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RiKD    United States. May 12 2018 19:02. Posts 5085

Let's get it all out here.

What if I want to go and work for a multinational corporation and have health insurance and a 401k matching plan and own some acres and a house and a stock market portfolio?

If everyone trusts the stock market WE NEED GROWTH!!!

It's not gambling man... it's the stock market. The S&P 500 has historically grown x.xx% ....

What are the alternatives? Where do we start?

Gross domestic product. Gross happiness product. Mental health statistics. Anguish statistics. How do we make any of that make sense?

What books are out there?

I read a book called the economics of happiness and thought it was shit. Although Bhutan (?) uses a gross happiness product which was interesting. Denmark's culture is interesting to me too.

Let's get some conversations going!

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RiKD    United States. May 12 2018 19:12. Posts 5085

(Bhutan's) Gross National Happiness defined:

GNH is distinguishable from Gross Domestic Product by valuing collective happiness as the goal of governance, by emphasizing harmony with nature and traditional values as expressed in the 9 domains of happiness and 4 pillars of GNH.[12] The four pillars of GNH's are 1) sustainable and equitable socio-economic development; 2) environmental conservation; 3) preservation and promotion of culture; and 4) good governance.[13] The nine domains of GNH are psychological well-being, health, time use, education, cultural diversity and resilience, good governance, community vitality, ecological diversity and resilience, and living standards.[14][15] Each domain is composed of subjective (survey-based) and objective indicators. The domains weigh equally but the indicators within each domain differ by weight.[16]


Stroggoz   New Zealand. May 12 2018 23:18. Posts 4110

I think i have read the economics of happiness but i can't remember anything from it, except that it mentioned jeremy bentham a lot. lol

One of the main criticisms from economists for using GNH is that it is very difficult to quantify: I don't think this is a very reasonable criticism, of course it's difficult to quantify but it's still important to human beings. Many needs that human beings have cannot be quantified. My initial suspicion of GNH is that it would be absolutist but the definition does capture a wide array of human needs. It seems reasonable to me.


-recommended literature:

Any introductionary textbook on political economy written after the GFC.
Bad Samitaritans is the best book i've read for understanding the global economy under neoliberalism, and it's also accessible to people with not much education in economics.
A short history of neoliberalism, by david harvey
profit over people, by noam chomsky. This is a bit dated, but still good as a historical reference.
monopoly finance capital in the 21st century by john bellamy foster


I guess i can recommend some books that argue in favour of globalization, but tbh they are all poorly argued imo:
-In defense of globalization by jagdish bagwhati

Im mixing books here that cover 'globalization' and neoliberalism, as sometimes they are used interchangeably.

About neoliberalism:

Period from 1945-1971 is sometimes called the golden age of capitalism:

-had high egalitarian economic growth, wages went up as did profits.
-high government regulation
-zero economic crashes
-manufacturing based economy
-mix of nationalized and privatized assets.

period from 1971 onwards is the neoliberal era:
-has privitization of assets
-lower growth, and mostly comes from bubbles which lead to a crash, stagnant wages, high corporate profits.
-structural unemployment
-FIRE based economy; finance, insurance, real estate. manufacturing off-shored.
-low regulation, growth of monopoly power.
-corporate culture now cares about short term profit rather than long term profit.

while 1971 is seen as the beginning of neoliberalism, with experiments conducted in chile and new york, and then spreading around the world, it seems to me that neoliberalism has existed since the third world was created, perhaps around the time of the conquest of india. The third world has mostly been used as a free market to service foreign investors for a long time and the colonial masters have never wanted these countries to have their economy closed off.

lastly, neoliberalism is a highly politicized word; so we can expect the exact meaning of it to be hazy, there are various groups that want to hijack the meaning of the word for their own interests.





I was GTO in 2007 -wobbly_auLast edit: 12/05/2018 23:19

MezmerizePLZ    United States. May 12 2018 23:57. Posts 2587

Everyone loves to talk about how awful everything is, how the gap between rich and poor only grows, how you cannot support a family with no skills/education anymore. It's viewed as a conspiracy by the rich to keep the poor down. You're born into the world with nothing, and nothing is guaranteed. We talked about this in another thread, but with market forces, of course unskilled labor is worth shit when globalization opens the door for billions of workers in poorer countries like China/India, etc. Along with other trends of specialization becoming more and more important.

