03/18 Open Thread: Radical Far Left Communism
The other day I heard some otherwise normal middle class people approvingly discurring the fact that California's declaration of emergency outlaws and hence prevents price gouging. I was appalled that the socialist-communist brain rot had penetrated so far into our culture. So called "Price Gouging" is the very heart and soul of "free market capitalism". People seem to forget that our system of economic behavior, like our government is predicated on the idea that sellers will always charge whatever the market will bear, and that this is, in fact, the price that will obtain in free market negotiations between a willing buyer and a willing seller. Accordingly, in a free society, especially an overtly capitalist one, buyers must be permitted to charge whatever the market will bear under any and all circumstances. Government interference in this process, by restricting so-called "gouging" is nothing short of communism. Even the far left liberal Democratic Party is staunchly capitalist, and should abhor this deviant behavior, ask Nancy Pelosi. That said, I was going to rhetorically ask what is next, questioning the utility, nay primacy, of GDP as a measure of national well-being, when I discovered that some far left clown had already done so.
Robert Hunziker in an article that was originally published on January 2, 2020, in Counterpunch titled Kill GDP to Help Save the Planet( https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/02/kill-gdp-to-help-save-the-planet/ ) which relies heavily on the far out opinions of far left liberal Joseph Stiglitz, attacks GDP on various fronts. To review: GDP is the monetary value of all of the goods and services produced in the country. (As an aside, so-called "price gouging", in and of itself, all else being held equal, would increase GDP, and ergo benefit the country as a whole and, derivatively, the citizenry as a whole and as individuals.) We've used it for ever so long as a measure of our nation's economic well being and the glorious prosperity we currently enjoy. Yet, this Hunziker fellow has the gall to assert that:
GDP distorts reality by giving an appearance of real economic growth even as living standards stagnate for lower/middling classes. Additionally, GDP totally misses ecosystem collapse by abuse/misuse/overuse, which is only noticed by the general public after it’s way too late when it’s easily noticeable, even by those of low self-esteem that blindly follow tyrannical maniacs. Hmm.
According to Stiglitz: “The world is facing three existential crises: (1) a climate crisis, (2) an inequality crisis and (3) a crisis in democracy… Yet the accepted ways by which we measure economic performance gives absolutely no hint that we might be facing a problem.”
The author points to irrelevant statistics such as the fact that about 13% of the population is on food stamps, and between 2/45 and 1/2 of us don't have $400 in cash reserves for emergencies in the midst of the "longest economic expansion in memory" as somehow implying that GDP is somehow a defective measure, blithely ignoring the possibility that said economic expansion is simply yet another bubble. I mean, really.
The author, nevertheless, asserts that:
GDP numbers do not hint at trouble with (1) sustainability of resources, (2) climate crises, or (3) the well-being of the people. Yet, all three are crucial issues under stress like never before.
I mean, didn't this guy ever hear about not making the perfect the enemy of the good? And Pony! Nobody deserves a pony unless they play polo, so just stop whining about poverty and ecosystem collapse and the climate emergency and stuff like that. Buck up kid.
Tune In next week for a serious look at "Free Market Capitalism" as a sure fire generator of Oligarchy.
have a good one
Title Image is Soviet Belt
It's an open thread, so have at it. The floor is yours