The Parable of Wealth Creation

A Parable

Once upon a time the earth was young a round and nobody had anything. And every morning everyone woke up hungry and went looking for bugs and berries and twigs and leaves. The lucky ones lived in caves near fresh water, except every living thing wanted to be there so they had to fend off bears and snakes and alligators and even large birds of prey who would love to snatch up a fat human baby to fed its own young. Life was full of dangers and hardships and most people died pretty quickly. Those that made it past adolescence reproduced and if they were lucky, their offspring did not starve and was not eaten, but a 30 year-old was an old man who might well see his grandchild before he died, except the child would likely die, too.

Along the way, some people got better at gathering food, some learned how to build pretty safe shelters. By using the only 4 possible ingredients to wealth building, some begin to acquire wealth.

These four things were and are: raw materials, labor, skill and knowledge. It wasn’t long before some people, let’s call them Planters, realized if they claimed some land as their own, and if they could force other people, let’s call them Drones, to work for them and make them share their gain, that the Planters would have more than those who were not Planters (or Miners, Smelters, etc.), and a lot more than the Drones who served them. Of course the first part was done through some system of squatting and the second part was slavery, or some form of servitude.

At first everything was brutish and violent, but as time went by, those overlords learned civility and learned to use clean and polite. They used the concept of the club more than the club itself. After generations, the great grandchildren of the thugs lived in fine houses, ate good food and learned about poetry and geometry. They decided they were innately better than the wretched Drones, who obviously deserved their plight, just as they, the Planters deserved theirs their entitled existence. The proof is that there were occasionally Planters who squandered their estates and fell almost to the Drones level, usually they were rescued by their families and allowed to waste their lives as a mild embarrassment.

Conversely, there were a few really clever drones who learned to work the system and integrated within a generation or two with the Planters. Almost always these late comers turned out to have the stomach to do anything necessary to climb. The Planters laughed behind the climber’s back, but they also knew the thugishness is where their pretty fancy money really came from.

 

A thousand years down the road the Drones, for the most part accepted their lot, and the Planters certainly accepted theirs. This is today.

 

Of course there were other ways. One family worked extra hard and saved some of their food and resources and so did a few of their neighbors and they worked together and they built a world and shared in it evenly and they cared for each other in turn as best as they could. This is pretty much describes every communal society that exists.

 

There are variations on the theme, but the truth is, we all left the caves behind and climbed up a bit or a lot, based on our access and use of the 4 elements of wealth. Today, most of us live in a world where the wealth has been separated from those who create it for so long, we honestly, even those of us in the Drone category, do not believe the Planters are exploiting us. We have been told at every turn that nothing happens without capital.

The Planter brings his capital, never mind where it came from, And for the use of his wealth (even if  it isn’t even really his  because he leveraged the value of the real wealth creators to a lender who lends him money, money that is actually the money the Drones put in the bank to earn a  penny on their dollar. The bank lends it to the Planter for a nickel and the Drone must work hard to pay back the Planters investment and debt.

Think about it. You are the bank. I give you my dollar and you promise to pay me a dollar and a penny a year later. My boss borrows my dollar from you and he promises to pay you back a dollar and a nickel. Now I have to earn my pay check, enough money to keep the boss in finery and a nickel for him to pay you back so you can pay me back my penny.

As the “old money” has been removed from its creators for so long and the thread is so thin there is no tracing, no real way to turn it back to the poor drone from the middle ages or even before. So we are stuck with the status quo, at least for the wealth. But what we could do, is look at new ways to think about the wealth that is created from this point forward. Yes, that leaves the planters with a huge advantage and the drones at a serious disadvantage. Things like raising the minimum wage to a livable wage, allowing the drones and especially their children to go to college at no charge to the student. These help even the playing field. But….

Understood, a large minority, at least, do not currently support these steps. But, they are not enough in the long run. To build the overall wealth of society, one would suppose is a rational goal of economic policy. The closer we can keep the most of the wealth to the wealth creators, the more likely we are to increase that wealth. Yes, the Planter will get less of it, but if the system works and the Drone creates more wealth, because he is being more equitably rewarded, the Planter will get a smaller piece of a bigger pie. He may end up with more or less than his current take off the top. But we aren’t worried about the Planter, or even exactly the Drone, we are interested in building wealth in the most efficient manner for the whole economy. The whole western world is based on the concept that the way to get more of what you want is to reward it. So if we reward the person who makes the wealth, he will make more of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bernie and the Birds

Jesus  Bird

 

On and on and so it goes…

“Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone”

Everywhere I turn, I see some Bernieite  posting how  Bernie cant get any media attention, how nearly 1/2 of the Democratic Party supports Bernie and are angry at the media. Bernie gets a bird to land on his  hand, the skies part and Jesus sends down a dove and rainbow and frigging ark, and yet….

Social Media is the only media that counts, anymore, and nobody, not even Trump gets more coverage on social media. and by the way, nearly 1/2 of the Democratic Party does not support Bernie. Bernie supporters are beginning to sound like Christians telling us how much they are being persecuted, or Tea Party types blaming everything on the “liberal media.” Get over it! Quit whining, you have won the media war, now, get off your butt and tell us the positives of Bernieism.

Nobody cares how much you hate Hillary, or Cruz, or Trump or Obama, or Bill or Al Gore.

