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If and When the Protestors Unite, Watch Out!

RickAckerman's picture




 

 

The protest that started nearly a month ago in the Battery now has a name – Occupy Wall Street — and we’re sorry we didn’t think of it first, since the catchy title – “Occupy (fill-in-the-location)” — seems destined to go viral worldwide. We’re not sure whether the demonstrators’ demands will eventually skew right or left politically, or perhaps in neither direction, but Mr. Obama and Rep. Pelosi have not wasted any time getting the jump on the Tea Party and GOP frontrunner-by-default Mitt Romney by presenting the demonstrators with verbal fruit baskets and bouquets – everything but the key to the city, which as of this writing was still in the safekeeping of Mayor Bloomberg.  To her credit, Ms. Pelosi zeroed in an actual reason for the demonstrations, even if the protestors themselves haven’t quite figured it out. It’s about jobs, she told ABC News in an interview — and that is undoubtedly on many of the protestors’ minds. But it seems predictable that the movement will come to be “about” many more things as the months roll by. What is not so predictable is who will assume leadership, or perhaps try to co-opt the movement from outside, as it spreads to every city, town and village in the Western world. But if protests should turn violent – a possibility that we’d rate an even-odds bet at this point, it’ll be interesting to see whether the Establishment that has rushed to embrace the demonstrators will start cracking heads.

 

Whatever happens, the protestors have nearly a year to build up steam ahead of the national political conventions.  Charlotte, North Carolina, will play host to the Democrats in early September, and although the event, with 35,000 delegates reportedly planning to attend, is expected to generate $150 million in business for the city, Charlotte may come to regret having been selected over finalists Cleveland, Minneapolis and St. Louis. For, much as Arlo Guthrie, Country Joe McDonald, Santana and the Grateful Dead were big draws at Woodstock, Charlotte boasts a superstar protest-magnet of its own – Bank of America — that could conceivably attract more activists than the convention attracts delegates.  You can bet the whole world will be watching – and one can only hope that the demonstrators by then have Woodstock in mind as a behavioral template rather than Chicago, circa August 1968. Republicans are set to convene in Tampa, Florida a week earlier, but we suspect that the extra miles between Northeast population centers and southwest Florida, not to mention the sweltering mid-summer heat, will inhibit the crowds. It’s possible, however, that if a huge throng shows up in Tampa nonetheless, that the city’s unique’y pleasurable waterfront scene will help keep demonstrators from growing surly.

 

Time for Honest Capitalism?

 

But even if the mobs are peaceful, they’re not going to be easily satisfied with hollow political promises to create more jobs.  The best way to do that is of course to provide tax incentives for small businesses to expand. However, it’s hard to imagine that this will be on their agenda. Or will it? The possibility exists, but only if those who assume leadership of the “Occupy” movement understand that, unlike the big banks, not all businesses are parasitic and in bed with the ringleaders of our incurably corrupt political system. Perhaps those rooting for a revival of honest capitalism should take as a hopeful sign the moment of silence observed for Steve Jobs last week by Wall Street protestors.

 

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Mon, 10/10/2011 - 17:30 | 1759078 Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

A group of us Oath Keepers are leaving tommorow morning to Occupy The Fed in Lower Manhatten tommorow morning. Our group consists of Police officers, prior and current serving Military and Sheriffs.

We know the difference between Socilaists and Capitalists so no worries. This is "End The Fed" campaign, drawing attention to where the real problems have been since 1913. Printing Monopoly and destroying the infrastructure of our free market and Capital investments.

 I can't wear my Zero Hedge T-shirt because who I represent there, but I would love to.

End The Fed! 

The Bad Guy.. III

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 20:57 | 1759573 Barnaby
Barnaby's picture

Hey man wear your shirt but remember foremost this is a fight club.

Be safe.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 16:48 | 1759021 bbaez
bbaez's picture

So Pelosi was DEFLECTING

Its Not About Jobs

Its About The Crooked Politicians

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 20:59 | 1759579 Barnaby
Barnaby's picture

"Crooked cops. Do they come any other way?" - obligatory Mel Gibson quote

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 16:23 | 1758933 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

you had to mention pelosi

now there's a term limit waiting to happen

yeah, she broke the glass ceiling alright and now open borders wants in

afterall she built a chinese "firewallet"  bridge, right to hubby's front door $$$ 

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 16:15 | 1758909 Civil Shepard
Civil Shepard's picture

John Hussman's weekly commentary gives OWS some clear issues to protest... http://www.hussmanfunds.com/wmc/wmc111010.htm

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 16:11 | 1758886 Lazane
Lazane's picture

the protestors are made up largely of folks who possibly derive either all or some portion of their income off the sweat and toil of their fellow americans, fellow americans who do have gainfully employed themselves and perform productive work to accomplish in some cases every day of the week 24/7, and who do not have neither the time nor do they possess the productive capacity to get themselves out and protest themselves. be that as it may, these protests are going to no where in a hurry. 

