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The Pursuit of Happyness

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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 2:20 am    Post subject: The Pursuit of Happyness Reply with quote

Today I saw The Pursuit of Happyness.

You can read other reviews to find out what it's about.

The scene that stuck with me the most -- circa the early 1980's, Reaganomics, a block long line of homeless people waiting for limited rooms at a shelter. An eerie classic convertible careens around the corner oblivious to the line, with two couples laughing in bliss.

I think it was eerie because prior to TPH, all other movies, mainly made in the 1980s, were shot from the perspective of the people in the car! This is the first to start telling the other side of the story.

I have to think that maybe the shit is finally hitting the fans. Those people, now 20 years older, or maybe with kids that went through it with some point, they have to start speaking out. They didn't get to be part of the "Information Economy" back then. They asked for working wages, and they got ketchup as a vegetable.

This movie has a lot of downer moments. In fact, it's almost 98 percent downer. But you know, I guess that's a sign of good times...which I think we are in, or just beginning. The 1930s and 1980s were the time of blindness to suffering. Happy go lucky teens, stealing their parents sports cars or spending a "Weekend At Bernies". It was all we could do. The misery of unemployment, decay, homelessness was too much.

The result was that the collective American unconscious threw up Ronald Reagan. We didn't have the resources to be kind. So we decided to be mean instead. I'm not passing blame. Those were harsh times, and people who may have wanted to give, had to pull back out of fear...fear for their own sustinance.

Now we're on a growth curve. We are moving slowly, but we see the bottom third maybe getting a chance to get it's share (see other YRIHF articles on this site).

Still, this may be the first fusilade from people who've been beaten down and stomped on, and mainly ignored, by our society for so long. I am waiting for the next round of artillery to land.[/url]
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Joined: 11 Sep 2008
Posts: 47
Location: Vancouver, WA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:32 pm    Post subject: Funds transfer Reply with quote

I always like to see the transfer of wealth. We love watching people hit it big on game shows for example, but perhaps selfishly.

I just like seeing new people getting a chance at wealth. During the dot com bubble it was computer nerds turning millionaire. That was awesome. There's nothing that interesting to me when the rich stay rich, or their riches fluctuate a little.

I loved it again when the housing market went crazy, and for a while, elderly and young alike, if they owned property they were becoming rich on paper at least.

In both of those examples, the downside left casualties, and that is sad of course.

I'm not a casualty yet, having moved to Spokane when things looked good, and did not get my Vancouver home fixed up and on the market fast enough. It has not sold, so I'm at risk of becoming a casualty of the housing boom.

But the desire to see new or different people get money is one reason I'm in favor of a change in the dominant political party this year; chances are it would result in the wealth changing hands somewhat.

I like seeing what people do with new found wealth, and life just seems more interesting when there's a societal money shift. It helps if no one has to lose money for some other demographic group to gain some.

I can't think of what the next boom could be or should be. Maybe we need a break from booms anyway. Existing housing troubles and bank failure news in the last few days may be heralding a bust season for a while.

If we ever come up with free energy, or nearly free, and it makes energy no longer the part of the cost of goods, we may enter a boom time for a bit, but oil producing nations may not take it lying down and we may see a lot of war result, and/or poverty in those countries. But oil is more than energy, and we may see the cost of asphalt and plastic etc skyrocket to compensate somewhat. I don't know.
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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am reading a book called Reinventing the Sacred. It covers a lot of ground, but the chapter I'm reading is about economics.

He describes Schumpeter's Creative Destruction idea...which would seem to advocate a let it ride attitude when it comes to bailing out AIG and the other behemoths in order to let the failing systems fail and new people with better ideas rise up:

In a later book, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, Schumpeter wrote that the traditional view of competition must be abandoned. "Economists," he said, "are at long last emerging from the stage in which price competition was all they saw. ... However, it is still competition within a rigid pattern of invariant conditions, methods of production and forms of industrial organization ... that ... monopolizes attention. But in capitalist reality as distinguished from its textbook picture, it is not that kind of competition which counts but the competition from the new commodity, the new technology, the new source of supply, the new type of organization competition which commands a decisive cost or quality advantage and which strikes not at the margins of the profits and the outputs of the existing firms but at their foundations and their very lives."

Entrepreneurs innovate new ways of manipulating nature, and new ways of assembling and coordinating people. It is important to stress that a Schumpeterian entrepreneur is not an inventor, but an innovator. The innovator shows that a product, a process, or a mode of organization can be efficient and profitable, and that elevates the entire economy. But it also destroys those organizations and people who suddenly find their technologies and routines outmoded and unprofitable. There is, Schumpeter was certain, no way of avoiding this: Capitalism cannot progress without creating short-term losers alongside its short- and long-term winners: "Without innovations, no entrepreneurs; without entrepreneurial achievement, no capitalist ... propulsion. The atmosphere of industrial revolutions ... is the only one in which capitalism can survive."
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