how blind are we?

Nations and their cities around the world suffering the fact that corporations have created damage rather than growth.

“The problem society faces, says Roger Martin, is that the best way to become rich is to trade value, not create value.”

follow corporate monarchy

150+ responses to “The US is Now a Corporate Monarchy”


One part of the story is that the vast majority of Americans see no connection between government actions and their daily lives. They don’t believe political action will have any effect. It’s not cynicism, it’s that they don’t think about the issues at all.

There’s also an incredible lack of information about issues. [Low Information Voters] It’s not clear whether this is due to people not paying attention or the coverage by mainstream media (FOX viewers are even less well informed than people who pay no attention).


The funding mechanisms which enabled the current control must be thwarted.


I prefer the term Corporate Kleptocracy…


Americans do not take action because the corruption, greed, and loss of trust has happened at a very slow pace. We are burdened with our own form of confirmation bias of “that-can’t-be-happening” and we watch our liberties be taken away from us literally brick by brick.

people with integrity

Adam Smith also talks about a selfish passion, which is a desire for praise.

He argues that people instinctively desire praise, but that, as they mature, this feeling develops into a desire for praiseworthiness.

James Choi:

“I think this underlies how the economy works.

“We start out with selfish feelings, which are intermixed with feelings of empathy for others, and then we develop this mature desire to be praiseworthy.

“I think it is central to our civilization that people do that.”

our bizarre blindness

@lessig in the NYT with a slightly brillant campaign finance reform proposal.

It’s really about our society. There are so many institutions that are suffering from the same corruption from moneyed interests.

Lawrence Lessig: Yes, and that’s not an accident.

…just a particular instance of a more general dynamic in accounting, financial services, healthcare, academics, the media—you can pick your field—and we can describe a similar dynamic of corrupting influences that we’ve allowed to seep into the institution that distract it from what we think the institution is for.

Barry Ritholtz:

In short, our new overlords are enormously well funded, well connected, relentless and perhaps most of all, patient. This new King was not appointed by primogeniture, or even Divine Right, but by acquiring enough profits in the free market that they can buy control over society, even as they thwart that free market ideal for their own ends.

We have become, in short, a Corporate Monarchy.

our new robber barons

This may seem counterintuitive at first.

America's New Robber BaronsAfter all, analysts have long painted a picture of growing inequality over the past few decades in whichthe top quintile’s share of the national income has risen while the share of the other 80 percent has fallen.

Almost all the gains for the top 20% was for the top 1%.

And half of that is accounted for by a tiny group within the top percent —the top 0.1 percent.

“No society ever thrived because it had a large & growing class of parasites living off those who produce.” -Thomas Sowell

never headlines are

here’s a fine fine fella pointing out something we didn’t know

It should not be forgotten in this debate that the greatest objection to the pipeline seemed to come from Nebraska.

Lest you forget Nebraska is the largest producer of corn ethanol west of the Mississippi River.

It has 34 ethanol plants, converting 769 million bushels of corn a year into 2 billion gallons of ethanol.

How big is Big Ag,
how big is Big Corn?

The equivalent of 130,000 barrels per day of our national oil production of around 900,000 barrels per day.

our headlines are so-o-o poor…

crunch to fail

  1. attempt to create a future that does not now exist
  2. mindlessly crunch numbers that do exist

Nor is the problem the failure to abandon models and move on to new ones when they cannot adequately explain the data.

In my career, the attempt to find models that can explain past data and predict future data with more accuracy has caused Old Keynesian models and New Classical Models to be replaced by Real Business Cycle and New Keynesian models.

And it’s time for that to happen again.

bossism rules

Toward a More Democratic System of Corporate Governance

“It should be unsurprising then that the interests of employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders are, at best, secondary to those of executives.

“As Harvard Law Professor Mark Roe succinctly phrased it, “the US is managerialist, not capitalist.

“Current governance arrangements have had an enormous impact on the larger economy and on the distributive features of American capitalism.

“Excessive risk-taking, stagnating wages, and the spike in executive compensation can all be linked back to a system of corporate governance that privileges management’s interests at the expense of other actors.”

[It should be unsurprising… hmmm]

How Our Economy Was Overrun by Monsters and What to Do About It

Although, let’s be fair.
Let’s target our criticism.
Some CEO’s revert to an exchange.

occupy generations

Rebellion as a coping mechanism for economic inequality:

The Beatniks: We aren’t wealthy, but we don’t need it.
We will find fulfillment in life’s experiences.

The hippie movement: We aren’t wealthy, but we don’t need it.
Love will get us through.

The punks: We aren’t wealthy, but we don’t need it.
We embrace living with less and rage against those who disagree.

The slackers: We aren’t wealthy, and we have to not care.
Thinking about it makes us too sad.

Hip hop: We aren’t wealthy, but we know someone who got there.
Maybe there’s hope.

And now today: We aren’t wealthy, and we never will be.
We can be happy anyway.

powers of dispersion

“The individuals who linked arms and actively resisted, that in itself is an act of violence,” UC police Capt. Margo Bennett said. “I understand that many students may not think that, but linking arms in a human chain when ordered to step aside is not a nonviolent protest.”

Let’s think a wee bit.

“Confrontation with words, some debate, some understanding, goes so much further.”

the dominance vote

“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change is what conservatism is all about: changing everything so things, hierarchy in particular, can stay as they are.”

Said another way by Ann Coulter:

“Our blacks are so much better than their blacks. To become a black Republican, you don’t just roll into it.”

most honey isn’t honey

The Food and Drug Administration says that any honey that’s been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen isn’t honey.

Food Safety News:

• 76 percent of samples bought at groceries had all the pollen removed.

• 100 percent of the honey sampled from drugstores had no pollen.

• 77 percent of the honey sampled from big box stores had the pollen filtered out.

• 100 percent of the honey packaged in the small individual poly-paks had the pollen removed.

“Removal of all pollen from honey makes no sense and is completely contrary to marketing the highest quality product possible.” —Mark Jensen, president of the American Honey Producers Association

darn dumb defiance

“This is the most damning report ever on the status of a country’s nuclear program.”

—International Atomic Energy Agency

Unusual for the normally understated organization, the report was explicit in pointing out where Iran had failed to convince the agency that it was not developing weapons, and implicit in allowing people to conclude that Iran is bent on developing a nuclear arsenal.


our erroneous game

“We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” —Orwell

Roger Martin:

“As the power of the scientific method has encroached further than its applicability warrants into fields such as economics and business, its predictions of the future become ever more erroneous.”

[my bold]

pollution top 10

The toxic top 10:

  1. Mercury pollution from gold mining
  2. Lead pollution from industrial parks
  3. Pesticides from agriculture
  4. Lead smelting
  5. Chromium pollution from leather tanning
  6. Mercury residue from other mining
  7. Lead pollution from mining
  8. Lead pollution from improper battery recycling
  9. Arsenic in groundwater
  10. Pesticide manufacturing and storage

Notably, groundwater arsenic is the only naturally occurring pollution problem—and it is in ninth place.

pragmatic trajectory

“…the flourishing of humans, the only value that cannot be denied.”

Steven Pinker has written a book, The Better Angels of Our Nature.

Pinker’s first task is to convince us that there is less violence in the world today than in the past.

He knows people don’t want to believe this.