[FoRK] Obama: communitarian, redistributionist, confused? (from NYT)

geege schuman geege4 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 25 15:24:48 PDT 2008

<Tenth, one of the most interesting questions over the next generation is
whether the Anglo-American form of capitalism, which gives primary direction
of companies to capital markets, will flourish and expand, or not. Some of
the evidence on the (in)effectiveness of takeovers and the recent sad
experiences in financial markets rather suggests not.>

It's a tenuous connection, but read

Jeff and JAR, check out the fifth point.


On Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 6:07 PM, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:

> J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
>> On Aug 25, 2008, at 1:48 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>>> As a market trader, I would think that you would grok that much of the
>>> value of things and the will to move in a positive direction has to do with
>>> attitude, inspiration, and, while not least, not the only thing either:
>>> predicting the future.  The market is one place where optimism really works.
>>>  Maybe not for every irrationally exuberant individual investor, but for the
>>> market and society as a whole, it does.
>> Optimism does not contribute to the GDP without the working fluid of
>> capital.  If you simultaneously increase optimism and reduce capital flow,
>> you end up with something approximating a minor real economic impact over
>> the short term, and a loss of efficiency and opportunity over the long term
>> due to poor capital allocation.
> I didn't say that optimism without working capital would work.  I was
> saying that working capital without optimism doesn't work, or at least not
> with any speed.  We have been in a lull in many areas for a while, for
> instance.  I'm advocating vision + optimism + working capital + some
> creative approaches, a la X-Prize, DARPA Challenge, etc.  More fluid
> movement and usage of doers/makers/creators.  That kind of thing.  Bush
> avoids pretty much everything like this, apparently on the grounds that all
> of those additional smart people might hurt religion in some way, or worse,
> create more thinking people who tend to be Democrats.  (I'm not maligning
> all other Republicans, especially the thoughtful and intelligent ones.)
>> Where will the optimism come from in business in the absence of real
>> economic opportunity?  This is revolutionary thinking, the idea that
>> optimism trumps basic economics.  That experiment has a poor track record.
> What specifically is Obama certainly going to do that will create the
> absence of real economic opportunity?
> Simply making sure that individuals who are making a living on an activity
> that is currently classified as capital gains pay a similar tax rate to the
> rest of us doesn't seem like it is going to wreck the whole system.  What
> else?
> Perhaps you could split optimism into two categories: optimism that you can
> create something / solve a problem / make people happier and optimism that
> you can make money.  Both are good generally.  The latter has a range of
> goodness which is dependent on most much of the former is fostered, directly
> or indirectly.  Focusing purely on the latter is not good, while the former
> won't succeed without enough of the latter.
> sdw
>  J. Andrew Rogers
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