The Washington Post’s Harold Meyerson and economic blogger Barry Ritholtz join the Dylan Ratigan Show to discuss the economic factors that may derail President Barack Obama’s hopes of maintaining his spot in the Oval Office.

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One Response to “Ratigan: Economic health looms over presidential campaigns”

  1. I’m a big fan of both you and Dylan Ratigan… so I hope you’ll take it in that spirit when I suggest a couple of areas of disagreement.

    RE Hi-Tech as a future answer… partly true but maybe not in terms of solving the employment issue by itself.

    Much of ICT especially (information and communication technology) has a positive effect on net wealth of the society… but tends to concentrate that wealth

    From Vernor Vinge* who’s a hot topic these days:

    “The work that is truly productive is the domain of a steadily smaller and more elite fraction of humanity. In the coming of the Singularity, we are seeing the predictions of true technological unemployment finally come true.”

    *The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era

    And I’d assert this:

    …as a result of the Internet’s unique nature, the value is actually produced from a distributed network which extends beyond the boundaries of the entity which focuses that value into marketable form and derives the market’s benefits.

    The Internet is a landscape not a business. But as a landscape its qualities are unlike normal geographies since proximity is fundamentally redefined (farther in space and longer in time become closer and shorter respectively). This results in both greater productivity but also reduced opportunities to extract surplus value from the points along that chain from product to consumer since that chain no longer exists.

    While the nature and reality of Vinge’s singularity are debateable but the ramifications of technological unemployment are here right now!

    This suggests that ‘alternative markets’… likely localized…. and more focused on community, social life, artistic endeavors and aesthetics… in other words… maybe a greater market for the kinds of craftmanship that we honor on the Antiques Roadshow… and an economy to support a return to that kind of craftsmanship…. but now without a need for sweat shops… or a 7 day work week.

    What kind of economic model produces an excess or homes…. and then to maintain the idiocy… must create an excess of homeless so as to maintain their ridiculous model?

    RE politics and money: couldn’t agree more about the problem, however I’m convinced attempting to remove money from politics will actually benefit insiders and foreclose potential avenues of redress for the general population… Money, as much as we might wish it were otherwise… IS all about power and decision down to its very roots.

    The solution is to reduce the cost of politics and more greatly enable the frequent and simple participation of the individual in the lobbying process. I believe the utility I propose can do that. Especially in the legislative rather than electoral process…

    However its possible some union of the concepts could be found.

    Inhibiting this micro-transaction capability (before its had a chance to breathe) is very much the wrong choice… and will inhibit needed human developments down the road that I believe such a network can much assist.

    Its not that I believe in some mysterious “citizen wisdom”. I’m much too experienced and cynical for that. Its that I believe that its only with a capability of frequent and meaningful participation that responsible characteristics of citizenship can be developed… and this is a goal the current “Madison” avenue approach to politics makes impossible…

    And even less citizen direct involvement will make worse.

    I’d also add that such a neutral ‘virtual cash card’ network monetizing outside the transaction is a restorative striving to ameliorate a peer-to-peer limitation which has existed since the birth of agriculture and acts as a counter-balancing force to both corporate and government excess by the very nature of its structure.

    At least I think so… though, like the idea of freedom and democracy itself… giving this power to people is not without peril… but its not direct democracy either… its just trying to level the lobbying playing field in a way that not only has fringe benefits… but can be done NOW…

    I’ve been hearing about ‘get money out of politics’ for… oh let’s see… the last 50 years…


    I believe this utility can be excellent for advancing grassroots campaigns w/o needing duopoly or corporate support.

    So if you want to end money in politics… let’s give that lobbying idea some punch… with some money to lobby for it!

    Leveling the Transaction Landscape: Technology and the Campfire