Comments on: The bright side of the fiscal cliff http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/28/the-bright-side-of-the-fiscal-cliff/ A clear-eyed view from Zachary Karabell Thu, 06 Feb 2014 10:10:54 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: OneOfTheSheep http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/28/the-bright-side-of-the-fiscal-cliff/#comment-133 Wed, 02 Jan 2013 08:06:07 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=46#comment-133 @Laster,

Your first sentence was not easily followed, beginning as a compliment but obviously intended to wound. Et tu, Brute?

When I pointed out that “…“displacement” follows progress much as night follows day” it was in the sense of personal observation. It has nothing to do with the Creative Destruction theory arising from the delusions of Karl Marx who would see Capitalism as so inflexible as to repeatedly sow the seeds of it’s own destruction.

When I suggested to “…push when you have advantage and yield when you don’t and bluff seldom and well” I spoke of tactics to be employed by those of perceptive intelligence. The “willow that bends” to strong winds is hardly comparable; inasmuch as the Willow does not bend because it is more intelligent than stiffer trees, but because it is a more flexible natural structure.

And any student of History is far, far ahead of me when it comes to perceiving the predatious nature of the human animal. The twentieth century alone put the barbarism of all conquerors who came before to shame in both the volume of unrestrained evil and the sophistication employed.

Perhaps your intent was to figuratively “slay” me as the “bearer of bad tidings” when I but spoke unflattering truths obvious to all who would see. You imply a uniformity and certainty to “…the social contract…” which is at best a theory quite fluid in interpretation.

To quote the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: “…feminists and race-conscious philosophers have argued that social contract theory is at least an incomplete picture of our moral and political lives, and may in fact camouflage some of the ways in which the contract is itself parasitical upon the subjugations of classes of persons.”

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By: Laster http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/28/the-bright-side-of-the-fiscal-cliff/#comment-132 Tue, 01 Jan 2013 22:08:49 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=46#comment-132 Well hats off to you @OneOftheSheep for managing to blend the Creative Destruction theory, Willow that bends Homily, and predatious nature of humans in just under nine paragraphs.
And thanks for pointing out any misconceptions we entertained concerning the socio-economic food chain. When we suspend the natural occurrence of loss, and then foist it upon the weakest in our society, we are in fact exposing the camouflage of the social contract for what it is. That was an important lesson.

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By: OneOfTheSheep http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/28/the-bright-side-of-the-fiscal-cliff/#comment-130 Tue, 01 Jan 2013 02:37:46 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=46#comment-130 @JL4,

As always, we must choose from that which is available. If what we would choose is not available, should we kick and scream and throw a tantrum or should we “suck it up” and do what we can, where we are with what we have? Americans have traditionally been better at this than most.

I have found success to be essentially a difference of perspective. In general, failure should be viewed as both a learning experience and a temporary condition. To succeed you must try, but you will not succeed every time you try. My uncle has a sign on his desk: “All I ask is an honest advantage”. In any contest, push when you have advantage and yield when you don’t and bluff seldom and well. Above all be fair and gracious, for the respect of one’s peers IS an “honest advantage”.

Your question again reminds me of the conversation between the young Indian warrior and the old one. The young one says: “Within me I feel the presence of a good wolf and a bad wolf. How do I know which will prevail?”. The old one smiles and explains: “The one you feed, of course.”

As the information age settles upon us, it will take fewer and fewer to run our society and do what must be done. Stanley7746 asks what will become those with no “place” (i.e. job or skills in demand) in it. That is, as it has always been, up to them. What do you do when you leave school? What do you do when you leave the military? Your options depend on how well you have prepared in advance for these predictable “transitions”. We are each responsible.

When the industrial revolution mechanized weaving, etc., many people were displaced; some permanently. The apprenticeship system as “the” way one acquired a skill they would practice for life collapsed when books could convey skills and the “common man” was enough educated to glean such knowledge from them.

When automobiles replaced horses as transportation, a majority of farriers, saddlemakers, wagonmakers, mule drivers, and buggy whip makers were displaced. They could either starve or figure out another way to “support themselves”. Is it not obvious that such “displacement” follows progress much as night follows day?

One of the “rules” is that life isn’t “fair”. Only a fool expects it to be. Look at man as a mammal…he has eyes on the front of his head. That classifies him as a mammal predator. Look at the rabbit, the horse, the lamb…these are mammal prey. Those humans who lose “situational awareness”, educationally, professionally, or in social context, will ever lose out to those who don’t.

To “be prepared”, one must seriously and often weigh the best AND worst possibilities of circumstances in constant change. We don’t have to predict the future with absolute accuracy. We just have to do better than most. Those who try usually do better than those who don’t.

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By: Stanley7746 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/28/the-bright-side-of-the-fiscal-cliff/#comment-128 Mon, 31 Dec 2012 17:31:11 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=46#comment-128 What I find the most interesting is broad strokes Edgy paints then moves with such satisfaction to a new canvas. What about those middle class men and women who now have no middle class job or skills to support themselves? Even in the macro this is not good for the spending power of a significant segment of the economy. But as Edgy readers know this is not a concern for the men who wield the widest brushes.

