February 25, 2011

At the Corporate Caliphate Café...

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... I'm sure you know what you're talking about.

40 comments:

miller said...

that if you try to cut taxes or spending you are the Bashaw of the Midwest?

William said...

The best picture award of 1932 went to a film called Calvacade.. It was written by Noel Coward and detailed the life of an English family from the Boer War until 1932.....It is now very creaky but in an enjoyable way. It had one scene that remains a sure fire tear grabber. A young couple, on their honeymoon, stand on the deck of a cruise ship. They talk about how happy they are and how great their life together will be. They kiss and move away from the handrail. The life preserver reveals that the ship is the Titanic. I don't know if Cameron milked it better.....There's a song called Twentieth Century Blues, Coward wrote it, and it is very good. We don't often think of Coward as a great bluesman, despite his many years of picking cotton in the West End drawing rooms. But, nontheless, this song delivers the goods. Marianne Faithful has a contemporary version. It's really a terrific song......Anyway, my big point here is that Coward hardly understood the big events that he subjected his characters to. The Great War was not the culminating horror, but only the prelude to the grand sympony of horrors that was to come and keep on coming. After all these years, the only thing in the movie that sounds prescient and wise is the confusion and sorrow in the song Twentieth Century Blues.

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

This sign of yours, the one here that reads Corporate Caliphate with an American flag on top. Please explain it to me in light of Wisconsin taxpayers paying teacher's salaries, a portion of which go directly to their union without their choice in the matter that then uses a portion of it to support politicians that then vote legislation favorable to the teachers and the union while simultaneously forcing the union's health care plan on those same teachers, also paid for by all the taxpayers of Wisconsin, even the taxpayers that do not support that party or that union. Is that not institutionalized extortion? I notice you didn't draw a Hitler mustache and combover on Walker's picture.

"Well, first of all, thank you for asking this penetrating question. It goes like this: First you take a taco constituted from homemade pork chile and a handmade taco shell. Then you mix that with a chicken scaloppini with Brussels sprouts. Then you end it with tempura shrimp and vegetables.

Almost Ali said...

This Café needs a little Santana!
It's ”Black Magic Woman” with Alicia Keys.

Crack, if you're out there, please tell me Alicia Keys doesn't belong on the same stage with Santana. But there she is, her beautiful face and mediocre voice...

Still, Santana & Co. deliver the best version I've heard. Even raising Alicia's game to a credible level.

Lem said...

The funny thing is that if it wasn't for "evil corporations" our lives as we know it and live it today would be impossible.

When you look at the means of transportation that delivered rev Jackson swiftly safe and sound to Madison WI. -thanks to corporations - where he probably had a nice meal - thanks to corporations - where he spoke on the telephone and probably used the latest portable communication devices - thanks to corporations - where he was able to stay in a life preserving warm environment - thanks to corporations -

where he spoke to teachers paid by the taxes incurred from the employees of corporations - teaching the sons and daughters that according to the government's own accounting cannot read at an 8th grade level by high school graduation..

but I digress.. it all the evil corporations fault you see.

Almost Ali said...

God, I love this; a TV headline earlier tonight (Fri) declaring that the UN is 'considering' sanctions against Libya.

Hey, UN, it's too late, there is no Libya. Go back to your raping and pillaging.

Lem said...

If we were to be honest and study how all those days of protests where made possible we would have to conclude that they where mostly sponsored by corporations... down to the magic markers used for the signs.

The layers worn, the transportation to get there, they had to eat something at some point, the means of communication to find out where when and how..

corporations, corporations, corporations..

there is something strange going on in peoples heads.. I cant make out what it is.

Revenant said...

If you don't like the corporation you work for, it is trivial to find another.

Not so with governments. Especially here in America; we've got a choice between Mexico, Canada, and moving far away from our loved ones.

Lem said...

Greed - Milton Friedman

edutcher said...

Yes, but he never says whether he wants it or not.

ricpic said...

Oh he wants it. The Caliphate part for sure.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

@Lem

The last bit of the Friedman video I think is the most important to understand - starting at about 1:50 - where he asks the closed-minded Donahue if politicians/presidents choose appointees based on virtue or political clout? I.e., is political self-interest better than economic self-interest?

Good questions that seem to be lost on today's democrat party.

mun said...

Who else is tired of the administrations use of "unacceptable"?

They say something is unacceptable and then accept it.

AprilApple said...

This guy probably speaks for many democrats and public unions. What this democrat is saying is that Scott Walker and FDR are corporate terrorists. So then, so too are the stuffed pig tax payers.

We must funnel money from the tax payer to the democrat party via the public unions.

Never mind 8 million private sector jobs lost since 2008.
Coincidence?

DanK said...

Lem,

To further your point...many people see the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as an effort by the billionaire to "give back" to society. That perspective fails to realize the contribution that Gate's Microsoft corporation has made to society. It's products have increased the productivity of people across a wide range of pursuits. It also employed and created wealth for many people directly. These people then hired home builders, piano teachers, plumbers, and travel agents.

