Monday, July 16, 2018

The Atlantic slave trade: What too few textbooks told you - Anthony Hazard

How the Western ruling elite made their wealth, and today with that wealth they are buying up the World. They call it free trade, liberalisation, capitalism, and democracy, and convince people it is about the protestant work ethic, a reward for hard work, but it's more like a game of monopoly where the winners get an exponential rise in wealth with less and less effort.  In fact, with hardly any effort at all when the slave trade made them their enormous wealth to start with.

And then Western banks create the money out of thin air for next to nothing and the elite can go on a massive buy up with that.  One day, western oil companies may get to own Venezuelan's oil too, and the Venezuelan people will get nothing.

This is a very sad video clip. The brutality is horrendous, and Africa remains a broken continent today because of what the Europeans and the Americans did.




Britain’s iFeudalism - Renegade Inc

In Europe during the Middle Ages feudalism was the social order of the day. Society was structured between landowners and the landless. Astonishingly in the UK today that social order is, again, on the rise. A growing number of leasehold homeowners are at the mercy of a new class of rent-seeker - actively exploit them in their own homes through onerous ground rents and permission fees. Many of these homes were bought through the government sanctioned Help To Buy Scheme which has fuelled house builders profits and led to massive remuneration packages for CEOs. So on this show we uncover the sleight of hand behind this growing crisis. Host Ross Ashcroft​ is joined by the founder of the National Leasehold Campaign Katie Kendrick and Director of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership​, Sebastian O’Kelly.




Chris Hedges - The War on Assange Is a War on Press Freedom

Julian Assange exposed the terrible crimes of the empire but no one in the MSM is defending him. He's a hero but they make him out as some bad guy, and most people seem to believe it. 

There was once a moderate left in the MSM but now that had gone. The public is unaware and doesn't seem to care, but how can it care if they don't get the facts, only a boring, uninteresting, unexciting, mediocre politics, with celebrity gossip, along with endless photographs of the Royal Family. No real news at all. KV.


The failure on the part of establishment media to defend Julian Assange, who has been trapped in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, has been denied communication with the outside world since March and appears to be facing imminent expulsion and arrest, is astonishing. The extradition of the publisher -- the maniacal goal of the U.S. government -- would set a legal precedent that would criminalize any journalistic oversight or investigation of the corporate state. It would turn leaks and whistleblowing into treason. It would shroud in total secrecy the actions of the ruling global elites. If Assange is extradited to the United States and sentenced, The New York Times, The Washington Post and every other media organization, no matter how tepid their coverage of the corporate state, would be subject to the same draconian censorship. Under the precedent set, Donald Trump's Supreme Court would enthusiastically uphold the arrest and imprisonment of any publisher, editor or reporter in the name of national security.


Moreno's predecessor as president, Rafael Correa, who granted Assange asylum in the embassy and made him an Ecuadorean citizen last year, warned that Assange's "days were numbered." He charged that Moreno -- who cut off Assange's communications the day after Moreno welcomed a delegation from the U.S. Southern Command -- would "throw him out of the embassy at the first pressure from the United States."

The persecution of Assange is part of a broad assault against anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist news organizations. The ruling elites, who refuse to accept responsibility for profound social inequality or the crimes of empire, have no ideological veneer left to justify their greed, ineptitude and pillage. Global capitalism and its ideological justification, neoliberalism, are discredited as forces for democracy and the equitable distribution of wealth. The corporate-controlled economic and political system is as hated by right-wing populists as it is by the rest of the population. This makes the critics of corporatism and imperialism -- journalists, writers, dissidents and intellectuals already pushed to the margins of the media landscape -- dangerous and it makes them prime targets. Assange is at the top of the list.

I took part with dozens of others, including Daniel Ellsberg, William BinneyCraig MurrayPeter Van BurenSlavoj Zizek, George Galloway and Cian Westmoreland, a week ago in a 36-hour international online vigil demanding freedom for the WikiLeaks publisher. The vigil was organized by the New Zealand Internet Party leader Suzie Dawson. It was the third Unity4J vigil since all of Assange's communication with the outside world was severed by the Ecuadorean authorities and visits with him were suspended in March, part of the increased pressure the United States has brought on the Ecuadorean government. Assange has since March been allowed to meet only with his attorneys and consular officials from the Australian Embassy.

OpEdNews 

Chris Hedges - The War on Assange Is a War on Press Freedom

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Publius Tacitus — America's Russia Derangement Syndrome


Things to keep in mind as the world prepares for the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki.

Sic Semper Tyrannis
America's Russia Derangement Syndrome
Publius Tacitus

Immanuel Wallerstein — Two Cheers for Mexico’s AMLO: A Great Victory for the Left


Backgrounder. Short.