Alas, trends are not as dire as they seem.
https://ourworldindata.org/wp-content...Two-centuries-World-as-100-people.png

I don't fkin get why we are having a spending deficit in the U.S. during such a long expansion, but politicians always just kick the can down the road.


Stroggoz   New Zealand. May 12 2018 23:59. Posts 4110

@ Rikd:

mental health statistics probably wont be helpful since the psychiatry profession has changed as much as the economy has, the diagnostic book for mental health is far bigger than it used to be. There is also the concern that psychiatry isn't exactly a scientific profession, they are making value judgements about what is mentally unhealthy and what isn't. Looking back in history there are some very comical examples of what psychiatrists considered to be mentally unhealthy. They also receive rakeback from the pharmaceuticals

statistics here may no more useful than observing what is happening to friends and family

I was GTO in 2007 -wobbly_auLast edit: 13/05/2018 00:05

Stroggoz   New Zealand. May 13 2018 00:14. Posts 4110


  On May 12 2018 22:57 MezmerizePLZ wrote:
Everyone loves to talk about how awful everything is, how the gap between rich and poor only grows, how you cannot support a family with no skills/education anymore. It's viewed as a conspiracy by the rich to keep the poor down. You're born into the world with nothing, and nothing is guaranteed. We talked about this in another thread, but with market forces, of course unskilled labor is worth shit when globalization opens the door for billions of workers in poorer countries like China/India, etc. Along with other trends of specialization becoming more and more important.

Alas, trends are not as dire as they seem.
https://ourworldindata.org/wp-content...Two-centuries-World-as-100-people.png

I don't fkin get why we are having a spending deficit in the U.S. during such a long expansion, but politicians always just kick the can down the road.




well those particular statistics show a lot of progress you havn't included the effects of climate change and the threat of nuclear war, and also the threat of antibiotic resistant super bugs. I'm not sure if i'd call lobbying a conspiracy, but yeah the rich want policies that make them richer. The rich do engage in methods of class warfare and are pretty open about it, it isn't really a conspiracy although sometimes it is, like the powell memorandom. a lot of public relations is devoted to pacifying the population, and changing their attitudes and opinions.

I was GTO in 2007 -wobbly_auLast edit: 13/05/2018 00:17

RiKD    United States. May 13 2018 00:42. Posts 5085


  On May 12 2018 22:57 MezmerizePLZ wrote:
Everyone loves to talk about how awful everything is, how the gap between rich and poor only grows, how you cannot support a family with no skills/education anymore. It's viewed as a conspiracy by the rich to keep the poor down. You're born into the world with nothing, and nothing is guaranteed. We talked about this in another thread, but with market forces, of course unskilled labor is worth shit when globalization opens the door for billions of workers in poorer countries like China/India, etc. Along with other trends of specialization becoming more and more important.

Alas, trends are not as dire as they seem.
https://ourworldindata.org/wp-content...Two-centuries-World-as-100-people.png

I don't fkin get why we are having a spending deficit in the U.S. during such a long expansion, but politicians always just kick the can down the road.




The only thing that is guaranteed is anguish and death. People are not born into this world with nothing. Look at Trump. He had a multimillionaire mentor and $100 milly trust fund upon his first breaths. So, we can't really do anything about death besides make things safer and healthier and prolong life a little bit. There are things we can do about anguish and suffering. Shouldn't we be focusing on that? No one chooses anguish and suffering. No one chooses to be a baby in Africa that has those bugs that eat their eyes so they die from that or they die from starvation or whatever fate becomes them. So, we rush to make cold profit and many people get sick. Some people can buy nice couches, country club memberships, and boats. Maybe a boat gets you some freedom out on the open seas like some sort of modern day pirate drinking luxury rum and singing pop songs but does it really anesthetize the looting and the pilfering in the form of more margin, charming sales pitches, more hours in the office, numbers in a spreadsheet, the expectation of being a perfect brand, man, whatever. There have got to be better markers of how we are doing as citizens of earth. Not fucking comparing GDP numbers. Nike and Apple should not be allowed to exploit and mistreat workers to such an extent that they are building deterrents because too many people are killing themselves.


qwe5408   . May 13 2018 06:24. Posts 16

stroggoz it's been a long time, but i should thank you formally for introducing me to stiglitz. despite studying economics in high school and later college i was surprised and disappointed to have never been introduced to his ideas.

i feel stuck in between you and mez. on one hand capitalism is inherently exploitive. its nuts that in a country like the US where the average gdp/capita is 60,000 we still have people dieing of hunger and a population without basic needs like healthcare. on the other it's hard to argue with people like mez. i have a lot of friends like that and its hard when by nearly every objective measure the world feels like it is progressing forward.


