Wednesday, April 17, 2019

776: Multinationals and politics...

In the beginning there was Adam Smith (1723 - 1790). He is often identified as the father of modern capitalism. 
It is true that very few individual books have had as much impact as his "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" (1776). 
His accounts of the division of labor and free trade, self-interest in exchange, the limits on government intervention, price, 
and the general structure of the market, all signify the moment when economics transitions to the "modern." 
But it was in the 20th century that capitalism bloomed as ever before. John Kenneth Galbraith taught us, that we don't need to produce anymore to survive. 
That is covered already. Today we only need to advertise to keep the economy going. And we have become consumers.
Even the communist countries fell for the seduction of capitalism and consumerism, That really is a legacy of the 20th century and what do we do with this legacy today?
My morning newspaper had an article on the power of big companies.
-QUOTE- The feeling that the power of big companies has grown was already there. Now it is also a fact. 
Wenjie Chen, researcher at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), experienced how a remedy for her daughter's dairy allergy had become much more expensive in seven years. 
The price rose from 100 to 600 dollars. A producer can simply do that in a market without much competition.

That feeling, that companies have become increasingly powerful is justified, says Chen at the IMF headquarters. It is the most important outcome of the research that she presents.
It is a broader development that it also sees in the financial sector. 
Or in other markets where some companies have access to technology, have patents, and can exploit the benefits of a large network.  -END QUOTE-
You only have to think of multinationals like Shell, Unilever, but also Google, Apple, Facebook and a lot of others. 
They transcend borders. When a politician suggests CO2 taxes for companies, the reaction then they'll transfer their factory to another country.
In other words, while the 20th century taught us how to be a consumer, which made companies grow and grow,
nowadays these globalized companies have a real say in our democratic countries. Not in plain view but behind the scenes and there is more.
-QUOTE- The data are crystal clear about one thing: wages grow less quickly than labor productivity. That is now the case and it was no different in the period before the financial crisis. 
It has actually been this way for a long time, and not only in the Netherlands but in many developed countries. 
That means that an ever-increasing share of the cake, of all the value that we produce, goes to the owners of capital 
and an ever-smaller share goes to the suppliers of labor. Economic science sees it happening, but has no explanation for it.  -END QUOTE-
I have :-) During the financial crisis the rich people have seen how easily their fortune can vaporize.
So what do they do? Accumulate as much money as possible to escape the danger of becoming poor.
"The End of History and the Last Man" is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama.  
In the book, Fukuyama argues that, following the ascendency of Western-style liberal democracy following the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union,
 humanity was reaching "not just ... the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: 
that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government"
Does that mean that eventually that the final form of human government will be dictated by the multinationals?
Thank you dor your attention again...:-)

