When did capitalism stop being any good?

When did capitalism stop being any good?

When the whole world has been opened to capital, there is nowhere to expand into. There are no more sources of cheap labour or raw materials, and no more ways to mechanise complex tasks. You can only expand inward, through every more fiendish financial engineering, engineered solutions to non-problems such as WeWork, and to what are effectively non-places like space tourism. Cypto is an example of this failure mode. It has not lead to the development of any new technologies, or ways of doing things, that have had any positive impact on human affairs. It will leave nothing behind. It sucks in human and financial capital and destroys it. The other main stumble is the loss of any understanding of what progress means. Progress used to mean increasing the material capacities of humanity, creating solidarity between peoples, ensuring the fruits of the economy were distributed fairly. The demands made of capitalism were to do that better. Now it means stopping people doing or saying things. It is highly risk avoidant.

The main problems are:

  1. The shift to asset and credential capital over income locks in middle class/Boomer douchebaggery.
  2. Migration has ceased to be a source of social mobility and change but is now used for inter-elite circulation or to service global centres.
  3. Social sorting means networks are increasingly homogenous
  4. Local communities have no power
  5. We no longer generate energy
  6. The welfare state now serves the needs of the middle class and well off older groups.

Proposals:

  1. Build a lot of houses. Like, a lot – upwards of two million a year. Get rid of the Town and Country Planning Act, reinstate council house building, and build some new cities while you are at it. This will seriously annoy everyone who has locked in their wealth into overvalued housing stock, so win-win.
  2. End fractional reserve banking. This will reduce misallocation of capital. Reintroduce building societies.
  3. Replaces middle class welfare with a single payment to every person in the country.
  4. Start fracking and restart nuclear.
  5. Require local ownership of utilities.
  6. Accept failure as a part of growth

 

 

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