Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27 2014: I am consistently surprised that we don’t think more about the economic system that supports our way of life—and even more surprised that we don’t try and make it work better. Instead, we have turned the American Business Model into something akin to a religion—despite plenty of evidence that it is a false, treacherous, and malign god. The issue is not capitalism, as such—but our current form of it.

real household income

median us income

Here I would like to point out that the above median income is PER HOUSEHOLD—not per individual. The typical individual American earns $27, 519 per year. As you can see from the above, far too many earn a great deal less.

You don’t have to be an economist to know that declining household income plus costs going up (and they are) equals trouble.

The thing about our economic system is that it is man-made—so we can change it if we so wish.

True, it is dependent on a great deal that isn’t man-made—like raw materials that are taken from the ground—or the air we breathe—but that still leaves us a lot of leeway. After all, an economic system is no more than a matrix of customs and practices and laws and regulations supported by a mass of methodologies and technologies. In fact, all in all, it seems tailor-made to be tinkered with—or even knocked down and re-built. We do that with buildings all the time. In fact, we even change important systems fundamentally—and, if push comes to shove—we don’t hesitate to kill each other.

Once polygamy was all the rage. Then—for some insane reason—we decided that marriage should be solely between a man and a woman (and for life at that). Then divorce entered the picture (probably to cut down on the murder rate). And more recently, same sex marriage has become acceptable. At this rate, polygamy will be making a comeback—perhaps same sex polygamy at that.

Well, if we can change something as significant as marriage,  we really shouldn’t be afraid to change the way our economy works—especially when it isn’t delivering what most Americans need.

Yet, most of us haven’t even admitted that the American Business Model poses an existential threat to our economic wellbeing.

Curious, don’t you think?

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