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Thursday, February 20, 2014

David Brooks, "Capitalism for the Masses": Facebook? WhatsApp? Not Me!

Do you have a Facebook page? I don't. Do you make use of WhatsApp messaging? I have no need for it. Moreover, I regard Facebook's $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp as an obscenity, offering few if any societal benefits and evidencing the demise of Western civilization, as it reels from the plague of 21st Century narcissism.

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Capitalism for the Masses" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/opinion/brooks-capitalism-for-the-masses.html?ref=opinion), David Brooks declares:

"But now capitalism faces its greatest moral crisis since the Great Depression. The nature of that crisis can be captured in two statistics. When Facebook entered a deal to buy WhatsApp this week, it agreed to pay a price equal to $345 million per WhatsApp employee. Meanwhile, the share of the economic pie for the middle 60 percent of earners nationally has fallen from 53 percent to 45 percent since 1970.

This economy produces very valuable companies with very few employees. Meanwhile, the majority of workers are not seeing income gains commensurate with their productivity levels."

I agree: Efficiency in our brave new world comes with a price measured in unemployment. Even more regrettably, President Obama has persisted in perpetuating the policies of his predecessors, which have destroyed the infrastructure necessary for future economic growth. Consider the effects of the cancellation of the Uptick Rule (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2013/08/maureen-dowd-summers-of-our-discontent.html) and the demise of antitrust law (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2014/02/paul-krugman-barons-of-broadband-when.html).

But more to the point, does our economic future now depend upon social networking? Has social networking become the opiate of the masses?

Never a social sort, I am obviously no longer in sync with our times.

1 comment:

  1. " Meanwhile, the majority of workers are not seeing income gains commensurate with their productivity levels."
    This is the end of the world. If even Brooks, who has spent decades babbling about the nobility of the ladies and gentlemen and was paid handsomely for his babbling, has noticed (is allowed to notice?) the "problem," it must the be end.

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