Immanuel Wallerstein
Two Cheers for Mexico’s AMLO: A Great Victory for the Left
Immanuel Wallerstein | Senior Research Scholar, Yale University, formerly a professor of sociology

David Honig — Trumps's style of "distributive bargaining"


Distributive bargaining is win-lose aka zero-sum. Integrative bargaining is win-win aka compromise.

Distributive bargaining is based on the assumption of conflict between the interest of the parties in dividing a fixed pie, while integrative bargaining is about cooperation on common interests and compromise on other interests to grow the pie.

Trump's bargaining style based on his business background is distributive and based on competition, where there is a winner and a loser at the striking of the bargain. 

The Chinese style of bargaining is integrative and aims at satisfying the interest of all by cooperation in a more open-ended arrangement.

Not a great analysis of Trump's m.o. but worth a read if there's time. It's short, and it's a hot topic now.

Some see Trump's style as simplistic for the international situation and others as being 5-D chess that only Trump can understand.

My view is that Trump is a lot better negotiator in this regard than the opposing side gives him credit for, but I also think that he tends to look at international deals in terms of particulars, so he can claim a win in each case. But the international chess board is more complicated than that. It's like playing chess with the intention of never losing even a pawn in the game. But Trump also knows when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. The game consists of many hands.

Geopolitika
Trumps's style of "distributive bargaining"
David Honig

Humanizing Corporations — David Sloan Wilson interviews Per L. Saxegaard

Imagine, if you can, that corporations truly are like people. They would vary in their dispositions. Some would be selfish and short-sighted, caring only about their own immediate gain. Others would be more prosocial and far-sighted, genuinely caring about the world around them and willing to do their part to promote the common good. As with real people, the cooperators would be in danger of exploitation by the knaves, but they would also be able to protect themselves by banding together, establishing norms of proper conduct and punishing transgressors. That’s how individual cooperators manage to survive and even thrive in a Darwinian world. Why shouldn’t the same be true in a world of corporate people?
One person who is able to imagine this scenario is Per L. Saxegaard, a former Norwegian investment banker who decided to create the equivalent of a Nobel Prize to recognize enlightened business leaders. He does this through the Business for Peace Foundation, which was founded in 2007....
PLS: So, it struck me that what we need to focus on in business is to get these two curves, the “making money” curve and the “making a difference” curve, to come together. We need to make money while making a difference to other people; merging profit with a higher purpose, while acting ethically and responsible. We coined it to be businessworthy. All business people know the concept of being creditworthy. That’s about not losing other people’s money. Being businessworthy is about earning other people’s trust. You can’t buy trust. Others give it to you....
Evonomics
Humanizing Corporations: A Nobel Prize for Enlightened Business Leaders
David Sloan Wilson interviews Per L. Saxegaard, the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Business for Peace Foundation

Also at Evonomics
It’s conventional wisdom in business circles today that corporate directors should “maximize shareholder value.” Corporations supposedly exist to serve shareholders’ interests, and not (or at least, not directly) those of executives, employees, customers, or the community. However, this shareholder-value dogma begs a fundamental question. What, exactly, do shareholders value?
Most shareholder-value advocates assume that shareholders care only about their own wealth. But it is increasingly accepted that the homo economicus model of purely selfish behavior doesn’t always apply. This possibility provides a challenge to the dominant business paradigm of “maximizing shareholder value:” the concept of the prosocial shareholder.
THE SOCIAL ANIMAL
The problem with the homo economicus theory is that the purely rational, purely selfish person is a functional psychopath. If Economic Man cares nothing for ethics or others’ welfare, he will lie, cheat, steal, even murder, whenever it serves his material interests. Not surprisingly, although homo economicus is alive and well in many economics departments, many experts today prefer to embrace behavioral economics, which relies on data from experiments to see how real people really behave. Behavioral economics confirms something both important and reassuring. Most of us are not conscienceless psychopaths....
I can recall the look we gave each other when introduced to homo economicus in Econ 101.

We all thought, like WTF? Are people really like that.

It seemed nonsensical, then at least.

But as one is further exposed to conventional economics, one begins to think that people are actually like that.

How the Dominant Business Paradigm Turns Nice People into Psychopaths
Lynn Stout | Distinguished Professor of Corporate and Business Law at Cornell Law School


See also



Medium
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life Might Just Help You Live a More Fulfilling Life
Thomas Oppong

Brad DeLong — Joseph Goebbels (1932): Those Damned Nazis!: Weekend Reading


Should read. Goebbels present Nazism as a political form that combines nationalism, socialism, populism, and progressivism, and is opposed to internationalism, bourgeois liberalism, and capitalism, which Goebbels equates with "international Jewry."

