Monday, October 19, 2009

Charlie Rose Show : Michael Moore

Michael Moore speaks his mind on the Charlie Rose Show.


Lim Leng Hiong said...

Donald Regan: "...speed it up!" Whoa.

Essentially there is nothing in a capitalist system to preclude plutocratic control, in fact the system often encourages it. Let me examine these two points in turn:

1. In an ideal scenario, a capitalist system can avoid becoming a oligarchy if there is fluid social mobility.

This must occur in both directions - not only do the poor have a good chance to become rich, the rich must also have a good chance to become poor.

Such a situation is rarely observed because it demands that people interact with each other in such a cold and impartial fashion that it would seem utterly inhuman to us today. Once a wealthy class develops what usually happens is that they will enact entry barriers to defend the insiders and prevent outsiders from rising into their class. In addition, they will create their own safety net to prevent insiders from falling into the poorer classes.

Given such an existing state of human society, to discourage social stratification, measures such as taxation, salary caps and restrictions on inheritance can be applied, but these lean towards socialism and may give too much power to the government.

2. Due to the tight association of capability and wealth in a capitalist system, gradually money will become a shorthand for capability, and wealth becomes the prime measure of performance.

This can turn into a vicious cycle, a positive-feedback loop where the smartest young people in other fields switch into careers in finance and banking, because in the capitalist system the only interdisciplinary measure of success is wealth.

Their "success" in turn encourages more brilliant and ambitious people to enter the field, resulting in an ever-escalating, increasingly-twisted and vicious competition as they attempt outwit each other and the world to accumulate as much wealth for themselves as possible.

Michael Moore is mistaken if he believes that "making money off money" is not about "making things"; a complex financial product is an invention, just like any other physical invention.

In the case of the United States, many of the smartest and brightest who could have become innovators in clean technologies and renewable energy have focused their aggregate efforts on creating ingenious financial products instead.

Wealth attracts wealth, and this ultimately results in an inner circle of the super rich who are not only powerful but also increasingly unassailable.

a kind of chicken said...

Hey lucky,

I think that many of these American commentators have missed the point. They talk about Regan, Thatcher, the neo-conservatives as if they were the cause of the hollowing out of the American middle class. I think they were just riding the tide, doing the best they can given the world situation. The big reason was China.

The Americans have to understand that they can no longer fix their problems themselves. There is no way to strengthen American unions without strengthening the unions in China as well. There is no way to solve the problem of low wages in america until they solve the problem of exploitative practices in China and India.

Anonymous said...

And Mr Lim the only solution is a high level of taxation (+ estate taxes) on the incomes beyond a certain level to prevent the formation of a super all-powerful wealthy class.

(But Lucky may not agree with that)

PS: some of these financial products are inventions on the same level of Nigerian scams\sunshine empire. said...

It is an insightful sharing.

Onlooker said...

Actually,The American problem can be solved if the American ultra-rich(hint mostly republican) are allowed to fail as per the actual Concept of capitalism.

I recommend layman to read Adam Smith's "the wealth of nations" first :)

All I can say now is Alan Moore is on the right track when he expose the way the ultra rich are not allowed to fail.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr Lucky

Finally change you can believe in!
The long awaited regulation for Wall Street.

Your faith in Mr Nobel Peace Winner rewarded!