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aflanigan

aflanigan Avatar

Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 14, 2013 - 3:23pm

 miamizsun wrote:
apparently bono has had an epiphany of reason and logic (breaking through some preconceived barriers/notions on enabled poverty controlled by politicians via aid) and props to him {#Cheers}

at first i thought it was dambisa moyo that influenced him (and i'm sure she did), but it was george ayittey's speech, book and friendship that sparked bono's realization

Bono: “Capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid”

I think the validity of this statement depends a great deal on the flavor of capitalism that you are talking about.

Does he mean Henry Ford's version, a.k.a. "stakeholder capitalism?"
In Germany, still a manufacturing and export powerhouse, average hourly pay has risen five times faster since 1985 than in the United States. The secret of Germany’s success, says Klaus Kleinfeld, who ran the German electrical giant Siemens before taking over the American aluminum company Alcoa in 2008, is “the social contract: the willingness of business, labor and political leaders to put aside some of their differences and make agreements in the national interest.”


Unfortunately, as the following article points out, Fordism has basically been abandoned.

On Henry Ford's 150th Birthday, his Greatest Insight has Been Tragically Forgotten

This graph from the article comparing corporate profits relative to GDP vs. wages relative to GDP is pretty telling.




miamizsun

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Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 13, 2013 - 9:08am

apparently bono has had an epiphany of reason and logic (breaking through some preconceived barriers/notions on enabled poverty controlled by politicians via aid) and props to him {#Cheers}

at first i thought it was dambisa moyo that influenced him (and i'm sure she did), but it was george ayittey's speech, book and friendship that sparked bono's realization

Bono: “Capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid”

 
george's ted speech that bono attended




a couple of dambisa's vids






R_P

R_P Avatar



Posted: Dec 1, 2012 - 12:42pm

Today the evermore wasteful nature of capitalist production, viewed from a qualitative or use-value perspective, is starkly evident. The packaging industry, much of which is devoted to marketing wares, is the third largest industry in the world after food and energy.46 It has been estimated that packaging costs an average of 10–40 percent of non-food produce items purchased. The packaging of cosmetics sometimes costs three times as much to produce as the actual contents within it.47 Around 300 million tons of plastic are produced globally each year. Only two-thirds of this is enough, according to the Guardian, “to cover the 48 contiguous states of the U.S. in plastic food wrapping.” Advertising for some products, such as soap or beer, is 10–12 percent of the retail cost per unit sold, while with some toys advertising is 15 percent of the retail cost.48 The sales promotion budgets of corporations meanwhile are often three times that of their advertising budgets.49 More than a trillion dollars was spent on marketing in the United States in 2005 alone.50

R_P

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Posted: Nov 26, 2012 - 3:08pm


hobiejoe

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Location: Still in the tunnel, looking for the light.
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 17, 2012 - 3:57pm

 MrsHobieJoe wrote:
 hippiechick wrote:

tHE PRIVATE EQUITY GUYS ALWAYS GET PAID UPFRONT.

 

huh, that's not how it works.

If you invest into a business you put cash in in the form of equity and loans. The fund managers of the PE firm would be paid anyways, but the actual investment is a genuine one. There will probably be lots of wealthy people investing into a fund like Carlyle and that will make a number of PE investments on the fund holders behalf. The proportion of successes and failures needs to be right or the fund has failed.

Nb private equity covers quite a wide variety of investment, this is a classic example.

 
Errrm, I thought that the investor with his sack of money gave it to a PE firm to invest on their behalf. What then happens seems to me to be some what arcane, but as far as I can tell, companies that were happily making stuff for people to buy and earning enough to pay their staff, invest in new products and pay a reasonable dividend to their stockholders suddenly found themselves snaffled up by some PE fund, their assets stripped, most of their staff laid off or offshored, everything possible - property or plant - sold off, and then got laden with "debts", from gods know where, that they didn't need this time last week.
 
PE fund then sell firm on as a paradigm of efficiency, just before the ediface comes crashing down, the foundations hollowed out by swingeing cost cutting, but mainly crushed by the tax-deductable debt loaded onto the poor old company.
 
And so it goes.
 
I know this is a gross simplification, but why do so many perfectly happy, profitable companies go down the pan because of their debt obligations when they didn't really have that much debt at all before the PE guys decided to "invest" in them?
 
Harrumph.
 
 
Bed time for me, I think.
 

 


MrsHobieJoe

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Location: somewhere in Europe
Gender: Female


Posted: Nov 17, 2012 - 1:47pm

 hippiechick wrote:

tHE PRIVATE EQUITY GUYS ALWAYS GET PAID UPFRONT.

 



huh, that's not how it works.



If you invest into a business you put cash in in the form of equity and loans. The fund managers of the PE firm would be paid anyways, but the actual investment is a genuine one. There will probably be lots of wealthy people investing into a fund like Carlyle and that will make a number of PE investments on the fund holders behalf. The proportion of successes and failures needs to be right or the fund has failed.