Grasping Reality
Joseph Goebbels (1932): Those Damned Nazis!: Weekend Reading
Brad DeLong | Professor of Economics, UCAL Berkeley

Bill McBride — The Longest Economic and Housing Expansions in U.S. History

According to NBER, the four longest expansions in U.S. history are:
1) From a trough in March 1991 to a peak in March 2001 (120 months).
2) From a trough in June 2009 to today, July 2018 (109 months and counting).
3) From a trough in February 1961 to a peak in December 1969 (106 months).
4) From a trough in November 1982 to a peak in July 1990 (92 months).
So the current expansion is the second longest, and it seems very likely that the current expansion will surpass the '90s expansion in the Summer of 2019....
Calculated Risk
The Longest Economic and Housing Expansions in U.S. History
Bill McBride

Caitlin Johnstone — Five Things That Would Make The CIA/CNN Russia Narrative More Believable

Rallying the world to cut off Russia from the world stage and cripple its economy has been been a goal of the US power establishment since the collapse of the Soviet Union, so there’s no reason to believe that even the people who are making the claims against Russia actually believe them. The goal is crippling Russia to handicap China, and ultimately to shore up global hegemony for the US-centralized empire by preventing the rise of any rival superpowers. The sociopathic alliance of plutocrats and intelligence/defense agencies who control that empire are willing to threaten nuclear confrontation in order to ensure their continued dominance. All of their actions against Russia since 2016 have had everything to do with establishing long-term planetary dominance and nothing whatsoever to do with election meddling.
Those five things [analyzed above in the article] would need to happen before I’d be willing to jump aboard the “Russia! Russia!” train. Until then I’ll just keep pointing to the total lack of evidence and how very, very far the CIA/CNN Russia narrative is from credibility.
Questioning the narrative and find it wanting.

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Five Things That Would Make The CIA/CNN Russia Narrative More Believable
Caitlin Johnstone

Also by the same author
I have said it before, and I will say it again, and I will keep saying it and saying it until it becomes mainstream conventional wisdom: it is the US intelligence community’s job to lie to you....
As we learned in the lead up to the Iraq invasion, whenever you see all mass media outlets converge upon a single narrative, it’s time to crank your skepticism levels up to eleven....
The social engineers are so adept that self-identified progressives can be made to cheer for the FBI, self-identified nationalists can be made to cheer for neoconservative regime change agendas against Iran, and self-identified liberals can literally be made to fear a movement away from the possibility of nuclear holocaust....
Since cold wars per definition depend on non-military maneuverings, a much greater emphasis is necessarily placed on psyops and mass media propaganda than in a conventional hot war. Remain skeptical of everything you hear about Russia at all times, because I will say it again: it is the US intelligence community’s job to lie to you....
Two Big “Russia! Russia!” Stories Released Days Before Trump-Putin Summit

See also

Backing up Caitlin Johnstone's claims based on skepticism and suspicion with authority. Must-read.
With Friday’s indictments of Russian intelligence officers, Ray McGovern and Bill Binney have written an open letter to President Trump making clear that the “evidence” behind the indictments is as fraudulent as the intelligence alleging WMD in Iraq. It is being published exclusively here ahead of the Trump-Putin summit on Monday.
Consortium News
Memo to the President Ahead of Monday’s Summit
Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, former chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and briefer for the President’s Daily Brief one-on-one from 1981-1985, and William Binney, retired 36 year NSA veteran, formerly technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting, and developer of many of the collection systems still used by NSA

See also
Mueller could not have picked a more auspicious date if he weren’t an ignoramus on the history of autocracy and democracy, European and American. For it is one day later, on July 14, when every year France celebrates the start of the French Revolution. The reason for the celebration is the end of abuse of power by kings and pretenders to state authority, and their replacement by the democratic rule of law. That revolution, like the annual celebration, isn’t quite over.

What Mueller did this year was to issue what was called, before July 14, 1789, a lettre de cachet – a letter with the royal signet or seal. In the French practice, this was a combination of indictment, conviction, and order for arrest, confiscation of property, and punishment of an individual, who had no right in law to know the charge against him; prove the evidence; appeal the sentence.
The Mueller indictment of twelve officers of the Russian military intelligence agency, GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff) is a fresh US-Government style lettre de cachet. It names the men accused, their crimes, and the punishment. The penalties include “upon conviction [the twelve] shall forfeit to the United States any property, real or personal, which constitutes or is derived from proceeds obtained directly or indirectly as a result of such violation, and any personal property that was used or intended to be used to commit or to facilitate the commission of such offense.”

