Why We Don’t Control Our Society

This is an article about how the rich and powerful have more than their “share” of influence in a democracy. Certainly, the recent implosion of Elon Musk illustrates that billionaires have no more sense than Putin (who is also a billionaire – they cannot “see” the real world, which I know just from interacting with millionaires). At the bottom is a link to a petition if you agree and want to do something about it.

Twitter’s Elon Musk is warned to prepare for ‘hundreds or even thousands’ of arbitration cases (msn.com)

Q: Your employer provides a bed and a toothbrush and orders you to spend 24/7 at the company base.  What kind of organization is it?

A: Military organization in which you are compelled to serve and likely to give your life.  You may not have children and your family may not survive.  If you can help it, working for such an organization should be avoided at all costs (e.g. half a million young men leaving everything behind in Russia).

There is more and more similarity between Musk and Putin.  Neither got their money honestly.  Honestly, when I signed up for PayPal I had not seen ANY of the vaunted publicity Musk generated or heard of him.  I was frustrated with taking credit cards and looking for a way to send my business partner money, and researched all options.  Musk just by accident landed on the right bandwagon and is good at promoting himself.  He intended to work for Netscape but didn’t get hired.

Billionaire James Dyson says letting people work from home is ‘staggeringly self-defeating’ and will cause friction between employers and employees (msn.com)

Yet another staggeringly arrogant billionaire.  The data showed productivity went up when employees worked from home.  Dyson says “Without control over where employees work, companies like Dyson will hesitate to invest in the UK”.  That can only benefit the UK.  Put Dyson in the same cell with Musk.  Let them try and control each other.

I have been against the idea of “employment” and equate it with slavery for most of my life.  This is not a new attitude.  Just think about it for a minute.  Jobs appear and disappear in a flash.  Look at the layoffs every time the wind blows.  Musk didn’t care about Twitter’s employees.  Nor does he care about users.  Only their money.  He’s just another dictator.  Look up the original theory of corporations.  They don’t exist to make a profit.  They exist to serve the public good, to accomplish things one individual cannot.  The system is out of balance.  Americans were far happier in the 1950s and 60s when the top tax bracket was over 90%.

Supreme Court takes second case challenging Biden student loan relief (msn.com)

The old civilizations (Sumer, Babylon, Phoenicia) found that society collapsed without periodic debt relief.  However, the Phoenicians did not want to give the Greeks this concession, and failed to inform them when teaching the Greeks trade and business.  So the western world struggles to this day with erroneous ideas about debt.  You probably think those students shouldn’t have borrowed and you don’t want to pay their debt.  Understandable.

The education should have been affordable to begin with.  Schools lobbied for government money to expand greedily.  Then they became so expensive there was no other way to afford them.  I went to school on full scholarship.  I didn’t pay for it.  I am not in any position to say these other students should pay for worthless degrees that advisors sold them, for which corporations suddenly decided oops, we don’t really need those people.  Debt can cause the collapse of society.  Nearly did a couple of times in the last 100 years.  Don’t think 2008 was just financial.  It heavily impacted Ukraine (I was there in 2009, 20, 11) and generated their desire to join the EU, which pissed Putin off.  2008 caused this war, the Arab Spring, and the unending wars in Yemen, Syria, Libya, etc.

A brutal Russian paramilitary group active in Ukraine called for border intelligence on nearby NATO states: report (msn.com)

Rogue actions in NATO states planned.  Why such surprise?  They already blew up a pipeline, and “possibly” instigated attacks on power stations in the US.

Ukraine rejects «moral lessons» from the West and criticism of attacks on Russian territory (msn.com)

Moral lessons from the west will only get you in an interminable war like Afghanistan or Vietnam.  I totally agree with Kuleba.  The reason I gave up on Ukraine is because of the US not Ukraine.  The US is not moving fast enough to cut off Russia’s preparation for a larger war.

Retired Navy SEAL made famous after coming out as trans announces detransition: ‘destroyed my life’ (msn.com)

I have for a long time been against irreversible decisions.  Suicide, for example, is irreversible.  Maybe you will change your mind?  You never know.  That is the problem this person faced, and on that point alone, I do not think the US government should be subsidizing and encouraging this sort of thing, forcing doctors to perform the surgery.  I won’t say make it illegal, just don’t encourage anyone.  The gay and trans community is allowed to proselytize.  Most of the Muslim world is polygamous, but would be persecuted for that here.  (BTW, it’s not like you think.  A man has to be able to provide a separate house for each wife, and they can’t all sleep together.  It’s not polyamory.)

Florida divests billions from investment firm over QAnon-linked conspiracy theory (msn.com)

“‘Florida’s Treasury Division is divesting from BlackRock because they have openly stated they’ve got other goals than producing returns,’ he told Reuters. He was referring to the company’s commitment to environmental, social, and governance principles, a collection of socially responsible investing values widely known by their acronym, ESG.”

The above is true to the best of my knowledge, and not a conspiracy theory.

Whether it is a good idea or not we can discuss another day.  As above, corporations do have responsibility to the public good.  However, BlackRock is far too large and controls too much.  This means investors don’t actually vote on corporate matters.  Only BlackRock votes, and if states like Florida leave when they aren’t cutthroat, they will be cutthroat.  In the 60s and 70s a lot of pollution reduction came from investor activism.

What this voting conundrum means is that compared to 50 years ago, we no longer actually control the largest entities in our society.

If you agree sufficiently to want to do something, sign this petition. The current number of sign-ers is pathetic. Does that mean everyone has great confidence in billionaires? Expects to soon be a billionaire themselves (trust me, the odds are much lower than you think, even if you already have 100 million, see Wealth Relative Effects in Cooperation Games). Or it just hasn’t been noticed? If you and 88 other people sign it, it’ll start to get promoted on change.org.

Fair political voice of billionaires such as Musk, Bezos, Soros, Murdoch