Capital Never Signed a Social Contract Unless Forced

Capitalist at work (I know, I am one)

The Austrian-British-Jewish social historian E.J. Hobsbawm said it best: “capitalism saws off the tree branch upon which it sits.”

Lector caveat emptor: I’m an angel investor in nine startups — a card-carrying capitalist. Except for a four year stint teaching investments, entrepreneurship and history in several European business schools, for the last 30 years I’ve been self-employed in Italy and then Latvia. I’ve failed at several businesses, but one took 20 years to fail. One insight from this experience: the percentage of any human population with my level of risk tolerance and appetite is tiny. Most human with any sense rightfully expect some level of security in order to be protected from the market, not relentlessly exposed to its disruptions.

So I’m no ivory tower academic writing post-modern Marxism about the system’s capacity for self-destruction. When left to its own unregulated devices capitalism turns the political systems it inhabits into institutional transvestites — mafia with a flag ( civilian version: Russia, Bulgaria; military edition: Egypt, Pakistan), family business with a flag (the Trump White House, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Brunei, Bahrain, Marcos’ Philippines).

Here’s an incentive-based social contract: index tax rates to the Gini Coefficient measure of inequality.

From Latvia I write to share learning from life in 7 languages in 5 countries & seeing fascism die in Portugal & Spain in 1974 and 1976.

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