in the process of formation.”

Even now many people fail to grasp the true meaning of the word “austerity”. Austerity is not eight years of spending cuts, as in the UK, or even the social catastrophe inflicted on Greece. It means driving the wages, social wages and living standards in the west down for decades until they meet those of the middle class in China and India on the way up.

Innovation is happening but it has not, so far, triggered the fifth long upswing for capitalism that long-cycle theory would expect. The reasons lie in the specific nature of information technology.
...
We’re surrounded not just by intelligent machines but by a new layer of reality centred on information.

There is, alongside the world of monopolised information and surveillance created by corporations and governments, a different dynamic growing up around information: information as a social good, free at the point of use, incapable of being owned or exploited or priced. I’ve surveyed the attempts by economists and business gurus to build a framework to understand the dynamics of an economy based on abundant, socially-held information. But it was actually imagined by one 19th-century economist in the era of the telegraph and the steam engine. His name? Karl Marx.

In the “Fragment” Marx imagines an economy in which the main role of machines is to produce, and the main role of people is to supervise them. He was clear that, in such an economy, the main productive force would be information. The productive power of such machines as the automated cotton-spinning machine, the telegraph and the steam locomotive did not depend on the amount of labour it took to produce them but on the state of social knowledge. Organisation and knowledge, in other words, made a bigger contribution to productive power than the work of making and running the machines.
Given what Marxism was to become – a theory of exploitation based on the theft of labour time – this is a revolutionary statement. It suggests that, once knowledge becomes a productive force in its own right, outweighing the actual labour spent creating a machine, the big question becomes not one of “wages versus profits” but who controls what Marx called the “power of knowledge”.

In these musings, not published until the mid-20th century, Marx imagined information coming to be stored and shared in something called a “general intellect” – which was the mind of everybody on Earth connected by social knowledge, in which every upgrade benefits everybody. In short, he had imagined something close to the information economy in which we live. And, he wrote, its existence would “blow capitalism sky high”.
...
With the terrain changed, the old path beyond capitalism imagined by the left of the 20th century is lost.
But a different path has opened up. Collaborative production, using network technology to produce goods and services that only work when they are free, or shared, defines the route beyond the market system. It will need the state to create the framework – just as it created the framework for factory labour, sound currencies and free trade in the early 19th century. The postcapitalist sector is likely to coexist with the market sector for decades, but major change is happening.

By creating millions of networked people, financially exploited but with the whole of human intelligence one thumb-swipe away, info-capitalism has created a new agent of change in history: the educated and connected human being.
This will be more than just an economic transition. There are, of course, the parallel and urgent tasks of decarbonising the world and dealing with demographic and fiscal timebombs. But I’m concentrating on the economic transition triggered by information because, up to now, it has been sidelined. Peer-to-peer has become pigeonholed as a niche obsession for visionaries, while the “big boys” of leftwing economics get on with critiquing austerity.

So how do we visualise the transition ahead? The only coherent parallel we have is the replacement of feudalism by capitalism – and thanks to the work of epidemiologists, geneticists and data analysts, we know a lot more about that transition than we did 50 years ago when it was “owned” by social science. The first thing we have to recognise is: different modes of production are structured around different things. Feudalism was an economic system structured by customs and laws about “obligation”. Capitalism was structured by something purely economic: the market. We can predict, from this, that postcapitalism – whose precondition is abundance – will not simply be a modified form of a complex market society. But we can only begin to grasp at a positive vision of what it will be like.
I don’t mean this as a way to avoid the question: the general economic parameters of a postcapitalist society by, for example, the year 2075, can be outlined. But if such a society is structured around human liberation, not economics, unpredictable things will begin to shape it.

The feudal model of agriculture collided, first, with environmental limits and then with a massive external shock – the Black Death. After that, there was a demographic shock: too few workers for the land, which raised their wages and made the old feudal obligation system impossible to enforce. The labour shortage also forced technological innovation. The new technologies that underpinned the rise of merchant capitalism were the ones that stimulated commerce (printing and accountancy), the creation of tradeable wealth (mining, the compass and fast ships) and productivity (mathematics and the scientific method).
Present throughout the whole process was something that looks incidental to the old system – money and credit – but which was actually destined to become the basis of the new system. In feudalism, many laws and customs were actually shaped around ignoring money; credit was, in high feudalism, seen as sinful. So when money and credit burst through the boundaries to create a market system, it felt like a revolution. Then, what gave the new system its energy was the discovery of a virtually unlimited source of free wealth in the Americas.
A combination of all these factors took a set of people who had been marginalised under feudalism – humanists, scientists, craftsmen, lawyers, radical preachers and bohemian playwrights such as Shakespeare – and put them at the head of a social transformation. At key moments, though tentatively at first, the state switched from hindering the change to promoting it.
Today, the thing that is corroding capitalism, barely rationalised by mainstream economics, is information. Most laws concerning information define the right of corporations to hoard it and the right of states to access it, irrespective of the human rights of citizens. The equivalent of the printing press and the scientific method is information technology and its spillover into all other technologies, from genetics to healthcare to agriculture to the movies, where it is quickly reducing costs.
The modern equivalent of the long stagnation of late feudalism is the stalled take-off of the third industrial revolution, where instead of rapidly automating work out of existence, we are reduced to creating what David Graeber calls “bullshit jobs” on low pay. And many economies are stagnating.
The equivalent of the new source of free wealth? It’s not exactly wealth: it’s the “externalities” – the free stuff and wellbeing generated by networked interaction. It is the rise of non-market production, of unownable information, of peer networks and unmanaged enterprises. The internet, French economist Yann Moulier-Boutang says, is “both the ship and the ocean” when it comes to the modern equivalent of the discovery of the new world. In fact, it is the ship, the compass, the ocean and the gold.
The modern day external shocks are clear: energy depletion, climate change, ageing populations and migration. They are altering the dynamics of capitalism and making it unworkable in the long term. They have not yet had the same impact as the Black Death – but as we saw in New Orleans in 2005, it does not take the bubonic plague to destroy social order and functional infrastructure in a financially complex and impoverished society.
Once you understand the transition in this way, the need is not for a supercomputed Five Year Plan – but a project, the aim of which should be to expand those technologies, business models and behaviours that dissolve market forces, socialise knowledge, eradicate the need for work and push the economy towards abundance. I call it Project Zero – because its aims are a zero-carbon-energy system; the production of machines, products and services with zero marginal costs; and the reduction of necessary work time as close as possible to zero.

The main contradiction today is between the possibility of free, abundant goods and information; and a system of monopolies, banks and governments trying to keep things private, scarce and commercial. Everything comes down to the struggle between the network and the hierarchy: between old forms of society moulded around capitalism and new forms of society that prefigure what comes next.

We need more than just a bunch of utopian dreams and small-scale horizontal projects. We need a project based on reason, evidence and testable designs, that cuts with the grain of history and is sustainable by the planet. And we need to get on with it.
•   Postcapitalism is published by Allen Lane on 30 July."

For an open access copy of: "The Fragment on Machines" by Karl Marx see:

http://thenewobjectivity.com/pdf/marx.pdf (http://thenewobjectivity.com/pdf/marx.pdf)

Also see Reply #70 regarding current pathways to a new reality centered on information.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on July 12, 2016, 03:04:30 PM
welp, I guess rapid climate change, the final crisis of capitalism, yet again demonstrates the superiority of the science of dialectical materialism and marxism-leninism  8)

Nope. We tend to view Karl Marx and his philosophy as somehow entirely distinct from capitalism when, in fact, his philosophy sprang from grappling with the issue of an emerging capitalism. He did not argue against capitalism but merely posited that the worker should control the capital and this solution is a uniquely western view of the world and equally unsustainable. In western democracies, this view resulted in union movements which agitated and bargained for a greater share of the created capital which fueled a dramatic increase in the middle class and the well being of ordinary citizens. While beneficial, this burgeoning middle class was the engine behind the dramatic growth of the 20th century.

In Russia, lacking any tradition of democracy, the effort to ensure that workers controlled capital quickly devolved into despotism.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on July 12, 2016, 05:28:40 PM
From ALSR's post #93.

Quote
...Even now many people fail to grasp the true meaning of the word “austerity”. Austerity is not eight years of spending cuts, as in the UK, or even the social catastrophe inflicted on Greece. It means driving the wages, social wages and living standards in the west down for decades until they meet those of the middle class in China and India on the way up.....

I think I have mentioned here before that about 30 years ago I was having a heated discussion with my brother, who was one of the architects of what we now call 'globalization' in his job as chief of North American operations for one of the Fortune 500 corporations, about this very point.  He stated to me that one of the goals of the free trade agreements they were lobbying for was to reach  a point where they had created a global arbitrage of labor ...where all labor was competing for work from the various corporations.  And thus labor just became another commodity.   I found this goal highly repulsive.  They have, however, come close to succeeding. 

Capitalism requires growth to exist.  Regardless of who controls the capital.  Growth in the world we live in today is a recipe for extinction.  Degrowth is our only viable option.

The world must reach a 'sustainable state' (far less people and far less consumption) and run itself via some form of an quasi sustainable economic system which is structured with the goal of promoting a way forward which does the least damage to the Earth as possible.  Civilization by basic definition cannot be truly sustainable...but we can stretch the time span out to failure a significant distance into the future.  And perhaps think our way through to achieve long term existence.  Otherwise what is the point.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 12, 2016, 06:20:45 PM
Jim,

First, there are many different types of capitalism (see wiki-link) and some of them are not dependent on continual growth (as our current international crony capitalistic system is).

Second, de-growth will occur progressively as we reach the limits of the various different carrying systems.

Third, when the de-growth is complete (say sometime between 2075 & 2100), what we transition to will likely be closer to information intensive private companies (like GoogleX) operating within capitalistic frameworks controlled by government; rather than to feudalism.

Best,
ASLR

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism
Extract: "Capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investment is determined by the owners of the factors of production in financial and capital markets, and prices and the distribution of goods are mainly determined by competition in the market.
Economists, political economists, and historians have adopted different perspectives in their analyses of capitalism and have recognized various forms of it in practice. These include laissez-faire or free market capitalism, welfare capitalism, and state capitalism. Different forms of capitalism feature varying degrees of free markets, public ownership, obstacles to free competition, and state-sanctioned social policies. The degree of competition in markets, the role of intervention and regulation, and the scope of state ownership vary across different models of capitalism; the extent to which different markets are free, as well as the rules defining private property, are matters of politics and of policy. Most existing capitalist economies are mixed economies, which combine elements of free markets with state intervention, and in some cases, with economic planning.
Capitalism has existed under many forms of government, in many different times, places, and cultures. Following the decline of mercantilism, mixed capitalist systems became dominant in the Western world and continue to spread."
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Paladiea on July 12, 2016, 11:13:21 PM
We could always go back to hunter-gathering. That has been by far our most successful and long-lived economic system.

(Half) joking aside, there are a few alternatives I think are interesting:
Gift Economy
Post-scarcity abundance
On demand production

Capitalism as it stands is unviable, and economics as it is is a fairy tale, is not a science, and has no predictive or self-correction abilities.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on July 13, 2016, 12:20:57 AM
ASLR

Re 1:  This is not at all certain and is very dependent on how one is defining terms I think.  Capitalism does not last in the absence of 'profit'...and one can define profit as growth. 

Re 2:  "Collapse" occurs as we pass the limits of the various different carrying systems.  "Degrowth" is a deliberate strategy to 'reverse' or create the opposite of growth with the goal of not actually crossing a boundary (or quickly getting back on the correct side of one)...its corollary in economics might be considered deflation (the great enemy of our current economic system). Thus deliberately lowering ones standard of living and level of consumption is degrowth, whereas getting laid off and having no income to house or feed oneself is collapse.

Re 3:  Hmmm...  I guess I would respond that if we managed 'degrowth' successfully there is a possibility that what you describe could happen.  It is not what I would think all that likely but who knows.  However, if we undergo collapse in between now and the end of the century (almost certain in MHO) I think where we will end up is likely to be pretty hard to describe using these terms as we do now.  For the non-ruling classes the economic structure seems very likely to be a form of feudalism.  For the ruling class I would expect that they will still have access to high levels of some technologies (some of which do not exist today even) and very different lifestyles than the rest of the population.  I would also expect that we will have returned to social immobility as used to be standard in human society.  But the world will also be a vastly poorer place where there are constant shortages of resources and hard limits to what can be done due to the restrictions of climate change and the results of our having so severely damaged too many global systems.  We will not be able to live lifestyles similar to the ones we have now, again, for a very long time.    We have to find the bottom before we can climb back up and the bottom is much further out than the end of this century.  The house we live in now is not suitable for the future...we can tear it down now and salvage some of the parts to use on the new design...or we can just burn it down in a few years and try to start over from scratch.

You and I both seem to see some form of collapse as inevitable but then have very different perceptions about where we might end up.  But then I am not really sure about that as there is a real possibility that both visions could exist at the same time depending on which class of people one ended up in.  One can have a very limited distribution of high and expensive technology for the ruling elite and almost nothing for everyone else who exist to support the new civilization at the same time.  That would not be dissimilar to what has existed in the past.  There are lots of writers trying to describe their version of this future world right now...maybe one will be similar to the above.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 13, 2016, 12:58:27 AM
Jim,

This is a very difficult topic to address as per the linked study, there are now about a billion less people living in extreme poverty than in 1990; but will this trend just accelerate the number of people in the future who will live in extreme poverty?  Short of an extinction level event, why would all learning and information technology disappear?  Everyone has their opinions on what the future will bring, and on what is the best way to deal with both today and tomorrow.

http://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/what-does-it-mean-eradicate-extreme-poverty-and-halve-national-poverty-2030 (http://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/what-does-it-mean-eradicate-extreme-poverty-and-halve-national-poverty-2030)

Extract: "Until 2015, progress against the MDG target of halving extreme poverty was measured by the share of people living under the international poverty line of $1.25 a day (using 2005 prices). SDG target 1.1 has also been defined as “By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day.” The international poverty line, however, was updated in 2015 to $1.90 a day in 2011 prices, as new purchasing power parity data became available.

Extreme poverty rates have fallen so much that the number of people living in extreme poverty has also more than halved despite population growth. Between 1990 and 2015 the world’s population increased by about two-fifths, from 5.3 billion to 7.3 billion. The number of extreme poor, however, was estimated to have fallen from 1.9 billion to about 700 million. At the same time, the number of people living above the extreme poverty line doubled – from 3.3 billion to 6.6 billion."
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Paladiea on July 13, 2016, 02:18:49 AM
To be fair, we are technically experiencing an extinction level event.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on July 13, 2016, 05:56:50 AM
ASLR

Ahh but that is missing the point I think.  Yes there are many less living in extreme poverty than a few decades ago... But how was this accomplished.  In a totally unsustainable manner right.  We went even further in exceeding the global carrying capacity and using even more amounts of fossil fuels.  So yes we temporarily pulled a lot of people up, but it is all going to come crashing back down due to the unsustainable methods we used.  All the green things one can think of cannot overcome this issue as even very low levels of lifestyles result in significant carbon emissions...add in a growing population which must have at least a minimal level of resource expenditure to survive and the problem only gets worse.  All that remains is crossing enough of the trigger points and we have a cascading failure.

Quote
...why would all learning and information technology disappear?...

Well it won't of course.  I expect that the 'knowledge' of how technologies work physically and the methods of how they are created will survive as we have the ability now to preserve such information for very long periods of time.  But that info better not be stored digitally as there is a much lower probability that those methods will be useful over a very long period of time.  But saving that info is important and doable via a variety of methods.

Saving the ability to build and use many technologies will not be possible however.

History has shown us that civilizational collapses result in decreasing levels of social and technological complexity.  This is almost certain to happen sometime this century and it will spread over some time ..perhaps several hundred years.  To give an example of what kind of decrease in complexity one might see we can look at the integrated circuit industry.  I am sure you have a better understanding than I do of the incredible levels of technological complexity and the vast global network of industries required to design and build our most sophisticated chips.  It is not just the knowledge of how to do it that is fragile it is the whole of the system.  There are literally dozens of places in this vast technological enterprise which could fail and result in one not being able to manufacture these chips.  And it is only one of how many thousands of industrial processes which our current civilization is built upon.  All of these things have to be paid for.

All of those processes are going to be under the guillotine as we lose the access to the wealth which we built this structure upon.  Look at the deterioration already under way here in the US (and we are better off by far than most).  We are going broke.  And we simply will not be able to pay for the maintenance of a great amount of our current infrastructure much less afford to rebuild almost all of it along the lines of green technologies more sustainable methods of living.  We already need to spend near a trillion dollars replacing the worn out water and sewer lines in our major cities.  This is not going to happen.  We need to spend hundreds of billions rebuilding worn out bridges and repairing and maintaining our roads, our rail systems, our public transportation systems, our water treatment systems, etc.  By the end of the century the vast majority of the worlds hydro dams will be non functional due to the silting full of the reservoirs. Then there is the power grid changes required if we are really going to switch to renewables ...not to mention the vast expenses to actually build those renewables.  Pretty much our entire housing and commercial infrastructure is totally incompatible with the concept of sustainable infrastructure.  Almost every living unit needs to be replaced.  If we are to be honest probably most of them are in the wrong place also.  We are going to lose a vast amount of our low lying coastal cities and ports and all this will need to be rebuilt.  While we are doing all of that the climate is still rapidly deteriorating and reducing our ability to do all these things.  Along side that the globes ability to provide us food and resources is also receding away from us as we further exploit the most productive resource deposits and lose the ability to grow as much food due to the combined effects of climate destabilization and resource depletion.  While we attempt to make this vast changeover from one kind of infrastructure to another we have to maintain the old one (else where and how are we going to live) while we build the new one.  Where is this wealth to do this going to come from?  The answer is no where.  To do this we have to give up many very expensive and complicated levels which can only be maintained during periods of high wealth.  And which of those levels are the most non-essential?  Computers, the internet, air travel, television, cell phones and the like.

So we are going to have to give up many of our most complicated technologies as we just will not have the wealth to maintain them in the face of more pressing requirements.  So we stair step back down the technological ladder a little bit at a time.  And this will happen over and over again until we reach a state of equilibrium.  Then we rebuild ... again.  Just like we did all the other times.

Will we drop clear back out of the computer age?  I don't think so for at least a long time, but one could expect that we will be back to chip technologies more similar to what existed 30 years ago at some point.  And maybe further.  Proper planning would allow some sort of 'lifeboat' centers who's purpose would be to save the ability to maintain certain critical technologies for use by ...those who end up in charge, but would not be available on a wide basis for everyone.  There are lots of possibilities still, but they are slowly being choked off following BAU paths as these all result in using up much of the resources which could be used to cushion and plan for the hard landing coming. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on July 13, 2016, 04:10:57 PM
Jim
Your "stair step back down" makes perfect sense in a perfectly sensible future, one where everyone recognise the problems and faces them in a rational manner.
What if there are dissidents who chose to believe that their problems are due to others who should be punished, starved, obliterated and made to pay. What if there are dissenting nations who decide that they should break the financial back of other nations, to the point the others can no longer service their nuclear power facilities. (Chernobyl II)?
I'm omitting deliberate detonation of thermonuclear devices since this would most likely end our species, but thinking more of the path taken by the Khmer Rouge, the animals that destroyed Libya, and those salivating for the destruction of Syria.
Will there be an anti-intellectual backlash when Bubba can't feed his kids? Will China continue sending us cell phones when we've shown them who rules the South China Sea? Do we have the technicians, the equipment and the capital to produce much of anything more complicated than your fathers Oldsmobile?
I don't see us stepping down from our peak of technology, but rather crashing through to the basement, where we huddle in fear.
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on July 13, 2016, 04:52:11 PM
Terry

Well I would agree that many of the types of events you wrote about will happen.  It won't be easy, painless or simple.  But many of those things you mention can happen (and will) but they don't really preclude a stair step down situation.  Rather they help determine the height of the step perhaps.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on July 13, 2016, 04:55:25 PM
Ian Welsh must have been reading our posts here the last couple of days as he has a very relevant post on his blog today on this very subject.

Quote
.........Regular readers know my baseline scenario: we are in for a world of hurt, having failed to deal with Climate Change until beyond the point of no return.  This is added to the radical mismanagement of the economy due to neoliberalism, ecosphere collapse, radical depletion of aquifers and so on.  Technology is enabling (and already has created much of) a radical dystopic panopticon like the world has never seen.

Nonetheless, I see reasons for hope. Oh, sure, a billion or more, way more, deaths are baked into the cake. They’re going to happen, the only question is how large the number.

But neoliberalism is dying.

I will state that in ten to fifteen years, maximum, almost no states will still be running based on neoliberal policies or ruled by neoliberal parties.

Neoliberalism has failed, and it is seen to have failed, by the younger generations and even much of the older ones. As demographics shift, as the old die and retire, neoliberalism will no longer be viable.

The future belongs to the populist right and left, and to those who are willing to stomp the boot hard.  Yes, there’s been boot stomping already, but in the first world it has been mild compared to what will be needed to maintain control.

Humans are a wasting asset.  As we move to autonomous fighting robots and to other forms of true automation, our lords and masters will be willing to give up much of the consumer society or will run it as a vast welfare gulag...

http://www.ianwelsh.net/ (http://www.ianwelsh.net/)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 13, 2016, 05:23:33 PM
What we are transitioning to after capitalism is such a "wick problem" that there is plenty of room for many different opinions, and as I have already stated many of my opinions on this topic in the "Adapting to the Anthropocene" thread (see the first two attached images) and the "Systemic Isolation" thread (see the last two images), I will not repeat them here.
Nevertheless, I will note that in life all decisions are made on the margin & in capitalism the invisible hand of socio-economic life is guided by profit-margin in a global market; however, in a post-capitalistic society marginal decision will likely be made by "mindfulness" assisted by AI within a public-private legal framework (or Agora, see the second link).  Furthermore, I believe that this will likely occur in the scenario outlined by Ray Kurzweil via a human-computer fusion (cyborgization or holoborg) leading to a technological singularity circa 2045 (see the first link below):


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

Extract: "The technological singularity is a hypothetical event in which an upgradable intelligent agent (such as a computer running software-based artificial general intelligence) enters a 'runaway reaction' of self-improvement cycles, with each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an intelligence explosion and resulting in a powerful superintelligence whose cognitive abilities could be, qualitatively, as far above humans' as human intelligence is above ape intelligence.  More broadly, the term has historically been used for any form of accelerating or exponential technological progress hypothesized to result in a discontinuity, beyond which events may become unpredictable or even unfathomable to human intelligence.

While some futurists such as Ray Kurzweil maintain that human-computer fusion, or "cyborgization", is a plausible path to the singularity, most academic scholarship focuses on software-only intelligence as a more likely path.

In 2012, a study of artificial general intelligence (AGI) predictions by both experts and non-experts found a wide range of predicted dates, with a median value of 2040. Discussing the level of uncertainty in AGI estimates, study co-author Stuart Armstrong stated: "my current 80% estimate is something like five to 100 years." Kurzweil predicts the singularity to occur around 2045 whereas Vinge has predicted some time before 2030."

See also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agora
Extract: "The Agora (/ˈæɡərə/; Ancient Greek: Ἀγορά Agorá) was a central spot in ancient Greek city-states. The literal meaning of the word is "gathering place" or "assembly"."
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on July 13, 2016, 07:40:06 PM
With a hat tip to Alvin Toffler!


When I first read in Future Shock of the predicted end of the USSR, I knew that he was wrong.


This was in 1971 & the Soviets looked very solid. When the Soviet Union collapsed I went back to the book and re-read his reasons for believing that the US would share a similar fate. (To big to be viable in a multicultural connected world.)


Brexit wouldn't have been a shock to the Toffler, nor would any future exits from the EU.


He missed Climate Change, but has been proven correct on so many of his assumptions that I'm thinking I should dig into Future Shock & The Third Wave one more time.


I think the greatest fear I have is that knowledge will again be chained to the walls of Monasteries, available only to the elite. The greatest advance in my lifetime has been the democratization of knowledge through the internet. I spent years researching Sumerian Nautical Archaeology, before the internet was fully functional. Today it could have been done in < one semester.


 If the internet survives, and most have access to it, great advances will still be possible even under collapse scenarios. If it dies, or becomes a tool only of and for the elite, we'll see Einstein's prediction of wars fought with clubs and rocks become a reality, even without the mushroom clouds.


Save the Internet - Save the world.
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on July 13, 2016, 10:12:33 PM
The dashed line needs to be moved to run just underneath the word 'now' where Information Era is shown as we are well beyond the global carrying capacity already.  Optimistic estimates are that we are at 1 1/2 Earths and pessimistic ones are about 4 Earths.  In any case we are already in overshoot.  The actions we take now and in the next decade (after another decade it will not matter either way) will determine how hard the collapse will be.  That is my constant point...we are already beyond the dashed line so options which assume we are below it are not viable.  Time has already run out.


(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.arctic-sea-ice.net%2Findex.php%3Faction%3Ddlattach%3Btopic%3D1102.0%3Battach%3D32656%3Bimage&hash=b453b764841deec4b041212fde69bea2)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 13, 2016, 10:26:41 PM
Not only did Toffler have insight but in 2012 the Club of Rome released the publication “2052—a Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years", in which they put climate change at the heart of their study. Their prognosis is mainly influenced by the assumption that a warming of more than 2.5 degrees Celsius is likely unavoidable.

http://www.globalforesightbooks.org/Book-of-the-Month/jorgen-randers-2052-a-global-forecast-for-the-next-forty-years.html (http://www.globalforesightbooks.org/Book-of-the-Month/jorgen-randers-2052-a-global-forecast-for-the-next-forty-years.html)

Extract: "This broad forecast is “an informed guess tracing the big lines in what I see as the probable global evolution toward 2052…the most likely global roadmap to 2052 so that I would know what I am in for.”  Since publication of Limits in 1972, “humanity remains in solid overshoot…and we can discern the early signs of the coming gradual destruction of the ecosystem.”  (p.xv)
 
 
Five Big Issues toward 2052

 “The big question is how fast the transition to sustainability will happen…the sustainability revolution has started, but is still in its infancy.” (p13)  The transition will require fundamental change to a number of the systems that govern current world developments.  The next 40 years will be strongly influenced by how we handle five central issues:
1) The End of Uncontrolled Capitalism: “slow and insufficient response to our challenges will dominate”; old-fashioned capitalism will survive in parts of the world, but will be strongly modified elsewhere;
2) The End of Economic Growth: continuing technological advance will come to our partial rescue, but lack of space and cheap resources will force solutions with a lower ecological footprint to fit within the carrying capacity of the planet;
3) The End of Slow Democracy: the fundamental question is whether democracies will agree on a stronger state and faster decision-making before we run into the brick wall of self-reinforcing climate change;
4) Intergenerational Conflict: the era of generational harmony will come to an end, leading to slower economic growth and a smaller pie to share;
5) The End of Stable Climate: negative impacts will be significant, but not disastrous before 2052; there will be more droughts and floods, and sea level will be 0.3 meters higher; “self-reinforcing climate change will be worry number one, with methane gas emissions from the melting tundra leading to further temperature increase, which in turn will melt even more tundra”  (p47); the world will still be operational, but with higher operating costs and scary prospects for the rest of the 21C.
Several Highlights of the forecast: 1) “global population will stagnate earlier than expected because fertility will fall dramatically in an increasingly urbanized population”; 2) “resource and climate problems will not become catastrophic before 2052” due to increased social investment,  but there will be much unnecessary suffering; 3) the short-term focus of democracy and capitalism will ensure that “wise decisions needed for long-term well-being will not be made in time”; 4) “global population will be increasingly urban and unwilling to protect nature”; 5) the impact will differ among five regions analyzed here: “the most surprising loser will be the current global economic elite, particularly the US…China will be the winner.” (p355)"
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 13, 2016, 11:40:03 PM
The dashed line needs to be moved to run just underneath the word 'now' where Information Era is shown as we are well beyond the global carrying capacity already.  Optimistic estimates are that we are at 1 1/2 Earths and pessimistic ones are about 4 Earths.  In any case we are already in overshoot.  The actions we take now and in the next decade (after another decade it will not matter either way) will determine how hard the collapse will be.  That is my constant point...we are already beyond the dashed line so options which assume we are below it are not viable.  Time has already run out.

The timing and nature of the probable collapse, and what comes after that, is still subject to human influence:


http://worldpopulationhistory.org/carrying-capacity/ (http://worldpopulationhistory.org/carrying-capacity/)

Extract: "Our Ecological Footprint
One way to address the challenges associated with making future projections is to look at current human impact on the planet. The ecological footprint is a measurement of the anthropogenic impact on earth. It tracks how much biocapacity (biological capacity) there is and how much biocapacity people use by comparing the rate at which we consume natural resources and generate waste to the planet’s ability to replenish those resources and absorb waste. Today, our global footprint is in overshoot. It would take 1.5 Earths to sustain our current population. If current trends continue, we will reach 3 Earths by the year 2050.
 
Where Do We Grow From Here?
Our planet does not have the biocapacity to sustain our current levels of growth and resource consumption. So, what can be done to minimize our collective impact on the environment? In his book, How Many People Can the Earth Support?, mathematical biologist Joel Cohen classifies current solutions into three paradigms: those looking for a “bigger pie” (improving technology), those advocating for “fewer forks” (slowing population growth), and those looking to rationalize and improve decision-making though “better manners” (changing global culture). Cohen argues that, standing along, each paradigm is necessary in solving our environmental crisis, but not sufficient. Change must come from a combination of all three. “Promoting access to contraceptives, developing economies, saving children, empowering women, educating men, and doing it all at once,” he writes, is a way to both lower our impact on the planet and improve the quality of life for all. Perhaps Oxford economist Robert Cassen said it best, “Virtually everything that needs doing from a population perspective needs doing anyway”. Adopting human-centered initiatives targeted at addressing both population growth and consumption habits, ranging from the individual to trans-national level, are our best hope for achieving a sustainable future."
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Paladiea on July 14, 2016, 09:34:21 AM
The planet cannot sustain *any* growth, much less the exponential infinite growth demanded by our current economic paradigm.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on July 14, 2016, 04:58:57 PM
ASLR

Re the Limits to Growth books.  I am strongly influenced by all of the different editions of those books and have read them multiple times as well as played with the computer model.  When the 2052 book came out I wrote numerous posts here about what it said. 

To date no one has presented any facts which dispute their conclusions.  It is a sobering thing reading how accurate they have been to date and then seeing where their projections lead us.  And as they point out their graphs chart various BAU scenarios and to change them all we have to do is to take meaningful action on the core problem factors and abandon BAU approaches.

I do have some disagreement with the following however,

Quote
... “the most surprising loser will be the current global economic elite, particularly the US…China will be the winner.”...

as I think we can logically see in the circumstances which will eventually arise that China will be a catastrophe and also that there will be no 'winner " at all.  As I have stated before one does not have to 'win' to end up on top of the rubble heap of collapse.  Ones goal is to just not lose as much as the other guys...wealth is a relative thing.  The global elites have access to great wealth and depending on how smart and ruthless they are they have a better chance to end up relatively further from the bottom then the average guy.  If you and I are cursed with long lives we just might get to see the end result of this shake out and see who was right.  But regardless of that it is going to be a wicked mess.

RE: your carrying capacity quote.  I notice that you quote the most optimist analysis of how far above carrying capacity we are..1 1/2 Earths.   The most conservative numbers are around 4 Earths.  To make this issue even more difficult is that the horizon is receding all the time due to rapidly rising population, the deleterious effects of climate change, and the damage to the Earth's ecosystems caused by using them in an unsustainable manner.  I note that we should probably in this circumstance be using the median perhaps?? Which is somewhere around 2 3/4 Earths...which is deep overshoot and an alarming number.  The Precautionary Principal would require us to use at least that number in our calculations of where we should make our efforts...if not use the higher number...as you often do in arguments relating to other subjects I note.

I am in agreement with the end of your post with one large caveat.

Quote
...Adopting human-centered initiatives targeted at addressing both population growth and consumption habits, ranging from the individual to trans-national level, are our best hope for achieving a sustainable future."

They are not our best hope at all.  They are the minimum level of effort and totally insufficient by themselves to actually solve the problem.  A sustainable future absolutely does not result in a rising standard of living (as all the things promoted in that paragraph describe) as what is required is that all of the wealthy dramatically reduce this standard of living along with those of middle level wealth. We all need to become poor essentially.  We can't grow our way out of this problem..we have to deflate our way out of it.  Raising educational levels and empowering women is just what we should do because it is the right thing, but to think it will reduce fertility enough to make a meaningful difference is just to be ignoring the demographics.  We are past the point where gradual changes will make a meaningful difference in the end result..we have to take dramatic actions to do that.

Regards.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 14, 2016, 09:10:18 PM
I am in agreement with the end of your post with one large caveat.

Quote
...Adopting human-centered initiatives targeted at addressing both population growth and consumption habits, ranging from the individual to trans-national level, are our best hope for achieving a sustainable future."

They are not our best hope at all.  They are the minimum level of effort and totally insufficient by themselves to actually solve the problem.  A sustainable future absolutely does not result in a rising standard of living (as all the things promoted in that paragraph describe) as what is required is that all of the wealthy dramatically reduce this standard of living along with those of middle level wealth. We all need to become poor essentially.  We can't grow our way out of this problem..we have to deflate our way out of it.  Raising educational levels and empowering women is just what we should do because it is the right thing, but to think it will reduce fertility enough to make a meaningful difference is just to be ignoring the demographics.  We are past the point where gradual changes will make a meaningful difference in the end result..we have to take dramatic actions to do that.

Regards.

It seems to me that because we have not invested enough in improving individuals (not just their wealth but themselves), no one is willing to follow your call for dramatic actions, rather they all are more interested in looking after their own individual self-interests.  Which why we both agree that some form of socio-economic collapse is all but inevitable.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 15, 2016, 10:44:34 AM
The dashed line needs to be moved to run just underneath the word 'now' where Information Era is shown as we are well beyond the global carrying capacity already.  Optimistic estimates are that we are at 1 1/2 Earths and pessimistic ones are about 4 Earths.  In any case we are already in overshoot.  The actions we take now and in the next decade (after another decade it will not matter either way) will determine how hard the collapse will be.  That is my constant point...we are already beyond the dashed line so options which assume we are below it are not viable.  Time has already run out.

Here is an image with a more pessimistic assessment of global population growth:
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on July 18, 2016, 04:11:23 PM
This link could easily go in the Renewables Reach A Tipping Point (they have not btw) or the Oil and Gas Issues topics, as well as the one on global economics issues.  But very suitable here.

As one can see by comments in those topics there is a lot of deep misunderstanding about energy and oil and gas issues in general.  Berman is one of the very best at clearing this confusion up.  I won't bother excerpting the article as I would need to put all of it in here.  It is very good and explains a lot why we can't afford to do what people want and that it will be impossible to succeed at the energy transition in a meaningful timeframe while facing a crumbling global economy, climate change, carrying capacity issues and a growing population.

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Why-Oil-Prices-Might-Never-Recover.html (http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Why-Oil-Prices-Might-Never-Recover.html)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: JimD on July 24, 2016, 05:33:16 PM
Neoliberalism and Capitalism

I have commented before that the cruishing of labor was deliberate and a policy pursued by the capitalist elite in order to reverse the changes to their status generated by the Great Depression and Roosevelt's response to it.  This deliberate strategy was intended to return the elite to their former status of controlling almost all of the wealth and being in position to control financial and tax policies.  This project took decades to take effect as we see today. 

This history is well described here by David Harvey who published A Brief History of Neoliberalism, now one of the most cited books on the subject.

Quote
I’ve always treated neoliberalism as a political project carried out by the corporate capitalist class as they felt intensely threatened both politically and economically towards the end of the 1960s into the 1970s. They desperately wanted to launch a political project that would curb the power of labor......

Quote
With respect to labor, the challenge was to make domestic labor competitive with global labor. One way was to open up immigration. In the 1960s, for example, Germans were importing Turkish labor, the French Maghrebian labor, the British colonial labor. But this created a great deal of dissatisfaction and unrest.

Instead they chose the other way — to take capital to where the low-wage labor forces were. But for globalization to work you had to reduce tariffs and empower finance capital, because finance capital is the most mobile form of capital. So finance capital and things like floating currencies became critical to curbing labor.

At the same time, ideological projects to privatize and deregulate created unemployment. So, unemployment at home and offshoring taking the jobs abroad, and a third component: technological change, deindustrialization through automation and robotization. That was the strategy to squash labor.

This is the part of the process my brother was significantly responsible for as I have described previously.

Quote
What’s missing here is the way in which the capitalist class orchestrated its efforts during the 1970s and early 1980s. I think it would be fair to say that at that time — in the English-speaking world anyway — the corporate capitalist class became pretty unified.

They agreed on a lot of things, like the need for a political force to really represent them. So you get the capture of the Republican Party, and an attempt to undermine, to some degree, the Democratic Party.

From the 1970s the Supreme Court made a bunch of decisions that allowed the corporate capitalist class to buy elections more easily than it could in the past.

For example, you see reforms of campaign finance that treated contributions to campaigns as a form of free speech. There’s a long tradition in the United States of corporate capitalists buying elections but now it was legalized rather than being under the table as corruption.

Quote
One of big moves of neoliberalization was throwing out all the Keynesians from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in 1982 — a total clean-out of all the economic advisers who held Keynesian views.

They were replaced by neoclassical supply-side theorists and the first thing they did was decide that from then on the IMF should follow a policy of structural adjustment whenever there’s a crisis anywhere.

In 1982, sure enough, there was a debt crisis in Mexico. The IMF said, “We’ll save you.” Actually, what they were doing was saving the New York investment banks and implementing a politics of austerity.

The population of Mexico suffered something like a 25 percent loss of its standard of living in the four years after 1982 as a result of the structural adjustment politics of the IMF.

Since then Mexico has had about four structural adjustments. Many other countries have had more than one. This became standard practice.

What are they doing to Greece now? It’s almost a copy of what they did to Mexico back in 1982, only more savvy. This is also what happened in the United States in 2007–8. They bailed out the banks and made the people pay through a politics of austerity.

Quote
So to the degree that resistance has disappeared, labor doesn’t have the power it once had, solidarity among the ruling class is no longer necessary for it to work.

It doesn’t have to get together and do something about struggle from below because there is no threat anymore. The ruling class is doing extremely well so it doesn’t really have to change anything.

Yet while the capitalist class is doing very well, capitalism is doing rather badly. Profit rates have recovered but reinvestment rates are appallingly low, so a lot of money is not circulating back into production and is flowing into land-grabs and asset-procurement instead.


Quote
There are also a variety of ways of talking about capitalism, such as the sharing economy, which turns out to be highly capitalized and highly exploitative.

There’s the notion of ethical capitalism, which turns out to simply be about being reasonably honest instead of stealing. So there is the possibility in some people’s minds of some sort of reform of the neoliberal order into some other form of capitalism.

I think it’s possible that you can make a better capitalism than that which currently exists. But not by much.

The fundamental problems are actually so deep right now that there is no way that we are going to go anywhere without a very strong anticapitalist movement. So I would want to put things in anticapitalist terms rather than putting them in anti-neoliberal terms.

And I think the danger is, when I listen to people talking about anti-neoliberalism, that there is no sense that capitalism is itself, in whatever form, a problem.

Most anti-neoliberalism fails to deal with the macro-problems of endless compound growth — ecological, political, and economic problems. So I would rather be talking about anticapitalism than anti-neoliberalism.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/07/david-harvey-neoliberalism-capitalism-labor-crisis-resistance/ (https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/07/david-harvey-neoliberalism-capitalism-labor-crisis-resistance/)

Both black and green BAU are manifestations of the neoliberal capitalist system.  Capitalism is not sustainable and thus not a solution for the future.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on July 24, 2016, 09:27:00 PM
JimD

Thanks again for another one of your marvelous posts, and links.
Do you believe that we actually have the time to transition to a more rational method of governance?
I fear that the wounded beast now running the show will lash out in all directions rather than going quietly into the night. That the death throes of Neoliberalism & Capitalism will solve a great part of our population quandary & that those remaining will fight tooth and nail for salvage rights to anything that doesn't glow in the night.
TPTB have known what the future holds for some time. Their response has been to increase offencive military muscle, impose draconian 'austerity' programs on others, and put governments under the vassalage of multi-nationals through anything but Free Trade deals.
Perhaps they believe that a moderate nuclear winter will provide for the needs of a few. Perhaps some actually think that The Rapture, Carbon Capture, The Tesla, Clean Coal or The Move To Mars, will save them, and their wealth. Perhaps they just want to be in charge when the bottom falls out.
Perhaps.

Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 04, 2016, 08:50:00 PM
 Five Reasons Sustainability Will Transform the Global Economy
Customers want it, regulations are moving toward it and investors are seeking it out.
Quote
Sustainability is the transformative economic catalyst that also happily aligns with our own basic self-interest. Specifically, it’s about “sustainable growth,” by which I mean increasing prosperity while at the same time improving environmental and social performance.

Why does sustainable growth matter so much? Because the great movers of our global economy are orienting toward it, rewarding better performance and punishing risk. ...
...
5. Values
With all of this movement toward finding and enforcing sustainable growth, we inadvertently are finding a common language across cultures, religions and even politics. The headlines are full of news about what divides us ideologically and spiritually, but these belie the great areas of commonality shared by the vast majority of human beings: the instincts we share for preservation of those we love and the desire to see subsequent generations enjoy meaningful and healthy lives.

Sustainability and sustainable growth will help to make these ethics transparent and explicit. It will celebrate them. Sustainability taps this common spiritual and psychological space, and creates a common ethical language around which the world’s innovators, investors, regulators and consumers can rally. And in this common space, we can find a new global prosperity.
http://ensia.com/voices/5-reasons-sustainability-will-transform-the-global-economy/ (http://ensia.com/voices/5-reasons-sustainability-will-transform-the-global-economy/)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 11, 2016, 07:46:46 PM
An organization needs money, but everyone hates fundraising by selling baked goods, wrapping paper or candy bars.*  So here's a new approach which does away with the pretense and the "junk."  ;D

http://shareably.net/funny-pta-fundraiser-form-v1 (http://shareably.net/funny-pta-fundraiser-form-v1)

*OK, maybe except for Girl Scout cookies. ;)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 21, 2016, 09:51:09 PM
The Hunt Is On for a New Way to Measure the World's Economic Output
Quote
Gross domestic product is so twentieth century.

The measure has risen from humble beginnings during the Great Depression to be an essential gauge for governments and central banks the world over. Long-term investors allocate capital based on its findings; traders buy and sell stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities in the blink of an eye after readings flash on their screens. One such closely-watched report comes this Friday, when the U.S. releases its revised estimate of second-quarter GDP.

Problem is -- whether compiled by production, income or expenditure approaches -- GDP is increasingly struggling to keep up with the pace of economic change.

In an age where $10 can buy one compact disc or a month of unlimited music streaming, it’s getting tougher to put a price on economic output. And as an aggregate measure that ignores distribution effects, GDP has masked rising inequalities that helped fuel anti-establishment politicians like Donald Trump or the backlash that contributed to Brexit.

So as governments in the rich world and emerging markets alike struggle to reproduce the growth rates and productivity leaps of previous decades, a more urgent search is under way to make the economic yardstick fit for purpose.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-21/inside-the-global-hunt-for-a-better-way-to-measure-the-economy (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-21/inside-the-global-hunt-for-a-better-way-to-measure-the-economy)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 25, 2016, 01:21:37 AM
Why B-Corps Hold the Future Promise of Business
Quote
... No less remarkable are the ways in which traditional corporations and B (short for Benefit) Corporations — for-profit enterprises both committed and legally obliged to use “business as a force for good” — are becoming increasingly aligned in their goals and purpose. Chief among those goals is creating value and impact for a broad range of stakeholders.

The movement is global. B Corps thrive in 130 industries in 50 countries. They are restaurants. Telecommunications firms. Pharmaceutical manufacturers. Producers of frozen foods and canned soups and wine. Companies that make cleaning products. Accounting firms and construction companies. So many kinds of businesses can and have found ways for their enterprise to be a force for good.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shannon-schuyler/why-b-corps-hold-the-future-promise-of-business_b_9399654.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shannon-schuyler/why-b-corps-hold-the-future-promise-of-business_b_9399654.html)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 25, 2016, 08:42:22 PM
"It’s crazy that interfering with hurricanes is easier to think about than changing the rules of capitalism.  It really does show how locked in we are to this ideology."

From September 2015:  Eric Holthaus interview of Naomi Klein.

Fighting Climate Change and Capitalism at the Same Time:
A Q&A with Naomi Klein.
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/09/this_changes_everything_naomi_klein_on_climate_change_and_capitalism.html (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/09/this_changes_everything_naomi_klein_on_climate_change_and_capitalism.html)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 11, 2016, 07:15:18 PM
How many clothes do you need?

We Wore The Same Outfits To Work All Week. Here’s What Happened.
Quote
This fall, The Huffington Post is taking a hard look at the negative environmental effects that result from our excessive shopping habits.

We’ve reported on the sheer volume of waste we create ― America produced 15.1 million tons of textile waste in 2013, and 85 percent of it ended up in landfills. We’ve cringed over the reality of what happens to our clothing once it’s been donated. We’ve also educated ourselves on ways to shop smarter and take better care of the clothes we already own. 

But everything we’ve learned is for naught if we can’t practice what we preach. Can we, ourselves, stop buying excessive amounts of clothes and make do with a smaller wardrobe? We’re putting ourselves to the test with one seemingly simple experiment.

Two editors at HuffPost, a man and a woman, were each asked to wear one outfit of their choosing to the office every day for an entire week. The goal was to discover, once and for all, if one can truly get away with repeating the same outfits over and over again. Would it be socially acceptable among their colleagues? Would our male editor have a different experience than our female editor? And would anyone dare make rude comments to them?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wearing-the-same-thing-everyday_us_57ebe81de4b024a52d2be5db (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wearing-the-same-thing-everyday_us_57ebe81de4b024a52d2be5db)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Darvince on October 12, 2016, 09:09:57 AM
I'm confused at that experiment that they didn't even consider washing the clothes themselves. ???
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 12, 2016, 04:58:06 PM
I'm confused at that experiment that they didn't even consider washing the clothes themselves. ???

Me, too.  Perhaps they were testing the worst case scenario. ;)  Also, you'd have to consider that the convenience factor is negated if you wash your clothes frequently by hand.  Or consider the increase in energy and water use if you use a washing machine, let alone a dryer.... :o
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 06, 2016, 03:17:24 AM
Elon Musk: Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage
Quote
Computers, intelligent machines, and robots seem like the workforce of the future. And as more and more jobs are replaced by technology, people will have less work to do and ultimately will be sustained by payments from the government, predicts Elon Musk, the iconic Silicon Valley futurist who is the founder and CEO of SolarCity, Tesla, and SpaceX.

According to Musk, there really won't be any other options.

"There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation," says Musk to CNBC. "Yeah, I am not sure what else one would do. I think that is what would happen."

In a country with universal basic income, each individual gets a regular check from the government. Switzerland considered instituting a universal basic income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2578) a month this summer. Voters ultimately rejected the plan, but it sparked a broad, global conversation.

Also this summer, President Obama addressed the idea of a universal basic income in an interview with the Director of MIT's Media Lab, Joi Ito, and Scott Dadich, editor in chief of WIRED: "Whether a universal income is the right model — is it gonna be accepted by a broad base of people? — that's a debate that we'll be having over the next 10 or 20 years."
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/04/elon-musk-robots-will-take-your-jobs-government-will-have-to-pay-your-wage.html (http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/04/elon-musk-robots-will-take-your-jobs-government-will-have-to-pay-your-wage.html)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on November 06, 2016, 05:22:43 PM
You can't afford a basic income if a very small percentage of the population requires a maximum, limitless income, and the whole system is geared towards that. What will happen, is further enslavement of the population, that will be increasingly jobless, living in cities, totally dependent on a welfare that is just enough to scrape by, buying the unhealthiest kind of food (based on sugar and wheat) and addicted to all kinds of unhealthy entertainment (drugs, Hollywood culture).

Change the system, and then, yes, automation can free us from labour, so that we can all do the work we want to do. Now, that would be mind-blowing.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 06, 2016, 07:01:32 PM
You can't afford a basic income if a very small percentage of the population requires a maximum, limitless income, and the whole system is geared towards that. What will happen, is further enslavement of the population, that will be increasingly jobless, living in cities, totally dependent on a welfare that is just enough to scrape by, buying the unhealthiest kind of food (based on sugar and wheat) and addicted to all kinds of unhealthy entertainment (drugs, Hollywood culture).

Change the system, and then, yes, automation can free us from labour, so that we can all do the work we want to do. Now, that would be mind-blowing.

But wouldn't it lift up the people who are so poor they can't afford food at all, let alone have any money for "entertainment"?  And free up the marginally poor to leave jobs they hate, giving them time to pursue their own interests and contribute to society in ways other than a menial job -- such as volunteer work, the arts, or charities?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on November 06, 2016, 09:23:35 PM
Yes, if the system is changed first. And the system can only change if the super-rich have 'enough'.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 06, 2016, 10:25:49 PM
I like your (previously stated) idea of a top limit on wealth.  :)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 15, 2016, 08:26:22 PM
What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?
Quote
Basic income, Standing says, is more than good policy. He calls it “essential,” given that more and more people in developed economies are living “a life of chronic economic insecurity.” He sees this insecurity fueling populist politicians, boosting far-right parties across Europe and the rise of Donald Trump in the U.S. Economic stagnation increases the appeal of extreme politicians, and unless those insecurities are addressed, Standing said, that appeal is only going to get stronger.
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/universal-basic-income/ (http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/universal-basic-income/)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 28, 2016, 08:55:55 PM
"Demonetization" in India:

Quote
In his first radio broadcast after the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged for a movement to turn India into a cashless society. He asked young people to teach mobile banking and other e-commerce technology to at least 10 families.
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Modi-urges-country-to-become-a-cashless-society/article16710453.ece (http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Modi-urges-country-to-become-a-cashless-society/article16710453.ece)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 28, 2016, 09:45:50 PM
What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?
Quote
Basic income, Standing says, is more than good policy. He calls it “essential,” given that more and more people in developed economies are living “a life of chronic economic insecurity.” He sees this insecurity fueling populist politicians, boosting far-right parties across Europe and the rise of Donald Trump in the U.S. Economic stagnation increases the appeal of extreme politicians, and unless those insecurities are addressed, Standing said, that appeal is only going to get stronger.
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/universal-basic-income/ (http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/universal-basic-income/)

The linked article is entitled: "Elon Musk says robots will push us to a universal basic income—here’s how it would work".  It will be interesting to see what the populist response to the 4th Industrial Revolution will be.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/18/elon-musk-says-robots-will-push-us-to-a-universal-basic-income-heres-how-it-would-work.html (http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/18/elon-musk-says-robots-will-push-us-to-a-universal-basic-income-heres-how-it-would-work.html)

Extract: "A 2013 study by Oxford University's Carl Frey and Michael Osborne estimates that 47 percent of U.S. jobs will potentially be replaced by robots and automated technology in the next 10 to 20 years. Those individuals working in transportation, logistics, office management and production are likely to be the first to lose their jobs to robots, according to the report.

In less developed countries, the potential for job loss is more severe. A 2016 analysis from the World Bank estimated that roughly two-thirds of all jobs in developing nations around the globe are susceptible to replacement by automation."
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ralfy on March 05, 2017, 03:29:29 PM

I presume this is a typo.  Did you mean to write 'socialist' in place of capitalist?  There are some extremely strong arguments out there which come to the conclusion that there is no solution possible in a capitalist system...whether global or national in scale.

Socialism comes in different forms. One of them is state capitalist.

What I mention is not a solution but what has to take place in order for most to survive.

But if resources are lacking, then localization is inevitable.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on March 12, 2017, 06:02:18 PM
I am in agreement with the end of your post with one large caveat.

Quote
...Adopting human-centered initiatives targeted at addressing both population growth and consumption habits, ranging from the individual to trans-national level, are our best hope for achieving a sustainable future."

They are not our best hope at all.  They are the minimum level of effort and totally insufficient by themselves to actually solve the problem.  A sustainable future absolutely does not result in a rising standard of living (as all the things promoted in that paragraph describe) as what is required is that all of the wealthy dramatically reduce this standard of living along with those of middle level wealth. We all need to become poor essentially.  We can't grow our way out of this problem..we have to deflate our way out of it.  Raising educational levels and empowering women is just what we should do because it is the right thing, but to think it will reduce fertility enough to make a meaningful difference is just to be ignoring the demographics.  We are past the point where gradual changes will make a meaningful difference in the end result..we have to take dramatic actions to do that.

Regards.

It seems to me that because we have not invested enough in improving individuals (not just their wealth but themselves), no one is willing to follow your call for dramatic actions, rather they all are more interested in looking after their own individual self-interests.  Which why we both agree that some form of socio-economic collapse is all but inevitable.

The linked reference recommends deemphasizing both 'anti-growth' and 'green growth' policy discussions and instead recommends that such discussion focus on a third policy call 'agrowth' that "… is precautionary as it makes society less sensitive to potential scenarios in which climate policy constrains economic growth. Hence, it will reduce resistance to such policy""

Jeroen C. J. M. van den Bergh (2017), "A third option for climate policy within potential limits to growth", Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/nclimate3113

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v7/n2/full/nclimate3113.html (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v7/n2/full/nclimate3113.html)

Abstract: "Climate change has revived debates around the concept of limits to growth, 45 years after it was first proposed. Many citizens, scientists and politicians fear that stringent climate policy will harm economic growth. Some are anti-growth, whereas others believe green growth is compatible with a transition to a low-carbon economy. As the window to curb warming at 2 °C closes, this debate will intensify. This Review critically reflects on both positions, providing an overview of existing literature on the growth versus climate debate. Both positions are argued here to jeopardize environmental or social goals. A third position, labelled an 'agrowth' strategy, is proposed to depolarize the debate and reduce resistance to climate policies."

See also the associated linked article entitled: "The new theory of economic 'agrowth' contributes to the viability of climate policies"

https://phys.org/news/2017-03-theory-economic-agrowth-contributes-viability.html (https://phys.org/news/2017-03-theory-economic-agrowth-contributes-viability.html)

Extract: "The economy has a tremendous flexibility to adapt, through new technologies and changes in the composition of consumption and production. However, adaptation will not be complete and rapid without severe environmental regulation. It is not clear beforehand, though, that the ensuing economic transition will concur with economic growth. In fact, the new study finds that the empirical evidence and theoretical support for green growth under serious climate policies is feeble. In other words, being categorically pro-growth is a risk-seeking strategy with regard to climate change.

Literature describes that economic growth in rich countries anyway no longer contributes meaningfully to progress. Most people amply satisfy their basic needs, while poor people stand to benefit more from distributional measures, such as progressive income taxes, social security, public health care and a decent minimum wage.

"If the GDP indicator does not capture societal progress in rich nations, the time has come to ignore it", says van den Bergh. Therefore, "degrowth" and "zero growth" proposals are not considered feasible either, since they actually seek to reverse growth and cause a decline in GDP. He also indicates that anti-growth proposals lack a basis in rigorous science and thus can easily do more harm than good for society.

