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View Diary: The Myth of the "Consensual" Marketplace (124 comments)

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  •  which is the public sector's job (4+ / 0-)
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    Troubadour, Kevskos, Chi, mike101

    Absent an effectively unlimited external source of "free energy" (the Sun, the printing press, debt-fueled growth), all thermodynamic systems are unsustainable: they'll eventually exhaust a fixed amount of energy.

    The economy needs a strong redistributive mechanism to send the money back down to the base of the food chain to keep the whole thing going.  Tax profits, tax "excessive" income, tax unproductive investments (i.e. making money from money), and then spend that money in ways that will keep the supply-demand cycle running strong: enabling consumption, but also investments in productive capacity that actually do grow the proverbial pie.

    All of which is quite beside the point I was trying to make in my original comment, which is that maybe people want more out of life than to work and buy things.  It's the difference between an animal existence of physical survival versus a human existence dedicated to some higher goal (even if it's only pleasure), with survival as a mere byproduct.  You can argue that we achieve this collectively by organizing ourselves into nations and corporations, but I think that only the rich are able to achieve it individually, while the rest of us are really only able to do our jobs.

    •  Yes, the public sector needs to perform (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, mike101, Visceral

      this redistributive function through progressive taxation and provision of services like education and healthcare.  However, as we've seen, it's just not practical for the government to keep up with all the infinite ways large and small that business devises to screw people over on a daily basis, so for that we need to reorganize the private sector so that people are better able to defend themselves against economic power.

      What you're talking about doing something more with life, that's kind of outside the realm of what can be addressed by politics - all we can do is try to find the right combination of both public and private mechanisms that give people the most freedom and opportunity to be themselves.  The internet helped a lot toward that goal, but obviously we need to bring the same democratizing influence out into the hard world.  That requires certain practicalities, like bargaining parity, that have nothing to do with whatever people ultimately choose to use their wealth for.  But we can say it would probably lead to more paid time off, or at least make it more of an option for people willing to make it a priority.

      I demand that you prove you're alive.

      by Troubadour on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 12:41:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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