Sunday, October 5, 2008

Capitalism/Financial crisis Tutorial part 3

From today's New York Times.

Here I will take you all step by step through a typical musing and opinion piece about the USA and likely global economic problems and help you to spot assumptions that the speakers and writers are making, many of which they are unaware of themselves! My comments will be in brackets using this, my usual color of font.

How Free Should a Free Market Be?

[OK, now see, even the title reflects that the common assumption is that everything is "free market." This reflects what I've pointed out, that "surplus" "free market" thinking has indeed taken over and driven out of existence "subsistence" economic wisdom. So everyone starts right off the bat with musing about how the economy is a "free for all" (as in a riot of willful and risky manipulation) rather than being comprised of stable subsistence and available for risk surplus capitalism.]

Is this the end of hypercapitalism?

[See, even the opening sentence is fraught with meaning and certain assumptions. The author reflects what many believe, which is that we have encouraged capitalism, but just a "capitalism on crack," a super hyped up form of capitalism. What everyone is missing is that this has not been true capitalism all along because it has applied market principles to subsistence parts of the economy, which it never should have done. That is the source of the error, not being "too much" or "hyped up" capitalism. It has not been true capitalism for decades now, and the frenzy is just another manifestation, not the "cause" per se.]

For nearly a generation, the United States has driven growth by deregulating markets, lowering tax rates and promoting trade. Across wide swaths of the economy — from airlines to banks to energy to telecommunications — Washington stood aside, believing less regulation would produce broad prosperity, even at the cost of greater income inequality.

[OK, see the problem? "Deregulating" refers to letting the market "drive" (allegedly) products and prices through "supply and demand." So everyone is diving into looking at the effects of deregulation, without thinking about how all these market prices should have been applied only to the "surplus" side of the economy, not the subsistence side of the economy. Again, I'm not talking about price fixing essentials (since that is what conservatives would pee in their pants in their eagerness to accuse me of, since they've been brain washed as much as liberals). I'm saying that true capitalism and market ethics and incentives should have naturally divested themselves of exposing the subsistence side of the economy to risk and fluctuation and profit looting, instead of remaining focused for their wild west strategies on the surplus side of the economy. For example, ask yourselves, isn't is easy to discern the "subsistence" and "surplus" sides of telecommunications? In modern society everyone really needs a basic phone connectivity and years ago it was basic and affordable. Now the many surplus components of telecommunications have subsumed and destroyed the basic subsistence pricing and even offering of subsistence phone connectivity. That is a fundamental error and not true capitalism. In true capitalism a subsistence level of product and pricing would consistently be offered through sheer market logic and ethics, while they can have their free for all market manipulation and product flogging in the surplus side. So deregulation is not "the problem" so much as the elimination of subsistence side product offering and pricing, with marketers almost acting like crack dealers, forcing people to pay continuing surplus side pricing for surplus side products and eliminating the ability to obtain subsistence priced product].

Now, with Washington setting aside $700 billion to bail out financial companies, the economy weakening daily and the Democrats likely to enlarge their majorities in Congress, it may seem that the United States is shifting away from faith in markets and distrust of government.

[That's true that people are losing faith and distrusting government, but again, this statement rests on the erroneous assumptions in the first place that the US is indeed even performing true capitalism in the first place. Everyone is being stupid in this regard, if you know what I mean. It's not so much a matter of faith but everyone, government and political parties included, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, are barking up the wrong tree so far as understanding authentic and true capitalism].

In Europe, some political leaders, including conservatives like President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, have declared the death of laissez-faire economics. “A certain idea of globalization is drawing to a close with the end of a financial capitalism that imposed its logic on the whole economy,” Mr. Sarkozy said last month. “The idea that the markets are always right was a crazy idea.”

[Ah, see? Mr. Sarkozy is more correct than he realizes. He realizes that "the markets are always right" cannot apply to all cases. So he's on the brink of explaining, but probably has not thought it through to its full conclusion, what I've been teaching here, which is that "surplus" side laissez faire economics should not and must not apply to subsistence side economics. Subsistence products and the people who need them should not be dragged through the craziness of the laissez faire markets. Again, it's like the drug dealing analogy. We all know people who won't buy healthy food they need in order to buy instead some drugs. At least then that is an individual "choice." But when surplus side economics infiltrates and then infects, ultimately controlling the subsistence side of the economy, is it like that guy we know who buys drugs instead of food forcing the local grocery store to carry only drugs and not food, thus everyone has to go along with his "market is always right" "choice."]

OK, you can read the rest of the opinion piece, but I'll bet that like me you now read even a well reasoned piece like this and think to yourself, "These are just facts and political assessments, and totally miss the point that it's wrangling over a capitalist system that is no longer authentic or true to itself." Without going back to the true roots of authentic subsistence/surplus based capitalism everyone is arguing over the correct treatment of the wrongly diagnosed disease. They are arguing over what cold tablet to give to a patient with a broken leg.