Mueller has neither the power nor the intention of trying the accused, or the particulars of his lettre, in an American court of law. This is why on July 13 he intended to violate the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution, first introduced in Philadelphia on June 8, 1789, just a month before the lettre de cachet lost its power in Paris. The Fifth Amendment says noone shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”...
Dances with Bears
Robert Mueller Replaces Us Constitution With Royal Lettre De Cachet – Counter-Intelligence Operation As Due Process
John Helmer

See also

The timing of the announcement was clearly intended to embarrass Trump as he was meeting the Queen and to undermine his upcoming meeting with Putin on July 16. The indictments may also have been meant to embarrass Russia two days before the World Cup final to be held in Moscow....
“In this indictment there is detail after detail whose only source could be intelligence, yet you don’t use intelligence in documents like this because if these defendants decide to challenge this in court, it opens the U.S. to having to expose sources and methods,” [former CIA officer Larry] Johnson said.
If the U.S. invoked the states secret privilege so that classified evidence could not be revealed in court a conviction before a civilian jury would be jeopardized.

Such a trial is extremely unlikely however. That makes the indictment essentially a political and not a legal document because it is almost inconceivable that the U.S. government will have to present any evidence in court to back up its charges. This is simply because of the extreme unlikelihood that arrests of Russians living in Russia will ever be made....
In both the IRA case and Friday’s indictments, the extremely remote possibility of convictions were not what Mueller was apparently after, but rather the public perception of Russia’s guilt resulting from fevered media coverage of what are after all only accusations, presented as though it is established fact. Once that impression is settled into the public consciousness, Mueller’s mission would appear to be accomplished....
It is not only allies of Trump, as the Times thinks, who believe the timing of the indictments, indeed the entire Russia-gate scandal, is intended to prevent Trump from pursuing detente with nuclear-armed Russia. Trump said of the indictments that, “I think that really hurts our country and it really hurts our relationship with Russia. I think that we would have a chance to have a very good relationship with Russia and a very good chance — a very good relationship with President Putin.”
There certainly appear to be powerful forces in the U.S. that want to stop that....
Consortium News
Clinging to Collusion: Why Evidence Will Probably Never Be Produced in the Indictments of ‘Russian Agents’
Joe Lauria | editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Sunday Times of London, and other newspapers

See also
NOTE: There will likely be various amendments made to this article over the next 24 hours.
Disobedient Media
Mueller’s Latest Indictment Contradicts Evidence In The Public Domain
Adam Carter

See also
This is the sort of political climate that the Trump administration has been forced to deal with for almost two years – a non-stop full court rush from the Democrats.
And now, when there is a chance for the smallest breakthrough in US-Russia relations, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, rolls out charges against 12 Russian military officials, thereby severely polluting the atmosphere for the Putin-Trump summit.
Clearly, something has got to give one way or the other. The fate of relations between the world’s two premier nuclear powers can no longer be held hostage to poor-sport Democrats who simply do not know how to lose an election with grace.
Strategic Culture Foundation
US Deep State Hits Putin-Trump Summit with Preemptive Strike as Russiagate Fizzles Out
Robert Bridge

The story is "developing." In the absence of evidence, it looks like disinformation and pysops.

Diane Coyle — Our Gilded Age (India version)


Short review of FT’s former Mumbai bureau chief James Crabtree’s The Billionaire Raj.
The theme of the book is corruption, and its co-evolution with the Indian economy as the ‘licence raj’ restrictions were progressively removed, and new sectors like telecoms grew dramatically. In this new world, the super-wealthy businessmen and the politicians found they needed each other: the deployment of legislation and contracts helped the former, the opportunity to take part in business helped the latter. As one of the interviewees puts it: “They [the politicians] are saying: ‘We don’t want briefcases full of cash and Swiss bank accounts and all that any more. We want to own businesses ourselves. We want equity stakes.”...
The Enlightened Economist
Our Gilded Age (India version)
Diane Coyle | freelance economist and a former advisor to the UK Treasury. She is a member of the UK Competition Commission and is acting Chairman of the BBC Trust, the governing body of the British Broadcasting Corporation

Kaivey - Why Fiat Money is Real Money

Some people think that because banks create fiat money out of thin air it is not real money, and they might call it funny money, but what is money?

Money is work done or the promise to do work, i.e, you can buy a product that someone made (work done), or get someone to do work for you.

So, do banks create money out of thin air? What they do is get you to sign a contract that you will promise to do the work necessary to pay money back, in other words, the borrower creates the money by doing work, often over many months, or years. So we could say the borrower gives the fiat money value as he works to pay the loan off.

So you get a loan for $10,000 and the bank credits your account by putting in the number 10,000 and it appears that the money came out of thin air, as libertarians believe. But let's say now that the borrower does two hours overtime a night to pay off the loan and it takes him two years to do it, and as he pays his loan off the amount be owes goes down and the 10,000 figure slowly gets reduced to zero.

