Capital: Asset Stripping and Leveraging 101

A friend of mine retired from an IT executive job and she and her husband decided to become wealthy capitalists in their retirement. Since the evils of capitalism are a frequent topic here on FtB, maybe it’s a good idea to do a quick explainer of how a few of those evils work. These are the simple ones, and I’ll describe them as cleanly as I can so you can understand what’s going on when you hear about it elsewhere.

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A Lovely Bit of Thinking

This is a piece I stumbled across a few years ago; it’s interesting, especially considering when it was written: 1949. The author was looking back at Europe’s successive troubles and accurately saw the disturbance as an effect of the economics of the industrial revolution. The analysis seems pretty simple to me: imperialism was waning and the vast changes in the European powers’ economies brought on by new industrial processes (in particular, weaponry) created a perfect storm of events that – for a time – discredited capitalism. The Russian revolution was through the process of turning into Stalin’s dictatorship – discrediting communism in turn. Aristocracy, in the form of the family of elite pinheads who destroyed Europe, didn’t look particularly good, either.

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Something Jobs Something Title Something

Game-Master: “You peer over the edge, down into the cave. Below is a huge dragon, lying on a mound of gold.”
Rogue: “Is it asleep?”
Game-Master: “You hear deep rumbling snores.”
Party-Leader: “Great. We sneak back to town and take all the villagers’ gold. Then we sneak back to the cave, and add the villagers’ gold to the dragon’s pile without waking it up. The dragon will create jobs for everyone!”

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My Subversive Thing

I’m slow on the uptake because I usually have my head in the clouds or I’m glaring at some project and not thinking about anything else. But hanging out at pharyngula back in the scienceblogs days helped clue me in to the gender imbalance in tech. (It required a few privilege-checks and beatings)

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