Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Striking Universe

That's the title of a recent paper by Jordan Brennan of George Brown College. Tom Walkom writes in today's Toronto Star that:

Brennan’s paper is a critique not only of the economy but of the way most of us look at the economy. He takes on the widespread, if unstated, assumption that people get what they deserve — that CEO’s or derivative traders earn their seven-figure paycheques because they are in some way uniquely productive, while the rest of us don’t because, well, we’re not.

He advances a view that is not new but that is rarely heard today — that income is not distributed through the competitive magic of the impersonal market, but through naked power struggles in institutions that are near-monopolistic. Think National Hockey League.

The central tenet of Mitt Romney's failed presidential campaign was that the rich deserve what they've earned. Brennan claims that they didn't earn it at all. Governments have simply made it easy to pick up all the chips on the table:

Free trade with the U.S. and Mexico sandbagged much of Canada’s manufacturing base. Trade with China sandbagged the rest. Investment protection deals such as NAFTA and the new Canada-China pact have weakened government’s ability to regulate. All of this has decimated unions, allowing bosses to pay their workers less and themselves more.

Non-union shops, as always, have quickly followed suit.

Our present state of affairs is not accidental. It has  been carefully planned and executed by the courtiers who have built their careers by serving their wealthy patrons.


Anonymous said...

Harper thieves every cent he can from the people. He gives billions of our tax dollars to, corrupt greedy banks, mines, big business and his favorite charity, big oil. He also gives them huge tax reductions. Harper steals from us, to give to them.

Harper and his Cons, thieve and waste our tax dollars, for their own luxury's. $1 billion for a stupid fake lake. $50 million to buy a riding with gazebos. Over $1 million to fly his armored car because, other country's despise him as much as we do. The list of Harper's thefts, are far too long to type.

Harper slashes the services we pay through the nose for. However, we keep right on paying for those services.

Harper and his Cons, have been a litany of, lies, deceit, corruption, thefts, dirty politics, dirty tactics and Harper cheats to win. Other monsters such as, Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini, did exactly as Harper does.

Owen Gray said...

The question is Anon: Do we have the courage to vote him out of office?

The Mound of Sound said...

This is absolutely correct, Owen. It's a case made quite effectively by Stiglitz in 'The Price of Inequality.'

CEOs stack the deck, securing the appointment of cooperative directors, and then use their control to leverage almost any salary they can get away with along with massive severance packages if the shareholders revolt.

Stiglitz also explains, in detail, how limited true "merit" inequality is contrasted to the much greater inequality, the transfer of vast wealth from the working classes to the rich, through government intervention.

Owen Gray said...

Stiglitz has been eloquent on the subject of inequality, Mound. And the Nobel Committee has recognized his contribution to modern economics.

Unfortunately, the powers that be pay no attention to him.