"One can be concerned or critical about economic growth without resorting to an anti-growth position", states the author. He goes on to highlight that an "agrowth" strategy will allow us to scan a wider space for policies that improve welfare and environmental conditions. Policy selection will not be constrained by the goal of economic growth. "One does not need to assume that unemployment, inequity and environmental challenges are solved by unconditional pro- or zero/negative growth. Social and environmental policies sometimes restrain and at other times stimulate growth, depending on contextual factors. An "agrowth" strategy is precautionary as it makes society less sensitive to potential scenarios in which climate policy constrains economic growth. Hence, it will reduce resistance to such policy", he indicates.

In a practical sense, van den Bergh states that it is necessary to combat the social belief - widespread among policy circles and politics - that growth has to be prioritized, and stresses the need for a debate in politics and wider society about stepping outside the futile framing of pro- versus anti-growth. "Realizing there is a third way can help to overcome current polarization and weaken political resistance against a serious climate policy".
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on March 12, 2017, 08:11:13 PM
Thanks for the links, ASLR
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on March 13, 2017, 02:36:40 AM
Thanks for the links, ASLR

Now if only I could figure out how to motivate decision makers to move beyond greed, materialism and objectification and into working on how to create an environment in which to develop the full human potential; we might start to make progress towards a more sustainable situation.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on March 13, 2017, 06:23:14 AM
From your lips to God's ear!
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on March 13, 2017, 11:40:30 AM
Now if only I could figure out how to motivate decision makers to move beyond greed, materialism and objectification and into working on how to create an environment in which to develop the full human potential; we might start to make progress towards a more sustainable situation.

You need to get a discussion going on how much one person should own. How much is enough? 20 million? 50 million? 100 million? Once there is a limit on how much one person can own, greed won't disappear, but you will have put a brake on its system-altering properties. This is the only way the system can be changed.

Once enough people are convinced that this is the solution to make all other solutions possible, it can be accomplished policy-wise. I don't know how exactly, and I'm not saying it will be easy.

But at some point the rich have to stop getting richer. It's better for them too. Not many people can handle being rich.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: gerontocrat on March 13, 2017, 05:24:38 PM
Now if only I could figure out how to motivate decision makers to move beyond greed, materialism and objectification and into working on how to create an environment in which to develop the full human potential; we might start to make progress towards a more sustainable situation.

You need to get a discussion going on how much one person should own. How much is enough? 20 million? 50 million? 100 million? Once there is a limit on how much one person can own, greed won't disappear, but you will have put a brake on its system-altering properties. This is the only way the system can be changed.

Once enough people are convinced that this is the solution to make all other solutions possible, it can be accomplished policy-wise. I don't know how exactly, and I'm not saying it will be easy.

But at some point the rich have to stop getting richer. It's better for them too. Not many people can handle being rich.

I haven't got a clue as where to put this post. So I thought to leave it with you as the article is about how academia has been taken over by the fossil fuel companies whose agenda is to preserve and increase the riches they have. The title of the article is:-

"The fossil fuel industry's invisible colonization of academia: Corporate capture of academic research by the fossil fuel industry is an elephant in the room and a threat to tackling climate change."

The link is
"https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/mar/13/the-fossil-fuel-industrys-invisible-colonization-of-academia"

The content indicates the extent of the spiritual corruption of Harvard, Stanford, MIT and University of Texas. I find it quite scary.

Yours,

Gerontocrat.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: magnamentis on March 13, 2017, 05:29:15 PM
Now if only I could figure out how to motivate decision makers to move beyond greed, materialism and objectification and into working on how to create an environment in which to develop the full human potential; we might start to make progress towards a more sustainable situation.

You need to get a discussion going on how much one person should own. How much is enough? 20 million? 50 million? 100 million? Once there is a limit on how much one person can own, greed won't disappear, but you will have put a brake on its system-altering properties. This is the only way the system can be changed.

Once enough people are convinced that this is the solution to make all other solutions possible, it can be accomplished policy-wise. I don't know how exactly, and I'm not saying it will be easy.

But at some point the rich have to stop getting richer. It's better for them too. Not many people can handle being rich.

on of the better reads for long, mainly because of two things, it contains the root cause and the only possible "direction" where a solution can eventually be found one day in the future.

thing is that such changes only ever came after huge distructions, mostly wars and it will happen again unfortunately, peace times are already over, matter of factly we are in full battle already just not a hot one yet, while all the ingredients and signs are there. things how they appear now are already rotten underneath a layer of mediocre fixes ( printing money, increase controls, lowering freedom, increasing envy levels and the likes )

but as we know this is a huge topic that is filling entire libraries, basically just wanted to express my pleasure about each individual that is able to see behind the curtains and willing to name it.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ivica on March 13, 2017, 06:02:19 PM
Quote
...I find it quite scary.

Yours,

Gerontocrat.

How scary is: Political ponerology (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_ponerology) + Inverted totalitarianism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverted_totalitarianism) ??

Is it OT? I'm too scared! ~ (https://youtu.be/d4pkKWTxMRc)

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on March 13, 2017, 08:01:45 PM
but as we know this is a huge topic that is filling entire libraries, basically just wanted to express my pleasure about each individual that is able to see behind the curtains and willing to name it.

It took me a while to get there. I though I was there when focussing on economic growth and how nothing can grow forever in a finite system, etc. That insight came rather suddenly, having read about it in many places, of course. I even wrote a blog post about it somewhere else: Infinite Growth and the Crisis Cocktail (http://planet3.org/2011/10/12/infinite-growth-and-the-crisis-cocktail/).

I was nearly there, but then slowly it dawned on me that the problem isn't the economic system, but why it is the way it is. And for whom. It's to make the rich richer at an exponential rate.

So, to return on the title of this thread: If not Capitalism... then What?  And, How?

I think the What? is largely irrelevant, or at least less important than the How?. It's about creating a system(and thus an economy and culture)  in which power never gets concentrated to the point that it starts to violate limits.

I'm still working on this, but I know that this is as deep as you can go with this. If you go any deeper, you enter the realm of the spiritual and the embedded genetic flaws in the make-up of homo sapiens. I don't want to go that deep, because it makes it harder to explain and thus less convincing to others.

My wife says that's a fundamental mistake. I think I agree. But as much as I like philosophy and spiritual teachers, the food has to come from somewhere and someone needs to clean the toilet. And Jiddu Krishnamurti himself says that the inner and the outer transformation go hand in hand. That's my usual reply to my wife. ;)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: magnamentis on March 13, 2017, 09:31:49 PM
but as we know this is a huge topic that is filling entire libraries, basically just wanted to express my pleasure about each individual that is able to see behind the curtains and willing to name it.

It took me a while to get there. I though I was there when focussing on economic growth and how nothing can grow forever in a finite system, etc. That insight came rather suddenly, having read about it in many places, of course. I even wrote a blog post about it somewhere else: Infinite Growth and the Crisis Cocktail (http://planet3.org/2011/10/12/infinite-growth-and-the-crisis-cocktail/).

I was nearly there, but then slowly it dawned on me that the problem isn't the economic system, but why it is the way it is. And for whom. It's to make the rich richer at an exponential rate.

So, to return on the title of this thread: If not Capitalism... then What?  And, How?

I think the What? is largely irrelevant, or at least less important than the How?. It's about creating a system(and thus an economy and culture)  in which power never gets concentrated to the point that it starts to violate limits.

I'm still working on this, but I know that this is as deep as you can go with this. If you go any deeper, you enter the realm of the spiritual and the embedded genetic flaws in the make-up of homo sapiens. I don't want to go that deep, because it makes it harder to explain and thus less convincing to others.

My wife says that's a fundamental mistake. I think I agree. But as much as I like philosophy and spiritual teachers, the food has to come from somewhere and someone needs to clean the toilet. And Jiddu Krishnamurti himself says that the inner and the outer transformation go hand in hand. That's my usual reply to my wife. ;)

extremely well said, and nothing else to add without going deeper which is not helpful without having the solution ready :-)

BTW a general thing, the day we get there we know that we never get there which is why our brain, from a certain point onward is (has to) turn in circles, which brings as back to the food and the toilet, we have to set priorities and deal with daily and real-life, philosophy for me is a tool to develop/discover ethics and find
conviction to apply those findings (ethics) over all other interests, perhaps with the exception of self-defence
in which on can hardly expect a lot of consideration and pondering before getting down to action LOL ;)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: magnamentis on March 13, 2017, 09:38:28 PM
as to the thread title, interestingly i have a (very thick) book in the making on that topic and i'm very convinced that there will never be a single truth and "once and for all" solutions, for that humans are too different and too numerous, but i believe that we can, from history and experience, map out one after another of the definitely bad things, those which have proven leading to doom and why over and over again. by doing so, following the "negative principle" we sooner or later have to end up in the "good range" means that by avoiding wrongdoing to the highest possible extent, we should shift slowly towards to good side, which, BTW, we are doing already.

with all due respect to all the things mankind is doing wrong, we've definitely raised our ethical standards over the centuries and millenia and will probably continue on that path until we reach a bearable point, at least provided that we do not self-extinct ourselves before getting there ;)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on March 15, 2017, 04:39:16 PM
Now if only I could figure out how to motivate decision makers to move beyond greed, materialism and objectification and into working on how to create an environment in which to develop the full human potential; we might start to make progress towards a more sustainable situation.

You need to get a discussion going on how much one person should own. How much is enough? 20 million? 50 million? 100 million? Once there is a limit on how much one person can own, greed won't disappear, but you will have put a brake on its system-altering properties. This is the only way the system can be changed.

Once enough people are convinced that this is the solution to make all other solutions possible, it can be accomplished policy-wise. I don't know how exactly, and I'm not saying it will be easy.

But at some point the rich have to stop getting richer. It's better for them too. Not many people can handle being rich.

I suspect that after the coming socio-economic collapse that there will be very few rich people; and if the 4th Industrial Revolution advances sufficiently before the collapse then some fraction of the remaining population may live a 'Star Trek' type existence where within the Federation proper there is little, or no, need for money, but rather would focusing on improving human potential (which requires freedom).
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 19, 2017, 12:08:34 AM
Canada Must Manage Harmful Effects of Automation, Wilkins Says
Quote
Canada should manage the potential negative distributive impacts of a coming wave of automation that will ultimately boost national productivity, the Bank of Canada’s second-highest ranking official said.

In a Toronto speech meant to tout the benefits of adopting new technologies such as artificial intelligence, Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins spent much of the time discussing the need to keep income inequality from worsening.

“If we seek out and embrace new technologies while successfully managing their harmful side effects, we will create inclusive prosperity,” Wilkins said in a speech entitled ‘Blame it on the Machines?’

“That means proactively managing the transition period and the longer-term implications of the distributions of incomes,” she said....
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-18/canada-must-manage-harmful-effects-of-automation-wilkins-says (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-18/canada-must-manage-harmful-effects-of-automation-wilkins-says)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: gerontocrat on April 21, 2017, 12:47:13 PM
On bad days I am oftimes reminded of Jevons Paradox.

In economics, the Jevons paradox (/ˈdʒɛvənz/; sometimes the Jevons effect) occurs when technological progress increases the efficiency with which a resource is used (reducing the amount necessary for any one use), but the rate of consumption of that resource rises because of increasing demand. The Jevons paradox is perhaps the most widely known paradox in environmental economics. However, governments and environmentalists generally assume that efficiency gains will lower resource consumption, ignoring the possibility of the paradox arising.

1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal-use led to the increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological progress could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.

The issue has been re-examined by modern economists studying consumption rebound effects from improved energy efficiency. In addition to reducing the amount needed for a given use, improved efficiency also lowers the relative cost of using a resource, which increases the quantity demanded. This counteracts (to some extent) the reduction in use from improved efficiency. Additionally, improved efficiency accelerates economic growth, further increasing the demand for resources. The Jevons paradox occurs when the effect from increased demand predominates, and better efficiency leads to more resources being used.

Fir a full exposition goto:-
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox

In other words, it is too often that the consequences of a solution to a problem create even greater problems. Changing the source of energy from fossil fuels to renewables may simply fuel further the current mix of economic growth that has such dire consequences for the planet.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 26, 2017, 01:17:56 AM
Another call for universal basic income in the US.

Mark Zuckerberg joins Silicon Valley bigwigs in calling for government to give everybody free money
Quote
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called on the need to consider universal basic income for Americans during his Harvard Commencement Speech.

Zuckerberg's comments reflect those of other Silicon Valley bigwigs, including Sam Altman, the president of venture capital firm Y Combinator.

"Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it's time for our generation to define a new social contract," Zuckerberg said during his speech. "We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas."

Zuckerberg said that, because he knew he had a safety net if projects like Facebook had failed, he was confident enough to continue on without fear of failing. Others, he said, such as children who need to support households instead of poking away on computers learning how to code, don't have the foundation Zuckerberg had. Universal basic income would provide that sort of cushion, Zuckerberg argued.

Altman's view is similar. A year ago, Altman said he thinks "everyone should have enough money to meet their basic needs—no matter what, especially if there are enough resources to make it possible. We don't yet know how it should look or how to pay for it, but basic income seems a promising way to do this." Altman believes basic income will be possible as technological advancements "generate an abundance of resources" that help decrease the cost of living.
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/25/mark-zuckerberg-calls-for-universal-basic-income-at-harvard-speech.html (http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/25/mark-zuckerberg-calls-for-universal-basic-income-at-harvard-speech.html)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on May 26, 2017, 01:23:14 AM
Thanks, SMN, that's interesting.

I don't believe there can be a universal basic income, unless Zuckerberg's income and wealth is capped. Would he agree to that? I wish I could ask him. 'Mark, how much is enough?'
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2017, 01:42:16 AM
Quote
Changing the source of energy from fossil fuels to renewables may simply fuel further the current mix of economic growth that has such dire consequences for the planet.

Are you concerned that we'll run out of bauxite and sand?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: johnm33 on May 26, 2017, 12:14:23 PM
To give everyone a basic income Zuckerberg style would mean Gov. borrowing 'money' from banks to redistribute it, this would save the current system from collapse for a while. Far better to have the Gov. extend credit on an egalitarian basis to all it's citizens, if this was the main means by which 'money' was created a simple tax of 2% on all transactions would more than meet all goverment expenses. Presently in the US as in the UK all transactions have an upstream interest cost of around 40% on them, before tax and before persona debt obligations.
https://ellenbrown.com/2012/11/08/its-the-interest-stupid-why-bankers-rule-the-world/
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: rboyd on May 26, 2017, 05:24:08 PM
Money does not need to be created through a private debt-based system, that is simply the financier and rentier friendly system that we currently have.

Between the mid 1930's and the mid 1970's, the Bank of Canada (owned by the Canadian people) directly funded a large amount of the Government of Canada's spending through the creation of debt-free money spent into existence. During that period, the Canadian economy grew very rapidly and with low inflation. Since then, the majority of the Canadian government debt is due to compound interest. The same could be done now to fund extensive renewable energy and energy efficiency investments.

The private banking system has usurped the sovereign's right to create money, which it uses to predominantly fund property speculation (80%+ of lending) and other socially non-beneficial activities (such as increasing business leverage to buy back stocks). Businesses tend to fund themselves from internally-generated funds. Just look at the current craziness in the Canadian housing markets, and the previous one in the U.S. Banks should be safekeepers of money, not creators of money and credit.

Unearned income (now referred to with the fancy title of capital gains) should be taxed at a higher rate than earned income (as it used to be up to the 1970's), this would go a long way to rebalancing things between workers and rentiers. Together with a none debt-based money system, economic and political power would flow back to the citizens in general and workers (rather than financiers/renters) in particular.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 26, 2017, 05:41:41 PM
Money does not need to be created through a private debt-based system, that is simply the financier and rentier friendly system that we currently have.

Between the mid 1930's and the mid 1970's, the Bank of Canada (owned by the Canadian people) directly funded a large amount of the Government of Canada's spending through the creation of debt-free money spent into existence. During that period, the Canadian economy grew very rapidly and with low inflation. Since then, the majority of the Canadian government debt is due to compound interest. The same could be done now to fund extensive renewable energy and energy efficiency investments.

The private banking system has usurped the sovereign's right to create money, which it uses to predominantly fund property speculation (80%+ of lending) and other socially non-beneficial activities (such as increasing business leverage to buy back stocks). Businesses tend to fund themselves from internally-generated funds. Just look at the current craziness in the Canadian housing markets, and the previous one in the U.S. Banks should be safekeepers of money, not creators of money and credit.

Unearned income (now referred to with the fancy title of capital gains) should be taxed at a higher rate than earned income (as it used to be up to the 1970's), this would go a long way to rebalancing things between workers and rentiers. Together with a none debt-based money system, economic and political power would flow back to the citizens in general and workers (rather than financiers/renters) in particular.


The bolded would make a huge difference - and rapidly.
BUT - How will it ever get passed as long as the rentiers own the politicians?


Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2017, 05:53:54 PM
Quote
Unearned income (now referred to with the fancy title of capital gains) should be taxed at a higher rate than earned income

I agree (even though I live largely on earnings from investments).  I think the tax structure should be designed so that it's easier to earn the first million than the second million.

Things will stay out of kilter as long as working and poor people do not vote for their own interests but either don't bother to vote or let themselves be mislead by the likes of Rupert Murdoch.


Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2017, 05:59:01 PM
When we discuss how goods will be distributed in the future (universal guaranteed income), remember that the cost of goods will approach zero.

We will reach a point at which the only cost for goods will be the raw materials.  Energy and labor will be essentially free.  And, hopefully, the materials will mostly be recycled so that even the cost of raw materials will be cheap.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: rboyd on May 26, 2017, 06:28:45 PM
There is some hope, Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party is making a dramatic comeback against the Conservatives. The press, and the right-wing establishment of the Labour Party have spent the past two years trying to destroy Corbyn.

Seems when people were exposed to the actual Labour Party policies, rather than mainstream media scare and smear tactics, they really liked them. May be a "flash in the pan" but a Labour victory would send a huge message of hope to other progressive organizations and voters. Just two weeks left to election day!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/election-2017-conservatives-majority-two-seats-latest-poll-theresa-may-labour-votes-a7757031.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/election-2017-conservatives-majority-two-seats-latest-poll-theresa-may-labour-votes-a7757031.html)

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/uk-general-election-polls-labour-slashes-gap-with-tories-again-a3549886.html (http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/uk-general-election-polls-labour-slashes-gap-with-tories-again-a3549886.html)

Corbyn gave a speech drawing the link between the Manchester bombing and Britain's role in the destruction of Libya, as well as condemning the bombers themselves. A brave move which may actually pay off given many people's view in Britain of the Iraqi and other wars.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/jeremy-corbyn-sends-message-to-troops-and-urges-policy-reform-as-election-campaign-resumes_uk_592807d1e4b0df34c35b5246?utm_hp_ref=uk (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/jeremy-corbyn-sends-message-to-troops-and-urges-policy-reform-as-election-campaign-resumes_uk_592807d1e4b0df34c35b5246?utm_hp_ref=uk)

https://yougov.co.uk/opi/surveys/results?belboon=031b3908984b04d39d00589b,4711849,subid=23150X907170X7e99e3ff433bce413760f0b02fc6cbdd#/survey/88c1aff0-41f4-11e7-94a8-2ab0a50a8b9c/question/a76fff10-41f4-11e7-aa59-c62e889b3830/toplines (https://yougov.co.uk/opi/surveys/results?belboon=031b3908984b04d39d00589b,4711849,subid=23150X907170X7e99e3ff433bce413760f0b02fc6cbdd#/survey/88c1aff0-41f4-11e7-94a8-2ab0a50a8b9c/question/a76fff10-41f4-11e7-aa59-c62e889b3830/toplines)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 26, 2017, 08:33:31 PM
Thanks, SMN, that's interesting.

I don't believe there can be a universal basic income, unless Zuckerberg's income and wealth is capped. Would he agree to that? I wish I could ask him. 'Mark, how much is enough?'

Although  I agree with your idea of a cap on total wealth, there are some worthwhile projects that billionaires make possible to happen.  So perhaps personal wealth should be judged separately from "foundation" wealth.  Perhaps above a certain amount, redistribution of wealth could be directed to something other than "everyone else."  I guess there would have to be some sort of oversight board to assure such projects are beneficial and not harmful.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2017, 08:48:37 PM
Tax higher levels of wealth.  Allow enough wealth accumulation for a comfortable, but not luxurious, retirement. 

Tax the third million at 0.1% or some low level.  Then the fourth at 0.2%.  By the time net worth reaches 100 million a 1% annual tax would not be out of line.  (Sticking that wealth in an index fund should return over 8% per year.)

If wealthy individuals want to use some of their money for the public good then they get a tax break, which they already do.  But the problem is  what is "good".  Gates funding health programs in Africa would be seen by most as good.  But the Kock's funding anti-climate change activities?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on May 26, 2017, 10:51:05 PM
Thanks, SMN, that's interesting.

I don't believe there can be a universal basic income, unless Zuckerberg's income and wealth is capped. Would he agree to that? I wish I could ask him. 'Mark, how much is enough?'

Although  I agree with your idea of a cap on total wealth, there are some worthwhile projects that billionaires make possible to happen.  So perhaps personal wealth should be judged separately from "foundation" wealth.  Perhaps above a certain amount, redistribution of wealth could be directed to something other than "everyone else."  I guess there would have to be some sort of oversight board to assure such projects are beneficial and not harmful.

Absolutely, you can't just take away money from the megarich and then let it get wasted in some form of bureaucracy. In fact, I believe you would somehow have to convince the megarich that their wealth needs to be capped if they don't want to destroy everything, everyone and themselves. For that you'd have to be able to present good ideas on what happens with the money, and how.

Perhaps some sort of referendum, with the megawealthy getting something like a superdelegate vote.

I don't know, I'm still thinking a lot about the idea.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 27, 2017, 03:30:37 AM
Thanks, SMN, that's interesting.

I don't believe there can be a universal basic income, unless Zuckerberg's income and wealth is capped. Would he agree to that? I wish I could ask him. 'Mark, how much is enough?'

Although  I agree with your idea of a cap on total wealth, there are some worthwhile projects that billionaires make possible to happen.  So perhaps personal wealth should be judged separately from "foundation" wealth.  Perhaps above a certain amount, redistribution of wealth could be directed to something other than "everyone else."  I guess there would have to be some sort of oversight board to assure such projects are beneficial and not harmful.

Absolutely, you can't just take away money from the megarich and then let it get wasted in some form of bureaucracy. In fact, I believe you would somehow have to convince the megarich that their wealth needs to be capped if they don't want to destroy everything, everyone and themselves. For that you'd have to be able to present good ideas on what happens with the money, and how.

Perhaps some sort of referendum, with the megawealthy getting something like a superdelegate vote.

I don't know, I'm still thinking a lot about the idea.

Need a "God Squad."  ;)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 27, 2017, 04:52:37 AM
Thanks, SMN, that's interesting.

I don't believe there can be a universal basic income, unless Zuckerberg's income and wealth is capped. Would he agree to that? I wish I could ask him. 'Mark, how much is enough?'

Although  I agree with your idea of a cap on total wealth, there are some worthwhile projects that billionaires make possible to happen.  So perhaps personal wealth should be judged separately from "foundation" wealth.  Perhaps above a certain amount, redistribution of wealth could be directed to something other than "everyone else."  I guess there would have to be some sort of oversight board to assure such projects are beneficial and not harmful.

Absolutely, you can't just take away money from the megarich and then let it get wasted in some form of bureaucracy. In fact, I believe you would somehow have to convince the megarich that their wealth needs to be capped if they don't want to destroy everything, everyone and themselves. For that you'd have to be able to present good ideas on what happens with the money, and how.

Perhaps some sort of referendum, with the megawealthy getting something like a superdelegate vote.

I don't know, I'm still thinking a lot about the idea.

Or we could return to pre-Reagan tax rates and elect some good people to run the government.

Personally, I was fairly happy with the way things went in 2009 to early 2011.  A couple more liberal Senators would have made things danged good.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 27, 2017, 06:21:19 AM
Re: "  ... happy with the way things went in 2009 to early 2011 ... "

I am definitely not happy. No torturer or thieving banker was even tried, much less jailed except for a handful of flunkies. Most of the worst were elevated to greater power. That period really exposed the naked plutocrat bones of the system and fuelled Occupy.

Some of us remember. But that is more appropriate for the memory thread at "Que se ficieron"

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: rboyd on May 27, 2017, 07:16:56 AM
In a true democracy, the representative government can increase taxes on the wealthy. They don't need to ask permission, how about we simply return rates back to what they were in the 1960's? Government is not intrinsically more inefficient than private corporations, especially ones engaged in monopolistic/oligopolistic markets. Just look at the US healthcare system versus the other OECD countries. The current British rail system compared to those in Europe.

A basic income would be very simple to implement, as there would not be the complexity of means testing etc. A simple transfer into people's accounts.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Red on May 27, 2017, 12:10:46 PM
As usual lots of good and interesting ideas/solutions here at the ASIF, but there is this well designed wall that has to be destroyed first. How do we de-construct this without causing wide spread real death and destruction? I offer up Venezuela as a quick example. George gives a nice overview of how we are being held captive by a capitalist machine that has dressed itself up as democracy.

http://www.monbiot.com/2017/05/26/lighten-the-darkness/ (http://www.monbiot.com/2017/05/26/lighten-the-darkness/)
How dark money is subverting democracy in the UK.
Is this democracy? Is this sovereignty? No. It’s the replacement of informed political choice with an onslaught of corporate propaganda and fake facts, which, as we don’t have 100 years between elections to check and refute, we have little chance of resisting.

Why has there been no effective action on climate change? Why are we choking on air pollution? Why is the junk food industry able to exploit our children? Because governments and their agencies have rolled over and let such people make a mockery of informed consent.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 28, 2017, 04:33:20 PM
While I find no issue with this discussion and the need for creating a more fair economic system, the effect of increasing the income of ordinary people will be to fuel consumption and growth.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 28, 2017, 05:46:05 PM
Quote
Why has there been no effective action on climate change?

But there has been.

We're in the early days of the transition off fossil fuels, not yet at the point at which the change jumps up in your face and shouts at you.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 31, 2017, 09:08:07 PM
Hey, Neven -- check this out!  :)

These 14 billionaires just promised to give away more than half of their money like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett
Quote
Fourteen billionaires announced they have signed the Giving Pledge, formally joining the 154 other billionaires who have promised to give away at least half of their vast wealth to philanthropic causes.
...
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/14-billionaires-signed-bill-gates-and-warren-buffetts-giving-pledge.html (http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/14-billionaires-signed-bill-gates-and-warren-buffetts-giving-pledge.html)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 31, 2017, 09:28:13 PM
Hey, Neven -- check this out!  :)

These 14 billionaires just promised to give away more than half of their money like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett
Quote
Fourteen billionaires announced they have signed the Giving Pledge, formally joining the 154 other billionaires who have promised to give away at least half of their vast wealth to philanthropic causes.
...
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/14-billionaires-signed-bill-gates-and-warren-buffetts-giving-pledge.html (http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/14-billionaires-signed-bill-gates-and-warren-buffetts-giving-pledge.html)

Interesting list.  Several of the personal statements are quite good.

I didn't notice a few names of the very richest on the list - Koch, Walton, Mercer, Putin, ....

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on May 31, 2017, 10:29:00 PM
Hey, Neven -- check this out!  :)

These 14 billionaires just promised to give away more than half of their money like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett
Quote
Fourteen billionaires announced they have signed the Giving Pledge, formally joining the 154 other billionaires who have promised to give away at least half of their vast wealth to philanthropic causes.
...
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/14-billionaires-signed-bill-gates-and-warren-buffetts-giving-pledge.html (http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/14-billionaires-signed-bill-gates-and-warren-buffetts-giving-pledge.html)

Thanks for this, SMN, this is interesting. Maybe it's the philanthropy that interests wealthy people. But maybe it's also a sign that they know that their wealth could destroy society, like it always has so far. And of course, aside from a couple of insane lunatics like Mercer and the Kochs, that's not what most rich people want. But it doesn't matter what they want, as their money is the master over everything, even over them. It's their money that drives the system, as some kind of black hole, sucking everything into it.

That's why philanthropy looks very nice*, and half the wealth of billionaires sounds like a lot, but instead of voluntary, it would be much better if there simply was a hard limit on how much a person can own. To break that inanimate power of money.

Imagine all those billionaires simply having to give back everything above 100 million dollars. Every year. Now that would make a dent. But like we've discussed in the previous round, who gets to decide what is done with the money?

- Free education and healthcare
- Manhattan-style climate mitigation programme
- Rebuilding war-torn zones
- Rebuilding the soil worldwide
- Rebooting the space programme and explore/colonize the solar system

It would seem all that would become possible, if done the right way. There probably was some truth in that Randian Atlas Shrugged stuff. So how to circumvent that?

---

* I haven't seen Bill Gates get any poorer from his philanthropy, and despite it he might live to see himself become a trillionaire 30-40 years from now. But maybe that's because his Foundation invests a lot in patent-related Pharma stuff (I learned that from a documentary on the Gates Foundation that I translated a couple of years ago, but maybe things have changed by now).
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 31, 2017, 10:37:43 PM
I think it would be very hard to get the general public to agree to a limit on wealth.  Too many dream of making it big themselves/winning the lottery.

But instituting a tax on net worth might be something that could be passed.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: rboyd on May 31, 2017, 11:00:46 PM
"You made all that wealth by dumping CO2 into the atmosphere, now we are going to take some back to pay for sucking that CO2 back out of the atmosphere" sounds pretty logical to me.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on June 01, 2017, 04:03:07 PM
I think it would be very hard to get the general public to agree to a limit on wealth.  Too many dream of making it big themselves/winning the lottery.

Yes, the irony would probably be that anyone publicly announcing the idea, would probably be lynched by the poor. A bit like Plato's cave.  ;)

That's why the limit should probably be set relatively high, like 100 million USD or some such, even though 25 million would be more than enough, in my humble and poor opinion.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: rboyd on June 01, 2017, 06:05:32 PM
Any limit on wealth would fall foul of a lot of "common sense" ideas about fairness, incentives etc. Better to:
1. Make unearned income (capital gains) taxable at the same rate as earned income
2. Get rid of the hedge fund tax dodges ('carried interest' etc.)
3. Take the ceiling off Social Security and Pension Taxes
4. Remove the fictitious depreciation of buildings used by companies to reduce taxes, plus all the other 'depletion allowances' etc.
5. Raise corporate taxes back to where they were in the 1980's

All of these would be seen as reasonable by the average person, making sure the rich pay at least the same tax rate as them. People paying their "fair share" hits the right buttons.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 02, 2017, 12:00:36 AM
Any limit on wealth would fall foul of a lot of "common sense" ideas about fairness, incentives etc. Better to:
1. Make unearned income (capital gains) taxable at the same rate as earned income
2. Get rid of the hedge fund tax dodges ('carried interest' etc.)
3. Take the ceiling off Social Security and Pension Taxes
4. Remove the fictitious depreciation of buildings used by companies to reduce taxes, plus all the other 'depletion allowances' etc.
5. Raise corporate taxes back to where they were in the 1980's

All of these would be seen as reasonable by the average person, making sure the rich pay at least the same tax rate as them. People paying their "fair share" hits the right buttons.

I'm firmly behind all your point except for #4.  Buildings and other stuff do wear out.  That 'wear out' is a cost of doing business and should be deducted from profits.

If you buy a pencil for your business that's a "this year" deductible expense.  It's assumed you'll use it up this year.  If you buy a computer then you get to deduct 1/7th (IIRC) of the cost per year for seven years at which point it is assumed the computer will no longer have value.  A commercial building's cost gets spread over 39 years.  27.5 years for a rental property.

If there is residual value in the buildings or used equipment and they are sold to someone else that is recovered as taxable gain.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ghoti on June 02, 2017, 01:30:20 AM
Also note that whenever a depreciated item is sold tax is paid on any recaptured value above which it was depreciated to. At least that's the rule.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: rboyd on June 02, 2017, 02:57:51 AM
Buildings tend to appreciate in value, so the company gets to defer tax for years by depreciating an asset which is not depreciating! Then, yes if it does sell the building it pays tax on the difference between the sale price and the depreciated amount. The company should have to prove an actual drop in the value of the building.

All those deferred taxes have been happily earning compound interest over the years.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 02, 2017, 04:47:40 AM
Quote
Buildings tend to appreciate in value


I'd need to see data to back up that claim.  I see a lot of commercial buildings knocked down so something different can be built on the land.  Here in our huge city of ~30,000 both the McDonald's and Wendy's were recently torn down and rebuilt. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: rboyd on June 02, 2017, 06:05:24 PM
Its the price of the land that the building stands on that tends to appreciate, being a derivative of economic growth over the long term. In a growing economy the land price tends to increase at a rate faster than GDP. Of course, in recessions it may go down for a little while.

In local areas, such as Detroit it may of course go down. Think San Francisco, New York, Toronto, London, Shanghai, Berlin etc.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 02, 2017, 06:35:08 PM
Businesses do not get to depreciate land.  Only "improvements" - buildings, utility connections, parking lots, etc.

Any land appreciation gets taxed at time of sale.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: rboyd on June 02, 2017, 07:01:12 PM
You are right Bob, I stand corrected!
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 11, 2017, 03:30:02 AM
Warren Buffett just gave $3.17 billion to charity
Quote
In 2006, Buffett announced plans to gradually donate all his Berkshire Hathaway shares.

It was a promise that took on a new life in 2010, when Buffett launched The Giving Pledge with Bill Gates. The initiative encourages the world's billionaires to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

As of May, 170 people had signed the pledge across 21 countries.
http://money.cnn.com/2017/07/10/investing/warren-buffett-stock-donations/index.html (http://money.cnn.com/2017/07/10/investing/warren-buffett-stock-donations/index.html)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: gerontocrat on July 11, 2017, 12:48:20 PM
Businesses do not get to depreciate land.  Only "improvements" - buildings, utility connections, parking lots, etc.

Any land appreciation gets taxed at time of sale.
It has been an accounting standard (assumption) for hundreds (yes, hundreds) of years that land cannot depreciate in value. This is nonsense. In the old industrial city where I live there are many abandoned industrial sites that have negative value due to many years of toxic pollution buried in the ground.
I am sure it is the same in the rust belts of the USA. Make and Take profits, pollute and abandon.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 11, 2017, 04:19:31 PM
Businesses do not get to depreciate land.  Only "improvements" - buildings, utility connections, parking lots, etc.

Any land appreciation gets taxed at time of sale.
It has been an accounting standard (assumption) for hundreds (yes, hundreds) of years that land cannot depreciate in value. This is nonsense. In the old industrial city where I live there are many abandoned industrial sites that have negative value due to many years of toxic pollution buried in the ground.
I am sure it is the same in the rust belts of the USA. Make and Take profits, pollute and abandon.

Companies should be required to clean up their messes.  But the cases of pollute and abandon are a very small percentage of land use. 

Companies should not be allowed to make the problems in the first place.  I doubt that, outside of a few outlaw companies, this is happening in the US these days.

If you are running a factory, for example, on a site and complying with environmental regulations and then go out of business the land where you were running your factory might be priced less than a nearby piece of empty land because the buyer will have the cost of removing your old buildings and equipment.  But that's your loss when you sell the land.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on July 11, 2017, 04:33:38 PM
Well, there are at least a half million brownfield sites in the US, and that's not counting Superfund sites. So devalued, polluted industrial land certainly has been an issue in the US. I would say that the onus is on you to prove that it is no longer one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownfield_land
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 11, 2017, 05:12:31 PM
Well, there are at least a half million brownfield sites in the US, and that's not counting Superfund sites. So devalued, polluted industrial land certainly has been an issue in the US. I would say that the onus is on you to prove that it is no longer one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownfield_land

From your link -

"Brownfield land is an area of land previously used or built upon, as opposed to greenfield land, which has never been built upon"

"Land that is more severely contaminated and has high concentrations of hazardous waste or pollution, such as a Superfund site, does not fall under the brownfield classification."

"United States estimates suggest there are over 500,000 brownfield sites contaminated at levels below the Superfund caliber (the most contaminated) in the country."

One of the common types of brownfields in the US are places where there were gas stations and car repair shops.  In order to build on these sites sometimes a portion of the soil where petroleum products have leaked the soil has to be removed and replaced.  That's a building cost for the purchaser and lowers the value of the property.

Currently gas stations have to comply with much stricter regulations.  Underground fuel tanks have to be "tank within a tank" design with sensors to indicate if the inner tank is leaking.  Companies are required to capture and recycle the old oil they pull from engines.

Lead paint is no longer used.  Asbestos is no longer used.  Lead pipes are no longer used.  These are the sort of things that created the legacy sites than now need cleaning up.  And those 500,000 sites that potentially need cleaning are only a small percentage of all pieces of land.  There are over 100,000 buildings in Manhattan alone.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on July 11, 2017, 06:23:59 PM
I know there are at least two sites in my small city here in Canada where the costs of cleanup far exceed the value of the property. One was a large dry cleaning facility, the other the factory that at one time produced the gas light for 19th century street lights.


My fathers old paint factory site was purchased by the city for a new city hall many decades ago & they simply built over what was there. Too long ago to worry about all the chemicals that had seeped underground.


I do remember the site cleanup at the old rail yard in Las Vegas. They simply cooked the dirt until they'd boiled all the nastiness into the atmosphere. Some at the University weren't too happy, but they weren't paying the bills, or the bribes.  :-\


Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on July 11, 2017, 06:26:01 PM
New chemicals are invented everyday, Bob. Few of them go through much of a review. Many of them end up in the environment. Yes, we are doing a bit better with a relatively narrow range of well know problem chemicals.

If you think all the chemicals that have been and are going to be developed are benign or never get into the environment...well, you're a bigger optimist than I.

But I guess we knew that already.  :D

;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Good points, Terry. And remember that whole neighborhoods are affected by chemicals that have been or are being spewed into the air and fall in various patterns (disproportionately on minority communities, by the way, even after controlling for poverty). And water also gets contaminated. There are many such cases in my neighborhood and metro area.

And let's not forget the pipeline spills that seems to be inevitable and will affect vast stretches of land and aquifers.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: rboyd on July 11, 2017, 07:02:51 PM
In Canada we hide huge amounts of degradation in the North, far away from most of the population.

The documentary "The Hole Story" tells the story of resource extraction in northern Quebec and Ontario. The companies take the profits and the people/nature are left with the degradation and cleanup costs. You can watch it free here:

https://www.nfb.ca/film/hole_story/ (https://www.nfb.ca/film/hole_story/)

Same goes for the Tar Sands, where the rectification fund is massively underfunded and the US oil majors have sold out to smaller Canadian outfits. Removes the risk that Alberta can go after the US majors to make up the shortfall in the rectification fund. "The fund holds $1.6 billion to cover about $21 billion in eventual liabilities."

http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/oilsands-cleanup-may-not-be-adequately-funded-alberta-auditor-general/ (http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/oilsands-cleanup-may-not-be-adequately-funded-alberta-auditor-general/)

A good documentary on the lack of real environmental oversight in Alberta, and the cozy relationship between the oil industry and the Alberta government:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkwoRivP17A (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkwoRivP17A)

With the movement of the rain belts north with climate change, these are the very places that could be made livable if they had not been so badly polluted.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 12, 2017, 02:27:11 AM
"New chemicals are invented everyday,"

And there are regulations in place that forbid just dumping them on the ground.  Sure, a few people will cheat.  But the days of dumping stuff on the ground or in streams are behind us.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on July 12, 2017, 04:10:27 AM
Wow.

Naive doesn't even begin...

Ag alone is a huge 'dumper' of toxins into the environment

"The agriculture industry uses over 800,000 tons of pesticides worldwide annually that contaminates the soils and eventually infiltrates into the groundwater causing drinking water to contain toxic chemicals"

Lots of nasty stuff in electronics is still not properly disposed of, though a lot of it ends up in countries other than the US.

Lots of drugs and other chems get flushed down toilets, and lots of heavy metals (and sometimes other nasties) end up coming out of incinerators. Nasty fracking chems get dumped all over the place. A search for illegal trash dumping pulls up 60,000 some hits. https://www.google.com/search?q=illegal+trash+dumping&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#q=illegal+trash+dumping&tbm=nws (https://www.google.com/search?q=illegal+trash+dumping&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#q=illegal+trash+dumping&tbm=nws)

We don't even have a system for dealing with nuclear waste...

I could go on...

but I get the feeling that you've made up your mind and you're stickin' with it, sunny optimist that you are! Have fun with that. And do sleep tight.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on July 12, 2017, 05:10:44 AM
I recently travelled to the headwaters of the Missouri at Three Forks, MT.  There you can see already runoff residue in the Jefferson, Madison and Galatin rivers that come together.  I went through the Galatin and Madison valleys upstream, didnt see much pollution upstream of the confluence.

Ag runoff is a huge issue, but so is urban runoff.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 12, 2017, 05:40:19 AM
wili, the discussion was about whether it does or does not make sense to 'not depreciate' land in the way we depreciate buildings and equipment.

Proper farming practices belong in a different discussion.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on July 12, 2017, 10:44:42 AM
Because farming has nothing to do with land??  :o
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: gerontocrat on July 12, 2017, 11:49:15 AM
Because farming has nothing to do with land??  :o
I believe about 40% of the world's food supply depends on bees and other insects for pollination. Pesticides are a threat and there is a huge debate about Neonicotinoids, which work as an insecticide by blocking specific neural pathways in insects’ central nervous systems, causing disorientation, inability to feed and death. (if you want to depress yourself google it).

Europe wants to ban them. The UK (and the USA?) do not.

This is just one example of how extremely powerful industrial companies will fight to the (our?) death to keep producing these nasties.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: gerontocrat on July 12, 2017, 12:10:56 PM
From the UK Guardian newspaper

Threats, bullying, lawsuits: tobacco industry's dirty war for the African market
Revealed: In pursuit of growth in Africa, British American Tobacco and others use intimidatory tactics to attempt to suppress health warnings and regulation

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/12/big-tobacco-dirty-war-africa-market (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/12/big-tobacco-dirty-war-africa-market)

And so it goes on.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on July 12, 2017, 02:41:11 PM
Good points, g.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 12, 2017, 03:49:12 PM
Because farming has nothing to do with land??  :o

Because the discussion was not about farmland.

Isn't there a food thread where you could take up your farming concerns?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on July 12, 2017, 05:50:12 PM
Sheesh.

The name of the thread is Capitalism. That covers quite a lot. I'm not sure why you think you have the right to dictate exactly what words can and cannot be used on this or on any other thread. There are mods for that.

And farming was just one of many counter examples to your claim that no one was dumping any dangerous chemicals anywhere anymore.

I assume that, since you had to resort to diversion, you are essentially admitting that you were wrong about that point. I accept your admission of defeat, and wish you well, sir.  ;D
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 12, 2017, 06:06:31 PM
Quote
I assume that, since you had to resort to diversion, you are essentially admitting that you were wrong about that point. I accept your admission of defeat, and wish you well, sir.  ;D

You should have stopped with the first three letters of your second word.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on July 12, 2017, 06:26:53 PM
 :D

Okay, that's enough.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: oren on July 12, 2017, 07:04:18 PM
When two constructive members reach a non-constructive dialogue, it's probably time to stop.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 14, 2017, 01:46:46 AM
”As the richest people in America fixate on how to give money to the poorest, the Cherokee program is a case study of whether a basic income is in fact a practical proposal for alleviating economic inequality or just another oversimplified, undercooked Silicon Valley fix to one of the most intractable problems our society faces. Or maybe it’s both.”

FREE MONEY: THE SURPRISING EFFECTS OF A BASIC INCOME SUPPLIED BY GOVERNMENT
Quote
... One fear about basic income is that people will be content living on their subsidies and stop working. But a 2010 analysis of the data, led by Randall Akee, who researches public policy at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs, found no impact on overall labor participation. ...
https://www.wired.com/story/free-money-the-surprising-effects-of-a-basic-income-supplied-by-government/
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on November 14, 2017, 06:56:03 AM
Did someone mention land depreciation ? In cultivated USA the land is dead. The ecosystem capital is gone. The ecosystem services are gone. In a sane economy those costs would be internalized and show clearly the bankruptcy of agriculture.

I have been from the east coast to the rockies in every season, In every place doing the corn soy thing, the land is dead. East of the Mississippi the topsoil is gone except in bottomlands. West of the Mississippi, the topsoil is denuded seriously, just look at how much higher the graveyards are,  all on knolls, since they were never plowed up and so retained their soil. In Iowa between the arms of the Missouri and the Mississippi, or southern illinois, the richest soils left, walk out to a planted field in spring and pick up a handful or earth.  Nothing lives there, no insects, worms, no nothing. Look at it under a microscope you will see nothing alive. Those lands have been drenched with poison and fertilizer for decades, barren absent monocrop for half the year, but it was not so once upon a time.

Now i look at Amish farms in OH,PA,IN most of them know to keep their land alive. Not all, but most. And they got many kids, need farmland, they are moving to Mexico, not willing to pay the prices in the USA. I know some who hired a guy to drive em as far as Colorado, but no cigar, land is too expensive, so Mexico it was. Some of the first ones that went Mexico way got kidnapped for ransom, until the abductors realised the Amish don't deal in money, offered to pay ransom in grain and potatoes. They also realised that the Amish fed everybody who showed up at their doorstep. So now the Amish  got a modus vivendi with the gangs.

We need a reboot on land practise.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 13, 2017, 03:10:10 PM
Changing economics as the oil economy dwindles.

Saudi Arabia to raise energy prices, pay cash to poorer citizens
Quote
RIYADH, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has approved a new round of energy price hikes and a cash handout system for low- and middle-income citizens to offset the impact of the changes, fresh steps in a year-old austerity programme amid low crude prices. ...
http://www.nasdaq.com/article/saudi-arabia-to-raise-energy-prices-pay-cash-to-poorer-citizens-20171212-00868
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on December 13, 2017, 06:54:11 PM
Finland is doing a test of a guaranteed minimum income program.  I think it's mostly going to people who were receiving some sort of assistance already. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 25, 2018, 09:15:07 PM
In order to fight climate change, follow the money trail at the WEF:

Title: "‘We have to change capitalism’ to beat climate change, says Blackrock vice-chair"

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/01/24/change-capitalism-says-blackrock-vice-chair/

Extract: "Capitalism must change to avert climate change, according to the vice-chair of the world’s largest asset manager, Blackrock.

Two weeks ago, Blackrock boss Larry Fink shook the corporate world with a letter demanding social responsibility in return for the support of his company, which manages around $6 trillion in assets.

On Wednesday, at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, vice-chair Philipp Hildebrand expanded on that theme."

&

Title: "Can 'carbon law' help businesses save the climate?"

http://www.dw.com/en/can-carbon-law-help-businesses-save-the-climate/a-42298593

Extract: "How the business sector can step up its action to prevent climate change is emerging as an important thread at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Businesses taking up climate leadership not only carries forward a trend set in motion by the 2015 Paris Agreement — it is also in line with a scientific framework for how to deliver emissions reductions, known as global carbon law.

To explain carbon law, we need to start with Moore's law, from computer science: It's based on the observation that the number of transistors in a circuit was doubling every two years, fueling innovation in computing.

Carbon law is the equivalent for climate change. It predicts that over a decade, emissions can be halved and the uptake of renewables doubled. Innovation and public-private sector partnerships are supposed to drive this forward — and it seems that to at least some extent, this is happening."
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on January 26, 2018, 07:15:05 AM
Capitalism, market forces, will solve the electricity generation and most of the transportation GHG problem.

We would be wise to add a catalyst to goose things along...
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: oren on January 26, 2018, 11:27:07 AM
Capitalism, market forces, will solve the electricity generation and most of the transportation GHG problem.

We would be wise to add a catalyst to goose things along...
Had it been for market forces alone it would have happened much later. There were government subsidies along the way that helped a lot, and people voting with their wallets spending extra on what they knew were premature but green technologies.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: GeoffBeacon on January 26, 2018, 02:19:43 PM
Capitalism - to late to stop it

We have to control the beast of Global Capitalism & take from the rich&affluent to give to the poor. The rich&affluent are screwing up the climate, possibly leading to a sixth mass extinction of life on Earth.

Those that live sustainable lifestyles (basically the poor) should be rewarded and the polluters (the rich&affluent) fined heavily.

That could be a World Wide Carbon Fee and Dividend (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/world-wide-carbon-fee-and-dividend/) or anything that took from the rich to give to the poor  and encouraged the poor not to do what we have done.

This would be to force capitalism to solve the problem - if it can be solved.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on January 26, 2018, 04:16:00 PM
Capitalism, market forces, will solve the electricity generation and most of the transportation GHG problem.

We would be wise to add a catalyst to goose things along...
Had it been for market forces alone it would have happened much later. There were government subsidies along the way that helped a lot, and people voting with their wallets spending extra on what tbey knew were premature but green technologies.
Definately so on my horizon as well, oren.

Here, when our electrical utilities realized that people were using inverters with standard electrical plugs, they banned those dispite beeing approved in other countries. I used my inverters illegaly for many years. Later they were forced to allow grid tie inverters to be permanently connected. Plugs are still banned. We still don't have net metering thanks to our legislation, and there's no use for me to sell the surplus.

Northvolt are struggling to finance their battery factory here. They failed to reach their target for 2017, which was 1 billion euros. Now Scania (VW) entered with 10 million euros and that was considered as big news. Northvolt needs to raise 4 billion euros in total. Scania wants to help, but maybe not too much?

Swedish municipalities are subsidising our airports with tax payers money and have been non existent in supporting EVs (building chargers is one) in general, they are waiting for the market.

It's a merry-go-round. Looks like most of todays market forces still consists of incrementalists, skeptics and denialists and the middle class isn't disturbed yet, climate change will only happen to someone else.

Which reminded me of a couple of old interviews from last year, from a Swedish podcast, so I don't think they have been posted in here. Both in English.
The first with Kevin Andersson. The interviewer is a Swedish physicist and meteorologist, Martin Hedberg. Beyond One Degree:
We can succeed, but humanity is about to choose to fail.
http://beyondonedegree.com/en/7-kevin-anderson-we-can-succeed-but-humanity-is-about-to-choose-to-fail/ (http://beyondonedegree.com/en/7-kevin-anderson-we-can-succeed-but-humanity-is-about-to-choose-to-fail/)

The second, with Sasja Beslik, one of Sweden’s foremost experts on finance and sustainability.
Sasja Beslik. The Financial Market and Climate Change.
http://beyondonedegree.com/en/4-sasja-beslik-the-financial-market-and-climate-change/ (http://beyondonedegree.com/en/4-sasja-beslik-the-financial-market-and-climate-change/)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: gerontocrat on January 26, 2018, 04:38:09 PM
Capitalism, market forces, will solve the electricity generation and most of the transportation GHG problem.

We would be wise to add a catalyst to goose things along...
Had it been for market forces alone it would have happened much later. There were government subsidies along the way that helped a lot, and people voting with their wallets spending extra on what tbey knew were premature but green technologies.
Definately so on my horizon as well, oren.

Here, when our electrical utilities realized that people were using inverters with standard electrical plugs, they banned those dispite beeing approved in other countries. I used my inverters illegaly for many years. Later they were forced to allow grid tie inverters to be permanently connected. Plugs are still banned. We still don't have net metering thanks to our legislation, and there's no use for me to sell the surplus.

Northvolt are struggling to finance their battery factory here. They failed to reach their target for 2017, which was 1 billion euros. Now Scania (VW) entered with 10 million euros and that was considered as big news. Northvolt needs to raise 4 billion euros in total. Scania wants to help, but maybe not too much?

Swedish municipalities are subsidising our airports with tax payers money and have been non existent in supporting EVs (building chargers is one) in general, they are waiting for the market.

It's a merry-go-round. Looks like most of todays market forces still consists of incrementalists, skeptics and denialists and the middle class isn't disturbed yet, climate change will only happen to someone else.

Which reminded me of a couple of old interviews from last year, from a Swedish podcast, so I don't think they have been posted in here. Both in English.
The first with Kevin Andersson. The interviewer is a Swedish physicist and meteorologist, Martin Hedberg. Beyond One Degree:
We can succeed, but humanity is about to choose to fail.
http://beyondonedegree.com/en/7-kevin-anderson-we-can-succeed-but-humanity-is-about-to-choose-to-fail/ (http://beyondonedegree.com/en/7-kevin-anderson-we-can-succeed-but-humanity-is-about-to-choose-to-fail/)

The second, with Sasja Beslik, one of Sweden’s foremost experts on finance and sustainability.
Sasja Beslik. The Financial Market and Climate Change.
http://beyondonedegree.com/en/4-sasja-beslik-the-financial-market-and-climate-change/ (http://beyondonedegree.com/en/4-sasja-beslik-the-financial-market-and-climate-change/)
Perhaps Bjorn Lomborg has Scandinavia's rulers fooled?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on January 26, 2018, 05:24:00 PM
Capitalism, market forces, will solve the electricity generation and most of the transportation GHG problem.

We would be wise to add a catalyst to goose things along...
Had it been for market forces alone it would have happened much later. There were government subsidies along the way that helped a lot, and people voting with their wallets spending extra on what tbey knew were premature but green technologies.

Absolutely.  What happened was capitalism at work.  Developing renewable energy had value to enough people that they were willing to pay (subsidies) which created/increased profits for companies developing RE.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ralfy on February 01, 2018, 02:35:24 AM
Localization as limits to growth (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse) kicks in.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 02, 2018, 09:08:56 PM
“Look y'all want a socialist base building strategy that will give you a mass blue collar working class movement here in the US? Sit down a minute. Ima tell you how to do it.”
https://twitter.com/NeolithicSheep/status/959280028780396545
See below; more at the link.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ivica on February 07, 2018, 09:56:34 PM
Its about co-ops for which we have no dedicated thread, co-ops/coops are mentioned in several ASIF threads,
article at https://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/worker-owner-cooperatives-alternatives/

Quote
For Bautista, the cooperative movement is only just beginning to reveal its potential. After nearly a decade of building locally owned-and-operated collaboratives, she says the accumulation of skills, awareness and technical know-how among her clients is paying off. “We are constantly looking for new ways to empower workers, and they are finding lots of inspiration from each other,” she said. “It’s exciting to watch. And we’re hopeful this will just get bigger and bigger.”

This story is part of the New Economies Reporting Project — a collaboration between The Media Consortium and the New Economy Coalition.

Source:  Waging Nonviolence - People-Powered News and Analysis (https://wagingnonviolence.org/)

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ivica on February 08, 2018, 12:34:51 AM
This should add a bit about "what" part of the topic:  India’s Fight to Make Medicine Affordable (https://undark.org/article/hepatitis-c-sub-sofosbuvir-india/):

Quote
The ability of this eclectic mix of stakeholders to force down the costs of an important Hepatitis C medicine has been heralded as a victory for those who argue that it is a moral outrage to keep drugs out of the hands of sick people simply because they cannot afford it. Can the model be replicated elsewhere?

More:
"A standard three-month course of treatment can have a sticker price as high as $84,000 in the United States. In Canada, it costs as much as $45,000. And because the drug must be taken in combination with other medications, the price of treatment is often higher."
"Here in Haryana state, however, and its neighboring state, Punjab, governments are now purchasing 12-week courses of the drug, plus its companion drugs, for as low as $80 — and they are providing it to their residents for free."

Source: Undark Truth, Beauty, Science (https://undark.org)

(That reminds me on: "spend money on poor, sick & education" motto of Jains which needs more attention. later, somewhere.)

