Saturday, May 06, 2017

Game of Mates: Trivia Night

We want a world where life is preserved, and the quality of life is enriched for everybody, not only for the privileged.
Isabel Allende

New Museum of Failure Credit Slips

Game of Mates helps to reveal the absurdity  of what is falsely called free-market capitalism, as it is thoroughly infected by rent extractors. Recent research has demonstrated that Australia’s private sector is dominated by cartels of monopolists, duopolists and oligopolists to an even greater extent than the US, the latter of which is often considered the home of crony capitalism. This is no mean feat...

By Phil Soos, originally published at LF Economics

This is LF Economics’ first review of a book, entitled Game of Mates: How Favours Bleed the Nation by economists Cameron K. Murray and Paul Frijters. The name is a play upon the wonderful TV seriesGame of Thrones and rightfully so, given both are about how a small number of wealthy and highly-connected individuals, often operating within a cluster of powerful networks, rig rules, policy, laws and ideology for their personal and class benefit.
Game of Mates is a gold mine of information on the racket of rent extraction for a number of reasons. First, it provides background on how the game slowly evolves (Chapter 1) by contrasting the hard-working Aussie Bruce with the connected insider and rent extractor known as James. By using the power of networking and soft corruption, the wealthy James (the 1%) is able to rip-off Bruce (the public) legally without violating the rule of law.

Yves here. Even though predatory capitalism has some local variations, many of the basic elements of the Down Under version will look very familiar to Americans. Cameron Murray’s and Paul Frijters’ new book Game of Mates examines how the impulse to cooperate leads to the formation of networks among the elites. This is similar to the thesis of Janine Wedel in her book The Shadow Elites, but takes a hard look at how these networks engage in rent extraction. Game of Mates describes how these mechanisms work, how much it costs, and what citizens can do about it.

Here’s the first of a series of overview 

Michael West on crony capitalism Tackling the big tax swindlers

"As a writer, my principal observation about why other writers fail is that they are in too much of a hurry," says Malcolm Gladwell. "I don’t think you can write a good book in two years."... Malcolm Gladwell on Why We Shouldn’t Value Speed Over Power

Arbus, Arendt, Didion, McCarthy, Sontag, Weil: Critics saw them as "pitiless," "icy," "clinical." They pursued heartlessness as an intellectual style...  Style  

Walt Whitman, lifestyle guru. To cultivate "manly health,” he advised: Get up early, wash with cold water, climb trees, grow beards... Reading tea leaves 

Ezra and Papa. They partied in Paris, promoted each other's work, and took up boxing. Then Hemingway moved to Key West, and Pound took an interest in Italian politics...  DJ   Of Parties