The Reason Why Economists and Business Schools Overlook These Issues
There is a reason for economists and Business Schools to fail to address the below listed issues. It is due to systematic bribery. And the Koch brothers have said precisely as much. This bribery is well documented. CLICK HERE to read how the Koch brothers have a well organzied operation precisely to buy economists and business school academia to teach their views on what they call "freedom."
Then do your own Google search on "Why the Koch Brothers Are Funding Colleges". Call it "funding" or call it "bribery" which ever suits you.
And for an important book on how economics is being challenged by its own younger students READ THIS found on Amazon. The book is: Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth. Find Ms. Raworth's website HERE.
Colleges and universities have been outsourcing the payments, salaries, and research grants to outside sources for the last 25 years or so. In many universities, the chairman of a department is told point black to go to find his own funding for his salary, for his department’s salaries and for research grants from outside of the university. Research grants often cover not only the costs of research for a project but also for the assorted assistant professors and graduate students who do the research.
Enter the Thought Police
And they did just that. They found willing and happy contributors from corporate America and their representatives found in Public Relations firms, law firms, and lobbying firms. The funding for these departments represented relatively small sums to those providing it. Yet, within the various departments at each university that funding was a big deal. And, it was long-term. Once acquired, it proved to be a dependable source of one’s salary. To be fair, there were often other outside sources which were actually interested in providing research grants for lots of topics as well.
But, those other outside sources never measured up the dependability of their corporate backing. And, to be sure, the corporate backing was not always specifically identified to particular corporations. Indeed, the “bundlers” of these funds – the PR firms, Lobbying and Legal firms – often kept their funding sources to themselves.
The point here being that once a department was engaged with a dependable source of funding they were quietly but firmly informed as to what research was approved and what was not. And, if an assistant professor or graduate student was wandering off the reservation, the department head was told, nicely but firmly, who to let go, what to stop doing, etc. As these funds directly affected the personal incomes of professors and assistant professors it took little time for them to create a self-administered thought control over the whole topic of capitalism, "fair trade", "free markets" and especially "globalization". (I use those words in quotes because the meaning of those words has been coopted and rarely actually mean what you think they mean.)
This control often took place as control over words - what the meaning of the word "free market" or "freedom" or "capitalism" or "hidden hand of capitalism" and other words. Those are all key words for capitalism itself and its underlying defenders and protagonists.
So the PR firms, Lobbying and Legal firms became the thought police and enforcers of sticking to the capitalist business school line of “free markets, pro-globalization, and deregulation.” And they did. And they did for so many years that it just became ingrained in academic-department DNA. Hence, you find near zero anti-globalization, anti-free-market, pro-regulation, pro-taxation, and anti-senior management content coming from these departments. And that is that.
If you doubt that simply Google “How the Koch Brothers Influence Colleges and Universities.” The Koch Brothers do not even disguise their doing this nor do they hide their motives - except that they are couched in terms of "free market" and "deregulation" and "government is bad" and "freedom", etc. These terms have long since been coopted by the CBC.
Keep in mind: there is only ONE institution that can control the CBC and that is government. It has been the long-term plan to degrade people's trust in government with a constant story of how bureaucratic, stupid, dumb, inefficient, inept, and anti-job-creating government is and government-wide (States and Federal) to defund government to make it slow, inefficient, and able to retain only the lowest grade employees. (The IRS, SEC, EPA all experience precisely this.) While we are all left with the obvious counter that for-profit corporations are efficient, smart, and beneficial (when deregulated). That is not true, but it is the propaganda. And this story has been going on for a long time. Private enterprise functioning in a "free market" can do no wrong, government can do no right (as per Ronald Reagan).
And Mr. Lloyd Blankfein's statement (CEO of Goldman Sachs): "He’s Just Doing ‘God’s Work." Click HERE for NYT story.
The Koch Brothers are hardly the only corporate influencers of colleges and universities. You might also come to realize that the key schools: Harvard, Wharton, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, et al, got the lion’s share of attention. But it all trickles down to other schools too, don't you know.
Business school and economics graduates hardly ever hear of non-thought-controlled ideas at all. And, if they were to bring them up, they might find their grades lagging.
Graduate students within a department would just be refused any research funds for projects that would address some of the below-mentioned topics.