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: solartim27 on February 08, 2018, 06:21:10 PM
I don't have access beyond the paywall.  Anyone think the article is worth reading?
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-018-0021-4

Quote
Humanity faces the challenge of how to achieve a high quality of life for over 7 billion people without destabilizing critical planetary processes. Using indicators designed to measure a ‘safe and just’ development space, we quantify the resource use associated with meeting basic human needs, and compare this to downscaled planetary boundaries for over 150 nations. We find that no country meets basic needs for its citizens at a globally sustainable level of resource use. Physical needs such as nutrition, sanitation, access to electricity and the elimination of extreme poverty could likely be met for all people without transgressing planetary boundaries.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 08, 2018, 06:54:44 PM
While I doubt that the shakers and movers at the WEF will reshape capitalism in time to prevent a socio-economic collapse circa 2050-2060; nevertheless, I think that their 2018 theme of 'Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World' is a step in the right direction.  Without all parties realizing that we all have 'skin in the game' for a shared future, we will continue in Trump's footsteps towards a fractured world of increased mutual suffering:

Title: "Recent global economic history as told through Davos themes"

https://qz.com/1184818/davos-2018-theme-creating-a-shared-future-in-a-fractured-world/

Extract: " After the UK voted to leave the European Union and the US elected Donald Trump as president, Davos went with the hopefully contrarian theme, “Responsive and Responsible Leadership.” This year, the meeting has been given a slightly more realistic update: “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.” By the way, Trump will be there.

If you squint hard enough, the Davos themes form a concise summary of recent global history, as viewed through a certain rarified lens. Here are all of them in chronological order:

•   2003: Building Trust
•   2004: Partnering for Security and Prosperity
•   2005: Taking Responsibility for Tough Choices
•   2006: The Creative Imperative
•   2007: The Shifting Power Equation
•   2008: The Power of Collaborative Innovation
•   2009: Shaping the Post-Crisis World
•   2010: Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild
•   2011: Shared Norms for the New Reality
•   2012: The Great Transformation
•   2013: Resilient Dynamism
•   2014: The Reshaping of the World
•   2015: The New Global Context
•   2016: Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution
•   2017: Responsive and Responsible Leadership
•   2018: Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World"
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ivica on February 09, 2018, 07:14:00 AM
Should belong to "how" part:
search: The Art of Nonviolence (https://wagingnonviolence.org/?s=art+of+nonviolence):

https://wagingnonviolence.org/column/the-arts-of-protest/

(reminds me on Jains again, and their message to others: "try to be nonviolent")
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on February 09, 2018, 08:41:56 AM
I don't have access beyond the paywall.  Anyone think the article is worth reading?
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-018-0021-4

Quote
Humanity faces the challenge of how to achieve a high quality of life for over 7 billion people without destabilizing critical planetary processes. Using indicators designed to measure a ‘safe and just’ development space, we quantify the resource use associated with meeting basic human needs, and compare this to downscaled planetary boundaries for over 150 nations. We find that no country meets basic needs for its citizens at a globally sustainable level of resource use. Physical needs such as nutrition, sanitation, access to electricity and the elimination of extreme poverty could likely be met for all people without transgressing planetary boundaries.
It was accessible through sci-hub but you have a link in this article:
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/02/07/583475222/if-we-bring-the-good-life-to-all-will-we-destroy-the-planet (https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/02/07/583475222/if-we-bring-the-good-life-to-all-will-we-destroy-the-planet)
Quoting one section from the article:
Quote
The hope was to find at least a few examples of countries that were simultaneously delivering the good life to their citizens while staying within their per capita boundaries for environmental damage — in other words, using natural resources at a rate that would be sustainable even if every person on the planet matched it.

Unfortunately, "we really didn't find that," says O'Neill.

Instead, says O'Neill, "generally the countries that do well on the social indicators do so by consuming resources at a level that could not be extended to all people on the planet." These include Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. "And the countries that do well on the environmental indicators — in other words, that are consuming resources at a sustainable level — don't do well on the social indicators." Examples include Malawi, Yemen and the Philippines.

There are also five countries that do damage above all seven of the environmental boundaries even as they fail to achieve all 11 social indicators. This includes the United States, which misses the mark when it comes to income equality and employment.

Even though China is not one of those five, it is arguably in even worse shape. It exceeds its per capita limits on five of the seven environmental thresholds yet only delivers on three of the social measures.

Only one country comes even close to delivering the good life in a sustainable way: Vietnam succeeds on six social indicators — including a life expectancy above 65 years and providing sufficient nutrition — while staying within its limit on every environmental threshold except carbon emissions.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 10, 2018, 06:51:26 PM
Should belong to "how" part:
search: The Art of Nonviolence (https://wagingnonviolence.org/?s=art+of+nonviolence):

https://wagingnonviolence.org/column/the-arts-of-protest/

(reminds me on Jains again, and their message to others: "try to be nonviolent")

Reminds me of the motto of the “marginally famous” Bangor Maine Police Department’s Facebook page:

“Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s things alone, and be kind to one another.”

https://www.facebook.com/pg/bangormainepolice/about/
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ivica on February 15, 2018, 12:22:18 AM
(Fill under "How")

Promoting nonviolence:

   the way of thinking   
   the people who think that way
   the people who live that way

so trivially simple - if you can deal with greed.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ivica on March 09, 2018, 07:46:49 AM
Community radio vs. corporate giants
------------------------------------

"Back in 2000, grassroots organizations pressured the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for community access to the airwaves. But corporate broadcasters fought to restrict low-power radio, and after a decade of battles the Local Community Radio Act was finally signed into law in 2011"

"By late 2013, more than 2,800 groups had applied for licenses. Licenses have been issued since early 2014, and as of January 2018, 1,978 licenses have been issued,"

https://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/blogs/low-powered-community-radio-powerful-voice
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: GeoffBeacon on March 09, 2018, 01:08:01 PM
Solartim27 & sleepy

Reprise.
Quote
That Goats and soda article, If We Bring The Good Life To All, Will We Destroy The Planet? (https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/02/07/583475222/if-we-bring-the-good-life-to-all-will-we-destroy-the-planet) is based on a new study in Nature Sustainability, A good life for all within planetary boundaries (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-018-0021-4.epdf?author_access_token=k949BRalZ3W7nYuBcTmtlNRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0NINAtj47DSpAGKNW0NM9Vb_zFNGjmxSFGJSQMCx84RL7YxfgXGFm3Q3uTZ7gpjE3hPBxSg24T_yK5Y20K9x3B3UIUT2BjJs7EL9iZ5Clalyw%3D%3D) by O'Neill et al.

O'Neill et al. say things in a complicated academic way struggling for rigor and precision in an field where none is possible - but who here would disagree with:

Quote
Overall, our findings suggest that the pursuit of universal human development, which is the ambition of the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals], has the potential to undermine the Earth-system processes upon which development ultimately depends. But this does not need to be the case. A more hopeful scenario would see the SDGs shift the agenda away from growth towards an economic model where the goal is sustainable and equitable human well-being. However, if all people are to lead a good life within planetary boundaries, then the level of resource use associated with meeting basic needs must be dramatically reduced.

SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-change-2/) references Paris Agreement and many here will worry/know that with this agreement alone we stand limited chance of avoiding climate disaster.

O'Neill et al. use nation states as basic units. However, all states now contain demographic groups in their population, which have unsustainable lifestyles. This gives a clouded picture. A search for sustainable and happy lifestyles, which can be exemplars for sustainable development should look at smaller units like neighbourhoods and villages.

Also, why just look at the present? Are there past examples worth examining?

Design and plan


The key point should be: If there have been no worth-while exemplars, past or present, then design and plan some that are suitable.

Financial incentives for sustainable living

P.S. The question "If not capitalism ...?" is a big question that's beyond me but I see nothing stopping efficient large corporations bringing sustainable living to the market - except that there are few financial incentives for sustainable living and that means no profit for corporations - yet. We need strong government to set the incentives to make capitalism sustainable - and give a basic income to all.  Like a carbon fee with dividend. [My idealistic version (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/world-wide-carbon-fee-and-dividend/).]

On that topic, James Hansen [a small town republican?] has recently posted
 (http://www.columbia.edu/%7Ejeh1/mailings/2018/20180308_Optimism.pdf)
Quote
Young Republicans are showing that they will not accept politics as usual, they understand climate change is real, and a substantial number of them advocate exactly the conservative policy that could address the matter successfully: carbon fee with 100% dividend uniformly distributed to the public.

P.P.S. I a member of the Labour Party, supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and admire The Adam Smith Institute (https://www.adamsmith.org/).



Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ivica on March 23, 2018, 08:13:20 PM
Using Podcast (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast) Network and avoiding corporate owned media outlets.
How:

"Communities use collaborative podcasts to support multiple contributors podcasting through generally simplified processes, and without having to host their own individual feeds. A community podcast can also allow members of the community (related to the podcast topic) to contribute to the podcast in many different ways."

Here is one new - just starting, "Deconstructed" podcast (https://theintercept.com/2018/03/23/deconstructed-podcast-we-need-to-talk-about-inequality-with-bernie-sanders/):
in the first episode The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan sits down with Bernie Sanders to talk poverty, inequality, media bias, and the 2020 presidential election.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ivica on March 27, 2018, 11:42:51 PM
‘Beginning of the end’ for secret corporate courts by Clare Speak

"Transparency campaigners are celebrating after the highest court in Europe ruled that shadowy offshore courts allowing multinational corporations to sue governments under little-known trade rules are not legal."

"These courts, known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals, exist outside national or European legal systems. They usually meet in secret, give no right of appeal and, in the majority of cases, rule in favour of the corporations. It might sound like the stuff of dystopian nightmares but they have been around for two decades."

"ISDS is best known as being part of the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a planned EU-US agreement that sparked protests on both sides of the Atlantic. The rule is also found in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a similarly controversial deal between the EU and Canada, which has not been fully implemented yet because of disagreements over ISDS."

"The ruling means TTIP is now “dead in the water”, campaigners say, and it’s also hoped to “spell the end of CETA as we know it”.

"“ISDS not only violates EU law, it is also dangerous for democracy, taxpayer money and much needed policies, for example, to combat climate change. Now is the time to stamp out the excessive corporate privileges once and for all,” Pia Eberhardt, CEO of Corporate Europe Observatory, told Big Issue North." (my emphasis)

Read it all:
https://www.bigissuenorth.com/news/2018/03/beginning-end-secret-corporate-courts/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialSignIn

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on March 28, 2018, 12:57:03 AM
Thanks for this, ivica.  This is very, very good news.
I agree with the ruling--secret corporate courts are an abomination, and the single worst thing about recent trade treaties.
If only the US Supreme Court would rule similarly.

Steve
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on March 28, 2018, 05:18:53 AM
I wonder how China and the TTP block outside the USA are going to deal with this. I can just see an investor attempt to sue China ... and I will laff and laff and laff.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 10, 2018, 06:12:43 PM
“More restaurants should do this”
    https://twitter.com/EricHolthaus/status/983485754197331969
Image below.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on April 10, 2018, 09:08:06 PM
We do this in our restaurant...except every meal is free/whatever you can donate.  :)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on April 10, 2018, 11:46:34 PM
We do this in our restaurant...except every meal is free/whatever you can donate.  :)


Realy? That is awesome.


I hadn't been in Canada long when I went into a Tim Horton's Donut Shop for the first time. I ordered a string of things, only to discover I'd left my wallet at home.
The gal behind the counter insisted that I take the full order with me and asked that I not worry myself about paying. "Things happen"


The food was paid for the following day and she had a ridiculous tip and a permanent customer.


Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on April 11, 2018, 03:09:43 PM
Our 'tips' don't generally cover even the basic costs of the ingredients, even though I cull much of it from what the local coop grocery decides is not shelf worthy for free. So I am envious of your local Donut Shop having such a generous benefactor!  :)

But back somewhat on topic...I actually wasn't sure where to put this, but it seems somehow relevant to some of the discussions on this and similar threads:

Quote
...advanced capitalist societies manufacture the social subjects as consumers of mass culture - as they are consumers of Starbucks coffee or MacDonald's hamburgers - which is to say their subjectivities are the creations of a culture industry, receptacles of a massive body of disinformation that do not just entertain and preoccupy them but, in fact, engineer them as passive receptacles of an ideological domination beyond their recognition or critique. They give them a sense of false autonomy of choice.

What today we call "Western Media" is the paramount example of Adorno and Horkheimer's insight, the production of "news" as perfect examples of commodity fetishism

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/media-mass-deception-180409092703608.html
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ivica on April 17, 2018, 05:52:17 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZRezDH5rLs&feature=youtu.be

"Jimmy Dore fills in while Jesse Ventura is off the grid. Jimmy and Brigida Santos discuss blockchain technologies and how they are disrupting power structures around the world by delivering direct democracy to the people. "

Can Direct Democracy help?

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 17, 2018, 09:57:36 PM
Our 'tips' don't generally cover even the basic costs of the ingredients, even though I cull much of it from what the local coop grocery decides is not shelf worthy for free. So I am envious of your local Donut Shop having such a generous benefactor!  :)

But back somewhat on topic...I actually wasn't sure where to put this, but it seems somehow relevant to some of the discussions on this and similar threads:

Quote
...advanced capitalist societies manufacture the social subjects as consumers of mass culture - as they are consumers of Starbucks coffee or MacDonald's hamburgers - which is to say their subjectivities are the creations of a culture industry, receptacles of a massive body of disinformation that do not just entertain and preoccupy them but, in fact, engineer them as passive receptacles of an ideological domination beyond their recognition or critique. They give them a sense of false autonomy of choice.

What today we call "Western Media" is the paramount example of Adorno and Horkheimer's insight, the production of "news" as perfect examples of commodity fetishism

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/media-mass-deception-180409092703608.html

We need to pierce the veil and recognize we are unwitting participants in a system that is destroying the planet. We then need to act to change the system.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on April 21, 2018, 11:33:53 PM
Varofakis has a very insightful rereading of the Manifesto, albeit with the advantage of a century and half of subsequent history:

"It would take the collapse of the Soviet Union and the insertion of two billion Chinese and Indian workers into the capitalist labour market for its prediction to be vindicated. Indeed, for capital to globalise fully, the regimes that pledged allegiance to the manifesto had first to be torn asunder. Has history ever procured a more delicious irony?"

" ... society splits between non-working shareholders and non-owner wage-workers. As for the middle class, it is the dinosaur in the room, set for extinction."

“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”

"Old classes die out and eventually only two remain standing: the class that owns everything and the class that owns nothing"

" The only thing we can be certain of, according to the manifesto, is that unless capital is socialised we are in for dystopic developments"

" they overlooked the kind of dialectic they loved to analyse: how workers’ states would become increasingly totalitarian in their response to capitalist state aggression, and how, in their response to the fear of communism, these capitalist states would grow increasingly civilised."
Liberated from competition with regimes inspired by the manifesto, globalised capitalism is behaving as if it is determined to create a world best explained by the manifesto."

"Liberated from competition with regimes inspired by the manifesto, globalised capitalism is behaving as if it is determined to create a world best explained by the manifesto."

"Capitalism’s problem is that it is irrational.  Capital’s success at spreading its reach via accumulation for accumulation’s sake is causing human workers to work like machines for a pittance, while the robots are programmed to produce stuff that the workers can no longer afford and the robots do not need. Capital fails to make rational use of the brilliant machines it engenders, condemning whole generations to deprivation, a decrepit environment, underemployment and zero real leisure from the pursuit of employment and general survival. "

"When asked by journalists who or what is the greatest threat to capitalism today, I defy their expectations by answering: capital! "

"the only way of being a communist is to be a libertarian one."

Varoufakis is always worth reading, here especially so. Read the whole thing.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/apr/20/yanis-varoufakis-marx-crisis-communist-manifesto


sidd


Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 22, 2018, 12:20:16 AM
IMH and perhaps poorly informed O socialism has not worked because a portion of the population is lazy.  Without the incentives provided by capitalism some do not work and contribute.  The people who do work resent supplying the lazy.

From there on it's either a system supported by force or a system that collapses.

Looking forward to when essentially all work, at least all essential work, is done by machines then socialism might well be the best solution.  Let the population collectively own the capital, the means of production, and distribute the products evenly to everyone.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 23, 2018, 06:49:25 PM
Bob wrote: 
Quote
The people who do work resent supplying the lazy.

Also, the people who do work but hate their jobs are more likely to produce an inferior product or service, making other people miserable.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 24, 2018, 07:57:21 PM
Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, presents a short flip-chart review of Universal Basic Income and why it’s needed.

https://www.facebook.com/RBReich/videos/1936522653026988/
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on April 24, 2018, 11:37:52 PM
Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, presents a short flip-chart review of Universal Basic Income and why it’s needed.

https://www.facebook.com/RBReich/videos/1936522653026988/ (https://www.facebook.com/RBReich/videos/1936522653026988/)


Sig
Those of us who don't do facebook can only wonder about what he presented. :(
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 25, 2018, 12:51:07 AM
Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, presents a short flip-chart review of Universal Basic Income and why it’s needed.

https://www.facebook.com/RBReich/videos/1936522653026988/ (https://www.facebook.com/RBReich/videos/1936522653026988/)


Sig
Those of us who don't do facebook can only wonder about what he presented. :(
Terry

Found it on YouTube!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UqESogRgrYw
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: gerontocrat on April 25, 2018, 12:53:31 AM
Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, presents a short flip-chart review of Universal Basic Income and why it’s needed.

https://www.facebook.com/RBReich/videos/1936522653026988/ (https://www.facebook.com/RBReich/videos/1936522653026988/)


Sig
Those of us who don't do facebook can only wonder about what he presented. :(
Terry
Click on the link ad you can listen to him (but not see him) without signing into Facebook
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on April 25, 2018, 01:16:11 AM
Thanks to both of you ;)
Terry


edit:
Watched Reich, then a rather right wing rebuttal.


Universal Basic Income, as I see it, is a modification designed to extend the shelf life of Business As Usual in capitalist societies.
I don't know what the future holds but I am convinced that BAU isn't sustainable today or looking forward.


UBI provides a broad base of customers to sustain BAU well beyond it's expiration date. Let's consider some other direction.
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 25, 2018, 01:47:41 AM
Finland's two year experiment in basic income could not overcome political barriers to continue:

Title: "Finland's basic income trial falls flat"

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43866700

Extract: "The Finnish government has decided not to expand a limited trial in paying people a basic income, which has drawn much international interest.

The Finnish government has decided not to expand a limited trial in paying people a basic income, which has drawn much international interest."
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 06, 2018, 08:04:09 AM
From the Swedish Climate Parliament this weekend.
http://klimatriksdagen.se/om/?sprak=eng (http://klimatriksdagen.se/om/?sprak=eng)
Adding Anders Wijkman from yesterday, unfortunately in Swedish but there are at least three members here and this video only had three views, so that might double now. ;)
In short, we are still incrementalists and in deep need of a real transformation.
Part1:
https://youtu.be/uAbq0BEdSQs

Part2:
https://youtu.be/P6jwyICF15I

You can also watch the second clip here with Anders Wiljkman if you wish (in English):
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1021.msg151524.html#msg151524 (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1021.msg151524.html#msg151524)

About the new book "Come On! Capitalism, Short-termism, Population and the Destruction of the Planet", a short summary here as well:
https://youtu.be/Vt4x4HAHLZ8
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 11, 2018, 07:59:21 PM
A look back at market socialism:

Here a proposal that will make capitalists scream ...

"Although Brus and Łaski advanced these ideas as a path for reforming existing socialist economies, it is possible to imagine a transformation to such a system from the starting point of a modern capitalist economy. Suppose that a democratically constituted Common Fund were to carry out the compulsory purchase of all financial assets owned by households: stocks and bonds, but also mutual funds and other wealth instruments."

"the commanding heights of the economy would no longer constitute an archipelago of private empires ruled by Bezoses, Zuckerbergs, Kochs, or Trumps. They would instead be, to coin a phrase, “ours, not to slave in, but to master and to own."

https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/the-forgotten-vision-of-market-socialism

sidd

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 11, 2018, 08:07:10 PM
Quote
Suppose that a democratically constituted Common Fund were to carry out the compulsory purchase of all financial assets owned by households: stocks and bonds, but also mutual funds and other wealth instruments."

We might need a version of that once labor is no longer of value.  Unless people can trade their time/labor for products then the system breaks down.  The companies no longer have customers.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 11, 2018, 08:32:18 PM
Quote
Suppose that a democratically constituted Common Fund were to carry out the compulsory purchase of all financial assets owned by households: stocks and bonds, but also mutual funds and other wealth instruments."

We might need a version of that once labor is no longer of value.  Unless people can trade their time/labor for products then the system breaks down.  The companies no longer have customers.

Of course, if the assets are *purchased* then the wealthy still have all their wealth.  And thus, power and control.  *Seizing* the assets would require a civil war, which the seizers would lose, since money can easily buy guns and armies.

An entirely different plan is needed, one that makes conventional money irrelevant.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 11, 2018, 08:52:38 PM
If citizens buy up the 'means' that will leave previous owners with a lot of wealth.  They will be free to spend lots on art and solid gold toilets but they won't be able to repurchase 'means'.

By the third generation all that wealth will be pissed away.

The fourth generation can live on their 'fair share' like everyone else.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 11, 2018, 09:15:36 PM
If citizens buy up the 'means' that will leave previous owners with a lot of wealth.  They will be free to spend lots on art and solid gold toilets but they won't be able to repurchase 'means'.

By the third generation all that wealth will be pissed away.

The fourth generation can live on their 'fair share' like everyone else.

Well yes, but. . .

"The New York Stock Exchange is still by far the most important equity market in the world. With a market cap of about $21 trillion, the NYSE about three times larger than the NASDAQ, and the two US exchanges together have a larger market cap than the next ten exchanges combined."

That's about 5 times the total annual GDP Federal budget of the US.  And we haven't yet started talking about buying all the privately-held companies, bonds, real estate, precious metals, etc.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 11, 2018, 10:13:05 PM
I see no good option other than governments owning the 'means'. 

Perhaps very heavy taxes on the owners of the 'means' and using the tax money to create a universal basic income.

This is not something that could be done overnight, nor would it be needed overnight.  A gradual process that might play out over a few decades as we have larger and large amounts of unneeded labor.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 12, 2018, 07:28:14 PM
Graeber on bullshit jobs in the groves of academe:

"In the contemporary corporation, the accumulation of the equivalent of feudal retainers often becomes the main principle of organization. "

"I spent two years of my life making up work for myself and for other people."

"A likely result of universal guaranteed income would be the rapid defection of a large number of academics from their university positions to intellectual circles where they would once again be able to argue about ideas and research things they actually find interesting. They might establish free schools where they could teach anyone who wished to learn. Universities would not become extinct. They would retain many strategic advantages. But they would be forced to de-bullshitize very rapidly."

Read all about it:

https://www.chronicle.com/article/Are-You-in-a-BS-Job-In/243318?key=17K21y7n_SjUZ04t4-9d7tInUaJwcLDdV_QpNsCZfqsG3f961B4gZ2-LQanQQNUSTHpDSl9ZMUdlWmNRZTZzX0g4eTAydXgwRTRPc0R2WG1RZDdqcWx0SnlZZw

sidd

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 12, 2018, 07:40:31 PM
Quote
A likely result of universal guaranteed income would be the rapid defection of a large number of academics from their university positions to intellectual circles where they would once again be able to argue about ideas and research things they actually find interesting

Why?  Our robotic overlords would have already fully researched all ideas.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 12, 2018, 09:12:44 PM
Quote
A likely result of universal guaranteed income would be the rapid defection of a large number of academics from their university positions to intellectual circles where they would once again be able to argue about ideas and research things they actually find interesting

Why?  Our robotic overlords would have already fully researched all ideas.
Few cultures still have a need for people that excel at throwing spears, but it's hard to find a University without javelin tossers. ::)
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 12, 2018, 10:05:22 PM
The new statesman republished a 1934 interview of Stalin but H.G.Wells. Whatever his other errors and shortcomings, Stalin saw very clearly why Roosevelt's reforms would ultimately fail. It took the capitalists the better part of a century, perhaps longer than Stalin might have imagined, but we now see the ruin of most of Roosevelt's ideas today.

"The aim which the Americans are pursuing arose out of the economic troubles, out of the economic crisis. The Americans want to rid themselves of the crisis on the basis of private capitalist activity, without changing the economic basis. They are trying to reduce to a minimum the ruin, the losses caused by the existing economic system ... Thus, at best, it will be a matter, not of the reorganisation of society, not of abolishing the old social system which gives rise to anarchy and crises, but of restricting certain of its excesses. Subjectively, perhaps, these Americans think they are reorganising society; objectively, however, they are preserving the present basis of society. That is why, objectively, there will be no reorganisation of society."

"as soon as Roosevelt, or any other captain in the contemporary bourgeois world, proceeds to undertake something serious against the foundation of capitalism, he will inevitably suffer utter defeat. The banks, the industries, the large enterprises, the large farms are not in Roosevelt’s hands. All these are private property. The railroads, the mercantile fleet, all these belong to private owners. And, finally, the army of skilled workers, the engineers, the technicians, these too are not at Roosevelt’s command, they are at the command of the private owners; they all work for the private owners ...   The capitalist State does not deal much with economy in the strict sense of the word; the latter is not in the hands of the State. On the contrary, the State is in the hands of capitalist economy.

" I have some experience in fighting for Socialism, and this experience tells me that if Roosevelt makes a real attempt to satisfy the interests of the proletarian class at the expense of the capitalist class, the latter will put another President in his place. The capitalists will say: Presidents come and Presidents go, but we go on for ever; if this or that President does not protect our interests, we shall find another. What can the President oppose to the will of the capitalist class?  "

"  can we lose sight of the fact that in order to transform the world it is necessary to have political power? "

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/04/h-g-wells-it-seems-me-i-am-more-left-you-mr-stalin

sidd





Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 12, 2018, 10:13:11 PM
A careful look at the Luddites and what they represented:

"The assaults on machines were not simply about “blindly resisting machinery,” rather the Luddites chose the sites of their ire based on how the new machines were being set to action in those particular factories. The Luddites picked their targets carefully as they waged their campaign, the frames they targeted for breaking were those that belonged to employers who had used these new machines as an excuse to lower worker’s wages,[8] and this was a trend seen across the areas where the Luddites rose .[9]"

"Yet, it would be unwise to suggest that the Luddites actions met with no success. By the time that Luddism died down the actions of this “army of redressers” had succeeded in convincing many of the factory owners to pay better wages; "

"First, the Luddites did not indiscriminately attack “all machines,” but directed their outrage at certain machines, in certain factories, being used in certain ways. Second, the Luddites were a popular movement in their time and their end came not due to “inevitable technological progress” but due to the deployment of soldiers and the introduction of harsh legislation. Third, the tactic of “machine breaking” though it is often associated with the Luddites is not exclusive to them: history is filled with examples of workers purposely breaking their machines as a way of resisting not against machinery (as such) but the broader economic system. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly is that which is bound up in Hobsbawm’s evocative phrase “collective bargaining by riot” a term that suggests that the best way to think of the Luddites is as forerunners of the labor movement; as workers they had no protections (a point confirmed for them when parliament refused to protect their craft) and so they quite literally took matters into their own hands."

"the Luddites wanted to be able to feed their children, they didn’t want to be driven into poverty, and they thought those things were more important than the factory owners becoming wealthier and more powerful."

"It’s ridiculous to suggest they were opposed to “progress” because the ideologies hung on that term today were unknown in that time; but if we must keep with the language of “progress” it’s not that the Luddites opposed it, they just thought they should get to benefit as well. As the historian David Noble commented, “the Luddites were perhaps the last people in the West to perceive technology in the present tense and to act upon that perception.”[14] That which makes the Luddites so strange, so radical, and so dangerous is not that they wanted everyone to go back to living in caves (they didn’t want that), but that they thought that those who would be impacted by a new technology deserved a voice in how it was being deployed."

" ...  we would be well advised to accept some Luddite skepticism about the values embodied in new technologies ... The Luddites remind us that there are people behind these technologies, those people have their own values, those values get built into the technological systems they’re building – and those values aren’t necessarily the same as our values. Moreover, the Luddites remind us that we too are actors."

" “Current developments in the information age suggest an increase in power by those who already had a great deal of power, an enhanced centralization of control by those already prepared for control, an augmentation of wealth by the already wealthy.”[17] At risk of being crass, the more religiously someone sings the praises of “technological progress” the further they and their family live from an e-waste dump. "

"The Luddites were not “anti-technology.” They were skilled craft workers who believed that the new machinery being deployed by factory owners would impoverish, disempower, and immiserate them. They were right. They didn’t want “zero technology,” they wanted to feed their families. If they had their way we wouldn’t be living in a world with “no technology,” we’d be living in a world where communities have a say in the technological decisions that will impact them."

Read the whole thing.

https://librarianshipwreck.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/why-the-luddites-matter/

There is another article in the links, also rather good:

https://librarianshipwreck.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/what-technology-do-we-really-need-a-critique-of-the-2016-personal-democracy-forum/

It contains a quote from one of my favorite authors:

“It must always be stressed that our civilization is one of means…the means determine the ends, by assigning us ends that can be attained and eliminating those considered unrealistic because our means do not correspond to them. At the same time, the means corrupt the ends. We live at the opposite end of the formula that ‘the ends justify the means.’ We should understand that our enormous present means shape the ends we pursue.” (Ellul, TPI, 238) " --- Jacques Ellul, "The Political Illusion"

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 12, 2018, 10:30:15 PM
Quote
A likely result of universal guaranteed income would be the rapid defection of a large number of academics from their university positions to intellectual circles where they would once again be able to argue about ideas and research things they actually find interesting

Why?  Our robotic overlords would have already fully researched all ideas.
Few cultures still have a need for people that excel at throwing spears, but it's hard to find a University without javelin tossers. ::)
Terry

Perhaps in the future individuals will toss javelins for applause, olive wreaths, and personal satisfaction.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 12, 2018, 10:47:07 PM
Quote
The new statesman republished a 1934 interview of Stalin but H.G.Wells. Whatever his other errors and shortcomings, Stalin saw very clearly why Roosevelt's reforms would ultimately fail. It took the capitalists the better part of a century, perhaps longer than Stalin might have imagined, but we now see the ruin of most of Roosevelt's ideas today.


Let's review Roosevelt's reforms.

The US Social Security System was created during his presidency and it's still going strong.  The Republican party has attempted to kill Social Security since its inception but they are now admitting that they cannot.

FDR established a national minimum wage though the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Still there.

FDR took the first Federal action to prohibit employment discrimination.  It's still a work in progress (the Lily Ledbetter Act was passed under Obama) but things have progressed since FDR kicked it into gear.

FDR  helped create the FDIC which was established through the 1933 Banking Act.  Still the controlling financial agency in the US.

FDR played a major role in the creation of the United Nations.  An imperfect, but still operational organization.

FDR also pulled the US out of the Great Depression and led the US and world into winning World War II. 

Does anyone have a list of FDR's accomplishments that "capitalists" have caused to fail?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 12, 2018, 10:52:34 PM
Quote
"The aim which the Americans are pursuing arose out of the economic troubles, out of the economic crisis. The Americans want to rid themselves of the crisis on the basis of private capitalist activity, without changing the economic basis. They are trying to reduce to a minimum the ruin, the losses caused by the existing economic system ... Thus, at best, it will be a matter, not of the reorganisation of society, not of abolishing the old social system which gives rise to anarchy and crises, but of restricting certain of its excesses.

Capitalism is strong.  Very, very strong.  In order to prevent the greedy from grabbing too much capitalism must be constrained. 

Socialism, which Stalin was promoting, has failed over and over.  The only places where large scale socialism has been attempted force has to be used to keep capitalism from breaking out and taking over. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 12, 2018, 10:58:28 PM
Quote
"The Luddites were not “anti-technology.”

Correct.  But that is of only historical interest.  The term Luddite now means those opposed to technological advances.

It's like "The Ugly American" now means Americans going abroad and acting badly.  The original ugly American was a wonderful, culturally aware person who dedicated his time to making life better for those who didn't have a technological background.  He just happened to not have a pretty face.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 12, 2018, 11:39:29 PM
Stalin and Wells were speaking of internal reform in the USA so i leave the UN out.

Social Security was meant to provide for citizens in old age. Has it done so ? What was the last time one could retire on the proceeds of Social Security alone ?

FHA, Glass Steagal, Fannie and Freddie are in ruins. Bankers rule.

Minimium wage is vastly outpaced by inflation.

Discrimination is rampant. The shocking rate of incarceration and police execution of minorities is not reflected in income and wealth statistics also.

Roosevelt reneged on reform in his second term resulting in economic downturn. What then rescued the economy was WWII.

Annd most of all, the USA is still ruled by corrupt oligarchy.

"Socialism, which Stalin was promoting"

I differ. Whatever Stalin was promoting by 1934, was not, in my view, Socialism. Recall, the trials had begun by then, Trotsky was in exile.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 12, 2018, 11:53:05 PM
^ Bear in mind that this was a 1934 Stalin speaking of a 1934 Roosevelt's accomplishments.
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 13, 2018, 12:41:46 AM
Stalin and Wells were speaking of internal reform in the USA so i leave the UN out.

Social Security was meant to provide for citizens in old age. Has it done so ? What was the last time one could retire on the proceeds of Social Security alone ?

FHA, Glass Steagal, Fannie and Freddie are in ruins. Bankers rule.

Minimium wage is vastly outpaced by inflation.

Discrimination is rampant. The shocking rate of incarceration and police execution of minorities is not reflected in income and wealth statistics also.

Roosevelt reneged on reform in his second term resulting in economic downturn. What then rescued the economy was WWII.

Annd most of all, the USA is still ruled by corrupt oligarchy.

"Socialism, which Stalin was promoting"

I differ. Whatever Stalin was promoting by 1934, was not, in my view, Socialism. Recall, the trials had begun by then, Trotsky was in exile.

sidd

sidd, you claimed via other people's words that " It took the capitalists the better part of a century, perhaps longer than Stalin might have imagined, but we now see the ruin of most of Roosevelt's ideas today."

Roosevelt's ideas are in no way ruined. 

Social Security was never meant to be a 100% funder of retirement. 

The FHA, Freddie and Fanny are operational.  Not destroyed.

Glass Steagall was somewhat dialed back.  That seems to not be a good idea and will likely be readdressed once Democrats have control over legislation and administration once more.

Is everything hunky-dory?  Of course not.  Republicans do what they can to benefit the greedy.  Democrats do what they can to move things more in favor of the vast majority of Americans.

"Discrimination is rampant. The shocking rate of incarceration and police execution of minorities is not reflected in income and wealth statistics also"

You apparently know little about how our society functioned 20 and 40 years ago.   

Perfect will probably never be achieved.  But if you think FDR did not make massive changes to the United States then you have a vast lack of knowledge about what the US was like prior to FDR.  And the rise of labor unions.

The greedy will always try to get a larger piece of the pie than they deserve.  That's how greed works.  The non-greedy will continually have to find ways to push back against the greedy.

Once Trump is gone we'll have to repair the ACAPP, Obamacare and the Consumer Protection Agency.  We'll have to reinstate regulations that Trump has reversed, perhaps creating new legislation to make it harder for the next greed-elected president to walk things backwards.

Progress is not a series of large jumps to perfection.  It's a stagger of a couple of steps forward, a step backwards, and another move forward.  But if you step back and look at the larger picture you'll see that progress proceeds in a ratchet like manner over time.  The good stuff gets preserved.  We haven't returned to slavery.  We haven't taken the vote away from women and minorities.  We haven't eliminated healthcare for the most needy.  We haven't eliminated the minimum wage.  Once programs that benefit most people are implemented they tend to stay in place.  The forces of greed atttempt to eliminate or trim them back.  A decade later those efforts have generally been overridden and the programs are stronger than they were.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 13, 2018, 12:50:22 AM
^ Bear in mind that this was a 1934 Stalin speaking of a 1934 Roosevelt's accomplishments.
Terry

FDR started in January 1933.  There wasn't a lot in the way of permanent programs started up during his first year. 

The CCC was not intended to be permanent but a way to give some of the many people out of work due to the Great Depression  an income.

The Agricultural Adjustment Administration was established to stabilize farm prices in order to protect farmers during the Depression.  IIRC the AAA was folded into the Department of Agriculture.

The National Industry Recovery Act was another short term action designed to help pull the US out of the Depression.

The TVA is still going strong.

Stalin was smoking crack.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 13, 2018, 07:07:33 AM
Clearly Mr. Wallace and I see things differently.

In my view:

Glass Steagall is gutted, and it's weak shadow, Dodd-Frank is being gutted.

Since the 1970s, say fifty years ago, wages and benefits have stagnated for the working classes as opposed to the rentiers in the USA.

Gilens and Page have documented that legislation is passed almost exclusively in the interests of the moneyed class.

I note that regarding the relative income positioning of minorities 20 years ago, i have posted a link in the Economic Inequality thread, which argues that improvement is illusory.

I think that if you asked Mr. Roosevelt today of his vision had lasted, his answer would be interesting.

sidd

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 13, 2018, 07:32:35 AM
Quote
Glass Steagall is gutted, and it's weak shadow, Dodd-Frank is being gutted.

One step back.  It happens.  Once Democrats get back in power we'll likely see that step recovered and another step forward. 

Quote
Since the 1970s, say fifty years ago, wages and benefits have stagnated for the working classes as opposed to the rentiers in the USA.

This is a problem that needs to be addressed.  The new tax legislation has made the problem even worse.  The downslide of the middle class started with Reagan and his "trickle down on you" economics.  It's something that we have to reverse.

Quote
I think that if you asked Mr. Roosevelt today of his vision had lasted, his answer would be interesting.

We've made a lot of progress since FDR's day.  I doubt he would be able to imagine minorities holding major elected offices such as governors, senators and president.  I imagine his pince-nez would have fallen off his face when he beheld the number of high positions filled by women.

Remember, FDR died long before the legal end of segregation.  He was born less than 20 years after the end of slavery.

FDR also died well before the 'golden age' of the US middle class.  The middle class and working class live much, much better than in Roosevelt's day.  I suspect he'd see economic progress from his perspective and declare it a good thing.

Might I ask how old you are Sidd?  I'll be 74 in a few days.  I grew up in the segregated South and in a 'certainly not affluent' community.  We might have a different perspective in terms of what has been gained and what has been lost.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 13, 2018, 08:26:58 AM
Let us say i have seen some six decades now. And I hang with a lot poor people, and many nonwhite, and many of both are racists and have other horrible traits. I know some rich people as well, and my observation is that compassion drops as you grow richer.

Some of all these i count as friends, including the one with the horrible traits.

I have knocked around  a dozen countries or so over my life. The USA is indeed a strange and terrible land.

Let me tell you when it really came home to me.

About ten years ago, in a horrible winter, hauling a load, come over a rise, black ice, start goin sideways, but controlled, outta corner of my eye, see a car off the road, halfway up the embankment, looks kinda familiar. See flashers comin the other way, so we keep going, someone's called it in.

About a half mile down the road, pedestrian flags us down. Guy we know. Hops in, he was driving the car.  His shoulder looks funny, got some bloodstains going, so we pull over, gonna call the paramedics. He sez, no fucking way, if he gets picked up by the ambulance he got to pay for the ride, more than he can afford. We go, ok, we'll take you to the hospital, three valleys away. No, he sez, i can't afford that either, take me home, i'm good.

So we do. But i call his dad, older guy, let him know, we just dropped his son off, he's beat up.

Next day, I hear the guy is dead.

Running from the cops is one thing. Running from an ambulance becoz you can't pay is quite another.

And i hear that a lot in these days with ACA as well. Most of these guys in the back hollers and woods cant afford an ambulance ride. Or medical care. They dont file taxes, make too little for the IRS to bother,  so they weren't hit by the insurance mandate penalty, but they dont have insurance either.

And they run away from ambulances. If they can.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 13, 2018, 08:58:49 AM
In 1965 Medicare was initiated as part of FDR's Social Security Act of 1935.

Initially Medicare only required that states provide Medicaid to children, pregnant women, parents of dependent children, individuals with disabilities, and qualifying people over age 65.

Under Obama states were allowed expanded Medicaid programs to cover almost all adults (even those without children) whose incomes are up to 138% of the federal poverty level.  Some ahole governors blocked expansion but many people like you describe are now covered.

The only place the folks you describe should be running to is the polls.  They need to elect some people who serve them and not the Koch brothers. 

Of if they live in a covered state then they need to sign up for insurance that won't cost them a penny.  In fact, if they can't get Medicaid then they should be able to get "Obamacare" coverage.  Still won't cost them anything.  I knew someone with a limited income who got basic coverage for $1/month.

We're working our way towards a system that covers everyone.  But it's more of that two steps forward and one step back stuff.  We'll have to undo the Trump damage and then move the ball further downfield.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 13, 2018, 09:24:42 AM
BTW, I'm pretty sure that one of the changes made by the ACAPP (Obamacare) was that all health insurance policies now have to cover ambulance rides.

On this page you can find a list of the states which have not expanded Medicaid coverage.

https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/the-coverage-gap-uninsured-poor-adults-in-states-that-do-not-expand-medicaid/

Elections are coming up.  People should get to the polls and vote in their own self-interest, not to make the obscenely wealthy even richer.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on May 13, 2018, 11:20:48 AM
I think that what Stalin was getting at, was that despite Roosevelt's lofty ideals, he wouldn't succeed, because capitalism is inherently flawed/corrupt.

And he had that from Karl Marx, of course.

Coincidentally, there was an interesting interview on the Jimmy Dore Show about just this subject last week (it's worth watching it from the start, but here's the part that ties into this discussion):

https://youtu.be/qT1JAzhywfA?t=234

I agree with sidd that we are seeing these inherent flaws clearer than ever, and that no, the 'Democrats' are not going to fix them, because they're part of the corruption (they were the death knell of Roosevelt's policies, after all). It can only become worse, unless some very serious systemic changes are made, starting with ditching the moral and physical aberration that is neoclassical economics, and ending with a cap on how much any individual person can own.

Maybe the problem isn't capitalism per se, bit it's definitely a problem when the capital is owned by a very small number of people. And that's what we see. It was inevitable, and in this Stalin may very well have been right.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: etienne on May 13, 2018, 12:38:12 PM
Well Roosevelt did a better job than Stalin. No problem with Marx, but Stalin was a monster. If we want to change the world, I prefer Martin Luther King Junior or Gandhi. If Gaza could continue without violence like it did the last Fridays, they would probably get more success than with the Intifada technique. A crazy man that makes a nice speach makes propagada, always look at the fruits to see if the guy is good or bad.

I agree with Neven that capitalism is not the problem, but the sharing of revenues is the issue. My Grand-Father used to say about food "a little bit of everything, but without excess", I believe that this is also valid for the way the world works. We need public companies, we need private companies, we need social security... but I don't understand why a french company takes care of Luxembourgish trashes and of public transportations in the Netherlands, why a US company has hospitals in Switzerland and homes for elderly people in Luxembourg, why a Swiss company makes cheese in the US ... ok for technological products, but not for everyday businesses.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on May 13, 2018, 01:29:55 PM
I agree with Neven that capitalism is not the problem, but the sharing of revenues is the issue.

The question in this case: Is this problem inherent to capitalism? Does it always lead to this? And if it is indeed inherent to capitalism, will it still be capitalism when we take this problem away? Is it enough to put the capital in many more hands?

You can argue that Roosevelt did a better job than Stalin, but maybe this also means that capitalism was much more efficient at burning up resources and this in turn is the main reason we are now faced with huge global problems, AGW being the most prominent.

Anyway, this stuff is complex, and I think that automation and AI are not going to make it simpler. But maybe it's a way out. Much of it is psychological anyway.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Alexander555 on May 13, 2018, 01:32:45 PM
"Once Trump is gone" , what a joke. It's pretty clear that corruption is everywhere. Than you have 2 options. Or the army steps in and clears everything. Or organisations  like the kartels use this situation to put all these corrupt people with their backs against the wall. And than they step in. And the 2th option is probably going on for already a long time. For them this is a paradise, corrupt people. Because they can not open their month anymore. The US is going to look much faster like Venezuela than many people realise.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Alexander555 on May 13, 2018, 01:58:17 PM
Last year we had a case in court. 3 pharmaceutical companies sold for a couple 100 millions a year basic ingredients to pharmaceutical companies in Mexico. But these Mexican companies were kartel owned. They used these basis chemical stuff to make drugs. The question was, did these European companies knew that they were from the kartels. They have been buying your regular economy for already a long time. With a revenue of hundreds of bilions a year you can buy many things, and corrupt plenty people. And still these anti-Trump protesters think Trump is the problem.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: etienne on May 13, 2018, 02:45:22 PM
I agree with Neven that capitalism is not the problem, but the sharing of revenues is the issue.

The question in this case: Is this problem inherent to capitalism? Does it always lead to this? And if it is indeed inherent to capitalism, will it still be capitalism when we take this problem away? Is it enough to put the capital in many more hands?

You can argue that Roosevelt did a better job than Stalin, but maybe this also means that capitalism was much more efficient at burning up resources and this in turn is the main reason we are now faced with huge global problems, AGW being the most prominent.

Anyway, this stuff is complex, and I think that automation and AI are not going to make it simpler. But maybe it's a way out. Much of it is psychological anyway.

What about Tschernobyl ? I wouldn't compare ecological achievements of capitalism and communism. I don't think that one model would have saved us, both  believe in growth above the limits.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on May 13, 2018, 03:40:41 PM
What about Tschernobyl ? I wouldn't compare ecological achievements of capitalism and communism. I don't think that one model would have saved us, both  believe in growth above the limits.

You started the comparison, and maybe I shouldn't have replied, as it wasn't what the discussion was all about. But I absolutely agree with you that both models have been flawed so far in that they both had growth as its end, instead of it being a means to an end.

Now, I can see a situation where communism/socialism ends in a steady state situation with no more growth because everyone has been provided for, but would such a thing even be possible with capitalism? Is endless growth not a core feature of capitalism?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Alexander555 on May 13, 2018, 04:18:41 PM
Globalisation is a problem. It creates the same problem as these criminal organisations. You have 2 companies, one lives from the activety  it's doing. The other one has a 2th source of income. They are both competitors, but the 2th one can not go bankrupted. At least not in reality. But he will destroy the one that is doing everything in a fair way. Or he has to become a criminal himself. These globalists are doing the same. They import people and it has always to do with costs. So the people that are not importing people, they will go bankrupted. Or they have to do the same. And that's how you turn all the good boys into bad boys. And they can print money to counter it a little. But it want help. It just pushes more money into the hands of these criminals.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 13, 2018, 05:51:28 PM
Quote
I think that what Stalin was getting at, was that despite Roosevelt's lofty ideals, he wouldn't succeed, because capitalism is inherently flawed/corrupt.

And he had that from Karl Marx, of course.

Capitalism is what it is.  The problem is that capitalism is very "strong" and must be restrained or we will end up with a monopoly where one, or a very small number of people, own everything.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 13, 2018, 06:05:20 PM
Quote
Is endless growth not a core feature of capitalism?

Socialist countries also strive for endless growth.  They just have a hard time pulling it off.

Capitalism does not require growth.  Capitalism allows for faster growth.

Look at Musk's achievements.  He would not have been able to step in and turn Tesla into what it is or to fund SpaceX and Boring had he not had a lot of capital at his disposal.  Musk didn't need to spend his time looking for funding, he had the capital and put it to work. 

We blame capitalism for things that would happen under socialism as well.  (Perhaps somewhat slower.)  Socialist countries pollute, they use unsustainable inputs, they grow.  The difference is that under capitalism individuals can earn more by working harder and thinking harder.  This leads to more effort and faster progress and growth.

 

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 13, 2018, 06:19:36 PM
Quote
Globalisation is a problem. It creates the same problem as these criminal organisations.

Globalism is not the problem.  Lack of adequate regulation in some countries is the problem.  Globalism is how we achieve world peace.  If countries economies are adequately interlaced then economic interests will work to solve problems that might lead to conflict.  Companies do not want their supply streams and markets disrupted. 

Like it or not, big business is how we cut our carbon footprints.  It will take large companies doing big projects to transform our grids from fossil fuel to renewable energy source.

Big business is how we achieve world peace.  Lots of business across national borders means a natural resistance to conflict and puts individuals into contact with "them" so that we learn that "them" are pretty much like us and nothing to be afraid of.  In fact, some of "them" are nice people and make good friends.

Capitalism is how we make progress quickly reducing our GHG problem.  Create conditions where there is money to be made by building solar and wind farms, installing storage, selling EVs, etc.  Folks who want to make money will swarm to do that stuff.

But we have to realize that the possibility of profits will cause some of us to do things we don't want done.  We have to regulate what people do.  We have to regulate against pollution, using non-sustainable materials, treating employees and customers badly, and the other things we don't want happening.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Alexander555 on May 13, 2018, 06:20:44 PM
Capitalism strong ? They would all be bankrupted without printing money day and night.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 13, 2018, 08:11:41 PM
Capitalism strong ? They would all be bankrupted without printing money day and night.

Capitalism and fiscal policy are not the same thing. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 13, 2018, 08:38:58 PM
"Big business is how we achieve world peace"

Currently, big business is doing very well out of war:

"Total world military expenditure rose to $1739 billion in 2017, a marginal increase of 1.1 per cent in real terms from 2016"

https://www.sipri.org/media/press-release/2018/global-military-spending-remains-high-17-trillion

Heres a list of the top 10 merchants of death, sales in US$

Finnmeccanica, sales 10 billion, United Technologies 12 billion, Airbus 16 billion, General Dynamics 19 billion, Northrop Grumman 20 billion, Raytheon 22 billion, BAE 27 billion, Boeing 31 billion, Lockheed Martin 35 billion

BAE, Airbus and Finnmeccanica are the only non US companies in there.

http://news.bitofnews.com/the-9-most-powerful-weapons-manufacturers-in-the-world/

wikipedia has a similar list for 2015

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_industry#List_of_major_weapon_manufacturers

Their business is war, and business is good.

sidd

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 13, 2018, 09:23:40 PM

Quote
Is endless growth not a core feature of capitalism?

Capitalism does not require growth.  Capitalism allows for faster growth.
What? :o

Who said capitalism does not require growth?? Did Adam Smith make that claim? Do Keynesian economists make that claim? Do Austrian economists make that claim? Are any capitalists making that claim? No. You will not find any capitalists making that claim
Are critics of capitalism making that claim? Of course not, since capitalism's endless growth is a main critique by leftists scholars. There is mountains and mountains of literature describing in excruciating detail the problems of capitalism & growth. I'm not sure how you missed hundreds of prominent academics discussing this problem for decades, but, well, here we are.

How could you come to such an ahistorical conclusion? Did you forget about recessions and depressions? You know, those times where the economy slows down and a bunch of people lose their jobs & homes. Except for the wealthy who seem to actually benefit from these downturn.  Is that how forgot about recessions and depressions? You were too busy buying cheap property and collecting rent to notice why thousands of people are living on the street?


Bob, you have been so wrong about so many things.  I wish I wasn't knee deep in school so I could unpack everything you've said in this thread.

Watch this, it's only 8 minutes, but does a wonderful job explaining neoliberalism.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rxrjhWTdv8

And read
https://www.amazon.ca/This-Changes-Everything-Capitalism-Climate/dp/0307401995
This will provide you with a nice introduction to capitalism & climate change.

You have a long way to go. but this should be a good start.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 13, 2018, 09:29:28 PM
Quote
Currently, big business is doing very well out of war:

Some individual companies do well selling war stuff.  Overall war has meant a net loss for business starting with WWI (perhaps earlier, I'm forgetting the last net profit war).
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 13, 2018, 09:35:32 PM
Quote
Who said capitalism does not require growth??

Where is the proof that capitalism requires growth?  Are you confusing correlation and causation?

One could live in an isolated village that isn't growing or trading outside the village.  And one might own an extra house which they rent out, using the rental income to purchase their food and other supplies.

That is capitalism in a non-growing economy.

Ogg could have let Dugg use his really good sharp stick to hunt an antelope in exchange for a portion of the meat.  More capitalism without growth.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 13, 2018, 10:01:22 PM
Quote
Who said capitalism does not require growth??

Where is the proof that capitalism requires growth?  Are you confusing correlation and causation?

uhhhh? what? literally every orthodox capitalist will describe constant grown as a requirement for a healthy economy. The proof is uhhhhhh the last three hundred years of capitalist economy and every academic discussing economics during these times. The business cycle. recessions. depressions. What more "proof" do you neeed? does god need to come down and explain it to you through a prophet?


One could live in an isolated village that isn't growing or trading outside the village.  And one might own an extra house which they rent out, using the rental income to purchase their food and other supplies.

That is capitalism in a non-growing economy.

Ogg could have let Dugg use his really good sharp stick to hunt an antelope in exchange for a portion of the meat.  More capitalism without growth.

Bob, this has to be the dumbest thing I've ever read. Are you seriously comparing global capitalism to..... an isolated village. that, for some reason, has decided to develop a capitalist system, and seek rent.  But the awful comparison doesn't even work, because the village still requires growth to sustain its economics system. If it was capitalist, the rent-seeker would need to accumulate resources (or capital), so there must be a surplus of resources from the villager to pay that rent.  Otherwise, if the rent-seeker isn't accumulating resources, and simply trading his home for resources, that would be an equitable transaction..... also known as.......... COMMUNISM 8)

The irony of your example is historically isolated communities were very egalitarian. It wasn't until agriculture advances allowed for surplus food stocks, which then was accumulated by priests and lords.  Which lead to feudalism and capitalism etc.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/may/14/early-men-women-equal-scientists
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 13, 2018, 10:05:54 PM
Re: Capitalism and Growth

There is support for capitalism without growth in models by Daly and others. In this article, Smith argues they are wrong:

"I will argue that Herman Daly, Tim Jackson, Andrew Simms and the rest of the anti-growth school of ecological economists are right that we need a new macro economic model that allows us to thrive without endless consumption. But they are mistaken to think that this can be a capitalist economic model."

Briefly: his argument is the laws of competition in the marketplace compels corporations to grow or die. 

"I maintain that the growth imperative is a virtual a law of nature, built into any conceivable capitalism"

He gives an example of stasis under capitalism:

"Since the fall of 2008, when the world economy suddenly ground to a halt, we've been treated to a preview of what a no-growth "stasis" economy would look like under capitalism. It's not a pretty sight: capital destruction, mass unemployment, devastated communities, growing poverty, foreclosures, homelessness and environmental considerations shunted aside in the all-out effort to restore growth. That is "stasis" under capitalism."

He attacks Daly's ideas:

"in Daly's model of a steady-state capitalism - the government's role is to set an upper limit on throughput consumption only and then get out of the way, leaving the market "alone" and in charge, why would the market act any differently than it does right now? "

A point he could have made but did not, was that corporates would treat the purchase and sale of legislators as any other market, resulting in regulatory capture and the state becoming an instrument of the largest capitalists. In short an oligarchy, as Stalin among many others foresaw.

Smith brings up Jevon's paradox:

"But Jevons lived, and we live, under capitalism, and, in this system, cheaper inputs give producers only greater incentive to "grow the market" by selling more product at lower prices to more consumers, and thus to push sales and profits still higher. So, ironically, the very capitalist efficiency and market organization of production that Daly celebrates just brings on the growth and further environmental destruction he so dreads."

