Showing posts with label capitalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label capitalism. Show all posts

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Friday, November 19, 2021

Ending White Minority Rule Across America

The Donald Trump-inspired political phenomenon across America that seems to refuse to die down is not an attempt to take America to an era of white minority rule. America has always had white minority rule. It is an attempt to retain white minority rule when the demographics of the country, the economic growth happening across the world, and all-around political consciousness ask America to take yet another stride towards becoming a more perfect union. Democracy is one person one vote, no ifs, no buts about it. All human beings are created equal, white or not, American citizen or not.

But sometimes hubris takes over, like in the case of Brexit. A people refusing to let go of old attitudes, habits of mind that supported unequal structures of power will not hesitate to rob the next generation of its future. A significant proportion of the population across America right now is trying too hard to go the way of a Brexit. A country of immigrants wants to stench the flow of immigration. You might as well cut the oxygen supply.

To be fair, America has always been a messy democracy. All democracies are messy. When you let everyone speak, when you let everyone vote, you will likely end up with a cacophony. The political spectrum houses every zany idea that ever existed somewhere along its length. As someone said, the past is not even past.

Every great crisis is an opportunity. But then every great crisis is also a potential disaster. The political will has to be mustered not to keep America as the sole global superpower - that was never an ideal situation to begin with - but so as to optimize the lifestyle and living standards and spiritual well-being of current and future generations, in America as well as the world. America is still the leading nation, and its signals are still picked up around the world. Ask Bolsonaro.

China is obvious competition and a potential threat. China might have picked up the market to an extent in response to the implosion of the Soviet Union, but it still retains one party’s political monopoly. The godlessness that is at the core of the Chinese political system is the reason for its immense cruelties: organ harvesting of the Falun Gong practitioners, social engineering to turn Uighurs into Han Chinese, killing the hen that laid the golden egg, namely Hong Kong, saber-rattling in the skies of Taiwan, border disputes with pretty much every bordering nation large and small, and round-the-clock surveillance of the entire population. Always being watched robs you of your basic humanity.

But white supremacist tendencies in America are hardly godly. The black population might as well be American Uighurs. Too many Uighurs are in detention camps, too many blacks are in prison. China erased poverty, America is not even working on it. Crass wealth inequality, left on its current trajectory, will bring America down. America will go the way of the Soviet Union. It will implode.

America today is not a democracy, never has been. It is not a one-person, one-vote arrangement. America is not a free-market economy. There are too many entrenched pockets of uncompetitive terrains segment after segment, architected by bribing politicians. Money has deformed the political process. The vast majority are voiceless as evidenced by policy after sensible policy that falls on deaf ears in the corridors of power.

Perhaps what America needs is a constitutional convention, ala Philadelphia. Elected representatives from across the country should gather again for the sole purpose of writing a new constitution that would expire automatically in 50 years. That might be the only way to make sure winners of the popular vote do not routinely lose the presidential election, the Senate is not a House of Lords, under the grip of less than 20% of the population, the people elect politicians and it is not the other way round. America needs to make an attempt at one person one vote democracy. America needs to try and become a democracy.

A constitution is just the playground, the football field if you will. The game is political action. Voters asserting their rights, and that of others, realizing their responsibilities, leaders challenging as well as responding to an awakening population, robustly borrowing from imaginative academics and thinkers, idea people, and all collectively seizing the future for an unprecedented Age of Abundance that is already knocking on the door: that is the clarion call of the day. There are major reasons for optimism if only the moment will be seized.

Perhaps the president should be directly elected. Open primaries might be the antidote to shameless gerrymandering. No taxation without representation was right for Boston. It is right for DC and Puerto Rico. Maybe every state should get a minimum of one Senator, but above that it should be proportional to the population for a total of 200 Senators. A state like California might as well end up with 20 Senatorial districts, or 10 even if the Senate’s number is capped at the current 100. Non-citizen white immigrants voted. All immigrants should similarly get the right to vote, regardless of what papers they carry. If you pay a phone bill, you vote. If you pay the utility bill, you vote.

