Starbucks Should be Commended

Starbucks hiring refugees is something that has to be commended. These are the kinds of things companies can do to do good. CEO Howard Schultz’s insistence that he will keep up trade with Mexico is also a good thing. Still though, I cannot fully support Starbucks as a business. It’s still a purely capitalistic franchise, rather than a co-operative.

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The US is not a Democracy; but the Future is Brighter

The United States is not a democracy. It is a plutocracy pretending to be a democracy. The politicians in the US always emphasise that the US is a democracy, but they protest too much. On an objective level, from an outsider looking in, it is pretty clear how corrupt and plutocratic the US is. And this was true before Donald Trump. The rich and the corporations still call the shots. The future is brighter, however. More people in the US are going to clamour for a true democracy in the future, and they will get it, eventually.

Poem: What Next for The World?

What next for the world,

What next for us?

What next for the world,

Is it written on a bus?

What next for the world,

What next for the good?

What next for the bad,

What will happen –

What should?

Could,

Would,

Be,

Is it time for us to live the future free?

The Effect of Technology on Future Employment

The effect of technology on future employment, as highlighted by business leaders at Davos, is profound. More and more software, computers and robots will be replacing human workers, and some of it has already happened (think the lack of as many human cashiers in supermarkets).

One answer to the increased joblessness and lack of expendable income is a “spending wage” for citizens for doing no work at all. This would stimulate the economy by allowing people to purchase consumer goods, though it may not solve the self-esteem issue of people not feeling that they have a purpose in life, or that they at least have a diminished purpose in life.

Co-opism is What’s Best for the Future of Humanity

Now I want to share an idea of mine of a new political ideology that could help humanity have a better future. I call it “Co-opism”. This ideology would still fall under the umbrella of capitalism technically, as it would still be about the profit motive in a capitalist economy, but with the benefits of a co-operative structure, like better pay, better conditions and more engagement with the company, and thus happier employees who are more motivated to outdo the purely capitalist competition because they are happier and because they have a stake in the company.

This simple idea can be put into place in countries all over the world. And the world will have to fight politically to put this idea into place by incentivising the founding of co-operatives and helping co-operatives in state policy and penalising and not helping non-co-operative companies. Now, I am aware that there is a system that is even better for the average citizen than co-opism and that is workers self-directed enterprises (WSDEs), as outlined by Richard D. Wolff on his website http://www.democracyatwork.info/ but I don’t think it is realistic to jump straight from pure capitalism to WSDEs. It is more realistic to work with the co-operatives that are in your country now and that are part of a culturally well-understood system.

One reason why I think Co-opism will work and that it as an idea will inevitably be put into action is that it is a nice halfway house between communism and capitalism. It gives better benefits for workers like communism but still has the healthy profit motive of capitalism.

So, here’s the part where I try to inspire you to take action. Put co-opism into place by founding a co-operative-focused political party! Spread co-opism elsewhere by simply sharing this blog post or by communicating the idea to others! Rise up against pure capitalism and neo-liberalism!

All Publicity is Good Publicity in US Politics

This opinion piece: http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/kathy-sheridan-the-media-got-it-right-on-trump-but-nobody-cares-1.2877809 is clearly just one angle rather than a comprehensive assessment of why Trump won. This is partly because The Irish Times wants to write more than one article about Trump.

Anyway, the US media made Trump. The Irish Times and the rest of the Irish media are obsessed with Trump – just like the US media.

Of course the media, as a group, want to say they had no part in Trump’s victory, but it’s just not true. What Trump understands about publicity is that all publicity is good publicity in US politics. People, after having a candidate thrust into their faces for a year and a half, forget why they know the candidate’s name but they sure as hell remember that person’s name, and hey, what’s he promising? Change? That doesn’t sound bad to them.

Trump Will Bring Change for the Worse

trump

So Trump is president. This may be like watching a car crash in slow motion. Trump is an empty vessel. But the policies that his compatriots in government will put forward for him to implement will wreak the country. Half of the American people may believe that Trump can bring forth change. However, what they did not consider is that things could change for the worse.

Getting into those right-wing policies though, an example being his plausible pledge to cut taxes. What Americans need to understand is that they need a high level of taxes to provide good social services and to have a budget for spending, in order to invest in the country and improve it. As said by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.: Taxes are the price we pay for civilisation.

These tax cuts will most likely be applied to the wealthy and the corporations too. And it should be obvious that the rich need to pay much more to society. However, I’m sure they squirrel away their money away to tax havens in any case. But the symbolism matters.

Four years from now, it may still not be clear to Americans that the economy has worsened. He may get elected again. Who knows. But he may not have brought the change the American people want. They may start to see him as akin to a politician: willing to promise the world to people and then not follow through on those promises.

And a new outsider might appear to promise radical change for Americans (my hunch is that Americans may vote for radical politicians until they get better jobs and higher wages).

In short, Trump may be trumped by another populist, perhaps – and hopefully, a very left-wing Latina.