Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

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David Van Reybrouck, Guy Standing, Ellen Ullmann, Mark Fisher, John Hills, Wolfgang Streeck, Terry Eagleton, Slavoj Žižek, Yanis Varoufakis, Bob Hughes

  • low and high earners should pay the same share of income in tax (a proportional system;
  • higher earners should pay a higher share of income in tax (a progressive system);
  • both should pay the same amount in tax (a regressive system).

They were also asked how state pensions and unemployment benefits should relate to their previous earnings--whether they should vary according to past contributions or likely need:

  • previous high earners should get more because they had paid in more, that is, they should be earnings-related;
  • they should get the same, through flat-rate entitlements;
  • previous low-earners should get more because their needs are greater, implying, for instance, that benefits should be means-tested.

options in a poll in the EU. it's weird cus i would support the last option (out of the last 3) and yet I know means-testing is a bad idea ... idk

conclusion: roughly evenly split between progressive and proportional, with the remainder supporting regressive

the other thing this example makes clear to me is that democracy itself is a great illustration of drift. the telos of having a democratic system is to produce a system that works. we use democracy as a heuristic because it seems like a reasonable one compared to others that have been tried. but there comes a time when we forget about the original purpose and start worshipping the structure. this idea that elections--as a symbol of democracy--are so incredibly important and pure and all that. when really democratic elections only "work"--that is, they only produce a system that works in the long run--if 1) you can trust people to vote correctly and 2) the options they are voting for are themselves optimal. elections should not be worshipped when we're living in an age that is essentially a hostile environment for democracy. when the average voter doesn't have all the information needed to make the right decisions and isn't truly empowered to make any important decisions. worshipping the idea of democracy as expressed through elections where one man = one vote will get you nowhere. you have to be able to modify the idea of democracy to fit the circumstances. you almost have to kill your heroes, actually

—p.36 Are the poor too expensive? (15) by John Hills 6 years, 6 months ago

[...] Someone buying a meal in a restaurant might use a card, as now, but the result would not be a transfer from their bank account to that of the restaurant; instead there would be a sale of shares from the diner's portfolio and the acquisition of different shares, or other assets, to the same value by the restaurant. [...] There would be no unique role for something called money in order to buy 'stuff'.

this passage kinda boggles the mind (I say so now, but I think I felt similarly when I first read this) cus how can you imagine such a strange concept (which is really functionally equivalent) but not then take the next step of asking why such a transfer is needed at all???? it's still money??? like that startup that tried to get people to do favours for each other in exchange for virtual currency (which they called karma I believe). why is it necessary to transfer wealth in order to support production or consumption??? DRIFT i'm telling you

—p.284 Innocence Regained: Reforming Money and Banking (250) by Mervyn King 6 years, 6 months ago

[...] With the triumph of neoliberalism, bureaucracy was supposed to be have been made obsolete [...] the way in which capitalism does actually work is very different from the picture presented by capitalist realism.

DRIFT (or, more accurately, a gap between expectation & reality)

—p.20 Capitalism and the Real (16) by Mark Fisher 6 years, 5 months ago

As for wealth, we live in a civilization which piously denies that it is an end in itself, and treats it exactly this way in practice. One of the most powerful indictments of capitalism is that it compels us to invest most of our creative energies in matters which are in fact purely utilitarian. The means of life become the end. Life consists in laying the material infrastructure for living. It is astonishing that in the twenty-first century, the material organization of life should bulk as large as it did in the Stone Age. The capital which might be devoted to releasing men and women, at least to some moderate degree, from the exigencies of labour is dedicated instead to the task of amassing more capital.

good quote

relevant to drift

—p.89 Is life what you make it? (78) by Terry Eagleton 6 years, 7 months ago

The affordability issue essentially comes down to two sets of choices--how high should the basic income or social dividend be, and what are society's fiscal priorities? There is nothing sacrosanct about existing tax systems, most of which are excessively complex and highly regressive. And this is without counting the enormous sums that are lost to government coffers through tax avoidance and evasion.

think about existing tax systems as an example of drift

—p.146 The Affordability Issue (127) by Guy Standing 6 years, 6 months ago

[...] Once the cash transfers started, parents had enough money to pay school fees, and teachers had money to buy paper, pens, books, posters, paints and brushes, making the school more attractive to parents and children and raising the moral and, probably, the capacity of its teachers.

2008-2009 (small village of 1000 people), with a state-run primary school that required a fee, which many parents couldn't pay

the fact that you needed a "pilot" to be run to ensure this would happen is mind-blowing. sure it's a classic market failure example, but is it not the job of the government to ensure that the economy works??? is that not the whole point??? if the government recognises that primary school education is a good idea, is it not so obviously important to ensure that it's well funded even at the potential psychological cost of printing money? god, what drift

—p.231 Basic Income and Development (217) by Guy Standing 6 years, 6 months ago

[...] In the UK, the existing system was well described by the Scottish National MP Ronnie Cowan in a House of Commons debate on basic income in September 2016:

If we were all given a blank sheet of paper and asked to design a welfare system, nobody--but nobody--would come up with the system we have now. They would need thousands of sheets of paper and would end up with a mishmash of abandoned projects, badly implemented and half-hearted ideas so complicated that it lets down those who need it most.

basically a system that needs to be refactored


—p.284 The Political Challenge--How To Get There From Here (279) by Guy Standing 6 years, 6 months ago

Instead of asking 'How should we deal with this crisis?' the powers that be asked an almost religious question: 'How should we bail out Greece, Ireland and the others without seeming to violate the no-bailout dogma?' It only takes a second's thought to realize that by posing the second question rather than the first Europe was bound to go astray.


—p.244 Europe's Crisis, America's Future (234) by Yanis Varoufakis 6 years, 6 months ago

"Power users! I don't just want uniques or impressions, eyeballs are cheap! I want young, cool, engaged, legitimately disabled influencers who'll bring in other active registered goddamn users!"She slapped her armrest and glowered at her glowering screen. "We only get one launch."

hello there drift

—p.277 by Tony Tulathimutte 6 years, 6 months ago

[...] John Jay Chapman (1862-1933), today a half-forgotten American political activist and essayist who wrote about political radicals:

The radicals are really always saying the same thing. They do not change; everybody else changes. They are accused of the most incompatible crimes, of egoism and a mania for power, indifference to the fate of their own cause, fanaticism, triviality, want of humour, buffoonery and irreverence. But they sound a certain note. Hence the great practical power of consistent radicals. To all appearance nobody follows them, yet everyone believes them. They hold a tuning-fork and sound A, and everybody knows it really is A, though the time-honoured pitch is G flat. The community cannot get that A out of its head. Nothing can prevent an upward tendency in the popular tone so long as the real A is kept sounding.

somewhat relevant to drift though almost in the opposite direction

—p.176 Epignosis (143) by Slavoj Žižek 6 years, 5 months ago