I have always wondered how the capitalism I was raised in, which requires infinite growth, could last on a finite planet, as we add 82,000,000 global citizens net per year, while capital replaces labor for owners, allows them eternal income, & key, the ability to purchase assets... which are like cups that allow owners to collect the rain the Federal Reserve prints, asset prices inflate when $ is printed (Quant. Easing) while non asset owners have no means to enjoy this advantage...they suffer inflation of what they must purchase. Asset owners effectively get a free ride. But labor, they are told to work harder.
Population facts (note this growth is happening on a finite planet):
-Start of human history-1803 to get to 1 billion.
-124 years to get to 2B. (1927)
-33 years to get to 3B (1960).
-14 years to get to 4B (1974).
-13 years to get to 5B (1987).
-12 years to get to 6B (1999).
-12 more to get to 7B (2011).
Currently at 7.7. Teach 8B in 2024. Half of current total has been added since 1960s. What took all of human history to 1927to accrue has been added in the last 25 years. This while technology constantly decreases the need for labor. Yet labor is still told to figure out a way to sell labor? This film elaborates on this strange supposition especially well with solid points by Ian Bremmer in the last 25 minutes.
-Minute 1-35: history of inequality, WW1, rise of Hitler, rise of industrial production, “final” fall of feudalism, the use of nationalism/religion to mask what matters more in quality of life.
-Hard hitting images: 38:45
-35-55 covers the 30 years of middle class expansion, zenith of opportunity post WW2 (1948-1978).
-Charts showing change of distribution of total wealth showing greater rise of those with wealth. One group outpacing another leads to excessive inequality.
History of inequality, WW1, rise of Hitler, rise of industrial production, “final” fall of feudalism, the use of nationalism/religion to mask what matters more in quality of life.
-Hard hitting images: 38:45
The 30 years of middle class expansion, zenith of opportunity post WW2 (1948-1978).
-minute 50: Effect of 1970s oil embargo
Good charts showing change of distribution of total wealth showing greater rise of those with wealth. One group outpacing another leads to excessive inequality.
-Explanation of the rise of finance as compared to what Germany & Japan did. Reaganism in reaction to the rebound of Japan & Germany.
55-60’ -Change of American culture to wealth worship. “Greed is good” and roots of support for businessmen running America. Statistics showing economy is failing more & more ordinary people. Rise of credit.
-Good Simpson clip summarizing housing crisis; who suffered disproportionately.
-Movement, offshoring of profits using tax loopholes (lobbied for by you know who). I like the film suggests policy antidotes for these tactics.
-1:06-1:12 Excellent Monopoly game study showing inequality influences comparison, empathy, ego.
-Taxation and offshoring; Apple’s Cayman accounts. Legal but lobbied for so right?
-“Wealth management” services that help wealth set up foreign accounts. Legal but right?
-1:16 How policy can fix. Sanctions against participant territories and change the way taxes are calculated on where the customers are not where they siphon their profits to.
It must be remembered the world is finite, ie a zero sum game, so even with technology improving production more taken by one means less for the rest.
“1:09 It’s not the people but the experience of being rich has to do with it relative to others.” Excellent Family Guy clip.
Adam Smith’s ideas never thought financial activity would become the proportion of the economy they are today. They produce little in terms of actual product, environmental good or human health improvement.
Wealth today, esp with the current Fed policy of creating $ to prop asset prices, is being not employed for creative beneficial growth but held bc owners know just owning will yield returns. No building factories or invention required...not to mention less and less job creation.
As productivity increases the owners benefit & loop that around to reinforce their lobbyists (bribery brokers) & funds to for campaign donations (another means of influence). Lobbyists should be banned or all their peddling made public record and campaigns publicly funded so candidates polling 1% are free from having to beg from the wealth holders. Support this or don’t wonder why politicians sell out. This system essentially sets it up.
Rise of frustration. Exasperation with lack of progress. Withdrawal into common group/tribe ideology. Fear manipulated, blaming our neighbors phenomenon, noted. Obvious examples everywhere.
Taxation of capital to enable opportunity. If a ideology doesn’t believe government has the right to this or think wealth has unlimited rights or think everyone has enough of a chance that progressive taxation, or the curbs on inheritances the film advocates, it also makes a good point of horses having much utility pre industrial revolution however today they were replaced by machines replacing human labor. High lighting that todays capitalism is no longer about labor.
Driverless technology will uproot a major means of income by 2030 a major source of income for too many people for changes to not happen. The robots that do the work in Elysium can’t be owned by the 1%. We can evolve to the next stage of capitalism.