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October 09, 2007


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JJ Commoner

Or, to go farther, doesn't our use of that metaphor indict our own moral vision, and prove beyond doubt how mercenary we really are, through and through?

Yes. Everything "capitalized" makes the commons and the public weal an arcane and essentially obsolete concept.


Developing family capital, including human capital, begs the question of the role the family in civic life, and the human capital of those who are inside the family dynasty. What obligations have wealthy people to their fellow citizens? Jay sounds like Schambra when addressing those issues, warning trust fund babies that they must not become dependent and ennervated like welfare folks. The idea that the wealthy are stewards of a commons held in trust for everyone never comes up in Hughes as far as I can see. That irritates me to now end because he was raised in the WASP tradition of noblesse oblige, and his bibliography is full of its classic statements. But he himself does not much press that issue. It is all about how the family as it grows over the generations can stick together like a Tong for mutual advantage with its own Constitution, Governing Bodies, Family Meetings, etc as if it were a Florentine City State under the Medicis. He knows whereof he speaks. He is deeply enmeshed in that confidential world. And he does emphasize confidentiality or as some families call it, "omerta."

Flop Flop Fish

Bobby Reich dances at D.C. bookstore in support of his new book, Supercapitalism, this excerpt at about 41 minutes into the MP3:

Those of you who study charity and charitable contributions, must know something very important: Of the $200 billion a year that goes into charity, only 10% goes to the poor. Most of it is going to art museums and symphonic halls and prestigious universities, and I don't blame anybody in fact I love art and I love universities and I teach in universities and if rich people want to have their names engraved on some pop art palace or university that's great but we've got to keep in mind that this is not a substitute for the public goods and doing what we need to do in this country for all of us."

Regarding Supercapitalism and Democracy/Citizenship, he thinks we need to get our minds right. Two things standing in the way of that are citizens' complicity (as bargain seeking consumers) and citizens' acceptance of the corporate entity as a fellow citizen.

I would add citizens' acceptance of Technocharged SuperMedia as a valid information source.


Flop Flop Fish, deckhand, RMS Titanic (retired)

Flop Flop Fish

p.s. He also mentions the ubiquity of "Shopping Week" at prestigious universities with which he's been affiliated. Something about misapplying the vernacular or something.

Flop Flop

JJ Commoner

Lower and lower taxes is part of the deep psychology of the USian identity. McCain recently said he would like it if there were zero taxes. Numbskull.


No taxes, just debt, or maybe graft.


Flopping Fish, thanks for the link, blogged it.


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Well, Reza. Not spam, right?

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