Thursday, September 05, 2019

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Ian Welsh discusses the reality as to how economic decisions are made - and how we've allowed corporate control to remain in place even after it's failed even on its own terms:
All systems have to do only one thing: whatever is required to keep the system in power.

That’s all they have to do. Whether or not human welfare is advanced or not; whether or not we care about animals or nature is irrelevant to the raw calculus of power and staying in power, until it effect staying in power.

If the hoi polloi can be kept from revolting or demanding (remember demands are based on “or else,” they are not requests) well then, the powerful will not do anything that does not increase their power or money. They will only care about human welfare outside of their own group if they feel they must, or if, as happens occasionally, they see their group as being something other than the elite group.

Right now elites don’t care about other humans enough to reshape the money and political systems (the same thing, ultimately) to prioritize human welfare, avoid a great-die-off, or stop climate change. This is clear. It is not arguable, it is a fact, based simply on their actions.
...Capitalism requires both outside management and an insistence on market discipline. It is most important that market discipline be on the large actors, not the small ones, because the large ones set the terms of the market and make most of the allocative decision. When you offer people too cheap loans, they will take them, but you are the one offering them: you are the one in the wrong.

Price signals must encourage doing the right thing. When those with market power either misbehave or mis-allocate money, they must lose their power to do so.
- And Rebecca Leber reports on Elizabeth Warren's recognition that we can't avert a climate breakdown while allowing the fossil fuel sector to pretend that large emitting industries and energy sources aren't the bulk of the problem.

- Cat Hobbs examines (PDF) the value of public ownership and democratic decision-making in ensuring that everybody has climate-friendly housing. And Bridgette Watson offers a reminder of the importance of stable housing in allowing people to recover from addictions.

- Julia Lurie examines how Purdue Pharma developed an astroturf "movement" to increase the sale of addictive pain medication.

- Finally, Tom Sigurdson highlights how a strong organized labour movement helps all workers.

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