Sugar Daddy Capitalism: Even the World’s Oldest Profession Is Being Uberised

“The sleazy ‘sugar baby’ scandal involving Australian politician Andrew Broad, exposed for his reported cringy attempts to hook up with a woman almost half his age, might look like just another case of a politician caught in flagrante delicto. […] What gives this story greater social import is how the pair met – through a dating platform designed specifically to match wealthy men with young attractive women. Such sites, as I argue in a recently published book, symbolise the rise of what I call sugar daddy capitalism – a deformalisation movement at the centre of Western capitalism that is erasing already blurred lines between commercial and non-commercial worlds.

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Why a Market Model Is Destroying the Safeguards of the Professions

“We are all customers now; we are all supposed to be kings. But what if ‘being a customer’ is the wrong model for healthcare, education, and even highly specialised crafts and trades? What the market-based model overlooks is hyperspecialisation […]. We depend on other people’s knowledge and expertise, because we can learn and study only so many things in our lifetimes. Whenever specialist knowledge is at stake, we are the opposite of a well-informed customer. […] But it can be hard to trust professionals forced to work in neoliberal regimes.”

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The Downside of Doing Good with a Market Mindset

“In his provocative new book “Winners Take All” [which “grew from a controversial talk he made in 2015″] Giridharadas contends that the wealthy philanthropists and other prominent social change leaders co-exist in a parallel universe he calls ‘MarketWorld,’ where the best solutions to society’s problems require the same knowhow used in corporate boardrooms. That is because MarketWorld, as he sees it, ignores the underlying causes for problems like poverty and hunger.”

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The Economics of ‘Cash for Cane Toads’ – A Textbook Example of Perverse Incentives

“Hanson’s proposal involves paying welfare recipients 10 cents for each toad they collect (alive) and hand over to their local council. The council would then kill the toads humanely in large freezers. […] That’s the crux of why this payment scheme wouldn’t work. Setting a high price perverts the incentives, while setting a low price crowds out intrinsic motivations. In either case, taxpayer money is wasted and the toad problem is potentially made worse.”

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Adam Smith on Externalities

“A friend recently inquired about Adam Smith’s view on externalities. A much longer post is needed to break apart several important ideas. First, one would need to disentangle the invisible hand concept from market “efficiency.” […] Second, while Smith does not discuss (to my awareness) externalities arising from environmental pollution, he did write that private market transactions could pollute or corrupt one’s mind. Here are two examples, one negative and one positive.”

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Climate Action Must Now Focus on the Global Rich and Their Corporations

“It is really important that we […] move past ‘national action plans’ and start to take action immediately against two groups largely responsible for climate change. They are the 100 or so corporations responsible for 71% of global carbon emissions and the wealthiest 10% of the global population responsible for 50% of consumption emissions. […] Focusing on the wealthy and their corporations would enable us to bring about an immediate cut in carbon emissions. But it would also form part of a just transition”

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Has Consumerism Taken over Christmas? Two Marketing Experts Discuss

“Christmas is a time of cheer – and shopping. For some, the commercialisation of this festive period – from column inches about Christmas adverts to the appearance of gifts and merchandise on shelves three months before – eats into the spirit of things. […] Isabelle Szmigin, professor of marketing, and Caroline Moraes, senior lecturer in marketing, talk about the balance between giving and economics, and what the season is really here for.”

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Piketty’s Plan for Europe Would Mean More Power to the Politicians

“all this extra cash will simply come from Evil Corporations and the rich, so the masses will remain unaffected – except if those companies compensate for higher taxes by raising prices and holding down wages. Nor do the authors seem concerned that raising corporate taxes will have a dampening effect on investment or growth, which is one of the core problems the Manifesto seeks to tackle in the first place.” – response to a manifesto launched by Thomas Piketty and others.

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Neoliberalism Has Led to a Crisis in Care – And We Urgently Need to Solve It

“neoliberalism is not merely an economic system of financialised capitalism. Rather, it is also a form of reason that remakes everything into the image of the market. […] The value of people, the Earth’s resources, and all other living things are increasingly being judged by market categories such as profitability, dividends, and value appreciation — precisely like stock portfolios.”

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