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 16:10 | 1758881 Cman5000
Cman5000's picture

Nothing will happen until people can't buy food,meds and fuel ... Mass starvation and chaos then people may want to storm the Bastille ...

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 16:17 | 1758918 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

It might be making the aristocrats a little nervous though.  Enough to try and usurp it.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 16:00 | 1758827 learning2
learning2's picture

The weather starts turning cooler at the end of September, but Floridians are becoming acclimated to the unusual heat these past few years.

No worries, We will be out in numbers. Occupy ' ' - yes, fill in the blanks. We will be there! And there too! lol

P.S. My Father is going out to demonstrate tomorrow! Spread the message...its contagion! lol lol lol

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 15:53 | 1758809 Mangadan
Mangadan's picture

Here's a demand that's unifying, realistic (in the sense that it's be really easy to implement) and revolutionary (1789 written all over it): bring out Lloyd Blankfein (or Jamie Dimon, or Angelo Mozillo, or any number of other crooks.) The only way OWS can straddle the right/left divide is by focusing on its enemy. The clue's in the name. 

Obviously TPTB can't surrender a single tentacle of the Squid, but it'd be difficult to explain to all the regular Joes who've been shafted for the past few years why that's the case. If this is pitched as Main Street seeking justice from Wall Street, it can act as a channel for all of the unfocused rage. Give Lloyd a deadline to appear. When he doesn't, set up a court in Zuccotti Square, and try him in absentia for treason. OWS could stage days of testimony from his grieving victims and various expert witnesses. If it were done right, it could be a compelling piece of theatre, and provide a rallying point to which no one supporting OWS could object.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 16:11 | 1758885 Pondmaster
Pondmaster's picture

Americans burn flags and bras . Maybe effigies are next . Lets see

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 15:38 | 1758735 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

One thing is for sure ... the only thing that gets the attention of The Establishment is social disorder or the threat of it.  Says something about out "democracy" eh?

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 15:22 | 1758666 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

and exactly where the fuck is this great Anonymous hack that I was promised last week?

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 16:13 | 1758894 Pondmaster
Pondmaster's picture

NYSE looks OK to me . So much for "Anon"  and  "?" 

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 15:31 | 1758713 Barnaby
Barnaby's picture

Word on the tubez is that Netflix and YouTube outages are the precursor to the tsunami. Look for James Stockdale-style GRIDLOCK from server to shining server. Starting eh, right about ... tonight!

/sarc

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 15:46 | 1758780 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

No doubt. This is the shutdown they have been planning for for years now.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 15:11 | 1758593 Barnaby
Barnaby's picture

If and when.

If and when the ghost planet Nibiru comes, everything will change. If and when I stop loving my wife, I'll move out of the house. If and when we know Tyler's identity, ...

Prediction: provocation. The Movement will bite when provoked and we will all feel the heat.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 15:51 | 1758800 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

1. I never stopped looking to the sky

2. Send us a picture of your wife, maybe one of us will love your wife

3. He's a bot opperating in a secret nasa lab.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 20:53 | 1759565 Barnaby
Barnaby's picture

a. Keep reaching for the stars;
b. You can't handle her believe me (nothing against you, btw);
iii. I am pleased. What if it were really Brad Pitt? Meta.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 14:48 | 1758483 ruttrow
ruttrow's picture

Yawn, boring. This will sizzle out, into blissful nothingness.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 14:37 | 1758411 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

Unfortunately, I suspect that winter weather will soon have a major negative effect on people occupying anything outdoors.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 15:25 | 1758677 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Freddie (see above) will supply facts showing that Soros is suppying heated tents and hot soup meals for them.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 15:16 | 1758626 Ag Star
Ag Star's picture

You forget how creative Americans are. Boycotts, bank runs, sit-in's at universities, city halls the capital bldg (remember Wisconsin)train stations etc will keep them warm.  There is already an organizied boycott of Coke in Europe and a hedge fund financed by some billionaire created to short Coke stock per maxkeiser.com   Don't underestimate these people.  They have lost everything, owe thousands on worthess property and school debt, and most important are pissed off.  I say hack all the corporations and the pentagon and the white house.  Time to get gangsta with these bankstas.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 15:44 | 1758758 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Americans creative - yeah right.  If they were really serious - Americans would cancel cable TV and boycott Hollywood.  That would really scare the elites.  Americans are too lazy.  Stupid f***king Americans who got the Enigma machine or broke out of the stalag in The Great Escape. Hollywoods lies and rubbish.