The Discussion

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:22] CB Axel: I think it probably already is.
[13:22] CB Axel: We don't have democracy in the US.
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we are victims to greed and consumption
[13:22] herman Bergson: The main idea is that not democratic parliaments but multinationals influence politics today
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): money rules
[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): in my oppinion they did that in the early 1900 or so too
[13:23] CB Axel: We get to vote on candidates fed to us without our control by media and paid for by multinationals.
[13:23] herman Bergson: The US has become a problem CB.....sad to say but it is true
[13:23] CB Axel: And then our votes don't count because of gerrymandering and the electoral college.
[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): not world wide but in the cities
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): basically its bribing
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the one with most money wins
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nothing else matters
[13:24] herman Bergson: no...cities is ok Beerje :-)
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats a BIG problem
[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)
[13:25] CB Axel: We won't even get to hear from some candidates because they have to have a certain amount of financial support to be allowed to debate.
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i live in a city with lots of industry, those industrials kept us poor
[13:25] herman Bergson: Indeed a very complex system CB
[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i think it's from all times, not just now
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje
[13:27] herman Bergson: The real thing here is that I have the impression that multinationals least have a huge influence on political decisions
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): if they have to pay taxes in every country of the world, would the problem as big as now?
[13:29] CB Axel: Well, they are the ones paying the politicians.
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if they have to pay taxes they just flee to some tax paradise
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but if there isn't a tax paradise anymore?
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that's what I mean
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well but how do we get rid of those?
[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): work together Bejiita
[13:30] CB Axel: Right, Beertje. We need to get every country to agree to that.
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): these companies do as they like it seems refusing eve the law to get as much as possible
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even
[13:30] herman Bergson: lol...good question Bejiita...but there is money in the anwser is....never :-)
[13:30] CB Axel: Like the carbon tax issue mentioned earlier. Those who don't want to pay a carbon tax have to find a place that isn't cooperating with the rest of the world.
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:31] herman Bergson: You mean a CO2 tax CB?
[13:31] CB Axel: Yes
[13:31] herman Bergson: ok
[13:33] herman Bergson: If you look what we inherited form the 20th is the political influence of multinationals...
[13:33] herman Bergson: that is what our world looks today
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (sees apple and google waving with their dolar bills) sigh!
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): how will our world look tomorrow
[13:34] herman Bergson: Dont worry Beertje....
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but I do
[13:35] herman Bergson: not bette ror worse than ever before
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if we havent wasted or polluted us to death or suffocated under our trash heaps from overconsumption well don't know
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but something have to change thats fro sure,
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): money is not everything
[13:36] herman Bergson: my goodness Bejiita :-)
[13:36] herman Bergson: Dont be so  pessimistic
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): buying new stuff is not everything
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): there are much more important stuff
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but at least there might be some light, at least its not a global hysteria phenomenon so to say, its still controllable in general
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hopefully
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but still
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as said, something have to change
[13:37] herman Bergson: Bejiita...look at American politics of today...
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): = trump?
[13:38] CB Axel: Oh, I can't recommend that.
[13:38] CB Axel: It'll give you migraines and ulcers.
[13:38] herman Bergson: the actual situatuion of that country is a (moral) disaster...
[13:38] herman Bergson: So...
[13:38] herman Bergson: just wait and see....
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): seems like so indeed, chaos
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but hopefully the chaos will sort itself out
[13:39] herman Bergson: That country today is THE TEST of mankind....
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we can only hope for the best
[13:39] herman Bergson: Does decency and morality prevail or not...
[13:39] CB Axel: We're doomed
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i'll keep my fingers crossed for that anyway
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that somehow
[13:40] herman Bergson: The Americans are the testtube babies of what democracy means....
[13:40] herman Bergson: The whole world is watching them...
[13:41] herman Bergson: least I am :-))
[13:41] herman Bergson: They really have to show us the results of capitalism
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and that result is not looking pretty for now
[13:41] herman Bergson: with  an administration of billionaires at the moment
[13:42] herman Bergson: most horrible one Betsy DeVos
[13:42] CB Axel: Yep. We're doomed.
[13:42] herman Bergson: Well...CB...the billionaires grabbed the power in the US....
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): money = power
[13:43] herman Bergson: The ultimate Ayn Rand dream has come true
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): seems so
[13:43] CB Axel: I think we gave it to them by not paying attention to what they were/are doing.
[13:44] CB Axel: We are more interested in watching TV and playing silly games on our smart phones.
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:44] herman Bergson: ok...I have to admit, that today we couldn't save the world...
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the couch potato society
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:45] herman Bergson: Just had to face how it goes down the drain :-)
[13:45] herman Bergson whispers: maybe next time :-)
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): into the newly discovered black hole
[13:45] herman Bergson: Indeeed Bejiita...:-)
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but we can hope for the best
[13:45] CB Axel: New photo of an old black hole. :-)
[13:45] herman Bergson: So thank you all for your participation...:-)
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but as said, something is not right
[13:46] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but what was right was this was interesting as usual
[13:46] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...


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