Joseph Stiglitz has it exactly right. Remember when the people were calling for the government to curb compensation and to claw back the ill-gotten gain at AIG and the other corporations still swamped with fraud peddlers? The executives put out false propaganda saying that their compensation is a tiny blip relative to the whole corporation's income, etc.
Well, they work for the corporation for their personal compensation. If their compensation doesn't dictate the moves they make with the corporation, then they would do the same work for much less compensation. They don't though. They shop for the highest compensation package they can find. The people who hire those executives have been swept up in the cycle dictated by those executive. The people who hire those executives are themselves often executives at other corporations sitting on interlocking directorates.
Remember when the sanctity of contracts was used as the excuse that fraudulent dealings could not be set straight to make the whole people whole again? Contracts executed under fraud are not enforceable. Have you seen the Obama administration's Attorney General getting the people's money back for them? You have not. Do you think the fake, new "Tea Party" members of Congress will now do it? They will not.
"...said Stiglitz. 'Behave badly, and the government might take 5% or 10% of what you got in your ill-gotten gains, but you're still sitting home pretty with your several hundred million dollars that you have left over after paying fines that look very large by ordinary standards, but look small compared to the amount that you've been able to cash in.'
"'...we now have a situation where the owners of major American corporations, the shareholders, have virtually no say in compensation, the very thing that created many of the skewed incentives that led to the bad behavior.'
"'It's basically a vicious cycle in which we've gotten ourselves, because the corporate executives control the corporations. The corporations have the right to give campaign contributions. So basically we have a system in which the corporate executives, the CEOs, are trying to make sure the legal system works not for the companies, not for the shareholders, not for the bondholders — but for themselves.'"
Executive compensation is obscenely high relative to the historical norm. Right now, executive compensation is hundreds of folds higher then when the US was at its economically most powerful position vis-a-vis the rest of the world (1950). Back then, executives often made about 4-fold what the journeyman factory worker made. That was a solid income. Now many of them make 200 and 300 times what the 20-year factory worker makes. Do you call that trickledown? I call it hyper-greed and wholesale robbery. The economy is not and never has been better on account of it.
If such compensation packages are so great, why does the fall of the US inversely match the rise in such compensation? Do you really believe there's no correlation? Look at the hedge-fund managers who make on average a billion a year and look at exactly what their self-created system has done to the overall economy. If they hadn't stood to gain via schemes and scams and confidence games and false propaganda, they wouldn't have been in that business and none of what they've done would have happened. It's a direct correlation.
Joseph Stiglitz and others of renown are calling for throwing the monsters in prisons for a long time, and I don't think Joseph Stiglitz is envisioning country-club prisons but putting those hardened white-collar criminals right in with the blue-collar criminals.
I'm not a punishment man. I do though agree that we all need to look at all of this square-on and change our own hearts so that we each do less and less to contribute to the fraudulent system but rather contribute to exactly its opposite. I will say though that I would not loose sleep over unrepentant financial fraudsters seeing plenty of prison time. It's the innocent and repentant who concern me much more. I do wish the unrepentant would see the light and stop and turn and repent and work to atone, but it's their individual decision to choose right over wrong. If they choose what they know is wrong when other vastly less selfish and wicked choices are so available, then who else is more to blame? I feel for them that they've been led into such sad and corrupted lives and that their hearts and souls are broken, but all a body can do is speak the truth and try to set a better and best example. Otherwise, we could all just flog each other endlessly and see where that would get us. That would just be more Hell.
Anyway, if I were in Barack Obama's position, as I've said before a number of times, and if I were not willing to immediately go for the extremely radical changes we ultimately need but were planning to work within the fatally flawed system in an attempt to start to steer the people toward making the great leap, I would bring in Hudson, Galbraith, Stiglitz, and Black for starters. I've read them and heard them dozens of times. Their combined approach would be light years ahead of the current batch of Bush-43 holdovers.
Unfortunately, we have laissez-faire minded propagandists duping the masses yet again. Let me elaborate on that.
The laissez-faire capitalists speak of the giving-and-sharing political-economic model as if that mentality inevitably leads to mean-spirited and brutal totalitarian dictatorships. It's as if to say that Jesus would turn into the devil. It's a stupid position of theirs and designed to change the subject away from their much greater spirit of selfishness.
The laissez-faire capitalists like to appeal to the masses that if only everyone would choose laissez-faire capitalism and be the most ethical they could be under that system, all would be the best it could be — that, that philosophy, their ideology, is the best conceivable. It's nonsense.