Mr. Pooper down in NYC OWS was too lazy or need his mum to change his diaper (or nappy as we say here).  Buffett has a nurse to change his diapers.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2047168/Occupy-Wall-Street-protesters-make-love-class-war-sex-drugs-tap.html

If they had real guts they would rush Goldman Sachs and poop and shat all over their trading desk.  Fill their bloomberg terminals with their anal feces.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 16:35 | 1758973 GFKjunior
GFKjunior's picture

Lead the way.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 15:10 | 1758589 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture
BRIGHTON
And what will you do now?

AUDA
Oh, now I go home. They will carry my
toys. They will carry my toys, too, do
you see?

BRIGHTON
Major Lawrence will campaign this winter,
but you've got what you wanted so you're
going home. Is that it?

AUDA
Of course! When Lawrence has got what he
wants, he will go home. When you have got
what you want, you will go home.

BRIGHTON
Oh, no, I shan't, Auda.

AUDA
Then you are a fool.

BRIGHTON
Maybe. I am not a deserter.

AUDA
Give thanks to God, Brighton, that when
he made you a fool, he gave you a fool's
face.
Mon, 10/10/2011 - 14:23 | 1758357 docj
docj's picture

Mr. Obama and Rep. Pelosi have not wasted any time getting the jump on the Tea Party and GOP frontrunner-by-default Mitt Romney by presenting the demonstrators with verbal fruit baskets and bouquets

And why would they not shower their own rabble with verbal fruit baskets? OWS == Organizing for America, 2012.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 14:13 | 1758321 adr
adr's picture

rich_maverick said it all. We no longer have capitalism defined by the laws of economics. We have corporate fascism battling with corporate Socialism. Stalin vs Hitler with the stock market as the battleground instead of eastern Europe. We have treasuries printing currency instead of factories making bullets.

Apple is a shining example of corporate fascism. You couldn't come up with a greater analogy to Hitler and the Nazis in the corporate world. Just replace Apple logos with swastikas in your mind. If you don't go holy shit you need to think a bit harder.

Imagine if big box retail disapeared tomorrow. Just imagine what it would take for most people to get basic necessities. We don't even have factories left in America to build 90% of what we consume on a daily basis. Let alone people who even have the knowledge to use the machinery. The global economy is too big to fail because the micro economy no longer has the ability to sustain itself.

That is all due to the individual no longerhaving any ability to truly have an effect on big business. If you wanted to start a  manufacturing compay in the US and actually compete, you would already need to be a billion dollar company. ou think Tesla could have actually began in a barn? Without the backing of a few billionares and massive government funding? You would need to spend so much money to get off the ground you couldn't pay back those loans in a thousand years.

Can you imagine trying to make TVs. You couldn't even place an order large enough to get a single panel. Even if you did get your hands on enough parts the price would be so high you could never compete.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 14:26 | 1758355 CapitalistRock
CapitalistRock's picture

Sorry to tell you, but America has millions of small business millionaires like myself. I pay just over 50% of my income in taxes because small business owners like myself have zero political power. We have no lobbyists.

The ability to compete is alive and well. It takes work. Really hard work. Seven days a week. It requires that you understand customer and employee needs and that you give up your own needs to get the other two filled. Success in small business does not leave room for whining or whiners.

Your problem is that you incorrectly think all business opportunities require the economies of scale that only companies like Apple can take advantage of. That is simply untrue. You have to look much harder for ways to create value for others. Noticing all the iPhones around you is a useless exercise.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 17:42 | 1759168 unerman
unerman's picture

Good point. I think a lot of people do not get it because they simple have not done it them self, or have never actually been involved with manufacturing.

There are LOADS of smaller manufacturing companies, with millionaire owners. At least here in Ontario, which I imagine is close to being in the same shape as some USA manufacturing States.

One example is my best friends Dad. He runs a small 10 man machine shop and builds custom $100k filters. It is a niche market. He says things are MUCH harder now, and stuff they used to make an easy killing on, they no longer can because they are being undercut by China. He basically has to work 10 times harder, has ten times less payroll, but needs to produce the same amount of product.

