Monday, December 20, 2021

Elizabeth Warren on making capitalism accountable

 Here. 

But it's still capitalism, right? 

75 comments:

Kevin said...

Since it's coming from our Cherokee senator, I don't trust that it's intended for the purposes advertised.

I don't tune in to Republicans very often but I don't recall any saying that a literal corporate free-for-all is what they want in order to support capitalism.

bmiller said...

A collision of universes!

Eliabeth Warren, Elon Musk and The Babylon Bee!

The world is officially now better than the WWE!. Or whatever it's called. You know, that wrestling thing.

One Brow said...

Kevin,

What do you see as a potential alternate purpose for the Charter of Corporate Citizenship?

Do you agree that politicians can create and maintain policies that support "corporate free-for-alls" (which is not what is being discussed by Warren, AFAICT), without explicitly saying saying they are so doing?

One Brow said...

bmiller,

There are several wrestling things, I think the WWE is still one of them.

I suppose Elon Musk is sort of your ideal human.

Kevin said...

What do you see as a potential alternate purpose for the Charter of Corporate Citizenship?

Politicians who egregiously and publicly lie for their own gain do not have my trust in anything they do. I don't need to concoct a plausible conspiracy to not take her at face value.

I trust that whatever it is, it benefits her and her party primarily. If the status quo was advantageous to Democrats, or herself, she wouldn't have presented the bill. For instance I noted the part about corporations not being allowed to participate in political activity without it being voted on. I believe the current system benefits Republicans significantly more.

Just a fleeting suspicion that she would not be as concerned for the poor workers if it benefited Democrats more. Lying liars can't be trusted.

One Brow said...

Kevin,

Just a fleeting suspicion that she would not be as concerned for the poor workers if it benefited Democrats more. Lying liars can't be trusted.

I agree, in the sense that if the Democrats were not courting the votes of the poor workers, they would not be electing people with the politics of a Warren.

Do you think Warren is especially dishonest for a politician, and if so, is this based on something stronger than a response to an informal survey and a recipe contribution?

Starhopper said...

Here's some figures that I'm just throwing out there. You can make of them what you will.

In 1978, the US middle class (40% of the population) owned 35 percent of the nation's wealth, while the top 1% owned 22 percent.

Today the middle class's share has fallen to just 27 percent of the nation's wealth, while the top 1% now owns 36 percent.

And these trends show no sign of stopping. In fact, they are increasing. Before 2040, the 1%ers are expected to own fully half of America's wealth. The other 99% get to share the other half.

bmiller said...

I know I will be attacked with a religious fervor for not agreeing that commumism is the only solution to "the wealth gap" but here goes. If you think this is immoral, then please name names of who should be stripped of wealth and power and I may be on your side. But just citing a "wealth gap" as a problem ignores how wealth is calculated, how assets fluctuate, and who holds wealth from day to day.

Here are some factors that are often not brought up in these types of discussions:

1) The decline in the middle-class share is not a total sign of regression. From 1971 to 2019, the share of adults in the upper-income tier increased from 14% to 20%. Meanwhile, the share in the lower-income tier increased from 25% to 29%. On balance, there was more movement up the income ladder than down the income ladder. So there were relatively more people moving their standard of living up so skews the numbers.
2) Wealth is computed by adding up all of one's assets (and should also include the debts)...home, savings, cars, stocks, pensions and so on. Most middle income earner's wealth related to their home ownership. The 2008 housing crash deleted their equity and so their wealth.
3) Additionally interest rates went to zero, so it has been better to invest in stocks than a bank account and so stock prices are driven up. Wealthy people happen to own a lot of stock. If the stock market crashes so does their wealth.
4) Elon Musk is the richest man in the world. I just saw an interview. He said until just this year almost all of his wealth was calculated from the stock prices of his companies. If Telsa and SpaceX went out of business or their stocks collapsed, he would have been bankrupt. Also, Elon Musk was 8 years old in 1978 and was not an elite.