Loco   Canada. May 13 2018 06:49. Posts 19319

For books that you're probably not going to read (see video description if you want to save time):



Planetary (doughnut) economics:
+ Show Spoiler +




This guy makes pretty entertaining videos, I'm picking this one because I saw it today and it probably mimics something like a in-house LP debate (I'll let you guess between whom)





Pretty good places to start. Mexie also has a lot of great videos/resources. I would add "The Limits to Growth: the 30 Years Update" to her list. Also, probably one of the most important reads you could pick up is a novel called "The Dispossessed" by Ursula K. Le Guin. It's a wonderful novel that serves as an introduction to anarchism and it's very readable.

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. (Mencken)Last edit: 13/05/2018 07:51

Stroggoz   New Zealand. May 13 2018 07:29. Posts 4110


  On May 13 2018 05:24 qwe5408 wrote:
stroggoz it's been a long time, but i should thank you formally for introducing me to stiglitz. despite studying economics in high school and later college i was surprised and disappointed to have never been introduced to his ideas.

i feel stuck in between you and mez. on one hand capitalism is inherently exploitative. its nuts that in a country like the US where the average gdp/capita is 60,000 we still have people dieing of hunger and a population without basic needs like healthcare. on the other it's hard to argue with people like mez. i have a lot of friends like that and its hard when by nearly every objective measure the world feels like it is progressing forward.



Yeah stiglitz was a critic from inside the establishment. he had a very unique perspective in and it's rare for someone to oppose power and rise that high through the ranks, typically it is because they only started to reflect on what they are doing after they got into power. I think his work is very good even though he isn't that radical he obviously understands what is important.

Your point about choosing between the two perspectives: capitalism is a highly politicised word so it's difficult to understand what it entails. That data doesn't really say much except that people are better off in important ways, than they were before. But does it say anything about capitalism? The level of democracy in the world surely can't be associated with American led capitalism-it was installing dictatorships all through the cold war, and the definition of democracy has become defined by the powerful, it's nothing like what i think democracy is. Colonialism is surely less harsh than it used to be so extreme poverty has gone down, but there are still 700million people in extreme poverty. We live in a society that is very technologically advanced and there really don't need to be any people living in that state of existence. There's a lot more to be said about this.

You also don't have to take the position of being anti-capitalist to eradicate poverty. New Zealand had zero percent unemployment rate in the 1950's and still identified as a welfare state capitalist society.

I was GTO in 2007 -wobbly_auLast edit: 13/05/2018 07:54

MezmerizePLZ    United States. May 13 2018 07:57. Posts 2587


  On May 12 2018 23:42 RiKD wrote:
Show nested quote +



The only thing that is guaranteed is anguish and death. People are not born into this world with nothing. Look at Trump. He had a multimillionaire mentor and $100 milly trust fund upon his first breaths. So, we can't really do anything about death besides make things safer and healthier and prolong life a little bit. There are things we can do about anguish and suffering. Shouldn't we be focusing on that? No one chooses anguish and suffering. No one chooses to be a baby in Africa that has those bugs that eat their eyes so they die from that or they die from starvation or whatever fate becomes them. So, we rush to make cold profit and many people get sick. Some people can buy nice couches, country club memberships, and boats. Maybe a boat gets you some freedom out on the open seas like some sort of modern day pirate drinking luxury rum and singing pop songs but does it really anesthetize the looting and the pilfering in the form of more margin, charming sales pitches, more hours in the office, numbers in a spreadsheet, the expectation of being a perfect brand, man, whatever. There have got to be better markers of how we are doing as citizens of earth. Not fucking comparing GDP numbers. Nike and Apple should not be allowed to exploit and mistreat workers to such an extent that they are building deterrents because too many people are killing themselves.


