The plane(t) has been hijacked by billionaires, and we're all passengers


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/02/limits-to-private-action.html


#2

And he used to be a McKinsey consultant? Maybe I should start being a bit nicer to them now. At least the young ones, they at least have the potential to become future Giridharadas’.


#3

Anand Giridharadas is the Aspen Institute Fellow and former McKinsey consultant

This is why they hate and fear him. He worked for these outfits, which are expressly designed to cover up for greedheads in the C-suite and in the ownership class, got fed up with the hypocrisy and lies, and is now exposing them. It’s the worst kind of betrayal for the Davos/Aspen Institute/TED set, and he’ll take a lot more heat than will Rutger Bregman, who’s essentially saying the same thing.


#4

where Bill Gates called him a communist

I didn’t get that conclusion from the actual video. The audio wasn’t great, but either there’s more context that needs to be included or the Twitter summation is incomplete. If anything he was calling for more taxation of the wealthy, which, has been the bete-noir of many or the very wealthy (and their poorer rubes who somehow think it will affect them — see “Death Tax”).


#5

The only way billionaires can be in control is if we are too polite to tell them no thanks.


#6

The unfairness of all this is pretty fucking obvious. But fairness is rarely an effective angle to take when you’re trying to talk to already privileged people.

I think the most damning criticism of this schema, is that it leads to horrible design choices. Put a tiny number of daft rich people at the center of the decisionmaking process, where they dont feel any ill effects from their own bad decisions- this is clearly a recipe for disaster. Im not saying an absolute democracy will automagically do better, but allowing rich people to buy up whatever arctic real estate they want, while everyone else can melt in the south… does not motivate them to make good carbon choices!

On the demand side of things, we only give the rich this power when we accept their money. Every pathway to change goes through the same bottleneck in the decision tree- the 99% must find a way to trust one another, long enough to exclude the rich from the design loop.

I like to think it begins when sharing a kitchen or bathroom with housemates is considered politics, just as much as lawn signs and election days.


#7

Trouble is, so many of the
99%
don’t believe they are included
in the 99%
Or they believe they won’t stay
in the 99%
So they don’t want to
“punish job creators”
( you know…just in case it’s them
one day).
Living in delusion , with their empty
heads in the clouds


#8

Does nobody edit anything anymore?

“He argues that eliminating the power of the super-rich would created would lead to America that was…”


#9

Hmm, that sounds nice, but a country run for the few is actually entirely American. That’s how America was set up, and that’s how it’s always been.

Maybe focus as much on capitalism itself as a problem? Instead of just the usual rich bastards squatting at the top of it all?

image


#10

Welcome to the Internet!


#11

Between the two arguments presented here

  1. hoarding of wealth and usurping the state for personal predilection

  2. people don’t spell well enough for a single individual on the internet

… I dunno … maybe start another thread about one these. And since we have one for #1


#12

Will anyone remember
#OCCUPYWALLSTREET


#13

Have you seen how fast things are happening these days? I share your instinct for picking nits, but I suppress it in favor of gratitude that we have other-than-corporate news reporting at all.


#14

My point is this: first of all, seems simple to tax the rich. We did it for decades; we should do it again. The larger issue is that, as things are moving “very quickly” these days, how much time would it take - IF YOU ARE ACTUALLY ENGAGING YOUR MIND AND PAYING ATTENTION - to write a sentence that coheres logically and grammatically? If things are moving so fast that we can’t communicate effectively, then we should either slow down, or pay closer attention. My guess is we are just not paying attention. I’m saying faster is not by default better. Maybe not paying attention is part of the reason we are in this billionaire’s plane in steerage. See what I did there?


#15

I’m in favor of slowing things down. Unfortunately, I’m not driving.


#16

We should be very careful before blaming our mifortunes on others, or let other people do it for us. Most of those named billionaires are consequences of disruptions that they created or were able to notice opportunities and take advantages of them. It is similar to nature, in a darwiniam way. Does it hurt? Yes it does, and will continue to hurt or evolve.
The main problem that we face is the tendency of seeing a single tree and not the florest, or to describe the whole ecology of a planet from a single sample of soil. It is complex, so do not try to oversimplify.
We should first aim to increase the efficiency of each unit of currency paid as tax.
It is always easier to increase taxes, that supposedly, we do not have to pay.


#17

I think jose makes my point very clearly. Nobody can argue that this sentence makes any sense.


#18

So (and I hope I don’t get shouted at for using these terms) when some of us were kids, it was not “Cowboys and Indians” we were playing, but “Capitalists and Indians”.

You (or the Hampton Institute) are, of course, entirely correct.


#19

Indeed, many Americans love the idea of the rich paying little or no taxes.
They internally think they are benefiting their future selves.


#20

Billionaires are a fatal bug in our system, and this bug is being exploited as a feature by a very few, supported by a lot of wannabes (or as Steinbeck may or may not have called them, "temporarily embarrassed millionaires). The old cliche that “money is power” is true to at least some degree, and billionaires push this supposition to a simple, glaring fact. Why the hell should any unelected individual in a democracy be allowed to have that much power? Billionaires should be illegal.