Thursday, January 30, 2014

stop listening to the rich and stupid


slate | Concurrently with the publication of the Perkins letter, a fair swathe of the world’s elite was gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for a conference based on the presumption that a Tom Perkins would never write a stupid letter. The presumption of the annual World Economic Forum meeting is that leading policymakers and scholars ought to mingle with very, very, very rich businessmen (and, yes, it’s overwhelmingly men) to talk about the leading issues of the day. The idea, in other words, is that CEOs and major investors have unique and important insights on pressing public policy issues. After all, they’re so rich! How could they not be smart?

Well, ask Tom Perkins. Or ask Michael Jordan how he could be so good at playing basketball and yet so bad at owning and managing the Charlotte Bobcats.

Outside the business world, we tend to take it for granted that just because you’re good at one thing doesn’t automatically make you a mastermind at other things. Nobody expects Taylor Swift to make important contributions to a panel on sustainable growth in Africa or rethinking global food security. But the Davos panels on such topics always include a rich executive from the business world.

Because who better to solve the world’s problems than the people who benefit from the status quo?
Of course, if there were just one somewhat obnoxious conference like Davos, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But the Davos mentality—the assumption that managing a for-profit enterprise gives you special insight into social ills—is all around us, from the Aspen Ideas Festival on down. It has also infested more formalized policymaking settings. Rich businesspeople wield disproportionate interest in the political system simply through their ability to make campaign contributions and hire lobbyists. But over and beyond that, they are regularly invited to enter policymaking circles.

In the early months of his administration, President Obama held a summit with bank CEOs to discuss the state of the financial system. He did a big roundtable with tech CEOs in December. Back in 2011, he made a big deal out of creating a council on jobs and competitiveness headed by General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt and largely composed of other business titans. And yet a staple of Republican criticism of Obama during his first term was that he didn’t do enough of this kind of thing and his administration lacked firsthand business experience. Finance whiz kid Mitt Romney was supposed to turn things around with his business savvy.

23 comments:

Nakajima Kikka said...

The heaviest effective tax burden on American blue-collar workers today is not the Federal income tax, but that "voluntary tax" states use to fund public education: the lottery. Repeal of state lotteries would do far more to help the blue-collars than expanding the earned income tax credit.

The chance of any such repeal happening is...less than zero.

Nakajima Kikka said...

This phenomenon is a consequence of the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall in any industry over time, a fundamental law of capitalist production.

CNu said...

Can't wait until that weed becomes a universally legal prerogative....., oops, I mean "tax revenue source".

Nakajima Kikka said...

Amy Chua makes the following important point that bears repeating:

if members of a group learn not to trust the system, if they don’t think people like them can really make it, they will have little incentive to engage in impulse control. Researchers at the University of Rochester recently reran the famous marshmallow test with a new spin. Children initially subjected to a broken promise — adults promised them a new art set to play with, but never delivered — almost invariably “failed” the test (snatching the first marshmallow instead of waiting 15 minutes for a promised second). By contrast, when the adults followed through on their promise, most kids passed the test.
The reason this doesn't play a major psychological role in immigrant communities is because most immigrants and their children are trying to acquire that "big pile of money" that will enable them to return to the land of their ancestors as rich people ("kids, keep your heads down and get that FU money so we can all get the hell out of America and back home"). By the third generation (the grandchildren of immigrants), when it becomes clear that just.is.not.going.to.happen, the above issue of trust/not-trusting the system takes on more psychological importance, and behavior changes accordingly.
Ancestral cultural factors thus play a significantly smaller role in the single-minded acquisitive behavior within immigrant communities than Chua claims.

CNu said...

NK-San, is there anything approaching a methodology involved with substantiating the assertions made in Chua and Rubenfeld's book, or, is it little more than an extended, multi-part opinion essay cobbled together from myriad anecdotes?

Nakajima Kikka said...

