October 24th, 2008
It’s true, and should come as no surprise that modern day pirates are responsible for the current mass chaos in the markets. I mean, this is just the sort of things pirates do, isn’t it? Or, so says Peter Hayes, Senior Lecturer in politics at the University of Sunderland.
In Dr. Hayes’ latest paper, ‘Pirates, Privateers and the contract theories of Hobbes and Locke’, the argument is developed and interesting. Not only did pirates practically invent participatory democracy by electing their captain, voting on major decisions and distributing the booty in fairly equal shares, but they were often backed by financiers in distant countries. Which, according to Hayes, makes your average pirate ship roughly equivalent to a modern corporation.
“Pirates had a democratic structure, and relative equality, but they were doing all this to violate the rights of other people,” Hayes says. “The idea of a social contract is that it protects human rights. But what if you create a social contract to say that we’ll observe rights toward each other, but we won’t observe rights for outsiders?”
Hmmm… Maybe Hayes has a point. Or maybe pirates themselves were an expression of the basic xenophobia that has existed ever since early tribal society. But pirates are a more popular romantic icon these days than simple hunter-gatherers, so Hayes can use them as a selling point. Somehow, the robber barons of today don’t elicit the kind of romantic idol-worship or secret sympathies from the vast amount of us in the out-group they’re busy hijacking day to day.
For the most part, they’re disgusting. Which is why when AIG and other failed brokers and bankers take $70 billion of a trillion-dollar taxpayer bailout to pad the top privateers’ junkets and golden parachutes, the taxpayers aren’t very happy with it. Off with their heads, I say!Filed under Economic Recession, Education, Government Bailouts, Humor, Pirates, Politics | Comment (0)
October 7th, 2008
Food: Eating What You Can Get
World markets continue to take dramatic hits and the Dow has fallen below 10,000 for the first time in four years. Seems a lot of banks and other players are unhappy with the trillion dollar bailout package passed last Friday because it limits their personal golden parachutes and stock option scams. Awwww. Should we call the waaaaambulance for these whiners? Nope. If they didn’t need our money they shouldn’t have begged for a handout in the first place. In the meantime, regular people are having a much harder time putting food on the table as prices rise dramatically and more and more find themselves out of work. This post is a beginner’s primer on how to get food if you can’t afford it.
Before I get to the list of good links readers may find helpful depending on their particular situations, readers should know that many states, such as the one where I live (NC) have budgetary caps on how much relief in the form of food stamps they are able to provide. This can mean that even as increasing numbers of people find themselves going hungry, fewer people will have access to the standard governmental relief. Thus more people must turn to other providers. A good overview of those providers supported by the USDA commodity program is provided at Amber Waves. If your family is in danger of ‘food insecurity’ be sure to familiarize yourself with emergency providers in your area. Cities generally have soup kitchens, places where you can go for a hot meal. Most smaller cities and many towns or counties also have food banks, check into what you will need to provide to qualify.Alternative economics, Alternatives, Barter, Economic Depression, Family Projects, Foraging, Grow Your Own, Inflation, Staple Foods, Surviving, Wild Harvest | Comments (2)