Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Ismail Bashimi - What do you think about China?

 I think really shows why so many of us in on the left are so inspired by China. It has had a chequered history, for sure, and it will have its fair share of right-wing hawks and psychopaths, like any country, and some of these people will be in high places, but we're hoping it's system of governmence will keep them at bay, or even remove them completely before they get too much power. 

Mankind can be brutal, and can often be so even without even fully knowing it (when pretending it to be a necessary evil), and this is why so many of us feel that China is our best chance of changing how the world is run. I'm pro democracy and yet in every democracy the aristocracy rule, not really the people. China keeps the rich out of power (like Jack Ma) which is one of the reasons the Western elite hate it so much. 

You might say that the top of the CPC are the oligarchs, or the elite, but just the same, they are scientists and engineers who have spent many years working their way up to the top of the party by showing their ability when running the provinces. It's a meritocracy where about 85% of the people who run the party came from poor backgrounds. 


China is also standing up to the Western world all by herself. The West hates and fears that China is shooting up to the top. They can't believe their four-hundred-year-old global supremacy is being challenged. They hoped that the more China developed, the more it would submit to their influence, interests, and leadership. That didn't happen. So now they will do anything possible, short of a nuclear war, to make China end. Their goal is to destroy this country. That's why, althought the United States has killed several million people and turned several regions of the earth into hellscapes since I was born in 1988, your TV, newspapers, Google newsfeed, and social media are all cursing, condemning and pandering panic and hatred of China 24 / 7. China is the worst fear of our planet's Western masters. They want you to despise and dread a country that's done nothing to you, that hasn't invaded anyone, bombed or sanctioned anyone, that hasn't overthrown any foreign government, or used its military on anything since 1979. You'll hate China and pray for its collapse, so that the West can continue to do what it's done since the age of Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro — rape and pillage the earth from Latin America to Southeast Asia, and disguise its blood-spattered imperialism in the soft power and propaganda of “Western civilization" and world leadership.

China is the only major country in the nonwhite developing world, to stand up to the West.

Quora 

Ismail Bashimi - What do you think about China?



FT - Will China become the centre of the world economy?ll China become the centre of the world economy?

The global economy is shifting away from the US and Europe towards Asia. The FT's global China editor James Kynge FT economics commentator discuss whether China will dominate global commerce or whether the world economy could split along regional lines


 FT - Will China become the centre of the world economy?ll China become the centre of the world economy?

One pattern of comments — Brian Romanchuk

One pattern of comments that I have seen is where the person making the comment points out some particular price change, and asserts that this somehow proves that inflation cannot be 2%. This is a criticism of CPI data that does not stand up to even a brief examination of the official data...
I've seen this pattern of inflation hysteria for as long as I can remember.

Bond Economics 
One pattern of comments
Brian Romanchuk

CRT [Critical Race Theory] — Robert Paul Wolff

In case you were wondering.

The Philosopher's Stone
CRT [Critical Race Theory]
Robert Paul Wolff | Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Questioning Modern Monetary Theory: Part 2 — Nick Johnson

This is the second part in a new series which explores some aspects of Modern Monetary Theory. As I’ve said already, the series does not aim to be comprehensive. Rather, I cover the aspects which I find most interesting. Here I focus on fiscal policy....
The Political Economy of Development
Questioning Modern Monetary Theory: Part 2
Nick Johnson

Bill Mitchell — Restricting population growth is good for local workers

In the aftermath of the 1991 recession, which was the worst economic downturn in Australia since the Great Depression of the 1930s, I wrote a series of articles that we published in academic journals. In part, they were theoretical pieces that conjectured about the impact of rapid population growth on the labour market, which at the time was characterised by persistently high unemployment and rising underemployment (the recession had replaced full-time with part-time work). My conjecture was that high rates of immigration at a time of slow employment growth would lock unemployed workers into long-term unemployment. Of course, I could not test that proposition because the government maintained the relatively high immigration levels and other factors might have been responsible for the rising long-term unemployment. Last week’s Australian Labour Force data showed that unemployment and the unemployment rate has fallen rather quickly in recent months as the economy recovers slowly from the pandemic recession. Historical comparisons show the unemployment response this time has been much larger than in the previous recessions. The other key point is that the working age population has grown at historically low rates as a result of the border closures. It seems that my conjectures in the early 1990s were correct, despite getting flack at the time from mainstream economists who were pushing the line that immigration is always good for the labour market.
Scarcity rules in markets. Immigration affects that, which is why immigration is a major political issue in the US now. The objection is not just to importing low skilled workers but also knowledge worker. Of course, importing embedded in labor in less expensive goods is also a form of "exporting" jobs and capital. What favors firms in this regard, disadvantages local workers. It's also a reason for opposition to the EU that resulted in Brexit.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Restricting population growth is good for local workers
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

McConnell says no quarter for S.1

 

Maybe some sort of election reform is what GOP will be negotiating for under the “debt ceiling “ brinksmanship...  can’t think of anything else ...





