Linear to Circular

Stumblings & mumblings on turning linear systems into circular ones.

The age of loneliness is killing us | George Monbiot

"So what’s the point? What do we gain from this war of all against all? Competition drives growth, but growth no longer makes us wealthier. Figures published this week show that, while the income of company directors has risen by more than a fifth, wages for the workforce as a whole have fallen in real terms over the past year. The bosses earn – sorry, I mean take – 120 times more than the average full-time worker. (In 2000, it was 47 times). And even if competition did make us richer, it would make us no happier, as the satisfaction derived from a rise in income would be undermined by the aspirational impacts of competition.

The top 1% own 48% of global wealth, but even they aren’t happy. A survey by Boston College of people with an average net worth of $78m found that they too were assailed by anxiety, dissatisfaction and loneliness. Many of them reported feeling financially insecure: to reach safe ground, they believed, they would need, on average, about 25% more money. (And if they got it? They’d doubtless need another 25%). One respondent said he wouldn’t get there until he had $1bn in the bank.”

Better make it $2B.

Ebola and failing markets tell us that we need to work together | Will Hutton

"Inequality is increasingly understood to be poisoning everything; governments cannot continue with business as usual policies; interdependencies have to be recognised and acted on. The problem is doing any of it.

Thus only last week, Janet Yellen, chair of the US Federal Reserve, joined one of her predecessors, Alan Greenspan, and the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, in arguing that the growth of inequality was not only wrong morally but having increasingly baleful economic consequences. Then there were the strictures of the managing director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde.

Inequality, they all say, fosters fear, creates too much demand for credit to compensate for squeezed living standards, drives asset price bubbles, catalyses financial instability, weakens banks and, by displacing too much risk on to those who cannot bear it, undermines the legitimacy of capitalism.”
-Will Hutton

Talent vs Labour by @hjarche

"Being able to fill a job is not enough, even if it is an honest day’s labour. The capitalist system is designed to screw labour. But it’s more difficult to screw talent. If we want to help people, we need to help each person become Talent. That means emphasizing creativity, complex problem-solving, and innovation. For those of us in the learning, training, education, or human development business, we are doing a major disservice to society if we are merely preparing labour to be used by capital."
-Harold Jarche

Allowing yourself to be commoditized is tantamount to waving the white flag on your career.  Do not allow that to happen.

Rising Inequality: Janet Yellen Tells It Like It Is   

"Since the top five per cent of households own almost two-thirds of the wealth, it stands to reason that most American households don’t own very much at all. But the figures that Yellen presented are still shocking. In 1989, the bottom half of the distribution owned just three per cent of all wealth. By 2013, that figure had fallen to one per cent. No, that’s not a typo: half the country owns one per cent of its wealth.

These numbers confirm an old but rarely stated truth. Many, if not most, individual American households possess next to nothing. In 2013, the average net worth of the sixty-two million households in the bottom half of the distribution was eleven thousand dollars.”
-John Cassidy

I wonder what the apologists will turn to when they realize this is not a storm to be weathered, but a crescendo that will only rise until the system is fixed.

Companies Warn That Income Inequality Is Hurting Their Business

"After decades as the dominant economic theory in American politics, trickle-down economics is starting to lose its grip on the debate. For evidence of that slippage, look no further than the business community’s own communications with investors."

If only someone would pay better wages.

Business, society, and the future of capitalism | McKinsey & Co.

"Corporate social responsibility and philanthropy are very important, and I certainly don’t want to belittle them. But if you want to exist as a company in the future, you have to go beyond that. You actually have to make a positive contribution. Business needs to step up to the plate."
-Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever

Hear, hear!