J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 08-05-2018

“Helping and Hating the Homeless”

Helping and Hating the Homeless: The Struggle at the Margins of America. Almost none of what was said had anything to do with the homeless people I know-not the ones I once traveled with, not the ones in town. In many American cities, vets make up close to 50 percent of all homeless males. You can learn that the world of the homeless has its roots in various policies, events, and ways of life for which some of us are responsible and from which some of us actually prosper. We decide, as a people, to go to war, we ask our children to kill and to die, and the result, years later, is grown men homeless on the street. 

Here, for example, is the story of Alice, a homeless middle-aged woman in Los Angeles, where there are, perhaps, 50,000 homeless people. The homeless in our cities mark out for themselves particular neighborhoods, blocks, buildings, doorways. The point is this: our response to the homeless is fed by a complex set of cultural attitudes, habits of thought, and fantasies and fears so familiar to us, so common, that they have become second nature and might as well be instinctive, for all the control we have over them. What does seem clear is that the homeless embody all that bourgeois culture has for centuries tried to eradicate and destroy. Every government program, almost every private project, is geared as much to the needs of those giving help as it is to the needs of the homeless. 

Whatever the case, the fact remains that almost every one of our strategies for helping the homeless is simply an attempt to rearrange the world cosmetically, in terms of how it looks and smells to us. How we mediate by default or design between those contrary forces will determine not only the destinies of the homeless but also something crucial about the nation, and perhaps – let me say it – about our own souls. 

Keywords: [“Homeless”,”world”,”men”]
Source: https://msu.edu/~jdowell/135/PMarin.html

The language of humanitarianism has played a central role in recent political and media debates about undocumented migrants crossing into Europe and North America. There is already a host of humanitarian nongovernmental organizations – ranging from the big, famous ones such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and Doctors without Borders to many other local incarnations – working at various entry points into Europe, such as the Spanish islands of Ceuta and Melilla as well as Italian Lampedusa. The quintessential humanitarian victims bear no responsibility for their suffering. Their innocence is what qualifies them for humanitarian compassion. Yet the migrant children who were at the heart of the crisis in the United States were not afforded the status of victims, worthy of humanitarian aid. 

If humanitarianism is the primary language used to counter closed-border and anti-immigrant policies, the majority of migrants – children included – will be sent to detention centers or deported without due process. Talking about any situation as a humanitarian emergency makes it seem as if it is an exception to an otherwise peaceful order. At best, it is naïve to suggest that the crossings will be stopped by fences, or the drownings by humanitarians. Third, humanitarianism is about feelings rather than rights; it is about compassion, not entitlement. Humanitarian exceptions are precisely that – exceptions to regular laws. 

When migrants are spoken of as humanitarian victims, we take them out of the range of the law, where they have the right to be free from violence. To argue against humanitarian borders is not to argue against a place for emotion in the face of the many dead; it is to make way for feelings that fit with different projects for equality, with different political visions. 

Keywords: [“Humanitarian”,”humanitarianism”,”migrant”]
Source: http://www.publicseminar.org/2015/09/the-problem-with-humanitarian-borders

The Political Compass

It’s timely to stress that The Political Compass has been on the internet since 2001. The uniqueness of our take on politics is reflected in the gratifyingly enthusiastic reviews we’ve enjoyed in the national media of many countries from our earliest years – as well as from many teachers and academics who continue to use our work. The enduring appeal of The Political Compass lies in its universality, and the fact that it’s not a fly-by-night election-time survey, but a continually accessible profile of a political personality applicable to all democracies. Although we’d like the time to develop more updates than we can sometimes offer, we remain a tool for comparing the politics of countries and well-known political figures, past and present. Our essential point is that Left and Right, although far from obsolete, are essentially a measure of economics. 

As political establishments adopt either enthusiastically or reluctantly the prevailing economic orthodoxy – the neo-liberal strain of capitalism – the Left-Right division between mainstream parties becomes increasingly blurred. Instead, party differences tend to be more about identity issues. In the narrowing debate, our social scale is more crucial than ever. We’re indebted to people like Wilhelm Reich, Hans Eysenck and Theodor Adorno for their ground-breaking work in this field. We believe that, in an age of diminishing ideology, The Political Compass helps a new generation in particular to get a better idea of where they stand politically – and the sort of political company they keep. 

The Political Compass continues to offer something more substantial all year round, and we look forward to keeping our hundreds of thousands of visitors stimulated for years to come. Take the test – but be sure to check out our other pages as well! 

Keywords: [“Political”,”more”,”Compass”]
Source: https://www.politicalcompass.org

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 07-26-2018

Human capital

Many theories explicitly connect investment in human capital development to education, and the role of human capital in economic development, productivity growth, and innovation has frequently been cited as a justification for government subsidies for education and job skills training. Pierre Bourdieu offers a nuanced conceptual alternative to human capital that includes cultural capital, social capital, economic capital, and symbolic capital. Just as land became recognized as natural capital and an asset in itself, human factors of production were raised from this simple mechanistic analysis to human capital. It is broken down or defined, human capital is vitally important for an organization’s success; human capital increases through education and experience. Human capital is also important for the success of cities and regions: a 2012 study examined how the production of university degrees and R&D activities of educational institutions are related to the human capital of metropolitan areas in which they are located. 