So the 1% in America gaining wealth does not mean that it is causing more people to slide into lower classes although they gained at a relatively higher rate than other classes that also gained. The housing market crash and tightening lending practices hurt the middle class by reducing their equity and locking out young people from borrowing for home ownership. Fed interest rate policy made stock ownership the best investment which favors the wealthy. The "1%" in America were not necesarily born into wealth. The people making up the "1%" tommorrow are just as likely to come from the "middle class" than the "upper class" which is what has always made America attractive.

There will always be a "1%", so if that is a problem it's not going to get solved. If the "1%" are evil and causing people to die they should be stopped. If all people are prospering, I don't care if some prosper more. That is just envy.

Kevin said...

I agree, in the sense that if the Democrats were not courting the votes of the poor workers, they would not be electing people with the politics of a Warren.

There is a far more positive connotation in your post than Democrats or Warren deserve.

Do you think Warren is especially dishonest for a politician

I trust few politicians, and those few I use the term loosely. As for Warren herself, regarding Cherokee ancestry she lied in surveys, she lied in media interviews, she lied in recipe cookbooks, she lied everywhere she could where she couldn't get in legal trouble, such as on applications. Dishonesty is a terrible thing.

Then of course there are matters like lying that her "children" did not go to private school, when her son did. That's called hypocrisy, and I do not tolerate it in a politician.

That's off the top of my head. If you want more examples of her being dishonest and therefore untrustworthy, I can Google them for you.

Starhopper said...

I didn't cite it as a "problem", I cited it as a fact. I explicitly said "You can make of [it] what you will." It appears that you two are rather sensitive on the subject.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

I didn't address you by name did I? There are people who think it's a problem. I'm surprised that you now claim you don't find it a problem, but if that's the case then it wasn't addressed to you generically either.

Will I now be told that you didn't claim it wasn't a "problem" either? How clever.

Starhopper said...

I'm not claiming it's not a problem, but I didn't state that it was.

I distinguish between systemic income inequality (which I do regard as an economic (not a moral) problem) and individual income inequality, with which I have no issue. Christ Himself had rich disciples (e.g., Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and the unnamed women who supported the Apostles "out of their means"). I do not begrudge the wealth of individuals. I do, however, think that vast wealth puts one's soul in great peril.

I do not envy the rich, since I have no desire to be rich. I am perfectly content with what I have.

Kevin said...

It appears that you two are rather sensitive on the subject.

Who is the second? I strictly spoke about Warren.

bmiller said...

I'm not claiming it's not a problem, but I didn't state that it was.

Yes, just like I predicted. I don't know what's so difficult about speaking plainly.

Victor Reppert said...

Can you look at an Elizabeth Warren proposal as if it were written by Joe Blow from Kokomo, and ask what you think of it from an ethical standpoint?

Is this really communism? Reminds ne of when Obamacare was called socialist. I got Obamacare insurance for four years, Throughout that time I paid a monthly premium to an evil, money-grubbing profit-making insurance company. Some socialism that is.

Kevin said...

The devil would be in the details. It creates yet another regulatory body - how much authority would it have, and how much congressional and judicial oversight would there be over this office? What would be the requirements for obtaining a charter? Or the rules for determining if a company has violated the charter requirements, and who determines those rules? What if there is a gridlock in the vote to engage in political activity? What qualifies as political activity?

Basically, how powerful would this bureaucracy be, and how easy would it be to reign it in if it overstepped its bounds? I don't care for the practice of corporations running their operations to please shareholders, but I care even less for the government increasing its power.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
I know I will be attacked with a religious fervor for not agreeing that commumism is the only solution to "the wealth gap".

Really, why do you find it necessary to constantly smear and belittle people, to mischaracterize and demonize them, in every conversation?

One Brow said...

Kevin said...
There is a far more positive connotation in your post than Democrats or Warren deserve.

