Monday, June 24, 2019

What Do the Oligarchs Have in Mind for Us? — Joel Koltin

Does technology lead to technocracy and is technocracy a form of feudalism?

Technocracy and its tendency toward neo-feudalism is based on ownership of natural monopolies. Natural monopolies are candidates for anti-trust action.

The New Geography
What Do the Oligarchs Have in Mind for Us?
Joel Koltin

Indoctrinated by Econ 101 — John Warner

My fundamental understanding of the world has been warped by a now challenged approach. I'm not alone.…
In the end, the chief byproduct of my general education exposure was a kind of indoctrination into the centrality of markets to understanding human behavior and the apparent importance of economics professors.
I’m not alone. Introductory economics could be one of the most widely received credits in all of higher education. And unlike other common courses (like say, first-year writing), Econ 101 is extremely similar institution to institution. Supply and demand is framed as a law in the same fashion as gravity. When supply and demand does not seem to work according to the “law” (e.g., health care) it is the not the law that is faulty, but the market itself, with much public policy effort going toward trying to bring the market in compliance with the law, often to negative effect.

That supply and demand might not be a law doesn’t seem to occur. Higher education seems to be bumping up against these tensions as well....
Bingo! That's is the purpose of it, after all. Some are finally waking up to it. Fake news is one thing that drives the narrative, and fake knowledge is another.

And it is not just Econ 101. The brainwashing continues through the PhD.

Inside Higher Ed
Indoctrinated by Econ 101
John Warner

See also

Real-World Economics Review Blog
Economics is an ideology

America’s Finest Economists Have Been Needlessly Undermining Growth, Study Confirms — Eric Levitz

A few lonely voices disputed this consensus. In their view, these two distinct mysteries weren’t actually distinct — or all that mysterious. The reason wage growth wasn’t rising as one would expect with the economy near full employment was that the economy wasn’t near full employment. And the reason the economy wasn’t near full employment was that all those prime-age workers who’d supposedly exited the labor force for reasons totally unrelated to the strength of the economy hadn’t actually exited the labor force for reasons totally unrelated to the strength of the economy.
In this view, both of the supposed mysteries stemmed from the same mistake: Economists had too much faith in the official unemployment rate. That rate counts only those who say they’re actively seeking employment as available workers. And yet many Americans who say they aren’t looking for a job (and are, therefore, classified as nonparticipants in the labor force) also say that they would like a job if one presented itself. Meanwhile, survey data show that even those Americans who say they aren’t looking for a job – anddon’t want one – can abruptly change their minds. Such workers often go from being “outside the labor force” to being employed without ever registering as “unemployed” in the government’s data.
This reality has a major implication: The pool of surplus labor that employers have at their disposal at any given time is much larger than the unemployment rate lets on.…
New York Magazine — Intelligencer
America’s Finest Economists Have Been Needlessly Undermining Growth, Study Confirms
Eric Levitz

Peter James Hudson — How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean

The expansion of banks such as Citigroup into Cuba, Haiti, and beyond reveal a story of capitalism built on blood, labor, and racial lines. 
Scrubbed from the pages of glossy coffeetable books, the history of U.S. imperialism can be found in the archives of Wall Street’s oldest, largest, and most powerful institutions. A deep dive into the vaults and ledgers of banking houses such as Citigroup, Inc., and J. P. Morgan Chase and Co. reveals a story of capitalism and empire whose narrative is not of morally pure and inspiring economic growth, technological innovation, market expansion, and shareholder accumulation, but rather of blood and labor, stolen sovereignty and pilfered resources, military occupation and monetary control. Sugar comingles with blood, chain gangs cross spur lines, and the magical abstractions of finance are found vulgarized in the base manifestations of racial capitalism.
Boston Review
How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean
Peter James Hudson

Jason Smith — A Workers' History of the United States 1948-2020

After seven years of economic research and developing forecasting models that have outperformed the experts, author, blogger, and physicist Dr. Jason Smith offers his controversial insights about the major driving factors behind the economy derived from the data and it's not economics — it's social changes. These social changes are behind the questions of who gets to work, how those workers organize, and how workers identify politically — and it is through labor markets that these social changes manifest in economic effects. What would otherwise be a disjoint and nonsensical postwar economic history of the United States is made into a cohesive workers' history driven by women entering the workforce and the backlash to the Civil Rights movement — plainly: sexism and racism. This new understanding of historical economic data offers lessons for understanding the political economy of today and insights for policies that might actually work.…
Information Transfer Economics
A Workers' History of the United States 1948-2020
Jason Smith

More "Pumping!"

