capitalism is not a synonym for freedom, back stairs, recycable chair

Milton Friedman is proof that gods are not immortal, nor do they always know what they’re talking about. That Milton was a brighter than average is part of his and because of his influence, ultimately our tragedy. Friedman was no more than your average blind squirrel. Like Rand he did stumble on an acorn now and then. The Friedman Doctrine declared,” There is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.” Anyone of college age or older knows that corporate America and the government has a difficult time defining exactly what deception and fraud are. And Friedman never entertained the idea of real costs. Say the environmental price of acquiring raw materials, the pollution to produce a product or service and its health care costs to the public. And of course the costs of dealing with the product after its usefulness was either over or it was simply time to get the newest and coolest. If Milt had majored in ethics in would have flunked out and may have done something productive with his life.  Friedman also contended that capitalism and freedom were joined at the hip. Bring capitalism to a country and freedom had to follow. Taking liberties

Kampfner begins in Singapore, the prototype and showcase of this new authoritarian democracy. The tiny city-state has an extraordinarily high per capita income, without the pockets of destitution that disfigure the US and UK and without those countries’ inequitable and underfunded education, pension and health care systems. Government agencies are efficient and honest; violent crime and business fraud are rare. Travel is unhindered; technical and managerial innovations are welcomed; shopping is world-class. Streets and public buildings are clean as a whistle and neat as a pin. Just a month ago, the popular website New Geography placed Singapore at the top of its list of “The World’s Smartest Cities”.

There is, naturally, a large “on the other hand.” Nothing is allowed that the government fears might threaten public order or social stability; and the government’s sensitivities on this score are very delicate indeed. Spitting, chewing gum, yelling, or failing to flush a toilet in a public place; overstaying your visa; depicting (never mind engaging in) certain sexual acts; rashly employing irony or sarcasm; and, most important, criticising the government in ways the government deems not constructive – all these are swiftly and severely punished.

It seems we’re still stuck in the days of the Red Menace. To question capitalism’s failures is to automatically be labeled an un-American commie. It’s like someone getting mad at you for pointing out their tail pipe is dragging the highway.

the back stairs

For Truly Green Funiture, Make All the Parts Recyclable–and Replaceable

The LYTA chair, manufactured by German firm Movisi, is composed of three parts: a removable cover, cushions, and a frame made of high-grade, recyclable foam.

The cover makes the chair in terms of appearance. One can see that the frame could be made with design era curves in mind – Danish modern, French country etc.

tinted train