A.i. Is Here & Not What You Think

Comments You Don’t Talk About Any More by Mitch Santell.

rise-of-AI-in-6-charts
Artificial Intelligence Is Already In Control

There was a time where you could just be You without everyone else knowing where you were, what you were doing, who you were communicating with, and what you buy.

For those of you who have followed me for a long time know, I always suggest creating a Corporation to act like You.

Why Do I suggest this? 

Answer: Corporations Have More Rights Than People Do!


Corporations “enthroned”

When corporations were first formed back in the seventeenth century, their inventors—just like modern software engineers—acted with what they believed were good intentions. The first corporate charters were simply designed to limit an investor’s liability to the amount of their investment, thus encouraging them to finance risky expeditions to India and Southeast Asia. However, an unintended consequence soon emerged, known as moral hazard: with the potential upside greater than the downside, reckless behavior ensued, leading to a series of spectacular frauds and a market crash that resulted in corporations being temporarily banned in England in 1720.

Thomas Jefferson and other leaders of the United States, aware of the English experience, were deeply suspicious of corporations, giving them limited charters with tightly constrained powers. However, during the turmoil of the Civil War, industrialists took advantage of the disarray, leveraging widespread political corruption to expand their influence. Shortly before his death, Abraham Lincoln lamented what he saw happening with a resounding prophecy: “Corporations have been enthroned … An era of corruption in high places will follow… until wealth is aggregated in a few hands … and the Republic is destroyed.”

Corporations took full advantage of their new-found dominance, influencing state legislatures to issue charters in perpetuity giving them the right to do anything not explicitly prohibited by law. The tipping point in their path to domination came in 1886 when the Supreme Court designated corporations as “persons” entitled to the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment, which had been passed to give equal rights to former slaves enfranchised after the Civil War. Since then, corporate dominance has only been further enhanced by law, culminating in the notorious Citizen United case of 2010, which lifted restrictions on political spending by corporations in elections.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2JnL1ht

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Feudalism in 1666 = Corporatocracy in 2019

Governments Change, the Corporatocracy Endures

Ultimately, the dominance of global capital (the Corporatocracy) is not financial — it’s political.

One little-remarked consequence of the central banks’ policies of near-zero interest rates and quantitative easing is the unrivaled dominance of mobile global capital, i.e. the Corporatocracy.

The source of corporate political power is the ability to borrow essentially unlimited sums for next to nothing: what I have long termed free money for financiers.

Armed with central-bank supplied unlimited credit, global capital can outbid local residents and businesses. Over time, profitable enterprises and assets end up in corporate hands.

Consider the typical family farm, not just in America but in Germany, Australia, etc. It’s hard work squeezing a livelihood from the land in a market dominated by a handful of global corporate giants and their state handmaidens, and so unsurprisingly many in the next generation have opted for corporate-state jobs in urban areas rather than shoulder the financial risks of continuing the family farm.

A neighboring farmer might be interested in buying, be he/she will have to borrow the money at (say) 4%.

The global corporation can sell bonds (i.e. borrow money) at less than 1%. The lower cost of capital enables the corporation to outbid local farmers for the land, and this low cost of borrowing also enables the corporation to fund capital-intensive economies of scale that are beyond the reach of family farms.

The net result is the nation’s farmland, its core productive asset, slides inevitably into corporate ownership. Anyone who resists selling out is crushed by low prices (corporate farms can over-produce and survive low prices, family farms cannot). Or they are crushed by the disadvantages of being an “outsider” selling to the corporate supply chain, which favors in-house suppliers or large corporate producers.

The same dynamic — the unparalleled power of cheap credit — leads to corporate ownership which then funds corporate dominance of the political process. Consider building a house for your family. You’ll need construction financing, and since that’s riskier than a conventional mortgage to buy an existing home, that will cost you between 4% and 5%, and requires thousands of dollars in fees.

The corporate homebuilder can borrow at 1%. Guess who’s construction costs are cheaper?

As corporations buy up productive assets, they consolidate these assets into cartels and quasi-monopolies that can be protected from competition by lobbying and campaign contributions. Once you can buy up productive assets with cheap borrowed money, the profits start piling up, and you can use a thin sliver of these profits to hire lobbyists and buy political favors/protection from politicos desperate to cling onto their power.

The net result of unlimited credit for corporations is a Corporatocracy that constantly expands its financial and political power. And the net result of this corporate control of governance is: governments come and go, candidates come and go, and political movements come and go, but the Corporatocracy remains in charge.

Read the rest here: http://bit.ly/2LKIZcA

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This Is Trump’s America! (Guess what? He didn’t create this).

Corporations Are People, And They Have More Rights Than You

Ever since Citizens United, the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision allowing unlimited corporate and union spending on political issues, Americans have been debating whether, as Mitt Romney said, “Corporations are people, my friend.” Occupy Wall Street protestors decried the idea, late night comedians mocked it, and reform groups proposed amending the Constitution to eliminate it. Today, however, the Supreme Court endorsed corporate personhood — holding that business firms have rights to religious freedom under federal law. Not only do corporations have rights, their rights are stronger than yours.

The question came to the Supreme Court in a challenge to regulations implementing President Obama’s landmark health care law. Those regulations require employers with 50 or more employees to provide those employees with comprehensive health insurance, which must include certain forms of contraception. The contraception requirement was designed to protect the rights of women. Studies show that access to contraception has positive benefits for women’s education, income, mental health, and family stability.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2XR8Q9q

 

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