from Eudaimonia Website
An extremist wave sweeping the globe like an epidemic of the plague.
I'd like to be able to tell you:
Instead, I think that you
should (really) understand it.
I think that the opposite is true:
And as with any trend,
there must be a cause.
Let's take them one by one, starting with the most recent example of an extremist swing, Germany:
Germany decided to repress wages very deliberately, in order to raise employment, while lowering the price of exports.
The UK repressed wages through "innovations" like zero-hours contracts, which raised employment, but in an empty way:
And American wage repression is the most tragic of all:
Now of course each country has it's own cultural issues, America has a long and terrible history of racism, for example. And yet culture can't explain such similar outcomes in three very different nations, because they don't share one.
So culture alone isn't the proximate cause, the trigger, the spark, that we are looking for... though it might be the powder keg, poverty detonating latent racism, xenophobia, hate, everyday rage normalizing its expression.
And that tells us something vital:
It is going to take a
genuinely better social contract. I'll come back to that...
As a simple example,
And so on...
The message of extremists
resonates profoundly with people who have been at the losing end of
repressive wage policies.
It sounds paradoxical, but it's not.
Each of these nations has slightly different reasons for repressing wages - but the goal remained the same:
And that was the great mistake...
Yesterday's social contracts are beginning to fail, in profound and systematic ways. Societies are beginning to fracture along tribal lines.
This is of course the first step on the road to war. Better social contracts mean eudaimonic ones. Ones that don't just maximize GDP, but expand well-being.
Let me make that
Then what might have been the result?
Well, there would have been fewer losers in society, and therefore less extremism.
Those with flat or falling incomes might have received strong investments in public goods, social support, direct cash injections, job preferences, and so on - because all those things boost well-being.
These three countries
might have said that because repressing wages hurts people's
well-being, it isn't a plausible model for the prosperity of
societies to begin with.
That is the great problem with modern 'economics':
It has substituted
perversity and folly for sense and reason.
These three countries aren't the only ones where incomes are stagnating. In fact, incomes are stagnating everywhere.
So this isn't the end of the trend - it's just the beginning.
And that of course is
precisely the road to atrocity.
Not because I say so, or believe so. But because if we don't, the dominoes of extremism will keep falling right into the abyss...