Archive for ‘News’

April 6, 2011

Facebook post Taxation=Justice

Tax is also the nexus between state and citizen, and tax revenues are the lifeblood of the social contract: the very act of taxation has profoundly beneficial effects in fostering better and more accountable government.

Tax is the most important, the most beneficial, and the most sustainable source of finance for development. Tax revenue in Africa, for example, is worth ten times the value of foreign aid. The long-term goal of poor countries must be to replace foreign aid dependency with tax self-reliance. As th
5 hours ago · Friends of Friends · · · Share

      Shireman Futurefivehundred Taxation is considered by many smart and thoughtful people to be theft. I’m not saying that is what I think. I think smart taxation and a resonable tax code makes sense especially when it comes to carbon. But I have heard the argument made-fairly well that taxation is just a form of “tribute” to the powerful. Just a thought. But an interesting one. 

      4 hours ago ·

      Jennifer A Hill 

      There is a long debate about taxation. Yes it goes back to our earliest organized govts. The US elite and some fundamentalist has an obsession with personal property as the most important expression of human worth. This is very distorted an…d not rational. But the domination of others is not rational and those who are not white male and christian have had to fight for even the most basic rights in our country. (Votes, right to own property, right to freedom, right to birth control) So its expected that the elite will continue to rationalize their position to keep their wealth at all costs. How else can they convince us that their perversion is a truth?See More
      2 hours ago ·

      Jennifer A Hill 

      These are all my opinions. Its just these are also themes running through the entire recorded history of our species. So I feel that our current circumstances are only a repetition of the past, nothing particularly extraordinary about our a…ge. That is not to say we are unable to change but it seems that man has great difficulty w/ controlling his propensity for domination. Because of that we get civilizations that rationalize their oppression and it sounds good because they are appealing to the most base nature of humans. Its easy to go from hypothalamus demands to the urge to dominate as part of the survival mechanism. We need more than well spoken clean business people. At least some of us do.See More
      8 minutes ago ·

December 13, 2010

Griftopia and Complicity

lambert's picture

Sun, 12/12/2010 – 10:46am — lambert

A guest post at Yves’s place on Taibi’s Griftopia, and other recent books on financialization and its discontents:

Griftopia” begins with the story of the rise of the Republican Tea Party movement. Mr. Taibbi sees the rise as a diversionary tactic, focusing the attention of the populace away from the real issues – the grifters, bankers and people that the author dislikes – towards tangential issues – immigration, foreigners and the role of government. But the book itself is diversionary. In resorting to crude “blaming” and “flaming” even the correct targets without a thorough and accurate understanding of the true issues, “Griftopia” cheapens its case and ultimately allows the hated “system” to continue unhindered.

“Griftopia” may fall into its own trap. Its rage and blame perpetuates a lack of understanding of the real causes of the problem. The Roman Caesars understood that the crowd needed bread and games. They also knew that when things went wrong, an occasional sacrifice and crucifixion was the key to maintaining power. The clever vampire squid may have suborned Mr. Taibbi into its service. ….

“Griftopia” and “All the Devils Are Here” do not acknowledge the complicity of everyone in the body politic in the essential financialisation of modern life and the reliance on economic growth. They do not acknowledge the fact that while the grift worked and everyone got richer, everyone remained sanguine about the “system”. No one cared as long as his or her stock portfolios and houses rose in value. No one cared as his or her living standards improved or there was the possibility of improvement

I guess I have problems with the “everyone is complicit” as an analytical tool, because it puts kings and lords on the same plane as peasants and artisans. “If only the peasants would die for the cause, kings would be more just.” Well, who says? And is tu quoque truly fallacious when a claim of complicity is an implicit demand for action? Then again, perhaps it’s not the peasants, or not only the peasants, who need to be willing to die to make the king more just, but the barons and their retainers, as in the Magna Carta or, for that matter, the American Revolution. I don’t know.

Anyhow, if complicity is getting at you, you can always practice slow politics by withdrawing from the system of rents; and in New York, you might consider joining the Empty Plates demonstration this afternwithdrawing from the system of rentsoon.