Sunday, June 3, 2012

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: Neo-Feudalism

On a recent Real Time with Bill Maher, he started out by asking Paul Krugman and Arthur Laffer, “If economics is a science, how come the two of you have completely different answers?”

Unfortunately it wasn't answered until the very end of the talk segment when Bill had to move on to the next segment. So Bill missed the answer.

Maher said that an example conservatives like to point to of money actually trickling down is, “The Government begging the rich to help, that's Feudalism.”

Laffer nodded, got a look like someone told him we breath air, or fish swim, and agreed.

That is why Krugman and Laffer come up with different answers. They have goals that are in opposite directions.

The tools for ending this depression are different depending on how you want the world to look afterward. If you want a feudalist society your approach is very different than if want an enlightened democratic society.

The role of the government is very different in these two societies.

In a feudal society, 99% of the people are locked into either real physical slavery or wage slavery. The wage slavery being living paycheck to paycheck, having a large debt load so employers have something to hold over you. Basically having the workers tie their very identity to the job given to them by their employer.

The opposite is having the 99% treat their labor like a small business. A healthy small business positions themselves so that no more than 85% of their income comes from one source. If a business takes more 85% from one source, it is merely working for the larger company.

The economic path to either of these is clear. Both preserve Capitalism, by the way. So accusing me of being a socialist doesn't hold water.

To go back to a feudalist society, cut taxes for the rich, get rid of the safety net, keep the minimum wage low, get rid of laws restricting the number of hours worked in a week. You end up with a society where 99% of the people spend all their time working to survive and owe their survival to the 1%.

To have a truly free and enlightened society do the opposite, a progressive tax structure so the more you earn the more you pay. This keeps money circulating. Higher minimum wage, so people have money to invest in learning new skills. And a shorter work week so people can spend time on hobbies. The hobbies part seems strange, but that is how an individual can empower themselves. If you spend several hours a week doing something you love, you'll get good at it. Then when you need something extra you can use that skill to make money. Suddenly you've got a second source of income and your primary job isn't all you need to survive. The hobby becomes a source of freedom as if you get fired and unemployment pays 50% of your old wage and 15% of your income comes from your hobby. That 65% gives you some breathing room.

So to all the “Conservative Economists” out there, I say, “Shut-up Stupid, you can use all the terms you want, 'Supply side economics' or 'Trickle down theory' or 'Unicorn Fart based economics' but the goal of these is the same: Feudalism. So call it what it is.”

By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE

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