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The Economy: Past, Present and Future
The Economy: Past, Present and Future
A Contrarian View on the Economy
Curated by CherylBrin
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Skynet and the "Flash" Computer-Trading Monster!

Skynet and the "Flash" Computer-Trading Monster! | The Economy: Past, Present and Future | Scoop.it

Here’s a vital issue under discussion (at last) on both sides of the Atlantic. Governments, both rich and poor, urgently need two things: a way to calm speculation in the financial markets and also new ways to raise revenue. In late September 2011, the European Commission proposed a tax or fee on financial transactions. This appears to be part of the newly announced European Union plan, with Britain the sole dissenter.

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Why we should ban the undergraduate business major...

Why we should ban the undergraduate business major... | The Economy: Past, Present and Future | Scoop.it

I suspect that a careful analysis would show that a 21st Century putsch by business majors -- yes, I mean those guys you knew in college who too a major in “business” or “management” -- spreading like a swarm of locusts, displacing people who actually cared about the company’s core business -- was probably the greatest single factor directly correlatable with corporate mismanagement and demise. Completely lacking in anything remotely resembling a sense of history or imagination, these business types blithely ignored the possibility that a day might come when change and instability would strike, as they did our ancestors... the kind of time when robustness is needed.

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THE SYNDROME OF THE “ESSENTIAL MAN”

THE SYNDROME OF THE “ESSENTIAL MAN” | The Economy: Past, Present and Future | Scoop.it

The core assumption of capitalism – and I believe this too - is that high rates of return will normally attract new talent to a field! Right? Imbalances and shortages should be self-correcting.

Specifically, if a shortage of good managerial talent stimulates high market prices for managerial talent, then, within short order, new managerial talent should commence to train itself, ramp-up, then compete (presumably fairly) and innovate until there is so much of it around that the shortage is eased. Whereupon, anomalously high premiums will no longer have to be paid.

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Micro-Suggestions about the economic crisis

Micro-Suggestions about the economic crisis | The Economy: Past, Present and Future | Scoop.it

Require that beneficiary companies make good faith efforts toward reclaiming unfair and absurd executive compensation. In fact, all future aided companies that have experienced outrageous executive compensation should be asked to file a lawsuit against those past executives, at least on a pro forma basis, in order to establish a legal basis for discovery processes.

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Blame the corporate boards... and change them.

Blame the corporate boards... and change them. | The Economy: Past, Present and Future | Scoop.it

Let me start by breaking the neck of the good-old-boy scheme: most board members are friends (or even relatives) of the CEO, or work for him or her. Those who are not – even the most independent “outside” directors – tend to be selected on a rank of the CEO’s ability to direct, manipulate, or intimidate them; OR because they are guaranteed not to look too closely at the company.

For example: AIG wrote insurance in amounts far greater than its total book value, or the value of all its reserves, creating liabilities infinitely beyond its ability to pay. Today, the now-defrocked longtime CEO Hank Greenberg continues to “protest too much” on TV: that he is the good guy, the government got it all wrong, if only he were still in charge all would be fine, the government wrecked his company, and so on.

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Atlas Shrugged: The Hidden Context of the Book and Film

Atlas Shrugged: The Hidden Context of the Book and Film | The Economy: Past, Present and Future | Scoop.it

Like Smith, I believe in fair and open and vigorously creative competition - the greatest innovative force in the universe and the process that made us. Encouraging vibrant, positive-sum rivalry - in markets, democracy, science, etc - is one reason to promote universal transparency (see The Transparent Society ), so that all participants may base their individual decisions on full knowledge. That positive aim - also preached by Friedrich Hayek - should be the goal of any sane libertarian movement... instead of fetishistically hating all government, all the time, which is like a poor workman blaming the tools. Anyway, a movement based on hopeful joy beats one anchored in rancorous scapegoating, any day.