And that is that. Free markets are good but not in colleges and universities and not for students wanting a career in economics and business. Today, an MBA is really a certification that the student achieving that MBA is fully practiced in exactly how capitalism works and all its virtues (with no downsides at all). They can be depended upon to carry the spears of enforcement of free markets, deregulation, lower taxes, and all that.
If anyone brings up empathy for the lives of people on this planet, for the environment, for health care, and for social responsibility they would not survive for long. The fact in the matter is: you do not live in a free market at all. It is just called that.
Some of the Issues Continuing to be Ignored and it truly is "some"!
As the entire global transportation system now constitutes the largest concentration of wealth of all time. For that to go uncommented upon by macro economists is truly like not seeing the elephant in the room.
- The Next Big Financial Collapse will occur in this manner. Note, before I tell you, that no economists are addressing the world-risk vs. leverage-factors inherent is globalization-systems at all. The size of the container ships, tanker ships, shipping, ports, channel dredging, container systems and all of the world's ports is huge... very huge. It is the largest single concentration of wealth of any other system of them all. Most of this worldwide system is financed by US, London, Chinese, and European banks along with middle east banks as well. Each "deal" for the financing of a billion, or more, cost per ship is complex, holds all sorts of cross collateralizations and deals within deals that make them nearly impossible to de-tangle. But lying beneath it all is the US loan guarantees and other government loan guarantees. Now assume we have a drop in world trade of, say, 10% to 20% that lasts for more than one year, perhaps 2 to 3 years. The drop in shipping revenue would/could throw each shipping company into default that would cascade downward and sideways in as intricate ways as the 2008 real estate collapse did except it would involve far higher amounts of money and far more complex inter-weavings. Were global trade to drop by more than 20% for extended time and the whole world's financial system would collapse and the US government would try, but fail (not enough resources) to fix it. This globalization-system is far bigger than the 2008 real estate collapse, far more complex and intertwined, and functions on near 100% government guaranteed debt.
- Globalization’s real purpose is to remove the corporate actors from any taxation or regulation whatsoever - removed from all responsibility, accountability and liability. As they deem doing this important then it must be. So, what economic effects are working here? Globalization is treated by argument-by-intimidation. This means that if you question the value of globalization you are dismissed as not knowing nor understanding basic economics. Globalization is treated as a "given" and "not to be questioned" and students of economics and business administration cannot dare venture into questioning globalization at all.
- Globalization creates total opaqueness to everything the corporate actors engage in. What economic effects are working here? Why is this opaqueness not important? Free markets must operate in a total freedom of information condition. As information is denied then so too is a free market not operating at all.
- Globalization depends upon government subsidies entirely. We are told it is all about labor costs and that capitalism is merely doing the "right thing" by moving labor costs to low-cost countries. But, what is never mentioned is the trillions of dollars invested in the largest planet-wide government subsidy ever - the shipping and port infrastructure needed to reduce transportation costs w-a-y below what they would be were this multiple trillion dollar infrastructure not subsidized by governments around the planet. Up until 20 years ago, the largest public works project of all time was the US government investment in the US interstate highway system. That has now been eclipsed by the government's investment in global transportation systems supporting very low prices that benefit the surprisingly few major shippers. Those transportation system subsidies are totally at tax payer cost or risk (all countries are involved but to a huge extent by US tax payers.) Economists have never addressed this global subsidy and focus solely on how capitalism works to invest in lowest-cost labor countries which is true except that the entire global system depends on this subsidized transportation/shipping system. By comparison, had this subsidy-system been applied to put people to work in the US we would have total employment and the best intra-country transportation system known. Instead, this subsidy-system benefits a small handful of businesses. See BELOW for some pictures.
- We are told that were it not for manufacturing your white socks in China, that the price of your socks would sore to $30 or $4o a pair. That is not true. The labor cost as a percent of the total cost of manufacturing is not that high and even it were, going from slave wages to $15/hr would indeed raise the cost but by a dollar or so... perhaps. These threats of gigantic cost increases to Walmart products are Globalization PR nonsense. If those gigantic price increases were true, then our entire globalized retail product pricing is truly dependent on slave labor. That argument was advanced some 150 years ago to justify slavery in the US. The argument is based on telling you that labor costs are SO important to the health and maintenance of Walmart that it just "has" to be kept at near-slave labor levels for labor. Cheap products are our reward for near-slave labor. Well that is not so as Apple uses child labor in a variety of countries in Asia and their iPhone is the most expensive device of its kind of them all. What near-slave labor and child-labor (under the age of 10) is important for is earnings per share of Apple stock and therefore the value of C-Level executives' stock options. Otherwise Apple could manufacture iPhones in the US and maybe have a slightly small earnings per share... still a huge profit... just a little smaller... and all on the backs of near-slave and child labor.