You can not have one person one vote democracy at the local level but have something else at the state level, or something else at the national level. Why stop at the national borders? It is high time for a world government that adheres to the basic principle of democracy, that of one person one vote. The global economy asks for a genuine world government. The five veto-wielding powers at the UN are a relic of World War II. Nobody alive today remembers World War II. The UN is the ultimate white minority rule. Four of the five veto faces are white. And all five are male.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Democratic Capitalism

It is in America's political heritage that the word socialism is considered dirty. For a country that defeated the Soviet Union, it might be partly pride. 

There are more than 3,000 kinds of apples on the planet. I have a feeling socialism might be similarly varied. Countries in northern Europe practice a brand that I quite like. 

But the American political and economic systems have serious problems that I think can be better addressed by using the term Democratic Capitalism. If America is a democracy it is unraveling fast. One of the two parties is party to organized attacks on basic voting rights nationwide. Even before that the system was hardly democratic. My definition of democracy is one person, one vote. 

Campaign finance reform has to happen. Public funding of elections has to be considered. 

People should vote for the president directly. You get enough presidents who lost the popular vote and the person starts illegitimate on day one in office. The electoral college needs to be abolished. Every vote ought to count. 

Abolishing the filibuster would be a joke since, already, it is like 10% of the country rules over the other 90%, such is the structure of the US Senate. But, yes, the filibuster has to be abolished. It is a Jim Crow relic, except Donald Trump outdid Jim Crow. 

The Senate has to be restructured. The US needs to become a union of 100 states, one Senator each at the minimum, with the more populous states having more. 

Gerrymandering has to be outlawed. Democracy is people electing politicians, not the other way round. States may still carve out the districts, but they must obey federally passed guidelines as to how they may do so. Redistricting is not that different from voting rights. There are federal voting rights laws. 

The fundamental primary in America is fundamentally rigged. It is said a few tens of thousands of people in the country decide who the two major candidates will be in each election at every level through the money primary. Before China gobbled up Hong Kong, Beijing was offering something similar to the massive movement in the city. You say you want direct elections. You can have it. As long as we decide who the two candidates will be. That was a sham offer. But that is what the money primary in America is. 

No taxation without representation. Legalize everybody who is in America. 

Allow voting on mobile phones. Take voting to 90% or more. 

The US Supreme Court needs two more judges. 

Capitalism has three components: human capital, physical capital, and financial capital. Human capital is the most important of the three. But America does not act like it. No wonder it is losing its edge. In this knowledge economy, ignoring investments in human capital is hardly a choice. Education offerings need to be delinked from property taxes. 

Capitalism is free markets. The American economy is not a free-market economy. Pretty much all sectors have minor and major pockets of monopolies. Tech is basically four or five companies. Freedom has to be introduced into the markets so there is fair competition. Without that there will not be the needed innovation. 

Capitalism is secure property rights. The data collected around an individual is the property of that individual. That fact needs to be established nationally and globally and, in the 5G era and the era of tens of thousands of satellites beaming down the internet, that just might pay for a Universal Basic Income. Every individual sits on an oil well when data is oil. But companies steal that data. There can be an arrangement that up to a billion-dollar valuation, companies may monetize and need not pay, but beyond that it is 70% to the individual and 30% to the company. 

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Finland: Capitalist Paradise?