Nb private equity covers quite a wide variety of investment, this is a classic example.


hippiechick

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Location: topsy turvy land
Gender: Female


Posted: Nov 17, 2012 - 1:37pm

 Zep wrote:

Wrong.

Who's to Blame for the Hostess Bankruptcy: Wall Street, Unions, or Carbs?

"This is not a simple story that anybody should try to slot neatly into their political talking points. It's not just about Wall Street preying on Main Street, or big bad labor unions sucking a wholesome American company dry. It's about an entire galaxy of bad decisions that will cost many people their jobs and money."  
-Jordan Weissman, Atlantic.

"The private equity guys will likely lose most of their investment, since their stake in the company will be worthless. It's also not clear that the hedge funds and other lenders that supplied Hostess with its mountain of loans will fare much better." 

"As far as the unions go: You can blame them for not making enough concessions. You can blame the bakers for administering the final death blow. But you can't blame them for management's strategic incompetence, or the decision to try to run a flailing company on debt, hope, and empty calories."

Rarely are things as black and white as you think they are.

 

 
tHE PRIVATE EQUITY GUYS ALWAYS GET PAID UPFRONT.
Zep

Zep Avatar



Posted: Nov 17, 2012 - 12:33pm

 hippiechick wrote: 
Wrong.

Who's to Blame for the Hostess Bankruptcy: Wall Street, Unions, or Carbs?

"This is not a simple story that anybody should try to slot neatly into their political talking points. It's not just about Wall Street preying on Main Street, or big bad labor unions sucking a wholesome American company dry. It's about an entire galaxy of bad decisions that will cost many people their jobs and money."  
-Jordan Weissman, Atlantic.

"The private equity guys will likely lose most of their investment, since their stake in the company will be worthless. It's also not clear that the hedge funds and other lenders that supplied Hostess with its mountain of loans will fare much better." 

"As far as the unions go: You can blame them for not making enough concessions. You can blame the bakers for administering the final death blow. But you can't blame them for management's strategic incompetence, or the decision to try to run a flailing company on debt, hope, and empty calories."

Rarely are things as black and white as you think they are.

 


Servo

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Location: Down on the Farm
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 17, 2012 - 11:56am

 hippiechick wrote: 
The news has been reporting runs on Hostess outlets, so I'm guessing the store shelves are picked clean by now.  Sad.

On the upside, the company is going into liquidation, and the machinery that makes Twinkies probably isn't useful for any other purpose.  Hopefully some other baking company, or possibly a consortium of junk food lovers will buy the equipment, recipes and brand rights so that we might see the products return, if only on the shelves of nostalgia stores like Cracker Barrel and Restoration Hardware.


Zep

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Posted: Nov 17, 2012 - 11:18am

 RichardPrins wrote: 
You find the coolest stuff.
hippiechick

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Location: topsy turvy land
Gender: Female


Posted: Nov 17, 2012 - 8:35am

Hostess Bankrupt – Vulture Capitalists Picked Corpse Clean (VIDEO)


R_P

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Posted: Sep 4, 2012 - 3:58pm

52 Shades of Greed - An Illustrated Education Game

R_P

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Posted: Sep 3, 2012 - 3:20pm

Capitalism's Ideological Crutches
(...) Blame-the-government ideology supports capitalism also in another way. By portraying government as wasteful, incompetent, corrupt, power mad and oppressive, it strives to establish another "common sense" idea. Government should be kept economically weak: Keep its spending down, its budget balanced, or else in debt to capitalists and the rich (main government creditors). Limit the taxes it can levy, the regulations it can impose, and so on. Hobble the government while painting it as a negative social force, not to be trusted. Corrupt the politicians with the resources only corporations and the rich have and spend for such purposes and then denounce that corruption as the government's fault. Turn workers away from engagement, respect for, or even interest in politics. Disgusted and alienated, many workers withdraw, leaving the political arena to the capitalists and the rich to buy and shape. US mainstream politics thus serves and never challenges capitalism.

Blame the government, like all ideologies, has contradictions and blind spots. When war is on the agenda, politicians get quick makeovers from "crooks" into "commander in chief" and "national leaders." When workers strike and otherwise resist employers, capitalism's ideologues want to unleash government on those workers. In such conditions, ideology waffles from blame and reduce to celebrate and strengthen government. Similarly, when politicians get caught working for and being paid by capitalists and the rich, a troubling question invades public discussion. Who really is to blame: the politicians who serve, the capitalists who pay and get served, or the system they built and maintain together?

Mainstream blame-the-government ideology is a fig leaf that hides (and thereby protects and supports) how capitalism works. In crisis times, it intensifies (e.g., Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan and Rush Limbaugh) to shift public attention away from capitalism's breakdown and gross injustice. Its ideologues then urgently ratchet up blame on the government for taxing us, limiting guns, attacking marriage, religion and heterosexuality, mandating health insurance, imposing regulations etc. Their mission: redirect mass hurt, fear, anxiety and resentment about the effects of capitalist crisis into rituals of resisting the evil politicians and bureaucrats who want to control us.

