Monday, September 22, 2014

Russell Brand and the Substitution Game

Russell Brand
Britain's Enfant terrible

Why is it when you hear the word "banker" you tend to think of this....?

Bankers per
Parker Brothers
Put another way, why is it that you hear the word "banker" this image of a real banker does not usually come to mind?
Jackie
Robinson
American Banker
Jackie Robinson was a founder and the first Chairman of the board of Freedom National Bank in Harlem, NY (for more on Jackie Robinson see...http://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/jackie-roosevelt-robinson-branch-rickey.html).

Next time you read or hear about "greedy bankers" doing this or that why not try playing the substitution game?  Put "Jackie Robinson" into the sentence instead of "bankers" and see if the proposition still holds true.  You might, for example, get something like, "Jackie Robinson was paid an exorbitant bonus..."

Russell Brand and many on the left are quick to condemn the sinister machinations of corporate interests.   These dark forces, they allege, are behind many resource-based American led wars (see video below).  These wars are fought to advance the economic interests of a tiny minority of wealthy Americans -- the infamous "one percent" that was popularized by the Occupy movement.

In a recent interview Brand specifically asserts that politicians are "only interested in servicing the needs of corporations."  (Source: http://news.genius.com/Russell-brand-call-for-revolution-pt-1-interview-on-bbc-newsnight-annotated).  Brand is an advocate for Revolution and a massive redistribution of wealth.

But here's the rub.

Over eighty-eight million American participate in some form of a benefits plan such as a 401k. (Source: http://www.americanbenefitscouncil.org/documents2013/401k_stats.pdf).  As of August 2014, there are 146.3 million Americans in the workforce (source: http://www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi/laus/us/usadj.htm).   This means that just over 60 percent of American workers own stocks or bonds in our public markets.

The working people of America own most of America.  The corporate interests of America are aligned with the interests of their owners -- a clear majority of American workers.

So, again, let's try playing the substitution game.

Had Brand said that politicians are "only interested in servicing the needs of about 60 percent of the American work force" would anyone have raised an eyebrow?

Had the Occupy Wall Street crowd complained about the "60 percent" that foots the bills to enable their grousing would that have gone over well?  Would the simple truth have generated such media hoopla?

The demonization of corporations for political purposes has been a time-honored tradition for those on the left on both sides of the pond.

Aureus of Julius Caesar
Non-working capital?
We tend to forget that corporations are simply a means of diversifying risk over many individuals.  They are simply a more efficient capital structure that allows entrepreneurial risk to reside outside of only individuals and families -- see my earlier post on William Bernstein's A Splendid Exchangehttp://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/a-splendid-exchange.html.  The ancient Roman world had no corporations which meant that all liability lay with individuals; this was a major governor to the engine of economic progress.  Wealth in the ancient world consisted largely of coinage made of precious metals.  All too often these riches were buried and forgotten by their owners buried for centuries until the arrival of an archaeologist or treasure hunter.  This forgotten capital could not, of course, be used to construct buildings, build businesses or create job; quite unlike the funds in your checking account.

We tend also to forget that it was these corporations that helped to slay totalitarianism in the 20th century http://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/the-corporations-that-won-ww-ii.html and http://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/the-corporations-that-won-cold-war.html.

Brand suggests also that corporations are destroying the planet with environmental damage.  Yet it was Communism that created Chernobyl.  China, a Communist state is, by far, the world's greatest polluter http://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/china-today.html.  Corporations such as Toyota, meanwhile, have been at the forefront of technological innovation that has reduced emissions from motor vehicles.

If a majority of people in a given community want a cleaner environment, then it will be corporations that provide the most efficient means to satisfy that need.

Need a substitute for Russell Brand?  How about, "Sophomoric entertainer and ex-husband of Katie Perry"




What would Russell say about this...?


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3 comments:

Eric Albright said...

To be fair, he could've taken Katie Perry to the cleaners, but settled for Zero. That, if nothing else, is a class act.

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