We’ve now been living in Finland for more than a year. The difference between our lives here and in the States has been tremendous, but perhaps not in the way many Americans might imagine. What we’ve experienced is an increase in personal freedom.
in Finland, we are automatically covered, no matter what, by taxpayer-funded universal health care that equals the United States’ in quality (despite the misleading claims you hear to the contrary), all without piles of confusing paperwork or haggling over huge bills. Our child attends a fabulous, highly professional and ethnically diverse public day-care center that amazes us with its enrichment activities and professionalism. The price? About $300 a month — the maximum for public day care, because in Finland day-care fees are subsidized for all families........ if we stay here, our daughter will be able to attend one of the world’s best K-12 education systems at no cost to us, regardless of the neighborhood we live in. College would also be tuition free. If we have another child, we will automatically get paid parental leave, funded largely through taxes, for nearly a year, which can be shared between parents. Annual paid vacations here of four, five or even six weeks are also the norm......... Finnish citizens report extraordinarily high levels of life satisfaction; the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranked them highest in the world, followed by Norwegians, Danes, Swiss and Icelanders. This year, the World Happiness Report also announced Finland to be the happiest country on earth, for the second year in a row....... under its current system, Finland has become one of the world’s wealthiest societies, and like the other Nordic countries, it is home to many hugely successful global companies. ...... The Nordic region is not only “just as business-friendly as the U.S.” but also better on key free-market indexes, including greater protection of private property, less impact on competition from government controls and more openness to trade and capital flows...... doing business in Denmark and Norway is actually easier overall than it is in the United States ....... Finland also has high levels of economic mobility across generations. A 2018 World Bank report revealed that children in Finland have a much better chance of escaping the economic class of their parents and pursuing their own success than do children in the United States. ...... citizens of Finland actually enjoy higher levels of personal and political freedom, and more secure political rights, than citizens of the United States........ In the United States, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are often demonized as dangerous radicals. In Finland, many of their policy ideas would seem normal — and not particularly socialist. ...... When Mr. Sanders ran for president in 2016, what surprised our Finnish friends was that the United States, a country with so much wealth and successful capitalist enterprise, had not already set up some sort of universal public health care program and access to tuition-free college. Such programs tend to be seen by Nordic people as the bare basics required for any business-friendly nation to compete in the 21st century. ........ in Finland, you don’t really see the kind of socialist movement that has been gaining popularity in some of the more radical fringes of the left in America, especially around goals such as curtailing free markets and even nationalizing the means of production. The irony is that if you championed socialism like this in Finland, you’d get few takers.......... actual socialism seems so much more popular in the capitalist United States than in supposedly socialist Finland ......... during the first half of the 20th century, Finland prevented socialism from becoming a revolutionary force — and did so in a way that sounds downright American. ........ Instead of exploiting workers and trying to keep them down, after World War II, Finland’s capitalists cooperated with government to map out long-term strategies and discussed these plans with unions to get workers onboard. .......... Finnish capitalists also realized that it would be in their own long-term interests to accept steep progressive tax hikes. The taxes would help pay for new government programs to keep workers healthy and productive — and this would build a more beneficial labor market. These programs became the universal taxpayer-funded services of Finland today, including public health care, public day care and education, paid parental leaves, unemployment insurance and the like. ........ people in the United States have been peddled a myth that universal government programs like these can’t coexist with profitable private-sector businesses and robust economic growth .......

throughout the 20th century Finland remained — and remains to this day — a country and an economy committed to markets, private businesses and capitalism.

....... Finland’s capitalist growth and dynamism have been helped, not hurt, by the nation’s commitment to providing generous and universal public services that support basic human well-being. These services have buffered and absorbed the risks and dislocations caused by capitalist innovation. ........... With Finland’s stable foundation for growth and disruption, its small but dynamic free-market economy has punched far above its weight. Some of the country’s most notable businesses have included the world’s largest mobile phone company, one of the world’s largest elevator manufacturers and two of the world’s most successful mobile gaming companies. Visit Finland today and it’s obvious that the much-heralded quality of life is taking place within a bustling economy of upscale shopping malls, fancy cars and internationally competitive private companies......... The other Nordic countries have been practicing this form of capitalism even longer than Finland, with even more success. ........ The Nordic countries are all different from one another, and all have their faults, foibles, unique histories and civic disagreements. Contentious battles between strong unions and employers help keep the system in balance. Often it gets messy: Just this week, the Finnish prime minister resigned amid a labor dispute........ Capitalism works better if employees get paid decent wages and are supported by high-quality, democratically accountable public services that enable everyone to live healthy, dignified lives and to enjoy real equality of opportunity for themselves and their children. For us, that has meant an increase in our personal freedoms and our political rights — not the other way around. .........

