Economic Stagnation

explained at thirty-thousand feet. And our masters in Washington have no idea how destructive their idiotic policies are. Or perhaps they do.

[Update a few minutes later]

The Marxian worm. Which reminds me of the piece I wrote a while back: You just might be a Marxist.

[Update a couple minutes later]

It occurs to me for the first time that a cost-plus contract is intrinsically Marxist in nature. There is an implicit assumption that value is produced when the contractor is reimbursed for time and materials.

[Update a few minutes later]

An oldie but goody: Cultural Marxism.

9 thoughts on “Economic Stagnation”

  1. I don’t think it’s the valuing of labor per se that is quintessentially Marxist, I think it’s the strange umbilical attachment of that labor to the original laborer. I mean, Marxism is like the ultimate DRM of work: if Saul does X hours of labor for Paul, then really Paul is just borrowing the use of it, just like he’s borrowing the use of a song from iTunes — he can’t buy Saul’s labor outright, and then own it in fee simple, using it for whatever purposes he pleases. No matter how much value Paul (or other capitalists and middlemen) add to the result of Saul’s labor, Saul always retains some weird right to influence or control what was built (in part) with his labor.

  2. It’s also quintessential Marxism to have contradictory beliefs. While the rich owner of capital has no claim to Saul’s labor, those in need do. So Saul doesn’t really own his labor after all.

    My view is that Marxism was from the beginning a mystery cult. It has its own dogmatic beliefs, language, and secrets. Over its lifespan, there has always been a testing of the faith, with the dogma and nomenclature shifting in subtle ways as to test the faithful. And the primary texts of Marxism and other variants of communism are as thick, obtuse, repetitive, and ideal for brainwashing as many religious works.

  3. How to make a Marxist:

    1) Make them working class.. this is easier than it sounds. Anyone who hates their job is considered working class. Ever see the standup routine where the comedian says he couldn’t handle working in an office because everyone hates their job? Yeah, that.

    2) Make them afraid of losing their job. Ironic isn’t it? Being afraid of losing the right to go to work every day and do the stuff you hate? Make sure there’s a widespread belief of high unemployment, and be sure to demonize people on welfare.

    3) Scapegoat the employers. They’re idiots who don’t know how to run a business. They just gamble and eventually we’re all going to lose our jobs.. or do they really think those layoffs were a result of the economy? Stupid gambling ruined the economy! We could do a better job.

    4) Unionize the workers. We need to be in control of the means of production.. and no, it doesn’t matter if our entire means of production is telephones and cheap computers which any of us could pick up for cheap, the problem is management! All they care about is profit.. I have a family, they have to take care of me!

    5) Tell them how to vote. A strong social stigma is initially attached to any political candidate which doesn’t say the right noises about entrepreneurs and unions. Eventually this must evolve into total media control.

    But you know all this already.

  4. “…we do nothing to make things better when the companies on which we rely see Washington as adversary rather than partner. ”

    It’s tough to think of someone who has a gun pointed at you as a partner.

  5. No – too narrow an application of the issue. It’s wider than that – everybody is reacting in various ways to the “fear culture” started by the occurrence of 9/11 and greatly expanded by the Bush administration’s unfortunate response to it.

    Everyone sees the downside of things first, even if its not there. They are starting at shadows, so they require an extraordinary reason to believe otherwise.

    Among other things – many in the Bush administration didn’t believe they’d get Bin Laden – and so they discounted the need to. Now he’s gotten, maybe we as a country will believe we can do what we set out to do.

  6. Politicians come and go but the bureaucracy keeps on growing like a bloated cancer sucking the life out of America. It’s the bureaucracies that make most of the regulations – tens of thousands of them a year.

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