(This is too long to post as a comment under the GROVETON AND RECESSION VS DEPRESSION post)
To inspire application of homo sapiens full capacity, investing and the profit from investments of capital, labor, intelligence and land are the most useful incentives humans have found – at least so far.
But investing and profit have proven it inspire the use of full human capacity for good AND for ill. Those who suffer the most are at the bottom of the Ziggurat.
Fundamental changes including human literacy, instantaneous communications, technology of mass consumption and weapons of mass destruction require a far different distribution of resources and responsibility than existed when the pre-SuperCapitalism of A. Smith ascended or later when totalitarian states learned to harness the power of capital accumulation.
EMR will leave it to others to debate if Nader has ‘the answer’ – donations by the super-rich. So far those at the top of the Ziggurat have always used their wealth to protect their wealth and to grow their wealth, not to narrow the Wealth Gap to a margin that reflects a sustainable trajectory for civilization.
In The Shape of the Future , EMR documented that Fundamental Change (Transformation) of human settlement patterns was necessary to secure a sustainable trajectory for civilization. To achieve that a Fundamental Transformation there also must be a Fundamental Transformation of governance structure.
That is because democratic processes and a free (aka, well informed / intelligent) market must be harnessed so that the majority of the citizens can establish Agencies, Enterprises and Institutions to meet the needs of all humans. At the present those who enjoy the fruits of civilization are those who control Agencies, Enterprises and Institutions to the detriment of those at the bottom of the Ziggurat.
In TRILO-G , EMR documents the need to add Fundamental Transformations of economic structures to the two other Fundamental Transformations.
SYNERGY is working to articulate the details of the first two Fundamental Transformations.
Thankfully we are hearing more and more comments such as this one from Tuesday: “You know that seminar you did six years at the Community College? You need to present it again because now more are ready to listen.”
But not nearly enough citizens are REALLY ready to listen as the posts on this Blog document.
As documented in PROPERTY DYNAMICS, the majority are RHATC’s (pronounced “ratzzies”) who do not have time to consider the trajectory of civilization much less the ways to a achieve sustainability.
For this reason EMR and SYNERGY need to stick to the first two Fundamental Transformations and let other articulate the details of third.
There are some threshold ideas on the topic of ‘Investments’ that may be of help:
A good place to start is TMT’s tax on short term profits – perhaps the level of tax should be at 2 percent less than the profit realized, with a bonus one percent reduction in the tax rate for every year the investment is held?
There are the ideas of Robert Reich in SuperCapitalism starting with the fact that corporations are not people. In the Vocabulary of SYNERGY: Enterprises are NOT citizens. Make the citizens who own Enterprises accountable and taxable.
There is a crying need to start enforcing anti-trust and anti-competition laws.
Larry might agree that NO Enterprise should be too big to fail. There should be Critical Maximums for Enterprise size with automatic divesture at predetermined thresholds. Economies of scale benefit Enterprises not consumers when all costs are fairly allocated. Wal*Mart is a perfect example when the total Community scale costs are considered.
In general, Larry is more right on ‘investing’ than Groveton.
Groveton may make more money but, that is not the point.
He who dies with the most toys does NOT win – individually or in Households, Enterprises, Institutions or Agencies much less by Community, Region or nation-state.
Peter is right there is a need for incentives to invest. The important question is what should the incentives for investment be?
A basic rule of investing might be: “Know well that in which you invest.” In this context, location / proximity and transparency is key. Regional stock markets with Community sectors would be a first step.
Tax profits from investing outside ones home Region at twice the rate as those inside the Region. Make profits from investments inside ones home Community at half the rate of the Regional rate. Profits from Neighborhood and Village investments could be taxed at half the Community rate. Encourage impoart replacement at all scales.
The primary need is for innovation to improve is governance and civility, not increase consumption.
It is axiomatic that Agencies should be taxing consumption, not just profit. The use of Agency taxation might morph to tax consumption and EXCESS profits – short term, remote, speculative, etc. Further, move from taxes to fees for service.
Encourage conservation with increased rates for increased use of water and energy, not the reverse.
And of course Agencies must fairly allocate location variable costs instead of subsidizing wasted transport.
The only way to achieve profound reduction in consumption without loss of the amenity of a modern technology supported civilization is Fundamental Transformation of human settlement patterns.
Tax advertising, entertainment, salt, fat and sugar. Use caffeine, alcohol and recreational drug revenue to support Regional health care systems. If citizens cannot trust the medical perfession to contorl these substances civilization needs to revert to witch doctors.
All these strategies may decrease the short-term rate of growth but will increase the equity of distribution of growth and resource consumption and will help insure there are resources for future generations.
To bring the US of A into parity with the world need to cut per capita consumption of to one quarter the current rate.
Do not underestimate the need for Global equity and a fair distribution of true total costs that has become mandatory by human literacy, instantaneous communications, technology of mass consumption and weapons of mass destruction.
The bottom line:
There must be a new way to measure the value of investment and it needs to be something beyond gambling venue receipts.
PART FIVE of TRILO-G is titled NEW METRIC FOR CITIZEN WELL BEING.
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