More On: capitalism
Why hasn't capitalism progressed? What's coming will not be able to withstand an antiquated, shortsighted, and stupid financial structure
You wouldn't think that capitalism would be a hot issue these days, yet it is. In so many ways during the last few decades, conventional finance systems have failed miserably, and the epidemic has etched the message on the earth.
A scenario that was already uneven and lacking in concentration has gotten a lot worse. The concept of wealth is absurd. So few individuals are truly affluent, yet so many can't afford even the most basic necessities. A medical cost may wipe out even billionaires. Education is exorbitantly costly, making crucial skills acquisition extremely difficult.
Credit is completely uncontrollable. Evergrande, China's debt mountain, is a case in point, threatening to destabilize the credit market. It's certainly not the only one. There are numerous publicly traded corporations that are believed to be fully reliant on debt. It's every bit as bad as it sounds. All of that debt was purchased and is now owned by people. Debts have the potential to depreciate to zero.
Credit used to be a key engine of economic growth. It's now a massive, shapeless, and unquantifiable monster. It's a massive debt, with most of it questionably recoverable. Taking notes is something that most people do on a regular basis. That money came and went, and both creditors and debtors lost it.
These are just a few examples of how capitalism currently frequently causes more issues than it can solve:
- The Great Global Price Gouge is systematically cleaning people out. Personal capital can and usually does erode, fast.
- Affordability is non-existent for everything from rent to education to day care to something as basic as buying a home.
- Financial security is now simply a legend of the past for the most recent two generations. Their employment will be stop/start/contract employment. It won’t and can’t be the 40 years paying off a mortgage scenario. They simply won’t be able to get loans, even if they can pretend they can afford the insane housing prices.
- “Wealth distribution” is a bad joke. How can you even think wealth is “distributed” anymore? It’s not. Real wealth has gravitated up to the upper brackets, and there it will probably stay.
- More common is “wealth dilution”, in which wealth progressively diminishes as capital from estates splits into ever-smaller amounts. Very few families can remain rich for more than a few generations at best.
- The rich avoid tax routinely and put the costs on the lower brackets. This is real capitalism at work; for itself and nobody else.
- “Get a job” doesn’t work at all anymore in terms of creating personal capital. Unless you’re on a very solid salary, you’re basically on a subsistence-level income. You can work from 17 to 70 and be just as broke as when you started. The Great Resignation is if nothing else realistic in that sense.
- In future, employment as it is now won’t even exist. It’s more likely, ironically enough, that you’ll be working at home on multiple jobs. The good news is that multiple income streams do work and you don’t have to worry about working for some nutcase employer when you have other options. The bad news is that this way of earning money is like being a freelancer – Feast or famine, more than likely famine. It’s very tricky.
- Black money is now a massive, nasty, participant in the global economy. Illegal money is now probably worth trillions. This money is dangerous, fuels speculation, drives surges in things like the stock market and Bitcoin, and does damage by market manipulation. This type of capitalism is entirely destructive and totally unaccountable.
- Property valuations are typical mainstream assets. Few people will look at any property valuation without questioning it anymore. This unspeakably big market soaks up capital, real and fictional, generating a lot of financial fiction as “capital”. Hardly encouraging, is it?
There is no evolution at all
None of these issues are being really debated anyplace on the planet. The everyday calamities of capitalism continue unabated. The inertia of capital movements, like that of a driverless train, just keeps moving in the same direction.
As a result, the clear impending train crash of capitalism isn't even a discussion. It might be similar to what happened in Russia after the Soviet Union fell apart. Assets that aren't worth anything; they're bought to pay for food or expenses. More than likely, a real kleptocracy, far worse than the existing form, will emerge.
The capitalist dinosaurs, on the other hand, are doing just great. This is how they prefer it. Asteroid? What kind of asteroid is it? You mean the one that will obliterate assets such as French fries and will occur within the next ten to twenty years? It's no issue.
This is the thinking that, in a decade or two, will destroy the globe. Under the weight of its own suicidal imbalances, the giant foolish system that couldn't even govern itself will collapse. Capitalism as it exists now isn't even excellent accounting, let alone a "ideology."
There are more sane survival alternatives available
The main truth is that the affordability epidemic will hit sooner or later, most likely sooner. Even now, few people are able to cover basic expenses.
Basic capital existence necessitates:
Services: Split the bill. Public ownership isn't the same as socialism. It's a matter of common sense. Do you have to be a communist if you split the bill at a restaurant? Hardly. Education, housing, and health care all need to be conveniently available and inexpensive. After all, it was paid for by your taxes in the first place. Why should you have to pay for it twice or three times?
Homeowners are seven times more economically productive than non-homeowners, according to a new research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. So, why is the whole financial system bent on making homeownership unattainable?
Taxes: There’s an old chestnut that’s been floating around the world for decades – “Tax loopholes”. There’s no such thing. Either something is taxable or it’s not. Taxes should be fair, but there should be no question of not collecting them.
(With a suitable non-tax revenue stream, you could really eliminate taxation totally.) You may have a government that is self-sustaining.... But wouldn't that necessitate the ability to comprehend large words and focus on anything for longer than 5 minutes in a meeting? What a shame.)
Financial security: This is the most obvious of all no-brainers. People are unconcerned with "capitalism." They are concerned with having enough money. They don't want to be concerned about every penny that comes their way by chance. Fix it, and you've solved a major cause of global stress. That is something that Universal Basic Income can do.
People, not simply nervous bill-paying machines, might afford to be people. Not only might they have lives, but they may also have cost bases. They might work on something they enjoy rather than "a job" they normally despise.
So… Do you want to progress? Because you've seen what happens when things don't.