7 April 2016

Using Fire To Treat Burns

We regulate the cost of auto rides because that is a public service. It cannot be 'exorbitant', and the auto driver cannot use the advantages of 'information arbitrage' to charge 'free market' rates... We fix how much the driver can earn in a day, based on the social norm for what is a 'fair daily wage' for that work. This is justified in the interest of the Greater Good of society, since transportation is considered a public service, even if provided by private people. The same logic doesn't apply for education or health care or housing... Here we depend on capital and bow down to the norms set by capital for profit returns on their investment which decides who get access to these services and who doesn't and at what cost. That these services are also public services, and need to be affordable on par with auto rides is too much for our imagination.

Next is the idea of private profits and tax evasion. Most global corporations use the resources, people and infrastructure of developing countries, to create profits which are parked in tax havens (for reference, the top two sources of FDI into India are Mauritius and Singapore, and it's not even close beyond that)... They pay next to nothing in taxes in the host country (ironically America is also complaining about this), circumventing the spirit of taxation and it's role in human welfare.

These profits are pumped back into philanthropy, to feel good about themselves, earn a 'good name' and fame for 'benevolence'. The real problem is the idea of using capital and profit driven means to solve problems created by capital and profit driven means. 

The assumption that innovation is driven mainly by profit motive is a lie. It has no basis in truth. People invented and discovered far greater things than computers and drugs, long before ideas of capital even existed. For instance, we invented writing. People are creative because we are humans, we find solutions for things because we have minds and souls, not because we were born to crave for profits. So stop peddling lies in the name of private profits being the driver of all of human progress (money has a role in society, just not the current exaggerated version). If anything, the singular pursuit of profits is the root cause of a lot of problems, like poor health care addressed in the article below.



Lou Pole said...

You said,"People are creative because we are humans,"

Is this why you stopped your blog two years ago?

How far do you think civilization would have evolved without the concept of "capitol?" Really think someone else would still be paying for the server this dead blog is on? You really think someone would have made the computer or phone you used to post it, were it not for a profit motive? You do realize that corporations are beholden to stockholders who provide that dread capitol you speak of and the public at large?

Did someone force you to get a job and buy an iPhone?

Wanderer said...

Yes, I do believe that people would've invented automobiles, electronics, and everything else regardless of Capital.

Until 50-100 years back, all important scientific progress happened out of the passion and creativity of people. It came from human ingenuity, with bored intelligent curious people trying things out, studying and experimenting and observing... not from profit motive.

I think you're influenced by the recency bias of what you see around you today - and you assume that's how it's always been. Human invention started thousands of years ago, from fire to stone tools to the wheel to agriculture to writing to seafaring... these are far more significant in the progress of humanity than an iphone.

In an alternate world, there would be an alternate set of inventions - some which we don't know of today because Capital doesn't allow it, while missing some inventions which were born out of Capitalism.

I acknowledge the benefits and scientific progress arising out of Capital. I'm merely saying there are both benefits and problems with prostrating ourselves in front of Capital for human progress. My argument is that for society (as opposed to individuals), there are more problems arising out of it than those being solved. In fact, the new problems arising are essential for Capital to devise new solutions and profit from it. It is by design.

You on the other hand, are suggesting that there would be no progress without Capital, and that any other system would lead to no progress, without acknowledging the potential benefits of alternate forms of social organisation. I realise that we have to give up some individual luxuries if we have to pursue alternate forms of social organisation.

So in summary, humanity evolved tremendously - more than you can fathom by looking at an iPhone - in the years preceding monopoly capital. The iPhone itself was developed based on a series of inventions, starting with writing (infinitely more complex as an invention), which were not bankrolled by capital.

As for my blog - it's like a piece of paper. If not this, I write on another piece of paper. What is written is important - not where, or which paper or using what ink... I have had great creative bursts in the years when the blog has lay dormant - just because you cannot see something doesn't mean it doesn't exist.