What’s Wrong, and How to Fix It, Part 1: Introduction, and Globalization/Automation
Published on: October 9, 2012
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  • Anthony

    “It’s not obvious what we need to know” – American political dysfunction and programmatic innovations. Are we actually faced with consequences of global-technology driven change whereby politico/economic structures are perhaps misaligned (WRM intimates we are in transition)?

    Many observers of economic and societal history have posited that technological innovation comes in bursts followed by periods in which change and its implications is worked out; your essay infers such a working out – globalization/automation, political/institutional, and corruption/plutocracy utilize as themes towards a programmatic roadmap within this American project. I look forward to both analysis and programmatics (“The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew….” – Abraham Lincoln).

    • Adam Garfinkle

      Thanks. Great Lincoln quote: Do you know the source, please?

      • Anthony

        You are welcome. “The collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (Roy Basler, ed., 1953).

  • ebola131

    I enjoy the read but the really simple is ignored.
    Without ethics and morals, a society cannot endure.
    The Founders recognized this crucial requirement and built the Republic on that foundation.
    The secular model is unsustainable…they will ultimately eat each other.
    Evidence our current administration; valid laws are ignored, protected by the corrupt DoJ, and the Founders built no mechanism to resist a corrupt administration.

  • Jim.

    Some observations-

    – Destruction of traditional institutions is aided and abetted by the attempts of Liberal elite (im)moralists to inflict radically new mores that are utterly foreign to not only the vast majority of the (non-European) world, but also to our own cultures prior to about 50 years ago.

    If Leftists want to ask why people have lost touch with self-control, “common courtesy”, and “common sense”, they need to look to themselves for the cause. We don’t have a “functional equivalent” of Babylon (and even Moloch, with Roe v Wade), we have similarities that line up with shocking precision.

    – Small, unique businesses seem to be fairly healthy in the big, sprawling, million-plus resident suburban / urban city where I live, and in the towns surrounding. The midrange and lower-end strip malls are full of them.

    Where they do less well (unless they’re truly high-end boutique) is in the areas where rents are particularly high.

    If commercial property prices (and thus rents) were allowed to crash, small and unique businesses would probably prosper quite nicely.

    – You talk about America’s prosperity in the 19th century and you say nothing about the frontier?

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Significance_of_the_Frontier_in_American_History . Full texts are available as links.

    – “We need to save money, because we are too much in debt, and that we need to spend money to create aggregate demand sufficient for national economic well-being”

    People who have debts should save, and people who have money should buy. Our balance of trade with China shows that it is the Chinese who should do the buying, and Americans who should do the saving.

    Add to this a government policy of exporting labor unionism to low-wage countries, along with creative solutions to the carrying capacity problem (if nothing else, please consider there’s more to this universe than just the Earth) and you have a path out of the current darkness.

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  • Calvin Harris

    It sure would be nice if our presidential candidates evinced even the slightest understanding of the issues set out in Mr. Garfinkel’s piece. I would dearly love to know the candidates’ views on these topics. Discussion of all else is nibbling around the edges.

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