Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Poverty of our Political Theater of the Absurd

The public sphere has been effectively stripped of everything but corny, irritatingly hammy political theater.

All we have left in the U.S. is a deeply impoverishing Political Theater of the Absurd. Policy, theory and governance have all been reduced to competing stage performances in the Theater of the Absurd. The actors are transparently given to farcical overacting in exaggerated dramas drained of meaning; they proceed through the cliched motions as if the audience hadn't seen the same charades overplayed dozens of times before.

"Government shutdown" and "debt ceiling" may have engaged audiences starved for entertainment in a bygone age, but now they exemplify a theater that is so impoverished it can only re-stage tired formulaic dramas with a savage appetite for incompetence and buffoonery.

The poverty of this substitution of theater for actual ideas is best displayed by ObamaCare. The entire complex edifice of ObamaCare is not an expression of policy--it is simply the perfection of state complicity with a private cartel that increases its share of the national income regardless of which set of bad actors are on stage.

As for the alternative "policy," it is nothing but a reversion to the pre-ObamaCare cartel-state arrangement that artlessly combines gross injustice, insensitivity to cost and insane incentives for fraud, skimming, defensive medicine and the pursuit of national chronic ill health as the most profitable state of existence.

That these two variations on state-cartel predation pass for "policy" is a clear indication of the absolute impoverishment of American political/social/economic ideas. We are adrift in a political order that glorifies and rewards overacted farce and punishes policy grounded in actual ideas rather than the theatrical trends of the day.

The public sphere has been effectively stripped of everything but corny, irritatingly hammy political theater. The players, bereft of talent and inspiration, chosen for their blind obedience to those benefiting from the eradication of ideas and the replaying of tiresome charades, are blind to the poverty of their performance and political theatrics.

Will the audience ever tire of this cheesy Theater of the Absurd? It seems the appetite of the American public for this sort of play-acting entertainment is essentially bottomless. As a result, so too is our poverty.

Posts and email responses will be sporadic in October due to family commitments. Thank you for your understanding. 



The Nearly Free University and The Emerging Economy:
The Revolution in Higher Education

Reconnecting higher education, livelihoods and the economy

With the soaring cost of higher education, has the value a college degree been turned upside down? College tuition and fees are up 1000% since 1980. Half of all recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed, revealing a deep disconnect between higher education and the job market.

It is no surprise everyone is asking: Where is the return on investment? Is the assumption that higher education returns greater prosperity no longer true? And if this is the case, how does this impact you, your children and grandchildren?

go to Kindle edition
We must thoroughly understand the twin revolutions now fundamentally changing our world: The true cost of higher education and an economy that seems to re-shape itself minute to minute.

The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy clearly describes the underlying dynamics at work - and, more importantly, lays out a new low-cost model for higher education: how digital technology is enabling a revolution in higher education that dramatically lowers costs while expanding the opportunities for students of all ages.

The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy provides clarity and optimism in a period of the greatest change our educational systems and society have seen, and offers everyone the tools needed to prosper in the Emerging Economy.

Kindle edition: list $9.95 




Things are falling apart--that is obvious. But why are they falling apart? The reasons are complex and global. Our economy and society have structural problems that cannot be solved by adding debt to debt. We are becoming poorer, not just from financial over-reach, but from fundamental forces that are not easy to identify. We will cover the five core reasons why things are falling apart:

go to print edition1. Debt and financialization
2. Crony capitalism
3. Diminishing returns
4. Centralization
5. Technological, financial and demographic changes in our economy

Complex systems weakened by diminishing returns collapse under their own weight and are replaced by systems that are simpler, faster and affordable. If we cling to the old ways, our system will disintegrate. If we want sustainable prosperity rather than collapse, we must embrace a new model that is Decentralized, Adaptive, Transparent and Accountable (DATA).

We are not powerless. Once we accept responsibility, we become powerful.

Kindle: $9.95       print: $24





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