Apparently Daly responded that he was not necessarily speaking of a capitalist economy:

" When this article first appeared in Real-World Economics Review No. 53, Professor Daly wrote a reply in issue 54 insisting that he was talking about a “steady-state economy” not a steady-state capitalist economy. I rejoined in issue 55 and explained why, in my view, he could only be talking about a capitalist economy. "

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/21215-beyond-growth-or-beyond-capitalism

In the large i think the issue is not capitalism as it is preached, but capitalism as it is practised here and now. And I think Smith is correct, in that cpitalism as it is  presently consituted in the West is incapable of dealing with stasis. Perhap a utopian capitalism might do so, but we do not live in utopia.

Even if you do not agree, i recommend reading the article carefully. It is quite legible and well sourced and defines the issue with clarity.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 13, 2018, 10:14:38 PM
Thank you for saving me the typing, Mr. Zizek:

"Otherwise, if the rent-seeker isn't accumulating resources, and simply trading his home for resources, that would be an equitable transaction..... also known as.......... COMMUNISM "

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Alexander555 on May 13, 2018, 10:20:01 PM
I think it's more that a debt economy needs constant growth. Because normaly you have to pay it back. And that means that somebody gets less money on his account.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 13, 2018, 10:33:37 PM
Thank you for bringing up Daly. I read a little bit of his work a while back and was repulsed by his conclusion.  I always thought Daly's work is a window into the future of post-denialism climate change rhetoric. Once climate change becomes impossible to deny, capitalists will adopt his language to protect themselves from climate change inspired economic upheaval:
"no, capitalism is fine, we just have to tweak it to be sustainable. It will work, we promise"

I haven't read Smith yet, thanks for posting it. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 13, 2018, 10:51:51 PM

Quote
Is endless growth not a core feature of capitalism?

Capitalism does not require growth.  Capitalism allows for faster growth.
What? :o

Who said capitalism does not require growth?? Did Adam Smith make that claim? Do Keynesian economists make that claim? Do Austrian economists make that claim? Are any capitalists making that claim? No. You will not find any capitalists making that claim
Are critics of capitalism making that claim? Of course not, since capitalism's endless growth is a main critique by leftists scholars. There is mountains and mountains of literature describing in excruciating detail the problems of capitalism & growth. I'm not sure how you missed hundreds of prominent academics discussing this problem for decades, but, well, here we are.

How could you come to such an ahistorical conclusion? Did you forget about recessions and depressions? You know, those times where the economy slows down and a bunch of people lose their jobs & homes. Except for the wealthy who seem to actually benefit from these downturn.  Is that how forgot about recessions and depressions? You were too busy buying cheap property and collecting rent to notice why thousands of people are living on the street?


Bob, you have been so wrong about so many things.  I wish I wasn't knee deep in school so I could unpack everything you've said in this thread.

Watch this, it's only 8 minutes, but does a wonderful job explaining neoliberalism.

And read
https://www.amazon.ca/This-Changes-Everything-Capitalism-Climate/dp/0307401995
This will provide you with a nice introduction to capitalism & climate change.

You have a long way to go. but this should be a good start.

Capitalism, as an institutional structure, simply does not require growth to persist.
Recessions and depressions never stopped the basic elements of capitalism.  Symbolic money, and borrowing and lending for interest are the crux of it.  Add property rights and rights to collect rent.  Also add limited liability corporations.  These, together, constitute a capitalist system.

Nowhere, at no time, has a lack of economic growth imperiled the existence of these elements.

Capitalism does not require growth to persist.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 13, 2018, 11:04:42 PM

Quote
Is endless growth not a core feature of capitalism?

Capitalism does not require growth.  Capitalism allows for faster growth.
What? :o

Who said capitalism does not require growth?? Did Adam Smith make that claim? Do Keynesian economists make that claim? Do Austrian economists make that claim? Are any capitalists making that claim? No. You will not find any capitalists making that claim
Are critics of capitalism making that claim? Of course not, since capitalism's endless growth is a main critique by leftists scholars. There is mountains and mountains of literature describing in excruciating detail the problems of capitalism & growth. I'm not sure how you missed hundreds of prominent academics discussing this problem for decades, but, well, here we are.

How could you come to such an ahistorical conclusion? Did you forget about recessions and depressions? You know, those times where the economy slows down and a bunch of people lose their jobs & homes. Except for the wealthy who seem to actually benefit from these downturn.  Is that how forgot about recessions and depressions? You were too busy buying cheap property and collecting rent to notice why thousands of people are living on the street?


Bob, you have been so wrong about so many things.  I wish I wasn't knee deep in school so I could unpack everything you've said in this thread.

Watch this, it's only 8 minutes, but does a wonderful job explaining neoliberalism.

And read
https://www.amazon.ca/This-Changes-Everything-Capitalism-Climate/dp/0307401995
This will provide you with a nice introduction to capitalism & climate change.

You have a long way to go. but this should be a good start.

Capitalism, as an institutional structure, simply does not require growth to persist.
Recessions and depressions never stopped the basic elements of capitalism.  Symbolic money, and borrowing and lending for interest are the crux of it.  Add property rights and rights to collect rent.  Also add limited liability corporations.  These, together, constitute a capitalist system.

Nowhere, at no time, has a lack of economic growth imperiled the existence of these elements.

Capitalism does not require growth to persist.
:o :o :o :o :o :o

how does this keep on happening on this forum. It's like economics is fair game for making shit up. How many times do I have to say this:

THERE ARE NO ORTHODOX CAPITALIST SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT, NOR ARE THERE ANY CAPITALIST CRITIQUES THAT SUGGEST PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATIONS OF CAPITALISM DO NOT REQUIRE GROWTH. GROWTH IS FUNDAMENTAL TO CAPITALISM.


it's like I'm taking crazy pills here.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 13, 2018, 11:07:45 PM
"Capitalism, as an institutional structure, simply does not require growth to persist.
Recessions and depressions never stopped the basic elements of capitalism.  Symbolic money, and borrowing and lending for interest are the crux of it.  Add property rights and rights to collect rent.  Also add limited liability corporations.  These, together, constitute a capitalist system.

Capitalism does not require growth to persist."

I see no mention of a competitive market here, which is the basis of Smith's argument. So I do not see a refutation of Smith's arguments here. 

But more empirically, can anyone point to an existing capitalist economy that does not grow ? Is there even a single example of such a beast ?

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 13, 2018, 11:17:51 PM
"Capitalism does not require growth to persist."

I do not see a refutation of Smith's arguments here. But more empirically, can anyone point to an existing capitalist economy that does not grow ? Is there even a single example of such a beast ?

sidd

Blindingly obvious examples.  Plenty.  Japan's "lost decade" for one.  A decade of near-zero GDP growth, with minimal inflation, nearly full employment, and high standard of living.

The example of the US Great Depression is illustrative as well.  Strongly negative GDP growth.  While suffering was immense, the basic institutions of capitalism didn't change, and weren't threatened.

Capitalism simply doesn't require economic growth to persist.  That's no theory, it's empirical fact.

PS:  Another blindingly obvious example, Somalia.  Failed government, massive civil disturbance, famines, civil war.  And still, banking goes on:
http://www.centralbank.gov.so/banks.html

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 13, 2018, 11:24:34 PM
Thanks for the Japan example, but i note it is grew before and after, so all that example proves is that periods of stasis are possible. I was asking for an example of a capitalist economy static in size from beginning to end of it's tenure.

And  I would argue that the Great Depression threatened capitalism, and the changes Roosevelt made,  and WWII saved it.

I was modifying my comment when you replied, so i restate:

"I see no mention of a competitive market here, which is the basis of Smith's argument. So I do not see a refutation of Smith's arguments here.  "

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 13, 2018, 11:27:55 PM
"Capitalism, as an institutional structure, simply does not require growth to persist.
Recessions and depressions never stopped the basic elements of capitalism.  Symbolic money, and borrowing and lending for interest are the crux of it.  Add property rights and rights to collect rent.  Also add limited liability corporations.  These, together, constitute a capitalist system.

Capitalism does not require growth to persist."

I see no mention of a competitive market here, which is the basis of Smith's argument. So I do not see a refutation of Smith's arguments here.   

True, I did not specify a competitive market explicitly.  But where do you see borrowing and lending at interest outside of a competitive market for borrowing and lending?  Where do you see rent on property without a competitive market for renting property?  Where do you see limited liability corporations that do not operate in some kind of competitive market?  It's inherent in these structures.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 13, 2018, 11:31:42 PM
Thanks for the Japan example, but i note it is grew before and after, so all that example proves is that periods of stasis are possible. I was asking for an example of a capitalist economy static in size from beginning to end of it's tenure.

Japan never really exited its lost decade.  A percent or so of GDP growth is nothing to point at as vindication. 

A decade and more of negligible growth, with zero evidence of strain on capitalistic structures of the economy, and you insist on more proof that zero growth is feasible in capitalism?  I think you're straining credulity.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 13, 2018, 11:49:24 PM
Here is a definition of capitalism from Wiki which closely matches my definition.

Quote
Capitalism is an economic system based upon private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investment are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.

My definition differs slightly in that I view an individual's time and labor as capital.  It's something which others might value and be willing pay or exchange something in order to use.

Ogg had a sharp stick.  Private property.  He entered into a voluntary exchange with Dugg in which he allowed Dugg to use his property in exchange for the fruits of Dugg's labor.

Perhaps Zebb also had a sharp stick or a really good throwing rock.  In that event there could be a competitive market in which two people offered use of their possessions for a share of the kill.  One tool might be better but the other owner might ask for a smaller portion.

Capitalism, baby.  No growth required. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 13, 2018, 11:54:35 PM
Quote
I was asking for an example of a capitalist economy static in size from beginning to end of it's tenure.

What would it matter if you found one or not?  If a capitalist economy fails was it not capitalistic?

What if a socialist economy grows?  Does that make it capitalistic?

I think capitalism and growth get confounded because capitalistic systems are so powerful and generally create growth whereas socialistic systems stagnate due to the lack of individual incentives.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 14, 2018, 12:11:18 AM
"Capitalism does not require growth to persist."

I do not see a refutation of Smith's arguments here. But more empirically, can anyone point to an existing capitalist economy that does not grow ? Is there even a single example of such a beast ?

sidd

Blindingly obvious examples.  Plenty.  Japan's "lost decade" for one.  A decade of near-zero GDP growth, with minimal inflation, nearly full employment, and high standard of living.

The example of the US Great Depression is illustrative as well.  Strongly negative GDP growth.  While suffering was immense, the basic institutions of capitalism didn't change, and weren't threatened.

Capitalism simply doesn't require economic growth to persist.  That's no theory, it's empirical fact.

PS:  Another blindingly obvious example, Somalia.  Failed government, massive civil disturbance, famines, civil war.  And still, banking goes on:
http://www.centralbank.gov.so/banks.html

These are all examples that do not support your argument.  In every single scenario there were adjustments made in order to further replicate the capitalist economy. If no adjustments were made, than a catastrophic failure would occur as conditions deteriorate (revolution).

Just because a black market exists within a communist state, doesn't immediately mean that communism fails. But if that black market persists and grows, than it will destroy the communist state.


And I'm not sure what you're getting with somalia? Just because there's growth doesn't mean that the resources are allocated in the best way possible.  You can get rich anywhere. This is capitalism 101
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 14, 2018, 12:19:53 AM


These are all examples that do not support your argument.  In every single scenario there were adjustments made in order to further replicate the capitalist economy. If no adjustments were made, than a catastrophic failure would occur as conditions deteriorate (revolution).

Just because a black market exists within a communist state, doesn't immediately mean that communism fails. But if that black market persists and grows, than it will destroy the communist state.


And I'm not sure what you're getting with somalia? Just because there's growth doesn't mean that the resources are allocated in the best way possible.  You can get rich anywhere. This is capitalism 101

In every single case, adjustments were made, yes.  But capitalism is always making adjustments to changing circumstances.  This is capitalism's great strength.  No other economic system is as nimble in making adjustments.

The assertion at hand is whether economic growth is necessary for capitalism to persist.  These examples I've included are specific examples of persistence of capitalism in the face of zero growth, negative growth, and severe social disorder.  Growth is not necessary for capitalism to persist.  It's an empirical fact.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 14, 2018, 12:20:47 AM
1) I still do not see a counterargument to Smith: that competetive markets drive growth

2)in the case Mr. Wallace suggested of  a market in hunting tools for a share of the surplus (the kill); let me refine that a little:

if the owners of the tools do the hunting, then you have worker ownership of the means of production.

If the owner of the tool (the capitalist) does not hunt, and merely pays the worker (the hunter) a fixed amount of money (meat) per unit time for his labor, regardless of the size of the kill. Then the capitalist takes the risk and the profit. But again this is a monopoly. For a competitive market, let us say you have n capitalists and m hunters and a competitive market. Then Smith's argument would say that the economy will grow. For the moment let us assume the meat does not spoil, and can be accumulated  by the capitalists indefinitely.

3) But the larger danger i see, as i stated before,  is regulatory capture. What is to prevent the state from becoming a tool of capitalists through the market in legislators ? As we see all the way from  Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Co. to Citizen's United, that is exactly what has happened.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 14, 2018, 12:23:39 AM
Thanks for the Japan example, but i note it is grew before and after, so all that example proves is that periods of stasis are possible. I was asking for an example of a capitalist economy static in size from beginning to end of it's tenure.

Japan never really exited its lost decade.  A percent or so of GDP growth is nothing to point at as vindication. 

A decade and more of negligible growth, with zero evidence of strain on capitalistic structures of the economy, and you insist on more proof that zero growth is feasible in capitalism?  I think you're straining credulity.

GDP is a horrible measurement to define growth.  Japan's firms still were maximizing their profits during the stagnation. But wages were decreased.  If the Japanese firms simply stopped growing they would no longer be competitive. 

A real stagnation that you are trying to describe would require all the bourgeois to come together and have a nice discussion. They would negotiate how they would not compete with each other, whilst maintaining their wealth.  Also known as an oligarchy. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on May 14, 2018, 12:28:00 AM
A real stagnation that you are trying to describe would require all the bourgeois to come together and have a nice discussion. They would negotiate how they would not compete with each other, whilst maintaining their wealth.  Also known as an oligarchy.

They would still want that wealth to grow, and usurp institutions to make it so.

Growth is not necessary for capitalism to persist.  It's an empirical fact.

The examples you have cited, only show that capitalism can do without growth temporarily.

Capitalism might work, if wealth wouldn't concentrate, and growth get defined in different ways (not as it currently is, with GDP).

Other question: Does capitalism go beyond growth by itself, or does it take enlightened policies?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 14, 2018, 12:30:23 AM


These are all examples that do not support your argument.  In every single scenario there were adjustments made in order to further replicate the capitalist economy. If no adjustments were made, than a catastrophic failure would occur as conditions deteriorate (revolution).

Just because a black market exists within a communist state, doesn't immediately mean that communism fails. But if that black market persists and grows, than it will destroy the communist state.


And I'm not sure what you're getting with somalia? Just because there's growth doesn't mean that the resources are allocated in the best way possible.  You can get rich anywhere. This is capitalism 101

In every single case, adjustments were made, yes.  But capitalism is always making adjustments to changing circumstances.  This is capitalism's great strength.  No other economic system is as nimble in making adjustments.

The assertion at hand is whether economic growth is necessary for capitalism to persist.  These examples I've included are specific examples of persistence of capitalism in the face of zero growth, negative growth, and severe social disorder.  Growth is not necessary for capitalism to persist.  It's an empirical fact.

How can you be this dense. your argument is the equivalent of saying an engine doesn't need oil because it can run without it for short periods of time.  And in the case of somalia, it doesn't need oil because an engine that's not running is still an engine.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 14, 2018, 12:33:29 AM
Quote
2)in the case Mr. Wallace suggested of  a market in hunting tools for a share of the surplus (the kill); let me refine that a little:

if the owners of the tools do the hunting, then you have worker ownership of the means of production.

If the owner of the tool (the capitalist) does not hunt, and merely pays the worker (the hunter) a fixed amount of money (meat) per unit time for his labor, regardless of the size of the kill. Then the capitalist takes the risk and the profit. But again this is a monopoly. For a competitive market, let us say you have n capitalists and m hunters and a competitive market. Then Smith's argument would say that the economy will grow. For the moment let us assume the meat does not spoil, and can be accumulated  by the capitalists indefinitely.

Ogg and Dugg can eat only so much meat.  Why would the economy grow? 

There's no value in piles of meat that no one is ever going to eat, even if it never spoils.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 14, 2018, 12:34:11 AM
1) I still do not see a counterargument to Smith: that competetive markets drive growth

Of course competitive markets tend to drive growth.  That's completely different from saying that growth is necessary for competitive markets to persist.

Capitalist theory says that all actors seek to maximize wealth and income.  When an economy *can* grow, everyone acting within the system to maximize income and wealth has a tendency to create more overall income and wealth.  With caveats, of course.  Theft increases my wealth while adding nothing to total wealth, as an example.

The point here is that in capitalist systems, everyone continues to act to maximize their own wealth and income *regardless* of trends in total wealth and income.
Bankers, borrowers, landowners, corporate CEOs continue to make exactly the same *types* of actions whether total wealth or income is stagnant, increasing, decreasing, or in social disarray.
Recessions lead to alterations in risk-taking.  Social disorder leads to risk minimization strategies.  Still, everyone continues to maximize their own wealth and income.

Even if *everyone* experiences decreases in wealth and income, they *still* continue to make the same kinds of decisions, using persistent institutions and structures.

Capitalism does not require growth to persist.  It's an empirical fact.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Iceismylife on May 14, 2018, 12:50:47 AM
regulatory capture
Don't worry regulatory capture isn't real. It is just a conspiracy.

And we all know conspiracy theories aren't real.  So regulatory capture isn't real.  The top isn't conspiring against the bottom.  Not hat is just nuts, they would never do that.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Grubbegrabben on May 14, 2018, 12:55:35 AM
I'm not trying to hijack the discussion but growth as in increased value of goods and services produced in an economy is sometimes seen as something utterly evil and destructive. "We have only one planet, eternal growth cannot exist" etc etc. This assumes that all growth is enabled by increased consumption of energy and raw materials. Does this have to be true?

My youngest kid has embraced the digital revolution. His toys are mostly virtual (stuff bought in computer games such as "pokemon go"). This market has grown tremendeously. And creating these billions of new dollars of growth, I assume, consume but a fraction of the raw materials compared to if it had been new physical items. On top of that, zero hazardous waste once the "product" is discarded.

Just wanted to add my 5c. Proceed with the capitalism vs growth topic, it's interesting :)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 14, 2018, 01:07:13 AM
I should point out that i have elided over three different aspects of money, at which the meat economy analogy is terrible. Those are storage of value, unit of account and medium of exchange. We need a more sophisticated economy than one with just meat. Even hunter gatherer societies had more than that.

The assertion that competitive markets can persist without growth does not address the fact that actually existing capitalist economies do grow. In the case of Japan, in the period 1956 to 2006 real GDP growth rate dipped below zero only twice. I attach a graf. Current real GDP growth rates around 1.5% over the last 5 years. So it is growing, albeit slowly. (I shall not take up the example of Somalia. Somalia ?! )

I lean toward Smith's argument that actually existing forms of western capitalism do exhibit growth driven by competitive markets.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 14, 2018, 01:19:45 AM
"zero hazardous waste"

Mmmm. What about digital pollution ? Those virtual products harvest your child's personal information and traffic in it. Your child is leaving a trail of dangerous digital detritus which can be and is recycled into an addictive drug to hook his attention.

Free market forever !

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 14, 2018, 01:31:42 AM
Quote
The assertion that competitive markets can persist without growth does not address the fact that actually existing capitalist economies do grow.

Is growth required in a capitalist economy or is capitalism so strong that it almost always leads to growth?

Might growth be an outcome of people wanting more and not a result of the economic system in play?

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 14, 2018, 01:58:29 AM
Other than every single economist and critic claiming that growth is a fundamental principle to a healthy capitalist economy. We have demonstrated in this thread, ironically it was Steve providing this evidence, that a stagnating economy worsens societal conditions. Stagnation leads to recessions and depressions and requires corrections to stimulate growth otherwise a catastrophic collapse may occur.

This is not a controversial opinion. This reflects reality. This reflects 300 years different capitalist economies from all of the world. 

Why is it so hard to accept such a well understood concept.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 14, 2018, 02:10:21 AM
ya'll probably express frustration towards the tactics used by climate change denialists. But here you are, completely ignoring every single piece of evidence that suggest capitalism requires constant growth. This is denialism. And ya'll have a pretty nasty case of it.

And Steve, you know how climate change deniers will try to use the very small period of time of global cooling to prove that climate change isn't real? Think about what you're doing in this thread. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 14, 2018, 02:22:45 AM
ya'll probably express frustration towards the tactics used by climate change denialists. But here you are, completely ignoring every single piece of evidence that suggest capitalism requires constant growth. This is denialism. And ya'll have a pretty nasty case of it.

And Steve, you know how climate change deniers will try to use the very small period of time of global cooling to prove that climate change isn't real? Think about what you're doing in this thread.

Sigh.  I'm not a defender of capitalism.  But it should be understood.  As I've shown, growth is not required for capitalism to persist.  The tenacious persistence of capitalism is not necessarily a good thing.

Sidd is correct if he's saying that capitalism,  in a relentless pursuit of growth, exhausts available resources and tends to harm the ecosystem, including the climate.  Capitalism does not present a solution to the threats to the existence of civilization, it's part of the problem.

Properly constraining capitalism is, I think, the essential challenge.  As corporate power has come to exceed most national government powers, this is a massive challenge.  Global, trans-national treaties to constrain corporate behavior are essential, but increasingly unlikely to be enacted.  A global carbon tax would be a great start.  Maybe that will happen, but I'm not optimistic.

I just think we shouldn't underestimate the tenacity and staying power of capitalism.  It's a fearsome, powerful beast.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: oren on May 14, 2018, 04:30:56 AM
Other than every single economist and critic claiming that growth is a fundamental principle to a healthy capitalist economy. We have demonstrated in this thread, ironically it was Steve providing this evidence, that a stagnating economy worsens societal conditions. Stagnation leads to recessions and depressions and requires corrections to stimulate growth otherwise a catastrophic collapse may occur.

This is not a controversial opinion. This reflects reality. This reflects 300 years different capitalist economies from all of the world. 

Why is it so hard to accept such a well understood concept.
No. Capitalism doesn't require growth. Politicians and the current debt-based economic system require growth. Healthy capitalism does not require inflation either, despite what central bankers might tell you. Capitalism requires rewarding individual initiative, and allowing competition, while avoiding monopolies. It can be improved by limiting or slowing personal accumulation beyond a certain point, and by limiting the ability to pass accumulation to next generations.
All current and recent past economies are growth economies, whether their Stalin's, Roosevelt's, capitalism or socialism. Part of this is that not a single one of these economies has priced all the externalities of growth - pollution, climate change, resource depletion, lack of preservation of nature etc. For example, a carbon fee and dividend scheme cold go a long way towards straightening capitalism, and increasing equality.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 14, 2018, 04:38:08 AM
Quote
Other than every single economist and critic claiming that growth is a fundamental principle to a healthy capitalist economy. We have demonstrated in this thread, ironically it was Steve providing this evidence, that a stagnating economy worsens societal conditions. Stagnation leads to recessions and depressions and requires corrections to stimulate growth otherwise a catastrophic collapse may occur.

This is not a controversial opinion. This reflects reality.


Quote
Other than every single economist and critic claiming that growth is a fundamental principle to a healthy socialist economy. We have demonstrated in this thread, ironically it was Steve providing this evidence, that a stagnating economy worsens societal conditions. Stagnation leads to recessions and depressions and requires corrections to stimulate growth otherwise a catastrophic collapse may occur.

This is not a controversial opinion. This reflects reality.

Growth is not unique to capitalism.  A shrinking economy harms both capitalistic and socialistic systems.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 14, 2018, 04:40:50 AM
Quote
Capitalism requires rewarding individual initiative, and allowing competition, while avoiding monopolies.

Capitalism does not require avoiding monopolies.  Monopolies are a dangerous condition which can be created by poorly regulated capitalism.

At least dangerous to those who aren't part of the monopoly.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 14, 2018, 05:12:42 AM
I have mentioned this book before, "Debt: The first 5000 years" by David Graeber. It is a good companion to Piketty, and as well sourced for history. I recommend it, even you you do not agree, the book will make you think.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 14, 2018, 05:17:24 AM
Bob
In your example, could we consider the growth of the antelope's family to be necessary to sustain the capitalist transaction? ;)
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 14, 2018, 05:26:34 AM
" the growth of the antelope's family "

That is an interesting point, and addressed by the concept of ecosystem service. At present ecosystem service is not priced, rather it is an externality. Just as in the USA the cost of pollution by C02 (or for that matter, a great many other things) is not priced, are externalities. Thus worldwide we are consuming 30 or 40% od net primary productivity (all photosynthesis) for very low prices, while the total burden on the ecosystem is much larger than we pay in money. And we are spewing vast volumes of pollution for the ecosystem to clean up, again an externality.

Eventually Nature does clean up. But that cleanup might result in us being gone. Nature is a mother, and she kills her children with glorious abandon, most species are dead.

Daly addresses some of these concepts i think.

sidd

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 14, 2018, 05:33:25 AM
"There's no value in piles of meat that no one is ever going to eat, even if it never spoils."

it lets you price your competition out of the market.

I agree with the spirit tho, and so, apparently do bill gates and warren buffet. Don;t they plan to give most of their meat away ?

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 14, 2018, 05:47:02 AM
Let me take our toy economy a step further. We keep our no spoiling meat assumption, and add another item to the market: hunting tools, say spears. So now you have n1 capitalists owning the means of production of the spears, and selling the products to the n2 capitalists who rent them out. Both these recruit out of a labour pool of m workers. (I shall assume for now the workers wages are priced such that they cannot accumulate enuf meat to buy spears, as for example today for a majority of the wage labour pool in the  USA, who would be wiped out by a 1000US$ expense, not to mention medical emergency.)

Then Smith predicts that competition among capitalists will drive the most inefficient out of business as spears are produced more efficiently and meat is killed more efficiently (and accumulated by capitalists) for the same wage labour costs. A corollary i think is that both n1 and n2 will decrease, as random differences in capital amplify, since the ones with more capital can price their competitors out of business.

Now consider distortions (as the economists so coyly put it) in the market. All n1 and all n2 capitalists can get together and form cartels to set wages. So the hunters appoint a policeman to oversee the capitalists and make sure this does not happen. Call the policeman the government. But if the policeman is paid in meat (Citizens United) then the capitalists will immediately subvert him to their own ends. (USA as it exists today)

Eventually, of course the hunters count heads and figger that m >> n1+n2 and cut the throats of the n1+n2 and take all the meat.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 14, 2018, 06:04:58 AM
Bob
In your example, could we consider the growth of the antelope's family to be necessary to sustain the capitalist transaction? ;)
Terry

No, there are other beasties to eat....

As long as our guys don't eat faster than beasties reproduce all is fine.  Either capitalism or socialism could crash by consuming at a non-sustainable rate.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 14, 2018, 06:11:04 AM
Quote
Eventually, of course the hunters count heads and figger that m >> n1+n2 and cut the throats of the n1+n2 and take all the meat.

Or with a bit of forethought everyone could have gotten together and set up some regs to keep the greedy from messing things up.

--

To get back to the meat of the discussion, capitalism is likely to not work sometime in the future when labor and problem solving have no value.  Unless ownership becomes communal then a few people will have everything and the rest will perish.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 14, 2018, 06:51:51 AM
"and the rest will perish"

or the rest will revolt.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 14, 2018, 07:10:23 AM
"and the rest will perish"

or the rest will revolt.

sidd

Revolt and do what?  I'm out of ideas other than socialism for "then".
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 14, 2018, 07:16:43 AM
How to replace capitalism?  Maybe it will require an alien invasion (space alien, not immigrants):

Aliens preparing for War? Alien battle tank spotted on the surface of the Moon, Watch Video
https://tecake.in/aliens-preparing-war-alien-tank-spotted-surface-moon-watch-video (https://tecake.in/aliens-preparing-war-alien-tank-spotted-surface-moon-watch-video)

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 14, 2018, 07:18:20 AM
" I'm out of ideas other than socialism for "then". "

Yes, what to do after the glorious revolution. You may be out of ideas, but i am sure there are many who are not ... and some of those ideas usually turn out to involve a lot of blood.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on May 14, 2018, 07:36:16 AM
Or with a bit of forethought everyone could have gotten together and set up some regs to keep the greedy from messing things up.

Exactly, and this brings us to the core theme of this very interesting discussion: Imagine that humanity succeeds in doing this - ie prevent the greedy from messing up - can that which remains, still be called capitalism, or would it be something else entirely?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 14, 2018, 07:41:06 AM
The argument that regulation is the answer to unbridled capitalism depends on the absence of a market in regulators. After all, if capitalist can buy and sell the regulators who are supposed to regulate them ...

Capitalism is great at creating markets. In fact, so great, that supressing the open market in regulators inevitably leads to a black market in regulators.

a capitalist, of course,  might argue it is better to have an open market than a black market in regulators ... and look, the Supremes agree with them in Citizens United.

and a bureaucrat might say, I know, let's have regulators for the regulators. and markets in the regulators of the regulators, which of course needs regulators for the market in regulators of the regulators and ...

and the anarchist in me sez, burn it all down.

sidd



Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 14, 2018, 07:49:50 AM
"Might growth be an outcome of people wanting more "

"These are the four that are never content: that have never been filled since the dew began-
Jacala's mouth, and the glut of the kite, and the hands of the ape, and the eyes of Man."

Kipling

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 14, 2018, 08:08:12 AM
The argument that regulation is the answer to unbridled capitalism depends on the absence of a market in regulators. After all, if capitalist can buy and sell the regulators who are supposed to regulate them ...

Capitalism is great at creating markets. In fact, so great, that supressing the open market in regulators inevitably leads to a black market in regulators.

a capitalist, of course,  might argue it is better to have an open market than a black market in regulators ... and look, the Supremes agree with them in Citizens United.

and a bureaucrat might say, I know, let's have regulators for the regulators. and markets in the regulators of the regulators, which of course needs regulators for the market in regulators of the regulators and ...

and the anarchist in me sez, burn it all down.

sidd

If we fail to regulate capitalism and a monopoly starts to starve out the majority of the population then the common solution is revolt. 

I don't see that happening.  I see democracies becoming stronger over time.  If we have an understanding of where we need to go then over the several decades it will take to get from here to a "robots do all the work" world we can adapt as we go along.

A universal guaranteed income seems to me to be the best route from here to there.  As more and more people are forced to rely on that source of income they will vote themselves a reasonable standard of living.  And at some point is make no sense to have individuals own the "means".  Just buy them out (with tax money we collect from them ;o) and own the means in common.

Unlike  how to get off fossil fuels, I don't have a firm idea of what the future world of 'no work' might look like.  How it might function.  I'm just playing with ideas and wondering.  And I think it's something that many of should be thinking about because we need good ideas before we're forced into doing something and don't have a plan.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ivica on May 14, 2018, 02:41:48 PM
How much definition of the Capitalism matter "if you don't deal with that institutional arrangement, if you don't deal with that structure of the enterprise" (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2143.msg145371.html#msg145371)?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 14, 2018, 04:24:45 PM
I see no good option other than governments owning the 'means'. 

Perhaps very heavy taxes on the owners of the 'means' and using the tax money to create a universal basic income.

This is not something that could be done overnight, nor would it be needed overnight.  A gradual process that might play out over a few decades as we have larger and large amounts of unneeded labor.

70% of the U.S. economy is fueled by consumer spending. A universal income will result in more consumer spending and a rapidly expanding economy....more growth. Corporate profits will rise due to increased demand for goods and both will spur capital investment which will further growth. With such strong growth, we will have accomplished what every capitalistic country seeks to accomplish, rapidly rising wealth and prosperity for all.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 14, 2018, 04:30:40 PM
Quote
I was asking for an example of a capitalist economy static in size from beginning to end of it's tenure.

What would it matter if you found one or not?  If a capitalist economy fails was it not capitalistic?

What if a socialist economy grows?  Does that make it capitalistic?

I think capitalism and growth get confounded because capitalistic systems are so powerful and generally create growth whereas socialistic systems stagnate due to the lack of individual incentives.

The distinction between socialism and capitalism is not as powerful as the ideologues would have us believe. They are both growth systems with the predominant difference being how the pie is divided.

Socialism is nothing more than an institutional response to the deleterious effects of unfettered capitalism.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 14, 2018, 04:44:15 PM
Quote
Since the 1970s, say fifty years ago, wages and benefits have stagnated for the working classes as opposed to the rentiers in the USA.

This is a problem that needs to be addressed.  The new tax legislation has made the problem even worse.  The downslide of the middle class started with Reagan and his "trickle down on you" economics.  It's something that we have to reverse.

In the last decade, the lowest quintile of Americans have lived in poverty as defined by the poverty line. In this same decade, the 2nd lowest quintile has fallen into poverty at least once. Meanwhile, the middle quintile has been sliding towards poverty for the past 3 decades. The 2nd highest quintile has tread water. It is only the top 20% of Americans who have seen a rise in their standard of living and most of that has come from the top 5%.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 14, 2018, 05:02:22 PM
Quote
Is endless growth not a core feature of capitalism?

Capitalism does not require growth.   

A mind boggling comment.

The only goal of the system of capitalism is growth and we are all rational actors within that system.  The lending of capital to any individual or entity is based on the assumption that the lender will receive more in return. The only investments made by corporations are ones that promise a  return on that investment. We spend our lives choosing to invest in companies that have strong prospects for growth and avoid like the plague companies that are shrinking. Capitalism is so dependent on growth that capitalistic nations panic when the growth of their populations stagnate and age as it heralds low growth.

So long as capitalism (and socialist states are capitalist states) remains the primary method of organizing human civilization, we will have growth as our primary raison d'être.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 14, 2018, 05:10:08 PM
But more empirically, can anyone point to an existing capitalist economy that does not grow ? Is there even a single example of such a beast ?

sidd

Blindingly obvious examples.  Plenty.  Japan's "lost decade" for one.

And your example simply emphasizes the point that the very rationale for capitalism is growth...thus "the lost decade". Japan didn't simply have low inflation, it had deflation, the single most destructive event in the system of capitalism. Fear of a deflationary spiral caused the entire world wide financial system to flood the planet with unprecedented liquidity in 2008 to avoid such a fate, liquidity that remains to this day.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 14, 2018, 05:21:55 PM
1) I still do not see a counterargument to Smith: that competetive markets drive growth

Of course competitive markets tend to drive growth.  That's completely different from saying that growth is necessary for competitive markets to persist.

Capitalist theory says that all actors seek to maximize wealth and income.  When an economy *can* grow, everyone acting within the system to maximize income and wealth has a tendency to create more overall income and wealth.  With caveats, of course.  Theft increases my wealth while adding nothing to total wealth, as an example.

The point here is that in capitalist systems, everyone continues to act to maximize their own wealth and income *regardless* of trends in total wealth and income.
Bankers, borrowers, landowners, corporate CEOs continue to make exactly the same *types* of actions whether total wealth or income is stagnant, increasing, decreasing, or in social disarray.
Recessions lead to alterations in risk-taking.  Social disorder leads to risk minimization strategies.  Still, everyone continues to maximize their own wealth and income.

Even if *everyone* experiences decreases in wealth and income, they *still* continue to make the same kinds of decisions, using persistent institutions and structures.

Capitalism does not require growth to persist.  It's an empirical fact.

This is simply not true. Borrowing and lending virtually ceases in recessions and depressions. There was a coordinated effort to flood the world markets with liquidity during the great recession, driving interest rates to zero and, in some countries negative real interest rates, and borrowing and lending still collapsed as there was simply no reason to borrow.

Capital accumulation requires growth and borrowing only occurs when returns from the investment are in excess of the cost of capital. Capital is never lent if the prospects of getting the money back with a fair return is not possible.

Stable monetary policy is set so that there is a steady growth in the money supply that is needed to fuel growth and well run countries set precise targets.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 14, 2018, 05:24:51 PM

How can you be this dense. your argument is the equivalent of saying an engine doesn't need oil because it can run without it for short periods of time.  And in the case of somalia, it doesn't need oil because an engine that's not running is still an engine.

This is simply brilliant.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 14, 2018, 05:31:03 PM

Might growth be an outcome of people wanting more and not a result of the economic system in play?

Are you actually suggesting that people, as consumers, producers, borrowers and lenders, are somehow separate from the system of capitalism in which they live and make decisions?

Every single entity (individuals, LLC's, corporations, nation states) within the system of capitalism operates as a rational actor. Each makes decisions to increase its wealth and capital and, collectively, these decisions and choices drive growth and increase the wealth of society as a whole.

Are there examples of individuals or groups of individuals who live in capitalistic societies but are separate from the system? Yes, but these are utopias and, if we all choose such a lifestyle, capitalism ceases to exist. I would like to suggest that if a substantial portion of Americans were suddenly to choose to live in such a way, the oligarchy would quickly recognize the threat, mobilize the power of the state and viciously attack such a movement.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 14, 2018, 05:37:25 PM

No. Capitalism doesn't require growth. Politicians and the current debt-based economic system require growth.

???????????

The accumulation of capital and the resultant borrowing and lending of capital is the very definition of capitalism.

I feel as if I've slipped into a rabbit hole with no bottom.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: afwhitaker on May 14, 2018, 05:53:41 PM
I think the definition of Capitalism is "an economic system based upon private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit".  It does need an accumulation of capital, that is just the way we choose to measure it at this time in history. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 14, 2018, 06:10:40 PM
Why do we see this unrelenting pressure to globalize, co-opting nations not yet fully integrated into  capitalism and through force of arms when a people cannot be co-opted? It is this need for growth, the search for the highest returns on capital which are generally available in undeveloped nations.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: etienne on May 14, 2018, 06:17:12 PM
In the company I left a year ago, the CFO had an easy way to explain the need for growth, margin get smaller, people want more salary, so the only way is to get new customers.

There is also that crazy concept of "fair price". If you are in Potosi/Bolivia, the miners work with showels and pickaxes, and in Chile, they work with dumpers, so what's the fair price for ore ? This didn't stop me to buy a Fairphone, but improving the situation doesn't have an easy path. For the people who don't trust fair products, I always say that they should stay with international brands because there they know where the money goes.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 14, 2018, 06:34:43 PM
I see no good option other than governments owning the 'means'. 

Perhaps very heavy taxes on the owners of the 'means' and using the tax money to create a universal basic income.

This is not something that could be done overnight, nor would it be needed overnight.  A gradual process that might play out over a few decades as we have larger and large amounts of unneeded labor.

70% of the U.S. economy is fueled by consumer spending. A universal income will result in more consumer spending and a rapidly expanding economy....more growth. Corporate profits will rise due to increased demand for goods and both will spur capital investment which will further growth. With such strong growth, we will have accomplished what every capitalistic country seeks to accomplish, rapidly rising wealth and prosperity for all.

That depends on the size of the income.  If it's set at a minimal existence (no frills) then the impact should be little.  Those now on various social support programs would find their lives little changed in terms of discretionary spending money.  People who receive the income in addition to what they now earn would likely find their taxes rising.

I suspect a program would start low and rise only as the number depending on the income grew and became a more powerful voting group.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 14, 2018, 06:47:53 PM
The desire for growth is not unique to capitalism.  Socialism also seeks growth in order to improve the conditions of the people living within the system.  That means that we can't use growth as a definer of capitalism.

Is growth required for a capitalistic economy to survive?  Well, if the economy shrinks enough the economy will collapse.  Same holds for socialist economies, which seem to create conditions that bring a higher risk of collapse.

We may not see capitalist economies that are stable over long periods of time but that does not prove that a non-growing, stable state capitalist economy would collapse.  Landlords would simply get the same amount of rent over the years and pay the same for a bunch of carrots at the market.

Capitalism is very good at growing economies so we rarely, if ever, see a stagnant capitalistic economy.  But that does not prove that one would not be possible and does not prove that a growing economy is part of the definition of capitalism.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 14, 2018, 06:54:41 PM
I see no good option other than governments owning the 'means'. 

Perhaps very heavy taxes on the owners of the 'means' and using the tax money to create a universal basic income.

This is not something that could be done overnight, nor would it be needed overnight.  A gradual process that might play out over a few decades as we have larger and large amounts of unneeded labor.

70% of the U.S. economy is fueled by consumer spending. A universal income will result in more consumer spending and a rapidly expanding economy....more growth. Corporate profits will rise due to increased demand for goods and both will spur capital investment which will further growth. With such strong growth, we will have accomplished what every capitalistic country seeks to accomplish, rapidly rising wealth and prosperity for all.

That depends on the size of the income.  If it's set at a minimal existence (no frills) then the impact should be little.  Those now on various social support programs would find their lives little changed in terms of discretionary spending money.  People who receive the income in addition to what they now earn would likely find their taxes rising.

The savings rate for the bottom 50% of Americans is nearly non existent. Every single dollar of additional income will result in multiple dollars of additional spending as these dollars change hands rapidly.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 14, 2018, 06:58:32 PM
The desire for growth is not unique to capitalism.  Socialism also seeks growth in order to improve the conditions of the people living within the system.  That means that we can't use growth as a definer of capitalism.

Is growth required for a capitalistic economy to survive?  Well, if the economy shrinks enough the economy will collapse.  Same holds for socialist economies, which seem to create conditions that bring a higher risk of collapse.

We may not see capitalist economies that are stable over long periods of time but that does not prove that a non-growing, stable state capitalist economy would collapse.  Landlords would simply get the same amount of rent over the years and pay the same for a bunch of carrots at the market.

Capitalism is very good at growing economies so we rarely, if ever, see a stagnant capitalistic economy.  But that does not prove that one would not be possible and does not prove that a growing economy is part of the definition of capitalism.

Socialist states are simply another way for a nation to organize itself within the system of capitalism. All of the attributes of a capitalistic country are still in place. Socialism is nothing more than an institutional response to the effects of unfettered capitalism.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 14, 2018, 07:44:10 PM
Quote
The savings rate for the bottom 50% of Americans is nearly non existent. Every single dollar of additional income will result in multiple dollars of additional spending as these dollars change hands rapidly.

What few of the greedy wealthy seem to not realize that if they were to allow incomes on the bottom to grow a bit business would greatly profit.

Right now wealth is being hoarded by a few and spent trading among themselves for a limited number of luxury condos on Central Park and works of art.  Their money is not working for them.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 14, 2018, 07:46:29 PM
Quote
Socialist states are simply another way for a nation to organize itself within the system of capitalism. All of the attributes of a capitalistic country are still in place. Socialism is nothing more than an institutional response to the effects of unfettered capitalism.

Nope.  Here you just make scrambled eggs of the two economic systems.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 14, 2018, 08:11:36 PM

Capital accumulation requires growth and borrowing only occurs when returns from the investment are in excess of the cost of capital. Capital is never lent if the prospects of getting the money back with a fair return is not possible.


Not quite true.  Plenty of lending happens on the basis of debtor's current positive cash flow, with no expectation of "growth."

It's undeniably true that actors in a capitalist system *seek* growth.  It's also undeniably true that when an economy fails to grow, the institutions of capitalism persist anyway.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: johnm33 on May 14, 2018, 08:26:07 PM
-snip- The distinction between socialism and capitalism is not as powerful as the ideologues would have us believe. They are both growth systems with the predominant difference being how the pie is divided. snip
The real distinction is that in capitalism man ruthlessly exploits man, in socialism it's the other way round.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 14, 2018, 09:05:39 PM
Feminists may take umbrage at the above, but only after it's been commodified and offered for sale.
Terry :)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Capt Kiwi on May 14, 2018, 09:21:00 PM
Perhaps this entire conversation is irrelevant (sorry 😂) in that if a population grows from say 1 to 1.5 million there will be growth. Within that population there will be increased efficiency with better division of labour and there will be a top 10% of people with the highest intelligence and/or business acumen. Any system employed by this group would inevitably oversee growth and the development of an elite.
Maybe any system is “capable” of managing a static population without growth and none able to restrict the growth of a growing population.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 14, 2018, 09:36:31 PM
Quote
The real distinction is that in capitalism man ruthlessly exploits man, in socialism it's the other way round.

Love it! 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: magnamentis on May 14, 2018, 09:52:11 PM
Quote
The real distinction is that in capitalism man ruthlessly exploits man, in socialism it's the other way round.

Love it!

+1 and terry's reply  ;) ;) ;)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 14, 2018, 11:06:20 PM
The desire for growth is not unique to capitalism.  Socialism also seeks growth in order to improve the conditions of the people living within the system.  That means that we can't use growth as a definer of capitalism.

Is growth required for a capitalistic economy to survive?  Well, if the economy shrinks enough the economy will collapse.  Same holds for socialist economies, which seem to create conditions that bring a higher risk of collapse.

We may not see capitalist economies that are stable over long periods of time but that does not prove that a non-growing, stable state capitalist economy would collapse.  Landlords would simply get the same amount of rent over the years and pay the same for a bunch of carrots a
Capitalism is very good at growing economies so we rarely, if ever, see a stagnant capitalistic economy.  But that does not prove that one would not be possible and does not prove that a growing economy is part of the definition of capitalism.t the market.



Bob, you managed to completely contradict yourself. In a single post, only a paragraph apart. Impressive.

You keep  trying to envision a hypothetical non-growth capitalist system, and I keep on telling you, it's not possible.
If there is no growth, there is no profit motive. If there is no profit motive, then the transactions are either equitable, or slavery/serfdom/feudalism is in place.  Do me a favor, try realistically imagine the world you keep on creating:
Farmer: "hello sir landlord, thank you for inheriting all this land and making me pay rent. Here are the carrots I spent all day laboring in the sun for.  I really enjoy working extremely hard while you spend your days collecting rent. I hope I can find a way to pay rent when a drought comes. I was thinking of expanding my farm to pay you more carrots in case drought comes. Unfortunately I live in Bob Wallace's magical world of no growth and I will not do that"
Landlord: "Hello young farmer. I would not like any more money and expand my empire. But thank you for the offer. I also am not interested in buying any guards to protect me from peasant revolt, because you love working for me. All is well in the world. I hope this drought does not come!"

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 14, 2018, 11:35:18 PM
The desire for growth is not unique to capitalism.  Socialism also seeks growth in order to improve the conditions of the people living within the system.  That means that we can't use growth as a definer of capitalism.

You are sooooo close Bob!

"Socialism also seeks growth in order to improve the conditions of the people living within the system."
Isn't that beautiful? an economic system that grows to improve the conditions of the common people rather than accumulate wealth for shareholders & landlords?




I'm young. I get to experience climate change & capitalism's insatiable hunger for at least the next forty years. You got to enjoy the spoils of capitalism, imperialism, and unrestricted resource exploitation. Beneficiaries of a system will steep themselves in ignorance. 

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 14, 2018, 11:37:46 PM

Capital accumulation requires growth and borrowing only occurs when returns from the investment are in excess of the cost of capital. Capital is never lent if the prospects of getting the money back with a fair return is not possible.


Not quite true.  Plenty of lending happens on the basis of debtor's current positive cash flow, with no expectation of "growth."

It's undeniably true that actors in a capitalist system *seek* growth.  It's also undeniably true that when an economy fails to grow, the institutions of capitalism persist anyway.


Please private message me where I can get a 0% interest loan. I promise I won't tell anyone!
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 15, 2018, 12:25:38 AM
One way to disentangle population growth from economic growth is to look at per capita numbers.

data from worldbank shows continued rise in GDP per capita. here is  a graf for some capitalist countries.

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/maddison-data-gdp-per-capita-in-2011us?tab=chart&country=USA+JPN+GBR+DEU+FRA+ITA

so i still agree with Smith that the competitive market drives growth in capitalist systems independent of population growth.

(for data in precapitalist days look at

http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/classes/econ355/choi/rankh.htm)

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 15, 2018, 06:26:32 AM

Capital accumulation requires growth and borrowing only occurs when returns from the investment are in excess of the cost of capital. Capital is never lent if the prospects of getting the money back with a fair return is not possible.


Not quite true.  Plenty of lending happens on the basis of debtor's current positive cash flow, with no expectation of "growth."

It's undeniably true that actors in a capitalist system *seek* growth.  It's also undeniably true that when an economy fails to grow, the institutions of capitalism persist anyway.


Please private message me where I can get a 0% interest loan. I promise I won't tell anyone!

The existence of profit or income in a system does not imply increases in GDP, nor are increases in GDP necessary for income.  These are separate matters, obviously.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 15, 2018, 07:07:13 AM
The desire for growth is not unique to capitalism.  Socialism also seeks growth in order to improve the conditions of the people living within the system.  That means that we can't use growth as a definer of capitalism.

Is growth required for a capitalistic economy to survive?  Well, if the economy shrinks enough the economy will collapse.  Same holds for socialist economies, which seem to create conditions that bring a higher risk of collapse.

We may not see capitalist economies that are stable over long periods of time but that does not prove that a non-growing, stable state capitalist economy would collapse.  Landlords would simply get the same amount of rent over the years and pay the same for a bunch of carrots a
Capitalism is very good at growing economies so we rarely, if ever, see a stagnant capitalistic economy.  But that does not prove that one would not be possible and does not prove that a growing economy is part of the definition of capitalism.t the market.



Bob, you managed to completely contradict yourself. In a single post, only a paragraph apart. Impressive.

You keep  trying to envision a hypothetical non-growth capitalist system, and I keep on telling you, it's not possible.
If there is no growth, there is no profit motive. If there is no profit motive, then the transactions are either equitable, or slavery/serfdom/feudalism is in place.  Do me a favor, try realistically imagine the world you keep on creating:
Farmer: "hello sir landlord, thank you for inheriting all this land and making me pay rent. Here are the carrots I spent all day laboring in the sun for.  I really enjoy working extremely hard while you spend your days collecting rent. I hope I can find a way to pay rent when a drought comes. I was thinking of expanding my farm to pay you more carrots in case drought comes. Unfortunately I live in Bob Wallace's magical world of no growth and I will not do that"
Landlord: "Hello young farmer. I would not like any more money and expand my empire. But thank you for the offer. I also am not interested in buying any guards to protect me from peasant revolt, because you love working for me. All is well in the world. I hope this drought does not come!"

Your lack of comprehension is disappointing.  There is nothing contradicting in the two parts you bolded. 

Quote
If there is no growth, there is no profit motive.

Wrong.  One can make profits in a shrinking economy. 

Perhaps you're confusing economic growth and carrot growth?


Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: etienne on May 15, 2018, 07:07:53 AM
Quote
Socialist states are simply another way for a nation to organize itself within the system of capitalism. All of the attributes of a capitalistic country are still in place. Socialism is nothing more than an institutional response to the effects of unfettered capitalism.

Nope.  Here you just make scrambled eggs of the two economic systems.

Well, I thought this would be quite right. One main idea of Socialism is the idea that capital should be owned by the working class, that incomes should be shared. Look at the fruits : China, Vietnam, Cuba... you still have companies that need a market, incomes, production, growth... you have a state owned capital that is some kind of huge monopoly.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 15, 2018, 07:11:21 AM
Quote
"Socialism also seeks growth in order to improve the conditions of the people living within the system."
Isn't that beautiful? an economic system that grows to improve the conditions of the common people rather than accumulate wealth for shareholders & landlords?

Do you understand the fatal flaw of a socialistic economy?  Not a partial socialistic economy in which we all get to benefit from the police and fire departments or all get healthcare, but a fully socialistic economy.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 15, 2018, 07:18:59 AM
Quote
Socialist states are simply another way for a nation to organize itself within the system of capitalism. All of the attributes of a capitalistic country are still in place. Socialism is nothing more than an institutional response to the effects of unfettered capitalism.

Nope.  Here you just make scrambled eggs of the two economic systems.

Well, I thought this would be quite right. One main idea of Socialism is the idea that capital should be owned by the working class, that incomes should be shared. Look at the fruits : China, Vietnam, Cuba... you still have companies that need a market, incomes, production, growth... you have a state owned capital that is some kind of huge monopoly.

"All of the attributes of a capitalistic country are still in place."

Attributes are missing. 

A pure socialistic economy lacks incentives for individuals to produce more or think harder.  That's why you saw China, USSR, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea resorting to repressive practices in order to keep thing moving along.  And not moving along very well.

Things for China and Vietnam changed rapidly when they moved more toward a capitalist model.  USSR, parts of it such as Russia, were taken over by crooks.   North Korea is simply a highly repressive monarchy.  Cuba is still giving socialism the old college try.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 15, 2018, 07:21:49 AM
What is a "pure socialist economy" ?

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 15, 2018, 08:17:10 AM
What is a "pure socialist economy" ?

sidd

I'm happy with this Google definition of socialism.

Quote
a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole

A pure socialistic economy would be one in which all resources and means of production would be owned by "the community". 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 15, 2018, 08:22:47 AM
For a Swede, at least older than 40, there is a huge difference between Socialism and Communism.

That's why you saw China, USSR, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea resorting to repressive practices in order to keep thing moving along.  And not moving along very well.

But from a mitigation perspective; North Korea is a wonderland.
Adding the US (or any big polluter) into these graphs, would render their lines flat at the bottom.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 15, 2018, 08:30:14 AM
Is there a "pure socialist economy" anywhere in the world ? now or earlier ?

Cuba is a mixed economy with state preponderance. China also. Same with India. Russia is state controlled oligarchy.  USA, UK are oligarchy controlled state. EU, Scandanavia are semi socialist, semi capitalist.

sidd

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 15, 2018, 08:37:17 AM
Not now as I see it, now I'm obviously biased but Sweden was probably as close as any nation has ever been, back in the 70's.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 15, 2018, 08:51:44 AM
Is there a "pure socialist economy" anywhere in the world ? now or earlier ?

Cuba is a mixed economy with state preponderance. China also. Same with India. Russia is state controlled oligarchy.  USA, UK are oligarchy controlled state. EU, Scandanavia are semi socialist, semi capitalist.

sidd

Cuba is pretty lightly mixed when it comes to private ownership.  A few people have been able to open restaurants in their homes.  Stuff like that.

China is turning into a capitalistic economy with strong central government control.

The US has allowed the wealthy to exert more control than their votes would command but it a oligarchy controlled state is an overstatement.

The Nordic countries are mixed economies. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 15, 2018, 09:38:21 AM
The Nordic countries are mixed economies.
That's a bland term when new private owners have earned several hundred billion on the purchase of state-owned companies over the last decades. A lot of production has been moved abroad and common wealth has been moved to a small capital-strong group = capitialism.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: johnm33 on May 15, 2018, 11:15:46 AM
"Is there a "pure socialist economy" anywhere in the world ? now or earlier ? " The Inca had a decent try at it, on a civilizational scale.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 15, 2018, 03:46:59 PM
Every single entity (individuals, LLC's, corporations, nation states) within the system of capitalism operates as a rational actor. Each makes decisions to increase its wealth and capital and, collectively, these decisions and choices drive growth and increase the wealth of society as a whole.

Are there examples of individuals or groups of individuals who live in capitalistic societies but are separate from the system? Yes, but these are utopias and, if we all choose such a lifestyle, capitalism ceases to exist. I would like to suggest that if a substantial portion of Americans were suddenly to choose to live in such a way, the oligarchy would quickly recognize the threat, mobilize the power of the state and viciously attack such a movement.