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By: JL4 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/28/the-bright-side-of-the-fiscal-cliff/#comment-127 Mon, 31 Dec 2012 16:51:37 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=46#comment-127 @OneOftheSheep, your viewpoint isn’t quite as cheery in today’s comments of the article written by Mark Leonard. Which is it – doom and gloom or a bright and happy future by embracing our technological and service oriented future?

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By: COindependent http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/28/the-bright-side-of-the-fiscal-cliff/#comment-126 Mon, 31 Dec 2012 16:35:12 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=46#comment-126 Ethicintl….Since when is a college degree a guarantee of anything? Have you looked a the course of study many of these “graduates” followed? It was a total waste of time and money (surely not effort)–meaningless degrees, with few demands other than showing up (and sometimes even showing up isn’t a requirement).

We have NCG’s from premier engineering schools commanding starting salaries in the mid $80’s–but they have solid degrees and are willing to go where the work is.

But they made a commitment versus OWS players who would rather dictate “well, I won’t move there for that job, or I don’t want to start at the bottom”…of course there isn’t any employment.

I work with some damn good young people who are willing to go the extra mile. They didn’t make demands, they only asked for a chance–and stepped up to the task.

The OWS supporters standing on a corner demanding economic equality are getting exactly what their time and effort are worth–standing on a corner is not a high-demand, or highly compensated position. They are responsible for their own economic disparity.

This is the first generation to demand economic “equality” merely because they showed up. Really….a Columbia University graduate with a degree in “__________ Studies” wasn’t smart enough to figure out the degree is not marketable, or the pay in the job grade cannot cover their $100,000 in student loans? Or the second tier law school graduate who did not realize that the demand is not there?

At what point does the light go on?

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By: QuietThinker http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/28/the-bright-side-of-the-fiscal-cliff/#comment-125 Mon, 31 Dec 2012 14:15:28 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=46#comment-125 “No Congress would likely welcome the reality of 12 million people with no income.” The word “reality” is key here. Unfortunately, the Tea Party and other right wing extremists in the House are not interested in reality only ideology.

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By: EthicsIntl http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/28/the-bright-side-of-the-fiscal-cliff/#comment-124 Mon, 31 Dec 2012 05:56:25 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=46#comment-124 A ‘wishful thinking’ article.
You can sell this to the mentally disadvantaged, but not to the world’s millions of unemployed college graduates and millions more of unemployed workers, or to the even more millions of middle class citizens who are rapidly falling into poverty.

It is “The Big Divide” with its sequel “The Mariana Trench”

The worldwide OWS has been quiet, but not going away or diminishing. It is a byproduct of the economic inequality and it does not need any proponents for its existence, the economic disparity creates it independently.

It has been so throughout history, and it has brought down every civilization.

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By: matthewslyman http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/28/the-bright-side-of-the-fiscal-cliff/#comment-123 Sun, 30 Dec 2012 23:41:26 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=46#comment-123 > “Those views also put government in a central position as economic steward, which again was the case in the 20th century. Today’s federal government is hardly a hotbed of innovation and may matter less to our collective future than we assume.”
OR, in the coming economy, with differences between rich and poor being exacerbated by new automation technologies (and wealth therefore being concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer individuals and dynasties); government will become more and more important in ensuring that everyone gets a fair deal (and the economy is managed in such a way as to provide genuine incentives for everyone to try their best and make the best of themselves).

> “…crafting a set of new economies based on social media and software applications that are changing the way business is done and commerce is transacted…”
As a Cambridge University computer science graduate and a freelance developer of web applications, I would personally suggest from my perspective that social media has great potential that is currently greatly overestimated by the market. Fundamentally, at the most basic level, it doesn’t matter what technology you apply: business is ALWAYS based on TRUST and therefore on PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS. Social media may help make those connections more efficiently (especially where credible product ratings & service feedback scoring systems are put in place). Social media is currently over-rated by people who generally don’t understand it. They’ve fallen for the spell of its personal magic, but we will all vomit out this illusion when we find out for ourselves how it will start attacking our privacy when “monetized”.

> “There will be less disease, more caloric abundance and increased life spans even with the attendant risks of climate change.”
— THIS is a very bold prediction. I’m not sure I agree with this.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FAO_Fo od_Price_Index.png
— If this trend continues much longer, we’re going to see increasing conflict… We must do something about this, or else we will certainly not see the things you’re predicting.

Otherwise, a fine article in my opinion! Over the coming weeks and months, we might see some fantastic buying opportunities on the stock exchange. People who “play safe” by staying out of the market will miss out, and so will those who merely gamble instead of using their brain and their personally peculiar insights.

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By: My_take http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/28/the-bright-side-of-the-fiscal-cliff/#comment-121 Sun, 30 Dec 2012 15:51:07 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=46#comment-121 The biggest single threat we must address is the growing sense of entitlement such as those in the Occupy Movement. Free education, guaranteed employment, annual increases without reference to performance, free housing etc. This attitude dooms all society.

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