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Friday, 30 September 2016

The global corporates have amputated the invisible hand

I'm aware this is a topic that divides readers, and as I value each one of you I'm not deliberately trying to lose you, but I really must try to pin this down. The trigger today is a piece in the Guardian by Liam Fox which is worth reading;
According to the World Bank, in the three decades between 1981 and 2010, we witnessed the single greatest decrease in material human deprivation in history. At a time when the population of the developing world has increased by almost 60%, the number of those in extreme poverty (subsisting on less than $1.25 per day) has dropped from around 50% to around 20%.
We've also seen the largest movement in history of economic migrants from poor places to richer ones - from central and south America to the USA, from the Chinese hinterland to the coastal cities, from Africa northwards to Europe, from the poor Pacific to Australia. This is the downside of globalisation - the new unpoor, with their Chinese trainers, jeans and 2G phones, want it all within their lifespans, unwilling for a long domestic slog of gradual increases in prosperity and democracy. 

No, I'm all for global trade - and for platforms that allow me to trade my goods or skills for goods or skills from other places. I'm all for earning $1000 for Alpine fossils from US collectors and spending $600 with a Mumbai web developer. No tariffs, no restrictions, except prohibitions that operate for the good of collective national security. And I just want the web developer to stay in Mumbai. 

The other downside of the globalisation process from 1980 is the growth of the global corporates, growing not by endogenous improvements in productivity or increased sales but primarily by acquisitions and mergers that eliminate weaker competition and help create global oligopolies that restrict trade, erect barriers to entry to the market for competition and work with big government to consolidate wealth and power. And I'm afraid Liam Fox simply can't cite Adam Smith as supporting these monstrosities. 

Smith's invisible hand only operates in free markets where huge numbers of individual producers and consumers allow supply and demand to fluctuate and equilibriate. This holds true even on a global scale. In conditions of monopoly or oligopoly, the invisible hand is amputated at the wrist. Adam Smith would spin in his grave at the idea that his work was being quoted in support of such threats to freedom as Bayer-Monsanto.


Nick Drew said...

You'll find no disagreement from this capitalist: Eternal Vigilance etc etc, be it against the depradations of the Standard Oil trusts 130 years ago, or Monsanto today

it may be one of the problems of the 'un-doctrinairing' of political life of the past 30 years, such that notional supporters of right-liberal economics don't realise any more that it's a basic matter of the doctrine-they-no-longer-understand to keep these monsters in check

(I am quite sure that many on the left would also bemoan the lack of doctrinal understanding among their supporters, too)

what do they teach people in colleges these days!?

Barnacle Bill said...

Glad to see you are on the ball with Bayer's attempts to take over Monsanto Radders.

Probably a greater threat to global agriculture than anything our politicians can come up with. One that if it goes ahead will affect our grandchildren's futures more than ours'.

It's the corporate hand guiding the governments of the world that are a greater danger to democracy and all our living standards. With their bottomless slush funds dishing out a bribe here, a "donation" to the party funds there, or a nice position on some meanlingless company board.

They know the right buttons to push with our piggies and their respective troughs.

So it's not a one world government I fear for my grand childre's futures but a one coporation world.

Whilst I am for a "free market" it one that has reigns attached to it that are for the benefit of all of us and not some coporate bottom line.

Anonymous said...

Even where we two might, a tad, disagree R and I can't think it would be on much at all, I ardently respect your opinion and experience in so many matters that, our virtual correspondence would never be compromised in the slightest, would that, though it is not possible, our meeting, an association of like minded individuals, was in a more tangible, convivial atmosphere.

On the giant conglomerates, their writ and obscene financial sway: how does this benefit western nations and its greater society? I posit not at all. It is reckoned by some that, American workers, its lower strata, wages have not risen [relatively] since the 70s oil crisis. I nearly fell off my seat the other night,

When free markets and therein open competition for business and traders, when competition is strangled to death, only those in the senior executive positions, the politicians/councillors who are in their pockets of these corporate monsters, the shareholders cream the profits, as these cash rich giants gobble up their competitors, the money is concentrated in an ever dwindling elite, how is that not unconscionable? - I care not a flying fuck about Goggle or Arsebook vacant promises of "do no wrong" or "we will conquer the world's ills next week - just give me more and MORE!"

Have a listen to this, and gawp, the majority of this stuff puts another slant on the OUT vote but at about this.....and listen to the figures on the ethnic vote too........BBC NEWSNIGHT scroll to 28.52-30,00 minutes - this section, is the key and though there were many factors why people voted to leave the slave Empire, instinctively the English sense a rank odour and the English hate imposed, enforced inequality, rule by extra or, alien courts and the thorough distaste of diktat via the corporate lobby of Brussels/Nomemklatura.

The English are a race, they hate the idea of Brussels supranational control and its insane delusions of Empire.
This ENGLAND, has been despoiled by association and subsuming of and with the Mafia like corruption of the EU - a pestilence of malpractice and un-sackable workforce on water tight employment contracts and practises - a purblind adherence to Multikulit which unfortunately now runs rampant through our institutions of state and not least, thanks to the shafting of our once [comparably uncorrupt civil service] public sector Socialist masonry of Common Purpose.

Therefore, finally on June 23rd 2016! ENGLAND.... they had a chance to say: FUCK OFF ALL OF YOU!

Now, we need to say fuck off to: the CBI and corporate Britain. And welcome to free trade and SME's running and selling the shop.

Poisonedchalice said...