YELLEN, POWELL, GENSLER ATTEND MEETING WITH BIDEN

 

Complete waste of time unless Pocahontas is there....





Amazon destroying millions of items of unsold stock in one of its UK warehouses every year, ITV News investigation finds

 So much for the brown cardboard recyclable packaging Amazon use to promote its green image.


Online giant Amazon is destroying millions of items of unsold stock every year, products that are often new and unused, ITV News can reveal.


Footage gathered by ITV News shows waste on an astonishing level.

And this is from just one of 24 fulfilment centres they currently operate in the UK


ITV


https://www.itv.com/news/2021-06-21/amazon-destroying-millions-of-items-of-unsold-stock-in-one-of-its-uk-warehouses-every-year-itv-news-investigation-finds

.

Hayek’s Bastards: The Populist Right’s Neoliberal Roots, By Quinn Slobodian

 The neoliberals view democracy as socialism. To them, the only democracy necessary is when people choose what to buy in the maket place. There is no other accountability. 


Neoliberalism is often described as market fundamentalism, or the belief that everything on the planet has a price tag, borders are obsolete, the world economy should replace nation-states, & human life is reducible to a cycle of earn, spend, borrow, die.


Tribune


Hayek’s Bastards: The Populist Right’s Neoliberal Roots, By Quinn Slobodian


Frank Li on neoliberalism







Monday, June 21, 2021

What Happened to the U.S. Deficit with China during the U.S.-China Trade Conflict? — Hunter L. Clark and Anna Wong

The United States’ trade deficit with China narrowed significantly following the imposition of additional tariffs on imports from China in multiple waves beginning in 2018—or at least it did based on U.S. trade data. Chinese data tell a much different story, with the bilateral deficit rising nearly to historical highs at the end of 2020. What’s going on here? We find that (as also discussed in a related note) much of the decline in the deficit recorded in U.S. data was driven by successful efforts to evade U.S. tariffs, with an estimated $10 billion loss in tariff revenues in 2020.
Interesting numbers.

FRBNY — Liberty Street Economics
What Happened to the U.S. Deficit with China during the U.S.-China Trade Conflict?
Hunter L. Clark, assistant vice president in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research and Statistics Group and Anna Wong, a principal economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

TASS US-based Bard College deemed undesirable NGO in Russia

 MMT and Post Keynesianism?

Or

Soros connection? Soros is a longtime supporter of Bard.

TASS
US-based Bard College deemed undesirable NGO in Russia

See also

Forbes
George Soros Is Giving $500 Million To Bard College
Susan Adams, Forbes Staff

Also
At Davos, George Soros, in his speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF), Soros committed $1 billion towards fighting nationalism and nationalists. George Soros claimed that the “biggest and most frightening setback” was in India and accused Narendra Modi of “creating a Hindu nationalist state.”
OpinIndia
Moving toward establishing criteria about which govts are ‘objectionable’: What Russian Security Council chief said on George Soros, role in USA unrest

Also
A college in northern Russia has burned 53 books linked to a charity founded by hedge fund mogul George Soros, according to Russian media, just weeks after the organization was banned for being a “security threat” by Russian authorities.
CNBC
Soros charity targeted in Russia book-burning
Kalyeena Makortoff



Book review: Roland Boer – Socialism with Chinese Characteristics: A Guide for Foreigners — Tamara Prosic

The truth about socialism with Chinese characteristics lies between the extremes of 11) China has abandoned Marxism and caved to capitalism and 2) China is now a capitalist country, albeit state capitalism (which is one characteristic of fascism as a political theory).

Friends of Socialist China
Book review: Roland Boer – Socialism with Chinese Characteristics: A Guide for Foreigners
Tamara Prosic | Senior Researcher with the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Bill Mitchell — Rising prices equal an inflation outbreak (apparently) but then the prices start falling again

In my daily data life, I check out movements in commodity prices just to see what is going on. As I wrote recently in my UK Guardian article (June 7, 2021) – Price rises should be short-lived – so let’s not resurrect inflation as a bogeyman – the inflation hysteria has really set in. I provided more detail in this blog post – Price rises should be short-lived – so let’s not resurrect inflation as a bogeyman (June 9, 2021). Yes, I stole the title of my article for the blog post if you are confused. The inflation hysteria really reflects the fact that mainstream economists are ‘lost at sea’ at present given the dissonance between the real world data and the errant predictions from their economic framework. They cannot really understand what is happening so when they see a graph rising it must be inflation and that soothes them because rising deficits and central bank bond purchases have to be inflationary according to their perverted theoretical logic. The financial market press then just repeats the nonsense with very little scrutiny. But given many graphs are falling again, this Pavlovian-type response behaviour must be really doing their heads in. I have no sympathy....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Rising prices equal an inflation outbreak (apparently) but then the prices start falling again
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Sunday, June 20, 2021

The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies — The G7 jolly – a symbol of everything that is wrong with the global economic system.

