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PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post Social Political Economics
Created by John Eipper on 04/05/11 12:18 PM

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Social Political Economics (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 04/05/11 12:18 pm)

Last night I watched a very scary and amazing documentary about something I thought I knew all about: the why and how for today's global financial crisis.

http://www.sonyclassics.com/insidejob/

https://rim.tntech.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.sonyclassics.com/insidejob/

It showed convincing evidence for much of what I have been saying in this Forum. It also clearly indicates that the Obama administration is either terribly stupid or extremely corrupt, as bad as prior administrations. The implications to social/economic justice, US democracy, the integrity of the academic profession, the science of financial economics, are devastating.

In 1998 I wrote a paper titled "Using a Systems Approach to Analyze the Impact of Financial Systems on Society" whose abstract said "The new world order seems to be based on the power of financial resources to influence the other subcomponents of the Economic System. The latter, in turn, has gained considerable influence over the Political System and Social System of modern societies. Using a system approach, this paper/presentation provides evidence of the dramatic changes occurring in society today which is likely to lead to a financial aristocracy, to the corruption of democratic processes and social justice, and ultimately to the detriment of mankind. This report has three parts, the first will focus on (1) the factors producing the changes in power (influence) of the economic system on the political system, and (2) the factors producing changes in the power of the economic system on the social system, such as the impact of downsizing, temporary work, etc.; The second part will focus on (1) the apparent symptoms from the power imbalance between the economic system and the social system, (2) the apparent symptoms of the power imbalance between the economic system and the political system, and (3) the apparent symptoms of the power imbalance of the economic system on the social system through the political system. The third part will focus on the increasingly overwhelming influence of the financial subsystem on the global economic system and the mechanisms through which the "tail wags the dog."

This paper was presented at The 42nd Annual Conference of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, July 19-24, 1998, in Atlanta, GA. Some of the attendees were quite hostile to my conclusions, accusing me of being too pessimistic or too critical of the wonderful social/political/economic system we had in place. Last night, the documentary clearly indicated that unfortunately those people were dead wrong. To me, the most shocking lesson from watching the documentary is that I underestimated the power of the financial system in terms of its ability to corrupt not only free markets, but also corporate executives, government regulators, large numbers of legislators and perhaps the president, and academic researchers hired as consultants. Given present social/political realities in the world today, it is practically impossible to reverse course toward true democracy, social/economic justice, etc. Nevertheless, people need to wake up and pay attention to what is happening to them.

JE comments:  As a postscript to Tor Guimaraes's note, why have we as a society totally forgotten about the perils of "too big to fail"?  Maybe we've just chosen to forget.



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  • Social Political Economics: *Inside Job* (John Torok, USA 04/06/11 1:51 AM)
    Pres. Obama played his cards right to help raise and spend $1 billion for his 2012 reelection campaign. From a politician's perspective, winning the next election is the entire point of the exercise, as earlier history with a Committee to Reelect the President ("CREEP") might remind us. I reiterate or paraphrase Sarah Palin: how's that hopey-changey thing working for you?

    I too recently saw the Inside Job documentary and recommend it. I mentioned it to a friend and she thought I was referring to a dramatic film (Spike Lee, 2006) (which has its own charms) that stars Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster.


    JE comments:  Here's the link to the Inside Job webpage (the film is available for purchase).  It's the "film that cost over $20,000,000,000,000 to make"--I think that's $20 trillion:


    http://www.sonyclassics.com/insidejob/




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    • Social Political Economics; Campaign Finance in France (Alain de Benoist, -France 04/06/11 8:36 AM)
      In France, it is strictly forbidden for any politician to raise funds for his or her electoral campaign. Raising funds is seen as giving the power to the wealthiest, not to the most able.

      JE comments: As John Torok reported this morning, Pres. Obama is planning to raise over $1 billion for his 2012 re-election bid. The French system of campaign finance is starting to look better every day.


      A question: if the US were to ban fund raising (a mere thought exercise, as this will never happen...recall Citizens United), how would anyone get elected to anything?



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      • Campaign Finance (Robert Whealey, USA 04/07/11 4:52 AM)

        The assumption that corporations would buy every candidate only began in 1980 with Ronald Reagan



        FDR got money from 48 state parties. The city bosses of New York, Houston or Richmond, VA, who wanted a job in the cabinet, sent in a personal contribution. Joe Kennedy Sr. sent Roosevelt perhaps a million dollars. He became chairman of the new SEC and then Ambassador to Great Britain.



        Jimmy Carter got money from the State of Georgia and his own business. The voter chose Roosevelt or Carter or voted "no" based on the candidate's ideals. Money helped, but not every candidate worked for the banks, oil, or the TV industry.



        Since Ronald Reagan, both parties have become more and more corrupt with each passing election. The candidates use newspeak in every speech from Reagan to Obama. They only say what they think the pundits want to hear.


        JE comments:  Everyone wails about campaign finance in the US, but substantive reform seems to be farther away with every passing year.


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        • Campaign Finance; Cronyism in Wisconsin? (Mike Bonnie, USA 04/08/11 1:46 AM)
          Robert Whealey wrote on 7 April:

          "The assumption that corporations would buy every candidate only began in 1980 with Ronald Reagan."


          It's refreshing to know that officials allowing themselves to be bought doesn't always go un-noticed by attentive news media.  Here's one recent such example in Wisconsin:


          Lobbyist's son to return to old job in Walker administration


          The son of a prominent lobbyist is being demoted following controversy over his selection as a high-paid supervisor in the Walker administration.


          Gov. Walker on Tuesday announced he was sending Brian Deschane back to the Department of Regulation and Licensing and his $64,728-a-year job [which began in January 2011] as bureau director of board services.


          The Department of Commerce recently hired Deschane, 27, as its new administrator of environmental and regulatory services--an $81,500 a year job that supervises 76 employees and oversees storage tank regulations and environmental cleanups.


          Deschane never graduated college and according to his resume, had no discernible experience in the field. Yet, according to documents provided to the State Journal Tuesday, he was chosen over a former DRL secretary to replace a 25-year state employee with a degree in chemical engineering and a resume that included extensive management and regulatory experience. The disparity has led critics to conclude that Deschane's hiring was political payback.


          The Walker administration and Jerry Deschane have both denied any quid pro quo took place. Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said that when the governor "learned of the details of this agency staffing decision, he directed his administration to move in another direction." Werwie said Commerce would be naming an acting division administrator.


          More: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_03926452-5f09-11e0-9454-001cc4c002e0.html


          In a late news break:


          Lobbyist's son resigns from Walker administration job


          The embattled son of a prominent lobbyist has resigned from the Walker administration after a controversy over his hiring led to a demotion earlier this week.


          A spokesman for Gov. Scott Walker confirmed Thursday that Brian Deschane resigned after the governor took away his $81,500-a-year job with the Department of Commerce.


          Deschane, 27, was officially sent back to his old job Wednesday with the Department of Regulation and Licensing, which carries a salary of $64,728 a year. DRL officials said he never showed up.


          More: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_34cd8a54-6140-11e0-bf91-001cc4c03286.html


          JE comments:  "We've been directed to move in another direction":  the newest euphemism for "you're fired"?  WAISers know I'm no Scott Walker fan, but at least he immediately "fixed" this blatant example of cronyism/nepotism as soon as it was discovered.


           



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