Thread On Taxation, Public Charters and the New Paradigm on RWER Blog

Me:  The economic system can remain profit making in nature, in fact keeping it so while making every sane ecological project required for species survival possible by implementing a non-profit publicly administered financial system not only enables such to BE possible, but gets all enterprise but the oil industry on your side. This is the precise hitting of the mark.

KZ:  How do we balance the unrestrained pursuit of profit with the needs of the public good? President Trump said when entering office that he would not stop the pursuit of profit for his businesses just because he is President. If a President, even a sociopathic one can’t give up the pursuit of profit to be President for the entire nation, what chance is there that any CEO will give up profit in favor of the public good. Even if climate change leads to Sapiens’ extinction, profit remains more important.

Me:  You eliminate the most underlying problem, private finance and its paradigm of Debt Only, subsidize every enterprise that signs on to the sanity of ending CO2 emissions and tax the friggin’ hell out of those that don’t, namely petroleum corporations. Let’s get off the dime. Maybe make sand the new diamonds just to compensate the Saudis, Iranians etc. Use our imagination.

KZ:  Craig, if all companies are publicly financed as you suggest that means financing must come from either customers or from tax money. Customers and taxpayers overlap. How would you balance the interests of the two groups in terms of corporate financing? This model was tried during the early days of the USA for companies that served basic or essential public needs (e.g., water, firefighting, sewage, schools, hospitals, etc.). But more than this, corporations of every sort were heavily regulated by state governments. That regulation came in the form of the corporate charter. In exchange for the charter, a corporation was obligated to obey all laws, to serve the common good, and to cause no harm. Early state legislators wrote charter laws and actual charters to limit corporate authority, and to ensure that when a corporation caused harm, they could revoke its charter. Charters also, at times limited the profits corporations could receive and who could serve on the board of directors. This reflected a much different view of corporations than the one in control today. “Neither the claims of ownership nor those of control can stand against the paramount interests of the community. It remains only for the claims of the community to be put forward with clarity and force” (A. A. Berle & Gardner C. Means, The Modern Corporation and Private Property, 1933). The model was eventually destroyed by corporations and business-friendly legislators. In pursuit of greater profits and more political control. How do you suggest we protect it today if we manage to restore it?

Me:  “if all companies are publicly financed as you suggest that means financing must come from either customers or from tax money.”

Not correct. A public national banking/financial system could just create money and loan it out. Likewise, the monetary authority could simply fund itself. Of course you’d need to have hard and fast rules (every decision to loan or fund is based firmly and logically on the benevolent, exceedingly rational, positive, constructive and ethical concept of grace…with no nonsense or flim flam allowed), but coupled with making it a fourth branch of government, protected from inflation by a 50% discount/rebate policy at retail sale and regulatory and tax incentives and disincentives for bad actors….who needs taxation to fund anything except a reasonable and lesser amount than presently in order to establish the unmistakable sovereignty of the government also based upon the concept of grace?

Cynicism, vested power and struggle equally mean nothing when it comes to species survival and paradigm change. Go to the heart of the problem and solve it.

KZ:  Craig, I guess I’m a bit more of a conservative than you. Right now, the Federal Reserve “creates” money and loans it to Federal banks. These in turn loan to commercial banks. I’d prefer credit unions or something similar provide the money for such a plan as you propose. First, credit unions make no profit. Second, they are member owned. Third, credit unions are cooperative financial institutions. Fourth, credit unions pay no federal or state taxes, which makes their lending genuinely community focused. Finally, credit unions are self-regulating. They’re a perfect instrument for getting us focused away from profit and debt for profit. Finally, any plan to deal with “bad” actors via regulation and taxes will be undermined by individuals and companies that pay little tax now but have learned how to become rich through tax incentives. To have any chance of changing this, we’ll need to arrest and jail these “tax haven” vultures.

Me:   Ken, The actual process is commercial banks lend and then look for reserves. The FED, even though they have the charter to create our money (only as debt), is actually the handmaiden of the too big to fail banks.

As for credit unions the new paradigm doesn’t outlaw them or other forms of banking that are allowed to loan only already saved money and profits it just doesn’t allow them to actually create new money. Of course having to make a profit they would have to charge interest and so they would have a very big problem competing with a non-profit national publicly administered AND FUNDED banking and financial system which would NOT need to charge interest and as my book points out could become the new legitimate ending point for the economic process where a second 50% discount/rebate policy was enacted on products that made ecological sense.

Private finance could always fund legitimate and ethically vetted speculative ventures that the national system did not deem were likely to pan out. When we made the change from hunting and gathering we didn’t stop hunting or grabbing an occasional apple from an orchard, it’s just that these actions lost their primacy.

