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Beware the Optimates!

After nearly four centuries of Republican government, Rome began its century-long descent toward tyranny1 beginning about 133 BC with the murder of the Gracchus brothers.2 Perhaps the chief facilitator of that descent was the conservative/traditionalist group of elites in the Roman Senate—a group that came to be dubbed the optimates (“the best”).3 They claimed to

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“Lucky” You? Lucky Them?

Recently, a Thanksgiving-dinner conversation turned to the multiple sins of multinational corporations. Our well-to-do host sprang forcefully to the defense of corporations, discounting their sins, because they create jobs—MILLIONS of jobs, filled by lucky employees! The discussion aborted and we turned to more banal matters. But the image of “Lucky,” from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for

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How Long Till We Get It??!

—▪ that unregulated competition destroys competition.—▪ that mergers and acquisitions are mere façades of growth.—▪ that too-big-to-fail SHOULD MEAN too-big-to-be!—▪ that short-term profit mentality does not produce long-term productivity.—▪ that “opposites attract the same lobbyists.” (So whether conservative, liberal, Republican, or Democrat, the concessions and catering to power-brokers descends the same beaten path.)—▪ that unregulated

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