If we are all going to choose the best way for humanity to be, certainly giving and sharing all such that everyone has all the basics met and is encouraged, and enthusiastically so, unselfishly to work for the good of all is vastly superior to appeals to selfishness, to what Isaiah calls churlishness.
The issue comes down to who has a say and how much. The richest capitalist does not give the most menial workers a say in the direction of the superrich person's Empire. Without anything to restrain the superrich, they turn into the only sovereigns. The most totalitarian monarchs in all of history fit that.
The libertarian capitalists point to those who selfishly took power in "socialist" nations. It's true that evil people exploited circumstances and turned themselves into nearly the mirror image of those superrich ones I just described.
So where does this leave us? We have two ends of one capitalist-to-socialist spectrum where the spirit of selfishness does everything it can to ruin it for the rest of us. Does it necessarily mean that the middle is the right place, where coercive democracy holds the reins? The point is that to get there still requires a change of heart, so why stop there? Why stop short? Stopping short is what the libertarian, laissez-faire capitalists call for. Why not go all the way to the consensus giving-and-sharing economy (global household)?
Look, the laissez-faire capitalists are holding up Ayn Rand, but I'm holding up Jesus Christ. Who's the better one to follow? Who in his or her right mind actually believes Ayn Rand's mind and spirit was or is superior to Jesus's? Ayn Rand openly lauded sociopathic mass murderers for their self-liberated spirits. If that doesn't tell you to run away from her way of thinking, then you can look forward to falling very much lower. Ayn was a very dark soul. She was not enlightened.
Jesus lived out of one purse with his disciples. Jesus said that what is God's is his and what is his is God's. He went further in his explanation that God and he will share all with those who will do it. That's it in a nutshell, and the spirit behind getting there is the farthest thing from hardened selfishness that it gets in all of existence.
When you think about Heaven, do you see it as a libertarian, laissez-faire capitalist utopia, or do you see it as a moneyless place where there are no taxes, no usury (interest), no wars or covetousness, no land grabbing, no lies, etc.? I see it as the latter of the two.
When the Christian prays, "Thy kingdom come," he or she is hardly asking for God to send laissez-faire capitalism or violently coercive democracy. If you profess Christianity, why vote for laissez-faire capitalism? You are voting against your own prayers, the Lord's Prayer. It's called hypocrisy.
This is only barely touching on the theology. The anti-Christs across-the-board don't want it discussed. Those within the "organized" churches avoid it, and those outside only want to characterize Christianity in false terms. It's very dishonest and cowardly and the reason for the continued fall of humanity.
If humanity does not throw off violence, greed, and sexual depravity, which are all forms of unbridled lust (all part of the evil house), humanity will not survive no matter what it attempts to do. It will be wiped out as a cancer diseasing the whole, the one, and rightly so.
"So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:49-50)
There is more to existence than meets unobservant fleshly eyes. Arrogant men think otherwise. They think they are the wise ones. They think there is no God because God doesn't "speak" to them. Well, do they care to learn to listen, or are they too self-centered and too bent upon bringing forth rotten, deceptive fruit?
Ah, there have been no "miracles" that we the anti-Christs have seen, so there can never have been any and can never be any in future. Jesus must have been a liar or a myth. If we can't experiment it into existence, it can not exist. We are the end-all-be-all. There is nothing superior to us in intelligence. There is no existence beyond the "matter and energy" as we see it and define it. A lack of faith in a higher power, the highest power, has nothing to do with anything except for the morons who retard the secular-humanist enlightenment.
That's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:28-33)
Does that mean we are to do nothing? No. It means we are to have our priorities straight. If we put our minds on being one, all the other things will fall into place by design. The issue is with properly defining and understanding the use of the term "one" here and making the collective decision to implement it. Violence, greed, and depravity won't make it.
Selfishness ruins. It is the wrong collective mentality. The laissez-faire capitalist mentality is ruinous. It is inherently fatally flawed and must be cast off. It was an evil concept conjured up by the evil spirited, those who became confused and turned on the family that is humanity.
Why was usury (interest on a loan) forbidden one Jew to another but not to non-Jews (Gentiles)?
Jesus came to show that all humans ought to be considered family. All ought to rise to that. Everyone hasn't. There are holdouts. They are a problem. They are cancer. They are a disease in need of healing. Their disease needs to be eradicated from humanity forever.
Have I written like this for thousands of hours because I'm becoming "rich" in mammon doing so, or have I done it in the spirit in which I've been speaking here: for the good of all? I mention this to deflect the claim that unselfishness is not possible. It is possible. It does have its rewards, but those rewards are not the motivating factor. Righteousness for its own sake is.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)