It was incorrectly attributed to Napoleon the pejorative term "England is a nation of shopkeepers". In fact the first reference to this was in fact Adam Smith who made a comment in the non-pejorative meaning:

"To found a great empire for the sole purpose of raising up a people of customers may at first sight appear a project fit only for a nation of shopkeepers. It is, however, a project altogether unfit for a nation of shopkeepers; but extremely fit for a nation whose government is influenced by shopkeepers." - Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations.

There are some astonishing facts about Britain's employment and within these facts you can see the reasons why we voted out of the EU. Our dependence on single minded ambitious small business owners is very much understated and misunderstood across the EU and quite possibly misunderstood by our own government.

* There were a record 5.4 million private sector businesses a the start of 2015.

* This is an increase of 146,000 since 2014 and 1.9 million more since 2000.

* The number of employing businesses increased by 35,000 and the number of non-employing businesses (self-employed?) by 112,000, with the annual growth for both groups being around +3%.

* Small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2015 and 99.9% were small or medium-sized (SMEs).

* Total employment in SMEs was 15.6 million; 60% of all private sector employment in the UK.

* The combined annual turnover of SMEs was £1.8 trillion, 47% of all private sector turnover in the UK.

These facts are the reasons to be cheerful. Yes, we should be eternally vigilant and yes, we should name and shame large corporates when they get it wrong; because the one thing large corporates defend with their lives is their reputation; without their reputation they are nothing; and with a badly tarnished reputation, politicians won't touch them either for fear of becoming tarred with the same brush.

Work hard and be ever vigilant!

Mr Ecks said...

"So it's not a one world government I fear for my grand childre's futures but a one coporation world."

Absolutely the wrong way around.

How many tanks,how many divisions,how many costumed thugs does Monsanto have?

Greedy evil men in business are able to use their cash power to work with far more evil men who comprise the state. The state is all about violence that is all it is--violence and the threat of violence.

Of course greedy men will use the state to supress competition and fix matters to their advantage. And political shite like cash. They co-operate. But that does not mean corporations are in charge of the process. Political filth like power more than money--cos power brings money anyway.

Sans politics corporations would be subject to the market and that would rein them in.

Where are the corporations and big companies from 50/100/150 years ago? Most are obsolete and out of business. Only those up the state's arse still exist.

Don't get matters the wrong way around. Corporations would be no problem without the evil of the state empowering them.

Anonymous said...

You should watch the Chinese news - military ships, guns, rockets , soldiers - day after day.
This could be a hint.

visc said...

"How many tanks,how many divisions,how many costumed thugs does Monsanto have?"

When you control food production, those with the tanks and costumed thugs will soon follow what you tell them to do.

Mr Ecks said...

How do you control food production--or anything without the muscle--without the costumed thugs?

Budgie said...

What Mr Ecks said at 8:40.

visc said...

Mr Ecks - Monsanto already has the seeds, and thugs they are ten a penny and easily bought. Besides as they come free with the buying of government via legislation and lobbyists, so no need for vertical integration and needing them to be labelled 'Monsanto' when 'Government' will do. Besides the latter's brand has better reconition amongst the general population.

Cuffleyburgers said...

Mr Ecks has nailed it.

Cuffleyburgers said...

The only thing I would add is thatAs Radders says free market economics only works for everybody in the absence of monopolies, and there is a role for the state to operate a monopolies and mergers control function.

Anonymous said...

Mr Ecks said @ 08:40

'Don't get matters the wrong way around. Corporations would be no problem without the evil of the state empowering them.'

You got it mate. The last decade of the 20th Century is when 'progressive' politics emerged on the back of globalization. Corporatism is now establishing itself across the developed world. It's a done deal. Not for nothing did Peter Mandelson say "we live in a post-democratic world". They, the elites, not only see the end of the nation through uncontrolled mass immigration, its the nation state they want gone also; and democracy of course, will die.

Those washing machines and gadgets will look extraordinarily expensive when viewed by what remains of our kin folk at the beginning of the next century. A tragedy is unfolding. Make no mistake they'll kill to get what they want, millions if necessary and probably more.


Anonymous said...

IG Farben and those great socialists, the Nazis?

G. Tingey said...

The Nazis were as socialist as the DDR was democratic, idiot.
Just because it's in the name, doesn't make it true

Budgie said...

G Tingey, if people call themselves socialist I accept their own opinion of themselves. Socialism has many divisions - Nazism, Communism, Maoism, Trotskyism, Gramsci-ism, Green-fascism, etc, etc. Just because there are divisions doesn't mean they are not the same in practice, and with the same antecedents.

Of course the WW2 socialist Labour propagandists were good at their job and were able to convince the gullible that there was a gulf between socialism and Nazism. In fact they are very similar, with many of the same roots (a closed ideological base containing some or all of: apocalypticism, ecolunacy, anti-deism, contempt for/elimination of an underclass, euthanasia, abortion, glorification of the state, state control of industry/commerce, perfectibility of the race, a great leader, etc).

G. Tingey said...

"Just because there are divisions doesn't mean they are not the same in practice, and with the same antecedents."

JUST LIKE the christians then?
All fucking mad, but some totally harmless (Quakers)
Sime fucking dangerous murdering liars ( Opus Dei, RC church in general & the "Ultra" Presbyterians & wee-free types, you mean?

Sorry, but you really are deluded regarding the Nazis, evil murdering scum that they were.
Or their opposite mirror-image, the communist religious believers.

Time to drop it?