The Apple suicides was just media junk to get clicks btw. The real headline could have read "Foxxconn workers have a signifcantly lower suicide rate than average." I'm sure that the working conditions aren't great or anything, but it is a better option that these workers had previously.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn_suicides

ABC News[32] and The Economist[33] both have done some simple comparison— although the number of workplace suicides at Foxconn is large in absolute terms, the suicide rate is actually lower when compared to the overall suicide rate of China[34] or the United States.[35] According to a 2011 Centre for Disease Control and Prevention report, the country has a high suicide rate with approximately 22.23 deaths per 100,000 persons.[36] In 2010, the worst year for workplace suicides at Foxconn with a total of 14 deaths, its employee count was a reported 930,000 people.[37]

 Last edit: 13/05/2018 08:00

RiKD    United States. May 13 2018 18:00. Posts 5085

It's just classic corporate negotiations and manipulation is what I am talking about. A large group of employees threaten to commit mass suicide so what does Foxconn do? They put in safety nets and claim to raise pay. China is probably worse than the US in this regard. The government still kidnaps journalists and tortures them.

But, I am typing this on a Macbook Pro with my trusty iPhone sitting right next to me.

At least I don't wear Nikes anymore. The swoosh no longer brings me comfort or security or cool. Only disdain. Why am I still hooked on Apple?

But, we are getting off track or are we?

Universal Anarchy. Bitcoin. What do we need? Food, clothes, shelter. Family, friends, transcendence. Slip everyone some psilocybin or MDMA.


RiKD    United States. May 13 2018 18:33. Posts 5085

Loco's trying to get me another YouTube crush:


Spitfiree   Bulgaria. May 13 2018 23:27. Posts 8454


  On May 12 2018 22:57 MezmerizePLZ wrote:

I don't fkin get why we are having a spending deficit in the U.S. during such a long expansion, but politicians always just kick the can down the road.




I mean you answered your own question in the first paragraph. The trading deficit seems like the rational explanation for your fast expansion. You don't need people in production, you need people that do research and development. Then again it's easy to make that assessment now.


@Loco got any good books with cool points of view/ideas on how the society could transition to social anarchism?

 Last edit: 13/05/2018 23:43

Loco   Canada. May 14 2018 03:43. Posts 19319


  On May 13 2018 22:27 Spitfiree wrote:
Show nested quote +



I mean you answered your own question in the first paragraph. The trading deficit seems like the rational explanation for your fast expansion. You don't need people in production, you need people that do research and development. Then again it's easy to make that assessment now.


@Loco got any good books with cool points of view/ideas on how the society could transition to social anarchism?


It's a very hard question to answer. I'm still relatively new to the topic of anarchism, the few books I have read on anarchy have not really laid out a blueprint on how to transition. I've gotten some ideas from this podcast which I think is a great place to start. But I think any solid blueprint could not be anarchistic in nature. This article also does a pretty good job of classifying different anticapitalist strategies going forward.

You can look at historical examples (like below), and I think a good place to begin is by looking at groups that are promoting communal/cooperative ways of working/living at the moment. There are multiple of what I'd call "regenerative paths" that are doing good in the world but are mostly disconnected from one another. I think the general goal is to have more of those prop up, build the infrastructure for them to be able to thrive, and make people more interested in them. It's a real challenge to pull people away from the cut throat/rat race world they were conditioned to think they inevitably have to be a part of.




It's also probably the question that Chomsky received the most often, so you can look at his many talks and interviews. I'm assuming that he goes into it in his book "On Anarchism" as well, although I haven't read it. I also searched for a video and quickly found this one:

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. (Mencken)Last edit: 14/05/2018 06:10

Stroggoz   New Zealand. May 14 2018 04:58. Posts 4110

@ spitfire check out the school of participatory economics; 'abc's of political economy' outlines an economic system that is participartory-in line with libertarian socialism/anarchism. robin hanel and mike albert are the two major authors in this area.

There are also more moderate suggestions to fix the economic system outlined by authors such as joseph stiglitz, and susan george. They are not anarchist solutions but simple policy decisions that would be a large improvement

I was GTO in 2007 -wobbly_auLast edit: 14/05/2018 05:04

qwe5408   . May 14 2018 05:35. Posts 16

just curious, how many hours a week do you guys spend reading? text and books specifically i mean. but i suppose long dense prose online would count as well. basically i am trying to exclude 5 min news articles or other weak/diluted sources of information.

and what industry do you guys work in? and does it help or get in the way of staying well informed/continuing your education? what continues to drive you even at this age to stay current or be so committed to truth? is it ever overwhelming how many different view points there are? and how difficult consensus and moving forward with any real "execution discipline" actually is?

even amongst wonderful friends and great people it's so difficult to agree on what the truth actually is. and even if by chance there's a topic that with enough overlap agreeing on action plans and executing is yet another insurmountable hurdle.