Over the past 50 years, if you had invested in a basket of Nordic equities, you would have earned a higher annual real return than the American stock market during the same half-century

....... Paying taxes is a convenient way for capitalists to outsource to the government the work of keeping workers healthy and educated......... While companies in the United States struggle to administer health plans and to find workers who are sufficiently educated, Nordic societies have demanded that their governments provide high-quality public services for all citizens. This liberates businesses to focus on what they do best: business. It’s convenient for everyone else, too. All Finnish residents, including manual laborers, legal immigrants, well-paid managers and wealthy families, benefit hugely from the same Finnish single-payer health care system and world-class public schools. ....... When capitalists perceive government as a logistical ally rather than an ideological foe and when all citizens have a stake in high-quality public institutions, it’s amazing how well government can get things done.......... Capitalists in the United States have taken a different path. They’ve slashed taxes, weakened government, crushed unions and privatized essential services in the pursuit of excess profits. All of this leaves workers painfully vulnerable to capitalism’s dynamic disruptions. Even well-positioned Americans now struggle under debilitating pressures, and a majority inhabit a treacherous Wild West where poverty, homelessness, medical bankruptcy, addiction and incarceration can be just a bit of bad luck away.

Americans are told that this is freedom and that it is the most heroic way to live. It’s the same message Finns were fed a century ago.

........ the success of Nordic capitalism is not due to businesses doing more to help communities. In a way, it’s the opposite: Nordic capitalists do less. What Nordic businesses do is focus on business — including good-faith negotiations with their unions — while letting citizens vote for politicians who use government to deliver a set of robust universal public services. ............. Americans feel deeply pessimistic about the nation’s future and fear that worse political conflict is coming. Some military analysts and historians agree and put the odds of a civil war breaking out in the United States frighteningly high.
Feel the Bern?

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Hong Kong: What Would Dialogue Look Like?

I want the two sides in Hong Kong to talk: the protestors out in the streets, and the Carrie Lam side. That dialogue is not going to be a grand ideological debate about the two warring ideologies of the past century: capitalism and communism.

America does not have capitalism. Capitalism is a market economy where there is near perfect competition. In the American economy, you can find large pockets of monopoly power. Why do you think Americans pay so much more for their internet access and mobile data? Because there is not enough competition. That is only one example of many.

China has relentlessly injected the market into its economy since 1990. China has been the biggest beneficiary of the collapse of communism in the former Soviet Union. It allowed them to gradually ditch the command economy. China is not communism the way Leonid Brezhnev understood communism to be.

I believe the two ideologies are moving towards a fusion. And it does not have to be bloody fusion. There need not be war, only civil debate, and discussion. I look at the 2020 election campaign in the US and I look at what China has already started in Shenzen in the form a political experiment, and I see we are moving towards a fusion. And the protestors in the streets of Hong Kong are hardly best equipped to lead that conversation. They can be part of the conversation, but they are not in any position to lead. For one, they have not been talking much.

Chinese Troops Invade Hong Kong (NOT)
Is Hong Kong Moving Towards A Showdown?
Hong Kong Police Losing Its Mind
I Read Don Junior's Book
The Hong Kong Shenzen Political Song And Dance Could Benefit The World
Hong Kong: The Situation Escalates
China Has Already Started Political Reforms: In Shenzen
Thoughts On The Middle East

I read somewhere, in response to the last protests, Beijing reportedly said, okay, you can elect your own Chief Executive as long we get to decide who those two will be. It is said in America about 50,000 people participate in the "money primary." And once somebody passes that hurdle then the race is opened to the ordinary American voters. What Beijing wants in Hong Kong, the 50,000 money people already seem to have in America.