The transformation of raw human resource into highly productive human resource with these inputs is the process of human capital formation. The intangible human capital, on the other hand, is an instrument of promoting comprehensive development of the nation because human capital is directly related to human development, and when there is human development, the qualitative and quantitative progress of the nation is inevitable. United Nations publishes Human Development Report on human development in different nations with the objective of evaluating the rate of human capital formation in these nations. Human capital is distinctly different from the tangible monetary capital due to the extraordinary characteristic of human capital to grow cumulatively over a long period of time. Rate of human capital formation in the future generation happens to be more than the rate of human capital formation in the current generation. 

Specific human capital refers to skills or knowledge that is useful only to a single employer or industry, whereas general human capital is useful to all employers. When human capital is assessed by activity based costing via time allocations it becomes possible to assess human capital risk. 

Keywords: [“Human”,”capital”,”development”]
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_capital

Global Capitalism at War with Itself

This week the threatened tariffs from Canada, China, and the European Union that were initiated in response to the U.S tariffs initiated by #45 have gone into effect. Thousands of migrant parents from Central America have been separated from their children, while others are being detained in tent cities in the blistering Texas heat. At the same time, a similar scenario plays out in Europe where German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under fire for imploring the German people, as well as her European allies to develop an open and compassionate approach to immigration in this time of a global migrant crisis. In language that echoes the words of Jesus in his famous sheep and the goats parable of Matthew 25, Merkel has challenged her colleagues and citizens with the idea that how they handle the migrant crisis is a reflection of whether or not they truly embrace the democratic values of justice and freedom they freely proclaim. While these two issues at first glance may not seem connected, in reality, they are deeply connected as they are the result of a neoliberal capitalism run amok, benefitting the few at the expense of the many. 

It’s a philosophy in which there are winners and losers, with no regret or recompense for the losers. Those in between are the pawns manipulated to justify the inequity. What is seldom acknowledged is that global capitalists made sure the game was rigged in their favor so that elections were bought and paid for, and few if any radical voices – like a Bernie Sanders or the new Mexican President Obrador – get in. Now the capitalists are fighting among themselves, instituting tariffs as a way of somehow protecting their economies that are inextricably linked together in the global capitalist web. Rather I could only marvel at how the people whose countries control an overwhelming percentage of world’s wealth could be so petty with each other and so callous toward the truly poor in their midst and the migrants on their borders. 

God who abides with poor and the oppressed, looks on as thousands at borders long only for a comfortable bed, a safe home and the basic essentials of life, weeps. Metcalf, S. Neoliberalism: The idea that swallowed the world. 

Keywords: [“migrant”,”45″,”global”]
Source: http://drickboyd.org/global-capitalism-at-war-with-itself-while-migrants…

There is No Third Way

Writing during an age in which the expropriation of the means of production by the state and the imposition of full-scale socialism with central planning was a real possibility even in Western Europe, Röpke bravely defended private property, the free market, free international trade, and market-determined prices and wages. While out of step with the prevailing economic orthodoxies of his time, Röpke nevertheless helped save at least part of his fatherland from the poverty and stagnation that would have followed inexorably from the statist economic policies favored by German social democrats and Anglo-American occupiers. The neoliberal economists of the GermanFreiburgSchool, Walter Eucken and Wilhelm Röpke, denied that what Germany needed was more government control of the economy. If there is one area in which Röpke’s ideas can be praised without qualification it is in his advocacy of political and economic decentralism and the closely related idea of subsidiarity. Röpke pointed out that Switzerland was more genuinely democratic than any other Western country because political power was divided between a federal parliament and numerous self-governing cantons. 

According to Zmirak, Röpke opposed the supranational economic and political organizations that began emerging in the wake of the Second World War. Although Röpke defended the autonomy of historic regions within larger political entities, he also defended the independence of the sovereign nation-state as a bulwark against the emergence of such supranational bureaucracies. According to Zmirak, Röpke accepted many of the socialist and traditionalist criticisms of historic capitalism. Röpke made a fatal concession to the socialist cause in agreeing that unrestrained capitalism had proven socially destructive and unsustainable. There are three inherent weaknesses with Röpke’s distinction between compatible and incompatible market interventions. 

A passionate critic of socialism and the welfare state, Röpke was nonetheless keenly attuned to capitalism’s destructive elements and the intrinsic limits of the market. We need Mises, not Röpke, to save us from the despotic hand of the modern WelfareCorporatistState. 

Keywords: [“Röpke”,”state”,”capitalism”]
Source: https://mises.org/library/there-no-third-way