During the Covid crisis occasionally I had the opportunity to read toward the finish of Piketty’s eminently practical book Capitalism in the 21st Century that anyone with an interest in public affairs should consider required reading. The primary formula and main lesson of the work is r > g. It means that the average rate of return on capital is greater than the average increase of national income. Wealth therefore tends to concentrate and the higher one goes into income brackets the greater is the increase.
President Trump’s recent work with Microsoft toward buying the decadent Chinese music service Tic Toc is an example of wealth concentrating very fast indeed. The very wealthy can afford to take investment risks with a higher rate of return than those available to ordinary people.
Capitalists have gone global. They are quite internationally diversified. They hide 10 to 30% of their wealth in offshore tax havens. The actual wealth of the rich is reported through a glass darkly; the records are rather mystifying apparently. Much of the world has had no estate or inheritance tax records for example, and global accounting leaves many holes. As godless atheist media attack mystic aspects of faith and quantum mechanics it is their incompetent political protection of the mysticism of wealth that is the greatest mystic twit of fake news mystdirection. Hard social reality generally concerns money. If broadcast media want to pronounce some strange, exotic foreign word like Isaias (a cognoscenti spelling of Isaiah, the Biblical prophet) given to a hurricane, they use a spanish phonetic border pidgin of eee-sai-eee-as. The Bible is strange country to NPR apparently.
Billionaires have perhaps 5% of global wealth, yet it is the other 1 thousandth percent of global citizens with just a few or a few hundred million dollars that have as much as 50% of the wealth. Tic Toc is of more value than the income of all of the people of South Sudan- at least a free nation so far untroubled by NPR and other networking nefarious agents of evil conditioning masses to accept concentrating wealth and power.
There are several threats to Democracy concerning capital. Foreign entities can buy assets in foreign nations so the people pay rents to foreign powers. Sovereign wealth funds of China, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere could grow to dominate world economics. Wealth could concentrate so far that 1/1000th of global population would have 95% of the wealth of the world with legions of media sycophants in their pockets to explain to the people why the people are lucky they are living in the best possible world- whatever that is.
Without a regulating tax on capital globally redistributing revenue to the world, perhaps on a national, demographic basis (or not), democracy will die if it hasn’t already done so. It is possible that the United States is in a zombie phase in regard to democracy- dead yet with a vague resemblance to the original though living on debt and exploit of environment and enterprise elsewhere. The learning curve for members of congress is so steep concerning real economics the newly elected are fundamentally idiots without hope. Piketty’s book would help them somewhat-maybe they can hire someone to read it to them.
Politicians that are clueless run the nation decade after decade and overturn the political social economic egalitarian measures won by the soldiers of the First and Second World Wars. They concentrate wealth and cut taxes on the rich, on estates and income of the well-to-do. Those are recipe’s for national disaster, and environmental politics have taken a beating too as the most rich are unconcerned with mass extinction and seek easy, dirty profit; that is the course indexed Wall Street mutual funds usually take.
Democracy and real, generally accessible free enterprise, require large doses of economic egalitarianism to function. Restoring the decaying global ecosphere also requires national and global policies wherein everyone is included and has a stake in economic transitions to more ecospheric efficiency. People that are starving or living death of a salesman lifestyles find it challenging to be concerned about abstract to them environmental issues. Ordinary people need to be shareholders in their political economy and the rich should be close enough to the people in income to not be detached entirely from social and ecospheric reality.
National political parties of the United States don’t usually have rational goals and clear objectives. Voters are contented with vague and ineffective platforms. Business planning is quite a bit different as is flowcharting. For income inequity to be transformed to a more egalitarian socially functioning model based in ecological sustainable free enterprise real goals and structured methods need be made by political parties.
It is laughably unreasonable to expect politicians to accomplish anything beyond enriching the richest and concentrating wealth in the absence of meaningful party plans. If one does not even to create good effective goals finding the means to accomplish those goals is highly improbable. Goal objectification could be done with flowcharting so the general public could easily comprehend the gist of what is trying to be accomplished, and of the time frame. Without that one simply elects garbage in and garbage out in a manner of speaking.
One of the greatest problems for the poor is instability. When the poor lose jobs they can go broke and lose most or all investments and material goods. They need to try a disadvantaged restart while trying to save in order to build a little capital. Rent is costlier than owning property usually, and without owning a secure place with job security the poor cannot buy durable goods. Income stoppages that are devastating to the poor can be trivial to the rich. The rich may be little harmed by periods of unemployment.
A nation need build income security for the poor and eliminate poverty throw guaranteed minimum income. It needs to have a walk-in free public health service for all of the poor without paperwork except for verification of income and citizenship status including those too poor to afford Medicare Plan B coverage. The U.S.A. should have free public education through graduate school for all citizens because it is to the public advantage to have people soak up all of the learning they possibly can. When these simple structural goals are accomplished and there are secure borders with no illegal immigration destabilizing social structures, then the U.S.A. can export more help to neighboring and other foreign nations (except Canada obviously) to help them accomplish similar democratic paradigms of free enterprise and income security from the bottom up. Rational political goals are requisite for achieving rational and satisfying political work.
If President Trump had set construction of a border control canal that would have evaporated saltwater and collected that as condensation instead of a Wall he might have got popular support for the Mexican border canal project; people in the Southwest generally want more fresh water and it would be a politically hard thing to oppose.
Presidential challenger Biden’s border security approach is to stop building a securityu wall and put high tech ankle monitors on illegal aliens that will voluntarily turn themselves report in, in exchange for a freeway to citizenship. Former V.P Biden would also end Chinese trade sanctions and replace it with a multilevel approach of kickbacks and kow-tows. Each party lacks good ideas.
Rational goals should have social synergy than benefit society. Racism is used to divide the nation along non-economic lines, when economic divergence is the actual core problem instead of race. The United States doesn’t have an egalitarian distribution of wealth among white people any more than with blacks. People including whites who are bound to chase after wealth in networks controlled by the most rich tend to be mean and even vicious not unlike dogs snarling over a bone with chunks of meat attached to it.
In the emerging atheist Democrat society of queer and debased social values evil and bad character without intellectual merit are good character traits. To be treacherous, deceiving, petty and venal in a mass social environment are good ways of interacting, while, alternatively contemplative intellectual objectivity is inefficient at chasing after the bone of contention. In a decaying modern society evolving into some sort of corporatist-socialist plutocracy Machiavelli’s value that applied to the prince now apply more broadly to the masses. Needless to say, such souls are likely to find Jesus Christ and salvation challenging to locate sin while they have their heads so far up darkness.