I read an article with an archaeologist bemoaning that Jerusalem was the most hopeless place on earth to conduct archeology in. You would think the rich history of Jerusalem would be a goldmine for any one interested in archeology, but No. Why? Because everyone who lives there is already convinced of a version of history before they even put the shovel in the ground. The only evidence they find is the evidence supporting what they already believe.
I read a fair bit of financial news and the stupidity or lack of basic understanding of economics that exists in finance is staggering. The idea of capitalism is that the profit motive, will motivate people to do good things. Its clear that it does motivate some people, but no one seems to care much what it motivates them to do.
If a bank manager gets a cut from the profit of the bank, will he or she give the customers the best advice how to keep their money, or try to make the bank take their customers money?
Is a private school likely to engage parents in order to deal with bullying if it may means the parents may move their kids to another school once they find out the school has a bullying problem?
If you give money to private hospital, its their prerogative to spend as little as possible of that money on health-care and keep as much as possible in profits. They may even not want people to get better because without patients, how will they make their money?
I'm being told that competition in an open market leads to the best products winning, but if that was true advertising wouldn't exist. Yes, the best products would win if every one had the all information, but to think that is the case is ludicrous. How am i suppose to choose the best doctor? I'm not even remotely qualified to say if a doctor is good or bad, because I haven't gone to medical school, that's why i go to a doctor!
They tell me I should be a "educated" consumer, but I cant go to china to check the worker conditions every time i buy a pair of sneakers, no one can.
It takes a 2 year old to figure out that everyone cant know everything, yet we build our entire financial system on this premise. The entire stock market is built upon the idea that its fair because everyone has the same information, (proving that it isn't fair at all). We have a system where its not important to do good things, but to make people think you are going good things.
Another theory economists talk about is "trickle down economics"; the idea that if we let people with a lot of money keep their money they will stimulate the economy by buying stuff. Coincidentally, people with a lot of money has put this theory forward (go figure...). Well, the very definition of rich is someone who takes in more money then they spend, making them, well, rich. So isn't rich people then the very definition stagnation rater then stimulation? Giving someone who is poor 100$ will always stimulate the economy better then giving it to someone already has got so much money that they have chosen not to spend it all. With higher gaps in income, fewer people will get opportunities and therefor we as a society will have less success. Its a big problem for society and ignoring it is like standing on the titanic and saying "Why should I care about a leak on 3rd class deck, I ride 1st class."
We have millions of economists, yet very few managed to predict the crash. Why? -Because they are believers. They have a vested interest in proving that what ever serves them is true. It is very scary to have the majority of this planet be runned on this very shaky ground. The Euro was not nearly thought through, the US has no ability to be honest about them selves and what needs to be done, and china has massive housing bubble and no previous experience of managing a financial crisis.
I have resorted to think that the best financial advice you can get, you get from cab drivers. When they tell you to buy gold, IT stocks, or real-estates, then you know a crash is near.
Any one who says that capitalism has had no virtues, clearly is delusional, on the other hand it has been poor at solving issues like health care, and education while creating massive environmental problems, and failing to see that is equally delusional.
The Soviet union had 0% unemployment, and provided education, health care and housing for all. Numbers that should be the envy of any nation. So why did it fail? Because its leaders where believers, They believed so strongly in their systems successes, that they failed to recognize its failures; lack of freedom, innovation, and accountability. They thought that one solution, one system would fix all problems. Lets not make the same mistake.