Some info about Amy Chua's background and experience is found at the end of Jeffrey Yang's "Paper Tiger's essay, starting from "Amy Chua returned to Yale" in the middle of page 10 to the end:

http://nymag.com/news/features/asian-americans-2011-5/index9.html

Her Yale professorship and previous book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" explain much of her current fame and notoriety. She also published a book in 2002 called "World on Fire" which was fairly well received in the academic world:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_on_Fire:_How_Exporting_Free_Market_Democracy_Breeds_Ethnic_Hatred_and_Global_Instability

"The Triple Package" is an opinion in support of their rather poetic hypothesis that "cultural superiority" is behind the single-minded, and reasonably successful, acquisitive behavior of certain immigrant groups in the U.S. As opposed to the more prosaic "what is the quickest way to amass enough FU money to enable us to get the hell out of the U.S. and return to our home country rich as Midas? Why, the model minority way, of course."
Personally, I kind of like Chua. Her recent provocative writing ignited an on-going political and cultural debate within Asian America that was long overdue. As she herself said (obliquely referred to a certain stereotype): "Even if you hate the book, the one thing it is not is meek."

John Kurman said...

I think once people start seeing the Colorado and Washington revenues, you will see the majority of states legalizing it by 2016. (And would have been easier to choose whom to root for this Superbowl had just one of the states been a weed state).

BigDonOne said...

Hope your spouse isn't the one who forms the first MASD chapter in MO.....(Mothers Against Stoned Drivers)

Vic78 said...

I say get a spare room and some female seeds from Canada. Depending on the strain you can have a healthy crop in two to three months. The things to look out for are spider mites and be careful when you're drying it. Don't ask how I know about what I just said. When it's legal the possibilities are endless.

makheru bradley said...

Speaking of impulse control. This story is an eerie reminder of the pathological Susan Smith.

[Heather Jensen told her live-in boyfriend that she was taking the kids to play in the snow, the police investigation showed. Jensen's husband had died less than two months earlier in a car crash. She left her sons, Tyler, 4, and William, 2, in her SUV with the engine running for 90 minutes while she had sex in the truck of a male friend. The boys died from hyperthermia. Tests done later on the vehicle showed the temperature inside could have reached 140 degrees. In the courtroom Jensen didn't stop sobbing when her defense attorney portrayed her as a lonely widow with an IQ of 76 who was trying her best to protect her children when she locked them in a car with the heat on to keep them warm.]

http://bit.ly/1eiPlYZ

makheru bradley said...

Speaking of impulse control. This story is an eerie reminder of the pathological Susan Smith.

[Heather Jensen told her live-in boyfriend that she was taking the kids to play in the snow, the police investigation showed. Jensen's husband had died less than two months earlier in a car crash. She left her sons, Tyler, 4, and William, 2, in her SUV with the engine running for 90 minutes while she had sex in the truck of a male friend. The boys died from hyperthermia. Tests done later on the vehicle showed the temperature inside could have reached 140 degrees. In the courtroom Jensen didn't stop sobbing when her defense attorney portrayed her as a lonely widow with an IQ of 76 who was trying her best to protect her children when she locked them in a car with the heat on to keep them warm.]

http://bit.ly/1eiPlYZ

makheru bradley said...

Speaking of impulse control. This story is an eerie reminder of the pathological Susan Smith.

http://bit.ly/1eiPlYZ

Heather Jensen told her live-in boyfriend that she was taking the kids to play in the snow, the police investigation showed. Jensen's husband had died less than two months earlier in a car crash. She left her sons, Tyler, 4, and William, 2, in her SUV with the engine running for 90 minutes while she had sex in the truck of a male friend. The boys died from hyperthermia. Tests done later on the vehicle showed the temperature inside could have reached 140 degrees. In the courtroom Jensen didn't stop sobbing when her defense attorney portrayed her as a lonely widow with an IQ of 76 who was trying her best to protect her children when she locked them in a car with the heat on to keep them warm.

makheru bradley said...

Speaking of impulse control and Big Don's IQ 76 crowd. The Heather Jensen story is an eerie reminder of the pathological Susan Smith.

Heather Jensen told her live-in boyfriend that she was taking the kids to play in the snow, the police investigation showed. Jensen's husband had died less than two months earlier in a car crash. She left her sons, Tyler, 4, and William, 2, in her SUV with the engine running for 90 minutes while she had sex in the truck of a male friend. The boys died from hyperthermia. Tests done later on the vehicle showed the temperature inside could have reached 140 degrees. In the courtroom Jensen didn't stop sobbing when her defense attorney portrayed her as a lonely widow with an IQ of 76 who was trying her best to protect her children when she locked them in a car with the heat on to keep them warm.

http://bit.ly/1eiPlYZ

makheru bradley said...