My point is, we still have some manufacturing capacity, and it is the smaller guys that have kept it here in North America. It is not too late. STOP the unfair competition with slave wage countries, which only Benifits large corporations, and we will have an INSTANT resurgence of North American manufacturing. The people are here. There is still experience here. But we MUST act NOW before this generation is gone and it is all forgotten.

We must bring back true and fair free markets. We need to stop this monopolistic large corporate bullshit and only trade with countries that hace similar wage and environmental standards. The small guys can bring this country back, if given the chance.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 18:03 | 1759227 GottaBKiddn
GottaBKiddn's picture

Saying goodbye to "true and fair free markets" is old business. Tell your friend's dad to learn chinese: maybe he'll get hired, if he's lucky.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 18:48 | 1759309 unerman
unerman's picture

Fuck off. It does not have to be this way.

It is happening though, because people such as yourself are bending over and letting others take you up the ass.

Seems like people are waking up though. Finally. There is still hope.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 17:55 | 1759212 unerman
unerman's picture

People can talk about tax burdens, over regulation, blah blah. Do you guys not understand that they have us fighting each other when none of this is even that much of a bother? You think I am going to stop my business because I get taxes at 50% instead of 25%? Heck no, I am still making money.

Taxes and regulations are not stopping small businesses from manufacturing here. It is the unfair competition with large "American" multi-national companies that take advantage of slave wages and lack of environment regulations in other countries. Small busineses cannot compete with that. This country has allowed itself to be overtaken by monopololistic corporations whose goal is to actually wipe out any competition and any real free market.

End they buying out of politicians, actually enforce anti monopoly rules, cut the large corporations up.

What we have now is NOT a free market. Take that shit away and small businesses will be able to flourish. They are the real "job creators" in North America.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 14:57 | 1758523 robobbob
robobbob's picture

I congratulate you on your success.

Now, ask yourself this honestly.

Are you part of building actual products in America, or just part of a distribution chain for "made somewhere else"?

Did the government help you become successful, or were they an anchor around your neck? 

Could you have spent that 50% in taxes in expanding and growing your business, improving your employees lives, starting new businesses, or even just helped the GDP with consumer consumption? or is that money just a dead loss?

I don't know what you do, but I can tell that if you are in a business targeted by government regulators, which is basically anyone who physically does anything, you have either: gotten into bed with them, off shored your work, or you're in the process of losing your business to those who have.

And that's what corporatism/fascism is really all about. Those who play ball succeed. Those who don't are on borrowed time.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 18:55 | 1759332 unerman
unerman's picture

Robobob; I take it you either have not tried at making it on your own, or failed doing so. If you tried and failed, you are simply trying to put the blame on something else.

There are lots of us that still produce something in North America. Is it easy? Nope. Is it hard? Yep. Does one simply want to give up sometimes, since the odds are so against them? Yep.

We can't compete against the big guys, head to head. One needs to find a niche the big guys don't care about, or simply move faster than them. Get in and out of trends quickly. Get in, make money, and get out before the big guys come in and wipe you out.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 16:13 | 1758837 Rynak
Rynak's picture

Okay, simple things first - yup, the system is corrupt. Not necessarily by ALL the rules and institutions in place (SOME of them would actually be helpful, if they were used for their intended purposes... but well, since the system is corrupt, ALL ideas and machinations are by definition infected, because its HUMANS that decide what to use something for, NOT the ideas themselves - they're just tools).

With that out of the way, i see two primary problems with capitalism, which capitalism cannot solve by itself.... and actually, both are kinda related:

If we imagine "power" as a scale, distributed across the population, then for the premises of a free market (easy entry to the market, transactions made out of free choice, prevention of monopolies) to be satisfyable AT ALL, then what is needed isn't "pseudo-darwinism aka 'let happen whatever happens, i don't fucking care'."

Instead, what would be needed is lower and upper limits to power. Lower limits to enable fair entry to the market (this DIRECTLY affects 99% of the population! More on this later), and upper limits to prevent runaway monopolies. Notice that i haven't mentioned the word "government" at all yet, because it is nothing more than that - a word for "some entity with a lot of collective-wide power". I.e. for practical consequences, there isn't really any difference, between a super-powerful corporation, and a government. Any corporation with enough influence accumulated, could do the very same things that govs do right now, INCLUDING bailing themselves out!!!

