The End of Capitalism Has Begun

CapitalismEveryone should read Paul Mason’s article in The Guardian titled, The End of Capitalism Has begun. It’s full of ideas and observations, many of which are intuitive but others came as a complete surprise. It’s long but well worth reading to the end.

The premise is, of course, that Capitalism is unsustainable and is in fact already being taken over by a new and more logical model which the author calls Post-Capitalism. The key element of Post-Capitalism is the explosion in the accessibility of information in the age of computers and the internet. One observation Mason makes is that information does not fit into the tradition business model of Capitalism. To put it succinctly: What do you charge for information? The traditional model would charge based on the scarcity of the product—the more rare it is, the more it costs—but information is everywhere and can easily be accessed. As the information grows, if you follow the traditional pricing method, the product will get cheaper and cheaper until the business can no longer support itself and goes under. Capitalism is eating it’s young.

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Apple and the Conservative Noise Machine

AppleAs those who have followed this weblog from the beginning know, I have been highly critical of Apple on several occasions. Going all the way back to 1977 I have experienced great triumphs with Apple and also several highly disappointing failures. Did you buy a Lisa? An Apple serial card for your Apple ][? What about that Cube thing? So despite my allegiance to Apple products and my complete avoidance of anything from WINDOZ, I am aware that Apple is not sacrosanct and I will readily admit it.

However, Apple is the most successful company on earth and the second most successful company in the history of the earth (the original Dutch East India Company has top honors when adjusted for the present value of money). I smile nowadays when I think back to the dark ages when all the rumors were that AT&T was going to buy out Apple—that Apple was in a death spiral—and now they are poised to become the first one trillion dollar company in the modern era. Where is IBM? Where is AT&T? Where is GE?

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Do You Think They Won’t Do It?

Look at this blurb from a recent posting by The Onion:

Progressive Company Pays Both Men And Women 78% Of What They Should Be Earning

one percentGood joke, huh? The Onion is often spot on with their satire of our society but in this case I find it hard to believe that the job-creators have not hit upon this simple solution to the gender-pay gap. Of course it does seem to conflict with the historic position of corporations: whining that they are forced to give their top executives a few million dollars more each year in order to attract and keep top talent. I’m  surprised they have any spare change laying around to pay the employees who do all the work. One would think that between advertising, lobbying, and bribery, the major corporations would barely be able to meet the monetary demands of their own in-house one percent.

So has The Onion inadvertently released the Kraken?