Oh goodie... More reification error from the Liberal Art trained unqualified perhaps on the way...

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Biden on Social Security Cuts

And nothing has ever changed....

New U.S. doctrine claims it could win nuclear war if engaged

The people who think like this are dead! They are the most extreme people but it is they who are in power. Blowing the planet up its unthinkable, but not to these people. Billions dead, a nuclear winter - 'so be it', they say. I guess they will be sitting in their nuclear bunkers for ten years.

America Must Prepare for the Coming Chinese Empire — Robert D. Kaplan

Robert Kaplan does geostrategy and does a credible job of it. In my view he sees the big picture  in outline pretty well, although I would quibble with some of the details. It is written from the US POV, of course, but he is able to stand back from it enough to make the article worth a read. Robert Kaplan and his spouse Victoria Nuland are mainstays of US foreign policy, so it is important for that reason alone.

The National Interest
America Must Prepare for the Coming Chinese Empire
Robert D. Kaplan | managing director for global macro at Eurasia Group

See also

The following is a transcript of Robert D. Kaplan's speech at the Michael J. Zak Grand Strategy Lecture on March 7th, 2018.

Robert Kaplan: Grand Strategy and the Return of Marco Polo's World

Europe – especially Greece and Italy – is not working

Isn't new technology amazing? I remember reloading Windows 10 on my PC and then, without me doing a thing, icons started reappearing on my screen until my old Windows configuration and had been rebuilt with all my original software loaded back on.

The modern technology may be crazy, like 3D printing, but it seems we are finding very smart ways to run our economies too.

Those Minibots again!

Many observers will have forgotten that German unemployment was higher for 3 years from 2005 to 2007 than the rate of Greece and Italy. 
But obviously since then, unemployment in these countries exploded, Germany’s has dropped. How can we get it down again? The previous post on Minibots has already talked about ways of getting unemployment down in Italy. Increase aggregate demand through offering a limited job guarantee (20 hours a week) plus an state-owned electronic transfer system for the new Minibots in electronic form, which would pay each Italian 10 minibots a month (helicopter money), to increase acceptance of these minibots by making them universal.
A similar scheme had previously been proposed by me for Greece. The advantage would be that the extra GDP from these measures (multiplier of 2) would be sufficient to increase GDP, and generate enough extra income to prevent a shortfall in taxes.

Radical Economic Thought

Matt Usselmann - Minibots increase liquidity, but how about unemployment?

Italy's new Minibot currency sounds a bit like MMT to me. Intriguing!

The Italians are proposing to use new printed notes (minibots) to pay back all the arrears the state has accumulated in the past. These unpaid bills from the Italian state to the private sector amount to Euro 53 billion, about 3% of GDP. Minibots will provide liquidity and alternative notes, but will not solve Italian unemployment (10.2%) unless the concept is expanded.
Minibot means huge interest saving for Italian state
Instead of increasing the deficit further, by issuing more interest bearing treasury bills or government bonds, the Italians propose to print minibots instead. That saves the government up to 3% interest a year (Euro 1.6bn a year on Euro 53bn). That is an enormous advantage, as much interest goes to foreign investors and is lost to the Italian economy.
Minibots will look and feel like money and can be used to pay tax liabilities. Acceptance in the private sector is voluntary, as only the Euro is legal tender.
Radical Economic Thought

We Tried to Publish a Replication of a Science Paper in Science. The Journal Refused.

Our research suggests that the theory that conservatives and liberals respond differently to threats isn’t actually true.

Are conservative and liberal brains hardwired differently? look around the net and you see the research quoting that this is the case, and many books have been written about it too. But what if it's wrong and that conservatives and liberals aren't doomed to be forever at each others throats. This new research seems to suggest that the environment plays a big factor in forming our attitudes.

The above scientists were excited about the research showing differences in how the brains of conservatives and liberals work, but their far more extensive research could not replicate the original study, even when using its criteria.