- Markets cannot be said to be “free” at all if all or most relevant information is secret, unavailable and withheld from market decision makers. This "free market" assumption is meaningless if secrecy surrounds all key business decisions. How can anyone make relevant business decisions and investment decisions without having access to the facts, ALL the facts concerning that decision? When information is unavailable, and it is, then there are no free markets at all... only freak markets.
- Capitalism cannot deal with slavery, and individual job devastation due to huge and unnecessary shifts in labor market dissipated around the globe precisely to make it impossible to identify the trends toward slavery and near-slavery... along with child labor and chaining people to machinery.
- Capitalism is dealt with by economists and business school professors as a mechanical methodology that creates wealth automatically when it is “free” that is just assumed. Capitalism is not meant to concern itself with human values, environmental degradation, quality of planet, and quality of life issues. Those are all meant to be end results of free market capitalism that is automatically delivered when the "system" is "free." ("Free" means totally un-taxed and unregulated at all. Those human and environmental concerns are not part of the "GDP growth," "earnings per share," and "free markets solve everything" assumptions. And why not? When do those concerns arise? If you trip over a nearly frozen body of a homeless person on the pavement next to the Comcast building in Philadelphia, is that a failure of capitalism? If not, why? When does this situation become important to capitalism? If the CEO of Comcast were lying in the gutter you can bet it would be attended to...!
- Economists will not deal with the huge concentration of wealth into the hands of less than 1/2 of 1% of the world’s population. What does this mean economically? Do these people actually possess the ability to make the daily, minute by minute decisions for everything that matters economically? (Most of them are playing golf.)
- Economists will not deal with corruption and government corruption and its costs and negative effects to 99% of the people of the planet. Corruption is not mentioned in any macroeconomics courses as though it does not exist nor have any negative economic impact at all. They just do not deal with corruption at all. It has nowhere to go into the macro economic models and if even acknowledged to exist at all it is "friction" and not significant. In truth it is the whole basis of globalization.
- Economists will not even mention the 6+ trillion dollars of capital floating around the planet going mostly un-invested in their own owner-corporations. The senior managements cannot find anything to invest in for their own corporations which makes tax reform to lower taxes on the rich and corporations meaningless. They are already awash in cash and already have nothing to invest in. Not having opportunities for this huge amount of capital has huge economic implications. What are they?
- Is government always a bad actor in economics and the super wealthy and Fortune 5,000 the only good actors? Can capitalism have "bad actors" at all? Is this possible in standard economic thought?
- The super wealthy and huge corporations pay next to no income taxes in any event so why offer up tax reductions?
- Economists will not deal with the negative effects of mergers and acquisitions as they are now the only events left for most very large corporations to do.
- Economists pay no attention to the fact that a very large portion of reported corporate profits are bogus. For example: the automobile industry accounting includes all autos/vehicles delivered to dealers as "sold" even though they are not "sold" at all.
- Are net earnings per share it? Is there nothing more to running the Fortune 5,000 than that? Or, just how does maximizing return on capital work to the betterment of people… all people, even?
- Economists will not deal with group-stupid events where one bad actor is bad enough but when there are 1,000’s of bad actors the combined results are hugely dangerous as in global warming or shifting jobs to the orient and destroying their own market-base in the US in the process. Maximizing return on capital can destroy future markets.
- Economists will not deal with the accelerating destruction of the US middle class and what economic impacts that has.
- Economists will not deal with the huge risks taken by banks in their trading operations and that the trading operations cause no actual economic growth, employment, or betterment of the economy at all. Yet the banks fiercely protect their trading operations. Why? They've bribed every possible regulator or had them fired. Why is trading so important? Trading delivers earnings per share but nothing more.
- Why do big corporations and super-wealthy seek to deregulate the economy? Economists just assume that government is bad and free markets are good without a single moment's reflection. It is, of course, not true.