In recent weeks I have taken great interest in the Middle East as a region, and in the UAE in particular, for business reasons. And being a political person that I am, I have also taken much interest in the politics. I knew the UAE was a monarchy, but there was a lot that I did not know.

But I have also had intimate knowledge at another level: people from my home village, for instance.

When I was attending high school in Kathmandu, at a school founded and run by the British, the best school in Nepal, we were taught there are rich countries and there are poor countries, but thank God for all the aid the rich countries give, the poor are catching up. Then I attended college in America. And the talk gradually shifted to, aid will not do it, we need trade, not aid. And we ended up with Donald Trump, who thinks the entire world is being unfair to America. But remittance from the Gulf countries is the only thing that has really mattered to the people in my home village. Aid and trade have been close to zero as factors.

And that makes me think. I open-mindedly ask questions.

Monday, October 14, 2019

New Capitalism Is Techno Capitalism, Hello Marc

New capitalism is tech-heavy. It is not ideology heavy. You just do do do. You get it done.

Face it. We are one planet. We need a world government. 100 Gates Foundations will not be able to meet the challenges of the world. Only a world government can.

The world has $300 trillion in wealth. Everyone who owns property needs to pay a wealth tax of 3%. That money needs to pay for a Universal Basic Income. Since when did Universal mean American?

That arrangement will be a constant stimulus to the global economy.

Form a T100 along the lines of G20. The top 100 tech companies by market value meet annually. Because there are unavoidable governance issues. Unless you tackle those governance issues, you can not roll out the Blockchain.

World War II is over. Abolish the veto. We need a world government with a bicameral legislature. We don't have to wait until every country on earth has an American style "democracy." No country in Europe has an American style democracy. The President of the World can be directly elected. Why not? Every human being gets to register on any phone or tablet with their finger. You create or claim your biometric ID, and you vote. Your phone is your voting booth. In the lower house, every country gets a vote in direct proportion to their population. In the Upper House it is in direct proportion to their GDP. Each country pays 1% of its GDP as membership fee to the world government.

Global warming is existential, there is only a 10-12 year window before we hit a point of no return, and no one government could solve it. Only a world government could hope to solve it.

T100, pass a proposal that data gathered on every individual is the property of that individual, even though collected by a tech company. A person's data is their personal oil well. Use that to boost the UBI.

T100, pass a proposal that all monetary transactions on the Blockchain can only go from individuals to individuals, or companies and organizations duly registered by individuals, who all have biometric IDs resting on that very same Blockchain. Promises of frictionless global money transfers are giving nightmares to the governments around the world who have to deal with things like terrorism and human trafficking and the drug trade.

1% is not enough. My tech startup is starting by giving 10% ownership of our company to our foundation.

Marc Benioff: We Need a New Capitalism I have been fortunate to live a life beyond the wildest imaginations of my great-grandfather, who immigrated to San Francisco from Kiev in the late 1800s. ........

Capitalism, as we know it, is dead.

....... On a personal level, the success that I’ve achieved has allowed me to embrace philanthropy and invest in improving local public schools and reducing homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area, advancing children’s health care and protecting our oceans. ........ Globally,

the 26 richest people in the world now have as much wealth as the poorest 3.8 billion people

......... In the United States, income inequality has reached its highest level in at least 50 years, with the top 0.1 percent — people like me — owning roughly 20 percent of the wealth while many Americans cannot afford to pay for a $400 emergency. It’s no wonder that support for capitalism has dropped, especially among young people........ profits are important, but so is society. And if our quest for greater profits leaves our world worse off than before, all we will have taught our children is the power of