So you can see that the borrower created the money by doing work. The fiat system - where the money is created up front - is a brilliant system for facilitating this money equals work process where people can do the work after they have got the fiat money as a loan (where this loan is the promise to do work that will be done in the future), and as they work to pay off the loan the money is given its real value. The work they do is the money.

Fiat money smooths everything out so you don't have to make what it is you need yourself -  so you can work in accounting instead, or whatever. Fiat money makes it easy for us do work for each other.  By getting the fiat money upfront as a loan, we then have to do the work to pay off the loan. So, money = the work we do.

So you can see that fiat money is real money.



The Next System — Money Matters – Why Monetary Theory and Policy Is a Critical Terrain For the Left


Summary an all-star cast.

The Next System
Money Matters— Why Monetary Theory and Policy Is a Critical Terrain For the Left
ht Footsoldier in the comments

Steve Keen - USA DEBT, THE ECONOMIC CRASH COMING SOON

Here, Steve Keen goes over his familiar ground of too much private debt which will lead to the next financial crash so a debt jumble is required. Well, you will all be familiar with that but it is still a great interview nonetheless. Where it got really interesting is near the end where Steve Keen talks about private banking and China.

Private banks can make the money out of thin air and charge a small interest to cover the costs of the service, but if the borrower fails to repay some of his loan the bank can claim the borrowed assets, or home, or business, and for this reason Steve Keen says banks should be heavily regulated.

About China,  he says their banks are creating deficits at 15% of the economy which is three times greater than the New Deal. He then talks about China's ghost cities which are badly made and buildings often don't have services yet, but he says everyone is busy and has a job. He considers the ghost cities to be a failure but now Nomi Prins  is saying how the Chinese high speed rail is joining the cities up and people are moving into them.

What Steve Keen does praise is how China spent money on its high speed rail. He says the Chinese are not imperialist and do not demand that a country privatise all its infrastructure so that its elite can buy everything up, like the West does. Instead they say to a country we will pay for all the high speed rail we put in your country and you can use it how to please sending goods and services to other countries, including China, as along as we can send goods and services to your country and other countries further along the line. It's a win, win, for everyone.



Saturday, July 14, 2018

Jesse — Real News: About That Russian Hacking Indictment And Its Willful Misuse


I had similar thoughts perusing Risen's article at The Intercept.

Jesse's Café Américain
Real News: About That Russian Hacking Indictment And Its Willful Misuse
Jesse

Oleg Komlik — Robert Solow’s sarcastic economics


You may have seen these comments by Robert Solow before, but it is convenient to have them collected in one place.

Economic Sociology and Political Economy
Robert Solow’s sarcastic economics
Oleg Komlik | founder and editor-in-chief of the ES/PE, Chairman of the Junior Sociologists Network at the International Sociological Association, a PhD Candidate in Economic Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University, and a Lecturer in the School of Behavioral Sciences at the College of Management Academic Studies

The Duran - Vladimir Putin CRUSHES George Soros for all western "leaders" to see



I quite like Putin, and so does PCR and Stephen lendman. Western politicians are loud, arrogant, and abrasive and full of ego. In the video below Putin comes over as relaxed and unassuming. Of course, I don't know what he is really like, but I have watched quite a few Putin videos over the years and he always comes across as a decent guy to me. But I'm not naive, you don't get to the top of Russia and take on the gangsters and the oligarchs - who want to hand Russia over to the US to make a lot of money -without being a pretty tough guy. But I'm pretty certain he is nowhere near as bad as our Western political leaders. Time will tell?


Dec 5th - Standard industry visit - Putin talks to some young engineers.

Bryan Gocke - They say there’s no “magic money tree”…well there is! But…

Let's hope Jeremy Corbyn and his team cotton on to MMT soon. This will leave the Tories as the high taxation, austerity party with diminished public services. Pay more, get less.

Bryan Gocke says that MMT would be difficult to implement as the elite have so much power and run the financial system and corporations and would stymie a Labour party which tried to implement it, but he thinks there's a chance it could win through. I might add, after all, who would have thought the NHS could have come about with so many vested interests against it.