So, at the upper end, too much power from a free market POV is "bad", because it allows an entity to escape being punished for failure. On the bottom end on the other hand, you want limits so that those at the bottom of the pyramid still can be rewarded for success. And perhaps even more importantly: So that the bottom of the pyramid cannot be EXTORTED!

That's pretty theoretical. Let's get more practical. When you apply for a job, who has the upper hand in contract discussions? The employee or the employer? Why so? Because there are so many unemployed? Uh, wait we got a batshit insane problem here, which most people fail to see:

1. How CAN there be a lack of workforce demand, when THE ENTIRE WORKFORCE has *consumption" demands? I'll get back to this later.

2. Even with too few jobs available and too many people being unemployed, why should this be a problem for free market principles? Oh wait, peoples SURVIVAL depends on a free market job in this system! They're more or less directly faced with DEATH, in job interviews! WTF? How do you intend to built any "free market", when it is built on top of extortion via the thread of death?

To explain #1 in further detail: Remember all those people getting foodstamps and unemployment benefits? Why do they need that? Because there is a demand? Uh, if there is a demand, then how can there not be a market, and thus production demand, and thus JOBS?

Okay, to get to the root of THIS, any capitalists reading this need to open their mind to a wider horizon a bit, because what i'm now gonna say, will be totally counterintuitive to what you take for granted. You've learned that if "demand" goes down, but "supply" goes up, trading prices fall. Sounds logical, right?

Kay, how about this. Imagine you have a population of 100 people. At first, every one of them has to work fulltime, to produce as much supply, to cover the demand of all 100 people. Then via technological improvements, people can produce as much before, but with just 50% of the workhours. What do you do? Do you let 50 people die thanks to "progress", untill you someday are left with just 5 people alive? Or do you let all 100 people work only 50% of the hourse, but FOR THE SAME PAY?

This is totally alien to most free market proponents. And improvement in production, results in HIGHER wages per hour? Demand goes down, supply stays constant, yet prices per hour RISE?

How is this possible? Well, it can happen, if you judge an economic situation not on an individual basis, but on a systemwide (collective) basis. It happens when the balance shifts systemwide, so that you only see it when looking at the entire system, rather than individual cases.

Yeah, yeah, i know. Some will now point out, that the saved amount of workhours isn't lost, but can instead be invested in something else. Problem is: This doesn't work infinitely. People don't need 20 ipads, 10 computers, 5 cars, etc etc.... there is such a thing as "satisfaction" or phrased more economically "demand-saturation". And let's not forget: Nothing ever "grows" significantly, regarding existencial needs, like i.e. food, housing, energy.

And that brings me to #2. Question, is the job market part of the free market? Yes? Well, but then we got a little problem: For a transaction to be fair, both the buyer and the seller needs to be able to say "No". After all, if one party cannot say "No", the other party can set whatever conditions and price it wants (a monopoly!). Kay, but you see, people have those earlier mentioned existencial needs - food, housing, energy, etc.... how do they in this system get that, without a free market job, or gov-sponsored entitlements? And even with entitlements, they're still in the submissive role during contract discussions when applying for a job.

Why is that so?

Because the free market only guarantees employers and freelancers "self-ownership and selfsustainability... which is to say SELF-AUTONOMY". If you're not an employer or a freelancer, then bad luck - no free market for you!

Unfortunatelly, thats 99% of the population. So we have a "free market" for 1%, and modern slavedom for 99% ???

Okay, this post is getting a bit long, so i'll finish with hinting at the options regarding how individuals could be selfsustaining:

1. You already have all the ressources and property to sustain yourself, or can trade for it with the oversupply you produce (this basically is the case, if you're an employee-less employer.... i.e. a farm-owner, a freelancer, a family business, etc).

2. Your tribe offers facilities, to let people produce for themselves. This basically is communism, though it does not need a government-form of that kind.... i.e. one could have a well designed network of cooperatives, basically achieving the same thing.

Considering that if one wants a consistent throughout free market for the majority people, if #1 cannot satisfy that demand.... then what does #2 imply about the capabilities of a free market? Perhaps that for it to fullfill its premises, it relies on "something else"?

Whops.....

 

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 17:14 | 1759097 PeterPansDad
PeterPansDad's picture

The primary flaw I find in your post is the emphasis on consumption.  Consumption is great when you have something to consume.  We live in a world of scarcity.    Only by producing something can we later consume it.  I can't sit on my couch and eat pizza forever.  Eventually the pizza within arm's reach runs out.  I'll have to do work (walk to the kitchen, warm it up, carry it back to the couch) to get more pizza.  That sucks.  Work is required for consumption.