If you believe this last sentence is over the top, I suggest you read a little history about the British Empire and India to understand the empire's response to the revolutionary efforts on the part of Indian peasantry to re-establish their cottage industries of cloth making and sea salt production.

And if you want to get a true sense of modern capitalism, I cannot recommend any book more than "Empire of Cotton" by Sven Beckert.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 16, 2018, 05:05:19 PM
Just an informal poll.

How many of us here know of individuals who are consciously striving everyday to reduce their income, wealth and resultant standard of living, essentially a no growth or negative growth strategy for living? How many of us, personally, have approached their lives this way?

1). Nope, don't want to invest in that company. Their prospects for growth and profitability are way to high.
2). Hmmmm....I could accept that job offer...I'd be making 30% more than I do currently and there are real opportunities for me to advance as the company is poised for a decade of rapid growth but who wants that?
3). Wow! Can't believe I just got a 23% raise! I can finally move out of this 2 room apartment, buying that nice condo I've been wanting. Nah, think I'll downsize to a studio and give away half of my furniture. Probably have to start that job search that pays me less so I don't have to deal with this again.
4). Buddy just keyed me into a bank offering low risk, short term CD's that offer an interest rate that is 7 times what I am currently getting on my savings account. Think I'll pull all of my savings out of the bank and store it in a coffee can instead.

The simple truth is that all of us are diligently working to get ahead, to provide for our families and to ensure a comfortable retirement. Many of us are successful and our value system extols the virtue of hard work and the rewards that result.

Our very language captures the values deeply embedded in this growth system.

1.) I failed to get the promotion.
2.) His business is struggling and failed to secure the bank loan as a result.

The less fortunate are obviously failing to do the things needed to get ahead.
The wealthy are tremendously successful.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 16, 2018, 05:23:11 PM
Growth is not an accidental byproduct of the system of capitalism. Growth is its driving purpose and all of us work diligently to contribute and consequently reap the benefits of that growth. When people feel they are not being properly rewarded for their contributions, we form unions and loudly argue for fair pay. Political parties will build entire policy platforms on the issue of fairly distributing income so that all may benefit from a growing economy and, in the U.S., the wealth gap has become a big issue.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 16, 2018, 06:55:18 PM
Are you arguing that growth or striving for growth is unique to capitalism?

If not then growth is common among economic systems therefore growth is not part of the definition of capitalism that sets it apart from other systems.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on May 16, 2018, 09:01:40 PM
SH wrote: "How many of us here know of individuals who are consciously striving everyday to reduce their income, wealth and resultant standard of living, essentially a no growth or negative growth strategy for living? How many of us, personally, have approached their lives this way?"

Me and a number of my friends and associates. But yeah, it's not the most common mindset.

"You may say..."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRhq-yO1KN8
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 16, 2018, 09:10:32 PM
Are you arguing that growth or striving for growth is unique to capitalism?

If not then growth is common among economic systems therefore growth is not part of the definition of capitalism that sets it apart from other systems.

Countries that U.S. ideologues choose to call socialist have central banks, private business, universities etc. and, in my mind, are all part of the same growth system. If you would like to give it another name, I am fine with this. The developing world is rapidly integrating into this growth system, southeast Asia, China and India as well as parts of Africa. Central and South America are largely integrated into this growth system as well.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: etienne on May 16, 2018, 09:53:54 PM
The only societies I can think of that don't grow are agricultural societies. This is mainly related to the fact that land is limited. There was a long period in Japan, but middle age in Europe also didn't grow so much, just like native societies in the Americas and in the Artic. Don't know about the other parts of the world.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 16, 2018, 10:01:10 PM
Are you arguing that growth or striving for growth is unique to capitalism?

If not then growth is common among economic systems therefore growth is not part of the definition of capitalism that sets it apart from other systems.

Countries that U.S. ideologues choose to call socialist have central banks, private business, universities etc. and, in my mind, are all part of the same growth system. If you would like to give it another name, I am fine with this. The developing world is rapidly integrating into this growth system, southeast Asia, China and India as well as parts of Africa. Central and South America are largely integrated into this growth system as well.

You did not answer my question.

The 'another name' is a mixed economy.  Neither 100% capitalist nore 100% socialist.

Let's get back to the basic discussion.  Is growth legitimately part of the definition of a capitalist economy?  Something that sets a capitalist economy different from a socialist economy? Or is growth both systems typically strive to create?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 16, 2018, 10:03:09 PM
The only societies I can think of that don't grow are agricultural societies. This is mainly related to the fact that land is limited. There was a long period in Japan, but middle age in Europe also didn't grow so much, just like native societies in the Americas and in the Artic. Don't know about the other parts of the world.

Agricultural societies attempt to grow.  Farmers look for better seed stock, for better livestock, for better farm practices.

Whether they are successful or not is a different issue.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 17, 2018, 08:33:23 AM
Quote
There are no mixed economies or I simply fail to understand what that name describes.

Quote
A mixed economic system protects private property and allows a level of economic freedom in the use of capital, but also allows for governments to interfere in economic activities in order to achieve social aims.
 

Investopedia

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/mixed-economic-system.asp

Probably the only pure capitalistic economies are nations where the government has  become totally powerless.  Somalia is its worst days comes to mind.

The US is clearly a mixed economy with its social safety nets, financial regulations, etc. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 17, 2018, 08:42:49 AM
Hilarious.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 17, 2018, 12:46:03 PM
Can Humans Live Well without Pillaging the Planet?
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-humans-live-well-without-pillaging-the-planet/ (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-humans-live-well-without-pillaging-the-planet/)
Quote
Many wealthy nations achieve a range of social objectives that together can provide a good life for their people, as outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. But to do so, they exceed their share of the earth's natural resources and surpass environmental impact limits needed to safeguard the planet, according to a recent study (top right of main graph). Less wealthy nations use resources more modestly and have lower impacts but meet fewer of the social goals (bottom left of main graph). The solution: “Wealthy nations can consume less, with no loss in quality of life,” says study leader Daniel W. O'Neill of the University of Leeds in England. That would free up resources for less wealthy nations to improve lives (circular charts) while still keeping within safe environmental boundaries.

Attaching top half in low res and the higher res image from the article.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 17, 2018, 05:03:08 PM
Are you arguing that growth or striving for growth is unique to capitalism?

If not then growth is common among economic systems therefore growth is not part of the definition of capitalism that sets it apart from other systems.

Countries that U.S. ideologues choose to call socialist have central banks, private business, universities etc. and, in my mind, are all part of the same growth system. If you would like to give it another name, I am fine with this. The developing world is rapidly integrating into this growth system, southeast Asia, China and India as well as parts of Africa. Central and South America are largely integrated into this growth system as well.

You did not answer my question.

The 'another name' is a mixed economy.  Neither 100% capitalist nore 100% socialist.

Let's get back to the basic discussion.  Is growth legitimately part of the definition of a capitalist economy?  Something that sets a capitalist economy different from a socialist economy? Or is growth both systems typically strive to create?

In general, I agree that we should look at things as a continuum. Looking at it this way, I would like to suggest that unfettered, unhindered capitalism is the furthest extreme and I sincerely doubt that any such nation has ever existed. If such a nation existed, growth would be explosive with the resultant deleterious effects associated with the tragedy of the commons as each entity seeks to only pursue its selfish interests. The continuum would seem to be a function of the extent to which the state intervenes in the operation of the free market. The U.S. intervenes less while European states generally intervene more.

In most cases the state intervenes in a manner that constrains growth IMHO, imposing costs on business to protect the environment for instance or to tax business and individuals in order to provide baseline incomes for the poor or elderly. This shift of resources away from business serves to limit growth.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 17, 2018, 05:12:17 PM
Can Humans Live Well without Pillaging the Planet?
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-humans-live-well-without-pillaging-the-planet/ (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-humans-live-well-without-pillaging-the-planet/)
Quote
Many wealthy nations achieve a range of social objectives that together can provide a good life for their people, as outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. But to do so, they exceed their share of the earth's natural resources and surpass environmental impact limits needed to safeguard the planet, according to a recent study (top right of main graph). Less wealthy nations use resources more modestly and have lower impacts but meet fewer of the social goals (bottom left of main graph). The solution: “Wealthy nations can consume less, with no loss in quality of life,” says study leader Daniel W. O'Neill of the University of Leeds in England. That would free up resources for less wealthy nations to improve lives (circular charts) while still keeping within safe environmental boundaries.

Attaching top half in low res and the higher res image from the article.

Nice and it highlights the dilemma facing us.

“Wealthy nations can consume less, with no loss in quality of life."

Good luck with that as wealthy nations consume more because their citizens consume more. If you listen to the ongoing discussion in the U.S. and boil it down to its essence, it is "Where's mine?" Try convincing Americans to consume less with that kind of prevalent mindset.

The virtues of the free market that are espoused and held dear by Americans can be simplified to "Just don't get in the way of me getting mine."

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 17, 2018, 05:53:23 PM
Quote
The virtues of the free market that are espoused and held dear by Americans can be simplified to "Just don't get in the way of me getting mine."

Is it necessary to tar everyone in a country based on the behavior of some?

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 17, 2018, 07:46:34 PM
Is it necessary to tar everyone in a country based on the behavior of some?


No!
Americans have grown up in a miasma of patriotic propaganda that is difficult for most of us to imagine.
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: etienne on May 17, 2018, 08:12:45 PM
We need to get away from the exponential part. Like now, today. Many more here are starting to realize that but I still don't see a real transformation happening.

I saw a very interesting video on Youtube about growth and exponatial evolution. I think it's that one :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZCm2QQZVYk

It's worth taking the time to watch it. One of the concept is that with 1% growth, it takes 70 years to double the quantity, with 2%, only 35 years (70/2), and so on.

Another point is that, for example with a 7% growth, 10 years to double the quantity, during the next 10 years, you will have more quantity than in the whole history.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 17, 2018, 08:41:14 PM
Rule of 72.  Divide 72 by annual percent to get a rough approximation of years or by years to get a rough approximation of rate.

Growth is fine as long as we move to renewable energy and sustainable inputs.

(Before someone starts going all hair on fire, "sustainable" creates limits which don't allow unlimited growth.)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: magnamentis on May 17, 2018, 08:54:46 PM
Rule of 72.  Divide 72 by annual percent to get a rough approximation of years or my years to get a rough approximation of rate.

Growth is fine as long as we move to renewable energy and sustainable inputs.

(Before someone starts going all hair on fire, "sustainable" creates limits which don't allow unlimited growth.)

uff.... thanks got i, against my defect, finished reading before going to reply (in a friendly manner of course)

that last part is indeed important to mention LOL hence 100% d'accord ;)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 17, 2018, 10:11:01 PM
Quote
The virtues of the free market that are espoused and held dear by Americans can be simplified to "Just don't get in the way of me getting mine."

Is it necessary to tar everyone in a country based on the behavior of some?


I have a bottomless tar bucket and a deep well of cynicism.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 17, 2018, 10:11:13 PM
Bob
Do we need ANY growth from this point forward?


I believe it's obvious that we require redistribution, but I don't see that growth in itself is required, or even advantageous.
Elon Wants to whisk us effortlessly from LA to San Francisco in a tube. I'd rather he'd sponsor a bicycle race, or sailing regatta from one port city to the other.


If you need to be 400 miles away from where you are before lunch, you probably didn't plan your itinerary too well. :)
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 17, 2018, 10:12:48 PM
Rule of 72.  Divide 72 by annual percent to get a rough approximation of years or by years to get a rough approximation of rate.

Growth is fine as long as we move to renewable energy and sustainable inputs.

(Before someone starts going all hair on fire, "sustainable" creates limits which don't allow unlimited growth.)

Douses flames.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 17, 2018, 10:16:00 PM
A more equitable distribution of a fixed or slightly shrinking pie is essential if humanity is to solve the problem. Looking at U.S. political discourse and the general trends, you will have to excuse my pessimism. This more equitable distribution needs to be within nations and between nations.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 17, 2018, 10:40:46 PM
A more equitable distribution of a fixed or slightly shrinking pie is essential if humanity is to solve the problem. Looking at U.S. political discourse and the general trends, you will have to excuse my pessimism. This more equitable distribution needs to be within nations and between nations.
Ramen!
Both are essential, and 100% equality isn't required to make the transition successful. The rich can still be rich. just not obscenely so. The poor will still be poor, but they will have food, clothing, and healthcare.


Educating everyone that it can benefit isn't a threat to those already educated, it's an opportunity to teach.
Feeding everyone doesn't pluck pheasants from the rich man's table, it just means fewer tons of apples rotting beneath the trees.
If some kid in Southern Sudan gets a pair of sandals, my kid can still have a pair of Florshimes and winter boots and tennis shoes. - Imelda Marcos may find redistribution onerous, but few others will feel the pinch.


If Russia can afford to forgive 16$B in Cuban debt and >20$B of African debt, how much can China, the US, and Germany afford?
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 17, 2018, 11:20:27 PM
Quote
The virtues of the free market that are espoused and held dear by Americans can be simplified to "Just don't get in the way of me getting mine."

Is it necessary to tar everyone in a country based on the behavior of some?


I have a bottomless tar bucket and a deep well of cynicism.

How about telling me your nationality so I can smear you with a generalization?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 17, 2018, 11:22:37 PM
Bob
Do we need ANY growth from this point forward?


I believe it's obvious that we require redistribution, but I don't see that growth in itself is required, or even advantageous.
Elon Wants to whisk us effortlessly from LA to San Francisco in a tube. I'd rather he'd sponsor a bicycle race, or sailing regatta from one port city to the other.


If you need to be 400 miles away from where you are before lunch, you probably didn't plan your itinerary too well. :)
Terry

Do people who live without clean water and electricity need growth?

Do people who are starving to death need more growth?

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 18, 2018, 12:02:49 AM
Quote
The virtues of the free market that are espoused and held dear by Americans can be simplified to "Just don't get in the way of me getting mine."

Is it necessary to tar everyone in a country based on the behavior of some?


I have a bottomless tar bucket and a deep well of cynicism.

How about telling me your nationality so I can smear you with a generalization?

U.S. citizen
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 18, 2018, 12:34:15 AM

Do people who live without clean water and electricity need growth?

Do people who are starving to death need more growth?


No, and No.
People without clean water need clean water, I'm not positive that anybody needs electricity, but if the do they need electricity, not growth.


People who are starving need food, not growth.






Clean water isn't "grown", it's preserved, ie not wasted on growth initiatives.


Food is wasted to fuel cars, among other things. - and that's the food they don't discard.


We've far more than enough water, electricity, and food for everyone. What we don't have enough of is distribution.


If a rich Somali warlord wants canned peaches for desert, his beard will be gripping syrup before the sun goes down. The food existed, it just wasn't being distributed. He didn't need to grow a peach orchard, he just needed to grease the distribution channels with his money and his threats.


Redistribute the surplus, and a little bit more, and most of the world would think they'd reached heaven. The rest of the world wouldn't for a large part even notice the difference.
Terry



Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 18, 2018, 12:49:46 AM
"Redistribute the surplus"

Careful, now. You veer close to communism, citizen. Or shall I call you comrade ?

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 18, 2018, 01:52:45 AM
I could move to Cuba tomorrow and keep my smile. :)
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 18, 2018, 03:23:05 AM
Quote
The virtues of the free market that are espoused and held dear by Americans can be simplified to "Just don't get in the way of me getting mine."

Is it necessary to tar everyone in a country based on the behavior of some?


I have a bottomless tar bucket and a deep well of cynicism.

How about telling me your nationality so I can smear you with a generalization?

U.S. citizen

So you're one of the "Just don't get in the way of me getting mine." greedy Americans....
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 18, 2018, 04:35:47 AM
Quote
The virtues of the free market that are espoused and held dear by Americans can be simplified to "Just don't get in the way of me getting mine."

Is it necessary to tar everyone in a country based on the behavior of some?


I have a bottomless tar bucket and a deep well of cynicism.

How about telling me your nationality so I can smear you with a generalization?

U.S. citizen

So you're one of the "Just don't get in the way of me getting mine." greedy Americans....

No...just aware enough to know that greed drives the country.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 18, 2018, 05:46:49 AM
Are there any countries (except Bhutan) which are not driven by greed?  Or at least have a large part of the population who are fueled by greed?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 18, 2018, 06:06:16 AM
Re: Countries driven by greed

There may be populations not driven by greed, but more importantly, their rulers are.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 18, 2018, 06:18:43 AM
A very good way for the greedy to get more is to gain control over the government. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on May 18, 2018, 08:48:59 AM
A very good way for the greedy to get more is to gain control over the government.

And brainwash the population.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 19, 2018, 10:47:35 PM
This article is a great read, and quotes the often mentioned here David Graeber.  Everyone should read Graeber's work.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/10/gaius-publius-capitalism-infinite-growth-climate-change-manufactured-hopelessness.html
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 19, 2018, 11:26:41 PM
Weird. Link not working for me ...

but after  a search i get

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/?s=infinite+growth+manufactured+hopelessness

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/10/gaius-publius-capitalism-infinite-growth-climate-change-manufactured-hopelessness.html

the same link ?

sidd

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 19, 2018, 11:30:12 PM
yeah. same article. weird.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 20, 2018, 08:07:23 AM
A good one zizek.
"What drags us into hopelessness is the carefully manufactured illusion that there is no possible economy but a “free market” economy, despite (a) the fact that no free market ever existed anywhere, and doesn’t exist now; and (b) that successful communal — non-competitive — markets exist everywhere around us."

Preliminary statistics for 2017 by SCB for Sweden, BAU with growth.
Emissions +0.4%, GDP +2.4%.
https://www.scb.se/en/finding-statistics/statistics-by-subject-area/environment/environmental-accounts-and-sustainable-development/system-of-environmental-and-economic-accounts/pong/statistical-news/environmental-accounts--emissions-to-air-q4-2017-and-preliminary-statistics-for-2017/ (https://www.scb.se/en/finding-statistics/statistics-by-subject-area/environment/environmental-accounts-and-sustainable-development/system-of-environmental-and-economic-accounts/pong/statistical-news/environmental-accounts--emissions-to-air-q4-2017-and-preliminary-statistics-for-2017/)

Better than many western countires but nothing to cheer about.

Image attached; Greenhouse gas emissions and economic development, non-seasonally adjusted, 2008Q1-2017Q4. Those slightly higher peaks in 2010 and 2011 is also known as winter... Part of our "mitigation" is climate change and warmer winters. So 1:st quarter of 2018 will be higher, thanks to colder February and March months. Chucking out my crystal ball for today.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 20, 2018, 11:53:17 PM
I was reading about battery technology today, and it was really interesting to see how our tax dollars subsidize the research, then the profits fall solely on the businesses.

You'll have researches develop a new technology using publicly funded lab equipment and knowledge. They would find a breakthrough, and start a company. Than they would find investors and buyers for their product. The investors would outline certain requirements, as well as who would receive their initial product (especially if the investor has a certain stake, such a car company wanting the battery for themselves). During this time, they would carefully protect their technology from outside eyes, as well as patent the technology so nobody else could develop it.

God damn capitalism is efficient. socialize costs, privatize profits.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 21, 2018, 12:01:51 AM
There are around ~9000 patents related to lithium-ion batteries, most are held by a handful of incredibly powerful conglomerates like Panasonic.  It's amazing to think that less than ~100 directors effectively have complete control of the most important technology to combat the greatest threat humanity has every faced.

I just don't understand who someone could look at this and say:
"yes, a hundred people having complete control over our destiny is a good thing. capitalism is good. everything is fine"
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 21, 2018, 12:03:53 AM
I was reading about battery technology today, and it was really interesting to see how our tax dollars subsidize the research, then the profits fall solely on the businesses.

You'll have researches develop a new technology using publicly funded lab equipment and knowledge. They would find a breakthrough, and start a company. Than they would find investors and buyers for their product. The investors would outline certain requirements, as well as who would receive their initial product (especially if the investor has a certain stake, such a car company wanting the battery for themselves). During this time, they would carefully protect their technology from outside eyes, as well as patent the technology so nobody else could develop it.

God damn capitalism is efficient. socialize costs, privatize profits.

Important research findings are patented and licensing is sold to corporations that want to use those findings.  It isn't given away.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 21, 2018, 12:09:33 AM
I can't wait in 50 years where I'm huddled around the fire in the post-apocyptic hell-scape having this conversation with my kid:

"You see, the world burned up because we kept polluting and polluting. It got so bad that researches and companies all across the world scrambled to find the technology to fix everything.  And we even did!"

"So what happened next? what was wrong with the technology? Why did you keep on polluting?"

"There wasn't anything wrong with it!"

"What do you mean there was't anything wrong with it!? Why did you keep polluting!?!?!"

"well, i guess i'll explain it to you. There's this thing called shareholder value......"

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 21, 2018, 12:15:54 AM
I was reading about battery technology today, and it was really interesting to see how our tax dollars subsidize the research, then the profits fall solely on the businesses.

You'll have researches develop a new technology using publicly funded lab equipment and knowledge. They would find a breakthrough, and start a company. Than they would find investors and buyers for their product. The investors would outline certain requirements, as well as who would receive their initial product (especially if the investor has a certain stake, such a car company wanting the battery for themselves). During this time, they would carefully protect their technology from outside eyes, as well as patent the technology so nobody else could develop it.

God damn capitalism is efficient. socialize costs, privatize profits.

Important research findings are patented and licensing is sold to corporations that want to use those findings.  It isn't given away.

Come on Bob, how obtuse do you have to be.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/06/bad-science
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 21, 2018, 12:27:33 AM
One difficulty with capitalism is that the market exposes a time preference discount rate. That is, even absent inflation, a dollar today is better than a dollar tomorrow, people will pay a dollar for a dollar right now, but less for the promise of a dollar tomorrow no matter how trustworthy the counterparty is.  This leads to a discount rate for the future, which is large enuf that loss for future generations is discounted to triviality in a relatively short period.

Ramsey was among the first to call this ethically indefensible back in the 1920s.

But there is another argument to discount future loss which depends on growth. If the economy always grows, then future generations will be richer and can bear the loss easier.

But as we see, human growth is killing the planet.

Of course a capitalist might say, "What have the future generations done for me, anyway. Fuck 'em."

http://www.ejolt.org/2013/01/discounting-the-future/

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 21, 2018, 01:04:15 AM

Of course a capitalist might say, "What have the future generations done for me, anyway. Fuck 'em."

I think it's slightly more understandable than this, though with the same perverse outcome.
Said capitalist may well see the world going to rack and ruin.  The future generations he most cares about are his own grandchildren.

He knows that if he gave away his wealth and lived as a subsistence farmer, the net outcome for the world would not be affected by his sole, individual decision.

However, if he amasses wealth now and passes it on to his progeny, they might just be able to buy a piece of sanctuary somewhere to ride it all out.

Which is why these folks so hate the estate tax.  And why we need to increase it, not suspend it.

They're all just being rational human beings, making rational decisions.  And to hell with the rest of us.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 21, 2018, 02:01:35 AM
Quote
"well, i guess i'll explain it to you. There's this thing called shareholder value......"

Have you seen what has happened to the value of coal shares? 

We are in the early days of a transition off fossil fuels.  The economic advantage of renewable energy has happened only in the last few years.

(https://vgy.me/DY6oGe.png)

We've reached the point at which is no longer makes economic sense to build coal plants.  We're not quite to the point at which EVs are as cheap to purchase as ICEVs.  When we get there we should see oil share value drop like what has happened with coal.

Wind, solar, storage, and EVs are going to be the growth stocks going forward. 

You may find yourself  huddled around the fire in the post-apocalyptic hellscape 50 years from now but with every drop in wind, solar, and storage (including EV batteries) the odds drop.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 21, 2018, 02:07:40 AM
I was reading about battery technology today, and it was really interesting to see how our tax dollars subsidize the research, then the profits fall solely on the businesses.

You'll have researches develop a new technology using publicly funded lab equipment and knowledge. They would find a breakthrough, and start a company. Than they would find investors and buyers for their product. The investors would outline certain requirements, as well as who would receive their initial product (especially if the investor has a certain stake, such a car company wanting the battery for themselves). During this time, they would carefully protect their technology from outside eyes, as well as patent the technology so nobody else could develop it.

God damn capitalism is efficient. socialize costs, privatize profits.

Important research findings are patented and licensing is sold to corporations that want to use those findings.  It isn't given away.

Come on Bob, how obtuse do you have to be.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/06/bad-science

I made a statement about universities licensing their research findings and you post an article that talks about universities licensing their research findings.

Furthermore, your article talks about industry providing the financing for university research.  In the case of those findings taxpayer money did not pay for the research.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 21, 2018, 02:10:20 AM
Quote
But as we see, human growth is killing the planet.

Growth based on unsustainable inputs and that produces unacceptable outputs is killing the planet.

Base growth on sustainable inputs and prevent unacceptable outputs and we can grow.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 21, 2018, 02:22:15 AM
Quote
"well, i guess i'll explain it to you. There's this thing called shareholder value......"

Have you seen what has happened to the value of coal shares? 

We are in the early days of a transition off fossil fuels.  The economic advantage of renewable energy has happened only in the last few years.

(https://vgy.me/DY6oGe.png)

We've reached the point at which is no longer makes economic sense to build coal plants.  We're not quite to the point at which EVs are as cheap to purchase as ICEVs.  When we get there we should see oil share value drop like what has happened with coal.

Wind, solar, storage, and EVs are going to be the growth stocks going forward. 

You may find yourself  huddled around the fire in the post-apocalyptic hellscape 50 years from now but with every drop in wind, solar, and storage (including EV batteries) the odds drop.
thanks bob, for completely missing my point. or purposely ignoring it. I don't know.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 21, 2018, 05:24:46 AM
zizek,  I have concerns about your ability to understand English. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 21, 2018, 09:08:01 AM
This is unfortunately in Swedish but they provide the abstract in English.

Shareholder value – the American way and the Swedish game to play?
http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:627423/FULLTEXT01.pdf (http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:627423/FULLTEXT01.pdf)

Quote
Master Thesis in Business Administration, School of Business and Economics,
Linnaeus University, 4FE03E, 2013
Authors: Andrée Söderlindh och Martin Holgersson
Supervisor: Anna Stafsudd
Examiner: Sven-Olof Collin
Title: Shareholder Value – The American way and the Swedish game to play?

Background: Shareholder value has its origin in the American corporate governance system and has been the subject of great debate over the last few decades. The proponents claim that it creates economic efficiency while the critics argue that maximization of shareholder value jeopardizes the long term survival of companies. However, the debate in Sweden already seems to have forgotten the question of how embedded the ideology really is and what´s leading its way.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explain if and how the ideology has spread in Swedish publicly listed companies.

Method: The study has a deductive research approach to explain the diffusion of the ideology. The underlying theory is based on social network theory, new institutional theory, resource dependence theory and upper echelon theory. The quantitative method relies on Swedish network-, ownership-, board- and financial data from 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010.

Conclusions: The results show that shareholder value has developed and been established in Swedish companies between 1995 and 2005. The study has found evidence that suggests that the development can primarily be linked to board networks and international exposure. However, the results also indicate that an underlying effect can be traced to the two leading business groups in Sweden.

Two, Wallenberg and SHB (Handelsbanken).
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 21, 2018, 03:20:01 PM
zizek,  I have concerns about your ability to understand English.

My Dear Bob,

I made a post describing the absurdity of how a handful of incredibly powerful individuals have complete control over the fate of humanity (please ignore my hyperbole).  I then made another post that was supposed to be a humorous fictional account of the tragedy.

And instead of addressing the main point of my post. You know, how we live in a society that it's totally okay and normal that the fate of 7 billion people can be controlled by a handful of people. You respond by doing this:

*puts on top hat and monocle*

"actually Zizek, in post #423 of Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How? the man mentions the word shareholder value. "

*snorts*

"Interesting that you bring that up"

*scrambles around to find lecture stick. pulls down graph titled: Renewable Energy - Historical Costs *

"as you can see, costs of renewable have been going down. I can draw a conclusion that the oil and coal will no longer hold any value for shareholders."

*turns to the audience, straightens collar, puffs up chest*

"And so what does this mean? Well, that Zizek's account of the future is completed disconnected from our reality. No projections suggest there will be any apocalypse, or huddling, or storytelling.  My friends, the markets will fix everything. No need to be worried"


Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 21, 2018, 05:27:34 PM
zizek,  I have concerns about your ability to understand English.

My Dear Bob,

I made a post describing the absurdity of how a handful of incredibly powerful individuals have complete control over the fate of humanity (please ignore my hyperbole).  I then made another post that was supposed to be a humorous fictional account of the tragedy.

And instead of addressing the main point of my post. You know, how we live in a society that it's totally okay and normal that the fate of 7 billion people can be controlled by a handful of people. You respond by doing this:

*puts on top hat and monocle*

"actually Zizek, in post #423 of Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How? the man mentions the word shareholder value. "

*snorts*

"Interesting that you bring that up"

*scrambles around to find lecture stick. pulls down graph titled: Renewable Energy - Historical Costs *

"as you can see, costs of renewable have been going down. I can draw a conclusion that the oil and coal will no longer hold any value for shareholders."

*turns to the audience, straightens collar, puffs up chest*

"And so what does this mean? Well, that Zizek's account of the future is completed disconnected from our reality. No projections suggest there will be any apocalypse, or huddling, or storytelling.  My friends, the markets will fix everything. No need to be worried"

I have tried to point out to you that you are ignoring what is happening in the real world.  The power of the fossil fuel industry is waning.  The value of coal stock has collapsed very rapidly.  Coal is holding some political power only because some officials coal helped put in office have yet to understand that they are now batting for a team that has already lost.

Over the next five years we are almost certain to see clear signs that oil is going to suffer the same fate as coal.

Yes, a relatively small number of people hold too much power.  I suspect this is as it always has been. 

Yes, the market may not save us from extreme climate change.  But for the most part the market is now moving us in the right direction.  And we see acceleration toward a low carbon energy future.

If we were smart enough we would utilize our strength as voters and make sure that the people we put in office put climate change very high on their priority list.  We'd create governments that serve as catalysts to speed changes faster.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 21, 2018, 05:46:01 PM
I wanted to post this early but I didn't want to take away from my original point:

Peabody Energy, the largest coal companies in the world, Has seen a net income of 732 million compared to its gross of 4.7 billion. That sure is a huge amount of value that can be extracted from fossil fuels. Hopefully climate change can wait until they become unprofitable!
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 21, 2018, 08:28:35 PM
I wanted to post this early but I didn't want to take away from my original point:

Peabody Energy, the largest coal companies in the world, Has seen a net income of 732 million compared to its gross of 4.7 billion. That sure is a huge amount of value that can be extracted from fossil fuels. Hopefully climate change can wait until they become unprofitable!

Peabody Energy went bankrupt in 2016.  Peabody's stock had been selling above $80/share and dropped to $2/share over a short period.

A smaller Peabody has emerged out of the ashes.  And during the same period many coal companies went out of business.

Peabody's Appalachian mines are basically done for.  What coal they are still mining is largely in the NW but even those mines are losing business.  Coal has dropped from a high of 57% of US electricity supply in 1985 to 30% in 2017 with most of the drop happening in the last ten years.

Almost no new coal plants are being built and several are scheduled to close over the next couple of years.  Electricity from new wind and solar are now becoming less expensive than paid off coal plants.  Many of the US's coal plants are aging out and will be closed upon the next need for an expensive repair if the price of wind and solar does not get them first.

This is a four year old chart.  Even more US coal plants have moved into the 'senior citizen' category.

(https://vgy.me/xgdRSP.png)

This is the market operating.  Capitalism.  Coal no longer is very profitable and is becoming less profitable over time. 

Is the market operating fast enough?  Obviously not.  We're already suffering from climate change.  We need other accelerators if we want to avoid extreme climate change.  But the power of the market is immense and with it working for us we stand a much better chance of minimizing our pain.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 21, 2018, 08:59:38 PM
Since Peabody's restructuring in 2016, They've almost doubled their stock! from $23/share to as high as $42. It's honestly amazing what a bank does for shareholder value when they get their hands on a bankrupt business.

And what's the best part of capitalism? Globalization! New markets! New places to pollute! Cheap Labour! Poor environmental laws!

It only took the United States a few centuries industrialization before we got to enjoy our environemtnal laws. Hopefully developing nations can do that in far less time. Or maybe not.

(https://www.eia.gov/forecasts/ieo/images/figure_70.jpg)





Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 21, 2018, 09:02:44 PM
Bob, your american exceptionalism keeps distracting you from realizing there's *checks google* 7 billion other people living on the planet!
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 22, 2018, 05:52:08 AM
Quote
Since Peabody's restructuring in 2016, They've almost doubled their stock! from $23/share to as high as $42. It's honestly amazing what a bank does for shareholder value when they get their hands on a bankrupt business.

You are looking at one company in isolation.  The US coal market has shrunk by almost 50% and is still on the decline.

EIA predictions are pretty much worthless and that's been the case for a number of years.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 22, 2018, 05:53:06 AM
Bob, your american exceptionalism keeps distracting you from realizing there's *checks google* 7 billion other people living on the planet!

Perhaps you could point out to me how my American exceptionalism is blinding me to the rest of the planet?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 22, 2018, 05:56:11 AM
Yes, electricity generated by coal has dropped dramatically in the U.S. but this is primarily due to a dramatic increase in natural gas generation, not renewables.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25392

And these aren't predictions. This is hard data.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 22, 2018, 06:05:04 AM
Bob, your american exceptionalism keeps distracting you from realizing there's *checks google* 7 billion other people living on the planet!

Perhaps you could point out to me how my American exceptionalism is blinding me to the rest of the planet?

I think he is suggesting that any reduction in coal consumption in the U.S. is dwarfed by growth in coal consumption overseas.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 22, 2018, 06:46:03 AM
Yes, electricity generated by coal has dropped dramatically in the U.S. but this is primarily due to a dramatic increase in natural gas generation, not renewables.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25392

And these aren't predictions. This is hard data.

Do you not understand that this is a good thing?

Gas plants are highly dispatchable, unlike coal plants.  Turning off gas plants when wind and solar are producing saves gas.  Trying to go from high coal penetration levels of coal to high penetration levels of wind and solar without a fill-in would be very difficult.  And, so far, storage is too expensive.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 22, 2018, 06:59:14 AM
Bob, your american exceptionalism keeps distracting you from realizing there's *checks google* 7 billion other people living on the planet!

Perhaps you could point out to me how my American exceptionalism is blinding me to the rest of the planet?

I think he is suggesting that any reduction in coal consumption in the U.S. is dwarfed by growth in coal consumption overseas.

The US is number three in coal consumption, following China and India.  Number four, Japan, uses about a third as much coal as the US.  Of the top three coal consuming nations China appears to have plateaued, India is still increasing their use, the US is dropping.

Global coal consumption fell from 3889.4 Mtoe in 2014 to 3784.7 Mtoe in 2015 to 3732.0 Mtoe in 2016.  There is no global increase in coal consumption.  Only a slight decrease which looks as if it will accelerate going forward.

In terms of percentage drop in coal usage 2015 to 2016 the US was number 13.  The UK dropped their coal use by over 50%.  Spain and Mexico by almost 25%.

I still see no basis for any American exceptionalism on my part.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 22, 2018, 07:30:32 AM

Bob
Natural gas, at least natural gas obtained without fracking, is superior to any of the other so called fossil fuels. Turn in on, turn it up, turn it down, shut it off. - Can't do that with coal.
Methane is going to keep bubbling up no matter what we do, and burning it in usefull pursuits is much better than letting it escape, or flaring it off.
Putin has been pushing for natural gas fueled cars and trucks throughout Russia. With no fracking it might be significantly cleaner than petrol or diesel. Not comparable to EVs powered by solar, hydro or wind, but...

https://www.rt.com/business/414447-russia-natural-gas-fuel-putin/

Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 22, 2018, 10:35:16 AM
The US is at the bottom of the bin nowadays, nothing exeptional about it. Hopefully this won't offend Bob but zizek's question regarding American exeptionalism above made me remember what I asked Bob three years ago:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1178.msg47993.html#msg47993 (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1178.msg47993.html#msg47993)

What has changed since then?

SD (Sweden Democrats) now has almost 1/5:th of voter support. Found this one in English.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sweden-politics-poll/support-for-swedish-government-coalition-falls-in-poll-idUSKCN1IJ25I (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sweden-politics-poll/support-for-swedish-government-coalition-falls-in-poll-idUSKCN1IJ25I)

EPH (who Vattenfall sold it's dirty business to) claims coal will be used for thirty more years. Unfortunately in German.
https://www.lr-online.de/lausitz/cottbus/wirtschaft/eph-manager-kohle-wird-noch-30-jahre-gebraucht_aid-6942236 (https://www.lr-online.de/lausitz/cottbus/wirtschaft/eph-manager-kohle-wird-noch-30-jahre-gebraucht_aid-6942236)
Also adding Kohlesubventionen 1950-2008 below.

Sarc on.
Vattenfall nowadays airs boasting commercials and their CEO is now Swedens premier environmentalist, building our future society. Their goal; society will be fossil free within the next generation, our kids kids, that is... And as he graciously adds at the end; "-But it's hard to say if we can limit warming to max 1.5-2 degrees."
This pdf (below) is unfortunately in Swedish. But it's a free supplement from SVD. How generous of them...
Sarc off.

The medium estimate of our carbon budget for 1.5°C, runs out at the same time the Arctic ocean reaches this years lowest extent.

Finally, here's a short previous comment with Sweden's challenges:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1150.msg143576.html#msg143576 (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1150.msg143576.html#msg143576)
Also adding the average North American's annual carbon footprint as a comparison.

Rarely drive nowadays but I, along with three other cars, got passed by a speeding Tesla yesterday. Mitigation? Still not here. Transformation? Some are talking about it.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 22, 2018, 03:37:08 PM
Yes, electricity generated by coal has dropped dramatically in the U.S. but this is primarily due to a dramatic increase in natural gas generation, not renewables.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25392

And these aren't predictions. This is hard data.

Do you not understand that this is a good thing?

Gas plants are highly dispatchable, unlike coal plants.  Turning off gas plants when wind and solar are producing saves gas.  Trying to go from high coal penetration levels of coal to high penetration levels of wind and solar without a fill-in would be very difficult.  And, so far, storage is too expensive.

With regards to CO2 emissions? Yes. With regards to the impact on the overall environment, environmental degradation of ground water and postponing the transition to renewables? Not in the least. We need to get off all fossil fuels, natural gas included, if we are going to have any hope of avoiding climate catastrophe.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 22, 2018, 04:06:00 PM
I still see no basis for any American exceptionalism...

This I can agree with. There is actually nothing exceptional about the rate of solar and wind power generation in the U.S.

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

Nor is there anything exceptional about wind and solar installations.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=34472

This eia piece is particularly discouraging as it touts that nearly half of utility-scale capacity installed in 2017 came from renewables. Sounds impressive until you realize that means that over half of utility-scale installations were not renewables. Our current approach to transitioning to renewables is a monumental failure and we are running out of time.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 22, 2018, 04:20:51 PM

Bob
Natural gas, at least natural gas obtained without fracking, is superior to any of the other so called fossil fuels. Turn in on, turn it up, turn it down, shut it off. - Can't do that with coal.
Methane is going to keep bubbling up no matter what we do, and burning it in usefull pursuits is much better than letting it escape, or flaring it off.
Putin has been pushing for natural gas fueled cars and trucks throughout Russia. With no fracking it might be significantly cleaner than petrol or diesel. Not comparable to EVs powered by solar, hydro or wind, but...

https://www.rt.com/business/414447-russia-natural-gas-fuel-putin/

Terry

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that in 2017, about 16.76 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of dry natural gas was produced from shale resources in the United States. This was about 60% of total U.S. dry natural gas production in 2017.

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=907&t=8

Not a pretty process...

Hydraulic fracturing involves the high-pressure injection of 'fracking fluid' (primarily water, containing sand or other proppants suspended with the aid of thickening agents) into a wellbore to create cracks in the deep-rock formations through which natural gas will flow more freely. When the hydraulic pressure is removed from the well, small grains of hydraulic fracturing proppants (either sand or aluminium oxide) hold the fractures open.

Our natural gas production miracle is an environmental disaster and the fact that it can be done economically means the disaster will continue.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 22, 2018, 04:53:36 PM
Gas plants are highly dispatchable, unlike coal plants.  Turning off gas plants when wind and solar are producing saves gas.  Trying to go from high coal penetration levels of coal to high penetration levels of wind and solar without a fill-in would be very difficult.

Ah yes....the tired trope that natural gas is being exploited as a transition to renewables or a fill-in until we've addressed the issue of storage.

There is not a single energy company that is pursuing fracking because they understand it is a necessary transition to renewables. They are doing it because they want to make a bundle of money and shale gas is a profitable play. So long as it is profitable, they'll market the hell out of the fact they are concerned about the environment (they're not) and continue to shove fracking chemicals into the ground.

How the business community sees natural gas and renewables...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/judeclemente/2018/04/01/will-u-s-natural-gas-production-outpace-demand/#68fa95d1118d

"In fact, gas is now almost 45% of U.S. power generation capacity, and climbing toward 50%. From 2017-2020, we will be installing 80,000 megawatts of new gas capacity, or almost a 20% increase in just a few years with even more coming. The entire country is turning to gas, and new regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions favor natural gas. The ability of wind and solar power, augmented by battery storage, to displace, not supplement, natural gas, is typically overstated."

They do not see natural gas as a transition to renewables. They see natural gas as being able to compete with and delay our transition to renewables. This highly profitable, fossil fuel play will be a long term feature of our electric generation industry and this is not a long term good thing. The industry sees natural gas supplies as nearly endless and since domestic production is far in excess of domestic consumption, we will be causing environmental damage to support a massive increase in exports.

"Looking forward now, the upside to gas prices seems as small as it has ever been: our Energy Information Administration's National Energy Modeling System projects that U.S. gas production will increasingly outpace demand.

That's mostly because the amount of gas that we have at our disposal is really without end. We probably have the largest lowest cost gas resource in the world, and our proven reserves alone were up 5% last year to 341 trillion cubic feet - a 60% leap since 2006.

More short-term, EIA has gas production outpacing domestic demand over each of the next two years by about 3 Bcf/d. Most of our new demand potential, however, is in the export market, which isn't factored into that. As the wildcard in our gas market, exports to Mexico and LNG will account for 70-80% of new demand for at least the next five years. According to EIA, LNG exports alone will increase by ~5.5 Bcf/d by the end of 2019 to nearly 9 Bcf/d. So, production will need to rise to the mid-80s Bcf/d level to support this structural increase in consumption."
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 22, 2018, 07:42:01 PM
Quote
Methane is going to keep bubbling up no matter what we do, and burning it in usefull pursuits is much better than letting it escape, or flaring it off.

We aren't capturing the bubbling up, natural emission methane.  But you do make a good point about wellhead methane.  It's either capture and use it to replace coal or flare it off.  Same amount of CO2 from the methane, less from coal.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 22, 2018, 07:50:33 PM

Bob
Natural gas, at least natural gas obtained without fracking, is superior to any of the other so called fossil fuels. Turn in on, turn it up, turn it down, shut it off. - Can't do that with coal.
Methane is going to keep bubbling up no matter what we do, and burning it in usefull pursuits is much better than letting it escape, or flaring it off.
Putin has been pushing for natural gas fueled cars and trucks throughout Russia. With no fracking it might be significantly cleaner than petrol or diesel. Not comparable to EVs powered by solar, hydro or wind, but...

https://www.rt.com/business/414447-russia-natural-gas-fuel-putin/

Terry

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that in 2017, about 16.76 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of dry natural gas was produced from shale resources in the United States. This was about 60% of total U.S. dry natural gas production in 2017.

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=907&t=8

Not a pretty process...

Hydraulic fracturing involves the high-pressure injection of 'fracking fluid' (primarily water, containing sand or other proppants suspended with the aid of thickening agents) into a wellbore to create cracks in the deep-rock formations through which natural gas will flow more freely. When the hydraulic pressure is removed from the well, small grains of hydraulic fracturing proppants (either sand or aluminium oxide) hold the fractures open.

Our natural gas production miracle is an environmental disaster and the fact that it can be done economically means the disaster will continue.

You have to balance that against the environmental damage done by coal.

Coal mining is ruining vast amounts of land, blowing the tops off mountains, destroying streams, leaving mountains of coal ash, and causing hundreds of millions of dollars of health damage along with millions of unnecessary deaths per year.

At this point in time we do not have all the options we'd like:

a)  Do the same we've been doing.
b)  Do something better than what we've been doing.
c)  Do the perfect.

Option 'c' is not an option we have.  Our best option is to go with 'b' and work our way toward 'c'. 



Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 22, 2018, 08:07:21 PM
Same amount of CO2 from the methane, less from coal.
Is that true per BTU? - Regardless CH4 is a much worse GHG for at least 100 years, and burning coal creates a myriad of problems in addition to producing CO2.


Buffet and Gates large investments in rail might not be worth much without them hauling coal from mine to generator or to a sea port. Will they allow those dollars to side silently into the night?
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 22, 2018, 08:13:42 PM
From your Forbes article...

Quote
"In fact, gas is now almost 45% of U.S. power generation capacity, and climbing toward 50%. From 2017-2020, we will be installing 80,000 megawatts of new gas capacity, or almost a 20% increase in just a few years with even more coming. The entire country is turning to gas, and new regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions favor natural gas. The ability of wind and solar power, augmented by battery storage, to displace, not supplement, natural gas, is typically overstated."

Capacity, not production.  Here's the percentage of US electricity being produced with NG.

(https://vgy.me/8Aj1tl.png)

Think about it for a moment.  Coal plants are not highly dispatchable.  They can be ramped down to load follow but most are not designed for that and suffer from thermal stress if used as RE fill in.

Gas plants can ramp up and down efficiently.  In fact, Westinghouse sells gas turbines designed to operate with wind and solar. 

We can't simply close coal plants.  Wind and solar are not 24/365 and we don't have storage to fill in around them.  We could build more pump-up hydro but it's more expensive than a CCNG plant and, like it or not, what we do is highly influenced by economics.

In 2008 (ten years ago) we were getting 48% of our electricity from coal and 21% from NG.  That might mean that we need more than 50% capacity from NG in order to close all coal plants.  My overbuilding model suggests less, but it's limited to California.  Whatever the amount we may well see NG capacity increase.  But that does not mean that we will see NG generation increase.  We aren't seeing NG generation growing now.  What we are seeing is fossil fuel generation dropping.

(https://vgy.me/izA0id.png)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 22, 2018, 08:18:34 PM
Same amount of CO2 from the methane, less from coal.
Is that true per BTU? - Regardless CH4 is a much worse GHG for at least 100 years, and burning coal creates a myriad of problems in addition to producing CO2.


Buffet and Gates large investments in rail might not be worth much without them hauling coal from mine to generator or to a sea port. Will they allow those dollars to side silently into the night?
Terry

Methane/natural gas emits about 50% as much CO2 per MWh as does coal.  Replacing coal with oil well methane which would otherwise be flared off or simply allowed to escape into the atmosphere seems like a major improvement.

I do not worry about Buffet and Gates.  They might lose some money but they won't try to take over the US government as the Koch brothers and the Mercers.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 22, 2018, 08:39:52 PM

Methane/natural gas emits about 50% as much CO2 per MWh as does coal.  Replacing coal with oil well methane which would otherwise be flared off or simply allowed to escape into the atmosphere seems like a major improvement.

I do not worry about Buffet and Gates.  They might lose some money but they won't try to take over the US government as the Koch brothers and the Mercers.
Thanks for the data. :)

Every clump of concentrated wealth worries me, but the Koch Brothers & the Mercers are representative of totally malignant entities that are a danger to their country and the world.


Attacking them up with expensive legislation seems the only avenue open under this administration, but at some point we'll need something similar to Teddy Roosevelt's Trust Busters to reign them in.


Not an easy task when Congressmen and Senators sell their votes on the open market ever since the Citizens United ruling.
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 22, 2018, 10:37:10 PM
At this point in time we do not have all the options we'd like:

a)  Do the same we've been doing.
b)  Do something better than what we've been doing.
c)  Do the perfect.

Option 'c' is not an option we have.  Our best option is to go with 'b' and work our way toward 'c'.


Hmmmm.....

a)  Do the same we've been doing. (Current mix of fuels) Kills us.

b)  Do something better than what we've been doing. (Ramp up natural gas) Kills us but at least we can say we tried.

c)  Do the perfect. (Marshall plan to convert to renewables by 2030) We live but it's hard so let's choose option a or b.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 22, 2018, 10:56:15 PM
https://business.directenergy.com/blog/2017/July/eia-electricity-generation-trends
But that does not mean that we will see NG generation increase.  We aren't seeing NG generation growing now.  What we are seeing is fossil fuel generation dropping.

(https://vgy.me/W3Q6Ju.png)

I don't know whether this statement is simply made in error or whether you are trying to deceive. I'll assume an error. You say NG generation is not growing and then post a chart for all fossil fuels?

The simple fact is that natural gas generation of electricity is rising rapidly and investment in new natural gas capacity is going to result in future increases, locking these increases in for decades to come.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 22, 2018, 11:49:00 PM
We can't simply close coal plants.  Wind and solar are not 24/365 and we don't have storage to fill in around them.  We could build more pump-up hydro but it's more expensive than a CCNG plant and, like it or not, what we do is highly influenced by economics. (emphasis mine)

Thank you for this. It goes to the very heart of the matter, the dilemma that our late industrial, capitalist system faces.

I've attached an article on the future of coal. I've not done this to assess the future of coal. (It is bleak) I've done this because the nuanced discussion of the price for natural gas and coal brings into stark relief the problem we face. Read the article closely.

https://www.ft.com/content/82f9087c-9cdd-11e7-8cd4-932067fbf946

This article shows how shifts in the price of fuels drive an industry and companies within an industry to invest wisely and maximize profits. This is well and good. It is the way a functioning economy should work. Unfortunately "highly influenced by economics" is a gross understatement. The energy industry, quite rightly, has made the determination that natural gas has the best long term prospects for strong ROI and investments in new plant and equipment reflect this. Renewables are also seeing strong investment in new plant but far less than natural gas.

If we allow the current market (capitalist) system to operate appropriately, resulting in purely rational, profit maximizing behavior, we are all doomed.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 12:21:52 AM
At this point in time we do not have all the options we'd like:

a)  Do the same we've been doing.
b)  Do something better than what we've been doing.
c)  Do the perfect.

Option 'c' is not an option we have.  Our best option is to go with 'b' and work our way toward 'c'.


Hmmmm.....

a)  Do the same we've been doing. (Current mix of fuels) Kills us.

b)  Do something better than what we've been doing. (Ramp up natural gas) Kills us but at least we can say we tried.

c)  Do the perfect. (Marshall plan to convert to renewables by 2030) We live but it's hard so let's choose option a or b.

a) Is already killing some of us.

b) Will result in fewer of us being killed.

c) Tell us how to get there.  Not some "If only" plan but something practical that could be implemented without very significant military action.

And try to get it through your head that NG is less evil than coal.  If you've got a better idea then spell it out.  But make it achievable in the real world.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 12:31:20 AM
Quote
I'll assume an error. You say NG generation is not growing and then post a chart for all fossil fuels?

The simple fact is that natural gas generation of electricity is rising rapidly and investment in new natural gas capacity is going to result in future increases, locking these increases in for decades to come.

Your chart - did you look at how while NG is rising coal is falling?

TWh produced with NG in the US for the last 6 years.

1,225,894
1,124,836
1,126,609
1,333,482
1,378,307
1,272,864

For coal

1,514,043
1,581,115
1,581,710
1,352,398
1,239,149
1,207,901

Total TWh from NG and coal

2,739,937
2,705,951
2,708,319
2,685,880
2,617,456
2,480,765

Natural gas capacity has been rising but generation is not growing at the same rate.  Overall FF generation is falling.  Do you fully understand the difference between capacity and generation?

CCNG plants have a modest (~$1.60/watt) installed price.  Having them available, or something available, to fill in around wind and solar is necessary.  Use cheaper wind and solar when available.  Fire up the CCNG when needed.  No reason to spend money for CCNG fuel when cheap wind and solar are available.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 23, 2018, 01:06:46 AM
I have posted some figures from Platt's relevant to US natgas peakers on the "Oil and Gas issues thread"

sidd


Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 23, 2018, 04:29:29 AM
Your chart - did you look at how while NG is rising coal is falling?

Uh, no. I can't read charts. I just like the pretty colors. That one line for natural gas does, however, show that NG generation has been rising rapidly at double the rate of renewables.


Do you fully understand the difference between capacity and generation?

I'm a member of the baby boomer generation. That much I know for sure. But when it comes to natural gas, both generation and capacity are rising rapidly, more rapidly than any other form, including solar and wind.

Natural gas capacity has been rising but generation is not growing at the same rate.

Correct, so when you said this in the previous post...

We aren't seeing NG generation growing now.

...and then posted it with a misleading chart (shown below) that showed fossil fuel generation declining, is this because you can't read a chart or were you attempting to mislead?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 23, 2018, 04:51:10 AM
Bob.

I have no doubt you are bright and well informed. Everything I've read that you have posted suggests this. While I said I would assume the comment was in error, I am certain you knew the chart did not say what you suggested and I am certain you are aware that NG generation is rising rapidly.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 06:06:06 AM
Your chart - did you look at how while NG is rising coal is falling?

Uh, no. I can't read charts. I just like the pretty colors. That one line for natural gas does, however, show that NG generation has been rising rapidly at double the rate of renewables.


Do you fully understand the difference between capacity and generation?

I'm a member of the baby boomer generation. That much I know for sure. But when it comes to natural gas, both generation and capacity are rising rapidly, more rapidly than any other form, including solar and wind.

Natural gas capacity has been rising but generation is not growing at the same rate.

Correct, so when you said this in the previous post...

We aren't seeing NG generation growing now.

...and then posted it with a misleading chart (shown below) that showed fossil fuel generation declining, is this because you can't read a chart or were you attempting to mislead?

The graph you posted shows actual data only through 2015.  2016 is an EIA estimate.  I gave you the actual (EIA) data through 2017.

TWh produced with NG in the US for the last 6 years.

1,225,894
1,124,836
1,126,609
1,333,482
1,378,307
1,272,864

NG is not rising at the rate of renewables.  Here is what is actually happening.  REs are growing.  NG bounces up and down.

(https://vgy.me/iFaflr.png)

NG has the capacity to jump in when needed but renewables are chewing away at the overall market.


Quote
and then posted it with a misleading chart (shown below) that showed fossil fuel generation declining, is this because you can't read a chart or were you attempting to mislead?

How is this chart misleading?

(https://vgy.me/izA0id.png)


Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 09:14:59 AM
 
Quote
But when it comes to natural gas, both generation and capacity are rising rapidly, more rapidly than any other form, including solar and wind.

I'm not really happy with the year to year graph above.  How would one best measure rate of generation growth? 

Over the last ten years? 

From 2007 through 2017  renewables increased their annual generation by 334,543 TWh.  NG increased by 376,274 TWh.  Only 9% more.  But NG did have a couple of higher years before 2017.  What's fair here? 

