Nummy Naomi

I think I'm in love with Naomi Klein.... 's coherent presentation of ideas. I bothered to read the Shock Doctrine, rather carefully, and found it to be quite enriching.

What interested me about this following interview is that she mentions the argument that low prices at Wal Mart are beneficial to the common man. They are "progressive". My argument is (as you know) that supposedly "progressive" mechanics produce the opposite of the supposed intended effect (ie they hurt the most vulnerable class). I know this because I see it and live it every day as a small business owner. I feel like a dolphin in the nets. They wanted squeeze big business, but here I am...

But I digress.

When the only thing you've known is inflation it's hard to imagine a world where unfettered productive capacity produces ever-decreasing prices causing real wages to rise. Imagine for a moment that for the next year everything you bought was one-tenth the cost (eg a gallon of milk was $0.30 and a new car $2000, oh wait that maybe was the price forty years ago...). How would your life change? This is what it is like when the effects of increased efficiency and productive power are not interrupted in their flow.

This is easy to imagine if you scale it down to a village. At first the ground is hard and rocky, but after a few years of work there are rewards to go around as all classes of production become more efficient. More milk means lower prices of milk. An established lumber mill is now producing finished planks rather than expending resources on actually building the mill.

There are forces that are removing resources from the system, leaving less to go around. Invisible and inexorable mechanisms are used (taxation, inflation, manipulation and limitation of money type and supply) to create concentrations of wealth and power. My chief argument against Naomi Klein's conclusions (eg only huge centralized government can save the common man) is that the very institution that can work for this (supposed) good is the very one that can create the problem in the first place (Corporatism). Or to fall back on a tired analogy: no one can be trusted to wield the Ring of Power, it must be destroyed once and for all. Or put another way: the government that is powerful enough to give you everything you want is also powerful enough to take everything you have.

In my view, a world with very limited government and maximum personal freedom would empower tremendously the common man. Take my case for example. I've done quite well, and even made jobs for other people, from just a modest paint kit and a foldout table in my garage. The Federal Government has done nothing except harass and hinder me from the get-go.

Or would it look like Somalia? Not really, that's what zero government looks like. Even if we scaled back 80% it would still be up for the task of defending sufficiently the freedom and safety of its citizens.

I had better stop now.

On with the show.



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