Bryan Gocke says the corporate media won't be much good at spreading the idea of MMT, but the it can be spread through the social media and the internet as the young and many people now mostly use that now for their news. KV

In Britain, if it wasn’t for BREXIT we would be discussing (among other things) Labour’s proposed economic policies, including an expansion of public sector spending. There would be a storm of media led disparagement about plans to stimulate the economy through borrowing and increased taxation and concerns raised about not paying down the national debt. As Theresa May said whilst campaigning for the last general election “There is no magic money tree.”
I find it particularly disheartening that many well informed, left leaning people buy this criticism, worrying whether the country can afford improved public services and whether this will make Labour unelectable. The stock response of the Left to this would normally go along the lines of:
  • The Tories are in disarray and deeply split over BREXIT and thus just might be even more unelectable than a slightly radical Labour Party.
  • Britain is a rich country; surely it can afford better public services than it currently has?
  • Labour’s proposals are, in truth, underwhelming! They represent such a modest step in a process required to reverse a decade of austerity and cuts.
  • Revenue from taxation in Britain has become wholly inadequate to the task of ensuring a fair, equitable society. Increased progressive taxation would begin to re-establish a common, shared responsibility for all citizens and fund the necessary increase in public spending.
  • The current focus on ensuring a balanced national budget and paying down the National Debt is misplaced and thwarts economic regeneration and development. Britain, with its well established capital markets, has had no trouble borrowing funds to finance the public sector deficit since the financial crisis of 2008 [1] and thus could fund public sector programmes in this way in the future. At current, low, levels of interest, it would be foolish not to do so! Moreover, provided that interest and repayments are in Sterling (hence avoiding the risk of exchange rate fluctuations), borrowing essentially represents a transfer of funds from savers to the Government – the country as a whole is neither richer nor poorer. A large proportion of the national debt is money that we owe to ourselves. However, the payment of interest does represent a transfer of funds from taxpayers to savers; individuals and commercial organisations profit from the need for the Government to borrow.
  • An economic stimulus focussed on improving public services could be used to re-establish secure, full time jobs and help to reverse the current trend towards precarious short term zero hours contracts[2]. The wages would almost entirely be spent by the workers (as opposed to being hoarded / used for speculation by richer people) and thus would serve to stimulate the economy further through the multiplier effect. Spending wages will stimulate other parts of the economy; you get a bigger bang for your buck as well as progress towards a better society!
It was with considerable interest therefore that I read a recent article by Jim Kavanagh on Modern Monetary Theory [3], which suggested that the Left needs to update and refine the way it promotes the credibility of a an economic stimulus approach that focusses on investing in public services.

Jim provides an excellent summary of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and I will attempt a rather briefer one here in order to provide the context for a discussion about the chances for implementation in Britain and its possible consequences.
The Off-Guardian


Conditional Falsehood


This is false for a fixed regulatory capital and when subjected to time domain analysis:




Not taking issue with netbacker but perhaps the one who put this idea in his head...



Paul Jay - The Billionaire Class is Not Fit to Rule

Paul Jay describes everything they is wrong with our society and what we can do to save it. The elites are not fit to rule, says Paul Jay, as they are in an orgy of mass profits and can't believe their luck, and so they have no incentive to change, even if they are bringing the world to an end. They are also destroying western civilisation as Nomi Prins describes.

The elites believe they can ride the storms of climate change and environmental destructing and watch the world go to hell while they live safely up in the hills served by robots.

The military -industrial complex brings them massive profits and so they are happy to have the world in a state of hair trigger total destruction.

This capitalist system appears to work, but really it's a failure as the vast majority of people in the world are driven into poverty.



The ruling elites are creating a world where the majority of people suffer the consequences of the climate crisis and massive unemployment while the super-rich use artificial intelligence to save themselves - a commentary by TRNN’s Senior Editor

Nomi Prins WARNING* Biggest Currency Reboot in 100 Years (By July-2018) The Central Banks Unleash

Just when you thought it was safe -  more doom and gloom from Nomi Prins who predicts another financial bust coming soon.

She says how Western central banks bailed out the banks but did nothing form main street, but in China the central bank used quantitive easing to rebuild its infrastructure, like putting high speed rail all over the country. She says how the West laughed at the ghost cities that China built which stood empty, but China plans long term and the new high speed rail system is now linking the cities up and people are moving into them, depopulating the overcrowded large cities. This means less congestion and pollution and nicer cities to live in.

The bankers and the CEO's used the money instead to buy back shares and inflate asset prices to give themselves huge bonuses rather than invest in their companies.



In the video below Greg Hunter interviews Nomi Prins about her new book, Collusion, How Central Bankers Rigged the World. Greg Hunter says his show is bipartisan but he comes across as a bit of a gold bug libertarian to me. Nomi Prins doesn't place a lot of emphasis of getting into gold and silver, but says pay off your debts.



Will the next crash be worse than the last one? Prins says, “Yes, it will because we will be falling from a higher height. The idea here is you are sinking on the Titanic as opposed to sinking on a canoe somewhere. All of this artificial conjured money is puffing up the system, along with money that is borrowed cheaply is also puffing up the system and creating asset bubbles everywhere. So, when things pop, there is more leakage to happen. The air in all these bubbles has created larger bubbles than we have had before.” How does the common man protect himself? Prins says, “They have to own things, and by that I mean real assets, hard assets like silver and gold. That’s not as liquid, so taking cash out of banks and sort of keeping it in real things and keeping it on site . . . keeping cash physically. You need to extract it from the system because the reality is when a financial crisis happens, banks close their doors to depositors. . . . Also, basically try to decrease your debt.” Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with two-time, best-selling author Nomi Prins, who just released “Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged The World.”