Even if the foundation is very successful, I doubt it will make as large a positive contribution to the world as Microsoft has.

Hagar said...

The foundation also can be looked at as a neat way for the Gates and Buffet families to avoid paying taxes.

Why is almost all the media stir about the teachers' unions? The AFSCME is larger, isn't it? Could it be that the teachers are more sympathetic "victims" to be exploited by the Left's resistance movement?

Hagar said...

I think Bill Gates would have done more for society by sticking to running his company, which he has been good at, rather than letting his wife lead him into the wooly-headed do-gooder business, where he is likely to cause more harm than good.

AprilApple said...

Lem - that video is timeless.
The look on Phil Donahue's face captures the collective lefts ignorance. Milton points out the obvious; the left remain exasperatingly clueless. Deep down the left remain true to their communist ideals; the individual is greedy and corporate –- the bureaucrat, the dictator for life, and the big government are good. Only the bureaucrat can select life's winners and losers; which, ironically, lead to real inequality.

Calypso Facto said...

So let's suppose it IS a corporate caliphate. Whose caliphate is it?

The OpenSecrets list of Heavy Hitters, the top 10 political donors since 1989, suggests its a Leftist plutocracy already with:

1 Democrat PAC
2 public unions (100% Dem donations)
3 private unions (near 100% Dem)
2 industry PACS whose giving trends strongly Dem
1 corporation whose donations trend strongly Dem, and
1 corporation whose donations are 50/50

None of those evil boogieman Republican supporters anywhere on the page.

David said...

My guess is that the sign guy is a student idiot, not a union idiot.

bagoh20 said...

A future corporate toady ass kisser as soon as his parents stop sending checks, which they got from their corporation.

Luke Lea said...

I like the video interview with Friedman. Of course he's right in the main: the pursuit of private gain has fueled the capitalist revolution and is the source of our prosperity.

Notice, though, that Friedman alluded to free trade with qualification. The catch is that never before in history have we lived in a world as lopsided as now: I billion people developed with high wages, several billion dirt poor.

To introduce free trade under those circumstances leads to ... what? Look around you.

Luke Lea said...

By the way, even Friedman approves (I suspect) of our wage and hour laws I think: the end of child labor, the eight hour day with time-and-a-half for overtime, etc. That was a bureaucratic achievement by his definition and allowed the American people to share in the prosperity created by the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties.

Also, in his introductory lectures to price theory at the U. of Chicago he emphasized that the efficiency of the market place always begins with a certain distribution of resources: for a given distribution voluntary exchange maximizes the total welfare of all the participants. He then went on to say that measures to alter the distribution are not necessarily incompatible with the virtues of a free economy.

Finally, he favored the idea of a negative income tax to help those who cannot thrive in a competitive economy.

So, yes, I am a big supporter of Friedman against doctrinaire libertarianism. We're both liberals (ha!) in favor of a smart welfare state in which old-style labor unions, minimum wage laws, etc. would not be necessary.

TosaGuy said...

The guy who may replace Scott Walker as Milwaukee county executive is a billionaire who doesn't pay a penny of state income tax. Naturally, he is a liberal.

Hagar said...

Or at least such foundations allow the donors control such that the money is spent on their choice of foolishness rather than the Government's.

And for some it provides a way to pay supporters doing "voluntary" work for their political campaigns, or park potential squealers, with money that otherwise would have been lost to taxes, so for the donors it is "free" money.

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

Madison Teachers Inc.

I'm just sayin'...

Paul Zrimsek said...

To introduce free trade under those circumstances leads to ... what? Look around you.

What am I supposed to see, exactly, given that I live in the middle of one of those developed high-wage areas?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My guess is that the sign guy is a student idiot, not a union idiot.

Once he graduates with a degree in 'education' .....he will be BOTH.

Luke Lea said...

Quoting Paul Zrimsek: "What am I supposed to see, exactly, given that I live in the middle of one of those developed high-wage areas?"

Falling real hourly wages, loss of manufacturing sector, hollowing out of the middle-class, rising public and private indebtedness, the financial crisis (in so far as caused by our trade imbalances and resulting surplus of foreign cash in US banking system).

BJM said...

@Luke Lea

The catch is that never before in history have we lived in a world as lopsided as now:

Really? Perhaps you aren't familiar with the 19th and early 20th century? Hello? Ever heard of India? Indochine? The Caribbean? Rhodesia? Kenya? Niger? The Bush War? or the Boar War? Who do you think partioned Palistine and drew the present day boundaries in the Middle East?

European oligarchs, the British, Germans and French in particular, lived large on the backs of billions of poor people...many of whom were brutally occupied and enslaved...including their own.

Ever heard of the Irish potato famine? Or the brutual tradition of forced child labor in Britain?

Why do you think so many millions of Europeans immigrated to the US?

You people who think the US is responsible for the world's ills really need to get a grip and read some world history.

As to the Gates Foundation, they are making very good progress with malaria, the scourge of 3rd world, why is this a bad thing? The UN has dithered for decades while tens of millions die each year.