Perhaps, though it was not intended regarding Democrats. There is a difference between "courting" and "representing", and a reason Warren has never had real power.

Do you think Warren is especially dishonest for a politician

As for Warren herself, regarding Cherokee ancestry ...

My perspective differs, in no small part because of my wife, who has been told she has a great-great-grandmother who was Native American. Warren's ancestry is slightly more distant, but I understand how these stories get wrapped into a family's sense of identity, and she does have Native ancestry, as proven by a DNA test.

Dishonesty is a terrible thing.

Believing your family is not dishonesty.

Then of course there are matters like lying that her "children" did not go to private school, when her son did.

So, only one of her two children went to public schools.

That's called hypocrisy, and I do not tolerate it in a politician.

I understand, and am aware that you don't really tolerate any politicians, because I can't think of any who don't engage in similar stories.

To be clear, I don't think Warren is an honest person compared to your typical boilermaker or college professor. I think she's pretty typical for a politician.

Kevin said...

Do you think Warren is especially dishonest for a politician

I doubt she is atypical. She made the mistake of shining a spotlight on herself by running for president. Now I'm familiar with her dishonesty.

Believing your family is not dishonesty.

I believe my family when they told me my great-grandmother (passed away before I was born) was a Cherokee, making me 1/8 Cherokee if my sleepy math is correct. I would still never claim to be a Native American in any way, let alone mark it on a survey or allow myself to be listed as a minority professor. And the reason is because despite being told that by my family, I have never verified it for myself. So I don't cut her any slack on this, especially given how distant the connection was for her.

So, only one of her two children went to public schools.

When she says neither went to private schools, to parents who were wanting the same school choice she gave her son and yet was opposing for those same parents, that is a major problem. That alone would guarantee she would never receive my vote.

Starhopper said...

An honest politician is as rare as an honest capitalist.

"A merchant can hardly keep from wrongdoing, and a tradesman will not be declared innocent of sin. Sin is wedged between buying and selling." (Sirach 26:29, 27:2)

bmiller said...

Warren hopes this will spur a return to greater corporate responsibility, and bring back some other aspects of the more egalitarian era of American capitalism post-World War II — more business investment, more meaningful career ladders for workers, more financial stability, and higher pay.

Those 4 things have improved for workers since 1994. Just for workers in other countries than America. We could improve those 4 things for American workers by renegoiating trade deals (tarrifs and duties) and setting up government taxes/policies to incentivize companies to locate, produce and hire in America. The carrot rather than the stick of yet another federal bureaucracy just for the sake of creating another one. What would be wrong with that?

bmiller said...

Can you look at a Trump proposal as if it were written by Joe Blow from Kokomo, and ask what you think of it from an ethical standpoint?

If you can't, then why would you expect anyone else to be disinterested in the person promoting a policy rather than the policy in isolation?

bmiller said...

I believe my family when they told me my great-grandmother (passed away before I was born) was a Cherokee, making me 1/8 Cherokee if my sleepy math is correct. I would still never claim to be a Native American in any way, let alone mark it on a survey or allow myself to be listed as a minority professor. And the reason is because despite being told that by my family, I have never verified it for myself. So I don't cut her any slack on this, especially given how distant the connection was for her.

"The number of people who say they are Native American on the Census rose from 5.2 million in 2010 to 9.7 million in 2020, reflecting a trend of racial shifting"

The upshot is that these people have ancestors that were both "White" and "Native American". If someone was going to punish me for being Native American, I could honestly tell them that I was born White. If someone was going to punish me for being White, I could tell them I was born Native American. I would not be lying in either case and would be sincere in either case. Why not avoid trouble if I can and why not get some goodies if someone is handing them out I can if all I have to do is claim it? It seems there is an incentive to emphasize what makes us different than what makes us the same. That's pretty bad in a number of ways.