If we compare percentage growth from 2007 through 2017 we find renewables grew 94.8%.  Natural gas grew 42.0%.   If we drop back to 2016 for NG when NG had it's highest output year of the ten then NG grew at 54%.  Is percent of growth the best metric?

(https://vgy.me/lD7KJx.png)

We could look only at the last three years and declare that NG has declined.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 09:37:55 AM
Bob.

I have no doubt you are bright and well informed. Everything I've read that you have posted suggests this. While I said I would assume the comment was in error, I am certain you knew the chart did not say what you suggested and I am certain you are aware that NG generation is rising rapidly.

Natural gas started its upward movement as measured by TWh starting in 1990.

In 1973 the US generated 433,636 TWh with renewables.  That record was not broken and an upward trend initiated until 2008. 

If we compare RE and NG starting in 1990 then, yes, NG has outgrown RE.  But looking at the point at which wind and solar became two of the least expensive ways to bring new generation online NG has grown at a slower rate than wind and solar.  It comes down to where one places the start line. 

Personally, I'm setting the start line at the point at which wind and solar became economically competitive.  From that point on wind and solar have grown faster in terms of overall percentage growth and almost as fast in terms of annual TWh produced.  Actually, solar became less expensive than NG on a global level in 2016.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 23, 2018, 01:07:09 PM
Bob, No matter how much evidence we present, you will find something to nitpick. There is no winning with you. You are never wrong.

Coal. You used the tiny blip of reduced coal use an indicator that the markets are working.

(https://d33wubrfki0l68.cloudfront.net/3fc6be951260a764781873465c5a3c35bdf86aeb/313bf/exports/coal-production-by-region_v1_850x600.svg)

How long have we known about climate change? How long has hydro, wind, solar been economical?  How the hell am I supposed to come to the conclusion that the markets are responding appropriately?

And I sure as hell hope the 1.2 billion Africans forget to industrialize. Maybe we'll round them up and make them build turbine blades for us. Like the good 'ol days. Nobody seemed to have a problem when we bombed Libya back into the stone age. I'm so happy I'm young enough to experience Africa's Fate. I'm sure it won't be horrible. I'm sure it'll be fine. The markets will save them. Everything is fine.




Also. Everyone forget one critical aspect about NG: it's used for heating and industry as well. Not just electrical production.  Far cheaper to have a gas furnace in your house than baseboard heaters.  Look at production numbers rather than TWh to get a better idea of NG growth

(https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/images/2017.02.22/chart2.png)
 

I'm sure you'll have something to nitpick. 

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 23, 2018, 01:09:38 PM
blah, my first image broke the tables. sorry. you can't see recent production unless you follow the link
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 23, 2018, 03:26:18 PM
Bob, No matter how much evidence we present, you will find something to nitpick. There is no winning with you. You are never wrong.

My guess is he is an employee for an energy company and his job is to post here.

Facts:

1) Natural gas generation plants are being rapidly built in the U.S.
2) Domestic natural gas production is increasing so rapidly due to dramatic improvements in fracking technology that it is far in excess of domestic demand.
3) Exports of natural gas are expanding rapidly.
4) As fracking technologies improve and they are rapidly improving, the costs of natural gas production continues to drop which is causing a dramatic increase in proven reserves as more gas becomes economical to extract.

The good news?

Coal generation of electricity is in a long term and irreversible decline.

The bad news?

The explosion of natural gas production, low cost because of rapidly improving fracking technologies, is resulting in massive degradation of our environment and delaying the absolute essential conversion to renewables if we are to avoid a climate catastrophe.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 04:13:20 PM
No, I am not an employee of anyone.  I've been retired since 1989.  I've received no payment from any energy related company, not even a free cup of coffee.

I'm am very concerned about climate change and I'm also a data based problem solver and attempt to be a realist.

I've been involved in environmental issues since the 1960s and I've watched what has worked and what has not worked.  In 50 years of observation I've seen one constant.  If there's not a significant additional cost (money or effort) some portion of the population will do the right thing.  Most of the population will not do the right thing unless the right thing is a lot easier to do or a lot cheaper.

Now, if any of you think you can appeal to humanities better side to give up cars and bike everywhere or quit heating and air conditioning your houses you give it a try.  If you succeed, I'll applaud. 

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 23, 2018, 04:39:53 PM
So is hydraulic fracking really that big of an environmental disaster?

First, you need to understand the composition of shale, a sedimentary rock and the role it plays it the formation of the water table. As porous "mud rock", shale allows seepage from above and serves to capture waters collected from rain and snow. Anything found in the shale will travel with the water that migrates and pools in the shale. The water table can be found just above where sedimentary rock becomes saturated. This saturation zone is continuously replenished with water that seeps from above.

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/water-table/

So why is it a bad idea to shove fracking fluids into this porous rock that serves to collect drinking water across the planet? All you need to understand is what types of chemicals are used in these fluids. There are over 750 chemicals that are used and the mix of chemicals depends on the geology of the well.

Please keep in mind that most of these chemicals are very stable and once injected will remain in this sedimentary rock. The list is not a pretty picture. In this paper, you can find the 20 most frequent chemicals reported for petroleum and natural gas fracking.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-03/documents/fracfocus_analysis_report_and_appendices_final_032015_508_0.pdf

I had a 30 year career in manufacturing and dealt constantly with the hazards posed by chemicals in industry. I spent my entire career reading MSDS sheets and training employees how to avoid injury when handling them.

Here is the MSDS for "Distillates (petroleum), hydrotreated light" which is reported used in 70% of fracking fluids.

https://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/category-details?id=10702&table=copytblagents

Here is the MSDS for Glutaraldehyde, also used in 70% of fracking fluids.

https://www.tedpella.com/MSDS_html/18436msds.pdf

Here is the MSDS for Ammonium peroxydisulfate.

https://louisville.edu/micronano/files/documents/safety-data-sheets-sds/ammonium-peroxydisulfate-acs-98/

Others to worry about.

2,2-Dibromo-3-nitrilopropionamide
http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9923187
https://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927671

Now imagine this chemical cocktail percolating into your water supply. As a rule of thumb, if I have no idea how to pronounce the chemical name, I get worried.  ???


But as Bob has stated. We need to be realistic. For us to continue our lifestyle, we need to accept the long term poisoning of our water supply.

I would suggest instead (have suggested in fact) that we need to absolutely accept that our lifestyles must change to avoid disaster.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 04:44:23 PM
Bob, No matter how much evidence we present, you will find something to nitpick. There is no winning with you. You are never wrong.

Coal. You used the tiny blip of reduced coal use an indicator that the markets are working.

(https://d33wubrfki0l68.cloudfront.net/3fc6be951260a764781873465c5a3c35bdf86aeb/313bf/exports/coal-production-by-region_v1_850x600.svg)

How long have we known about climate change? How long has hydro, wind, solar been economical?  How the hell am I supposed to come to the conclusion that the markets are responding appropriately?

And I sure as hell hope the 1.2 billion Africans forget to industrialize. Maybe we'll round them up and make them build turbine blades for us. Like the good 'ol days. Nobody seemed to have a problem when we bombed Libya back into the stone age. I'm so happy I'm young enough to experience Africa's Fate. I'm sure it won't be horrible. I'm sure it'll be fine. The markets will save them. Everything is fine.




Also. Everyone forget one critical aspect about NG: it's used for heating and industry as well. Not just electrical production.  Far cheaper to have a gas furnace in your house than baseboard heaters.  Look at production numbers rather than TWh to get a better idea of NG growth

(https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/images/2017.02.22/chart2.png)
 

I'm sure you'll have something to nitpick.

" No matter how much evidence we present, you will find something to nitpick. There is no winning with you. You are never wrong."

I am wrong from time to time.  When I see data that disproves my opinion I change my opinion.  You may think I'm nitpicking.  Perhaps I am in your world.  In science we don't let seemingly incorrect statements go unchallenged.  We cross 't's and dot 'i's.

"Coal. You used the tiny blip of reduced coal use an indicator that the markets are working."

If you look at the graph you posted you'll see that starting in 2010 coal consumption drops in every region.  The area under the curve is less in the last year than 2010 for every region.  For some reason coal use is dropping.

I follow energy issues fairly closely.  One frequently hears reports these days that US coal plants are beginning to have financial problems due to the lower cost of renewables and natural gas.  It has been the case that building new coal plants makes no sense in the US for some time for economic reasons.  The US is the large coal consumer where coal use is falling fastest and that is due largely to market forces.

"How long have we known about climate change? How long has hydro, wind, solar been economical?  How the hell am I supposed to come to the conclusion that the markets are responding appropriately?"

We've know about the possibility of climate change for well over 100 years.  It's been clear that we are changing the climate for a few decades. 

I'm not sure how affordable hydro is, we just don't build enough any longer to know. Large hydro, that is.  Wind (with subsidies) became affordable within the last two decades but the price spiked upwards around 2010 due to a shortage of turbines.  Solar has become affordable in only the last few years, dropping below NG only two years ago (global unsubsidized average).

(https://vgy.me/DY6oGe.png)

I've been trying to give you information about the markets.  And you can spend some time and read for yourself. 

"And I sure as hell hope the 1.2 billion Africans forget to industrialize."

Let 1.2 billion Africans live in squalor so that you don't have to give up anything.  Come on.  That is not the issue.  What we need (and seem to be getting) is for Africa to develop using renewable energy, not fossil fuels.

"Everyone forget one critical aspect about NG: it's used for heating and industry as well. Not just electrical production.  Far cheaper to have a gas furnace in your house than baseboard heaters."

Modern heat pumps are more economical than gas for home heating.  Heat pumps will replace gas furnaces over time.  It's one of those market force things.

Industrial heating is a problem not yet addressed.  There's a chance that hydrogen from electrolysis, perhaps converted to methane or another synfuel, will replace natural gas.  To some extent methane from sewage, livestock operations, compost, and landfills should replace some natural gas.

Your EIA prediction graph is almost certainly bullshit.  I've yet to see an accurate prediction out of the EIA.  The EIA is a very strange department.  They seem to do a very good job with data collection but seem to make predictions that don't upset Republicans (who are generally funded by fossil fuel interests).

Case in point, the EIA has predicted that US coal consumption in 2040 will be about the same as a couple of years ago even though the EIA has a list of coal plants scheduled to close.  One desk at the EIA tells us that there won't be enough coal plants to burn the amount of coal we burn today while another desk says we'll burn as much coal.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 04:47:54 PM
Bob, No matter how much evidence we present, you will find something to nitpick. There is no winning with you. You are never wrong.

My guess is he is an employee for an energy company and his job is to post here.

Facts:

1) Natural gas generation plants are being rapidly built in the U.S.
2) Domestic natural gas production is increasing so rapidly due to dramatic improvements in fracking technology that it is far in excess of domestic demand.
3) Exports of natural gas are expanding rapidly.
4) As fracking technologies improve and they are rapidly improving, the costs of natural gas production continues to drop which is causing a dramatic increase in proven reserves as more gas becomes economical to extract.

The good news?

Coal generation of electricity is in a long term and irreversible decline.

The bad news?

The explosion of natural gas production, low cost because of rapidly improving fracking technologies, is resulting in massive degradation of our environment and delaying the absolute essential conversion to renewables if we are to avoid a climate catastrophe.

Natural gas consumption has stalled (is not increasing) in the US over the last few years.

Natural gas enables renewables.  For the simple reason that gas plants are highly dispatchable compared to coal.

If you have a way to move from coal to wind and solar economically without using NG please spell it out.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 04:50:39 PM
Quote
Even easier and faster. Make doing the wrong thing illegal. Typically ensures 99% compliance overnight

Stupid approach.

Try getting legislation passed that requires people to give up their cars and ride bikes or something similar.  Not even the most progressive legislator would touch that idea as it would be political suicide.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 04:57:08 PM
Quote
Now imagine this chemical cocktail percolating into your water supply.


But as Bob has stated. We need to be realistic. For us to continue our lifestyle, we need to accept the long term poisoning of our water supply.

I would suggest instead (have suggested in fact) that we need to absolutely accept that our lifestyles must change to avoid disaster.

Unfortunately we live in a world where we are often forced to choose between the bad and the somewhat less bad.

My impression is that contamination of groundwater is a small problem.  Bad, but nothing like extreme climate change would bring to us.  We can filter water and over time the chemicals will be diluted away.

Again, if you have another idea that might work then spell it out.  Right now it looks like you are willing to bake the planet in order to avoid a small water pollution problem.  And don't give me any of the "Let's all hold hands, sing a campfire song, and then do the right thing" crap.  That does not work.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 05:02:24 PM
Quote
Or extreme fantasies like westerners telling Africans, Indians, Indonesians, Bangladeshis, and the Chinese if they all put a solar panel on the roof of their village huts they'll become an economic superpower on the back of renewable energy.

Sorry to burst your bubble, bippy, but solar is doing very well in less developed countries.  Millions of households have moved from kerosene and candles to solar panels and LEDs.  Lots of small grids have added solar and wind to their supply and now use their diesel generators as backup. 

China is on track to see solar produce more electricity than nuclear and wind, moving solar into third place behind coal and hydro.  That may happen in 2018.

Solar, wind, hydro, and nuclear are all ganging up to reduce Chinese coal use.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 05:10:45 PM
Quote
Even easier and faster. Make doing the wrong thing illegal. Typically ensures 99% compliance overnight

Stupid approach.


Then you can prove it is stupid. Logic is logical.

If it was stupid then murder, bank robbery, rape, corporate fraud, insider trading, bigamy, drunk driving, speeding, tax evasion and causing environmental damage wouldn't be illegal already.

The public supports legislation against murder, etc.  Everything you list is something that causes "immediate" hurt.

The public will not support legislation that causes them to drastically change their lifestyle.  Climate change is an "in the future" hurt.  Humans don't do prevention very well.

If we let climate change continue then at some point down the road the pain will become powerful enough that people would support extreme legislation (but by then it would probably be too late).

The way out of this mess is to find acceptable, affordable alternatives to activities that produce greenhouse gases.  The more acceptable and affordable the alternative, the faster we cut GHG gases.

BTW, we have the acceptable, affordable alternatives for most GHG emissions.  A few nuts left to crack.  Now we need to roll out the solutions faster.



Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 05:12:48 PM
"Let's all hold hands, sing a campfire song, and then do the right thing" crap.  That does not work.

Let's all hold hands, sing a solar panel with a fracked gas refrain song, and then keep on consuming everything we can until we all drop dead. That'll work.

Doing the blatantly evil versus doing something less evil always necessitates doing something evil. Logic is logical. Ethics is ethical. There are no half measures only people's opinions vary and none of them are worth a dime if it means doing evil. Opinions are never equal. It depends ........ but volume and repetition is of no value. :)

That's a pretty sermon, Preach.  But I see no solution in your talk.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 05:44:42 PM
Quote
The public supports universal health care (insurance). The public supports gay marriage & marriage equality. The public supports abortion rights for women. The public supports the govt minding it's own business when it comes to their own bodies, the right death with dignity, and smoking pot too. 

There's enough public support to permit gay marriage.  But not enough to legislate universal healthcare.  Let's not mix successes and failures together and label the package a success.

Quote
Everything I listed would cause rapid reductions in GHG emissions in the US and contribute to saving the planet's climate system.

I've lost track of your solutions.  Was this one?

"Stop your governments cities from suing Fossil Fuel suppliers and sue the citizens for their use of fossil fuels since 1990 when they were told point blank doing so was dangerous."

That is not a rational suggestion.  If you've got some potential workable solutions how about listing them.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 23, 2018, 05:56:43 PM
Quote
Now imagine this chemical cocktail percolating into your water supply.


But as Bob has stated. We need to be realistic. For us to continue our lifestyle, we need to accept the long term poisoning of our water supply.

I would suggest instead (have suggested in fact) that we need to absolutely accept that our lifestyles must change to avoid disaster.

Unfortunately we live in a world where we are often forced to choose between the bad and the somewhat less bad.

I would like to suggest that the choice is not between the bad (coal), less bad (natural gas) and the best (renewables). Due to dramatic improvements in fracking technology, the choice in the short term is between the less expensive, bad (natural gas) and the more expensive, best (renewables).

My impression is that contamination of groundwater is a small problem.  Bad, but nothing like extreme climate change would bring to us.  We can filter water and over time the chemicals will be diluted away.

So a wave of the hand and we dismiss the massive contamination of our drinking water. Did you read any of the MSDS's I posted? One states very clearly to avoid introducing the chemical into the environment! Hah!!! Let's shove that shit into our water supply! Uh...duhhhh.

Again, if you have another idea that might work then spell it out.  Right now it looks like you are willing to bake the planet in order to avoid a small water pollution problem.  And don't give me any of the "Let's all hold hands, sing a campfire song, and then do the right thing" crap.  That does not work.

Transitioning rapidly to renewables does not work only if we are intent on maximizing profit at the expense of solving the problem of climate change. The technology is available, even if the cost to effect a quick transition is expensive.

Which quite nicely brings us back to the question posed by this thread...

If not Capitalism...then What? And, How?

Simply stated, if we allow the efficient functioning of the market to determine what our electric generation will look like in 30 years, we are screwed.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 06:18:34 PM
Quote
I would like to suggest that the choice is not between the bad (coal), less bad (natural gas) and the best (renewables). Due to dramatic improvements in fracking technology, the choice in the short term is between the less expensive (natural gas) and the more expensive (renewables).

I must have missed something.  Is there "safe" fracking?

The choice is not NG or renewables.  The choice is coal or NG and renewables.

BTW, wind and solar are now cheaper than NG.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 06:21:02 PM
Quote
So a wave of the hand and we dismiss the massive contamination of our drinking water.

No.  We have to make a hard choice.  Global climate change disaster or locally contaminated water.  Assuming we have to use hazardous chemicals to obtain some of the NG we need. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 23, 2018, 06:30:24 PM
Quote
Even easier and faster. Make doing the wrong thing illegal. Typically ensures 99% compliance overnight

Stupid approach.


Then you can prove it is stupid. Logic is logical.

If it was stupid then murder, bank robbery, rape, corporate fraud, insider trading, bigamy, drunk driving, speeding, tax evasion and causing environmental damage wouldn't be illegal already.

The public supports legislation against murder, etc.  Everything you list is something that causes "immediate" hurt.

The public will not support legislation that causes them to drastically change their lifestyle.  Climate change is an "in the future" hurt.  Humans don't do prevention very well.

If we let climate change continue then at some point down the road the pain will become powerful enough that people would support extreme legislation (but by then it would probably be too late).

The way out of this mess is to find acceptable, affordable alternatives to activities that produce greenhouse gases.  The more acceptable and affordable the alternative, the faster we cut GHG gases.

BTW, we have the acceptable, affordable alternatives for most GHG emissions.  A few nuts left to crack.  Now we need to roll out the solutions faster.
I really don't have the time in the evenings, but that is simply not true at all.

On a strictly personal basis you can get down to roughly 2 tonnes CO2eq today (excluding the societal emissions from wherever you live). On a nationwide scale it's theoretically possible to get down to roughly 2 tonnes CO2eq as well, given some time and effort. I have tried to show that in several posts in here over several years now. You are aware of some of those posts Bob.
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1102.msg155322.html#msg155322 (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1102.msg155322.html#msg155322)

And this was your reply, to the ending words from the recent video I posted here (and in the Paris thread) with Kevin Anderson:
Quote
we have to think differently

No, we have to speed up what we are now doing.
We are not doing anywhere near what we should be doing. Not even in Sweden.

Sweden with ~90% "carbon free" energy today is a very good present day example here. We must think differently and change our lifestyles, there's no way around that, unless someone finds a magic way to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Ban the living daylights out of fossil fuels and GHG emissions today. It will hurt, some companies and people will be financially destroyed, but the effects of climate change will hurt even more. If people don't realize that, like your sweet "all of the above guy" Rick Perry over there, too bad.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 06:30:44 PM
Quote
Simply stated, if we allow the efficient functioning of the market to determine what our electric generation will look like in 30 years, we are screwed.

We are already screwed.  We're at least screwed at level 1 on a 10 point scale ranging from where we now are (floods, monster fires, heat waves) to level 10 where a vastly diminished number of humans live 'underground' much of the time.

Market forces alone may or may not be enough.  We need to assume they will not be (nor have I ever suggested they would be).  Market forces are probably not adequate but are almost certainly necessary.

We need concerned people pushing as well. 

If the push is to ask people to change their lifestyle in a way that they don't wish to or to pay a lot more for energy then Sisyphus is going to get his rock to the top of the hill before will put the brakes on climate change.

If the push is to ask people to accept a better lifestyle that costs them less then it's going to be like jump starting your car heading downhill.  If the slope is steep enough, just let off the brake and get ready to pop the clutch.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 06:35:32 PM
Quote
We are not doing anywhere near what we should be doing. Not even in Sweden.

Sweden with ~90% "carbon free" energy today is a very good present day example here. We must think differently and change our lifestyles, there's no way around that, unless someone finds a magic way to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Ban the living daylights out of fossil fuels and GHG emissions today. It will hurt, some companies and people will be financially destroyed, but the effects of climate change will hurt even more. If people don't realize that, like your sweet "all of the above guy" Rick Perry over there, too bad.

You figure out how to be absolute dictator of the planet and then you can ban the living daylights out of fossil fuels and GHG emission on day one of your reign. 

Later that day there will be an uprising and your throne will be toppled.

Get out in the real world.  See how many people are willing to quit riding in fueled vehicles and cut their electricity use by 80%.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 06:52:28 PM
Quote
Or extreme fantasies like westerners telling Africans, Indians, Indonesians, Bangladeshis, and the Chinese if they all put a solar panel on the roof of their village huts they'll become an economic superpower on the back of renewable energy.

Sorry to burst your bubble, bippy, but solar is doing very well in less developed countries.  Millions of households have moved from kerosene and candles to solar panels and LEDs.  Lots of small grids have added solar and wind to their supply and now use their diesel generators as backup. 

China is on track to see solar produce more electricity than nuclear and wind, moving solar into third place behind coal and hydro.  That may happen in 2018.

Solar, wind, hydro, and nuclear are all ganging up to reduce Chinese coal use.

What's a 'bippy'? Is this a term of endearment where you're being nice and respectful?
 
Is this data reasonably close?
http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/CLIMATECHANGE-ACCORD/010030F50XV/index.html

% GHG emissions by nation
United States of America    17.89% Pop. 325.7 million (2017)
% per 100 million people = 5.49%

Australia 1.46% Pop. 24.13 million (2016)
% per 100 million people = 6.05%

Germany    2.56% Pop. 82.67 million (2016)
% per 100 million people = 3.09%

South Africa 1.46% Pop. 55.91 million (2016)
% per 100 million people = 2.61%

China 20.09% Pop. 1,379 million (2016)
% per 100 million people = 1.45%

Then we have countries such as

Indonesia 1.49% Pop. 261.1 million (2016)
% per 100 million people = 0.57%

Nigeria 0.57% Pop. 186 million (2016)
% per 100 million people = 0.31%

India 4.10% Pop. 1,324 million (2016)
% per 100 million people = 0.31%

Bangladesh 0.27% Pop. 163 million (2016)
% per 100 million people = 0.16%

No Fossil Fueled power stations or Nuclear plants for them? Only Renewable energy will they be allowed. Because "We" say so?

There is the actual reality of new Coal projects in “climate denying nation states” (?) like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Vietnam, Bosnia and Serbia.
https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/International_Chinese_coal_projects

Renewable Energy is clearly a winning strategy now! So cheap everyone is doing it now? Ah, no, that isn't true. When I look at the research and the data what I see is the major causes of the "problem" are those rich ex-colonial powers and highest consumer nations still today with over 1.5% of total GHG emissions per 100 million people, in particular the USA @ 5.49%/100mln as the most outstanding nation in producing damaging GHG Pollution on this planet bar none.

Let me know when the USA is able to cut it's GHG emissions across all sectors by at least 70% down to 1.5% per 100 mln people by using Renewable energy while continuing it's love affair with Gas/Oil Fracking. When the USA can show the world how this can be done "without immediate hurt" they might follow that lead. But that is impossible.

Renewable energy growth in the USA will never achieve even that 1.5% which is still way above zero-net emissions required before 2050. Because the US Public and the powers that be in the USA will never support such a change to THEIR "lifestyles" willingly. The USA will need to be FORCED into such drastic reductions in consumption, ff production, defense cuts and loss of it's economic/financial power. As will some others.

Or nothing will happen, nothing will change bar rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The logical and very highly likely only outcome at present.

Yes, the US is an evil polluter.

Happy now?

The US is cutting it's fossil fuel use.  The US is buying EVs.  Not fast enough but the rate of both is increasing.

The US increased its percent of electricity product with wind and solar by 1.7% in 2017.  In 2017 the US generated 62.8% of their electricity with fossil fuels.  At that rate it would take 36.9 years to replace all fossil fuel electricity with renewable energy.  2055.

But the rate is almost certain to accelerate as the cost of wind and solar continue to fall and our old coal plants age out.

The US will quickly move to EVs as soon as they reach purchase price parity with ICEVs, which should be within five years.  At that point the drop in fuel use will start to fall and fall rapidly.  About half of all US driving is done with cars that are five years old or newer.  And due to the operating cost savings we can expect higher mileage drivers to move to EVs quicker.

There are other factors.  Ten years from now most of the anti-renewable energy people like the Koch brothers and Donald Trump will be aged out.  Either too old to matter or dead.  The fossil fuel industry will have lost political influence while the political power of wind and solar will have grown.
 Climate change will be more obvious, as will the pain from climate change. 

Barriers removed.  Pressure to change  increased.  Rate of change accelerates.

Down the road look for the prodigal US son to be welcomed home by the righteous Europeans.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 23, 2018, 08:31:28 PM
An interesting article by Hopkins at counterpunch, echoing both Ellul and Wolin, and some Baudrillard for good measure:

"Generating the simulation of democracy that most Western consumers desperately need in order to be able to pretend to believe that they are not just smoothly-functioning cogs in the machinery of a murderous global empire managed by a class of obscenely wealthy and powerful international elites to whom their lives mean exactly nothing, although extremely expensive and time-consuming, is essential to maintaining their monopoly on power. Having conditioned most Westerners into believing they are “free,” and not just glorified peasants with gadgets, the global capitalist ruling classes have no choice but to keep up this fiction. "

"The purpose of this simulation of democracy is not to generate fake democracy and pass it off as real democracy. Its purpose is to generate the concept of democracy ... "

"Capitalism is ... a machine. Its fundamental function is to eliminate any and all despotic values and replace them with a single value, i.e., exchange value, determined by the market. "

"capitalism has already reached the limits of the freedom it can safely offer us"

"The global capitalist ruling classes need the masses in the West to believe that they live in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and so on, and not in a global marketplace. Because, if it’s all one global marketplace, with one big global labor force (which global corporations can exploit with impunity), and if it’s one big global financial system (where the economies of supposed adversaries like China and the United States, or the European Union and Russia, are almost totally interdependent), then there is no United States of America, no United Kingdom, no France, no Germany … or not as we’re conditioned to perceive them. There is only the global capitalist empire, divided into “national” market territories"

"Like Baudrillard’s Disneyland, “Western democracy” is presented to us as “imperfect” or “unfinished” (in other words, as a replica of “real democracy”) in order to convince us that there exists such a thing as “real democracy,” "

"The replica does not exist to deceive us into believing it is the “real” thing. It exists to convince us that there is a “real” thing. "

"In the cosmology of global capitalism, “democracy” is capitalist heaven. We hear it preached about throughout our lives, we’re surrounded by graven images of it, but we don’t get to see it until we’re dead. Attempting to storm its pearly gates, or to create the Kingdom of Democracy on Earth, is heresy, and is punishable by death. Denying its existence is blasphemy, for which the punishment is excommunication ..."

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/23/the-simulation-of-democracy/

sidd

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 23, 2018, 08:32:07 PM
Quote
So a wave of the hand and we dismiss the massive contamination of our drinking water.

No.  We have to make a hard choice.  Global climate change disaster or locally contaminated water.  Assuming we have to use hazardous chemicals to obtain some of the NG we need.

No.  We have to make a hard choice.  Global climate change disaster or locally contaminated water.  Assuming we have to use hazardous chemicals to obtain most of the NG we need. (edited for accuracy)

60% of the natural gas extracted is through hydraulic fracking and this will continue to climb as conventional sources of natural gas are not expanding.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 23, 2018, 08:36:29 PM
Quote
So a wave of the hand and we dismiss the massive contamination of our drinking water.

No.  We have to make a hard choice.  Global climate change disaster or locally contaminated water.  Assuming we have to use hazardous chemicals to obtain some of the NG we need.

Assuming we have to use hazardous chemicals to obtain some of the NG we need.

Not an engineer but many of the chemicals currently used are hazardous and I have to believe they would not use them if there were safe substitutes. So, contaminated drinking water it is.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 23, 2018, 08:46:18 PM
You figure out how to be absolute dictator of the planet and then you can ban the living daylights out of fossil fuels and GHG emission on day one of your reign. 

Don't you get it Bob? Don't you understand what we keep trying to say in this thread. We already live under a defacto dictatorship.  America spends more than 1/2 trillion dollars a year on guns and bombs.  those weapons are used to protect the 2000 or so billionaires who effectively control the entire world. But this dictatorship isn't telling us to turn off our lights or stop driving our cars. No, they want us to consume more, pollute more, destroy more. Anything that will make them more wealthy. They will burn this world to the fucking ground before they give up their wealth. And you keep on defending the system that lets them do this.

And you keep giving us this fatalist bullshit that we can't change the system. That it's hopeless. Because the typical american is impervious to change. How about you look in the mirror.

YOU. ARE. THE. PROBLEM.

YOU are the one who isn't willing to change. YOU are the one who endorses this exploitative system. and YOU are the one who mocks radical politics


(https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/inlineimage/2016-02-20/socialismCapitalismAge.png)


I know many people my age who are looking for radical change. I know many people my age who are concerned for future. and I know many people who are sick of your generation's patronizing bullshit.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-5307647/Study-reveals-reasons-drop-car-ownership-young-people.html

My generation is the one who's driving less. Mostly because your generation sucked up all the wealth while our wages evaporated.

We we would rather ride public transit, And you would rather defend hyper-capitalist Elon Musk

Quote
“I think public transport is painful. It sucks. Why do you want to get on something with a lot of other people, that doesn’t leave where you want it to leave, doesn’t start where you want it to start, doesn’t end where you want it to end? And it doesn’t go all the time.”

“It’s a pain in the ass,” he continued. “That’s why everyone doesn’t like it. And there’s like a bunch of random strangers, one of who might be a serial killer, OK, great. And so that’s why people like individualized transport, that goes where you want, when you want.”

When the audience member responded that public transportation seemed to work in Japan, Musk shot back, “What, where they cram people in the subway? That doesn’t sound great.”





Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 10:51:44 PM

The US increased its percent of electricity product with wind and solar by 1.7% in 2017.  In 2017 the US generated 62.8% of their electricity with fossil fuels.  At that rate it would take 36.9 years to replace all fossil fuel electricity with renewable energy.  2055.


What does this really mean? Assuming the above could happen and the numbers are reasonably correct.

Only the present 2018 level of electricity production has been replaced by renewable energy by 2055.

Renewable energy has not replaced any growth in electricity demand consumption between 2018 and 2055.

Renewable energy is not powering one more EV than it did in 2018.

Total Oil use has increased. Total Gas use has increased.

In your 'world' there are no Nuclear power plants.

Renewable energy has not replaced that 20% of electricity supply by 2055.

Renewable energy has no impact on increasing Land Use emissions.

Renewable energy has no impact on increasing Cement production.

Renewable energy has no impact on increasing Fertilizer production.

Renewable energy has no impact on increasing livestock production and related emissions.

Renewable energy has no impact on increasing production / demand of steel, aluminum, car manufacturing, white goods manufacturing, nor mining operations or building buildings and roads.

Renewable energy has no impact on increasing shipping of imports and exports nor internal transportation.

Renewable energy uptake in the USA has no impact on increasing economic activity in the other 191 nations of this world nor their higher consumption of US exports including military exports.

Despite this hypothetical Renewable energy increase in the electricity sector between 2018 and 2055 total GHG emissions of the USA (incl imports) increases. This Renewable energy scenario is not logical, not realistic, incomplete, and therefore it is a non-solution. Much more has to be done and change to achieve Net Zero GHG emissions in the USA by 2055. Anything less than Net Zero by then is a non-solution. 

There is no need to take these comments personally. What's essential are genuine realistic solutions and systemic social cultural change.

"The US increased its percent of electricity product with wind and solar by 1.7% in 2017."

In 2016 the US generated 5.5%  of its electricity with non-hydro renewables.
 In 2017 that grew to 7.6%.  An increase of 2.1%.  1.7% was a mistake, I read from the wrong column.

"Only the present 2018 level of electricity production has been replaced by renewable energy by 2055.

Renewable energy has not replaced any growth in electricity demand consumption between 2018 and 2055."

Sorry, I can't respond to those claims.  I have no crystal ball that tells what conditions will be post today.  Certainly not in 2055.  (I hope you aren't basing your claim on EIA predictions.)

"Total Oil use has increased. Total Gas use has increased.

In your 'world' there are no Nuclear power plants. "

Natural gas has increased but that has been more than offset by decreases in coal use.  Renewables are up and fossil fuels are down.

(https://vgy.me/izA0id.png)

Oil use will start dropping once we have affordable long range EVs. 

It's unlikely the US will have more than three nuclear plants 20 years from now.  The rest will have aged out and gone bankrupt far before then.

"Renewable energy is not powering one more EV than it did in 2018. "

This is 2018.  I don't know what year you live in.  But whatever.  People who purchase EVs are more likely to put solar on their roofs than are other people.  You claim has no merit.

All the cement, livestock stuff.  I'm not going to spend time going through it item by item.  I suspect you have a closed mind and it would simply be a waste of my time.  I will say that renewable energy has already made an impact on some of those issues, is capable of dealing with others, and there are some problems that are yet to be solved.


Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2018, 11:01:56 PM
You figure out how to be absolute dictator of the planet and then you can ban the living daylights out of fossil fuels and GHG emission on day one of your reign. 

Don't you get it Bob? Don't you understand what we keep trying to say in this thread. We already live under a defacto dictatorship.  America spends more than 1/2 trillion dollars a year on guns and bombs.  those weapons are used to protect the 2000 or so billionaires who effectively control the entire world. But this dictatorship isn't telling us to turn off our lights or stop driving our cars. No, they want us to consume more, pollute more, destroy more. Anything that will make them more wealthy. They will burn this world to the fucking ground before they give up their wealth. And you keep on defending the system that lets them do this.

And you keep giving us this fatalist bullshit that we can't change the system. That it's hopeless. Because the typical american is impervious to change. How about you look in the mirror.

YOU. ARE. THE. PROBLEM.

YOU are the one who isn't willing to change. YOU are the one who endorses this exploitative system. and YOU are the one who mocks radical politics


(https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/inlineimage/2016-02-20/socialismCapitalismAge.png)


I know many people my age who are looking for radical change. I know many people my age who are concerned for future. and I know many people who are sick of your generation's patronizing bullshit.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-5307647/Study-reveals-reasons-drop-car-ownership-young-people.html

My generation is the one who's driving less. Mostly because your generation sucked up all the wealth while our wages evaporated.

We we would rather ride public transit, And you would rather defend hyper-capitalist Elon Musk

Quote
“I think public transport is painful. It sucks. Why do you want to get on something with a lot of other people, that doesn’t leave where you want it to leave, doesn’t start where you want it to start, doesn’t end where you want it to end? And it doesn’t go all the time.”

“It’s a pain in the ass,” he continued. “That’s why everyone doesn’t like it. And there’s like a bunch of random strangers, one of who might be a serial killer, OK, great. And so that’s why people like individualized transport, that goes where you want, when you want.”

When the audience member responded that public transportation seemed to work in Japan, Musk shot back, “What, where they cram people in the subway? That doesn’t sound great.”

I live in the United States.  We have a marginally functional democracy which it overly influenced by the need for our elected officials to raise campaign funds.  When I see someone claim that "We already live under a defacto dictatorship" I dismiss most of what they say because I seldom hear anything useful from a tinfoil capped exaggerator.

And when they make statements about "all billionaires" then they get demoted another step.  Elon Musk is a billionaire.  George Soros, Bill Gates and Richard Branson are billionaires. Tom Steyer is a billionaire as is Yvon Chouinard. 

"And you keep giving us this fatalist bullshit that we can't change the system."

There's another mega-stupid claim.  We have to change "the system" but unless we have economics working for us we will find it extremely hard,pretty much impossible.

If you think you can mount your charger and turn things around then get off your keyboard and get to work.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 23, 2018, 11:49:34 PM
You figure out how to be absolute dictator of the planet and then you can ban the living daylights out of fossil fuels and GHG emission on day one of your reign. 

Don't you get it Bob? Don't you understand what we keep trying to say in this thread. We already live under a defacto dictatorship.  America spends more than 1/2 trillion dollars a year on guns and bombs.  those weapons are used to protect the 2000 or so billionaires who effectively control the entire world. But this dictatorship isn't telling us to turn off our lights or stop driving our cars. No, they want us to consume more, pollute more, destroy more. Anything that will make them more wealthy. They will burn this world to the fucking ground before they give up their wealth. And you keep on defending the system that lets them do this.

And you keep giving us this fatalist bullshit that we can't change the system. That it's hopeless. Because the typical american is impervious to change. How about you look in the mirror.

YOU. ARE. THE. PROBLEM.

YOU are the one who isn't willing to change. YOU are the one who endorses this exploitative system. and YOU are the one who mocks radical politics


(https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/inlineimage/2016-02-20/socialismCapitalismAge.png)


I know many people my age who are looking for radical change. I know many people my age who are concerned for future. and I know many people who are sick of your generation's patronizing bullshit.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-5307647/Study-reveals-reasons-drop-car-ownership-young-people.html

My generation is the one who's driving less. Mostly because your generation sucked up all the wealth while our wages evaporated.

We we would rather ride public transit, And you would rather defend hyper-capitalist Elon Musk

Quote
“I think public transport is painful. It sucks. Why do you want to get on something with a lot of other people, that doesn’t leave where you want it to leave, doesn’t start where you want it to start, doesn’t end where you want it to end? And it doesn’t go all the time.”

“It’s a pain in the ass,” he continued. “That’s why everyone doesn’t like it. And there’s like a bunch of random strangers, one of who might be a serial killer, OK, great. And so that’s why people like individualized transport, that goes where you want, when you want.”

When the audience member responded that public transportation seemed to work in Japan, Musk shot back, “What, where they cram people in the subway? That doesn’t sound great.”

I live in the United States.  We have a marginally functional democracy which it overly influenced by the need for our elected officials to raise campaign funds.  When I see someone claim that "We already live under a defacto dictatorship" I dismiss most of what they say because I seldom hear anything useful from a tinfoil capped exaggerator.

And when they make statements about "all billionaires" then they get demoted another step.  Elon Musk is a billionaire.  George Soros, Bill Gates and Richard Branson are billionaires. Tom Steyer is a billionaire as is Yvon Chouinard. 

"And you keep giving us this fatalist bullshit that we can't change the system."

There's another mega-stupid claim.  We have to change "the system" but unless we have economics working for us we will find it extremely hard,pretty much impossible.

"There's another mega-stupid claim.  We have to change "the system" but unless we have economics working for us we will find it extremely hard,pretty much impossible."

Hah. I love this. you mock me for calling the united states a defacto dictatorship, and then in the exact same post you say this:  "but unless we have economics working for us we will find it extremely hard,pretty much impossible."

"Pretty much impossible".... Bob, economics isn't some sort of natural phenomenon.Economics is a human construct to serve us.  Like a house, a business, and a toy. It is not conjured by a higher being, but skillfully created by politicians, bankers, and businessman.

"Pretty much impossible". You admit that we have no power over this economic system.  Even though You and I are privileged enough to have the resources, knowledge, and the connections to at least try. Yet, you admit, it's impossible to change. An unstoppable force....

"unless we have economics working for US.".  Us? who is us? who is it serving? Is it serving the impoverished Americans? Poor foreigners working in American mines, factories, and farms? The victims of imperialism in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, etc? Is it serving the 100s of millions of future climate change refugees?

Billions of people are exploited and suffering under the violent forces of capitalism.  If it's impossible for us to change the system, think about the poor assholes living in the developing world. They have no choice. No agency. They must resign to their miserable fate.

Democracy is great when it only serves you, Bob.




Bob. You have time to change your legacy. Nobody is going to look back and think fondly of the man who was a bootlicker for billionaires
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on May 23, 2018, 11:58:27 PM
Great discussion, guys, but when quoting each other, please, remove everything from the quote that isn't relevant to your reply. My finger hurts from scrolling.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 24, 2018, 12:03:07 AM

The US increased its percent of electricity product with wind and solar by 1.7% in 2017.  In 2017 the US generated 62.8% of their electricity with fossil fuels.  At that rate it would take 36.9 years to replace all fossil fuel electricity with renewable energy.  2055.


What does this really mean? Assuming the above could happen and the numbers are reasonably correct.

Only the present 2018 level of electricity production has been replaced by renewable energy by 2055.

Renewable energy has not replaced any growth in electricity demand consumption between 2018 and 2055.

Renewable energy is not powering one more EV than it did in 2018.

Total Oil use has increased. Total Gas use has increased.

In your 'world' there are no Nuclear power plants.

Renewable energy has not replaced that 20% of electricity supply by 2055.

Renewable energy has no impact on increasing Land Use emissions.

Renewable energy has no impact on increasing Cement production.

Renewable energy has no impact on increasing Fertilizer production.

Renewable energy has no impact on increasing livestock production and related emissions.

Renewable energy has no impact on increasing production / demand of steel, aluminum, car manufacturing, white goods manufacturing, nor mining operations or building buildings and roads.

Renewable energy has no impact on increasing shipping of imports and exports nor internal transportation.

Renewable energy uptake in the USA has no impact on increasing economic activity in the other 191 nations of this world nor their higher consumption of US exports including military exports.

Despite this hypothetical Renewable energy increase in the electricity sector between 2018 and 2055 total GHG emissions of the USA (incl imports) increases. This Renewable energy scenario is not logical, not realistic, incomplete, and therefore it is a non-solution. Much more has to be done and change to achieve Net Zero GHG emissions in the USA by 2055. Anything less than Net Zero by then is a non-solution. 

There is no need to take these comments personally. What's essential are genuine realistic solutions and systemic social cultural change.

"The US increased its percent of electricity product with wind and solar by 1.7% in 2017."

In 2016 the US generated 5.5%  of its electricity with non-hydro renewables.
 In 2017 that grew to 7.6%.  An increase of 2.1%.  1.7% was a mistake, I read from the wrong column.

"Only the present 2018 level of electricity production has been replaced by renewable energy by 2055.

Renewable energy has not replaced any growth in electricity demand consumption between 2018 and 2055."

Sorry, I can't respond to those claims.  I have no crystal ball that tells what conditions will be post today.  Certainly not in 2055.  (I hope you aren't basing your claim on EIA predictions.)

"Total Oil use has increased. Total Gas use has increased.

In your 'world' there are no Nuclear power plants. "

Natural gas has increased but that has been more than offset by decreases in coal use.  Renewables are up and fossil fuels are down.

(https://vgy.me/izA0id.png)

Oil use will start dropping once we have affordable long range EVs. 

It's unlikely the US will have more than three nuclear plants 20 years from now.  The rest will have aged out and gone bankrupt far before then.

"Renewable energy is not powering one more EV than it did in 2018. "

This is 2018.  I don't know what year you live in.  But whatever.  People who purchase EVs are more likely to put solar on their roofs than are other people.  You claim has no merit.

All the cement, livestock stuff.  I'm not going to spend time going through it item by item.  I suspect you have a closed mind and it would simply be a waste of my time.  I will say that renewable energy has already made an impact on some of those issues, is capable of dealing with others, and there are some problems that are yet to be solved.

Seriously? You can't follow what I was saying or what it meant, based on your quoted comment.

Not even that you have not accounted for what replaces all that Nuclear energy in the electricity supply market by 2055 if all are gone or only 4 are left. Or that you have not accounted for any increase in new EVs between 2018 and 2055 in your numbers? That the only thing you have done (whether it's 1.7% or 2.1% growth per year) is replacing FF electricity share as it was in 2018. 

Sorry. I don't know what to say.

You could say that you do not understand exponential growth.

That would be sufficient.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 24, 2018, 12:05:10 AM
Quote
Bob. You have time to change your legacy. Nobody is going to look back and think fondly of the man who was a bootlicker for billionaires

Did you get dropped on your head one time too many times as an infant?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 24, 2018, 12:16:49 AM
probably
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on May 24, 2018, 12:22:48 AM
Great discussion, guys, but when quoting each other, please, remove everything from the quote that isn't relevant to your reply. My finger hurts from scrolling.
Great discussion, guys, but when quoting each other, please, remove everything from the quote that isn't relevant to your reply. My finger hurts from scrolling.
Great discussion, guys, but when quoting each other, please, remove everything from the quote that isn't relevant to your reply. My finger hurts from scrolling.
Great discussion, guys, but when quoting each other, please, remove everything from the quote that isn't relevant to your reply. My finger hurts from scrolling.
Great discussion, guys, but when quoting each other, please, remove everything from the quote that isn't relevant to your reply. My finger hurts from scrolling.
Great discussion, guys, but when quoting each other, please, remove everything from the quote that isn't relevant to your reply. My finger hurts from scrolling.

Great discussion, guys, but when quoting each other, please, remove everything from the quote that isn't relevant to your reply. My finger hurts from scrolling.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 24, 2018, 05:46:29 AM
Sorry Neven. Bob is using the same tactics as some other posters in here, snipping out and respoding to the least relevant. I will stop after this.

Quote
Even easier and faster. Make doing the wrong thing illegal. Typically ensures 99% compliance overnight

Stupid approach.


Then you can prove it is stupid. Logic is logical.

If it was stupid then murder, bank robbery, rape, corporate fraud, insider trading, bigamy, drunk driving, speeding, tax evasion and causing environmental damage wouldn't be illegal already.

The public supports legislation against murder, etc.  Everything you list is something that causes "immediate" hurt.

The public will not support legislation that causes them to drastically change their lifestyle.  Climate change is an "in the future" hurt.  Humans don't do prevention very well.

If we let climate change continue then at some point down the road the pain will become powerful enough that people would support extreme legislation (but by then it would probably be too late).

The way out of this mess is to find acceptable, affordable alternatives to activities that produce greenhouse gases.  The more acceptable and affordable the alternative, the faster we cut GHG gases.

BTW, we have the acceptable, affordable alternatives for most GHG emissions.  A few nuts left to crack.  Now we need to roll out the solutions faster.
I really don't have the time in the evenings, but that is simply not true at all.

On a strictly personal basis you can get down to roughly 2 tonnes CO2eq today (excluding the societal emissions from wherever you live). On a nationwide scale it's theoretically possible to get down to roughly 2 tonnes CO2eq as well, given some time and effort. I have tried to show that in several posts in here over several years now. You are aware of some of those posts Bob.
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1102.msg155322.html#msg155322 (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1102.msg155322.html#msg155322)

And this was your reply, to the ending words from the recent video I posted here (and in the Paris thread) with Kevin Anderson:
Quote
we have to think differently

No, we have to speed up what we are now doing.
We are not doing anywhere near what we should be doing. Not even in Sweden.

Sweden with ~90% "carbon free" energy today is a very good present day example here. We must think differently and change our lifestyles, there's no way around that, unless someone finds a magic way to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Ban the living daylights out of fossil fuels and GHG emissions today. It will hurt, some companies and people will be financially destroyed, but the effects of climate change will hurt even more. If people don't realize that, like your sweet "all of the above guy" Rick Perry over there, too bad.

To this you answered:

Quote
We are not doing anywhere near what we should be doing. Not even in Sweden.

Sweden with ~90% "carbon free" energy today is a very good present day example here. We must think differently and change our lifestyles, there's no way around that, unless someone finds a magic way to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Ban the living daylights out of fossil fuels and GHG emissions today. It will hurt, some companies and people will be financially destroyed, but the effects of climate change will hurt even more. If people don't realize that, like your sweet "all of the above guy" Rick Perry over there, too bad.

You figure out how to be absolute dictator of the planet and then you can ban the living daylights out of fossil fuels and GHG emission on day one of your reign. 

Later that day there will be an uprising and your throne will be toppled.

Get out in the real world.  See how many people are willing to quit riding in fueled vehicles and cut their electricity use by 80%.

That's a bullshit answer and you don't read. Same as three years back so you are probably beyond rescue here, the good thing is that you are not able to do any damage in the real world that the rest of us live in.

You never read back on those links or responded to the core issue on the latest quote. We can change the laws and has done so many times.

Since you claim to be in the real world, why did Rick Perry go to Scandinavia? Both he and you will be highly surprised because there are many people here who use public transports and already has cut their energy use without having to use one single fucking law at all!

They do read and live in the real world. You are detached from it.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 24, 2018, 06:23:35 AM
Tell you what, Sleepy, write a succinct comment and tell me what has your bloomers most in a twist and I'll respond to that single comment.  Don't heave your dinner plate at the wall and leave me guessing as to what didn't taste good to you.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 24, 2018, 06:27:44 AM
I already did that Bob, we westerners can't go below roughly 2 tonnes CO2eq. Is that short enough?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 24, 2018, 06:44:13 AM
This is what we should speed up, it's about time to respect nature, by law.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/23/laws-slaves-nature-humans-rights-environment-amazon (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/23/laws-slaves-nature-humans-rights-environment-amazon)
Add a proper price tag on natural resources.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 24, 2018, 07:05:00 AM
I already did that Bob, we westerners can't go below roughly 2 tonnes CO2eq. Is that short enough?

OK.  I read your statement.  I have no reply as it's just a claim you make.  It makes no sense to me.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 24, 2018, 07:32:12 AM
"Add a proper price tag on natural resources."

Precisely. Price ecosystem services correctly. Then one of two things will happen.

a) we will discover we are bankrupt and do something about it
b) we will discover we are bankrupt and not

right now we are in

c) ignore ecosystem services in pricing

which is very profitable to very powerful interests. Therefore ecosystem services are ignored in markets.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 24, 2018, 07:33:08 AM
Quote
If it was so easy to replace FF electricity supply then we'd already have known exactly what to do 3 decades ago and the Fix would be in and unfolding in every nation already.

For sure.  Three decades ago we had become disillusioned with nuclear.  We built a bunch with the promise that it would get cheaper as we built more but it only got more expensive.

Here's how it played out in the US.

(https://vgy.me/HmnMTg.png)

We quit building reactors because of the cost.  We basically stopped contracting new projects before Three Island Melted down and a strong anti-nuclear movement began.  Economics killed nuclear in the US.

Three decades ago wind was $0.39/kWh.  Solar panels sold for $100/watt.  Now unsubsidized onshore wind is under $0.03/kWh and solar panels are under $0.50/watt.

Only in the last decade did wind become cheaper than fossil fuels and solar is just now becoming cheaper than NG.  We just now have the economic ability to dump fossil fuels.

While it's very clear to many of us that we are facing very significant climatic problems the overall population of the US, and many other nations, is not concerned enough to sacrifice at any large level.  People say that they are willing to spend something, but not a lot.  There has not been enough demand for action to support a price on carbon.

The only route I see to a low carbon lifestyle is to painlessly switch from coal and gas to wind, solar, and hydro.  The change will largely happen out of sight, people will notice no change in what comes out their wall sockets.  They may, after penetration levels rise, see a small drop in electricity costs.

The change from ICEVs to EVs will be more noticeable, for obvious reasons.  But at the point we can get purchase prices almost down to the cost of ICEVs people will start jumping over for the lower operating costs and convenience of EVs.

Now let's talk about exponential growth.  Wind and solar will almost certainly continue to drop in price.  Some people in the field are talking about $0.01/kWh.  If we get to $0.02/kWh unsubsidized it's going to be the death of large thermal plants.  CCNG plants will run only when absolutely needed.  More uses are likely to become dispatchable in order to utilize less expensive wind/solar direct.  All this economic activity will drive the installation of renewables faster.

As people more fully understand the health advantages (especially the cost savings) of renewable energy they will put more pressure on the powers that be to move off fossil fuels quicker.

As fossil fuels lose business and income they also lose political power.  As wind and solar grow they gain more income and they employee more people.  This adds up to more pressure on governments to move faster on wind and solar and less effective resistance from the fossil  fuel industry.

As the years pass we're almost certain to feel more and more climate change pain.  Dealing with disasters and pressure from concerned citizens will drive things faster.

I've listed multiple forces that will drive the transition to renewable energy.  And described how each is likely to gain strength going forward.

What I see is exponential growth for the next few years until we reach a nice steady rate that moves us off fossil fuels somewhere around 2040. 

Twenty years to transition 60% of our electricity to renewables.  That requires 3% a year and we're already at 2%.  Another 1% to cover the death of nuclear.  Another 1% to 2% to cover transportation.  About 6% which should be very doable.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 24, 2018, 07:47:38 AM
Here's my math.

(https://vgy.me/B23mG6.png)

Check it.  The missing 0.3% and 0.1% come from pump-up hydro storage losses which the EIA includes in generation numbers.

1.7% in my previous statement was an error.  I grabbed that figure from the wrong column.  The actual market share gain for 2017 was about 2.2%.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 24, 2018, 08:10:29 AM
I already did that Bob, we westerners can't go below roughly 2 tonnes CO2eq. Is that short enough?

OK.  I read your statement.  I have no reply as it's just a claim you make.  It makes no sense to me.
Of course it doesn't, it's on that dinner plate on the wall that disgusted you. If you decide to look at the different ingredients on that wall, you will find a more describing version of the attached image. It's obvious that the image relates to Sweden, because the US emissions would not fit on that scale. (Hint, we really should follow the blue line...)

Those who has followed the Paris Agreement would know right away where those two tonnes comes from. That's also why IPCC includes (not yet invented) NET's.

Edit; adding image below.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 24, 2018, 08:15:51 AM
Quote
All I got was abuse and no genuine answers.

Oh, bullshit.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 24, 2018, 08:17:27 AM
"Add a proper price tag on natural resources."

Precisely. Price ecosystem services correctly. Then one of two things will happen.

a) we will discover we are bankrupt and do something about it
b) we will discover we are bankrupt and not

right now we are in

c) ignore ecosystem services in pricing

which is very profitable to very powerful interests. Therefore ecosystem services are ignored in markets.

sidd
Thank you for expressing that better than me, sidd.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 24, 2018, 08:31:20 AM
Quote
All I got was abuse and no genuine answers.

Oh, bullshit.

That's a fair point Bob. All I got was bullshit!  ;D

Why should I waste time on someone who  is dishonest?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: be cause on May 24, 2018, 11:23:47 AM
^^^ best non-climate post of the year so far :)  b.c.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 24, 2018, 09:44:14 PM
Is ff usage increasing or decreasing, not as a percentage of the available mix, but as a quantity?



Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 24, 2018, 10:11:55 PM
Is ff usage increasing or decreasing, not as a percentage of the available mix, but as a quantity?



Terry

Look up the page to the chart I posted at May 23, 2018, 11:11:22.

FF use in TWh peaked in 2007.  Starting with 2007 here's how it's run through 2017.

2,992,238
2,926,731
2,726,452
2,883,361
2,788,867
2,782,023
2,738,797
2,738,114
2,732,531
2,649,968
2,520,515
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 24, 2018, 10:46:39 PM
Looking good bob!

