A Socialist Tesla

[T]he job is not to see where “Marx was wrong” so much as to make a fresh application of his theory to the world around us as it is, not as it once was. To borrow a comparison from the field of physics, we need socialist Faradays and Maxwells or if we are lucky, Einsteins and Plancks, not people who confine themselves to knocking Isaac Newton.
— Harry Braverman

I like the idea of being a socialist Faraday. (Einstein was already a socialist Einstein.) Actually, I think I want to be a socialist Tesla — the quirky scientist motif always entertained me. I’m thinking about having mad scientist business cards made up to give to people when schmoozing in B’more.

At the very least, I want to help people realize that economics is a science. In various discussions, I’ve had six or seven people so far say, “that sounds like socialism, which has been proven not to work.” This one little patent oversimplification gets passed around making people sound like they know what they’re talking about, but hiding the fact that there are lots of economic options yet untried.

I want to give America an alternative to the “security through war” we seem to try every twenty years or so. Right now we’re afraid of unfettered markets because our economy’s tanking. So, there’s a move toward regulation — new and better rules so that the system resists corruption.

Unfortunately, the people making the rules are the same people the rules are meant to control. Not that reform is not a noble goal, but I would be shocked if our cycle of the economy tanking every fifteen years or so suddenly ended. The whole point of the market is wherever someone can get ahead they will. Even if 99.99% of people are goodness incarnate, there’s still tens of thousands of people to lie, cheat and steal.

What we need to do is to take into account that we have income redistribution in America already — it’s called capitalism. My main goal is to make it really easy for consumers to quickly get an in-depth concept of where their money goes when they buy something. We’ve never had a method to do this before the internet. The only people who contentiously purchased were those who took a huge amount of time. Instead of trying to make people care more, I want to work at lowering the bar so people can maker better decisions with less effort.

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