"How CAN there be a lack of workforce demand, when THE ENTIRE WORKFORCE has *consumption" demands?"

Because the price per unit of labor is too high.  I (as a potential employer) can't buy what I can't afford and I won't pay more than I have to for things I need.  If you're not worth $20/hour I can't pay you $20/hour.  Don't blame me if you can't make your house payment making $15/hour.

"Uh, if there is a demand, then how can there not be a market, and thus production demand, and thus JOBS?"

Because prices are out of whack.  Prices of housing, prices of borrowed money, prices of labor...even the value of the base currency is in flux.  Market interference is causing distortions.  How can I know what to pay for food, labor or housing when I don't know what my money is worth?  Everything is speculative.  It's probably better for me to do nothing (a majority opinion based on current market volume).

"Some will now point out, that the saved amount of workhours isn't lost, but can instead be invested in something else. Problem is: This doesn't work infinitely."

Actually, it does work infinitely.  No, I don't need 20 iPads just like I didn't need 20 speak and spells when I was a kid.  Technology moves on, my appetite for new labor saving devices, better toys, pizza or whatever is insatiable.  When man got better at growing food we developed other professions: artists, politicians, military.  Hopefully we'll reach the next stage of professional diversification and move away from consumer service to space exploration.  I don't want an iPad.  I want a planet of my own.  There's always more work that can be done.

"If you're not an employer or a freelancer, then bad luck - no free market for you!  ...modern slavedom..."

What employee can't quit?  Debt, not employment, is slavery.  Even Moses knew this.  Did you really need those consumer goods or that college education?  You can either work off your self-imposed debts or just stiff your creditors...same as theft.  You may have been manipulated by advertising, government agents or well-meaning parents but you made decisions.  Capitalism is all about decisions.  Honor your contracts.  Deal with the consequences of bad decisions...even decisions made by others.

Your solution #1 is what an employee should be.  His "product" is time.  He has an oversupply of time that he trades to the highest bidder...when he can find a bid.  The example is flawed because there is no self-sufficiency.  There is always more work to do.  We use specialization and trade to multiply our efforts to overcome scarcity.  Cooperative, mutually-beneficial arrangements build wealth over time.  Obviously we have to make a product worthy of consumption but the production is the key to the whole shebang.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 19:17 | 1759308 Tarfeather
Tarfeather's picture

Actually, it does work infinitely.  No, I don't need 20 iPads just like I didn't need 20 speak and spells when I was a kid.  Technology moves on, my appetite for new labor saving devices, better toys, pizza or whatever is insatiable.  When man got better at growing food we developed other professions: artists, politicians, military.  Hopefully we'll reach the next stage of professional diversification and move away from consumer service to space exploration.  I don't want an iPad.  I want a planet of my own.  There's always more work that can be done.

This may be true, but isn't relevant to the discussion. In an infinite timeframe, demand will be infinite, ignoring any technological advancement. When we're talking about unemployment, we're talking about a finite timeframe, and demand will be restricted by what we can afford. Face it, if for some reason only 1% of the population produces food, the free market offers no guarantee whatsover that demand for other products will rise enough to make food affordable for everyone.

You may argue that in such a case the price of food will spike, and more people would go into food production, i.e. the system would fix itself. However, there are two factors that may make this impossible:

1) Food production doesn't only require manpower. There are other limiting factors, such as available farmland.

2) There may be inherent imbalances in the society, where certain groups gain significantly more influence. This may be in the form of government and taxes, in the form of psychological manipulation and extortion, or simply in the form of 1% of the people owning all the machines and land. If a group has unproportionally large influence on the market, prices will not adapt to people's needs even in a free market.

Point 2) edited to make it more clear what I mean.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 22:21 | 1759722 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

You're starting from square one. The functional parts of the free market have already priced food and it's relatively easy to grow it, so it's not as if the demand economy has to tool up to produce enough food. The question is how food production will respond to deflating demand for other things. But unless someone is forcibly preventing people from growing and selling food (oops, already happening), this country can at least feed its own inhabitants.

And his point was right; in the long run the only things with constant demand are food, air, and water. Almost every other human want can be satiated relatively inexpensively, often in one-off fashion. We pulled it off for 100+ years in this country; our desires were tempered and we built things to last. Americans have proven in the past that you don't need materialism to be happy. That's a modern invention, and our present state of materialism is assumed to continue under all of the scare mongering about resource depletion.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 07:51 | 1760464 Tarfeather
Tarfeather's picture

You're starting from square one. The functional parts of the free market have already priced food and it's relatively easy to grow it, so it's not as if the demand economy has to tool up to produce enough food. The question is how food production will respond to deflating demand for other things. But unless someone is forcibly preventing people from growing and selling food (oops, already happening), this country can at least feed its own inhabitants.