(https://edmhdotme.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/screen-shot-2015-11-08-at-20-20-15.png)

Has anything changed since 2015?
https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-global-co2-emissions-set-to-rise-2-percent-in-2017-following-three-year-plateau

naw. not really.




The markets are working. the markets are working. the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 24, 2018, 11:38:52 PM
FF use in TWh peaked in 2007.  Starting with 2007 here's how it's run through 2017.

2,992,238
2,926,731
2,726,452
2,883,361
2,788,867
2,782,023
2,738,797
2,738,114
2,732,531
2,649,968
2,520,515
Thanks Bob.
Glad to see that the world's reliance on ff is headed in the right direction.
Still waiting for confirmation from Mauna Loa. ;)
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 25, 2018, 02:47:46 AM
the markets are working.

Actually, the markets are working exactly as they are intended to.

I typically shy away from ascribing intent or making value judgments of people who operate within the system and have not participated in the latest flurry of comments. I have been very successful in the free market system, attained valuable degrees and through hard work and luck (as well as a considerable amount of white male privilege which is so prevalent in the U.S.), I had a very successful and lucrative career in manufacturing. It is not so much that evil people in capitalism are driving us to the brink. It is that ordinary people such as ourselves, accepting the rules of the system and making rational decisions to further our success are driving us to the brink.

It is my belief, supported by 60 plus years of personal experience, that most of humanity is comprised of decent, caring people. Collectively, these decent people, working diligently to take care of their families and to see that their children have lives better than their own, are driving us to the brink.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2018, 07:04:35 AM
FF use in TWh peaked in 2007.  Starting with 2007 here's how it's run through 2017.

2,992,238
2,926,731
2,726,452
2,883,361
2,788,867
2,782,023
2,738,797
2,738,114
2,732,531
2,649,968
2,520,515
Thanks Bob.
Glad to see that the world's reliance on ff is headed in the right direction.
Still waiting for confirmation from Mauna Loa. ;)
Terry

Those are US numbers, not global Terry. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2018, 07:15:43 AM
Looking good bob!

(https://edmhdotme.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/screen-shot-2015-11-08-at-20-20-15.png)

Has anything changed since 2015?
https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-global-co2-emissions-set-to-rise-2-percent-in-2017-following-three-year-plateau

naw. not really.




The markets are working. the markets are working. the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.

That graph doesn't tell us much of anything about whether the markets are working. 

First, it conflates electricity generation, transportation, and probably other CO2 sources.  There's no market operating yet in transportation.  There are not enough affordable electric vehicles to move that part of the problem.  And there's no "renewable energy" market in agriculture, concrete, and other emission activities. 

One would have to look at what is happening in electricity where wind and solar are competitive with fossil fuels and determine if  there is anything happening  there.  And one would have look at those countries which have established renewable energy programs.  Lumping Russia in with the EU and the US doesn't make sense.

Then toss out almost all of the data on the left side of ten years ago.  That's meaningless.  There was essentially no wind and solar presence then and what there was installed certainly was not competitive pricewise.

If you want to see if the market is working then look at the last five years.  In countries that have somewhat open markets.  And look at the decisions being made by utility companies.  They're talking about how the falling prices of wind and solar are impacting their current activities and future plans.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2018, 07:26:03 AM
Quote
It is my belief, supported by 40 plus years of personal experience, that most of humanity is comprised of decent, caring people. Collectively, It is my belief, supported by 40 plus years of personal experience, that most of humanity is comprised of decent, caring people. Collectively, these decent people, working diligently to take care of their families and to see that their children have lives better than their own, are driving us to the brink..

I agree with both of your points.  Some people play golf, some people eat out a lot and spend money in bars, some people own a small airplane.  I travel.

I've spent a lot of time in other countries and in most parts of the US over the last 40+ years.  Every state and every country, in my experience, has a lot of good people in it.  But almost all those good people are doing things that add to our greenhouse gas problem.  These decent people, working diligently to take care of their families and to see that their children have lives better than their own, are driving us to the brink.  But they don't have to.

If we give them a different set of tools, low carbon energy and sustainable materials/practices, they can get on with their work to take care of themselves and their families in ways that don't further harm our livable climate.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 25, 2018, 08:56:13 AM

Look up the page to the chart I posted at May 23, 2018, 11:11:22.

FF use in TWh peaked in 2007.  Starting with 2007 here's how it's run through 2017.

2,992,238
2,926,731
2,726,452
2,883,361
2,788,867
2,782,023
2,738,797
2,738,114
2,732,531
2,649,968
2,520,515
Thanks Bob.
Glad to see that the world's reliance on ff is headed in the right direction.
Still waiting for confirmation from Mauna Loa. ;)
Terry
Instead unclear numbers without a findable source (I never found any post from May 23, 2018, 11:11:22 ) you could look at papers like this one (attached above first image below). They usually try to give references and clear sources for readers to look up on, if they wish to do so.

Quoting from the text below Fig2.
Quote
If CO 2 emissions stay flat for the next decades (green; 0% annual growth), then it may take 10 years before the estimated atmospheric concentrations would exceed the budget imbalance with a probability of 68% or more (and therefore could be detected) compared to a pathway of atmospheric concentrations consistent with growth in CO 2 emissions (orange, 1% per year similar to the emission pledges submitted to the Paris Agreement). This delay increases to 20 years for a 95% probability. If emissions declined faster than expected (blue, –1% per year), then a more marked change in atmospheric growth would be expected, and a much earlier detection.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 25, 2018, 10:13:54 AM
I posted this in the Paris thread in February, findable by clicking back on the link I presented above earlier. Better suite in this thread maybe. Mostly in English.

https://youtu.be/KmQJPbXceF0
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 25, 2018, 10:17:41 AM
Another cross post from the Paris thread.

The following video in the link below is from September but I couldn't find any posts with it, so here it comes;
The Gordon Goodman Memorial Lecture 2017.
Quote
Mitigation on Methadone: the trouble with negative emissions
With sixteen of the seventeen warmest years on record having occurred since 2000; with oceans both warming and acidifying; and with unequivocal scientific evidence that burning fossil fuels is the principal cause; – what can we do to rapidly reduce emissions?

This presentation will revisit the scale of the climate challenge, arguing that whilst the science of climate change has progressed, we obstinately refuse to acknowledge the rate at which our emissions from energy need to be reduced. The Paris Agreement exemplifies this duality – relying as it does on highly speculative negative emission technologies to balance incremental tweaks to a ‘business-as-usual’ model with rapidly dwindling carbon budgets for 2°C. Similarly, the eloquent rhetoric of green growth continues to eclipse analysis demonstrating the need for radical social as well as technical change.

Taking these issues head on, this seminar will outline a quantitative framing of mitigation, based on IPCC carbon budgets, before finishing with more qualitative examples of what a genuine low-carbon future may contain.
Kevin Anderson starts at ~20m.
http://www.kva.se/sv/kalendarium/the-gordon-goodman-memorial-lecture-2017 (http://www.kva.se/sv/kalendarium/the-gordon-goodman-memorial-lecture-2017)

Also adding a screenshot with what Sweden should accomplish.
We will not do that, dispite having 40% nuclear, 40% hydro and 10% wind, so what about the rest of the western world.  ???

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1021.0;attach=56370;image)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 25, 2018, 03:28:44 PM
Looking good bob!

(https://edmhdotme.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/screen-shot-2015-11-08-at-20-20-15.png)

Has anything changed since 2015?
https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-global-co2-emissions-set-to-rise-2-percent-in-2017-following-three-year-plateau

naw. not really.




The markets are working. the markets are working. the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.  the markets are working.

That graph doesn't tell us much of anything about whether the markets are working. 

???????????????????

CO2 emissions are an unfortunate output of our economic activity so these CO2 graphs clearly show that the markets are operating efficiently as companies and individuals across the planet make decisions that contribute to their success and well being.

All of us act to maximize our well being and our actions in the aggregate result in a host of metrics that track the results. We measure GDP, productivity etc. CO2 emissions are simply one other, highly valid metric.



Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 25, 2018, 04:07:16 PM

Instead unclear numbers without a findable source (I never found any post from May 23, 2018, 11:11:22 ) you could look at papers like this one (attached above first image below). They usually try to give references and clear sources for readers to look up on, if they wish to do so.



I always try to provide links to support any data that I reference. One reason I do this is the article or paper goes into far more detail than I can do in a comment and I want to provide the people reading my comment an opportunity to dig into a topic they find interesting.

This fracking hydraulic fluid article which I linked to earlier is one such resource, very detailed and informative. If you want to know why you should be frightened by the boom in fracking in the U.S., this is a must read. I must warn you in advance, it is 168 pages long.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-03/documents/fracfocus_analysis_report_and_appendices_final_032015_508_0.pdf

Please be clear. This boom in fracking is not because people are evil. It is because fracking natural gas is highly profitable and, as long as it remains so, fracking will continue to grow. This is why the efficient operations of the market (modern capitalism always seeks to maximize profit) will never get us where we need to go and, if it does, it will be far too late to save us.

The solution to this existential crisis lies outside of capitalism and any effort to implement the solution will always meet resistance from businesses and individuals. This is why I am pessimistic about our future. The science of AGW is sound. The technology needed to solve the problem is available. The will to embrace the social change needed is lacking. We will need to be staring death in the face before we react and it will be too late.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 25, 2018, 04:27:11 PM
And now that I have succeeded in depressing myself, I am off.

Carry on good people.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on May 25, 2018, 05:14:40 PM
Second
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2018, 08:17:20 PM
Quote
CO2 emissions are an unfortunate output of our economic activity so these CO2 graphs clearly show that the markets are operating efficiently as companies and individuals across the planet make decisions that contribute to their success and well being.

Iceland and Paraguay have 100% low carbon grids.  Their economies grow without increasing CO2 emissions from electricity.

The CO2 problem is not growth but source of energy. 


Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2018, 08:25:46 PM
Sleepy all very relevant comments and information.

"Despite already having 40% nuclear, 40% hydro and 10% wind, to cut GHG emissions by 13% per year reducing them to Net Zero by 2035."

So what about the rest of the western world? Good question.

It's a total mystery (kind of) why such information simply does not register in so many people including those who do correctly see themselves as being well above above average "educated about global warming, energy use and climate change." 

It don't compute  :)

Gosh, 10% dirty electricity.  Let's do some hard lifting and reduce it to zero over the next 17 years. 

Tough job ahead, fellows.  Got to transform 0.6% of our electricity supply to low carbon each year for the next 17 years.  (The US was over 2% in 2017.)

Holding up countries like Sweden and Paraguay with their very large hydro resources as an exemplar for others doesn't make sense.  Neither does praising France for all it low carbon nuclear since France installed nuclear as an act of national defense, not to clean their grid.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2018, 08:34:40 PM
Quote
The solution to this existential crisis lies outside of capitalism and any effort to implement the solution will always meet resistance from businesses and individuals. This is why I am pessimistic about our future. The science of AGW is sound. The technology needed to solve the problem is available. The will to embrace the social change needed is lacking. We will need to be staring death in the face before we react and it will be too late.

I agree that the will of the general populace to make changes is less than optimal.  Many people want change but most are unwilling to make much personal change or to spend more than a modest amount of their personal money to create change.

However change is happening.  Coal plants are becoming unprofitable and closing.  Wind and solar have become cheaper than fuel for natural gas plants which is resulting in less fossil fuel use.  Companies are installing solar and contracting for electricity from wind farms.

Quote
The solution to this existential crisis lies outside of capitalism and any effort to implement the solution will always meet resistance from businesses and individuals.

This claim is simply incorrect.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2018, 09:27:01 PM
I'm going to double post this here and in the Renewable Energy thread.  I'm putting it here for a reason I'll post at the bottom after you read the likely coming path to $0.015 solar electricity.

Quote

"GTM Research did the math in a new report, Trends in Solar Technology and System Prices, which projects that utility scale fixed-tilt systems could reach 70 U.S. cents per watt by 2022.

....

For this analysis, pv magazine chose to increase the system cost above to 75¢/W to account for single-axis tracking. Our opinion is that this price is actually giving an extra penny or two, considering efficiency gains.

For capacity factor – we started with the 30.2% that we’re getting in California single-axis trackers last year and the year before, and we added 12.5% for the bifacial panel gain. That brought us to a capacity factor of 34%.

Next, we brought the capacity factor to 38%, an increase of about 11.8%. We did this because 20% bifacial solar panels mean an increase in panel efficiency of 17-25% from today’s product, and 38% seemed conservative.

Next we adjusted O&M costs to $7.50/kW to align with increases expected here as well. Currently, there are contracts sneaking out at $8-10/W – some influenced by the tax credit, some by super dense installation areas.

That leaves us with a simple, levelized cost of renewable energy at 1.5¢/kWh. This price does include profits for the utility scale developers.

And, if the solar power developer were to partner with a strategic tax equity investor who discounted the tax credit and depreciation by 25% – lowering the effective capital cost to 52¢/W to install, we get a price of 1.1¢/kWh. The cheapest electricity on the planet...."


https://www.pv-magazine.com/2018/05/25/the-path-to-us0-015-kwh-solar-power-and-lower/

How have we gotten from $100/watt solar panels to panels well under $0.50/watt?  What is creating the path toward $0.015/kWh electricity, toward 1 penny per kWh electricity?

The market.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 25, 2018, 09:29:41 PM
"The solution to this existential crisis lies outside of capitalism and any effort to implement the solution will always meet resistance from businesses and individuals."

From a capitalist point of view (to which i do not necessarily subscribe) and more precisely, as was discussed earlier, the problem is incorrect pricing of ecosystem services; or as economists so charmingly put it, "distortion of the market."

Why is the market distorted ? Because of regulatory capture of the ones who are supposed to police the market. Who has captured them ? A set of oligarchs who benefit from the distortion. How can this distortion be corrected ? By breaking the control of the oligarchs.

This cannot be done within the capitalist framework, since capitalism always establishes a market in politicians. It must be done through political change.

Or perhaps, as a capitalist might prefer to state, by establishing a regulated market in politics which works using an entirely different medium of exchange, ideally, say, the trust of the voters. But as we see the Citizen's United and precursor decisions in the USA have corrupted that market entirely as well.

sidd


Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2018, 09:47:57 PM
Quote
This cannot be done within the capitalist framework, since capitalism always establishes a market in politicians. It must be done through political change.

We changed the pricing of labor within the capitalist framework  following the Great Depression in the US.  Voters supported politicians who made the changes.

We changed "incorrect pricing of ecosystem services" with the creation of the Environment Protection Agency and subsequent environmental legislation.

Not just in the US but around the world we see pressure put on elected officials that forces new legislation and regulation, changes made within a capitalist framework.

It's going to be easier to arouse voters to demand better environmental regulations than to create an armed rebellion to overthrow the existing government and establish whatever utopian form of government you envision.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 25, 2018, 09:59:49 PM
All the changes mentioned such as FHA, EPA, SSA were done in the context of a political market much different than today.

"It's going to be easier to arouse voters to demand better environmental regulations than to create an armed rebellion to overthrow the existing government and establish whatever utopian form of government you envision."

Accusing me of sedition does not address the point I made: that the political market is captured by oligarchs to an extent that makes regulatory change contrary to their interests very difficult. See for example, Gilens and Page, which i have discussed before.

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1068.msg125889.html#msg125889

I attach grafs from their paper which demonstrate that the interests of economic elites completely dominate the regulatory market.

sidd


Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 25, 2018, 10:08:30 PM
There is a very thoughtfu article by Brill discussing some of the issues that have led to conditions in the USA today.

"About five decades ago, the core values that make America great began to bring America down."

"These distinctly American ideas became the often unintended instruments for splitting the country into two classes: the protected and the unprotected."

"many of the most talented, driven Americans used what makes America great ... to chase the American Dream. And they won it, for themselves. Then, in a way unprecedented in history, they were able to consolidate their winnings, outsmart and co-opt the forces that might have reined them in, and pull up the ladder so more could not share in their success or challenge their primacy."

"The protected need few of these common goods. They don’t have to worry about underperforming public schools, dilapidated mass-transit systems or jammed Social Security hotlines."

"Their money, their power, their lobbyists, their lawyers, their drive overwhelmed the institutions that were supposed to hold them accountable–government agencies, Congress, the courts."

"They simply got really, really good at taking advantage of what the American system gave them"

“American meritocracy has thus become precisely what it was invented to combat,”

Read the whole thing:

http://time.com/5280446/baby-boomer-generation-america-steve-brill/

I think his book is one i will read.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2018, 10:20:17 PM
Quote
All the changes mentioned such as FHA, EPA, SSA were done in the context of a political market much different than today.

"Today" as in Trump's time?  Yes, we're not likely to see anything good happen.

"Today" as in the 21st Century? 

Quote
Here is a list, in no particular order, of twenty of Obama’s notable achievements:

1) Jumpstarting the green economy. The stimulus provided $90 billion dollars for a bevy of green initiatives, including $29 billion for improving energy efficiency, $21 billion for renewable energy generation, $10 billion for the grid, $18 billion for rail, and several smaller initiatives.

2) EPA Endangerment Finding. For the first time, EPA made an official finding that greenhouse gases (GHGs) endanger human health and welfare. This finding was upheld by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; the Supreme Court declined review.

3) GHG Standards for New Vehicles. EPA issued the “tailpipe” rule, cutting CO2 emissions from new cars by almost a billion tons. This was also upheld by the courts.

4) GHG Standards for Power Plants and Factories. At the same time as the “tailpipe” rule, EPA issued a rule requiring GHG cuts for major new facilities; most of that rule was upheld by the Supreme Court. More importantly, EPA issued the Clean Power Plan, addressing emissions from existing power plants. The legality of that rule is now before the D.C. Circuit.


#) Mercury Controls for Power Plants. Using its authority to regulate toxic chemicals, EPA established a rule cutting mercury emissions, which will save thousands of lives, primarily by cutting dangerous particulates. The rule is now in front of the D.C. Circuit on remand from the Supreme Court, but most of the industry has already complied.

5) Social Cost of Carbon. For the first time, the government tried to measure the harm that CO2 causes, for purposes of future cost-benefit analyses. The current figure is around $35 per ton.

6) National monuments. Obama has established more national monuments than any other president in history. They also cover more acreage than any previous president’s.

7) Oceans. Obama designated some 580,000 square miles off Hawaii as a national monument. He also cleaned up the mess from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, twisting BP’s arm into setting up a compensation fund for victims, and then ultimately obtaining billions of dollars in criminal and civil penalties. He also reformed regulation of deepwater drilling after the disaster, with no help from Congress.

8) New environmental legislation. Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which finally fixed the nearly moribund Toxic Substance Control Act. He also signed the Food Modernization and Safety Act in 2011, which substantially strengthened the FDA’s power to safeguard the food supply. Given the near-total gridlock of today’s Congress, obtaining any new legislation is something of a minor miracle.

#) Interstate air pollution. EPA established its first major rule addressing interstate transport of particulates and ozone, something that had been attempted unsuccessfully by the Bush Administration. The major features of the rule have been upheld by the Supreme Court; some lesser matters are still before the D.C. Circuit.

9) Keystone XL Pipeline. Obama blocked construction of this pipeline to take Canadian tar sands oil to market.  The pipeline had come to symbolize the profligate use of fossil fuels.

10) Mountaintop mining. In decisions in 2013 and 2016, the D.C. Circuit upheld the Obama EPA’s effort to curb mountain top mining, an extremely destructive variant on strip mining, even when that means withdrawing or modifying an existing permit.

11) Endangered species. As of April 2015 (the latest figures I could find), the Obama Administration had listed 299 species, bringing them under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. It had also delisted 12, and had 35 listings in progress.

12) Fracking. In 2015, the Administration issued new rules regulating fracking on public lands, designed to protect against groundwater pollution. This year, EPA followed up with rules to restrict methane emissions from natural gas operations.

13) Energy efficiency. In December 2015, the Department of Energy issued a standard governing commercial air conditioners and furnaces, which covers heating and cooling for about half of the country’s commercial space. The new rule is estimated to save a total of $167 billions in energy costs and reduce carbon emissions by 885 megatons.

14) International mercury agreement. The Obama Administration entered into the Minimata Convention on Mercury, which bans mercury mining and regulates mercury products, processes, and pollution.

15) Coal ash. EPA issued the first-ever regulation of coal-ash impoundments, imposing new requirements for structural integrity and for groundwater protection.

16) Stricter air quality standards. After dodging the issue in the run-up to the 2012 election, the Administration finally issued a new air quality standard for ozone, cutting the allowable level from 75 to 70 ppb. In 2013, EPA had also issued a new standard for particulates, cutting the permissible level of PM2.5 from 15 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) to 12 μg/m3.

17) Protecting wetlands. The Administration issued the Water of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which clarified the reach of federal jurisdiction over wetlands. The rule is now mired in litigation.

18) International climate negotiations. Last but far from least: President Obama succeeded in obtaining the 2009 Copenhagen Accord and more recently the 2015 Paris Agreement, the first international agreement including developing nation commitments to address emissions.   Even more recently, the Administration was successful in negotiations to curb super-strong greenhouse gases using the Montreal Protocol and in negotiations for emissions limitations on commercial aviation.

The numbering system did not copy over and I did not want to spend more time adding it.

Is Trump undoing a lot of these accomplishments?  That's his spite-driven intention.  But once we have sane people back in control of Congress and the Administration look for a lot of these changes to be reinstated with legislation which will protect them from a future deranged president.

And let me repeat myself.  Political power is moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy.  We saw that starting to happen a few years back as Republican state governors started advocating for wind farms because those wind farms were creating jobs and tax revenues in their states.  We saw state legislatures in conservative, Republican states fail to pass legislation designed to hamper renewable energy that was created by the fossil fuel industry.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2018, 10:24:25 PM
Quote
"The protected need few of these common goods. They don’t have to worry about underperforming public schools, dilapidated mass-transit systems or jammed Social Security hotlines."

"Their money, their power, their lobbyists, their lawyers, their drive overwhelmed the institutions that were supposed to hold them accountable–government agencies, Congress, the courts."

"They simply got really, really good at taking advantage of what the American system gave them"

“American meritocracy has thus become precisely what it was invented to combat,”

Don't overlook the change that is happening in America.

The privileged class, white men, is losing power to the historically underprivileged, women and racial minorities.  Women are already a majority and are starting to exercise their political power.  America will not be a majority which country for too many more years.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Susan Anderson on May 25, 2018, 10:55:10 PM
Please forgive me, I've skimmed some recent comments, but am responding to the topic rather than that material.

I've been thinking about capitalism and socialism. Just to be clear, given a choice I am strongly for socialism, the kind we admire in Scandinavia and northern Europe.

I've spent most of my life living in communal societies and in communally arranged and organized housing. As a result, I live in truly affordable housing in one of the most expensive cities in the US. Mind you, I'm one of those hated "boomers" and even more hated "liberal" "Democrats" ("liberal" is decidedly not "neoliberal"). I don't think you all should be so eager to blame us for Reagan and what he did. That is the generation after us (and the blame game, while personally satisfying, isn't action).

(https://images.dailykos.com/images/115497/story_image/Federal_Tax_Rates.jpg)

The print on that is fairly small, but if you go to the early 1980s you can see that progressive taxation, which paid for social programs, was attacked on all sides. The rates on lower incomes were raised. Services were removed. The military was expanded. You could blame us, though, because we didn't realize that our efforts to share, get rid of racism and sexism, walk the walk of environmental responsibility, insist on fairness, and anti-militarism (protests against Vietnam were a unifier) caused a backlash which was the me generation and the greedsters who embraced Ronald Reagan, tax cuts for the rich as the solution to everything, and birthed Grover Norquist. Clinton was only able to get elected by going along to get along, and his minority in Congress resulted in lowering the tax on unearned income, a stupidity we endure to this day. Glass-Steagall, that darling of the Berniebusters, was lost, but Clinton was not the instigator of that. However, his "bimbo eruptions" destroyed us; without them Al Gore would have been elected (and without the all-prevalent election cheating which continues to metastasize).

The capitalism we suffer under now is rotten to the core. It is pinned up and enforced by a corrupt government and a structure enhanced by groups like the Koch billionaire network and the Federalist Society, which has put local authorities and court personnel in power who are only interested in serving their masters, not the people but powerful monied interests. They are themselves indistinguishable from those monied interests, and busy preventing their victims from getting any access. A minute tax on the microsecond transactions on the Casino on Wall Street, which would prevent value from being removed at speed from the economy, appears to be impossible with Republicans in power in every branch of government. Even the truth is no longer allowed.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2018, 11:33:36 PM
Susan,  the 26th Amendment which lowered the voting age to 18 was passed in 1971.  Ronald Reagan was voted into office in 1980.  The boomers were born between 1946 and 1964.  Only the last two years of boomers get a pass when it comes to Reagan's win. 

And a large number of the 'silent' generation were greatly opposed to Reagan and worked to elect a Democrat.

The '60s cultural heroes of the Left were largely members of the Silent Majority.  Little Bobby Zimmerman, for example.

Al Gore lost partly because he did not find a way to include Bill Clinton in his campaign.  Bill's "bimbo eruptions" did not keep him from finishing his term as one of our highest admired presidents.  (Pretty much no election is lost for a single reason. Clinton might have been enough to pull Gore past the rest of the problems.)

Quote
The capitalism we suffer under now is rotten to the core.

We're not suffering under capitalism.  We're suffering because we've allowed a very small, very wealthy group of people too much influence over our government.  We've been here before.

Our current government is a combination of rotten and wholesome.  Unfortunately the rotten part is largely in control at the moment.

That's my alternative view of reality....

OK, let me make a suggestion.  How about we dispense with the terms "capitalism" and "socialism".

In place of capitalism let's find or create a term that means "how humans operate".  We want a return on letting others use something we own, cash or otherwise.  And we want a return for our labor.  What word best fits basic human economic behavior?

In place of socialism how about we talk about "buyer's clubs"? 

Almost none of us can afford our own fire department so we end up 'buying' one in common with the understanding that some will need the services but some won't.  But if we do need fire department services we've got that covered.

Police, military, Social Security, Medicaid - all things we buy in common because we cannot individually afford to provide them for ourselves. 

Streets, power grids, schools - more buyer club stuff.  Universal health care would be a buyer club thing.

We're not going to universally change human behavior and make us into "I'll work for you for free" animals.  We're not going to be able to afford our own fire/police type services.

Do this, find new terms.  Recognize that some of us can be really greedy and their desire to own everything has to be controlled.  And then analyze things like free university educations for all to see if they are things we should collectively purchase make sense.

Quit fighting 19th Century economic theory wars.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 25, 2018, 11:40:37 PM
"once we have sane people back in control "

Those sane people would be ones like  Donnelly (D-IN), Heitkamp (D-ND), Manchin(D-WV), Nelson (D-FL), Shaheen (D-NH), Warner (D-VA) ? who voted a torturer for CIA head ?

Vote for our oligarchs, we'll screw you too, but we'll frown while doing it.

More importantly, as Gilens and Page show, the dominance of economic elites in the political market extends over both Democrat and Republican administrations. Their data extend from 1981 to 2002. Other references in that paper include data over a much longer period.

sidd


Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 25, 2018, 11:43:07 PM
" How about we dispense with the terms "capitalism" and "socialism". "

Because those terms mean something. I'd rather use the original terms. I do not agree with the definition of capitalism as "how human beings operate" or with socialism as "buyer's clubs."

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2018, 11:44:46 PM
Quote
Those sane people would be ones like  Donnelly (D-IN), Heitkamp (D-ND), Manchin(D-WV), Nelson (D-FL), Shaheen (D-NH), Warner (D-VA) ? who voted a torturer for CIA head ?

We're kind of low on perfect people.  We're having to go to war with a few that don't 100% share your opinions.  If you really want to lose then set up a "my way" filter and don't allow anyone impure into your tiny tent.

And sometimes people who might agree with you vote differently.  Because they have to.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2018, 11:51:07 PM
" How about we dispense with the terms "capitalism" and "socialism". "

Because those terms mean something. I'd rather use the original terms. I do not agree with the definition of capitalism as "how human beings operate" or with socialism as "buyer's clubs."

sidd

The theory of socialism has failed.  No country or large group has found it possible to operate as a socialist state.  Some level of force has to be added to keep people in line.

We're friggin' fighting over words left over from economic speculation.  Toss those old red flag words out and let's move to a potentially more productive discussion:

1) How do we control the greedy and make sure everyone has a reasonable route to success?

2) What do we need to own/pay for in common?

3) We all agree that we need to take care of those who are not able to take care of themselves.  Where do we set the limit of who gets help?

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 26, 2018, 12:27:38 AM
Re: Language and thought control

Orwell saw very clearly the problems with redefining terms a long time ago

"the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts."

"Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers."

A long time before him, Tacitus: "solitudinem faciunt , pacem appellant"

1984:

"The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible."

"In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now."

Or today, for example, the difference between "protestor," "insurgent,"  "terrorist," "freedom fighter,"
 and so on in the media.

Or "capitalism" becoming "how people operate" and socialism becoming "buyer's clubs"

Newspeak. It's what's good for you. All else is Crimethink.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 12:38:18 AM
Sometimes ideas just get worn out.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Archimid on May 26, 2018, 05:09:51 AM
Quote
1) How do we control the greedy and make sure everyone has a reasonable route to success?

I think that mechanism is already in place, taxes. The problem is that democracy has been subverted and it can no longer control excessive inequality. If inequality is not stopped soon then a collapse follows.

Quote
2) What do we need to own/pay for in common?

Water. Every human should have enough free clean water to drink, cook and clean. Any excess water from the very basic needs should be considered a luxury and payed for handsomely.

Food. In the first world there is sufficient wealth to keep kitchens opened where everyone that wants can get free food. It doesn't have steak and lobster meals, but it should be good quality, healthy food.

Health Care. This is beyond obvious. Without healthy people there is no creation of good and services.  That it doesn't happen in the US is crazy.

Education. I think anyone with the abilities and determination to get an advanced degree or vocational degree should be able to do it without paying for it.

Roads and Bridges. This has always been a role for government.

Security. This is a tricky one, but has also always been a role of government.

Quote
3) We all agree that we need to take care of those who are not able to take care of themselves.  Where do we set the limit of who gets help?

IMHO if the governments provides, free food, free water, free healthcare and free education, then everything else must be earned. In theory, it should be possible to live a monk's life with no luxuries. Any luxury, and by luxury I mean anything beyond basic subsistence, must be payed for by work.

People that want more they merely work harder but people without financial aspirations can live a dignified life doing whatever it is they do.

Small and medium earners should be barely taxed and high earners should be highly taxed in order to avoid extreme inequality.

Also taxes should be used to discourage harmful behavior. Taxes on vices, gambling, trash generation, dangerous hobbies or any conduct that should be discouraged for the common good should be taxed.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 26, 2018, 05:26:23 AM
Quote
CO2 emissions are an unfortunate output of our economic activity so these CO2 graphs clearly show that the markets are operating efficiently as companies and individuals across the planet make decisions that contribute to their success and well being.

Iceland and Paraguay have 100% low carbon grids.  Their economies grow without increasing CO2 emissions from electricity.

The CO2 problem is not growth but source of energy.

Iceland is unique in its access to geothermal energy and Paraguay has a per capita income that is 7% that of the U.S. Are you now trolling us?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 05:30:09 AM
Quote
Iceland is unique in its access to geothermal energy and Paraguay has a per capita income that is 7% that of the U.S. Are you now trolling us?

I'm not trolling you.  I'm pointing out that some countries have unique clean energy resources and their success in creating a clean grid should not be used as a stick to beat up on countries without similar resources.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 05:35:11 AM

I think that mechanism is already in place, taxes.

Etc.


I disagree with you on some of your positions but what you are doing is what I think we should do.  Leave the capitalism/socialism fight behind and work on solutions that serve us best. 

Realistically every country in the world is a mixed economy, some do more 'club buying' than others but all do some.  And all allow some room for individual ownership and profiting than others.



Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: TerryM on May 26, 2018, 06:20:59 AM

Baby boomers/Period - Born in 1946 – 1964

When Reagan was elected in 1980 the Baby Boomers were aged between 54 34 years old and 16 years old.


Help with a typo :)
Terry
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 06:22:12 AM
to create an armed rebellion to overthrow the existing government and establish whatever utopian form of government you envision.

When the really stupid people fail to listen to the great wisdom presented, when all seems lost, then the only recourse left is to launch those conspiracy theory missiles. That'll fix 'em  :)

(nice discussion, really top shelf)

How about keeping things in context?

Here's what was said -

Quote
This cannot be done within the capitalist framework, since capitalism always establishes a market in politicians. It must be done through political change.

And this is my reply which you posted without context -


Quote
It's going to be easier to arouse voters to demand better environmental regulations than to create an armed rebellion to overthrow the existing government and establish whatever utopian form of government you envision.

Of course the claim was silly.  We've created a lot of environmental regulations in the capitalist framework of the US.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 06:26:38 AM
2) What do we need to own/pay for in common?

In the USA there is Border protection, immigration depts, Courts of Law, Police departments, the EPA, airline safety controls, street signs, fighting white collar crime, the Congress, the SCOTUS, climate change science, Patent Office, local parks, children playgrounds, firefighting, the United nations body and services, consumer protection Laws, the safety of Medical Drugs and Foods checks and balances etc, the costs associated with the Paris Agreement and the COSTS of reducing net total GHG emissions and fixing Land Use problems - not only in the USA but Globally?

Sorry just a short list added the previous items. Should I go on? There's more, much more.

Sounds like socialism to me.  And in a capitalistic hellhole....     :P
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 06:47:01 AM
You correctly identified why we should dispense with the words "capitalism" and "socialism" and apparently didn't even realize it.

Quote
whereas any reasonable educated person over 50 years old should already know there is absolutely no interrelationship nor connection between using the word "socialism" and Gulags or Stalin

The "reasonable" filter blocks a large portion of the population and while there is a lot of overlap "educated" serves a similar filtering function.  When we use "socialism" to mean "a buying club" they go all aflutter and their opposition shields are raised.

Actually it's the under 50 who should have less of a knee jerk "Stalin" reaction when someone says socialism.  I'd bet a lot of the youngers don't remember any of Stalin's biggest hits.  The name of his band is on the tip of their tongues, but...
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 06:48:19 AM
Quote
That was THE point Bob.  :P

I got the point.  Apparently you didn't get mine.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 26, 2018, 06:52:58 AM
My problem is with restraining the free market in politicians.

In the context of the USA, judicial decisions culminating so far with Citizens United make that quite difficult. At present, both major parties fellate oligarchs, for that is the only way to retain power. Political contest is between those groups of oligarchs who ensure their pet politicians gain power. And they have enuf money to back both of the two parties.

Dubois (or was it Debs ?) pointed out a long time ago, well before Citizens United, that the two parties were just different wings of the same bird of prey.

Crowdfunding is one way around that. I am not optimistic considering that the oligarchs have more money than the plebes. But it sure spotlights the politicians enslaved to the oligarchs.

Or one could put one's faith in an oligarch funded party that proposes to change the Supremes so as to reverse Citizens United. That of course will take two presidential terms  at least and the Senate to confirm. Vote for us! For the next eight years! We promise we wont screw you, kick you out on the streets, bail out bankers, drone innocents or create slave markets no more.

Or one could go for a constitutional convention. Yeehaa! Except the oligarch funded party closer to controlling enuf states to demand a convention would enhance Citizens United in a heartbeat.

Or, like the last time, the voters could go with someone who promises to break things.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 26, 2018, 06:59:02 AM
"who in the discussion was recommending  an armed rebellion"

Nobody. Sedition was an accusation levelled at me, and i leave you to judge the evidence.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 07:12:57 AM
Quote
In the context of the USA, judicial decisions culminating so far with Citizens United make that quite difficult. At present, both major parties fellate oligarchs, for that is the only way to retain power.

Yes, that is the largest problem we currently face in the US.  It's what is largely keeping other problems from being solved.

Quote
Or, like the last time, the voters could go with someone who promises to break things.

Or we could decide to not pay attention to TV ads, which is where most of the campaign money is spent, and elect someone who promises to fix what needs fixing.  I'd rather the good stuff wasn't broken.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 07:16:23 AM
"who in the discussion was recommending  an armed rebellion"

Nobody. Sedition was an accusation levelled at me, and i leave you to judge the evidence.

sidd

Here's what you said -

Quote
This cannot be done within the capitalist framework, since capitalism always establishes a market in politicians. It must be done through political change.

If change cannot be made within a capitalist framework what option is there but to overthrow the capitalist framework?  What is there besides rebellion?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 26, 2018, 08:24:23 AM
"If change cannot be made within a capitalist framework what option is there but to overthrow the capitalist framework?  What is there besides rebellion? "

I replied to that earlier in this thread.

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1102.msg155949.html#msg155949

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 26, 2018, 08:28:57 AM

Instead unclear numbers without a findable source (I never found any post from May 23, 2018, 11:11:22 ) you could look at papers like this one (attached above first image below). They usually try to give references and clear sources for readers to look up on, if they wish to do so.



I always try to provide links to support any data that I reference. One reason I do this is the article or paper goes into far more detail than I can do in a comment and I want to provide the people reading my comment an opportunity to dig into a topic they find interesting.

This fracking hydraulic fluid article which I linked to earlier is one such resource, very detailed and informative. If you want to know why you should be frightened by the boom in fracking in the U.S., this is a must read. I must warn you in advance, it is 168 pages long.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-03/documents/fracfocus_analysis_report_and_appendices_final_032015_508_0.pdf

Please be clear. This boom in fracking is not because people are evil. It is because fracking natural gas is highly profitable and, as long as it remains so, fracking will continue to grow. This is why the efficient operations of the market (modern capitalism always seeks to maximize profit) will never get us where we need to go and, if it does, it will be far too late to save us.

The solution to this existential crisis lies outside of capitalism and any effort to implement the solution will always meet resistance from businesses and individuals. This is why I am pessimistic about our future. The science of AGW is sound. The technology needed to solve the problem is available. The will to embrace the social change needed is lacking. We will need to be staring death in the face before we react and it will be too late.
I know and absolutely agree SH, it's fairly easy to notice those who are always ready to provide the basis for their comments in here and those who are ignoring comments that do include external facts.

Providing links is even more helpful for all of us non native English speakers.

Thanks for the link.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 26, 2018, 08:37:44 AM
In the context  of late stage capitalism, i am watching  Italy closely. There is a  very interesting alliance there between the left and the right, mainly i think a deal to keep berlosconi out of power, but very interesting nonetheless. Italy is too big to be slapped down like greece, but some of the things the coalition is proposing will not go down well with the german banks.

We shall see if they cave like Syriza in greece.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 08:56:23 AM
I asked -

Quote
If change cannot be made within a capitalist framework what option is there but to overthrow the capitalist framework?  What is there besides rebellion?

The answer I get is (in huge letters which I suppose indicates higher thinking)

Political Change.

Political change, which I learn from the link is:

Quote
Political change is a normal function of internal and external politics. Rulers will be voted out, retire, or die while in power, and the new leader will make changes.

Now we've already been told that change cannot be made within a capitalistic framework so we can't vote out the old leaders and vote in new leaders who will make changes so we've got to move on to the other methods of Political Change.

Our options are, according to the link,
Quote
through irregular events, such as a coup d'etat or a rebellion
.

I.e., rebellion.



Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 26, 2018, 09:07:47 AM
Other options for political change:

1) About half the revenue for the federal government comes from income tax. So the poor could quit paying. Unfortunately, thats  a fleabite coz they dont pay much, the fed reserve would write a check and it it would be lost in the noise. When the rich have a tax revolt, they notice.

2)Civil disobedience. Mebbe, but  right now the seriously disgruntled are killing themselves. Dont see anyone out on the streels yet. Well, except the homeless and the panhandlers.

3)General strike. Wobbly city. People dont like starving, and most are a paycheck away from disaster. And little sense of community to bail em out, make sure they're still eating, except in the boonies.

4)external factors:  china could sell a trillion worth of US bonds, and more important all the fannie,freddie and ginnie debt they hold and spike interest rates foraminnit until the FRB wrote some more big checks.

(For the record, i don't think they will, but they have already stated they wont accumulate any more. They dont need to. But the US needs to keep selling and foreign buyers were about a third of the market )

Or Japan. Or the EU. Quitting buying US debt would signal loss of confidence or equivalently higher risk rating to US gov secured debt than quoted rates. The usual response to that in our brave, new, capitalist world would be a black market in trading US debt below the face value, sorta like currency exchange in banana republics, where you get very different values on the street than in the official markets. That would lead to political change real quick, probably in the wrong direction.

We live in interesting times

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 09:17:49 AM
Quote
Instead unclear numbers without a findable source (I never found any post from May 23, 2018, 11:11:22 )

Ah, I now see your problem.  You did not read the May 23, 2018, 11:11:22 post which was written by ASILurker.  In it he/she copies down my comment of   same day 10:47:38.  The one in which I state that my data source was the EIA.

Do you need a lesson in what TWh, percent and annual increase in percent mean?  I assume you understand or were able to look up fossil fuel, nuclear, renewables, and total.  And US = United States.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: be cause on May 26, 2018, 09:25:42 AM
I wish you would all go and piss in another pot .. b.c.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 09:30:33 AM
I asked -

OK I get it. You're not a supporter of the American Revolution of 1776. You prefer allowing capitalism and market forces to generate positive change and solve huge social and global problems. I get that. Many adhere to the New Age Neoliberal Ideology and Libertarian Philosophy so you're not alone there. The Market Knows All religion of the 21st century. Might work.

No, I am a supporter of doing things that work.  You have told us that the US needs to make some changes.  I agree with that.  Early in my life I realized that the US was not perfect and throughout my life I've seen things that need changing.  I've also seen a lot of changes, not all good.  Not all bad.

What I am getting from you is that the US needs to change but cannot change via the ballot box because of capitalistic something.

What I haven't gotten is a way to change other than rebellion.  It's kind of the sort of ideas we get from Republicans:

1) Kill Obamacare
2) (something happens)
3) Everyone has affordable health care.

or

1) Do away with Social Security
2) (something happens)
3) Elders do not have to stand on the sidewalk begging for food.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 10:05:34 AM
Clearly you don't understand me.  Or you're trolling.

Quote
OK I get it. You're not a supporter of the American Revolution of 1776. You prefer allowing capitalism and market forces to generate positive change and solve huge social and global problems. I get that. Many adhere to the New Age Neoliberal Ideology and Libertarian Philosophy so you're not alone there. The Market Knows All religion of the 21st century. Might work.

I've said nothing pro or con about the American revolution of 1776.  You have zero basis for stating my opinion.

I've said nothing about preferring to let capitalism solve problems.  What I've said is that there is not sufficient public pressure to solve climate change at this time.  But market forces are starting to move us off fossil fuels. 

I'm not really sure what "New Age Neoliberal Ideology" is.  Here's what Wiki says neoliberalism is. 

Quote
Neoliberalism or neo-liberalism[1] refers primarily to the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism.[2]:7 Those ideas include economic liberalization policies such as privatization, austerity, deregulation, free trade[3] and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society

That's not me.  And I never liked new age music either.  It's even worse than disco.

Libertarian Philosophy?  I remember reading a couple of Ayn Rand's books 'way back when' and thinking them some of the stupidest stuff I'd ever read. 

So you seem to have one thing right.  You have no clue where I'm coming from. 

Or you're trolling.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 26, 2018, 12:35:52 PM
Quote
Instead unclear numbers without a findable source (I never found any post from May 23, 2018, 11:11:22 )

Ah, I now see your problem.  You did not read the May 23, 2018, 11:11:22 post which was written by ASILurker.  In it he/she copies down my comment of   same day 10:47:38.  The one in which I state that my data source was the EIA.

Do you need a lesson in what TWh, percent and annual increase in percent mean?  I assume you understand or were able to look up fossil fuel, nuclear, renewables, and total.  And US = United States.

You just proved that you don't understand time, or reply to comments you don't like, or read them, or watch videos presented to you. You just talk a lot.

In this case you are also clearly trolling, since you had to make it clear to Terry in one of your following comments that the numbers were for the US only:
FF use in TWh peaked in 2007.  Starting with 2007 here's how it's run through 2017.

2,992,238
2,926,731
2,726,452
2,883,361
2,788,867
2,782,023
2,738,797
2,738,114
2,732,531
2,649,968
2,520,515
Thanks Bob.
Glad to see that the world's reliance on ff is headed in the right direction.
Still waiting for confirmation from Mauna Loa. ;)
Terry

Those are US numbers, not global Terry.

Learn how to quote and attach links properly instead of writing more nonsense.
Especially if people ask for them. This is not the first time you ignore requests (or comments) either.

Edit; forgot, link to the comment you refer to above. It's easy.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on May 26, 2018, 04:03:18 PM
Since someone mentioned Ayn Rand, I thought I'd post this, perhaps to lighten the mood?

“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."  :)

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/ayn-rand
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 07:40:03 PM
Sometimes I am joking. Or at least being light hearted. Sometimes I can't help myself and do what others are doing. But that usually goes over everyone's heads because they miss it. But if I said what I was doing it (or held up a  sign) it would not be as funny or poignant a reflection. Either way I damned if I do and damned if it don't. Welcome to the world of internet discussions.   :)

Trolling I am not.

If people don't get your humor/snarking/whatever then you aren't very good at it.

If that's the case then all  you do is spook the herd.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 07:47:52 PM
Quote
You just proved that you don't understand time, or reply to comments you don't like, or read them, or watch videos presented to you. You just talk a lot.

Sleepy, you took a single comment out of a conversation and upset yourself.  Chill.

The date/time I gave was adequate to discover the source of my data - the EIA.  Clearly stated in the chart.  If you wanted the exact page all you had to do is ask.  Those of us who spend time on energy issues know where that data is.

I clearly respond to comments I don't like.  I'm responding to this one of yours.


As for watching videos, going to other sites to read something that someone thinks ought to be read - generally I'm not going to do it.  I'm not going to spend a lot of time on an expedition trying to discover someone's point.

If there's an thought you think important then spell it out.  Provide a link as backup and/or to give those interested access to more detail. 

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 26, 2018, 10:54:17 PM
Bob, I don't think you've actually spent any time reading about capitalism and its criticisms. This is pretty obvious when you discuss leftism in American electoral politics. It's a mistake you and other "out-of-touch" arm-chair debaters make: confusing social democrats with socialism.
You often parrot worn-out right-wing talking points when criticizing socialism. Grade-school "communism works great in theory, but not in practice" level of analysis.  Every thing you post lacks any substance at all.  It's sad

Every time we criticize capitalism, not matter what it is, your response is a vomit of very specific cherry-picked data supporting uninspiring conclusions.
This recent argument started when I pointed how all battery technology is controlled by a small group of powerful people. I was pointing out the complete absurdity that capitalism has forced us to entrust the future of humanity on a handful of faceless executives.
You responded by..... no bullshit...... Posting data showing reduction of fossil fuel usage in the united states. 


In fact, I don't think you've actually cited any meaningful analysis of capitalism's ability to respond to climate change.  You just keep on saying.... it'll work... it'll work... it'll work. it'll work.... it'll work...
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2018, 11:09:55 PM
zizek - That's your opinion. 

I do not value it.  It's wrong.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 27, 2018, 03:10:54 AM
I'm curious how far Bob is willing to defend capitalism as liberal democracies continue to deteriorate.

What's happening now?

(https://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/images/2016/05/blogs/graphic-detail/20160528_woc492_4.png)

"Hate groups in the U.S. remain on the rise, according to new study"
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/hate-groups-in-the-us-remain-on-the-rise-according-to-new-study/2018/02/21/6d28cbe0-1695-11e8-8b08-027a6ccb38eb_story.html?utm_term=.f6c2597a688e

-------------
(https://i.imgur.com/bWOY01v.gif)
Diversionary Nationalism: Economic Inequality and the Formation of National Pride

The gap keeps growing:
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ef/Productivity_and_Real_Median_Family_Income_Growth_in_the_United_States.png/400px-Productivity_and_Real_Median_Family_Income_Growth_in_the_United_States.png)

-------------------

The rise of nationalism is due to the natural course of capitalism: the accumulation of wealth among powerful people has lead to immense inequality.

Now consider what is going to happen as wealthy nations are put under extreme pressures due to climate change:
http://www.businessinsider.com/300-million-climate-refugees-by-2050-2017-12

What will capital's response be to the millions upon million knocking at their door? Are they going to relinquish control of their wealth so they can provide food and shelter them? After seeing Syria, we're pretty fucking reluctant even when times are good
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 27, 2018, 03:12:29 AM
Fascism is nice, because it’s just the reactionary arm of capitalism. No need for revolution. It’s a smooth transition. We don’t need to overthrow the bourgeoise or anything like that. We just have to turn up the status quo:  Continue arming the already existing hate groups, bomb more countries. Nothing new. We’re pretty good at it.

And what’s the liberal’s response to fascism? Well, it doesn’t look good.

(https://preview.ibb.co/h3y9WT/AC106891_A6_F8_43_CB_86_E3_43298706_A506.jpg)
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/23/opinion/international-world/centrists-democracy.html


And how have liberals responded to fascism in past?


Because of these and similar stories, the impression remains that nearly all German Democrats fled their country or retreated to their homes at the first glimpse of jackboots. Yet foreign exile and “inner emigration” were not the only choices facing liberals in the Third Reich. In contrast to their Communist and Socialist counterparts, most Democrats escaped arrest and persecution. Some even thrived under National Socialism. Although deprived of political office, the future President of the Federal Republic, Theodor Heuss, and Germany’s leading feminist, Gertrud Baumer, continued to edit prominent journals and to publish numerous books and articles. Several Weimar Democrats, like Hitler’s Economics Minister Hjalmar Schacht, Joseph Goebbels’s press attache Werner Stephan, and Rudolf Diels, Reinhard Heydrich’s predecessor as Chief of the Gestapo, experienced a career renaissance under Hitler.4

LIVING WITH HITLER LIBERAL DEMOCRATS IN THE THIRD REICH
ERIC KURLANDER

----------------


I don’t really disagree with much you say bob. I do think that the markets will be able to solve the energy crisis.  But… the solution will be exclusive to the white capitalist. That’s you Bob. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 27, 2018, 04:05:36 AM
hahaha
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 27, 2018, 04:21:13 AM
zizek - I've got one last message for you.  I'm no longer going to reply to your posts.  I simply have no interest in wasting time on you.

ASL - you picked out a single instance where you felt a link was not supplied when, in fact, the source was given.  If you wanted the specific page you could have asked.  You've now ridden that poor pony into the ground.  It's time to let it go. 

I'm more than willing to carry on conversations with reasonable people but not a-holes.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 27, 2018, 05:43:32 AM
I generally give links.  If I miss and you want one just ask.

I am not going to go up through the comments to see if your report is correct or not.  I'm done with this foolishness.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 27, 2018, 06:38:08 AM
Quote
You just proved that you don't understand time, or reply to comments you don't like, or read them, or watch videos presented to you. You just talk a lot.

Sleepy, you took a single comment out of a conversation and upset yourself.  Chill.

Nope, I'm not upset, it takes a lot more than that. I just thought this language that I recently used would be the only thing that would make you respond. I was correct and it wasn't one single comment, it was three years worth of it, about the same thing. That plate on the wall that disgusted you, remember???

Quote
The date/time I gave was adequate to discover the source of my data - the EIA.  Clearly stated in the chart.  If you wanted the exact page all you had to do is ask.  Those of us who spend time on energy issues know where that data is.

I know where to find data, the issue here is that you should provide links to it, especially upon request or when people clearly misunderstand you. You still haven't provided a link to that post of yours because there is no link with that timestamp.

Quote
I clearly respond to comments I don't like.  I'm responding to this one of yours.
See answer above, it's three years worth of it...

Quote
As for watching videos, going to other sites to read something that someone thinks ought to be read - generally I'm not going to do it.  I'm not going to spend a lot of time on an expedition trying to discover someone's point.

Thank you. Feel free to ignore science based opinions, there's a lot of people that do so. That is also the real reason why we collectively has been so unsuccessful combating climate change. The only pain here is that this place honours itself as a science based forum.
Also see my previous comment on this to SH:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1102.msg155964.html#msg155964 (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1102.msg155964.html#msg155964)

Quote
If there's an thought you think important then spell it out.  Provide a link as backup and/or to give those interested access to more detail.
Agree but that is merely you trolling again. You don't even follow your own words here.
Please understand Bob, this is only the second time in my entire life that I've accused someone of trolling. I never do that on a whim. The first time it took me two years. I'm done now.

Still not upset, just spelling it out and trying to be as clear as possible.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 27, 2018, 03:00:30 PM
With regards to my using the term Capitalism to describe the growth system in which humanity has organized civilization. I grew up in the U.S. and Capitalism is what we call it, a stunning achievement for humans. As the vanguard for the crowning glory of mankind, Americans feel compelled to export this wonderful system to peoples across the planet and if ya'll don't like it, you can stuff it.  ::)

Since the term is causing confusion and as a member of the most exceptional country on the planet (America), I will give everyone permission to use Industrial Age.

Long live Ayn Rand! MAGA!  :o
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 27, 2018, 03:04:53 PM
Oh! And ya'll gotta lighten up. Everyone seems to be a little too self important right now and it's causing some dissension.

Besides, only my opinion counts.  ;)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Susan Anderson on May 27, 2018, 04:33:54 PM
Oh! And ya'll gotta lighten up. Everyone seems to be a little too self important right now and it's causing some dissension.

Besides, only my opinion counts.  ;)

Nice irony. Moving on ...

The "capitalism" we operate under now is state-supported. I'd suggest checking out Dark Money or other Jane Mayer writings (search https://www.google.com/search?q=jane+mayer+koch (https://www.google.com/search?q=jane+mayer+koch); The New Yorker, her home base, provides a few free reads per month and others have published her as well). Support for income inequality, deregulation of toxic waste and worker safety, the list goes on and on. Michael Moore's Stupid White Men (European edition published right around 9/11) covers the export.

As we know from the Russian experiment, power elites will take advantage of any system and corrupt it for their own advantage. That's human, unfortunately, the weak and powerless giving up what little leverage they have in favor of the strong and powerful.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 27, 2018, 05:43:49 PM
Seems like some equate capitalism and greed.

Greed can exist within any economic system.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on May 27, 2018, 06:52:04 PM
weird how people equate capitalism with greed. seems so strange. it's not like capitalism is an economic system based on individual profits & private property. so weird. can't believe anybody could come to that conclusion.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 27, 2018, 07:48:54 PM
Prof. Kelton and the modern monrtary theorists have some ideas:

"the job guarantee ― a federal program offering a decent job to every American who wants to work"

"governments aren’t directly constrained by how much programs cost. The serious concern is inflation, and a job guarantee would revolutionize the way the United States manages the value of the dollar, forcing the Federal Reserve to stop creating unemployment when it wants to keep prices down.  "

"It is instead a story about power and political legitimacy, about the way public officials use economists to block or advance social change and about how economists build credibility by circulating through the cocktail parties, expense-account dinners and conference rooms of high finance. "

"Money is a tool governments use to manage these variables and solve social problems. "

"In Washington, by contrast, being right rarely matters. Politicians don’t generally turn to economists for new insight into how the world works. Economists instead serve as a kind of credibility shield ― experts who can be trotted out to assure the public that there are very complex and sophisticated reasons political leaders should be doing the things they do. A big part of any Washington economics job is providing a sense of scientific certainty to political judgments that are, by their very nature, uncertain ... The job, in other words, is to back up your team. Getting a policy decision wrong isn’t such a big deal, as long as everyone else on the team blows the same call. "

"politically relevant economists fetishize orthodoxy. Nobody with political experience really welcomes a new idea that explains why previous economic policies were wrong."