As to tax breaks, you have to earn it before you can deduct it, which seems to be the illusive part of the equation that the redistributionists miss. As others have pointed out Gates and industry peers, all exceedingly wealthy now, created a great of wealth, prosperity and opportunity for a generation of Americans...heard the term Venture Capital?

btw- most of the computer industry titans and venture capitalists are Dems, not Repubs.

BJM said...

@Luke Lea

We're both liberals (ha!) in favor of a smart welfare state in which old-style labor unions, minimum wage laws, etc. would not be necessary.

Where exactly would one get the funds for this "smart welfare state" if not from free markets/capitalism?

E.M. Davis said...

Even if the foundation is very successful, I doubt it will make as large a positive contribution to the world as Microsoft has.

This is often framed as a question along the lines of: Who has done more good for society -- Bill Gates or Mother Teresa?

Paul Zrimsek said...

loss of manufacturing sector

Loss of manufacturing sector here, I assume you mean, though you don't mention the accompanying gain of manufacturing sector where the dirt-poor are. The main effect of free trade in an unequal world seems to be to make liberals wonder whether they really like equality quite so much as they always thought they did.

Fen said...

The catch is that never before in history have we lived in a world as lopsided as now:

That has to be the most ignorant thing I've ever read on the internet.

Luke Lea said...

Quoting BJM:

"@Luke Lea

The catch is that never before in history have we lived in a world as lopsided as now:

Really? Perhaps you aren't familiar with the 19th and early 20th century? Hello? Ever heard of India? Indochine? The Caribbean? Rhodesia? Kenya? Niger?"

I was referring to the fact that, for the first time in history, most ordinary people in certain parts of the world ("the West') are and able to enjoy measures of leisure, liberty, and affluence that in the past only belonged to the ruling classes. The rest of the world either remains sunk in underdevelopment or is only a fraction of the way out of it. The so-called North/Side divide in other words.

Sorry I didn't make myself clearer.

As for where the money would come from for a smart welfare state, it would come from those whose incomes are principally derived from their ownership of capital as opposed to their physical or rote mental labor. There are ways to do this that do not penalize entrepreneurial activity nor discourage savings and investment. Friedman more or less agreed with me on that point -- we corresponded at length about it. It being the idea of a graduated expenditure tax as developed by Irving Fisher, an American economist in the first half of the 20th century. Look it up.

Luke Lea said...

Quoting Paul Zrimsek:

"loss of manufacturing sector

Loss of manufacturing sector here, I assume you mean, though you don't mention the accompanying gain of manufacturing sector where the dirt-poor are. The main effect of free trade in an unequal world seems to be to make liberals wonder whether they really like equality quite so much as they always thought they did."

You make a good point up to a point. Free trade certainly does help the poorest workers in places like China. That is to the good. Moreover there really are "gains of trade" that increase America's real per Capita GDP. So what's not to like?

What's not to like is that even as trade with China makes the size of America's economic pie to bigger than it otherwise would have been (hence higher per capita GDP) it also causes real hourly wages to fall for those who earn their livings with their hands and their feet. How can that be? It happens because free trade redistributes income from labor to capital in amounts that are even larger than the gains of trade. I.e., capital not only gets all the gain but it also gets part of the income that labor was getting before. This is textbook neoclassical trade theory and is based on Ricardo's principle of comparative advantage, only this case when the advantage lies in some countries (the poor ones) relative abundance of low-wage labor.

To deal with this textbooks invoke the principle of compensation. The winners must compensate the losers out of their winnings in order to make everybody better off than they would have been in the absence of trade. In other words, it requires economic redistribution here in the United States from the rich to the poor. Then, and only then, can everyone both here and abroad benefit from Nafta and Gatt. The alternative is tariffs to protect American workers. Let's you and him share is not a good motto, which more or less describes the callous cosmopolitans of a lot of self-styled liberals (like Delong) who advocate free trade.

I'm sure I didn't say this very well. I recommend the book "World Trade and Payments" by Caves and Jones. It is the classic teaching text on modern trade theory and its practical consequences. Very clearly written, minimum of mathematics beyond elementary geometry.

Luke Lea said...

Quoting Fen:

Luke says, "The catch is that never before in history have we lived in a world as lopsided as now:"

To which Fen replies: "That has to be the most ignorant thing I've ever read on the internet."

You need to get out more, Fen.

Paul Zrimsek said...

No, you've said it about as well as it can be said, Luke, but a lot of it still strikes me as wrong. I don't recall the Ricardian theory itself saying anything one way or the other about how gains to trade are distributed, much less about their size in relation to the redistributive effects (if any). No doubt later theorists bolted their own contentions on to it, but are these uncontested?

Of course it's an improbably good wind that blows no one any ill, but compensation for individual losers is really a requirement only if you insist on Pareto-optimality, which I have always thought is an unrealistically stringent requirement. In domestic trade, we don't require car makers to compensate buggy-whip makers; why should foreign trade be different?

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