1. Peter Berkowitz; “Virtue and the Making of Modern Liberalism”; Princeton University Press; Princeton, New Jersey; 1999; p. 12.
2. Montesquieu; “The Spirit of the Laws”; 1748; Book III, Chapter IX. In liberal republican democracies, the people rule through their freely chosen representatives; and the government reflects them.
3. Bob Woodward; “Fear”; Simon and Schuster; 2018; Donald Trump quote, 3/31/16 interview with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.
“Real power is – I don’t even want to use the word – fear.”
4. John Rawls; “The Idea of Public Reason Revisited”; The University of Chicago Law Review; Summer, 1997; p.p. 784-785.
5. Berkowitz; p. 34.
6. Jim Collins; “Good to Great”; Harper Collins; New York, N.Y.; 2001; p.p. 194-195.
“Enduring great companies don’t exist merely to deliver returns to shareholders. Indeed in a truly great company, profits and cash flow become like blood and water to a healthy body. They are absolutely essential for life, but they are not the very point of life.”
“…there are no specific ‘right’ core values for becoming an enduring great company (this is business). No matter what core value you propose, we found an enduring great company that does not have that specific core value….core values are essential for enduring greatness, but it doesn’t seem to be a matter what the core values are. The point is not what core values you have, but that you have core values at all, that you know what they are, that you build them explicitly into the organization, and that you preserve them over time.”
7. CIA World Factbook; net migration rate.
Pew Research Center; “5 facts about illegal immigration in the U.S.”; 11/28/18.
The study furthermore finds that although unauthorized immigrants numbered 3.3% of the total 2016 U.S. population, they constituted a 4.8% share of the U.S. work force working or looking for work. Immigrants come to the U.S. to build a better life.
8. William Pfaff; “The Wrath of Nations”; Simon and Schuster; New York, N.Y.; 1993; p.p. 43-44.
9. Karl Marx; “The Communist Manifesto”; Bantam Dell; 1992 (ed.); p. 17.
10. Robert Heilbronner; “The Worldly Philosophers”; Penguin Books; 1995 (ed.); p. 156.
11. We asked a business executive why Silicon Valley companies treat their contract workers so badly, with no job security or health benefits. His answer, “They don’t care.” Has “creative destruction” resulted in a gig economy that doesn’t work for many people as producers? Is it possible to do new things within an existing framework of values? Besides, all U.S. industry is not revolutionary. In more evolutionary industries, – take the auto industry – isn’t the key to a healthy company a more farsighted management that manages and invests well for its workers and other stakeholders?
12. Susan Houseman and Timothy Sturgeon; “Measuring Manufacturing: How the Computer and Semiconductor Industries Affect the Numbers and Perceptions”; Upjohn Institute Working Paper; Kalamazoo, Michigan; 2014; p. 3.
This is not at all to minimize the importance of technological progress. Does footnote 11 describe an inevitable cost? Are there other ways? Should government therefore improve its safety net? The 12/1/18 Economist writes about this highly competitive and globalized industry, “…computer chips are the foundations of the digital economy and national security.” *
* The iPhone CPU contains 4 billion transistors.
13. Houseman; p. 7.
15. Houseman; p. 28.
16. Wired Magazine; “The Miseducation of Artificial Intelligence”; 12/18; p. 81.
17. The growth of populism is a practical consequence of political systems that should better handle economic problems. Noting on (12/18) :
a) The election of Donald Trump on a reactive and feckless platform of “draining the swamp (of expertise)” in Washington.
b) Brexit in the UK which, according to an observer, is a revolt of the provinces against a centralized and distant elite in London.
c) Riots in Paris for the same reason. Now consider a lesson from history.
It is not at all new that difficult economic times can cause social unrest. As Simon Schama (Citizens, 1989, p. 306) relates, the French Revolution of 1789 was preceded by a mediocre harvest and cruel winter causing in France’s agricultural society – dearth. The four-pound loaf of bread (which consumed one-half the income of most people) rose from 8 sous in 1787…to 15 sous in 1789. The social effects of this was devastating, “ …in relatively prosperous areas like the countryside around Versailles…heads of households uprooted from their land (by debt) constituted a third of the whole rural population…"
The economic systems of today are a lot more complex and sophisticated; but the basic still remains. Society should exist for the benefit of its members. A possible solution for the U.S. is increased economic decentralization (for which the system is well suited), combined with an improved safety net at the federal level.