We Tried to Publish a Replication of a Science Paper in Science. The Journal Refused.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

AOC Gardening

Climate nutter thinks photosynthesis is "magic!"  LOL! 

Hey moron ever hear of:

6CO2 + 6H2O ------>  C6H12O6 + 6O2

Try taking a biochemistry course some time Liberal Art trained moron!!!  LOL!!!!  Probably withdraw failing after the second week!!!   LOL Unqualified dialectic trained moron!!!!

Says we're all dead in 11 years!!! LOL!!!!  What's her downside if she is wrong???  Nothing!!!

Johannes Stern - European Union rearms for World War III

The Western protection racket gears up.

I can't see what Russia has done wrong? Crimea? But the Crimean people had an referendum and voted to become part of Russia again, a right written into their constitution. No figting, no loss of life, no thousands of troops marching in, no tanks, and no NATO photographs showing any of this, but Europe is arming up for war, a war that would leave no winners because everyone would die in the nuclear winter that follows. 

Following the announcement last week by the US Defense Department of its biggest ever arms deal involving the purchase of nearly 500 F-35 fighters, Europe replied in kind on Monday. At the world’s largest air show in Le Bourget near Paris, the German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen, together with her colleagues from France, Florence Parly, and Spain, Margarita Robles, signed major agreements to develop a joint European air combat system (Future Combat Air System—FCAS).

The cost of FCAS, which is announced to be operational by 2040, is immense. Up to €8 billion will flow into joint development alone. Overall, costs are expected to be more than €100 billion. The Handelsblattnewspaper reports that “by the middle of the century” the FCAS project could devour “up to €500 billion.” The same sum would finance Germany’s entire education budget for 27 years!

The massive armaments project is part of plans to transform the European Union into a major military power capable of waging war independently of and, if necessary, against the United States.

Johannes Stern - European Union rearms for World War III

Trump facing EMP weapons, 'saves the world' with second thoughts on illegal Iran strikes

The first half of this is very interesting (The second half is local British politics which is also interesting).

Iran has a secret weapon to counter the US military in the region,  which is an Electromagnetic pulse weapon which will knock out all the US military communications rendering them useless. It's not sure what the Iran military will use for communication, except it's likely to be the good old fashioned stuff, like pigeons, etc, :)

Second hour Investigative reports US Drone shot down by Iran – then US were about to attack but Trump pulled them back: attack not condoned by UN Security Council or US Congress;  UK SBS Special Forces were sent to Oman shortly before attacks on tankers;  Revealed - Iran's TOP SECRET weapon which will stop any US invasion attempt in its tracks – Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) weapon – 2014 incident with the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea: the Russian Su-24 that buzzed the USS Donald Cook carried neither bombs nor missiles but only a basket mounted under the fuselage, which, according to the Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta [2], contained a Russian electronic warfare device called Khibiny. As the Russian jet approached the US vessel, the electronic device disabled all radars, control circuits, systems, information transmission, etc. on board the US destroyer. In other words, the all-powerful Aegis system, now hooked up - or about to be - with the defense systems installed on NATO’s most modern ships was shut down, as turning off the TV set with the remote control

U.S. projected to fall as world's economic leader

Both India and China have much larger populations than the U.S. so they will become more powerful eventually. The analyst here, Jill Schlesinger, says it's not a problem as the standard of living in the U.S will remain the same, but what is concerning is the U.S lack of investment in its people. China, she says, is using A.I. to teach children in the remotest parts of China in preparation for new technologies, while the US lacks any such innovation.

There were articles posted here last year about how many in the U.S ruling elite tend to think that it is a waste of money paying taxes to educate Americans when all the industry has been sent abroad and A.I is coming.

A new report from Standard Chartered Bank says the U.S. will not be the world's economic leader by the year 2030. Instead, China and India will take the top two spots. CBS business analyst Jill Schlesinger joins CBSN AM to discuss what it means for the U.S.

Zero Hedge — Publishers Warn Trade War Could Lead To Bible Shortages, "Think Of The Children"

File under "stuff you can't make up."

Zero Hedge
Publishers Warn Trade War Could Lead To Bible Shortages, "Think Of The Children"
Tyler Durden

Trump Has a $259 million Reason to Bomb Iran — Eli Clifton

Do the names Sheldon & Miriam Adelson, and Bernard Marcus right a bell?

