9 thoughts on “First for your entertainment

  1. lyngjo says:

    I think the speaker has some well said points, though there seems to be a lack of evidence for his theories of American decline in influence.


  2. tildeb says:

    Paddy is simply reading the writing that has been on the walls for quite a while.


    • makagutu says:

      Ah I see, do you think there is a possibility that it can be revised or it will run its cause?


      • tildeb says:

        I’m not sure what the specific ‘it’ may be (assuming you mean only the US decline) considering the various influences at play that Paddy describes. What I mean is that we see globalization at work, the economic maturing of China and India and Brazil, the world of information at our fingertips and the power of social media and so on. All of these factors cannot help but undermine (or should I say reduce) the power of central governments and this will have different effects.

        We really do see the rise of transnational corporations into the ‘Wild West’ of unregulated multinational businesses and we see the rise of power of regulatory agencies (WTO, G20, and so on, to try to optimize business environments). This is why I say that he is simply reading the writing that has been on the wall for quite some time.

        What is changing is the source of markets that use to be primarily in the West because of a large middle class with disposable income (able to sustain trade deficits with evolving markets overseas). No more. Adam Smith’s invisible hand has been amputated by the shift of labour to highly populated poverty-stricken areas willing to work for sustenance wages. In addition, we see the rise of outsourcing and contract work and temporary/casual labour pools that present a cost/benefit analysis that mistakes profit for value. What this method of business produces is a prosthesis of consumer credit for the cheapest goods rather than promote the growth of capital that meets needs crafted by expertise. Because we are in the process of losing the middle class market (as it reaches the maximum debt load), those economies based on it cannot hep but suffer the consequences and this is what we see in the slow disintegration of American cities and the infrastructure that supports it. We can’t afford the expenses of a middle class economy when we transfer the very wealth it produces (well paying long term jobs) to these transnational corporations beholden to no one or anything.

        Of course the US and other Western countries are in decline and it has been for a while buffered only by the reliance on credit and decayed by eliminating the means by which its population can create capital to sustain markets.

        I sometimes imagine a cartoon of some unspecified banker in a room stuffed with every bit of cash imaginable saying something along the lines of, “There. I finally have it all.”


  3. aguywithoutboxers says:

    A very accurate assessment of what is happening today. As someone who lives in the USA, the evidence of the decline is everywhere.

    A compelling voice for our cooperation in all areas of modern life if we, as humankind, are to advance and survive.

    Great post! Thank you for sharing this. 🙂


  4. Eric Alagan says:

    Interesting talk and I also read the varied comments and replies. Thank you for bringing this to us. I subscribed to TED a few months ago and missed this one which was posted much earlier.


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