Hmmm... is that why the economy isn't working?

1 mo
5 Min Read
1075 words



Well... it is pretty clear that the lived experience from those who make economic rules and those who have to actually live and abide by them (you can dodge that and play a different game if you have the resources...) is quite vastly different and out of touch at best. This is a big problem, as the disconnect between the rule-makers and rule-followers means that there is going to be difficulty in getting public good works accepted and done as the trust in the system is lost.

Now, I'm going to just stake out my colours at the start. I do believe that there is a place for government and centralised entities, but I ALSO believe that there is value in decentralised and private entities as well. What I DON'T advocate is that government or private enterprise (or centralisation/decentralisation) is the root of all evil and that it should be one or the other. There needs to be a balance, as there are some things that are better done locally with a shorter time-frame, and others with a longer time frame and in a larger group.

The problems occur when you use the wrong tool for the wrong purpose... and part of that has definitely been the idea that governments SHOULD be run like corporations and companies... they shouldn't, and that is their inherent strength, to look beyond profit and the immediate, to focus on longer term structural public goods and goals. Meanwhile, on the other end of things... well, when we place too much trust on decentralisation and private enterprise to solve EVERYTHING, it is no surprise that they don't build robustly for future shocks and for public good. Let that also be a lesson for crypto... economic incentives and decentralisation is not the cure-all to every problem... some problems, yes, not ALL problems.

So... two things happened recently to make me think that the disconnect is really out of whack... and that means that trust is the economic and social systems is being eroded.

The first is the Australian reserve bank governor suggesting that large wage increases should be put on hold or limited due to the rampant inflation. Now, to be perfectly fair, there was a great deal more nuance than the headline... but the headline is what most people will read... if even that. The suggestion that wage increases should be less than half of the expected inflation figure is pretty galling to workers who have had wages stagnate due to the profits going to shareholders. As one commentator pointed out, during times of low inflation, it was suggested that wage increases were unnecessary (no higher prices...)... and when inflation is high, that wage increases would further fuel inflation! Talk about a no win situation... and this is in an atmosphere where executive positions pay themselves stupidly high remunerations (usually decided by other executive-like people)... and most of the workforce mark time and don't do much to contribute to society anyway.

The second was a recent message that I received from an employer... which pretty exemplifies the crappy "we are in it together" idea that salaried and well-off people would banter around. We aren't... you are shitting on the rest of us!

The message was that it was STRONGLY recommended (no longer mandated) that we test ourselves for corona regularly and if we tested positive OR had flu-like symptoms... that we remove ourselves from the work. So... if you test positive or feel funny... remove yourself, with no compensation for doing the RIGHT thing. Remember, that most of us are casual... no work means no pay. Of course, for people with salaries, no work means still getting paid... and in some cases, no work is the normal course of events anyway!

Of course, I will mention that I WILL do the RIGHT thing... because, if I get sick... I can afford to lose the work... but I DON'T want to take the rest of my colleagues down due to the concert being cancelled. But this is a play against a person's morality and sense of social contract... which as I mentioned, is more and more eroded with each breach of that social contract from the other side.

So... at this point, I'm a bit confused as to why the vast general population SHOULD adhere to a social contract that has so far been all one-directional? The time is here for change... what will that look like? Who knows... but I know that this current incarnation of the social contract is failing due to some pretty hideous abuse from the "betters".

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