 

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Sand Is The New Diamonds

With a severe tax on petroleum for survival and environmental reasons for the Saudis, Iranianians etc. we could create a jewelry and other decorative uses market for various forms of sand. In other oil producing countries where sand is not an abundant resource whatever abundant resource actually is there we could create a market for it to compensate.

Who wouldn’t buy a product that solved their lifestyle, life and the planet?

Reply To Steve Keen on RWER Blog 05/11/2019

As per usual a spot on critique. But we are in the paradigm change phase of the Kuhnian cycle. That is why it’s puzzling that a study of paradigm changes and their signatures is not front and center as that is what is indicated and because even excellent critique generally only takes place within the mental restraints of the current paradigm/pattern.

Trying to reform the study of economics is an admirable and excellent “tilting at windmills” goal, but crafting new paradigm policies that immediately and temporally resolve the two biggest and most chronic problems of modern economies (scarcity of available to spend individual income and price and asset inflation), eliminating the single uneconomic structural barrier to moving forward toward ecological sanity (eliminating private finance and its “common sense” assertion that species and planetary survival is “too expensive”), and beginning a mass movement to get these paradigm changing policies and structural problems implemented seems like a more rational strategy for actual change. To paraphrase an old Buddhist saying: The longest journey begins by actually taking the first temporal universe step.

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

Correct. What is required is the elimination of private money creation and an evolution of profit making systems by basing it on the unimpeachable natural philosophical ethic of grace AKA as love in action/policy. Too simple for the erudite, too unscientific for the terminally scientifically orthodox and too bold for the hide bound conservative.

Define and do a thorough exegesis of the aspects of the natural philosophical concept of grace until you cognite on its utterly integrative, intellectually inclusive and psychologically transformational nature….and you’ll not only have found the way out of the confusing non-survival legerdemain of economics, the money system and the ecological problem but the way home to your self.

Reply About Signatures of Paradigm Changes on RWER Blog 05/07/2019

KZ:  Today there is as much, if not more consensus among scientists about global climate change as there was 300 years ago about the laws of thermodynamics and the laws of motion. Polling shows that majorities of “ordinary” people in the USA, Europe, Asia, etc. accept the conclusions of this science. Yet around the world opposition to the science of climate change is well funded, unyielding, and denies the science at the highest levels of government and science. What explains this if science is, as many of us were taught in school just telling us the facts? The “school” explanation of science needs to be reconsidered. If scientific knowledge is like all knowledge, socially produced — and thus partial, fallible, contingent — science can no longer – in fact, never could – assert any sort of absolute grasp on “reality.” But the common culture of the modern era included the belief that by following the scientific method, scientists were able to arrive at objective facts that transcended their human origins. In his widely read, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” the physicist-turned philosopher Thomas Kuhn considerably weakened the Whig interpretation of science by showing how historical developments were governed by contingency and debate. The Social Studies of Science and Technology (SST) 30 years later points out the traditional view of science seems to be little more than a self-serving fiction. Observations of day-to-day research — what SST terms science in the making — appear not so much as a stepwise progression toward rational truth as a disorderly mass of stray observations, inconclusive results, and fledgling explanations. Far from merely discovering facts, scientists seem to be, as Latour and Woolgar wrote in “Laboratory Life,” “in the business of being convinced and convincing others.” During the process of arguing over uncertain data, scientists conspicuously announce they are, in some essential sense, always speaking for the facts; and yet, as soon as their propositions are turned into indisputable statements and peer-reviewed papers — what SST calls ready-made science — they claim that such facts had always “spoken for themselves.” That is, only once the scientific community accepts something as true are the all-too-human processes behind it effectively erased or, as SST says, black-boxed. Things involved in science – instruments, equations, test results, photographs, bacterial cultures, etc. – can acquire enormous power because of the complicated network of other items, known as actors (not just scientists, but non-scientists, as well as many nonhumans), that are mobilized around it. The more socially “networked” a fact is (the more people and things involved in its production), the more effectively it could refute its less plausible alternatives. For example, argues Latour, the medical revolution commonly attributed to the genius of Pasteur should instead be seen as a result of an association between not just doctors, nurses and hygienists but also worms, milk, sputum, parasites, cows and farms. Science is “social,” then, not merely because it is performed by people (this is a reductive misunderstanding of the word “social”); rather, science is social because it brings together a multitude of human and nonhuman entities and harnesses their collective power to act on and transform the world.