Heather Jensen and the impulse control of Big Don’s IQ 76 crowd.

[Heather Jensen told her live-in boyfriend that she was taking the kids to play in the snow, the police investigation showed. Jensen's husband had died less than two months earlier in a car crash. She left her sons, Tyler, 4, and William, 2, in her SUV with the engine running for 90 minutes while she had sex in the truck of a male friend. The boys died from hyperthermia. Tests done later on the vehicle showed the temperature inside could have reached 140 degrees. In the courtroom Jensen didn't stop sobbing when her defense attorney portrayed her as a lonely widow with an IQ of 76 who was trying her best to protect her children when she locked them in a car with the heat on to keep them warm.]

This story is an eerie reminder of the pathological Susan Smith. However Jensen has been acquitted of the most serious charge against her-- criminally negligent homicide

http://denver.cbslocal.com/tag/heather-jensen/

CNu said...

when dat thang goes wrong:Dat thang may not be undefeated, but it is the prohibitive favorite to win every contest.shame on you Bro. Makheru for trading in tragic tit-for-tat anecdotes from the trailerpark/truckstop.

makheru bradley said...

Well now, I would never apply my "dat thang" jokes, e.g. Arian Foster/Brittany Norwood, to a senseless tragedy like this. My daughter and I have spent a lot of time talking this week about how those two little boys were suffering and eventually dying while their whoring mother satisfied her libido. We also talked about what we thought would be appropriate punishment for Jensen.


Tis true that I did take a dig at Don. However, I did find it interesting that Jensen's attorney's used her IQ as part of her defense. Although there is no comparison between their crimes, IQ did not save Ricky Ray Rector from a politically-motivated execution.

[Bill Clinton decided to come back to Arkansas in order to preside over Rector's execution during his 1992 presidential race. Many consider it a turning point in that race, hardening a soft public image.]

http://murderpedia.org/male.R/r1/rector-ricky-ray.htm

Vic78 said...

I remember that episode. I was feeling alienated when people were acting like Bill was down like the Black Panthers. I thought the message was clear. "I really don't give a shit about these worthless negroes." And if it weren't clear back then, Hillary's 2008 should've disabused everyone else.

CNu said...

Did I read correctly that this recently widowed wench had a live-in boyfriend at home in the double-wide and was creeping out to the truckstop to get smashed by somebody else? If so, then this retarded thot is a textbook dysgenic breeder in need of sterilization and cenobites http://youtu.be/EJyFdmI32Mg

makheru bradley said...

If so, then this retarded thot is a textbook dysgenic breeder in need of sterilization ...

Why Dr. Shockley, I'm surprised at you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ULWzSpX6sk

makheru bradley said...

Speaking of what drives success.

Katina Smith and Minnie Pearl Thomas will watch the Super Bowl from a federal prison in Tallahassee. They are the mother and grandmother of Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. It is a remarkable and uplifting story that Demaryius had a family structure which saved and nurtured him, while enhancing his possibilities, and that he developed a commitment to persevere and succeed under difficult circumstances.

http://usat.ly/1ls4XPq



The crack v powder cocaine sentencing disparities at work in the Smith/Thomas cases are another matter.

CNu said...

My reputation as a medievally misogynist malthusian eliminationist is long and well established..., sterilization and a little cleansing pain is a far cry from my typical call for the bullet. Not to mention, bullets up to nearly a dollar a pop when you can find them nowadays http://www.luckygunner.com/9mm-124-gr-jhp-hydra-shok-federal-le-50-rounds

CNu said...

The riff-raff in jail should be disowned and disavowed while Aunt Shirley and especially uncle James who raised him to comparative greatness should be exclusively celebrated. With his father serving in the Army, including time stationed in Kuwait
and Saudi Arabia, Thomas went to live with his Aunt Shirley and her
husband, James Brown, a preacher in tiny Montrose, Ga. The Browns raised
him, sent him to church, enrolled him in sports, cheered for him as he
starred at Georgia Tech and have supported him through his career in
Denver.

Tom said...

Shockley.


But look how civil the discussion is. Contrast kids who grow up watching this type of political conflict on TV to kids who ... well.