For those who do not have time for the video, this is from Zero Hedge. KV

The enormity of our current global debt problem is caused by central bankers.  Prins explains, “It is huge...
"The debt is between two and a half to three times global GDP, which is an historical high.  Debt to GDP throughout the developed world is higher than it has ever been, and it continues to grow.  Why?  Because money continues to be conjured up and rendered cheap for the participants at the top of the financial system.  The banks, the major corporations, the people who make money out of that, and it hasn’t washed down to the rest of the economy.  This is why most people feel this anxiety about another potential financial crisis, but also about what happens every day in their own pocketbooks. 
So, it is worse.  These central banks today, 10 years after the financial crisis occurred, that was supposed to be an emergency situation.  They have $21 trillion worth of conjured money in return for debt assets, stocks and corporate bonds around the world. 
If they pulled that plug, if they were to take down any of the $21 trillion, even a little bit . . . it would begin to create a major rupture in the financial system.  This is why I say the central banks are the market.  Without them, the markets would be nowhere near these highs. If they pulled their help and subsidies, the market would plummet really quickly.”  
Prins admits this has gone on for longer than most believed possible, but says it can’t go on forever. How does it all end?  Prins, who was a former top Wall Street banker, says,
“We will eventually get a crash because, at some point, the amount of quantitative easing, or conjured money to buy assets out of the market to pump up the...financial system, will come to this head where even though these major central banks are continuing to dump money in. 
There will be ruptures at the bottom of the economy . . . even though they are borrowing cheap money, they just can’t make enough money to service very cheap debt.  Consumers, who are at all-time debt highs, don’t have enough to continue to service their debt.  When these things happen at the same time in terms of lack of payments, delinquencies and defaults, then money will be taken out of the stock markets to plug the gap, and then the stock market comes down.  It will start with debt disintegrating, defaulting or having delinquencies...
The behavior that happens after this is the seizure of credit and lack of confidence everywhere.  When the cracks start, they will get bigger and bigger faster, and that’s when we have a crash.”
"Central Banks Are The Market" & Nomi Prins Warns "It Can't Go On Forever

Friday, July 13, 2018

Elaine Graham-Leigh — Marxism and Human Nature


Weekend reading.

This post presents the Marxist position on human nature as socially embedded and historically determined in contrast to the the natural law position of classical liberalism that is based on individualism.

Longish, but clearly written and informative.

Counterfire
Marxism and Human Nature
Elaine Graham-Leigh

Marisa Fernandez — Amazon leaves retail competitors in the dust, claims 50% of U.S. e-commerce market

AXIOS
Amazon leaves retail competitors in the dust, claims 50% of U.S. e-commerce market
Marisa Fernandez

Patrick Lawrence — What’s Going to Happen When Assad Wins the War in Syria?


Happy to see Patrick Lawrence writing for AlterNet.

AlterNet
What’s Going to Happen When Assad Wins the War in Syria? 
Patrick Lawrence, Independent Media Institute

Pepe Escobar — Trump, NATO and ‘Russian aggression’

In Losing Military Supremacy, his latest, groundbreaking book, crack Russian military-naval analyst Andrei Martyanov deconstructs in detail how, “the United States faces two nuclear and industrial superpowers, one of which fields a world-class armed forces. If the military-political, as opposed to merely economic, alliance between Russia and China is ever formalized – this will spell the final doom for the United States as a global power.”

The US deep state (its influential bureaucrats) may be wallowing in perpetual denial, but Trump – after many a closed-door meeting with Henry Kissinger – may have understood the suicidal “strategy” of Washington simultaneously antagonizing Russia and China....
Asia Times
Trump, NATO and ‘Russian aggression’
Pepe Escobar

See also

Anti-satellite.

The Vineyard of the Saker
The other new revolutionary Russian weapons systems: ASATs
The

also

Sending signals.

RT
Beijing to send strategic bombers for ‘real combat’ practice during Int’l Army Games in Russia

Moon of Alabama No Evidence In Mueller's Indictment Of 12 Russians - Release Now May Sabotage Upcoming Summit


Is the time of the release just ahead of the Trump-Putin summit coincident or poisoning the well?

People on different sides will view this diffidently.

However, most people only read headlines and the message is that the Russian intelligence interfered in the 2016 US presidential election, calling into question the legitimacy of Donald Trump as the president of the United States, as well as his independence of Putin's putative control over him through kompromat.