Lobe Log
Trump Has a $259 million Reason to Bomb Iran
Eli Clifton

Seth Harp — I’m a Journalist but I Didn’t Fully Realize the Terrible Power of U.S. Border Officials Until They Violated My Rights and Privacy

Has America become a police state? This reporter suggests so. (But you knew that already unless you've been out to lunch since 9/11 and the "suspension" of civil liberties and constitutional rights because "terror.")

BTW, I encountered similar treatment traveling to East Germany in the Sixties, although not as harsh.

The Intercept
I’m a Journalist but I Didn’t Fully Realize the Terrible Power of U.S. Border Officials Until They Violated My Rights and Privacy
Seth Harp

Red Line

Diagram (abstraction) below of how it appears the academe is currently bifurcating mankind via the two different methods of training it employs.

One should NEVER directly cross the red line; this is how we are presently ending up with all the current reification errors with regard to the figurative "money!".  Right side people (morons) are directly shifting from lower right side (Figurative) to upper left side (Real), directly crossing the red line.

99.99% (abstraction) of the "out of money!" morons are being trained via the right side method; many of whom are in actual high level policy making positions of authority (SCARY!!!!); or worse they are not trained at all.

They are having major cognitive problems employing their method in the lower right zone (The Figurative).  As a result they are trying for some reason to directly cross the red line to the upper left (The Real) and reifying what is properly understood as The Abstract (USD) under the left side method.

The result is that they are thinking the right side figurative "money!" is REAL and that somehow we can run out of it... (btw same with their treatment of the Accounting abstraction termed Reserve Assets and we get the moron "lend out the Reserves!" and the resultant regulatory chaos)...  MAJOR cognitive errors being made negatively effecting mankind in material (Real) terms.

If your going to try to get to the left side of the red line starting from right (which perhaps may not be a good idea under ANY circumstances..) but if you still want to try, suggest take the route identified by the green line at the top of the diagram, then perhaps you should have less of a chance of making a reification error but good luck.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Fed Capital

MMT affiliated legal academic here approvingly citing a report from the future Peterson affiliated David Walker headed GAO from 17 years ago... what for I have no idea...

What ever happened to all the bs "neoliberal framing!" concerns?  Getting confused over the figurative "framing!" maybe?  Maybe thinking "neoliberal framing!" is an actual literal framed picture of the the word "neoliberal!" hanging on the wall in Larry Kudlow's  Whitehouse office???

7 part tweet thread endorsing a David Walker GAO report... nice job kid!..

Trump Bias

Looking increasingly like Trump may be biased anti-war.. or he is at least not biased pro-war...  safe to say if we elected Jeb or Hilary there would be (at least!) 150 dead Iranians... svengali Trump quantifying the human toll for us here...

TDS Left

Good identification of  dialectic TDS nut-job left moron hypocrisy here:

Elijah J. Magnier — Iran and Trump on the edge of the abyss

Good explanation of really went down.

Elijah J. Magnier — Middle East Politics
Iran and Trump on the edge of the abyss
Elijah J. Magnier

See also

Strategic Culture Foundation
Iran goes for “maximum counter-pressure”
Pepe Escobar


Gold, Goats 'N Guns
Who Survives the Iran Counter-Offensive?
Tom Luongo


India Punchline
US credibility dented in Iran standoff
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service


Moon of Alabama
White House Pushes 'Trump Pulled Back' Story - He Likely Never Approved To Strike Iran


‘If Trump doesn’t want war, he has to ease sanctions’ – Iranian presidential adviser

Iran refrained from targeting US plane with 35 on board flying beside downed drone – commander

Iran has ‘indisputable’ evidence US drone violated airspace, FM says

Labor Complexity in Relation to Aggregate Marxian Value — Peter Cooper

Classical economics, including Marx, focused on economic value in real terms, i.e., a non-monetary ground for economic value expressed in markets in nominal terms as prices. That recognized that value is based on some "good" that is actual rather than nominal.

One way to do this is through a numéraire, such as gold or silver. A problem here is that monetary metals don't have actual economic value in real terms that isa determinative in production. Rather, their nominal value is depending on the cost of production. 

