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The failure of central planning

While I'm at John Robb, this is a super post:

Meet the Central Planners

In contrast, we currently are dependent on a global system that is beyond comprehension.

A system, which for the first time in all of history, is globally interconnected. A super system so large, so fast, and so complex that it can’t be understood or managed.

Yet, despite this, we give an incredibly small and increasingly concentrated group of people the authority to centrally manage our future. This group uses the following ‘knowledge’ to manage our future:

  1. Soviet type administration and regulation for governance.
  2. Wall Street equations for finance and corporate governance.
  3. “Harvard” academic knowledge for economics and other social endeavors.

He's talkin' sense, Merle.

He's also missing a bullet point for the political system. Readers?

No votes yet


Submitted by jawbone on

real powers that govern our lives? Government is, perhaps, as Obama described himself: the thing standing between the pitchforks and the banksters.

It is the banksters who have the veto power now, not the legislatures or the public. Just the bond market arm and hedgies with their short plays.

The government is desired as this curtain about who wields the actual power and for its ability to have standing protect the interests of the Powers That Be. And against the people if really necessary. Otherwise, the financial veto power controls the politicians.

Submitted by lambert on

... in those three bullet points, where's the force that keeps them alive? OK, add a fourth bullet. Or a fifth one. What's it called?

NOTE I think a smaller state, and doing the things it should do, like MMT, and not like the empire, is not such a bad idea. I see the resilient communities complementing that, not replacing it. (I don't know if Robb sees it that way). Milton Friedman, IIRC, was for single payer.

Submitted by hipparchia on

[pop 10 million] or afghanistan? [pop 30 million]

then there's france, population 65 million. dunno about you, but i'll take france over the other two any day.

dude, my state is something like 15x bigger than your state, populationwise, and while my governor may be more crooked than your governor, the smallness of your state didn't prevent your people from electing a governor who is about equally as far-right [read: equally as bad for people] as ours.

canada and saudi arabia are approximately the same population [and they each have a lot of oil]. i much prefer hot weather to cold, but i'd rather live in canada. probably you would too.

and it's not as though "small" countries have let size stand in their way when it comes to the really important things....

and just to look at things sideways for a moment, by 'smaller state' people often mean 'less government' and/or 'less centralized government'....

norway, an exemplary small state. 5 million people [and a lot of oil too]. highest human development index in the world, but we're not really all that far behind them. they spend much less on health care per capita than we do [more on that in a moment], and have a longer life expectancy than we do [but not a hugely longer life expectancy, like japan]. their gini coefficient is better than ours, but it didn't used to be that way [and france used to be way worse than us]. we're about even with them in civil and political liberties.

i'll leave it up to you to decide just how centralized or decentralized their healthcare system really is, but it's waaaaaay more centralized than ours [also, it's universal... and affordable].

sure, most of the public health system employees are not employed by their central govt, but if they've got a "Ministry of Health and Care Services, which is responsible for devising and monitoring national health policy" then some of them are. in fact, it looks like 2.5-3% of their population is employed by their central govt, whereas our central govt only employs 1-1.5% of our population.

nb: norway has a king.

or maybe you were thinking that even 5 million people is too large to form a 'resilient' anything... how about getting down to, say, interconnected-community size? i hear colonial massachusetts was a lovely place to live. oh, yeah... speaking of lovely places to live, who wouldn't want to live in a country run by a grassroots movement?

there only needs to be one bullet point - any group, government, organization, process, or institution can be hijacked. curran "It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active" et al have the prescription.

Submitted by lambert on

That would make the state smaller, if I'm not mistaken, and by a considerable amount.

I'd also like the DHS and the TSA shrunk from their current state of engorgement. Dittoez.

Ditto the DEA, which Obama really shouldn't be arresting marijuana growers with. Dittoez.

Legalizing marijuana would also shrink the prison industrial complex. Dittoez.

I agree with you on indolence, which is why.... I'm not.

And for the rest of the straw men... What on earth?! Somalia? Summer heat down there?

One of the nice things about both Social Security and Medicare is that they don't require humongous organizations to run, a la the insurance companies. They're in essence accounting machinery. The state is good at doing them. It should do them.

NOTE It's not that I like the idea that the trucks could stop and Maine would have to grow its own food or starve. Or that the grid would fail. Or that the public health system will collapse and there will be a die off. But it seems to be sensible to prepare for the likelihood that it will. That's why thinking about resilience is sensible.

Submitted by hipparchia on

you're the one who said you wanted a smaller state.

i simply provided examples of why (1) you don't necessarily need a "small state" population-wise, and (2) you might actually benefit from a "large state" (larger central government) than what we currently have. more fbi agents was, once upon a time, a good thing for instance.

and i also provided examples where "small", "human-scale", "interconnected communities", "less complexity", etc is not an automatic good. nice buzwords, though.

sure, pre-planning for what to do in the aftermath of armageddon is a good thing, but if you truly want resiliency, stop thinking about how to dismantle state and start thinking about how to fix it.

ditching the dhs and tsa is a good start, but we really do need more fbi agents, more epa scientists, more fda inspectors, more central planning...