Oh well, if expectations aren't 'rational' what good is it to say that we really have a workable 'system, after all?
Isn't that only a problem for those claiming to be able to calculate away risk/predict the future and make our systems, plural, controllable? As in, centrally plan-able?
That's not a problem at all for free-marketeers. Their beliefs are not based on the ability to calculate away risk/ accurately predict the future; their beliefs are based on the concept that risk can be intelligently and rationally and ethically managed, which is not the same as calculating it away. It is exactly the remaining uncertainty -- including, the uncertainty in the uncertainty-- that distinguishes economic actors: the abilty to not know, and to act anyway, go or no go. Capitalism results as an ethical consequence.
Not today's state corporatism, but capitalism. And the idea of capitalism was destroyed much more so by mediocre American shed risk short cut artists(the unsightly special interest gladhanders behind both parties of power) than it ever was by the gang that can't shoot straight, the fringe American Left(about as influential in this country as the fringe American right.)
But the once ethical idea of modern capitalism was an evolved risk model, as follows. There were three primary ways to actively participate in the economies(plural.)
1] ROI totally at risk. Unlimited upside, unlimited downside. Possible to work for years and end up with nothing but debt, complete roadmeat. Zero return on investment. Aka, man in the universe, as it is.
2] ROI guaranteed as discounted wages, working for others. Guaranteed rate of return for every pull of the pump handle, negotiated in advance. Possible to lose one's job, but the pump pulling stops as soon as the wages stop, and the balance of the tribe will rush in and support youir claim that you have a cause for action when an employer stiffs you for wages, just like any other act of thievery. But the ROI is discounted, to reflect the value of the guarantee. (Employees of businesses that lose money in a given year are still paid every week...for as long as that business has employees. When the wages stop, the pump pulling stops; no loss of value offered.) At any point, unsatisfied with discounted wages, individuals free to start a small business and try hand at 1]. Or, free to wait for someone else to manage risk and offer them a job. Waiting in this universe seldom brings much reward, however. (Lay on a really nice beach with mouth open and wait for rain and food to fall in, unabetted; the most likely outcome is sunburn, dehydration, and starvation...)
3] Self-modulated exposure to ROI at risk, using 0-100% of available discretionary spending, via equities. Passive participation in the ROI at risk marketplace at any level tolerated by a given individual, to share in the risk-reward marketplace.
From the earliest history, there was always 1]. In modern times, there is no 2] without 1] and 3], (There is for sure 1] without 2], I just lived it.) In the model above, an individual seeking to participate in our economies can find their own acceptable exposure to unavoidable risk in the universe on an ethical basis; it is not one size fits all. As well, the results of that ethical model were outstanding, and did lift all boats. What the nation was able to accomplish in JFK's America and before makes the results ever since look downright embarrassing, and sad. America is a sad joke today.
What has destroyed modern capitalism, more than anything else, has been exactly the squirming to avoid risk, primarily by criminally shedding it onto others without their knowledge or consent. There is always criminal fraud, but it takes an activist government to systematically destroy the intelligent management of risk in the markets; that short-cutters actively woo the process from both streets, Wall and K, is just an artifact of the boundary condition, in all regards, that on average we are average. We are neither all saints, nor all sinners. But in the arena of risk management, the tribe has meandered into a cul de sac, and the resulting disparities flowing to the risk shedders is making it politically impossible to back out. That is human nature, too, but with more than a little irony, it is exactly our broken government/political system that must fix itself after allowing itself to become so broken. The jury is out on whether that is even possible.
I was two corporations for my entire adult working life: one domestic, one Caymans(fully disclosed.) No employees. No shareholders. 30 years of signing both sides of my paycheck. The labor I exploited was my own. ("Neither an employee nor employer be",,, realized early during Reagan's first term.) I dealt with a suprising number of others worldwide organized just like I was in the quiet cracks and crevices of commerce. I did so as a conscious choice made thirty years ago, because I was hearing all these whacky 'labor theory of value' arguments back then, too, stinking up the political winds. So I took a pass on all that, because I could. Never a regret.
Perhaps I was supposed to ignore what I'd been instructed over and over; that, by employing others, I would be unscrupulously squeezing profit out of them. Perhaps I was supposed to conduct my economic actions in a manner which would employ the most, instead of the least(1, myself.) I don't know. It is a purely hypothetical question at this point. But so is this one: do those in the tribe pushing the idea that employing others is a crime share any of the responsibility for today's economies? For me, a moot question. For those they claim they were advocating for, well, I don't know. What are they doing today? I mean, other than, watching the Super Bowl on their flat screen TVs?
I sincerely hope it works out as well for those clinging to their theories. This really isn't a discussion about tribal organization or social justice; the surprising results we see around us is, to me, exactly social justice.
Perhaps, as Time claims, it is time to bring up the 'I' word; inequality.
No doubt, after all these decades of getting here, time to discuss how we got here.