Capitalism's ideological crutches do not necessarily or always stress blame the government. In Germany (1930s) and Italy (1920s), for example, deep crises saw capitalists embrace instead fascist ideologies and political parties that exalted extremely powerful government. Hitler and Mussolini merged powerful government with major capitalist enterprises. They used state power directly to subordinate labor to capital and to destroy capitalism's major critics: labor unions, socialist and communist parties. (...)

R_P

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Posted: Aug 28, 2012 - 8:13pm

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Communist China the most efficient capitalist country of all
 Happy snaps in front of the image of the father of liberalisation Deng Xiaoping. Picture: AFP Source: AFP
aflanigan

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Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 28, 2012 - 7:51am

 kurtster wrote:

You seem to be changing the subject away from the idea of the American Dream and what it is about.

How can one not be broadbrushed when speaking about a broadbrushed idea like the American Dream ?

I'll offer that there was a major consensus in the post WW II years, when the present middleclass was born.

 

I think you misunderstand the definition of the term consensus.  It requires somthing near unanimity, does it not?  Such as a consent vote in Congress does?
What's the nature of this post-WW II consensus you are asserting?  The middle class existence featuring the suburban house with the white picket fence that pop culture assures us everyone dreamt of?  How many of the beatniks didn't buy into this dream?
R_P

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Posted: Aug 27, 2012 - 6:05pm

Film highlights the temptations and perils of blind obedience to authority
Indie film Compliance recalls notions that the past decade's worst events are explained by failures to oppose authority
Some noted a disturbing thirst for leader-worship that drove followers of Barack Obama. Photograph: Greg Wahl-Stephens/AP
One can object to some of its particulars, but Frank Bruni has a quite interesting and incisive New York Times column today about a new independent film called Compliance, which explores the human desire to follow and obey authority.

Based on real-life events that took place in 2004 at a McDonalds in Kentucky, the film dramatizes a prank telephone call in which a man posing as a police officer manipulates a supervisor to abuse an employee with increasing amounts of cruelty and sadism, ultimately culminating in sexual assault – all by insisting that the abuse is necessary to aid an official police investigation into petty crimes.

That particular episode was but one of a series of similar and almost always-successful hoaxes over the course of at least 10 years, in which restaurant employees were manipulated into obeying warped directives from this same man, pretending on the telephone to be a police officer. (...)

kurtster

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Location: drifting
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 27, 2012 - 5:23pm

 aflanigan wrote:

When?

I think you are indulging in blatantly misguided nostalgia if you think you can point to an era where everyone in the US agreed on anything.

Even during the early days of the US, there were fundamental disagreements about almost everything.  Such as the proper role of a central government, and how strong it should be.

 
You seem to be changing the subject away from the idea of the American Dream and what it is about.

How can one not be broadbrushed when speaking about a broadbrushed idea like the American Dream ?

I'll offer that there was a major consensus in the post WW II years, when the present middleclass was born.
aflanigan

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Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 27, 2012 - 5:08pm

 kurtster wrote:

I'll say it like this ...

Back then (?), the American Dream was working, there was indeed a consensus of what it was.

 
When?

I think you are indulging in blatantly misguided nostalgia if you think you can point to an era where everyone in the US agreed on anything.

Even during the early days of the US, there were fundamental disagreements about almost everything.  Such as the proper role of a central government, and how strong it should be.
Isabeau

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Location: sou' tex
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 27, 2012 - 5:01pm

Srsly? Right at this moment, despite any occasional anti-materialistic rhetoric:

I'd love to be riding this Apple Wave. 
ScottN

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Location: Half inch above the K/T boundary
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 27, 2012 - 4:33pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
But I think what it would take is some shared national consensus about how we define a decent and responsible life in the modern complex world. I don’t think we have that. We have slogans about being successful. We have slogans about “job creators.” We have slogans about everybody having the right to reach the sky in the quest for material self-satisfaction. We have a definition of the good life, which involves the accumulation of material goods plus entertainment.

These are clusters of issues that are interrelated, and it will require a real jolt for us to start thinking seriously about how we can re-create a healthy society here that is still the compelling image for the world that it once was. Then, the American dream was widely shared. Today, it isn’t.
It's to our social and political detriment that such ideas are not even part of the national dialogue.  We have been effectively sold the idea of acquisition of goods as the road to all things good.  Add to that (commercial) entertainment, as you write, and there are the "keys to the highway".  The last person to run on anything nearly this "unthinkable dialogue" was perhaps CA former and now currently Governor—Jerry Brown.  It almost cost him his career.

Of course, there are only so many "toys" to be had.  What we think of as "our way" is unsustainable. Eventually, correcting mechanics will force us to this dialogue....or muddle around in a class warfare that will savage life as we know it.


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