Spend your time on my thread telling me about Bernie’s  plan for social justice for black and brown folks, tell me how he is going to come up with  a  get past congress a plan to open the southern border to people who want to build the American Dream, while keeping us safe, tell his plan for getting the guns off the streets, Tell me how  he will deal with China, with Europe, with ISIS, with Israel and Palestine.

Give me a Bernie vision bigger than universal no cost healthcare  and college (I like those)

Tell me how he is going to get congress to raise taxes on the rich and raise the minimum wage. What are his PLANS??????

Give us your positive message, you have the floor, use it.

OR SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!!!!!

A Short Primer on Primaries, Front Loading,  a National Primary, and My Dream Primary Sytem

 

By a less than authoritative source, me, Anthony Watkins

Primaries

Back in the day, candidates often did not actually campaign the way we think of it today. They, more like people standing for members of parliament in other countries today, they worked within a political party, and when they had enough favors owed, they either went to ask party leaders for support or one of the leaders hand-picked them. They stood for election, and as an elected official, they either stayed put or moved up the system as there was room.

Today this still happens in America, but during the middle of the century a few states started having primaries to select the candidates, but after the 1960s, both parties had to open up a bit and let the voters pick, though usually the candidates were still pretty much party people. By the 1970s, the new system was allowing a lot of “outsider” candidates to come in and take the party new directions. Like Trump is taking the GOP this year.

To prevent the outsiders from tearing the party up, a party they had contributed nothing to, but used for their own ends as a free ride, in 1992, a system of super delegates was created so that the people who built and maintained the party, year after year, would have some control over who carried the party banner. This system still exists today. Whenever an outsider, as in this year, where a person who has never even been a Democrat, tries to challenge the system, not as an independent, but by trying to take over the party, the super delegates stand as security to make sure the outsider is not here to wreck the party.

The super delegates represent just under 20% of the vote, so they cannot derail an outsider who has the majority of the party behind him, but they can prevent a populist extremist from dominating a broad field without ever winning a majority. Again, think of Trump, not Bernie. Now the field is down to two, Bernie simply has to win the majority of the primaries today, or even win nearly half, and he stays alive, the longer he stays alive, the better chance he wins. That is exactly what happened to Obama in 2008.

The super delegates worked as designed. Hillary wins a close caucus, Bernie wins a nice tiny state and the field remains pretty even, though the supers make it look hard for Bernie. He has 51 delegates, she has 52. If he wins anywhere near 500 delegates today, Hillary is probably not only beatable, but beaten, and most of the super delegates will be with Bernie at the convention, in fact, by the end of April, Hillary would probably bow out. Bernie’s problem is not the super delegates; his problem is that Hillary is set to crush him today.

Front Loading

This is a concept that is thought to give the best candidate the best shot at shutting down the primary fight before the field is so bloodied with infighting that there is nothing left to fight for the general. This concept has its flaws on any levels, but is still popular with the parties.

A good primary fight can make a good candidate great and can show the weaknesses of a perceived strong candidate and allow a better candidate to win out. Front loading is a bit like helping the chick out of the egg. It feels good, but then you have a weaker chick who cannot survive the tough breaks of life.

 National Primary

This is an idea that gets bandied around especially by people who would like to either get to vote in a primary while there is still a race, or by people who wish the broader base of the party, spread out over 50 states could have a real voice in the candidate nomination process. The problem is that the primary is supposed to introduce a candidate to the voters and the voters to the candidate. With the current system, the idea is that small states reward “retail politics” not bill boards and TV ads, but meetings in town halls, cafes, kitchen tables, and church basements.

The idea is if Joe X looks a few thousand people in the eye, shakes their hands, makes his pitch, listens to them, he can, for literally a few thousand dollars, a camper and 6 months of his life, maybe even less, he can win or at least finish in the “top tier”. If he does this, he will be a  better candidate, because he will have  sent a few hundred hours listening to the voters, and if he finishes  in the top tier in the  1st  tiny state, and again in the 2nd tiny state, and maybe finishes first in the 3rd small state, on what a  careful man with a decent job could save over a few years, fund the start of a  successful campaign and by the third state win, he will have donors and volunteers overwhelming his campaign and he can hire a  manager and run a nationwide campaign.

A National Primary would mean a Bernie nor an Obama, or even a Bill Clinton would have ever had a chance. Only the party insiders or a Bloomberg or Trump could fund an outsider national campaign from day one.

My Dream Primary is what I call the Jeopardy Primary

We find 4 small states (and maybe DC), with at least two of them more diverse than Iowa and New Hampshire, say Delaware and DC, together and Puerto Rico.

Spread them out two weeks apart, starting in early January. Then hold regional medium and small state primaries. We do this so that on any given Tuesday (or better yet, Saturday) the next round of primaries allows a candidate to catch up as in Jeopardy, Double Jeopardy, and Final Jeopardy.

So the winner of New Hampshire, has 15 delegates then the Iowa winner has 30, the combo DE/DC winner has the chance to get 70, and P.R. could give the winner over 100, then two weeks after these 4 we have a regional, say 4-6 states and a sweep would give you 300, then two weeks later 6-8 states with at least 600 available to a dominate winner, and so on until the last week of the primaries would be the 7 top biggest states, CA, TX, FL, NY, IL, PA, & OH.

This way, if a candidate stumbles, the system will have time to give us a good strong new nominee. The primary season would last about 20 weeks and every voter would actually have a say, and we would still have the “Abe Lincoln” candidate, the little candidate with a big idea, or a series of big ideas that resonated with the voters.