The problem in a nutshell.
However, currently we have a democratic deficit reinforced by a toxic media which, as Raoul Martinez, the philosopher, artist, and filmmaker so rightly notes:
‘As long as the vast majority of wealth is controlled by a tiny proportion of humanity, democracy will struggle to be little more than a pleasant mask worn by an ugly system.’

The world system is becoming increasingly dysfunctional and one of the chief factors is the erroneous 'government as big household or firm' analogy that is standing the way of public policy and concerted action international needed to address existential systemic challenges.

This propaganda for fiscal conservatism is echoed by the corporate media and enforced globally by Western-led military power.

MMT to the rescue.

The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies
The G7 jolly – a symbol of everything that is wrong with the global economic system.

 

Guli: The most ridiculous evidence of genocide in Xinjiang

 laowhy86, a YouTuber who makes anti-China videos, has been caught red handed lying and doing propaganda. He altered some photos and then made up a story. He makes his money out of his followers by doing these sort of videos. 

On YouTube, Twitter, Quora and other media, there are various so-called "evidences" about the existence of genocide in Xinjiang, but in fact none of them are convincing, because these so-called "evidences" are fabricated out of thin air.

Ok, today I will expose a so-called "evidence" fabricated out of thin air.

Through this video, I believe that many people will see the true colors of these people. They don't care what the truth is. They just want to discredit China and Xinjiang because they make a living by it.


Guli: The most ridiculous evidence of genocide in Xinjiang


Saturday, June 19, 2021

Asking Hunter-Gatherers Life's Toughest Questions

 A fascinating look at the life of hunter gatherers in African. The Hadzabe didn't seem to have much interest in the after-life, and all answers went back to being about meat. They are so friendly, healthy, and attractive, but not so friendly to baboons, though. 


The Hadza Tribe or Hadzabe are a remote African Tribe of Hunter-Gatherers in African country of Tanzania. A few months ago, I was lucky to enough to be able to join them on a hunt to baboons. We didn't catch any, so we decided to return to try again. Right before raiding the baboon camp, I took a quiet moment to ask Soloco, the tribe's leader some of life's deepest questions. These were his responses.




Asking Hunter-Gatherers Life's Toughest Questions

 



RAIDING A BABOON CAMP with Hadza Hunter-Gatherers in Tanzania




CATCHING BABOONS with the HADZA PEOPLE (We finally got them)



"Heterodox" economics as rediscovery — Chris Dillow

Mentions functional finance and cites Randy Wray. Good read.

Stumbling and Mumbling
"Heterodox" economics as rediscovery
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle

On My Research Program — Robert Vienneau

I wonder if somebody that understands something about algebraic geometry could summarize my approach more shortly, but even more abstractly. I hope and wish that I can read sometime somebody extending this research. Some sort of structures definitely seem to exist in these parameter spaces.
Thoughts On Economics
On My Research Program
Robert Vienneau

Friday, June 18, 2021

FT - Elon Musk: CO2 saint or sinner? | FT Film


The electric car revolutionary has built a reputation as a clean energy champion. But SpaceX has never fitted in with Musk's green image. Now the tech billionaire is driving the energy-hungry crypto market. FT writers and experts weigh his climate record, both good and bad, and ask whether his green status stacks up


FT


Elon Musk: CO2 saint or sinner? | FT Film


BRICS Info — China, Russia Reveal Roadmap for International Moon Base

Russia and China unveiled a roadmap for a joint International Lunar Research Station to guide collaboration and development of the project.

Chinese and Russian space officials revealed the plans at the Global Space Exploration (GLEX) conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, stating that the ILRS has received the interest of a number of countries and organizations.

The ILRS is planned to be developed concurrently but separate to the United States’ Artemis lunar exploration program....
BRICS Info
China, Russia Reveal Roadmap for International Moon Base
Space News

Why seagulls are making their homes in our cities

 Seagulls prefer Papa John's pizzas to cod nowadays. 