....... they focus not only on their shareholders, but also on all of their stakeholders — their employees, customers, communities and the planet. ....... the “purpose of a corporation” includes “a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders.” ......... When asked whether companies should serve all stakeholders and whether capitalism should be updated, Vice President Mike Pence warned against “leftist policies.” ...... with political dysfunction in Washington, D.C., Americans overwhelmingly say C.E.O.s should take the lead on economic and social challenges, and employees, investors and customers increasingly seek out companies that share their values........ Since learning that we were paying women less than men for equal work at Salesforce, we have spent $10.3 million to ensure equal pay; today we conduct annual audits to ensure that pay remains equal. Just about every company, I suspect, has a pay gap — and every company can close it now......... by integrating philanthropy into our company culture from the beginning — giving 1 percent of our equity, time and technology — Salesforce has donated nearly $300 million to worthy causes, including local public schools and addressing homelessness. ....... Entrepreneurs looking to develop great products and develop their communities can join the 9,000 companies in the Pledge 1% movement and commit to donating 1 percent of their equity, time and product, starting on their first day of business. ......... Rather than instinctively opposing new regulations, tech leaders should support a strong, comprehensive national privacy law — perhaps modeled on the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation — and recognize that protecting privacy and upholding trust is ultimately good for business. .......

Research shows that companies that embrace a broader mission — and, importantly, integrate that purpose into their corporate culture — outperform their peers, grow faster, and deliver higher profits.

....... We don’t have to choose between doing well and doing good. They’re not mutually exclusive. ....... Of course, C.E.O. activism and corporate philanthropy alone will never be enough to meet the immense scale of today’s challenges. It could take $23 billion a year to address racial inequalities in our public schools. College graduates are drowning in $1.6 trillion of student debt. It will cost billions to retrain American workers for the digital jobs of the future. Trillions of dollars of investments will be needed to avert the worst effects of climate change. All this, when our budget deficit has already surpassed $1 trillion............. increasing taxes on high-income individuals like myself would help generate the trillions of dollars that we desperately need to improve education and health care and fight climate change. ......

30-30-30-10: A More Thoughtful And Egalitarian Formula For Equity Distribution In Tech Startups For The Age Of Abundance
The Blockchain: Fundamental Like The Internet
The Blockchain Rumble
The Character Called The Tech Entrepreneur

Inequality And Climate Change Are Existential: A Blueprint For Survival
Towards A World Government
AOC 2028      

Eat Sleep Exercise
Pray Love Meditate Eat Sleep Exercise: Body Mind Heart Soul: Recipe For Good Health At All Four Levels

The Centrality Of The Gospel
Forgiveness: The Bicycle For Your Soul
Finding God In The Major Religions
Flying Cars, The Internet, Nanotubes, And Service To God
Table Talk (a novella)
Atheism Is Arrogance, Ignorance And Bondage

Gangster Words Spoken By Xi Jinping: Shattered Bones
UAE's Federal National Council
Middle East: Cold War, Cold Peace, Warm Peace
The Nation State In Peril
The Dubai Sheikh Is A Business School Case Study
The Impeachment Drama
South Asians Working In The Gulf

To: The Crown Prince Of Dubai
Elon Musk's Giant Blind Spot: Human Beings
Dubai's Remarkable Economic Transformation

Photos by Surya and Nischal.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Capitalism's Own Propaganda Machine

Look at this.

News: Hong Kong, Vancouver, Diaspora Nationalism

Over a hundred million Chinese travel outside China every year. And, out of their own seeming free will, they travel back. China, obviously, is no North Korea. A lot of them will tell you, they support their government. They will line up arguments in its defense. What is going on? It is conditioning. And it is so total.

There is a similar conditioning in America. It is capitalist conditioning. The corporations that so own the political process, that so own the media, have also similarly conditioned 300 million Americans.

China needs a heavy dose of democracy. China needs to open up. That is the only way it will avoid the middle income trap. The only way China can hope to become a high tech superpower that it aspires to be is if there is free speech in China.

America also needs a fair dose of democracy. Right now it is not a democracy. America is corporate socialism. It is a corporate welfare state. It is a political system designed to work for the biggest corporation and its richest citizens. Not even the top 1% but 1% of that 1%.