- How does over 1 trillion of student loan debt with no ability to resort to bankruptcy affect economics long term? For many, this is just about indentured servitude to the banks.
- Does deregulation mean that we get free markets? Or, does it mean the exact opposite?
- If corporations collude to set prices and fix market shares between themselves then does that destroy the existence of a free market? If this practice is widespread then are there really any free markets at all?
- Is a super-wealthy person’s economic liberty the same as a middle class or lower class person’s economic liberty? Do middle and lower class people have economic liberty comparable to that of super-wealthy people? If not, what economic impact does this have? Is there a trend away from middle-lower-class economic liberty and toward the super-wealthy and does this affect economics?
- What impact does income inequality have on the economy? As purchasing power migrates away from middle and lower class so too do those two markets shrink. If they continue to shrink, then what to say about the whole system’s inability to have a market to sell to?
- The present value of money is bogus and useless in making relevant decisions. When does all this manifest in the betterment of people or do economists even care?
- Are these issues even important to economists and business school professors? If not, why? If not, then what are they doing when they go to work each day?
- Supply and demand is supposed to determine prices. Well does it? Here some exceptions: butter, milk, eggs, gas, oil, high fructose corn syrup, medical services, doctors’ visits, hospital fees and costs, drug company drug costs. The whole notion of supply and demand determining prices is bogus. For instance: drug costs in Europe are far lower than they are (for same drug) in the US. How does that happen?
- Government is the only force capable of standing up to the CBC (Corporate Billionaire Controllers). And the CBC has a concerted long-term campaign to destroy people's confidence in government. Why is this so? What economic effects does this create?
- Why is sex slavery not a "business" and money-laundering a "business" for MBA types to learn about? It is a hundred billion dollar industry and is a huge contributor to corruption and bribery - yet not included as part of MBA courses? Not "included" as a "business" but included as the industry that it is? You may think that illegal business is not "taught" as MBA topic but it certainly deserves a mention as something to avoid, no?
This list is not complete.
Notice, however, the consistent strain in all of the above failures: they all are related to the Fortune 5,000 and the super-wealthy and economists and business school professors’ failure to address any of these issues head-on. This failure matters and has reasons.
Are these issues not important? Do they not go right to the heart of why the study of economics exists and why people are taught what they are taught in business schools? Of course, these issues all matter a great deal. They lie at the heart of our economics and politics.
See LINK HERE for Financial Crisis.
Economics is a pseudo-science that has lost its way. I say "pseudo-science" because it assumes "facts not in evidence." It appears to handle its subject matter scientifically, often with extraordinary mathematics, but it still is founded on un-observable base ideas. For instance: there is no such thing as a "rational actor." They do not exist and impossible to define, yet economists just assume such a "person". It may be better to postulate irrational actors as they ARE observable.
Keep in mind that there were no economists that even came close to predicting the world’s most dangerous and hugely costly event ever: the 2008 financial collapse and the years of events leading up to it. NONE and still to this day NONE that regard that event as worthy of any concern at all.
That all went unobserved with no attention to it at all. And the obvious remedies that could have saved jobs and real estate values went un-attended to. They had nothing to say. (Perhaps a few exceptions counted on the fingers of one hand.)
We will never know the full extent of the cost of that collapse but it is safe to estimate at least 12 to 15 trillion dollars. And that event escaped the attention of the entire economics and business school class altogether beforehand and afterward has remained largely ignored by economists.
Shown below a few of the images concerning container ships and their port facilities. To suggest that the entire globalization situation is related to "free" markets is nonsense. Globalization is related to subsidies, huge subsidies that enable the entire enterprise.
Every container ship,
every container loading system,
every channel dredged,
every canal built,
every port service
every loading dock, computerized loading and offloading system...
...is subsidized by governments or is owned by government entities (authorities) around the world in hundreds of intricate ways all of which removes a huge cost and shifts it to taxpayers.
You are told that globalization is how capitalism allocates resources to maximize the return on capital and how poor people around the globe are being employed due to the gratuitousness of capitalism (as per Mitt Romney.) But actually globalization is a huge endeavor to use government subsidies to enrich the 1%.
This is the largest government subsidization program of all time and it benefits the 1%. And yes lower prices at Walmart too.
I invite you to find even one comment concerning this container-ship subsidization system mentioned by any economists at all.