"Whites" have warred and still war against each other and still dislike each other in the Old World due to them being French, German, English, Polish..........
"Native Americans" are the same way. Navajos don't like Hopis etc.
I had a Hungarian co-worker tell me that Europeans dislike their nearest neighbors worse than their further neighbors. So Hungarians disliked the Germans more than the French.
I was told something similar from a Navajo.

The same can be observed in Asia. China vs Vietnam, Japan vs China, Korea vs Japan and so on.

America is the only nation (whatever faults remain) in which most people want to get along regardless of their ethnicity or nationality. I think that's the impression most people in the rest of the world see in America and what makes it so attractive to come here.

I hope we don't become like the rest of the world.

Kevin said...

I do like to tell people at work that since I am a person of color, that means they have to sit quietly while I lecture them on various topics and that they are a bad person if they disagree with me. All I've learned is that they're a bunch of bigots because it never works.

In reality, I care about my 1/8 "not Caucasian" genome about as much as I care about Barack Obama's 1/2 "not Caucasian" genome - not at all. What matters to me is character and, in the case of a politician, policies pursued. Their skin color is as relevant to me as their eye color.

Starhopper said...

Oh, so you don't see color?
(3 minutes 8 seconds in)

Kevin said...

Haha well there's a difference between

"Because you have dark skin you will possibly have had certain experiences that have shaped your life, and I will take these experiences into consideration when appropriate"

and

"Because you have dark skin I have this opinion about you and am going to treat you differently even though I don't know you."

If I don't know you, all I can judge you by is your words and actions. Not your skin color.

bmiller said...

Merry Christmas.

bmiller said...

NPR says the term "racism" was originally used against those people favoring segregation of the races. Richard Henry Pratt opposed "racism"/segregation and wanted instead to erase racial distinctions and thought the government should assist in that endeavor.

Was he right?

Is it a good thing to seek to erase all racial distinctions?

Starhopper said...

"Is it a good thing to seek to erase all racial distinctions?"

In the long run, yes.
In the short term, no.

Kevin said...

Is it a good thing to seek to erase all racial distinctions?

Yes.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
Is it a good thing to seek to erase all racial distinctions?

Assuming you mean the social construct of race, and actual erasure as opposed to pretense, absolutely.

bmiller said...

What if a particular race doesn't want to give up what makes it distinctive?

Starhopper said...

That's why I wrote that in the short term, no.

I fully expect that over the long haul (centuries or millennia from now), humanity will have become so interbred that racial distinctions will gradually disappear. We'll all be what the Brazilians call Mulatto. My grandchildren are already that, being mixed Polish, Lithuanian, Slovak, Spanish, French, French Canadian, Columbian, and Native American.

I do hope that cultural distinctions will remain, however. I'd hate to see all those wonderful ethnic restaurants become a thing of the past. And what would Baltimore be without its many ethnic neighborhoods? Boring, that's what!

Kevin said...

And what would Baltimore be without its many ethnic neighborhoods?

It'll all be Taco Bell.

bmiller said...

Is it a good thing to seek to erase all racial distinctions?

Yes.


And what would Baltimore be without its many ethnic neighborhoods?

It'll all be Taco Bell.


Someone is a Taco Bell fan!

One Brow said...

bmiller,
What if a particular race doesn't want to give up what makes it distinctive?

There is no such thing. People are distinctive, races are a social construct that removes distinctions.

Starhopper,
I fully expect that over the long haul (centuries or millennia from now), humanity will have become so interbred that racial distinctions will gradually disappear. We'll all be what the Brazilians call Mulatto.

1) That's skin color, not race.
2) Even today, parents with light-brown skin have children with much lighter or much darker skin, sometimes both (my brothers children would be considered different races by most people).

I do hope that cultural distinctions will remain, however.
Certainly, but you don't need a specific skin color to maintain a specific culture.

Starhopper said...

I'm not a biologist, but I would imagine that skin coloring is largely a matter of how much heat and sunlight one is exposed to. Darker skinned people tend to live near to the equator or in deserts, while lighter skinned folk are pretty much around the poles.

