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The Old Left vs Right Out the Window

by John on 07/21/2015

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The old left-right battle seems to be going out the window.

I am seeing some fascinating articles on our economic future – that I think if you’re a thinking person looking ahead – you need to look at.

The first is Post Capitalism: The Rise of Collaborative Commons. The other article is The End of Capitalism Has Begun.

Links to both articles are on my radio site and InformedNotInflamed.com.

Read them for yourself. But here I want to delve into my takes on these post-capitalistic theories. It will also help you understand some of my posts and also where my business is going.

I think these articles also explain why both political parties and people — on the left and the right — are angry and confused as their beliefs seem to be less relevant.

I can’t say these articles are optimistic or pessimistic. But they look at trends that are moving now that are already changing the way we live and the way we work. The authors appear to look at these trends in a purely economic way.

In essence, the post capitalistic economy is an economy that manages the scarcity of resources in a better way giving us an abundance of information and technology. The problem we will work out is how to pay people for these free and plentiful services so society can be equitable — allowing most of us a chance at freedom and a good life.

How we do it – either by ourselves, through government, or our work — is the question. This is just another way of addressing income inequality.

Clearly we are moving towards a collaborative or a networking type of economy. We’re being forced to share and pool our resources to help all.

I am seeing it already.

You’ve seen numerous posts of mine about Liberty Health Share. It is a medical cost sharing company.

Some disclosure here: I am a member of Liberty Health Share. My company provides video and spokesperson services for liberty health share.

Now the emphasis should be on the name — liberty health share – should be on the word “share.”

We share in each other’s medical bills.

Liberty Health Share members have abandoned the old insurance system — to reduce costs by cutting out the insurance middleman.

It creates for a more efficient healthcare system — while also creating healthier, and more responsible people.

It is working since so many people — right now — are finding that health care costs are eating up about 25% of their monthly budget.

Think about it. Using the free market and Obamacare, we have taken over our own healthcare.

What have insurance companies done? They have done what capitalists always try to do. They try to monopolize a market. Right now there are very few health insurance companies. The ones left are merging into others. This is simple supply and demand. With fewer supply and higher demand, you have higher prices. Look at your health insurance premium for this coming year.

But as these articles on post capitalism show these efficiencies – reducing costs by mergers and take-overs — are also leading to the demise of the health insurance market as we know it.

It’s like capitalism reaches for the ultimate prize which kills itself.

I am also seeing the same thing in my video production business – NOWtv.

My business partner, Susan Anzalone, and I contract with companies like Liberty Health Share that are very disruptive to the old economy – because we can undercut old-style video production houses.

And frankly, we can clean their clocks. Why? We have the ability to deliver video less expensively — and with just as much or more impact.

Companies pay less, fulfill their social media marketing needs, and they don’t have to hire more staff.

But until we found the right formula to work with these companies, we were not making money. Instead we were giving away a lot of free product and services to get their attention.

That has changed. A lot has to do with the economy coming back. But a lot has to do with our ability to disrupt old-style media companies.

The biggest impact of this post-capitalistic world I see is in the political realm.

Republicans have dozens of presidential candidates. Democrats can coalesce around Hillary.

A couple of things to consider.

First, the elections are a long way out. So we really don’t know what the majority of Americans are thinking — or what they’ll be thinking in November 2016.

Still, and this is number two, we are seeing the political parties splinter.

Donald Trump, I am sure, has the backing of a lot of blue-collar workers who don’t like the immigrant flow they think is taking over their jobs. Trump’s schtick is resonating with a large number of people, granted it is only a minority.

And on the other hand, Bernie Sanders, the socialist, actually has platforms that 80% of conservatives and Republicans agree with.

Rand Paul, a libertarian, and a so-called conservative, gains a lot of traction with young people who you would think would skew to the left.

The problem with almost all of the presidential candidates is that they live in the past. Too often I hear Republicans say they want the next Ronald Reagan and Democrats want the next Bill Clinton. My response: it is 2015 not the 1980s or 1990s.

We live in a totally different economy.

First we are an aging society. Baby boomers are retiring. They are no longer creating wealth but using it. It’s a far cry from 20-to-30 years ago.

Second, technology is changing how we work. Jobs are being eliminated while technology allows developing countries to compete with us.

Neither political party gets this.

So it causes a lot of angst and confusion — not only among the political parties — but also among people who consider themselves political pundits on social media.

For instance, I hear a lot of people screaming about socialism coming back to America.

These are people I usually dismiss.

First reason: they don’t define socialism. Is it the Scandinavian style of socialism? We are nowhere near that. Plus they don’t fund wars or international commerce like we do.

Are we a Soviet Union style of socialism? I don’t think were anywhere near that. In fact, you could make the case we are more of a fascist style of government — where industry is owning the government with the massive amounts of campaign-finance money and lobbying money that goes to lawmakers — that is not disclosed.

We have elements of socialism and fascism in our country.

Medicare screams socialism. But no politician on the left or the right will touch Medicare. Why? Older people vote more than younger people.

But I paid into my Medicare, you will hear. It is not an entitlement.

Here’s the reality. Medicare recipients have only paid in 1/3 of what the actual cost of medical bills will be. Who pays the remaining 2/3? The taxpayer.

So if these people screaming socialism are true to their beliefs, they will abolish Medicare. And there are some calls for that.

These amateur political pundits online live in the past – fueled by the two political parties and their money machines.

That’s why I suggest you read those two articles.

Another reason to read them is because the howls about socialism will be getting even louder over the next few years.

However, there is an irony. The visionaries of this new post-capitalist economy take on a lot of things that conservatives love. The biggest is decentralization of the economy without government intrusion. Communities or groups of people will band together and make decisions themselves.

You might even see new currencies like Bitcoin come about.

Ok this is a lot of wonkie stuff.

But read these articles. Yes, it will take some time. It will help you understand what is beginning to happen in our world and in your private world.

A word of caution, though. Sip on this stuff. Don’t down the whole bottle.

Remember American society is built on the conflict of the individual versus the common good. Right now, we are reacting against the hyper capitalistic fervor of the 20th Century – the unbridled individualism to make as much money as you could. The crash of 2008 has us swinging back to the common good again.

How long can we keep the individuals down? These article can’t address that.

We also can’t say everything in these articles is going to happen. There are plenty of Black Swans ahead – as people might react in different ways or find totally new technologies.

Plus, think about what might happen outside the US.

We have no idea how the Middle East is going to turn out over the next five years. There’s a good chance they could just be a mass of tribes in areas that once had maps drawn from World War I. Who controls the oil there will decide a lot of our future. Yes, we have shale oil. But the Saudis are trying their best to drop the price of oil so shale oil producers go out of business.

What’s happening with China will also decide a lot. The so-called booming economy seems on shaky ground – pumped up by trillions of worthless yuan — right now. And if China’s economy fails, you have to wonder what will happen in a world with billions of angry people not getting their middle class fix.

A newspaper editor back in the 1980s gave me great advice on finding stories. He said the rest of the world borders on you. Tell me how it affects you.

That’s even more relevant today.

Tell me what you think.

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