Friday, July 15, 2011

Hug the rich

You know, I think back to that Jon Stewart thing, you remember, when he was saying that what we needed was more civility in politics. At the time, I thought how very fifth column that was. Yeah yeah, the problem is that we aren't huggy enough of the right wing.

Well no. The problem is not that we aren't nice enough to the Republicans. They want to make us basically into slaves. They want to thieve all the value in the world and give it to the rich people who bought them.

They hate us. They want to keep us as close to impoverishment as they can so that we are forced to do what they want, which is create wealth for them to syphon off.

It's no use saying that the very rich are creating wealth or that without them we would lack jobs. Most of the very rich are investors or run hedge funds.

Investor sounds good, right? We have a picture of the business investor, putting his money into someone's dream and sharing in the success that they have enabled. Well nah. That's not what the very rich do. They buy bonds. They trade stocks. For the bonds they give us money we don't need. Money is just the way to keep score. What counts are resources. The very rich do not give the government resources! They give it useless money. And "give" is not the word because they are repaid all the money plus interest. The bonds they buy are like little drains on our economy. Each one syphons off some of the value that could be used on making our lives better. They rarely invest in bonds issued by companies. They prefer risk-free money.

Well, stocks. That means money goes to a company, right? Obviously not! When Intel issues shares, it makes money. But when those shares are traded, it makes nary a cent. The stocks are on IPO day a means of funding a company, but once bought, they become ways to gamble. Yes, investors gamble on the success of companies, but the companies don't gain from it.

Imagine if we held the companies in our commonwealth. Imagine what we could do with the wealth of the dividends. Am I saying nationalise everything? Yes, I am. Let's do that. Who is hurt by it? Who is hurt by a government that makes investments in private firms in our interests? Who is hurt if we get the dividends and not the rich?

Yeah, only the rich, and fuck them, hey?

And hedge funds. What are they? What do they do?

Well, the name is misleading. Hedging is in fact a useful thing. If you are a farmer, you can hedge the price you get for your crops and make your income secure (you might sell an option on your crop at a certain price that you think is slightly below what you might be able to get for it, but above your worst case, and worth locking in).

Hedge funds do hedge. Just not in a particularly useful way. They are designed to allow speculation on the market in a way that makes money however the market moves. Most are not particularly successful at doing this but some have strategies that work well. They do not have a socially useful purpose. They exist solely to increase holdings of money. Am I saying outlaw investments? No. Am I saying that the government should restrict what types of investment are permitted? Yes.

You want freedom? Fine. Let's have freedom but we'll level the playing field first. How about that? Oh no?

No. No libertarian wants equity. No libertarian wants justice. They want their privilege entrenched. It makes me lol to read the silly tosspots claiming that property rights are fundamental. Yeah right. Your right to own 10 million in shares is exactly equivalent to my right not to be shot dead in the street.

Get this though. You don't have a right to property if you don't improve the land you're on. If you don't farm it or mine it, you can't claim it. Now why would freedom-loving types believe that? Why wouldn't they think that pasturing or nomadism aren't legitimate uses of land?

Well, it's simple to explain. They aren't smart enough to know that some native Americans farmed so they are able to pretend that those brave frontiersmen who made America rich did not steal their property from the natives.


Blogger AJ said...

I don't understand your last sentence. What pretend? It was stolen.

July 15, 2011 at 11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you change "stole" to "did not steal" or was I just brain dead when I read it the first time? It makes sense now.


July 17, 2011 at 1:38 AM  

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