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Soros Examines the Causes of the World Financial Meltdown

Soros Examines the Causes of the World Financial Meltdown | The Economy: Past, Present and Future | Scoop.it

Market Fundamentalists tell themselves a dogma that Adam Smith himself never believed, that markets are rooted in - and organically emerge from - human nature. This is fundamentally wrong. Our natures developed in a Darwinian-tribal context that predated civilization and markets. In order to understand this, simply study the power and economic arrangements in most tribal or pastoral societies. And even later. While it is true that some deeply human imperatives do work well with markets - e.g. our ability to both cooperate and compete, our embedded notion of fairness and quid-pro-quo. other human drives do not. For example, the propensity to cheat and deceive. And our remarkable tendency to tell ourselves satisfyingly delusional stories that aren't well-based in fact. This latter trait makes us wonderful artists, but also great believers in simplistic dogmas

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Are Taxes Historically High or Low? Chilling Secrecy, Clint Eastwood and the Rise of Common Sense

Are Taxes Historically High or Low? Chilling Secrecy, Clint Eastwood and the Rise of Common Sense | The Economy: Past, Present and Future | Scoop.it

In the 99 years that we have had the income tax, rates for top earners were lower than they are today only twice:

1) during the 5 years before the US entry into the First World War in 1917, and 2) during the brief stretch from 1925 through 1930... when a massive asset value bubble pumped the economy into the Great Depression.

Also note this. They are LOWER for the middle class, under Obama, than they were under Bush. The "Obama tax hikes" are purely mythical.

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Who is Insulting the Middle Class?

Who is Insulting the Middle Class? | The Economy: Past, Present and Future | Scoop.it

One of the oldest is a nostrum that under a democracy the people will inevitably drain the public treasury by demanding more spending than taxes. The theory is that citizens who get more than they pay for will vote for politicians who promise to increase spending.

This is often called the “Largesse Canard” -- an outright fantasy that was first fabricated by Plato.

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Property Rights vs Propertarianism: Part I

Property Rights vs Propertarianism: Part I | The Economy: Past, Present and Future | Scoop.it

Leftists may not like all this talk of banking and establishing clear property title and lending through transparent and competitive capital markets. Their laudable instincts are to promote generosity in the form of aid, or debt forgiveness. Still, many moderates among the liberal community are increasingly willing to admit that it is time to start weaving market forces into the development mix. Especially after witnessing the roaring success of "micro lending" among urban and village women. Promoting worldwide property law will do a lot of good. But pushing for adequate worldwide property law... without an accompanying that push for property ACCOUNTABILITY... will be self defeating in dozens of ways.

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Saving Capitalism from Neo-Feudalism

Saving Capitalism from Neo-Feudalism | The Economy: Past, Present and Future | Scoop.it

The notion that markets can benefit from a little ‘slowing friction’ goes back to the Tobin tax, suggested by Nobel Laureate economist James Tobin, originally defined as a tax on spot conversions of one currency into another. The tax is intended to put a penalty on short-term financial round-trip excursions into another currency.

 

Slowing such transactions to a human pace prevents hysteresis and nonlinear runaway effects and allows all market participants to acquire the knowledge they need for Smithian/Hayekian decision making, instead of favoring a select few.

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If Corporations are Persons...

If Corporations are Persons... | The Economy: Past, Present and Future | Scoop.it

This legal contruct was established for basic, pragmatic reasons, in order to allow the limited liability corporation to attract investors whose potential losses would amount only to what they invested. That was the original purpose, and any expansion upon that purpose, creeping decade-by-decade toward investing corporations with the full rights of corporeal citizens, would be carefully considered.

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Whither Goest Capitalism? The fading American Middle Class

Whither Goest Capitalism? The fading American Middle Class | The Economy: Past, Present and Future | Scoop.it

How could such a de-coupling have taken place? Wolff shows this is not about “left vs-right.” It’s about capitalism shifting from a traditional American model to one that far more closely resembles patterns described by... Karl Marx. Wolff is very good at explaining causes. Like a wise economist, he eschews predictions and prescriptions.

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