Escape from Elba

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Author Topic: Nonfiction  (Read 495 times)

Administrator

  • Administrator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Nonfiction
« on: July 30, 2018, 12:16:21 PM »

Discuss
Logged

FlyingVProd

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 362
    • View Profile
Re: Nonfiction
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2018, 06:09:02 PM »

Some thoughts while reading the Prince by Machiavelli...

It is better to be loved than feared.

A prince who rises because of love is the best.

It is better to have your own army, as opposed to an auxiliary army or mercenaries, and an all volunteer army that fights for love of country will be the best.

Do not become lazy during the good times, always keep improving and always be industrious.

It is better to take money from your enemies and give the money to your people, then your people will love you, and your enemies already hate you so it does not matter.

Prepare for hard times, and during hard times be optimistic and tell your people that times will improve, and when times improve then your people will love you more.

Always pick a side. And always have an opinion.

Pick up the flag when the people need a leader, and lead them.

Salute,

Tony V.
Logged

josh

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3071
    • View Profile
Re: Nonfiction
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2018, 07:30:38 PM »

Some thoughts while reading the Prince by Machiavelli...

It is better to be loved than feared.

A prince who rises because of love is the best.

It is better to have your own army, as opposed to an auxiliary army or mercenaries, and an all volunteer army that fights for love of country will be the best.

Do not become lazy during the good times, always keep improving and always be industrious.

It is better to take money from your enemies and give the money to your people, then your people will love you, and your enemies already hate you so it does not matter.

Prepare for hard times, and during hard times be optimistic and tell your people that times will improve, and when times improve then your people will love you more.

Always pick a side. And always have an opinion.

Pick up the flag when the people need a leader, and lead them.

Salute,

Tony V.

It is better to be respected than to be feared or loved.

A prince who is respected can rise further and do more than one who is 'merely' loved. A prince who is feared may still be effective, but it will be harder for him to leave a lasting legacy.

It is better if your all-volunteer army is truly voluntary rather than compelled by circumstances of deprivation in their society. And remember that volunteer does not mean either free or meagerly paid. A mistreated army may not be as supportive as you need, even if desperate.

Do not become complacent, but do not mistake all activity as worthwhile. Busyness is not the opposite of laziness.

It is better to not take money from your enemies if you can help it because one day they may be in a position to do the same to you. Treating your defeated enemies well will pay more benefits down the road than treating them poorly.

Giving money to your people will lead you to think that they love you. They do not. They love your largess. Understand that at a deep level and you will avoid many pitfalls. That does not mean to never give them money, only to understand the limitations of doing so.

Pick a side and have an opinion when you have sufficient information to do so. If you do not have sufficient information, then get it. Then form your opinion and choose your side. Do not be afraid to choose the side that is losing if its principles align with your own.

Don't be afraid to admit to mistakes. Always assess the validity of your opinions and your choices, including what might have led to mistaken judgment.

Recognize when you are not the one to pick up the flag and assess who might be a better choice - then support them, if they are willing and able.
Logged

oilcan

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 224
    • View Profile
Re: Nonfiction
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2019, 06:05:48 PM »

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29502362-the-value-of-everything

First three reviews are helpful.  An important look at how we could fix capitalism to create more value for everyone.  You will learn a lot. 
Logged

oilcan

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 224
    • View Profile
Re: Nonfiction
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2019, 11:55:06 AM »

From a review of Marianna Mazzucato's "The Value of Everything" --

Quote
Capitalism has a problem - and that is to confuse price with value. So not only we think a $6 apple must be nicer than a $2 one, we also think that someone earning $100k must be better than one earning $60k etc. Firms are also told to only maximise shareholder returns (a.k.a. ever lower Price/earning ratios), so they dutifully increase revenue (raise price), cut costs (outsource and sack staff). To boost stock price, they also buy back shares to decrease the number of outstanding stocks. Not only that makes workers suffer, increases inequality, but also decreases long term investment. That is because CEOs are rewarded with stock options and their performance is mostly based on stock price. Pharmaceutical companies charge enormous prices for new drugs.

She wrote that historically, economists separate productive vs rent-seeking unproductive activity. According to the author finance is mostly unproductive activity. Corporate raiders buy companies with debt that was saddled on the very companies that were bought, and make quick profits while workers are laid off. Venture capitalists make enormous profits on companies built on government research (like GPS and internet both built by the military).

Mazzucato also attacked the calculation of GDP, that it reflects not value but price. So we can boost our GDP instantly if we just pay each other to cook and clean our house, even if the amount of work done is the same and the net amount of money that changed hands is zero.

Lastly, government has been put down as only the distributors of economic output, not generator of it. So government has been asked to step aside, to just provide some protection and order, and build some roads so that real private wealth generators can do their thing. The IMF and World Bank actually push this agenda to developing countries, asking them to sell almost everything to the private sector, and outsource essential services. This leads to higher cost, worse service and for the government to pick up the tab when private providers go bankrupt.

Mazzucato suggested that we need to look at real Value, and that involves all the stakeholders. She does not have the solution yet but we need to start that conversation. She does have some suggestions:
1. Financial transaction tax to favour long term investment.
2. Grant fewer patents upstream so there is more open access.
3. Limit what pharmaceutical companies can charge
4. Any government support being conditioned on actual investment and not share buy-back.
5. Tax big tech companies more since they benefited from government basic research.
Logged