Anyone here know whether science backs that up? Or is it just "anecdotal"?

bmiller said...

As I recall, biologists prefer the Beatles. ;-)

bmiller said...

For the people that think it is good to erase all racial distinctions, then Richard Henry Pratt was doing a good thing with his Carlisle Indian School Project, right?

Limited Perspective said...

"An honest politician is as rare as an honest capitalist"

This has to be written by someone who never did an honest job for someone and negotiated a fair price in return for his labor and skill. An honest negotiation between buyer and seller is much more honest than living off the taxpayer.

Since Star quoted Sirach 26, I will quote my own from chapter 26:

There are three things I dread,
and a fourth which terrifies me:
Public slander, the gathering of a mob,
and false accusation—all harder to bear than death.

Reminds me of our of news in 2020.

Starhopper said...

"then Richard Henry Pratt was doing a good thing"

Apples and oranges. My point was that the races would over time disappear all by themselves, without intervention.

Starhopper said...

"This has to be written by someone who never did an honest job for someone and negotiated a fair price in return for his labor and skill."

I was citing Holy Scripture, inspired by the Holy Spirit Himself. Good to know your low opinion of Him. I'll keep that in mind.

The passage (I'll repeat it here, so people do not have to search for it.) "A merchant can hardly keep from wrongdoing, and a tradesman will not be declared innocent of sin. Sin is wedged between buying and selling." clearly and unambiguously states that it is IMPOSSIBLE to either buy or sell anything without in some way sinning.

Starhopper said...

"As I recall, biologists prefer the Beatles."

And geologists prefer the Stones.

Limited Perspective said...

The part I quoted was your interpretation of scripture. If you think it is an impossible to buy or sell anything without sinning you need to add a little more 7 UP with your gin.

Starhopper said...

7 UP? You mean ginger ale, I hope!

My "interpretation" is merely a restating of the original text, as is done in any honest exegesis. There's not a nanometer of space between the two.

Limited Perspective said...

My fault. More ginger and non-alcoholic ale with that gin.

I'm not sure about the measurement of 0.000000000001 kilometers from your interpretation of scripture. I'm thinking it's about 2,756.92 decempeda pertica from scripture.

bmiller said...

Apples and oranges. My point was that the races would over time disappear all by themselves, without intervention.

You said it was a good thing to seek to erase all racial distinctions. That implies some sort of advocacy at least and that implies intervening in the natural order of things. Pratt sought to eliminate segregation by integration. Was that right or wrong?

bmiller said...

it is IMPOSSIBLE to either buy or sell anything without in some way sinning.

Didn't Jesus work as a carpenter and so was involved in buying and selling?

Limited Perspective said...

Miller,

Do we need to keep reminding you of this? It was the Roman government, the Pax Romana that kept the Son of God honest in this craft.

Starhopper said...

Carpenter is actually a mistranslation of the Greek word tekton. It more accurately describes a skilled craftsman who hires himself out to anyone who needs a job done. More like today's "handyman" than anything else. No buying or selling involved.

"That implies some sort of advocacy at least and that implies intervening in the natural order of things."

I hope I implied no such thing, because I most certainly not only do not approve of such things, I condemn them. And I did not say that the races disappearing was a good thing. I merely predicted that such would happen - inevitably.

Limited Perspective said...

A handyman does no buying or selling? Some people enter a world so absurd they have to be an Elizabeth Warren supporter

bmiller said...

Trading according to Aquinas. Jesus was considered a tradesman in one sense, but he added value to the raw wood he bought before selling it so was not one in the second sense. Most people who run companies do the same. Maybe it's just bankers that are bad, but even then not necessarily.

And I did not say that the races disappearing was a good thing.

Maybe you misunderstood my question then. Pratt thought it was racist to keep Indians separate and that it was a good thing that the race disappeared into a single thing. So he took action to make that happen. So you really think racial distinctions disappearing is not a good thing. So how would you advocate to keep them from converging?

bmiller said...