Stroggoz   New Zealand. May 14 2018 05:57. Posts 4110

I am a professional poker player and that's my only job atm and doesn't help at all with my education.

I don't read that much lately, i spent half my undergrad reading about politics/economics and the other half focusing on my degree-not much of a life outside of that. so i used to spend around 40 hours a week reading about politics/economics and now i spend around 2 hours doing that and more time wasted on this forum. All of the content i listed here was something i read 2+ years ago. So my knowledge isn't exactly up to date and once i retire from poker i will leave this forum and go do back to researching; probably to get a phd in something. But atm poker just pays far too well and is trivially easy to me. It's not my main interest and serves as a means to an end. And politics/economics isn't my main interest as well but i gotta do that for moral reasons.

If people disagree over policy and the truth you can simply take a vote on what policy to implement and do whichever gets reasonable consensus. Human being's share a lot of values no matter where one lives, there is some evidence for that in cross cultural anthropology. So while it is difficult to get consensus, it's not impossible; we are all the same species.

I was GTO in 2007 -wobbly_auLast edit: 14/05/2018 06:00

Loco   Canada. May 14 2018 06:21. Posts 19319

I haven't read beyond the wiki on Parecon but I remember this Anarchy101 post about it which I'll share here. It's not a school within the libertarian/anarchist tradition for sure.


  [Parecon is] absolutely horrible.

It's the perfect example of the nominal "left" acceptance of their opponents' assumptions.

It is important to point out that Albert and his friends are neither anarchists nor marxists, in fact they're highly dismissive of both anarchism and marxism, which is not surprising as their knowledge of both of those traditions is superficial at best.

Instead, their ideology is based on neoclassical economics, with all the bullshit about rational or self-seeking actors that comes with it.

Parecon is based on a Walrasian economic model of capitalism.

It's huge on the work ethic.

And "planning" is not an alternative to "markets", it's just commodity production without exchange or "markets" without exchange and it's highly bureaucratic and certainly as far from real socialism as one can imagine.

Also it's a money-based system with work ethic based ideology: it's basically: fuck "communism" and human needs, you're not valued if you don't "work".

Some of pro-market people are also neoclassicals, but most of them are neoliberals in the Mont Perelin Society sense of the word.

If you want a critique of both "market" and "market" bullshit I recommend:

- Seeing like a state - James C. Scott which is a critique of High-modernist schemes that include markets (price-mechanism) and "economic planning".

- The Dismal Science: How Thinking Like an Economist Undermines Community by Stephen A. Marglin, which is a critique of a lot of the economists' bullshit.
- Philip Mirowski's More Heat Than Light and Machine Dreams for a critical history of neoclassical economics.
- Debt: The First 5000 Years by David Graeber, which debunks a lot of myths about "markets" and some other stuff, also check out his other book Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams.
- The Limits of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition by William Davies.
- Omnia Sunt Communia: On the Commons and the Transformation to Postcapitalism for some some alternative to "market" thinking.

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. (Mencken)Last edit: 14/05/2018 06:23

Stroggoz   New Zealand. May 14 2018 07:21. Posts 4110

^ what? I read the book and it is well within anarchist/libertarian thought. Also Albert is clearly an anarchist; he runs and writes articles for magazines that advocate anarchism, and set up IOPS-international organization for a particpatory society. His principles are very similar to other anarchist authors like daniel gaerin/chomsky/rudolf rocker.

anarchism represents a wide spectrum of thought and almost all anarchists disagree on some things

The only things true in the reddit post is it's representation of the idea of 'work' in the book, and being a money based system. I don't exactly agree with the book on the 'work' part either-but it's still within anarchism, it's something anarchists disagree on. The core principles of the book are what anarcho-syndaclism strove for; all aspects of social life being run democratically.

yeah read the book before making up your mind, and subreddits can be pretty bad sources of info in my experience.

I was GTO in 2007 -wobbly_auLast edit: 14/05/2018 11:39

 
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