The CCP has a political monopoly in China that needs to be broken. Similarly, the stranglehold of the 0.01% in America has to be broken. Then America will become a democracy.

There is need for triangulation. We want post-capitalism. We want post-communism. We want democracy. We want a market economy devoid of monopolies and oligarchies and one party ownerships.

Hong Kong should not try to imitate America. Hong Kong needs to show America the way.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Hong Kong: A Crisis For Capitalism As Much As Communism

Hong Kong 2019: This Is 1989 For Asia
Hong Kong Should Take The Plunge
Universal Basic Income (aka Freedom Dividend) Is Not Free Money
Could Andrew Yang Become President?
Hong Kong Protests: The World Should Not Watch A Possible Massacre

The knee jerk way to interpret what is happening in Hong Kong is, well, China wrong, America right. Both are wrong. The 20th-century dichotomy no longer explains aspirations. Capitalism is in crisis in America. Communism is in crisis in China. And the trade war between the two puts the whole world in crisis mode. Something fundamental is not working. There is a need for a rethink.

A big reason capitalism is not working in Hong Kong is because the Hong Kong capitalists control half the legislature. That is not sustainable. You can't have a Chief Executive who answers to Beijing but not to the ordinary citizens of Hong Kong.

That is where you start.

But then you quickly have to move to things like Universal Basic Income.

There is an acute housing crisis in Hong Kong. It is a big city problem. Singapore does it much better. Hong Kong can learn from Singapore. But it does not have the option to learn unless it can elect its own leaders.

Election day should be a public holiday. People should be able to vote from their phones. Or maybe no holiday, and a week-long voting period.

Citizens also have the responsibility to regularly meet in-person to engage in political dialogue.

Hong Kong is showing the way for the 100 biggest cities in the world. This is a turning point in world history. New Yorkers should also march. Not for Hong Kong, but for New York. Demand UBI. Demand voting rights for all residents, citizen or not.

Hong Kong’s protests are just the tip of the iceberg: capitalism is in crisis across the globe While Hong Kong is embroiled in unprecedented social and political upheaval, a silent revolution is unfolding in the capitalist heartland of the world...... This transition from “shareholder capitalism” to “stakeholder capitalism” is more than semantics. ..... The lopsided emphasis on maximising profits has been responsible for a disproportionate share of social, environmental and political problems in contemporary society – notably, extreme economic inequality, distortion of human needs, environmental destruction and climate change, corporate tax evasion and, above all, the integration of economic power with political power...... Hong Kong has for a long time had one of the highest Gini coefficients in the world, rising from 0.533 in 2006 to 0.539 in 2016. The number of poor households reached 530,000, with more than 1.3 million people living in poverty (over 15 per cent of the population)...... In May 2018, the total net worth of the wealthiest 21 tycoons amount to HK$1.83 trillion, approximately the same as Hong Kong’s fiscal reserves. But, for low-income workers, real wages have only increased 12.3 per cent in the past decade....... In a city in which seven out of the 10 richest people are in the real estate business, financial assets are the major source of income polarisation........ Hong Kong’s case is special in that its government is not accountable to the populace; Lam was “elected” by a 1,200-strong committee and is expected to follow Beijing’s line....... These same issues plague the capitalist West. Because of the presence of a nominal democratic system, some of the mass revolt has found expression in outcomes such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US president, as well as the Yellow Vest movement in France. ....... their fate is bound up with the fate of “capitalist” development in China, which is also heading towards a major crisis...... There is a huge amount of repressed unrest on the mainland; it is just not visible because of the powerful social control mechanisms in place: China’s budget for maintaining social stability is already greater than its defence budget and it is still growing....... All this points to the urgency of reinventing capitalism.

Trump on thinner political ice than Xi in trade war
Xi brings in 'firefighter' Wang Qishan in bid to calm Hong Kong