And geologists prefer the Stones.

Astronauts prefer Starship.

Starhopper said...

And giant red fire ants prefer Them.

Starhopper said...

You're still reading too much into my comments. I do not think that the inevitable disappearance of racial differences is either a good thing or a bad thing. It's just a thing. It's going to happen no matter what we do, like the Sun eventually growing cold.

Starhopper said...

And just who would prefer The Dead Kennedys? (a local D.C. punk rock group)

One Brow said...

Starhopper,
Anyone here know whether science backs that up? Or is it just "anecdotal"?

Increased melanin provides more protection. Decreased melanin allows for more production of Vitamin D.

For the people that think it is good to erase all racial distinctions, then Richard Henry Pratt was doing a good thing with his Carlisle Indian School Project, right?

Pratt did not try to erase any racial distinctions. You get that race is different from culture, right?

bmiller said...

And just who would prefer The Dead Kennedys?

No. That's the CIA.

bmiller said...

I wonder how anyone could tell that Them were giant red ants. The movie was in black and white.

Starhopper said...

I grew up in Arizona. All the really dangerous (i.e., painful) ants were red. The black ones, you could just ignore.

bmiller said...

Not if they were 10ft tall. Bet those would be painful.

bmiller said...

And Ghislaine Maxwell didn't kill herself.

Starhopper said...

I had to google Ghislane Maxwell to learn who she was. Boy, you certainly occupy your mind with some weird stuff! I am immediately dropping her down the Memory Hole.

bmiller said...

News is weird stuff to you?

Starhopper said...

News about perverts is. I skip over all such stuff.

bmiller said...

Hard to believe that when you're obsessed with politics.

Starhopper said...

Me? Look in the mirror.

Politics is all you ever think about. You politicize every conversation on this blog.

bmiller said...

Good one.

Kevin said...

If she does commit suicide, it will be right when all her guards go to the bathroom and the security cameras glitch out.

bmiller said...

You've seen this movie before haven't you. No spoilers, please.

Starhopper said...

Good riddance, 2021! The year ends with not good news. Despite having taken every precaution, being triply vaccinated, masking up whenever I left my apartment, and seeing no one outside of my immediate family... I have nevertheless contracted COVID. My doctor tells me that my blood oxygen levels are "concerning". This does not surprise me, since I am perpetually short of breath and the least physical activity (such as walking across the room) exhausts me. I pass out at my table maybe 3 or 4 times a day and wake up trying to figure out where I am and what I was doing,

My days are taken up with reading and watching classic cinema (right now, mostly movies about or made during WWII).

I am telling you all this, because you may not hear much from me in the weeks to come. The only good news is that I have been told (repeatedly) that, had I not been fully vaccinated, this would be exponentially worse. I would almost certainly be in the hospital on a ventilator. So PLEASE, whatever your politics and whatever you think of me, get the damned vaccine!!! It could (will) be the difference between feeling absolutely wretched (as I do now) and being hospitalized or even dying.

Kevin said...

I'm sorry to hear that. Prayers for you.

A dear friend of mine is 57 years old and has a compromised immune system due to the medications she has taken for severe asthma. She is down to about forty percent lung capacity, so between the asthma and the weakened immune system she was definitely one of the high risk people to get COVID, which she finally did. For her I feared it would be a death sentence.

Instead she got a fever for a few days, had some low blood oxygen levels at times but not enough to require hospitalization, and just generally felt like crap. She was fully vaccinated. I firmly believe she would no longer be with me had she not been.

Get the vaccine everyone.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

I pray for your recovery. I hope you will be around quite a while longer regardless of how we see things differently, so take care of yourself. I think we agree on more than we disagree about. God Bless.

One Brow said...

Starhopper,

I hope to see many more years of comments from you. Here's to a quick recovery.

Limited Perspective said...

O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: Mercifully accept our prayers, and grant to your servant Bob the help of your power, that his sickness may be turned into health, and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.