Please read again what Rynar said. The argument was not that you can't produce enough for every inhabitant, the problem was distribution. In addition to having the basic goods, we also need to give everyone the chance to participate in their production, or otherwise distribution won't be ensured in a capitalist system. Sure, you can dictate that people receive food for free before they starve,I mean it's there after all, but this is *not* part of the capitalist system. With pure capitalism, it's fairly certain that people in the US would be starving right now.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 01:06 | 1760151 Rynak
Rynak's picture

......our present state of materialism is assumed to continue under all of the scare mongering about resource depletion.

That's all nice, but are you and your population willing, to if neccessary go back to a 2nd world country living standard, to uphold individual autonomy (regardless under which idelogical doctrine or mix of doctrine it is achieved?

THAT is the question which every citizen rooting for individual selfautonomy, regardless of ideological conviction should ask itself. The fact is: Other nations can and DO sell out their populations, to sell their own body parts to offer cheaper prices. Even if their stragegy is only midterm sustainable, the question YOU face is:

Do you request their selfdestructive wares, or are you willing to if neccessary accept restrictions in your consumption, to support wares from your country and other selfustainable countries, that are sustainable longterm, even if you pay premium, and get lower diversity?

Why does that matter? Because even if your gov plays fair, it depends on your cooperation in fairness, over shortterm greed. I.e. your gov could enact tarrifs on parasitary exporters who sell out their populations... will you try to circumvent those economic shields, or will you produce and buy exclusively from fair sources?

Many ZHers may instantly say "yes", but may i remind you? This isn't that different from the challenge, which quite a few communism-based markets faced in the past. Reduction in available goods... with that reduction being officially portrayed as a lack of "free market", even if any sustainable idea of a free market DEPENDS on BOYCOTTING some kinds of goods, if they are produced in a way that is designed to ruin your own domestic market!

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 17:32 | 1759150 Rynak
Rynak's picture

Sorry, but i completely disagree :) I could respond to every single paragraph you wrote, but really, all i'd be doing is repeating myself (after all, you even rejected my "basic maths" example, and even argued that there should be MORE people without a job (don't bother denying this - if you reduce wages even more, people need to work even more hours to sustain themselves, which without an increase in total workhours means, that even more people need to die, or be sponsored with entitlements. It's plain old maths - no way to deny this. For even lower real wages, more people need to die, or need to be (stealth-)tax sponsored. The taxes which i suppose you reject so much).

And as for scarcity: That is a related problem, which however requires different solutions. I could write a really long post about it, and maybe i'll do someday later, but for now, i'll just mention some keywords:

1) Overpopulation

2) Lack of encouragement of methods that are short-, mid- AND longterm EFFICIENT.

3) Greed, facilated by the lack of top and bottom limits.... the lack of top limits creates "crony capitalism", and the lack of bottom limits encourages policies, that try to outrun the "unemployment"-anomaly with ever more consumption-growth for no reason except of itself.

4) Human stupidity.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 18:13 | 1759241 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

Read your list of scarcity points. Each one is about coercion, not pricing. The other fellow is talking about organic ways of dealing with the constant that is human nature. Unless you plan to 'educate' people into changing, your ideas all come with a gun attached.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 18:54 | 1759310 Rynak
Rynak's picture

Correct - it is about "coercion" by plain old maths. I.e., if population is higher than natural ressources can sustain, at the "efficiency" achieved by humans, then its "no sweets for you".

That you don't like it, doesn't make reality go away. When it comes to environmental limits, make affordable efficient use of it or die overspending.

And no, the environment doesn't care about "human nature", wishful thinking, morals, ideology or political agendas. You got what you got - deal with it.

You can make room for "human nature" and all those invented moral crap, INSIDE those limits. You know, "natural" accounting.... it accepts no cooked books and corruption - it's wonderful :-)

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 19:35 | 1759422 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

You brought these things up as though they are problems in need of a system to address them, or at least that we needed to address them. If your point is that resource scarcity = die offs, no kidding.  As for human overpopulation, it seems like the worst famines always have human complicity, at least in the 'modern age'. Food and water make life possible and a dry place to rest your head makes it comfortable. Worldwide entertainment of endless varieties at the touch of a button makes it enjoyable (or at least passable, if what most folks do with their free time is any indication). Everything but food and water is optional. And most of the fertile ground in the world has never been hit by a shovel (i.e., almost the entirety of my state is fertile, but a fraction of it is farmland.)

