Links to my Books

Links to My Writings

Third Daughters at Smashwords
Meditations on Maintenance for the Kindle
Memoirs of a Super Criminal for the Kindle, Nook or Smashwords
One Year in the Mountains for the Kindle, Nook or Smashwords
Adventures of Erkulys & Uryon for the Kindle and Nook

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Human Condition and Economics

Is there an appropriate response in economic terms to the perceived human condition?

First let us define our terms.
Economics: the exchange of goods or services for other goods and services usually with a mediator such as I.O.U., coins, cash or vouchers of some flavor.

The Human Condition: On the definition of this term the whole question turns.
1. Humans are inherently bad or evil.
2. Humans have a predisposition to learning to be evil and to do bad.
3. Humans are inherently good and are forced into situations that create within them the capacity to do evil.

Putting the pieces together would pose questions such as: Can an evil humanity create a just economic society? Why do some people prosper while others who work just as hard fail? How do the few hold economic sway over the many? The questions could be nearly endless depending upon the shading one would wish to take with the above definitions.

But is there one system of economics that can cover the full spectrum of meaning, or does it always break down at some point?

Free market leaves itself open to corruption and greed.

Regulated markets can fall into the hands of the "haves" who can control who the regulators are and how they choose to regulate.

Socialism and Communism as economic systems can fall prey to the "haves" or the party elite creating their niche markets and safety zones.

At first glimpse it appears that there may be no justified economic system. There will always be those in power, in control and in the money who can dictate to the rest how things will be. Even if we were to find highly enlightened individuals to make up that cast of "those in power," those who are not in power would become jealous or angry about the power situation and make moves to amend it. It is an eternal struggle of the classes. But certainly we must just not wander aimlessly from one theory to the next. Certainly there must be one that stand above the rest to assure fairness of trade, equality of living standards, checks and balances on business and lending institutions. An informed and educated citizenry will go a long way in making some of those balances, but it may also breed new villains.

Is economic justice and equality a real and meaningful thing or is it a pie in the sky dream?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Death rattles of capitalism, 1929

Isn't capitalism just one big ponzi scheme?
The way a ponzi scheme works is by paying yesterday's debt by tomorrow's earnings. A ponzi scheme promises investors with higher-than-normal returns on investments. It sounds good so people invest. The return is payed by future investors wanting in on the good fortune. It works because there is always a larger flow of cash into the system. It collapses when the flow stops or too many people try to withdraw from the scheme.

Kind of sounds like the basic premise of capitalism. The key word being "capital," as in needing to continually raise more this week to support last week's payments. The capital to be raised may be goods, or money, or workers. But without the increase it self destructs. Why else would 3% growth (inflation) be good? Is less or more bad? Less and it all falls apart, more and it threatens to run away.

In 1929 the premise was questioned and was found lacking. The result: the only thing that keeps a ponzi scheme afloat is to throw more money at it. The New Deal did just that. It shored it up for a while, then a war helped it along. In the aftermath of the Great Depression the real questions about capitalism were not addressed. Business boomed with a lot of hard workers and the world's resources to fund it (more and more capital). A few hiccups were felt and should have been warning signs. But a ponzi scheme this large would take decades to unravel and more capital was raised (Hence the Cold War and the hot wars in the Middle East countries).

But now the world is running out of capital to invest. The last few pounds of earth and flesh are being eaten as we speak. Soon there will be nothing left but revolving debt: 700 billion now (coming from where? DEBT) and another trillion later (again from DEBT). The ponzi scheme will be over and there will be no capital left to throw at it (The Middle East countries and China are the last of the big money men and look how heavily we are invested in their interests. Yet even they are eating through whatever capital they might have at an alarming rate). Finally the premises of capitalism must be questioned.

When the ponzi scheme is over then capitalism dies. So what is next? Hard to tell. It may be possible to prolong the death for a few more years... but in the meantime, we better all learn Chinese.

Daav Corbet

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year

Well another year is gone and another has come. But is today any different than yesterday? I suppose it is as good a time as any to make some changes to your life routines. It is a tradition to set some resolutions, but that is one tradition which I don't always participate in. Why? Because I am not any more likely to stick with resolutions because it is the first of the year than if it was the third month of the year. I guess what I am saying is... when you are ready to change your life to reflect that which you want your life to truly look like, then you will make those changes regardless of the calender. So use this first of the year as a catalyst if you must or use your own desire to shape and change your future and life to find fulfillment, whatever it takes. Just reach out for those hopes and dreams and make progress at finding happiness in everyday living.

Daav Corbet