Marx choose labor time, following Smith and Ricardo. He expanded on their ideas, which he regarded as inadequate to the task. This is now called "the labor theory of value" (LTV), although Marx never labeled it that way. This is a bit confusing now, since "the labor theory of value" is almost automatically associated with Marx's version of it, even though it was a concept of classical economics, to which Marx was a late comer. Incidentally, while Smith and Ricardo are credited with it in the West, an LTV was first proposed by Tunisian Ibn Khaldun in the 14 century.

Neoclassical economics explains economic value in terms of marginal utility and price theory.  "Utility" purported to account for the good at the basis of value. Economic  value is determined based on opportunity cost, what has to be sacrificed in an environment where scarcity prevails to access a particular good. In nominal terms, the economic value of a good is not the market price, but rather the maximum that one is willing to pay to obtain it rather than choosing something else.

Both the labor theory of value and the marginal theory have been criticized for various reasons. And there are some other theories of economic value as well. See also Theories of Value.

The major issue now is modeling and formalization. The neoclassical theory of value based on marginalism can be formalized, although not without issues. The classical economists did not go this route, which is somewhat surprising in that Newton's work had become the paradigm of doing science. So they are not considered to be doing "economic science."

So a challenge for the labor theory of value is "doing the math."

Since value is so fundamental to economics, getting the theory right is a big deal. So far there is no universal agreement on this issue.

Labor Complexity in Relation to Aggregate Marxian Value
Peter Cooper

Patrick Winter -Trump says he stopped airstrike on Iran because 150 would have died

Is it good cop - bad cop, or is there a tug of war in the Whitehouse?

Donald Trump has said he cancelled an airstrike on Iran with 10 minutes to go because it would not have been proportionate to kill 150 people in retaliation for the downing of an unmanned US drone.
“We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die,” the US president tweeted on Friday. “150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not … proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.”
The Guardian

Tory MP grabs Greenpeace activist by her neck | Mark Field MP

They sometimes call the Tory Party the Nasty Party.

Fed Capital by Law

Excerpt from the Fed's audit statements for CY 2018:

“The Reserve Banks provided for remittances to the U.S. Treasury of $65.3 billion in 2018, including two lump-sum payments totaling approximately $3.2 billion that were necessary to reduce the aggregate Reserve Bank capital surplus to $6.8 billion as required by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.”

So for all you lawyers out there, latest law in 2018 directs Fed to operate to maintain the Central Bank Residual at $6.8B, no biggie...

TYT - REPORT: Iran Allegedly Downs US Drone

TYT were always good, but I went of them a bit when they started pushing Russia-Gate, but recently they've been getting better.

Pompeo and Bolton are shouting war, but Trump is trying to de-escalate the situation with Iran after they shot down a U.S drone by saying it was probably an accident and that no one got hurt. This must madden the neocons.

Trump seems to be doing almost everything the neocons and the military industrial complex wants, and yet the media and the establishment are still out to get him. They don't trust him because he still doesn't always fully cooperate.

Trump is sensitive to his base, say the TYT, many of whom are anti war and foreign interventionism.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

This Is How The U.S. Plans To Cripple Iran’s Economy — Simon Watkins

With sanctions re-imposed on Iran’s oil exports last year and recently applied in part to its petrochemicals exports as well, the U.S. is now looking to roll out the next phase of its sanctions plan against the Islamic Republic. This is to gradually employ increasingly tight sanctions on Iran’s gas sector, whilst ensuring that Europe’s mechanism for enabling ongoing business with Iran does not succeed. These policies taken together are aimed at limiting Iran’s energy export revenues to no more than US$14 billion per year, a senior energy source who works closely with Iran’s Petroleum Ministry told last week. “This is the level of revenue targeted by the U.S. as being required to catalyse a popular uprising to remove the current regime in Tehran but not to cause an outright humanitarian disaster,” he added.…
The ultimate fall-back position for the U.S. – actual military intervention against Iran – remains an option, said the Iran source who added that: “The U.S. is at 90% operational readiness for full military action if necessary.” Any real or false flag action – along similar lines to the recent incidents involving oil tankers in and around the Persian Gulf – would suffice as catalysts to engage militarily but the preferred option, said the source, remains a “war of attrition” against Iran. “If the U.S. cuts all energy related revenues down to the US$14 billion cap then the Iranian people will have a big decision to make,” he concluded.
Good luck with that strategy.