Liberty Street — The New York Fed DSGE Model Forecast–July 2018

This post presents an update of the economic forecasts generated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model. We describe very briefly our forecast and its change since March 2018. As usual, we wish to remind our readers that the DSGE model forecast is not an official New York Fed forecast, but only an input to the Research staff’s overall forecasting process. For more information about the model and variables discussed here, see our DSGE model Q & A.
 FRBNY — Liberty Street Economics
The New York Fed DSGE Model Forecast–July 2018
Sushant Acharya, Michael Cai, Marco Del Negro, Abhi Gupta, and Pearl Li

Dimitris Konstantakopoulos — Τhe structural, fundamental factors pushing Western Capitalism into producing Totalitarianism and War


More weekend reading.

Longish, but the author has it about right in my view. 

While Konstantakopoulos is a self-identified Marxist, he asserts that his analysis is based on logic and observation, and while informed by a Marxist perspective, it stands on its own merits. I would largely agree with that.

The historical dialectic is headed in a very dangerous direction, and the danger is existential given modern weaponry.
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos, report delivered to the 2nd international Congress on Marx and Marxism, Beijing University,  5-6 May 2018

Paul Craig Roberts - Two US Army Cryptographic Code Operators Overheard JFK Assassination Plan

This isn't a conspiracy theory, but is based on facts found in the recently released CIA documents. KV.
Two US Army Cryptographic Code Operators Overheard JFK Assassination Plan
President Trump forced the release of 53,000 CIA documents of the Kennedy assassination that were withheld from the public for more than a half century. The presstitute media, a CIA asset, did not report on the documents. Professor Jerry Kroth, who has written books about JFKs assassination found intercepted and decoded messages by Eugene V. Dinkin and David Christensen who stumbled upon the plot independently. The two men tried to sound the alarm and were sent to psychiatric hospitals. Professor Kroth tells the story here.
Prof. Jerry Kroth does some good videos and he is very fair and balanced and is no conspiracy theorist. I have just found this video on YouTube but I will confess that I've not seen it yet, but as I'm familiar with Jerry Kroth's work I know it should be okay. I will watch it tonight as a relaxed bedtime viewing. KV

The Kennedy Assassination: what really happened (new, 2018)


Based on Dr. Kroth's new book of the same title, he explains how Trump's dramatic disclosure of secret JFK files in 2017-18 changes our understanding of virtually everything. These documents are added to what we learned from the CIA's own Howard Hunt who made a deathbed confession in 2007 which implicated LBJ. Hunt's confession and Trump's JFK secret releases are absolutely revelatory. Jerry Kroth




Daniel Margrain - What the Ken Livingstone resignation is really all about

Is it possible that pro Israel Labour groups are racist because of the views they hold about Palestinians? Labour party members that support the rights of Palestinians and point out Israel's crimes are likely to be called racists and be expelled from the party. Things have gone too far, maybe I should join the Labour Party to fight the racist Zionist Labour groups? KV

It is a sad indictment on modern politics that the long-standing socialist, Ken Livingstone who fought most of his political life fighting racism has, at the time of writing, been hung out to dry by a political party he had been a member of for decades.
Had Ken not formerly offered his resignation, almost certainly he would have gone the way of another veteran anti-racist activist, Marc Wadsworth, who was expelled from the party ostensibly for ‘anti-Semitism’ but more accurately for bringing the Labour Party into disrepute.
It could be reasonably argued that on the latter grounds, Wadsworth’s suspension was justified given that he had inappropriately verbally attacked a Labour MP during a press launch showcasing an important report. But then this begs the question why it is the case that the 80 Labour Friends of Israel members whose actions undermine social democratic values within the party have not been expelled for what are obviously far more serious offences?
Wadsworth’s ‘affront’ to the party hierarchy was, not that he should have pursued a more suitable avenue in which to attack his target, but that the said target was former British Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) employee and Israel lobbyist, Ruth Smeeth MP. Any hope that Wadsworth would receive a fair hearing was dashed the moment his Israel lobby critics unjustly accused him of anti-Semitism.
50 right-wing and pro-Israel parliamentarians proceeded to intimidate Wadsworth at his hearing by effectively demanding his political lynching. A similar show trial scenario predicated on yet more spurious anti-Semitism charges would almost certainly have been used to drive Livingstone out of the party had he decided not to voluntarily resign in the manner he did.
The kind of McCarthyite hounding of anti-racist and pro-Palestinian activists from the party in recent years is indicative of the attempts by the Labour hierarchy to purge of all prominent anti-Israel activists as part of the Israel lobbyists broader attempt to undermine pro-Palestinian, Corbyn.
Renegade Inc


Israel's New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land