So who wants warehouse cities or tent cities filled with catatonic TV watchers? Unless they are contributing something, what's the point? The point, beyond their humanity, is that there is nothing else to do with them other than let them die. A better plan would have been to allow small scale visible suffering by embracing reality and not bailing out everyone on every level. Now we get to embrace reality in one fell swoop and watch millions or billions perish. On that we agree.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 20:28 | 1759484 Rynak
Rynak's picture

I'm sorry, i think i failed to explain well enough the backgrounds of the original post of me, to which you replied.

I completely ignored his "variant" of scarcity, because i consider it a non-issue, resulting from current fucked up economic policies and models. For example, the impoverishment of individual populations, comes from a dryup of purchasing power, in turn resulting from batshit insane policies, and govs sponsering unsustainable wages at unsustainable high workhour-load, for the benefit of megacorps).

Similiar arguments apply to the other stuff which he brought up - symptoms of a fucked up system - and a proposal to solve them with.... more of the same.

So, instead of replying to this, i just replied to actual real scarcity independent of current fucked up economic systems - and those are environmental limits.

Bottom line? I don't care about all the little details of fucked up systems, and how to hackfix them. I care about fundamental issues, and how fundamentally change something, instead of just "kicking the can" on an evolutionary scale.

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 22:48 | 1759778 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

You want to change 'human stupidity', one of your key scarcity points. You're a dreamer. I'd respect your view if it was, "get coercion out of things", but you have big ideas that require big guns, or they amount to nothing. Look at your initial scarcity list again. The solution isn't a big answer, the solution is for the control freaks to FUCK OFF, let people figure things out locally whenever possible, and let the chips fall where they may.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 00:02 | 1759825 Rynak
Rynak's picture

The "scarcity points" were not a list of things i strive to change, nor did i ever wrote this. All i said and implied, and by which i fully stand, is that they are primary factors to overcoming current environmental and evolutionary barriers... and i did imply, that not overcoming them, may be quite costly.

My actual own opinion on what i want? I'd appreciate humans overcoming them, but - some may call me "nihilistic" or even "inhuman" for this (which i take as a compliment) - it doesn't make any difference to me in terms of FAIRNESS, if what currently is called "human" evolves from a parasitary cultural species, into a selfsutainable and perhaps even mutualistic species.

If they do so, then i sympathize and welcome them. If not, then they just get what they did sow.

So, "the planet", as well as "universal justice", is working just fine to me anyways. The only question is if humans will be part of its future. If they are, it will be because of their own achievements. If not, it will be because of their own failure.

The only remorse? A low amount of innocents, whom i pity more than the rest of the human species, because their existence would be the only ones being unfairly rejected because of some idiots.

Why do i mention this? Because it is the major reason, why reality comes first for me, and "human" considerations second... or in other words: possibilities come first, and wishes second... because if something isn't possible, there's not point in wishing for it. And if a species cannot cope with that, it is destined to fail anyways.

Actually, if any species survives for an extended period of time, without getting this, then chances are:

It only got its dominance, via apparent environmental infinity: Or in other words: temporal overabundance of ressources. Oh, i wonder how HUMANS could have triggered that? Perhaps, via what they call technology?

(P.S.: With the last paragraph, i do not mean to imply that tech is bad. All i mean to imply, is that via tech humans got used to ressource overabundance, and haven't learnt at all yet, how to deal with this stopping to be the case, after they exhausted all "buffers".)

But to address your original question: How to deal with widespread human stupidity? That's a pretty big task. As a first milestone, i'd look at what you call "education", because what it does in terms of mental understanding, is STUPIDIFICATION. Why? Because it's based on industrial-style imitation... you don't need human selfgovernance or integriry, or pretty much ANY SANITY CHECKS for that...

fuck, you could replace it with a TAPE RECORDER! Any tape can replay memorized instructions. Actually, any computer program can reproduce memorized instructions even with parameters. You don't have education - you've got a ROBOT ACADEMY! "Education" is all about imitation and none about "understanding" and "learning to learn".

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 14:33 | 1758395 reader2010
reader2010's picture

Bullshit. The reason that You are allowed to be in your business existence in the first place is simply because they need your story to convince those brainfucked there is a way for them to get out of cesspool. In reality, you get fucked even more pathetically.  

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