The idea that we can stand back and behold nature at a distance, as something discrete from our actions, is an illusion. Humans create their cultures. By so doing they create not just their ways of life, but the ways of life of nature. Climate scientists and others invented the term Anthropocene to recognize this interaction today. Humans have become tantamount to a geological force. In his book “Down to Earth” Bruno Latour writes, “Scientists have largely looked at the problem of climate-change denial through the lens of rational empiricism that has governed their profession for centuries; many limit their domain to science, thinking it inappropriate to weigh in on political questions or to speak in an emotional register to communicate urgency. Even though the evidence in support of global warming has long been overwhelming, some scientists continue to believe that the problem of denialism can be solved through ever more data and greater public education. Political scientists, meanwhile, have shown that so-called “irrational” individuals, especially those who are highly educated, in some cases actually hold onto their opinions more strongly when faced with facts that contradict them.” Instead of accusing Trump supporters and climate denialists of irrationality, Latour argues that it is untenable to talk about scientific facts as though their rightness alone will be persuasive. In this respect, “Down to Earth” extends the sociological and anthropological analysis that SST brings to bear on scientists to the minds of antiscientific voters, looking at the ways in which the reception of seemingly universal knowledge is shaped by the values and local circumstances of those to whom it is being communicated.

It has long been taken for granted that scientific facts and entities, like cells and quarks and prions, as well as for economists, economies, firms existed “out there” in the world before they were discovered by scientists. SST argues instead that scientific facts should be viewed as a product of scientific inquiry. Facts are “networked;” stand or fall not on the strength of their inherent veracity but on the strength of the institutions and practices that produce them and make them intelligible. If this network breaks down, the facts will go with them. This explains why climate change facts have trouble surviving and neoliberal economic facts do not.

Me:  Correct Ken, and that’s why the best way to get climate deniers and neo-classical economists “off the dime” is to offer them a better self interested third alternative to the dualistic anthropocene-no anthropocene “debate”. Wisdom has always been about the third integrative and greater alternative to dualing orthodoxies, and as paradigms are the quintessential integrative phenomenon of a singular concept that defines and creates an entire plauralism/pattern the primary emphasis and activity of economics and economic theory should be on discovering and most rationally implementing the policies, regulations and structural changes of the new paradigm.

The problem with Kuhn’s analysis is it studies the mere historical process of paradigm change and not the nature and signatures of historical paradigm changes themselves. My book concisely exams both the Kuhnian signatures of imminent need for a paradigm change, and even more importantly the inherent signatures and basic operations of past accomplished paradigm changes. It shows that our current monetary, economic and ecological situation fulfill all of the imminent signs of such need for change and that the new paradigm of Direct and Reciprocal Monetary Gifting fulfills all of the signatures of historically ACCOMPLISHED paradigm change. Irony is one of the accomplished signatures of paradigm changes and although one would think that increasing the ability to consume as Monetary Gifting would do, with policies, regulations and structural changes aligned with the concept behind even the concept of the new paradigm such could actually be the means of “cutting the Gordian knot” that keeps a thorough resolution of anthropocene climate change from becoming possible.

KZ:  Craig, scientific facts are a product of scientific inquiry. Facts are “networked;” stand or fall not on the strength of their inherent veracity or connection to “reality” but on the strength of the institutions and practices that produce them and make them intelligible and useful. In other words, the network that creates and supports them. If this network breaks down, as is happening with the current broad attacks on the scientific process (not the scientific method) the facts will go with it. Western societies are on the threshold of losing science and scientists. The technicians will likely keep their jobs, but their connections to science networks is tenuous, at best.

Me:  Ken,

Correct. And I’m just trying shine a light on the new paradigm that will re-integrate economics, make it more scientific, make it and the money system serve humanity instead of enslaving it and if properly understood and thoroughly implemented enable the financing of the huge projects necessary to resolve anthropocene climate change. That’s all.

Wisdomics-Gracenomics: The Essentials

Just as important as awareness of the new paradigm and the single policy that is its expression (the 50% Discount/Rebate Monetary Policy) is the understanding that the structural problem of non-economic and illegitimate economic private finance’s money creating capabilities and its resolution via a a publicly administered non-profit national banking, financial and monetary system. There will be no permanent paradigmatic change without this latter.

Of course the tax disincentives for economic vices, tax incentices for economic virtues and regulations for ecological sanity are an ultimate purpose and objective and cannot be emphasized enough as well, but the new paradigm concept, the 50% Discount/Rebate and the new publicly administered systems must come first….in order that the ecological goals can have an underlying infrastructure that will gird and establish them.

Integration, Wisdom and Paradigm Change

Money is a great tool, no need to get rid of it. What we need is a philo/etho/eco-dollar and integrated economics. Integration of truths, workabilities, applicabilities and highest ethical considerations is the very process of wisdom. Call it a Wisdomics and apply the policies aligned with such thinking.

Steven Moore is an ideologue. Ideologues are linear thinkers when what is required is integrative thinking. The process of wisdom is the integration of opposites, and a paradigm being a single concept that grasps and affects an entire pattern change makes it the quintessential integration of opposites.

Conceptual opposition is a primary signature of paradigm change and Debt/Burden and Monetary Gifting are opposites. Likewise power is the ethos/zeitgeist of the age and grace as in redeemed power is its opposite. Think about it.