Umair Haque’s snippets & tweets:
It wasn’t just what America did that made it great. It wasn’t just what it believed. It was why we believed it.
This isn’t just money, jobs or income that we’re talking about. It’s human life.
So basically, the American national discussion alternates between mocking and blaming the powerless….
It’s funny how we’re at the mercy of dolts, buffoons, and sociopaths. Actually, it’s not.
History will remember what happened to the American middle class as an illustration of the fatality of nihilism.
The sense of despair–no jobs, no opportunities, no security, total fear–pulses out from the American ruins like a tsunami.
Shattered cities, boarded up neighborhoods, crumbling ruins, squandered lives. So inexpressibly sad.
A society that wishes to remain civilized cannot allow such extreme misery and squalor to grow at it’s very heart.
Inside the glass and steel, another world. Suits and ties, in furious pursuit of extracting the last morsels of prosperity.
I don’t know how to express it. But it’s so, so disturbing to see the juxtaposition of great wealth right next to implacable misery.
It’s not just the level of injustice in America that’s seriously disturbing–but the garishly exaggerated glorification of it.
It’s not just that a tiny few are getting rich. It’s that they’re getting super-rich by doing super-destructive stuff to prosperity.
Why Money Won’t End the Great Stagnation
Harvard’s Umair Haque offers an interesting ‘thought experiment’ to help us understand how our economy is structured; that it sucks prosperity from most of the population.
Try this. Imagine aliens are listening to our politics and protests. Imagine a miracle. They give each & every American $500,000. Will this help?
What happens next? Have we fixed the problem? Well, it depends.
If Americans then proceed to hit the mall, fill their coffers with lowest-common-denominator faux-designer junk, buy several SUVs, a membership to the VIP room at an ultra-trendy nightclub or five, and a McMansion–well, then, in a few short years, they’re likely to be right back to square one: broke and jobless. For the simple reason that the above don’t create much more than McJobs and capital flowing upwards, from the collapsing middle to the super-rich.
Worse, because they haven’t invested in public goods, they’re likely still to be absent the basic safety nets of health, life, and unemployment insurance, not to mention working infrastructure. If, in short, people choose the post-modern American dream of opulence, this crisis will recreate itself —forever.