What initially prompted this post, was a recent Foreign Policy article from Daron Acemoglu, in which he argues that the political institutions in the U.S. are not enough to "save" us from Donald Trump. Unlike his previous work, where he noted that the success of nations depends on their institutions; here, Acemoglu emphasizes that the citizen is now the last defense. Hence others are now wondering: what to think, about this change in his stance? And Tom Pepinsky wrote:
One is to see with clear eyes that institutions do not constrain politicians automatically.At some level, the citizen has indeed become the last defense. However, I believe that the appropriate response exists at an economic- not political - level. In other words, the best way forward is not resistance to Washington, but alternative solutions that provide more inclusive means for citizens than what today's institutions are now capable of. In particular, for those who might be visiting my blog for the first time, I advocate for viable solutions for those who are now constrained by small incomes, in environments which primarily demand large incomes to survive.
Calls for decentralized economic and governmental options have died down somewhat, in recent years. In retrospect, it's not difficult to see why. Due to wide income variance, decentralized government can become problematic when expressed primarily in monetary terms, because these structures also suggest escape from centralized structure, on the part of those with high incomes who continue to derive benefit from that same centralized structure. Consequently, the potential benefits of decentralized settings in which low income groups would finally have the discretionary freedom to create their own wealth, have been missed.
The aggregate time value of citizens as a whole, affects how efforts for decentralization play out in the real world. Limits to production rights for personal time use, means millions of citizens are not able to contribute to the validity of their own destinies. This matters, because when it comes to shared taxation responsibilities, time value is finite and extremely scarce, while other forms of resource capacity are not only random, they are randomly assigned. Hence the current disconnect between personal responsibility and the institutional/infrastructure requirements of our time. It is those requirements, which stand in the way of any possibility of an inclusive stance on the part of presently existing institutions.
If economies are to remain valid for small incomes, both infrastructure and local environment need local exposure to personal design and interpretation. All of the local time value that is possible, needs to be completely accounted for within a context of shared responsibility. Where national governments have stumbled most, is the redistribution of product which includes time scarcity, as protected by knowledge use limits. When time value can only be shared via exhaustive investment requirements, this meritocratic framework becomes the first exit ramp, on the highway to exclusive outcomes and lost freedoms.
Even though the new institutional framework of the equilibrium corporation would include its own infrastructural limits, these would be devised along an entire spectrum of production and consumption possibility in terms of the resource utilization of the groups which take part. Hence even though an equilibrium corporation would appear to have exclusive (local) communities, community setting options as a whole would be purposely inclusive by institutional design. If one cannot find sufficient means to match time value with others in one community, there would be many more communities in which further possibilities exist. Each little community would have its own preferences, by which local citizens could share the responsibilities that come with time based product, via their own personal means. Is this not a better approach, than imposed, top down default "solutions" that countless numbers of citizens are still expected to follow?
As it turns out, large nations such as the U.S. have proven incapable of providing these production and consumption options in large scale settings. When we attempt to impose single settings for production, consumption and infrastructure, we are in effect purposely limiting the freedom of all citizens. Yet there is no reason that high income taxpayers should have to bear the burdens of low income citizens who could realistically create their own forms of knowledge based wealth. Likewise, there is no reason why low income citizens such as myself, should have to pay for a wall they neither want, or need.