Agence Global – Article.
Change comes though no one desires it, and though few predicted its path.
We have the rare opportunity to change our economic paradigm, from one designed in the 18th century and tinkered with, to a new 21st century model. Our entire method of raising, allocating, and spending has to become more democratic. We have suffered from severely overcapitalizing our economy as a whole since industrialization. We need to reevaluate what and which function are public and which are private.
Example: the car industry, as a model going forward. Presupposing an affirmative need for this industry in our country, the Federal government should do these things
1. Create a unit at the Commerce Dept. that can buy publicly traded securities. 2. Buy Chrysler, Ford, and GM, lock stock and barrel. 3. Separate the assets and liabilities. 4. The former corporate liabilities to be parceled out to agency sub units for debt liquidation, pension guaranty. and federal employee health insurance. 5. Determine approximately how much of a car industry America needs and retain a total number of plants and employees to do it. The federal gov’t retains ownership of the plants which are then leased by the companies. 6. The restructured, lean companies are each offered to the public through an IPO, whose proceeds are then used to fund the agencies ongoing activities.
This can be done with airlines, other critical industries, and renders moot anti-trust issues, as the new owners, the feds, can contractually obligate companies to some behaviors. Additionally long term planning instead of quarter by quarter stock manipulation becomes a vehicle of real value production.
I can’t imagine why rightwingers are always in a tizzy over some imaginary or grossly exaggerated threats. And further why do they pat themselves on the back when their fears mark them as cowards? Our country must be resilient, and true, not resolutely irrational. The Rightwing Worldview of the last three decades has failed, as some predicted. It was only the ‘when’ that was hard to predict, it was easy to predict that foolish polices will have a bad outcome.
How crazy of them is it to fail over and over, be rejected at the polls, and then conclude failure could have been avoided by doing more and greater amounts of the same wacky policies. Their worldview has failed. Lets move on.
People seem to operate based upon the rules and incentives that pertain: official and unofficial. The balance between transparency and privacy is altered by rules changes. It seems to me that being humans ourselves we should be able to perceive potential failure points in our systems. But instead of examining empirical evidence, we tend to operate from belief and ideology. That impedes our ability to understand what happens and to remake our model. We set up a system that allows for abuse in secret then act surprised that abuse has occurred. Collapses are actually inevitable in this circumstance, we assume because it doesn’t happen instantaneously that we have a sound system.
So we are usually playing craps but kidding ourselves into believing in some awesome new paradigm. What tended to be eliminated in the financial services industry has been compliance and oversight, and to allow mixing of different non equivalent, competing fiduciary responsibilities in the same entity, and to let accountability dissolve through special accounting practices that are manipulative. Additionally federal guarantees affect behavior by encouragingly gambling style risk.
At this point we should probably move away from rules based regulations that seem prone to legal manipulation and move to principle based regs.
I wonder if people now understand that tax cuts and deregulation are not always good things? How many people still want to control their SSI through private accounts? I wonder how many people on the street bellyaching about lost money voted Republican until now. People cannot routinely make good ad hoc decisions for themselves. But, they can make good abstract decisions about how things should generally go. I hope future President Obama makes use of this to push for a paradigm shift.
There is no question that our government and governing party are at the same time incompetent, arrogant, and ignorant. But they advertise themselves as such. It’s sort of their party line. I have tried for years to explain to people that there are consequences to actions, often foreseeable to persons of historical and geographic learning. But we worship when we should think, believe when we should examine, and rigid when we should be resilient. We have arrived at the logical destination of the prevailing ideology of the last 30 years. We need a paradigm shift.