"Kelton maintains that government doesn’t actually finance its activity by levying taxes or issuing bonds. Instead, it creates money by spending it into existence. "

"But even inflation doesn’t impose a hard limit on policy options. The Federal Reserve can raise interest rates to deal with it, Congress can raise taxes to pull money out of circulation or even impose price controls."

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/stephanie-kelton-economy-washington_us_5afee5eae4b0463cdba15121

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: be cause on May 28, 2018, 01:43:15 AM
I wish you would all go and piss in another pot .. b.c.
I am impressed at the rapid fulfillment of my wishes and now wish you all well ! :)  b.c.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 28, 2018, 02:29:57 AM

 As the vanguard for the crowning glory of mankind, Americans feel compelled to export this wonderful system to peoples across the planet and if ya'll don't like it, you can stuff it.  ::)

Well, let's give credit where credit is due.  Capitalism would still be puny and insignificant if it weren't for the invention of the Corporation.  The Dutch have that credit, I believe.

Thanks, Dutchmen!
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 28, 2018, 06:21:33 AM

 As the vanguard for the crowning glory of mankind, Americans feel compelled to export this wonderful system to peoples across the planet and if ya'll don't like it, you can stuff it.  ::)

Well, let's give credit where credit is due.  Capitalism would still be puny and insignificant if it weren't for the invention of the Corporation.  The Dutch have that credit, I believe.

Thanks, Dutchmen!
Portugal traded with India for much of the 16th century, before the Dutch and British EIC's were founded. Vasco da Gama reached India six years after Columbus made landfall in Puerto Rico in 1492.

Europe is roughly a century ahead of the US. ;)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_history (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_history)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 28, 2018, 08:59:36 AM
Vasco de Gama ? this guy ? early emissary of the rape to come:

 " We took a Mecca ship on board of which were 380 men and many women and children, and we took from it fully 12,000 ducats, with goods worth at least another 10,000. And we burned the ship and all the people on board with gunpowder, on the first day of October."

https://historicalleys.blogspot.com/2011/04/plunder-and-massacre-of-meri.html

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 28, 2018, 09:12:31 AM
Vasco de Gama ? this guy ? early emissary of the rape to come:
Yep.
https://youtu.be/TvGKCZvCUh8
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on May 28, 2018, 03:28:39 PM
Well, let's give credit where credit is due.  Capitalism would still be puny and insignificant if it weren't for the invention of the Corporation.  The Dutch have that credit, I believe.

Thanks, Dutchmen!

You're welcome. We've also invented slavery, introduced guns to African tribes and helped sugar become the invisible master of western culture.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 28, 2018, 03:40:34 PM
Like the late stage industrial economy, this thread appears to be wandering in the desert.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on May 29, 2018, 06:51:00 AM
Well, let's give credit where credit is due.  Capitalism would still be puny and insignificant if it weren't for the invention of the Corporation.  The Dutch have that credit, I believe.

Thanks, Dutchmen!

You're welcome. We've also invented slavery, introduced guns to African tribes and helped sugar become the invisible master of western culture.

Speaking of sugar (mentioned this before in here but failed to find this article yesterday). Sweden is only self-sufficient on flour, carrots and sugar.
https://www.dn.se/ekonomi/lrf-sveriges-matforsorjning-tar-snabbt-slut-vid-en-kris/ (https://www.dn.se/ekonomi/lrf-sveriges-matforsorjning-tar-snabbt-slut-vid-en-kris/)
Quote
The state contingency stocks have also disappeared. At the beginning of the 1990s there were about 200 such spread across the country, but since the entry into the EU, the stocks are gone. According to a report by the Civil Defense Association, today's central warehouse for food - basically it's the food in our stores - would be emptied after about ten days.

Quote
In the 1980s Sweden was self-sufficient for all foods except for such products as coffee and bananas. Today, Swedish agriculture accounts for about half of the food we eat.

More than 40 percent of the cheese, just over 50 percent of the beef and a small portion of the vegetables and fruit are Swedish-produced, according to Statistics Sweden, SCB.

The ultimate responsibility for providing food security at local level, in extraordinary events in peacetime and heightened preparedness, lies in the municipalities.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 29, 2018, 07:29:51 AM

Speaking of sugar (mentioned this before in here but failed to find this article yesterday). Sweden is only self-sufficient on flour, carrots and sugar.

Well, there's always carrot cake to subsist on when everything goes belly-up.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Susan Anderson on May 29, 2018, 04:52:10 PM
I try to read Monbiot right through and am catching up on his article about Natural Capital. Absent a magic wand, I can only do my best to support those public servants who try to reverse this dangerous idiocy. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/15/price-natural-world-destruction-natural-capital (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/15/price-natural-world-destruction-natural-capital) or (same thing) http://www.monbiot.com/2018/05/18/price-less/ (http://www.monbiot.com/2018/05/18/price-less/)

Quote
The government argues that without a price, the living world is accorded no value, so irrational decisions are made. By costing nature, you ensure that it commands the investment and protection that other forms of capital attract. This thinking is based on a series of extraordinary misconceptions. Even the name reveals a confusion: natural capital is a contradiction in terms. Capital is properly understood as the human-made segment of wealth that is deployed in production to create further financial returns. Concepts such as natural capital, human capital or social capital can be used as metaphors or analogies, though even these are misleading. But the 25-year plan defines natural capital as “the air, water, soil and ecosystems that support all forms of life”. In other words, nature is capital. In reality, natural wealth and human-made capital are neither comparable nor interchangeable. If the soil is washed off the land, we cannot grow crops on a bed of derivatives.

A similar fallacy applies to price. Unless something is redeemable for money, a pound or dollar sign placed in front of it is senseless: price represents an expectation of payment, in accordance with market rates. In pricing a river, a landscape or an ecosystem, either you are lining it up for sale, in which case the exercise is sinister, or you are not, in which case it is meaningless.

Still more deluded is the expectation that we can defend the living world through the mindset that’s destroying it. The notions that nature exists to serve us; that its value consists of the instrumental benefits we can extract; that this value can be measured in cash terms; and that what can’t be measured does not matter, have proved lethal to the rest of life on Earth. The way we name things and think about them – in other words the mental frames we use – helps determine the way we treat them.

.... the key to political success is to promote your own values, rather than appease the mindset you contest.The natural capital agenda reinforces the notion that nature has no value unless you can extract cash from it ... market values crowd out non-market values. Markets change the meaning of the things we discuss, replacing moral obligations with commercial relationships. This corrupts and degrades our intrinsic values and empties public life of moral argument.
....
The natural capital agenda is the definitive expression of our disengagement from the living world. First we lose our wildlife and natural wonders. Then we lose our connections with what remains of life on Earth. Then we lose the words that described what we once knew. Then we call it capital and give it a price. This approach is morally wrong, intellectually vacuous, emotionally alienating and self-defeating.
--
personal note: I have a limited appetite for these discussions and the flying darts often directed at good people doing their practical best to promote healing action within the context of day to day living. "Here we all are, and what are we going to do about it" is my plea. I will not hover over this board or read every dart that is sent my way; the intensity of the effort to discredit what I regard as reality and condemn anything and everything that comes from pragmatists (often veering towards believing anyone who supports bias, and particularly directed at people who have money, as if money itself is a badge of filth) does not interest me.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 29, 2018, 06:35:27 PM
Free market in accountants:

"If the supposed watchdogs overlook new threats, the fallout could be as cataclysmic as the last financial crisis threatened to be. Bean counting is too important to be left to today’s bean counters."

He doesnt even mention PwC scandal in ukraine or KPMG/Deloitte/EY in Malaysia's 1MDB. or the role of the bond pricers Moodys, Fitch and SP in the USA. Or the fixed LIBOR/forex markets. Or ...

All of them are thieves and liars, they'll make up any numbers they're paid to. They all deserve the fate of Arthur Andersen.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/may/29/the-financial-scandal-no-one-is-talking-about-big-four-accountancy-firms?

sidd

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 30, 2018, 06:04:02 AM
In the context of Italy, Varoufakis has a warning as one who has been up close and personal with banker hegemon:

"Had Mattarella refused Salvini the post of interior minister, outraged by his promise to expel 500,000 migrants from Italy, I would be compelled to support him. But, no, the president had no such qualms. "

"Mattarella chose to clash with an absolute majority of lawmakers for another reason: his disapproval of the finance minister designate. Why? Because the said gentleman, while fully qualified for the job, and despite his declaration that he would abide by the EU’s rules, had in the past expressed doubts about the eurozone’s architecture and has favoured a plan of EU exit just in case it was needed. "

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/28/italy-eurosceptic-far-right-technocrat-matarella-racist-populist

Varoufakis sees the truth and dares speak it.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Susan Anderson on May 30, 2018, 08:22:29 PM
Really good overview, heavy reading but the history of how and why we got here, while depressing, appears to be excellent.

Is Capitalism a Threat to Democracy?
The idea that authoritarianism attracts workers harmed by the free market, which emerged when the Nazis were in power, has been making a comeback.


https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/05/14/is-capitalism-a-threat-to-democracy (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/05/14/is-capitalism-a-threat-to-democracy)

One takeaway: it's not that simple

Second takeaway: economics is not science, and formulas based on "economics" are dangerous

Personal takeaway: we're fucked!
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 31, 2018, 08:08:22 AM
Ooo, look! Freeeeee market in fed reserve:

" ... three members of the Fed board voted unanimously to advance a proposal to loosen and tailor the so-called Volcker Rule ..."

" ...  meant to curb the kinds of risky, complex investments that helped trigger the 2007-2008 financial crisis. "

" ... new rule would no longer order banks to prove that their efforts to create markets for clients’ speculative trades and underwrite stock offerings comply with regulation if the firms adhere to certain risk mitigation requirements "

That's funny.

" ... reduce the amount of trading information banks are mandated to report ... "

" ... a new accounting standard ..."

This last sentence would be funny if it weren't so sad:

"Volcker, the former Fed chair,  said he “welcomed” the efforts “to simplify compliance” with his namesake rule and trusted that the rewrite would preserve its intent."

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/389942-fed-advances-proposal-to-loosen-volcker-rule

sidd

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on May 31, 2018, 10:11:58 PM
Sacrifice zone of late stage capitalism: Plunder of Greece to bail out German bankers continues

"Since its debt crisis began in 2009, Greece has received €260 billion in loans in exchange for the implementation of the austerity measures, including public-sector layoffs, tax hikes and pension cuts. This has not reduced the country’s mountain of debt by a single euro. Virtually every cent has been handed back to the banks to meet interest payments. The EU and IMF are demanding that Greece pay £57 billion in loan obligations and interest over the next four years."

"Syriza cannot enact any legislation without the say so of the “troika.” "

"In 2012, the minimum take-home pay of a full-time private-sector worker was US$848 a month. This was slashed to US$690 a month in February of that year. Many workers are earning much less, as the figures mask the fact that half of all new jobs are part-time or seasonal. After three years of Syriza in power, Labour Ministry figures reveal that the poorest one-third of private-sector workers now received a starvation wage of just US$445 a month."

" unemployment still over 20 percent and at 45 percent for young people"

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/31/gree-m31.html

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 04, 2018, 01:16:56 PM
More on Anthropologist David Graeber’s new book:

You’re Not Just Imagining It. Your Job Is Absolute BS
Anthropologist David Graeber’s new book accuses the global economy of churning out meaningless jobs that are killing the human spirit
Quote
“Huge swathes of people spend their days performing jobs they secretly believe do not really need to be performed,” Graeber writes. The rise of automation has meant that fewer humans are needed in manufacturing and farming, but instead of this freeing up our time, we’ve seen those jobs replaced by “the ballooning of … the administrative sector up to and including the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources and public relations.”

Very loosely, a bulls--- job, by Graeber’s definition, is one that could be erased from the Earth and no one would be worse off. It’s also phenomenological. If you feel your job is bulls---, it probably is.
...
Meanwhile, says Graeber, practitioners in the fields that directly benefit mankind or offer personal fulfillment, such as teaching, caregiving, waiting, writing, performing carpentry, or making art,  are (with the exception of some doctors) poorly paid and secretly resented by those forced to waste their time pursuing a paycheck. Being occupied for long hours of the day fulfilling tasks that, at best, are useless and, at worst, hurt others—building the aforementioned phone systems, foisting software on budget-starved elementary schools, creating paperwork morasses for the homeless—is “a profound psychological violence” that causes anxiety and depression. Basically, our collective soul is being crushed by a rise in what Graeber sees as make-work.
...
Graeber argues that the concept of selling off one’s time in increments is relatively new. Historically, he says, the idea “that one person’s time can belong to someone else is actually quite peculiar.” To the ancient Greeks, he claims, you were either a slave and your whole life was owned, or you sold a good (an eating utensil, food) that you created as you saw fit. He implicates the shift toward clock time in the Middle Ages as the culprit behind our collective acceptance of wage slavery. Whereas time was traditionally amorphous, determined by geographical distances or chemical transformations (as long as it takes for the bread to rise, the wheat to dry) clock towers and then pocket watches (disallowed in factories so bosses could cheat by meddling with the hour hands on clocks), turned time into discreet, barter-able chunks. Naturally, we’re built to work in bursts and then to celebrate and rest, just as Mother Nature ordained, not pace ourselves to produce at an even tempo for hours at a stretch, day after day, all week.
...
Graeber is also an activist, so he must be given some credit for not just honking off in an annoyingly self-satisfied tone; although he claims he’s not interested in suggesting policy (he is, after all, an anarchist), he does endorse Universal Basic Income as one solution.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-15/bullshit-jobs-by-david-graeber-review
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on June 04, 2018, 03:14:27 PM
Crossposting this here as well.
Renewables 2018 Global Status Report
http://www.ren21.net/status-of-renewables/global-status-report/ (http://www.ren21.net/status-of-renewables/global-status-report/)

https://twitter.com/Oliver_Geden/status/1003565372258377728 (https://twitter.com/Oliver_Geden/status/1003565372258377728)
Quote
Result is obvious but not known by most policymakers, journalists & public: #Renewables volume has drastically increased, but share in overall energy consumption hasn't. See @REN21 numbers for 2006 (note that accounting methods have changed since) http://www.ren21.net/renewables-2007-global-status-report/ … #GSR2018

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=256.0;attach=101757;image)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=256.0;attach=101759;image)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=256.0;attach=101760;image)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on June 04, 2018, 04:32:55 PM
Thanks for the handy charts, Sleepy!

Hey Sig, I just started that book about BS jobs. If you read it, let me know. Maybe it's worth a separate thread?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 04, 2018, 05:12:27 PM
Thanks for the handy charts, Sleepy!

Hey Sig, I just started that book about BS jobs. If you read it, let me know. Maybe it's worth a separate thread?

Thinking too much about BS jobs makes me depressed.  But I’ll admit I’m curious about the book.  Have downloaded a sample; with luck that’s enough to at least keep me off the Golgafrinchan ‘B Ark’ ship. ;) ;D

http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Golgafrinchan_Ark_Fleet_Ship_B
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: oren on June 05, 2018, 04:09:06 PM
So I've just taken a very deep breath and dared to swim through the sewage of the last 130 messages on this thread. Now I understand the background behind some of the crazy battles going on in other threads on the forum, as a spillover from the discussion here.

Ask yourself this - is there anyone here who wouldn't be happy if changes were made in economy and government to reduce GHG emissions and other environmental damages? Is there anyone here who wouldn't want an accelerated deployment of solutions, a "Marshall Plan" of sorts? Is there anyone here who thinks that what humanity as a whole (or any specific country) is doing is good enough? Fast enough? Will prevent all damage from climate change and planetary degradation?

Ask yourself this - is it better to deploy solar and wind but in too-small too-slow amounts, or not to deploy them at all? Is it better to develop EVs or not develop them at all? Of course it would be better if people consumed less, were less greedy, had less babies, walked and biked everywhere, etc., but human nature is a strong motivating factor, and until people change, the system changes, a miracle happens, whatever, maybe achieving incremental change is better than no change at all.

The discussion turns round and round between those who say the system is not good enough, but are powerless to change it as there is no public support. And those who say that the public has been hijacked by the system. And those who say that we are killing ourselves, and the market approach is way too slow. And those who say that we have to work with the system, the public and the market we got and try to at least achieve incremental change.
All of the above is true. We are royally f***ed. It's just an issue of focusing on different aspects of the same problem. So why all the belligerence and almost-hatred here and elsewhere on the forum? We are all hurtling down the same chute into oblivion, and are all powerless to stop it. Some are focusing on the bad, some are focusing on the good (what little of it).

If what is bothering you is that some people believe that not all is lost, chill out. A handful of decades will decide the issue, and you could say in hindsight you were right. Relax. Screaming at other environmentalists but of different varieties in an obscure forum is a childish way of venting the justified anger and frustration we are all feeling.

And in case anyone is wondering why I bothered to go into a thread which I find unproductive, and ended up posting a long-winded oratory, blame the recent unread topics list that can't separate the chaff from the wheat.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bruce Steele on June 05, 2018, 05:59:40 PM
Oren, I come here to listen, mostly lately. I am getting lazy because i find myself filtering out names ,  I haven't blocked anyone but there are names I just read over. In the longer haul I much value what so many well argued members of this forum have to say. It used to be easy and seemed so cordial .
 I would like to say I value your opinion, it is worth seeking out .
  Just a paranoid thought but if AI was malicious wouldn't it be easy enough to break up a cordial conversation , inject malice and with the tenacity of bots crush civil conversation ?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on June 05, 2018, 06:15:27 PM
Oren...I resemble that remark. I think it springs from fear for my children and grandchildren. Slow and steady improvement will deliver a world of hurt and I can't help but feel responsible.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 05, 2018, 08:40:19 PM
Oren, insightful and well written post.  Thanks.

I don't think you quite captured my position here so let me try to spell it out in case anyone is interested in hearing it.

Quote
The discussion turns round and round between those who say the system is not good enough, but are powerless to change it as there is no public support. And those who say that the public has been hijacked by the system. And those who say that we are killing ourselves, and the market approach is way too slow. And those who say that we have to work with the system, the public and the market we got and try to at least achieve incremental change.

The 'system' is not good enough.  Power to radically change the system is very hard to come by.  Over time we push the system to become better, having to accept backward steps at times.

The market system is too slow.  At least obviously too slow to stop all climate change seeing that we are already experiencing climate change.

Might the market system be fast enough to save us from extreme climate change?  Perhaps.  Anyone watching what is happening in energy and transmission sees moves away from fossil fuels to renewable energy based on economics alone.  Slowly now, but accelerating.

Should we leave it to the market and hope the market saves our bacon?  Nope.  We should do what we can to help push things along faster.

Should we embrace incremental change?  Absolutely.  That's pretty much how and progress is made.  It's always incremental, just a question of how fast we move from one step to the next on our way to the goal.

I think people need to look for improvements, for incremental changes.  That can help to keep one from becoming depressed and non-functional.  And it can help us each spot places where we might be able to put our shoulder to the wheel and give a helpful shove.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Neven on June 05, 2018, 11:04:07 PM
Quote
Should we leave it to the market and hope the market saves our bacon?  Nope.  We should do what we can to help push things along faster.

Should we embrace incremental change?  Absolutely.  That's pretty much how and progress is made.  It's always incremental, just a question of how fast we move from one step to the next on our way to the goal.

I think people need to look for improvements, for incremental changes.  That can help to keep one from becoming depressed and non-functional.  And it can help us each spot places where we might be able to put our shoulder to the wheel and give a helpful shove.

You need to push the Overton window to make the increments as large as possible. A bit like Trump doing his deals. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

But anyway, I'm unsubscribing from this topic as well, so I can focus on the Arctic. Despite the cordial being less cordial, I still enjoyed the discussions here. Communities are always changing, especially online. It doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on June 06, 2018, 12:07:54 AM
Free market except in labor: No wage gains, but more jobs than officially unemployed. Pay 'em more ? No way !

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/05/there-are-more-jobs-than-people-out-of-work.html

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Susan Anderson on June 06, 2018, 03:41:57 PM
THANK YOU OREN!!!!
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Shared Humanity on June 06, 2018, 06:28:41 PM
Each and every one of us has complete free will. We actively choose to live in the manner that we do. We provide ourselves reasons for making the choices we do.

What you actually mean to say is that any choice we make has consequences and it is our insistence on avoiding consequences that causes us to feel manipulated and constrained.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 06, 2018, 07:17:18 PM
Quote
Each and every one of us has complete free will.

If we're going to discuss religious issues how about that goes to a more appropriate area of the site?

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sleepy on June 07, 2018, 06:22:00 AM
The circular economy – a powerful force for climate mitigation
https://www.sitra.fi/en/publications/circular-economy-powerful-force-climate-mitigation/ (https://www.sitra.fi/en/publications/circular-economy-powerful-force-climate-mitigation/)
Quote
This report investigates how a more circular economy can contribute to cutting CO2 emissions. It explores a broad range of opportunities for the four largest materials in terms of emissions (steel, plastics, aluminium, and cement) and two large use segments for these materials (passenger cars and buildings).

The key conclusion is that a more circular economy can make deep cuts to emissions from heavy industry: in an ambitious scenario, as much as 296 million tons CO2 per year in the EU by 2050, out of 530 Mt in total – and some 3.6 billion tonnes per year globally. Making better use of the materials that already exist in the economy thus can take EU industry halfway towards net-zero emissions. Moreover, doing so often is economically attractive. Initiatives for a more circular economy therefore deserve a central place in EU climate and industrial policy.
PDF in the link.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on June 09, 2018, 09:50:43 PM
Incrementalism in America........


Are we getting paid more? Some people are.
(https://i.imgur.com/4Dx3HWv.jpg)


At least gadgets are getting cheaper! Hopefully they don't end up in the oceans
(https://i.imgur.com/jSKevje.jpg)



All in all, a steady rise in poverty. Can't wait for the next recession
(https://i.imgur.com/Zx1VB6T.jpg)



I can't wait to retire. Hopefully this century
(https://i.imgur.com/LRpMAIt.jpg)



Thank god I'm not black
(https://i.imgur.com/GFBVF7Q.jpg)



Bonus incrementalism
(https://i.imgur.com/7t5dyQW.jpg)
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on June 09, 2018, 10:30:49 PM
Conditions are going to continue to deteriorate. And capitalism will continue to thrive. There is no incentive to change the system when it's working for the people in charge.

Maybe climate change will unlock the secret to incremental progress. But I'm not holding my breath.

There will be  progress to reduce emissions through EVs and renewable under capitalism. I have no doubts about that. But capitalism's inherent exploitative qualities is bringing about immense social and economic instability. The rise of populism of Trump, Italy, Brexit, Ford, etc is a sign of things to come.  Any progress we make can just as easily be taken away.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on June 09, 2018, 11:41:09 PM
Incrementalism in America........


Are we getting paid more? Some people are.

Thanks for presenting these, zizek.  Thoroughly depressing trends all around.  In several cases, I hadn't realized how much worse some of these measures had become.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on June 10, 2018, 06:11:10 PM
I’ve been thinking a lot about the concessions we are willing to make in the name of climate change. It’s something that is terrifying me.  I’ll use Saudi Arabia as an example of what I’m talking about. 

Saudi Arabia, the ultra-wealthy Wahhabist ethnostate, exerts its influence in the middle east through genocidal violence and state-sponsored terrorism. Saudi Arabia is currently starving the entire nation of Yemen to death.  The kingdom of Mohammed bin Salman can only be described as evil and tyrannically.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/11/trump-russia-bush-saudi-arabia
https://www.mintpressnews.com/un-10-million-more-yemenis-expected-to-starve-to-death-by-end-of-year/242906/


Additionally, Saudi Arabia uses migrants as sex slaves and forced labour to construct its extravagant high rises, malls, and more than likely its renewable projects.

https://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/world/meast/mideast-migrant-workers/index.html
https://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-the-world-of-gulf-state-slavery


And what criticism do we offer when Saudi announces a new renewable project? Well, nothing.  We celebrate it. You will not find a single article on a Saudi renewable project that describes the abuses and exploitation conducted in Saudi Arabia. Nobody is willing to confront the horrors and baggage that comes with any projects in Saudi Arabia. And maybe it’s not our place to really criticize Saudi Arabia, because these abuses will happen either way. Renewables or not.  So at least the suffering is directed to something good I suppose.

But the problem is that western institutions are supporting it. Even firms like KPMG, which claim to be socially and environmentally conscious, are supporting Saudi Arabia. Softbank, a Japanese firm, is partnering on their new mega solar project. Western banks are advising on Saudi’s ACWA power IPO, which will undoubtedly attract western investment when they go public. So what does that mean?

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/27/softbank-and-saudi-arabia-announce-new-solar-power-generation-project.html
https://home.kpmg.com/uk/en/home/insights/2017/03/saudi-arabias-vision-2030-life-after-oil.html
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-acwa-pwr-ipo/saudi-acwa-power-picks-jpmorgan-citi-for-ipo-sources-idUSKBN1GH1EZ


Basically, we have western banks and corporations getting paid in dirty blood oil money to build renewable projects using forced labour.  The lack of protest against Softbank, KPMG, banks etc suggest that it is an acceptable strategy to invest in renewable projects even if it supports fascism. And because neoliberalism has allowed the consolidation of companies into massive globalized conglomerates, the dealings of companies like Softbank, Citibank, JPMorgan, or KPMG represent a worldwide strategy for investment.

In other words, we already seeing a global phenomenon of surrendering human rights to further the cause of climate change. 

And it is so convenient for these companies. They have already profited immensely from fossil fuel investment and services. And for many banks, they’ll actually make money divesting from fossil fuels through fees.  And now they will make even more money by shifting capital into renewables (with bonus huge government subsidies). And the best part is… the cherry on the top…. Is they can do whatever they want.  Investing in renewables is an incredibly effective method of greenwashing their past and present deals.  They can get away from causing climate change, and they can get away with further inflicting suffering. So long as it decarbonizes our society.

Even on this forum you see the cult-like reverence for the hyper-capitalist Elon Musk. Criticism of Musk is quickly deflected as “trolls” or “fossil fuel lies”.  No such thing as a wrong path towards a green future.  We are willing to accept anything, no matter the cost.  Which, for the capitalist, is perfect…





 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Susan Anderson on June 11, 2018, 05:02:54 PM
Anybody who thought Musk was OK (though, like most humans he's a mixed bag) should take a gander at this horror:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jun/10/a-great-item-to-have-flamethrowers-sell-like-hot-cakes-at-elon-musk-sale
 (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jun/10/a-great-item-to-have-flamethrowers-sell-like-hot-cakes-at-elon-musk-sale)
Quote
'A great item to have': flamethrowers sell like hot cakes at Elon Musk sale

The tech billionaire urges buyers to act responsibly as dozens queue up to get their hands on the $500 weapons

Many planned to resell the flamethrowers, which are already fetching more than $2,000 on eBay. “Anything Elon Musk does is a collector’s item,” said Alex Shame, 52, an engineer.

Tudor Melville, 62, who owns an electrical company, drove his Tesla from Arizona to collect 10 flamethrowers, nine of which he plans to sell.

Children probably should not use them, he said. “Well, as long as they point in the air, it’s fine.” He added: “My family thinks I’m nuts.”

Some misuse is inevitable, said buyers. “No doubt there’ll be some bad eggs out there who do something stupid,” said Carrillo.

Tabula, the fire-loving entrepreneur, said he had “a bad feeling” about abuses. That might explain, he said, why the Boring Company told customers to not open the boxes “until we were way off the premises”.

My personal pet peeve (along with city buildings heavily lit up all night) is leaf blowers. If it's noisy and burns lots of fossil fuels and stinks, your neighbors love it (and their underpaid yard laborers too). Overgrown kids with dangerous toys, who don't care ... yuck!
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 14, 2018, 06:13:23 PM
No ‘What’ or ‘How’... but definitely the ‘Not’:  a respected investor says, “Capitalism is killing the planet and needs to change”

Quote
Jeremy Grantham, the longtime investor famous for calling the last two major bubbles in the market, is urging capitalists and "mainstream economists" to recognize the looming threat of climate change.

"Capitalism and mainstream economics simply cannot deal with these problems. Mainstream economics largely ignore [them]," Grantham, who co-founded GMO in 1977, said Tuesday in an impassioned speech at the Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago. "We deforest the land, we degrade our soils, we pollute and overuse our water and we treat air like an open sewer, and we do it all off the balance sheet."

This negligence is due in large part to how short-sighted corporations can be, Grantham said. "Anything that happens to a corporation over 25 years out doesn't exist for them, therefore, as I like to say, grandchildren have no value" to them, he said.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/13/gmos-grantham-capitalists-need-to-wake-up-to-climate-change-reality.html
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 14, 2018, 06:41:27 PM
The solution here is to regulate more tightly.  If cleaner air, cleaner water, and avoiding extreme climate change are valuable to us then we need to establish regulations that control the behavior of companies.

Put a price on pollution and greenhouse emissions and capitalism and mainstream economics will deal with these problems.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 14, 2018, 06:46:41 PM
The solution here is to regulate more tightly.  If cleaner air, cleaner water, and avoiding extreme climate change are valuable to us then we need to establish regulations that control the behavior of companies.

Put a price on pollution and greenhouse emissions and capitalism and mainstream economics will deal with these problems.

Valid points.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on June 16, 2018, 07:25:24 AM
Putting a price on fossil carbon emissions is a great idea. Now, who will bell the cat ? Remember, free market (ha! call me when you find one) also trades in regulators and politicians.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 16, 2018, 09:06:25 AM
Quote
Should I vote for the greens this autumn?

In what country?
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: gerontocrat on June 16, 2018, 12:54:26 PM
BAU environmentalists who wish to keep flying world wide, will never bell any cat.

Don't know of any "free market", here's how our politicians dance:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,347.msg158976.html#msg158976 (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,347.msg158976.html#msg158976)
Only the Danes can now stop NS II, but I don't think they will.

Should I vote for the greens this autumn?
As a member of the England and Wales Green Party I obviously should say yes - if only as the least-worst option.

But I am thinking of Greenpeace as well - as my Green Party is not doing well at pushing hard and loud on the environment stuff - a bit wishy-washy to tell the truth.

It may even be my summer project to without shame lift loads of stuff from this forum and at least shout and occasionally even scream locally.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 17, 2018, 02:38:05 AM
In the US - No.

Perhaps in a local election if the Green candidate has a very good chance of winning and there's no danger of splitting the left wing vote and letting a Republican win.

National elections - Absolutely No.  A protest vote, regardless of how strongly felt, aids the candidate you really don't want.

Think how different the world would be now had Bush/Cheney been defeated and not allowed to blow up the Middle East.  Think about how we would not now be dealing with the Trump mess.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 17, 2018, 10:19:50 AM
Quote
It doesn't matter what I vote for to be honest.


George Bush = Illegal invasion of Iraq.

Al Gore = No Iraq invasion.

Yep, votes don't matter.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on June 19, 2018, 07:42:47 AM
Oh, look: These are the best and the brightest in charge of hundreds of billions in pensions and such:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5857373/Bill-Gross-sprayed-fart-scent-dead-fish-vents-hair-balls-drawers-20M-home-says-ex.html

Bill Gross is a piece of work. I been watching him forawhile. Don't put your money anywhere near him.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: ralfy on June 19, 2018, 08:47:16 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNa2j2HDvo
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: miki on June 23, 2018, 07:43:01 PM
A brilliant historic analysis of "capitalism", its roots & current implications...

By  Ariän Taher, in Truthout
June 16, 2018

Today’s Capitalism Is a Far Cry From What It Was Intended to Be

https://truthout.org/articles/todays-capitalism-is-a-far-cry-from-what-it-was-intended-to-be/

"So, what exactly do we name our economy? Whether neomercantilism, Keynesian capitalism, corporatocracy, fascism, really-existing-capitalism, or otherwise, it’s up to you, the People, who together toil, endure and persevere under the legacies of Hamilton’s system."

"Hamilton understood correctly: Capitalism, as Smith intended it, could not sustain the United States in unbridled competition. This understanding diverged the US economy from the path of capitalism, not moral reasoning regarding its inherent subjugation of laborers to the capricious will of amoral “merchants and manufacturers,” nor that its envisioned outcome of “perfect equality” is unfeasibly reliant on conscientiousness from economic elites, whose modus operandi is not altruism, but profit maximization, even turning philanthropy into philanthrocapitalism."
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on June 24, 2018, 12:57:51 AM
I posted a link to an interview with Wolin in another thread, as well as a link to the transcript. The whole thing is rather good, but there is a great deal of discussion of capitalism, in fact the title of the interview is "Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist ?"

http://www.activatingdemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Sheldon-Wolin-interviewed-by-Chris-Hedges.pdf

and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGc8DMHMyi8

Some excerpts:

"Weber's critique of capitalism is even broader. I think he views it as quintessentially destructive not only of democracy, but also, of course, of the sort of feudal aristocratic system which had preceded it. Capitalism is destructive because it has to eliminate the kind of custom /ˈmɔːreɪz/, political values, even institutions that present any kind of credible threat to the autonomy of the economy. And it's that--that's where the
battle lies. Capitalism wants an autonomous economy. They want a political order subservient to the needs of the economy."

" ... the ruling groups, the capitalist groups, were very conscious of what they had and what was needed to keep it going. And that's why figures like Alexander Hamilton are so important, because they understood this, they understood it from the beginning, that what capitalism required in the way not only of so-called free enterprise--but remember, Hamilton believed very, very strongly in the kind of camaraderie between capitalism and strong central government, that strong central government was not the enemy of capitalism, but rather its tool, and that what had to be constantly kind of revitalized was that kind of relationship, because it was always being threatened by populist democracy, which wanted to break that link and cause government to be returned to some kind of responsive relationship to the people."

"we go through these periods of sleepwalking where we have to relearn lessons that have been known almost since the birth of the republic, or at least since the birth of Jeffersonian democracy, that capitalism has its virtues, but it has to be carefully, carefully watched, observed, and often controlled."

"inverted totalitarianism, certainly a species of totalitarianism, can often be the product of a strong democracy.

WOLIN: It can, in the sense that that strong democracy can do what its name implies. In the pursuit of popular ends, it develops inevitably powerful institutions to promote those ends. And very often they lend themselves to being taken over and utilized, that--for example, that popular means of communication and news information and so on can become very easily propaganda means for corporate capitalism, which understands that if you gain control of newspapers, radio, television, that you're in a position to really shape the political atmosphere."

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 24, 2018, 02:06:30 AM
Quote
"Weber's critique of capitalism is even broader. I think he views it as quintessentially destructive not only of democracy, but also, of course, of the sort of feudal aristocratic system which had preceded it. Capitalism is destructive because it has to eliminate the kind of custom /ˈmɔːreɪz/, political values, even institutions that present any kind of credible threat to the autonomy of the economy. And it's that--that's where the
battle lies. Capitalism wants an autonomous economy. They want a political order subservient to the needs of the economy."

Horse apples.

Capitalism is a description of how people operate.

Democracies have the potential to control the greediest and most unethical members of the society. 

Aristocratic and dictatorial systems generally operate in ways that create monopolies or concentrate capital into only a few hands.  Those systems are generally controlled by the greediest.

All the people complaining about capitalism are really complaining about inadequately controlled economic systems where a few have been able to grab the most.

Right now, in the US, we've allowed the greediest to grab too large a share.  We evened things out somewhat with labor organizations starting in the 1930s and dropped our guard largely during and following the Reagan administration.  We've got a chance to start turning things the other way in November and then again two years later.  We have the power, the question is whether we will use it.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on June 24, 2018, 05:42:20 AM
Disagreed that "Capitalism is a description of how people operate"

That is, as Varoufakis has pointed out, one school of thought. That sets all against all, leading to the famous Thatcher argument: There are only individuals and families acting in their own best interests, there is no society.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkmGfY9iY9Y

Perhaps some of us only know people who act in their own self interests. That is a very sad world they live in.

sidd


Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 24, 2018, 06:35:19 AM
Quote
There are only individuals and families acting in their own best interests, there is no society.

There are only individual organisms acting in their best interest (plus some offspring rearing which is sometimes required for a species to exist).

In order to serve our best interests we form societies ranging from a partnership with one other organism to small groups of "family", to communities, to countries and in some cases the entire planet.

Or at least we attempt to create entire planet societies.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on June 24, 2018, 07:42:11 AM
Great conversation between Chomsky and Varoufakis from the new york public library from a couple years ago: 1 hour 43 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szIGZVrSAyc

transcript at

https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2016/06/28/full-transcript-of-the-yanis-varoufakis-noam-chomsky-nypl-discussion/

"Remember, Roosevelt made sure that in the Bretton Woods Conference, which designed the postwar—the first postwar phase between the 1940s and 1971, 1973. He had stipulated that one kind of person should not be allowed into the Bretton Woods conference. You know who these people were. Bankers. Not one banker attended the Bretton Woods Conference and that was at the explicit order of FDR."

"So you had boring banks between 1944 and 1971, but after 1971 and we can discuss why that is, suddenly banking was unleashed and their capacity effectively to mint private money became unlimited and essential to the second postwar phase of global capitalism, of American capitalism, of American hegemony. "

" “You’re right, it can’t work. What we are trying to impose on your nation [Greece] can’t work. But, Yanis, you must understand we have invested so much political capital in this program, we can’t go back, and your credibility,” my credibility, “depends on accepting it.” I think that answers your question. "

"NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, how do they—how do the participants in the troika deliberations react to the technical papers that are coming out from the IMF economists saying, their own economists, Blanchard, others, saying, these policies of austerity under recession are just destructive.

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: It’s very simple. They ignore them. "

" Varoufakis: “Would you sign this?” And he[Schauble] turned around and said, “As a patriot, I wouldn’t.”  "

"Schauble: We have discipline to look after, and I want to take the troika to Paris. "

" his [Greenspan] testimony to Congress where explained how magnificent the economy was that he was administering. He said it was based on growing worker insecurity."

"Alan Greenspan and the Fed under Alan Greenspan indulged in autolobotomy regarding these structural aspects of global capitalism"

"I[Varoufakis] grew up in the dictatorship that the CIA managed to create before the Pentagon had its own coup with the generals."

Re: Marshall plan:

"Europe would be dollarized, so that Europeans could buy the gleaming cars and the gleaming aircraft and washing machines from Westinghouse and so on and so forth that America would not be able to absorb on American soil. Europeans were in ashes after the war, so they needed to be dollarized. So they would be allowed to recreate all their own currencies, but their currencies would be pegged to the dollar, effectively they would have the dollar in different form. And that was a fixed-exchange-rate regime."

"The Greek economy is fading, all business plans are going haywire, in a sense remember “liquidate, liquidate, liquidate” under President Hoover, Mellon, I think was the name of the U.S. treasury secretary that said that. That is what’s happening. Complete liquidation of Greek business, the Greek state, and the Greek people. And all that is happening in the context of the nineteenth-century gunboat diplomacy, the purpose of which is not so much Greece, it is how to keep France, Spain, Portugal."

"You are going to have the liquidation of households with foreclosures and foreclosures in Greece are worse than here, because here you can take the keys to your house and go to the bank and say, “Take it. Bye.” In Greece, you can’t do that. Even if you lose your house, you still have the debt, you carry it with you, like Mephistopheles walking around with hell around him, you are walking around the world with that same debt, even though you no longer have the house."

"For the same very simple reason, I think we are in a 1930 moment. Shortly after the collapse of Wall Street, the great financial crisis, and just before the slide into a postmodern abyss of xenophobia, misanthropy, failed economic policies, austerity, debt deflation that will become a major source of uncertainty, of misanthropy, of pain and unnecessary not just for Europe but for the rest of the world. "

Schauble: "“Elections cannot be allowed to change the economic policies of any country.”

"The notion that Europe is split between north and south and that north is populated by all the ants whereas the grasshoppers have congregated to the south and to Ireland is a very strange idea. There are ants and there are grasshoppers everywhere. What happened before 2008 was the grasshoppers of the south and the grasshoppers of the north got together into a splendid alliance of debt-driven frenzy. They were the bankers. They were the spivs, they were those who predicated their growth on transfers from the European Union budget to create motorways that went to nowhere, Olympic Game sites in Greece, and so on and so forth, and they became fabulously rich. This was the alliance of the grasshoppers. The ants were working very hard and were finding it very hard to make ends meet during the good times. And then when the grasshoppers’ empire collapsed, it was the ants of the north and the ants of the south that had to bail them out, and it’s time for the ants of the north and the ants of the south to unite in Europe to change that crazy regime."

Watch the whole thing. And then, read the transcript carefully.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 24, 2018, 08:12:32 AM
All these high-winded arguments/discussions come down to how much should capitalism be controlled and how.

Or how much should human greed be controlled and how.

Control too little and we get monopolies.  Control too much and we stiffle individual effort and innovation.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 24, 2018, 05:29:51 PM
ASL - it's called "first principles".  If you understand what is happening at the most basic level then it's possible to cut through the verbiage.

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on June 24, 2018, 11:44:58 PM


Capitalism is a description of how people operate.
 

It certainly *seems* so, when one is born into a capitalist society, and then lives as a consumer and worker.  All actors are simply acting to maximize wealth and income, with apparent freedom as to who to work for and what to purchase.

Except that capitalism has grown to be a powerful behemoth courtesy of a highly artificial legal construct--the corporation.  More precisely, the "limited liability" company.  It's not a natural grouping of investors who share in the risks and liabilities of the joint venture.  The owners are insulated from the natural consequences of their actions.  If  the venture sustains catastrophic losses, the owners are only out the money they've put in.  If the corporation commits murder (and corporations have certainly been found guilty of murder and other crimes), the owners face no risk of prosecution.

It's a massive and extremely lucrative grant that society gives to the shareholders, without sufficient compensation or regulation.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 25, 2018, 12:09:36 AM
Quote
It certainly *seems* so, when one is born into a capitalist society, and then lives as a consumer and worker.  All actors are simply acting to maximize wealth and income, with apparent freedom as to who to work for and what to purchase.

Having spent some time in socialistic countries (China a few years after Mao's death and others) I can assure you that people worked to maximum "stuff".  It was just very hard to do.

It is certainly not the case that all people who live in more free economies are actors who work to maximize wealth and income.  Many are quite happy to live more modest lives once they've reached a position of reasonable comfort.  Heck, I retired at 44 because I had enough.  Had I continued and did not run into a major disruptive event my net worth would be at least in the tens of millions of dollars.  And I have multiple friends who have made the same "enough" decision.

Quote
capitalism has grown to be a powerful behemoth courtesy of a highly artificial legal construct--the corporation.  More precisely, the "limited liability" company.

Were it not for limited liability for investors almost no large projects would be started.  You wouldn't be using a computer or driving a car/riding a bus.

In order for Tesla to revolutionize transportation they needed money.  No one would invest if their few thousands invested in a company could end up costing them everything they had. 
 
Quote
The owners are insulated from the natural consequences of their actions.  If  the venture sustains catastrophic losses, the owners are only out the money they've put in.  If the corporation commits murder (and corporations have certainly been found guilty of murder and other crimes), the owners face no risk of prosecution.

The owners are somewhat insulated from the behavior of those actually running and working for the company.  They stand to lose their investment so they are not totally risk free.

If a corporation commits murder then the employees involved that murder are the ones who should be held responsible.  We don't line up everyone working in a business and shoot them if one or a portion of the employee force runs off the rails.

The problem is not corporations.  The problem is that in some cases we need to tighten and enforce regulations.  And, I  think, we need to see more of what we've seen with a VW exec convicted and sentenced to time in prison. 

We've gone through a period of losing controls over businesses and not taxing upper level earners enough.  It's time to move in the other direction.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: SteveMDFP on June 25, 2018, 12:18:35 AM

The problem is not corporations.  The problem is that in some cases we need to tighten and enforce regulations.  And, I  think, we need to see more of what we've seen with a VW exec convicted and sentenced to time in prison. 

We've gone through a period of losing controls over businesses and not taxing upper level earners enough.  It's time to move in the other direction.

Well, yes, we're largely in agreement.  As I said "It's a massive and extremely lucrative grant that society gives to the shareholders, without sufficient compensation or regulation."

Outlawing corporations wouldn't be my preferred solution.  But the public gives this grant of limited liability without currently getting just and fair compensation.  What's really needed is a steep increase in corporate income tax globally (for the same sort of reasons we need a *global* carbon tax/price).  And tighter regulation to prohibit political meddling.  Yes, higher taxes on the wealthy are needed, though I think stronger estate taxes could suffice.  Let the "winners" play with their toys while they're alive.  No financial dynasties.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 25, 2018, 12:24:41 AM
I don't disagree with any of that. 

In general, it should be easier to earn one's first million than second and all subsequent millions should be harder to earn.  Progressive tax that keeps on rolling up.

Probably the main thing we need to do in the US is to get private money out of campaigns.  Public financing would probably pay for itself many times over.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Susan Anderson on June 25, 2018, 12:40:35 AM
@miki: thank you for reminding me of Truthout. One of the best! I'll take a look again.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: zizek on June 25, 2018, 02:45:36 AM

It is certainly not the case that all people who live in more free economies are actors who work to maximize wealth and income.  Many are quite happy to live more modest lives once they've reached a position of reasonable comfort.  Heck, I retired at 44 because I had enough.  Had I continued and did not run into a major disruptive event my net worth would be at least in the tens of millions of dollars.  And I have multiple friends who have made the same "enough" decision.


Apparently accumulating so much capital that you can comfortably retire at the age of 44 is a sign of modesty.

no wonder your views on capitalism are so distorted.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 25, 2018, 05:14:04 AM
 France, Denmark, Sweden, West Germany, and Australia are countries where individuals are allowed to work for their own profit.  They all have laws permitting corporations and private ownership of property.

In those countries, and the US, citizens have agreed to own some services in common as that is sometimes a way to obtain a service otherwise unaffordable for most.  Some common examples are fire protection, postal services, care for the disabled, health care, child protection services.  Countries may differ in how many of these agreements they'be entered into but all have some. 

Mao's China did not permit private ownership of property (unless you were one of the "more equal").  Service in restaurants where foreigners were allowed to eat was generally crummy.  One waiter explained to me that no one bothered to work hard or do anything extra because everyone made the same.  Any tips left by foreigners had to be turned over to the government.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 25, 2018, 05:36:08 AM
Here's a definition of socialism that fits my use of the term.

Quote
a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

In none of the countries listed are the means of production, distribution, and exchange owned by the community as a whole. 
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 25, 2018, 05:11:49 PM
Paying everyone a little bit does not serve the premise of a Universal Basic Income.

Finland’s Basic Income Test Wasn’t Ambitious Enough
The payments encouraged beneficiaries to take work that doesn’t pay a living wage.
Quote
The UBI idea is not dead. It’s still worth watching other experiments, especially the ones that actually provide a living income.
https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/view/articles/2018-04-26/finland-s-basic-income-experiment-was-doomed-from-the-start
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: wili on June 27, 2018, 05:01:52 AM
Not sure where to post this, and apologies if it has already been posted here or if there's some other more appropriate thread for it somewhere:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old socialist, topples powerful incumbent Joe Crowley

https://thinkprogress.org/crowley-loses-primary-b7f702972f1c/

Quote
Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) became the first Democratic incumbent to lose his primary election Tuesday. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old socialist, ran an insurgent campaign focused on Medicare for all, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and tuition-free higher education.

She has now taken down a man widely considered a candidate for the next Speaker should Democrats retake the House.

Crowley first took office in 1999, and Ocasio-Cortez marked his first challenger in 14 years. She garnered national attention as she has waged war against the congressman’s corporate donations and centrist policy record.

Despite the hype, Crowley, who represented New York’s 14th district, was widely considered a heavy favorite in the race.

Ocasio-Cortez consistently hit Crowley for not accurately representing the district, saying in a campaign ad — without naming him — that it’s “time we acknowledge that not all Democrats are the same.”

...“What the Bronx and Queens needs is Medicare for all, tuition-free public college, a federal jobs guarantee, and criminal justice reform. We can do it now.”
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on June 27, 2018, 05:35:02 AM
I posted similarly over in the thread entitled "The problem of Corporate Democrats and how to kick them out"

an included a link to your post

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1937.msg160957.html#msg160957

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 02, 2018, 09:04:36 PM
Gates:  "The purpose of humanity is not just to sit behind a counter and sell things. More free time is not a terrible thing."

Branson:  “I think with artificial intelligence coming along, there needs to be a basic income.”

Billionaire Richard Branson: America should give out free cash to fix income inequality
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/02/virgin-groups-richard-branson-on-universal-basic-income.html
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on July 13, 2018, 02:33:27 AM
From 2014, an analysis of capitalism and its discontents, arguing that capitalism's victory over regulation has led to the seeds of its own demise.

"At present, I claim, we are already in a position to observe capitalism passing away as a result of having destroyed its opposition—dying, as it were, from an overdose of itself. "

"Under oligarchic redistribution, the Keynesian bond which tied the profits of the rich to the wages of the poor is severed, cutting the fate of economic elites loose from that of the masses. [37] This was anticipated in the infamous ‘plutonomy’ memorandums distributed by Citibank in 2005 and 2006 to a select circle of its richest clients, to assure them that their prosperity no longer depended on that of wage earners. [38] "

"In summary, capitalism, as a social order held together by a promise of boundless collective progress, is in critical condition. Growth is giving way to secular stagnation; what economic progress remains is less and less shared; and confidence in the capitalist money economy is leveraged on a rising mountain of promises that are ever less likely to be kept. "

"Step by step, capitalism’s shotgun marriage with democracy since 1945 is breaking up."

The list of references is very good. For example, the "Plutonomy" memos by Citigroup.

https://newleftreview.org/II/87/wolfgang-streeck-how-will-capitalism-end

sidd

Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: johnm33 on July 13, 2018, 10:04:03 AM
Pretty much in the same vein as above, https://www.oftwominds.com/blogjuly18/USA-3rd-world7-18.html This illustrates the state that all 'mature' political bodies, ungoverned by an overiding ethical framework achieve, before collapse. They all resemble the hierarchical set up that social insects have gamed, it's not a good fit for primates. With the insidious penetration of digital oversight I'm not at all sure that the complete breakdown, with all the social chaos that implies, will be any worse than the clearly unplanned, but totally necessary to maintain the status quo, accelerating tyranny ahead.
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 12, 2018, 05:51:46 PM
This Bloomberg author is worried.

Americans Own Less Stuff, and That’s Reason to Be Nervous
What happens when a nation built on the concept of individual property ownership starts to give that up?
Quote
Some social problems are blatantly obvious in daily life, while others are longer-term, more corrosive and perhaps mostly invisible. Lately I’ve been worrying about a problem of the latter kind: the erosion of personal ownership and what that will mean for our loyalties to traditional American concepts of capitalism and private property.

The main culprits for the change are software and the internet. For instance, Amazon’s Kindle and other methods of online reading have revolutionized how Americans consume text. Fifteen years ago, people typically owned the books and magazines they were reading. Much less so now. If you look at the fine print, it turns out that you do not own the books on your Kindle. Amazon.com Inc. does.

I do not consider this much of a practical problem. Although Amazon could obliterate the books on my Kindle, this has happened only in a very small number of cases, typically involving account abuse. Still, this licensing of e-books, instead of stacking books on a shelf, has altered our psychological sense of how we connect to what we read – it is no longer truly “ours.”

The change in our relationship with physical objects does not stop there. We used to buy DVDs or video cassettes; now viewers stream movies or TV shows with Netflix. Even the company’s disc-mailing service is falling out of favor. Music lovers used to buy compact discs; now Spotify and YouTube are more commonly used to hear our favorite tunes.

The great American teenage dream used to be to own your own car. That is dwindling in favor of urban living, greater reliance on mass transit, cycling, walking and, of course, ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft.

Each of these changes is beneficial, yet I worry that Americans are, slowly but surely, losing their connection to the idea of private ownership. The nation was based on the notion that property ownership gives individuals a stake in the system. It set Americans apart from feudal peasants, taught us how property rights and incentives operate, and was a kind of training for future entrepreneurship. Do we not, as parents, often give our children pets or other valuable possessions to teach them basic lessons of life and stewardship?

We’re hardly at a point where American property has been abolished, but I am still nervous that we are finding ownership to be so inconvenient. The notion of “possessive individualism” is sometimes mocked, but in fact it is a significant source of autonomy and initiative. Perhaps we are becoming more communal and caring in positive ways, but it also seems to be more conformist and to generate fewer empire builders and entrepreneurs.

What about your iPhone, that all-essential life device? Surely you own that? Well, sort of. When Apple Inc. decides to change the operating software, sooner or later you have to go along with what they have selected. Gmail is due to change its overall look and functionality, maybe for the better, but again eventually this choice will not be yours either: It’s Google’s. The very economics of software encourage standardization, and changes over time, so de facto you rent much of what you use rather than owning it. I typed the draft of this column using Microsoft Word, and sooner or later my contract to use it will expire and I will have to renew.

Imagine the “internet of things” penetrating our homes more and more, through services like Amazon’s Alexa. We’ll have ovens and thermostats that  you set with your voice, and a toilet and bathroom that periodically give you the equivalent of a medical check-up. Yes, you will still own the title to your physical house, but most of the value in that home you will in essence rent from outside companies or, in the case of municipal utilities, the government.

As for that iPhone, it is already clear that you do not have a full legal right to repair it, and indeed more and more devices are sold to consumers without giving them corresponding rights to fix or alter those goods and services. John Deere tractors are sold to farmers with plenty of software, and farmers have to hack into the tractor if they wish to fix it themselves. There is now a small but burgeoning “right to repair” political movement.

Does that sound like something our largely agrarian Founding Fathers might have been happy about? The libertarian political theorist might tell you that arrangement is simply freedom of contract in action. But the more commonsensical, broad libertarian intuitions of the American public encapsulate a more brutish and direct sense that some things we simply own and hold the rights to.

Those are intuitions which are growing increasingly disconnected from reality, and no one knows what lies on the other side of this social experiment.
https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/view/articles/2018-08-12/american-ownership-society-is-changing-thanks-to-technology
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on August 12, 2018, 10:29:10 PM
"Do we not, as parents, often give our children pets or other valuable possessions to teach them basic lessons of life and stewardship?"

That sentence tells you all about the author right there.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 13, 2018, 01:39:57 AM
"Do we not, as parents, often give our children pets or other valuable possessions to teach them basic lessons of life and stewardship?"

That sentence tells you all about the author right there.

sidd

Of course, Bloomberg opinions are very likely to espouse conspicuous consumption — it’s why they exist.  But I was heartened by the examples of where we are moving away from accumulating physical things. 

I recall the story of a family preparing to evacuate their home due to wildfire.  The teenager said, “I’m ready.  I have my phone.  Everything I need is in the cloud.”
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: sidd on August 20, 2018, 08:07:17 AM
Banksy on Capitalism, image attached.

sidd
Title: Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
Post by: Eco-Author on August 20, 2018, 10:43:50 AM
One can argue that things are SO Bad and the time so short that nothing short of a streamlined militaristic structure will do... Think of it