Much of the birds' success in cities is due to their long lives, which allows the birds to build up an extensive memory of where and how to find food. Unlike garden songbirds (which generally live 3-5 years), gulls can live decades and accumulate valuable experience. The oldest bird studied by Rock was a lesser black-backed gull fitted with a leg ring on a rooftop close to Bristol Bridge in 1989, which lived for 28 years. The gull decided to stay for his final days in the sunshine near Malaga, in Spain, laughs Rock. The European record for lesser black-backed gulls is 34 years of age.

The benefit of this long life, is that older gulls know all the tricks. "A wise gull knows everything about food within its home range," says Rock. The venerable lesser black-backed gull he had been following had frequented the Gloucester landfill for many years and when the landfill shut he found other means.


"The gulls are smart. It is hard to catch them. Once you do, catching them again is even harder,"  says Lesley Thorne, a seabird ecologist


BBC


Why seagulls are making their homes in our cities

Moon of Alabama — U.S. Excluded China From International Space Projects - It Build Its Own

"Competition."
The attempts to keep China and increasingly also Russia away from international space projects have only led to them starting competing projects. These are likely to gain more countries to cooperate with them.

The exclusionary policy of the U.S. has not been successful. In the end it resulted in a loss of influence over future projects for which China and Russia are inviting everyone but the U.S....
Moon of Alabama
U.S. Excluded China From International Space Projects - It Build Its Own

U.S. Rig Count Jumps As Oil Prices Hold Above $70 — Juilianne Geiger

Baker Hughes reported on Friday that the number of oil and gas rigs in the United States rose this week, bringing the total rig count to 470 as U.S. drillers boast more than 100 additional rigs this year. In the week prior, the U.S. oil and gas rig count increased by 5. The total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs in the U.S. is now 204 more than this time last year. The oil rig count rose by 8 this week to 373....
Oilprice
U.S. Rig Count Jumps As Oil Prices Hold Above $70
Juilianne Geiger

J.K. Galbraith and the cult of economic growth — Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson looks at The Affluent Society,  which was prescient in foreseeing the rise of consumerism by manufacturing demand using marketing and advertising as the newest form of "bread and circuses" serving to channel public attention. This eventually lead to absorption in celebrity, where a significant portion of celebrity wealth was generated through advertising.

The Political Economy of Development
J.K. Galbraith and the cult of economic growth
Nick Johnson

Interview with Alexander Dugin – ‘Welcome all newcomers!’

 This is important for many reasons, chiefly because Alexander Dugin is one of the premier public intellectuals globally and therefore an influencer. One may not agree with Alexander Dugin's values, but his contributions as a sociologist and political theorist are considerable. In a sense, he plays a similar role as Carl Schmitt did in his day as a political theorist. 

Dugin has been called "Putin's brain," which is total nonsense. However, I would expect that senior Russian officials would have read Dugin on geopolitics, as well as many others of this level in various countries. Judging from criticism, which amount mostly to caricatures of his views, he is also read in the West. Alexander Dugin is often portrayed in the West as a "fascist," but his work contradicts this. 

Dugin's position is that liberalism was pitted against fascism and communism as political theories of the 20th century, and liberalism and conquered both of them, making them largely of historical interest now. The present historical dialectic is between liberalism (morphed into "neoliberalism") and traditionalism. This can also be framed in terms of both modernism and post-modernism versus traditionalism, of which there is a variety, much of it culturally based, but a significant portion of traditionalism stems from the various religions. It also manifest in special cases as "liberalism" versus "conservatism" as these are variously interpreted.

Geopolitika. ru
Interview with Alexander Dugin – ‘Welcome all newcomers!’



The Physics of Free Will

Many physicists today are arguing that as everything is predetermined by cause and effect we therefore have no free will. 

But this lady's hypothesis of how one day a supercomputer might be able to predict the future is interesting. 

The hypothetical supercomputer will be able to predict her future, but as she has access to this knowledge this will most likely alter her behaviour. Now, whatever she chooses, the supercomputer will be able to predict it. But this knowledge alters her behaviour and changes the future. 




The Physics of Free Will

Not the right time to get pumped up about inflation — Dominic Caddick

Recall that in 1936 FDR jumped the gun in prematurely cutting back stimulus aimed at recovery, which truned out to have been premature. But the outcry against "loose money" was loud, and FDR unwisely buckled to it.

Neo-Socialism (Part 1, 2, etc….) — Paul Cockshott

The following email was sent to me by someone who wishes to go by the pen name “Patriotic American Socialist,” who happens to also be a US military officer. We have been corresponding for some time, and he is working on a research project with the aim of writing a sequel to Towards a New Socialism, titled “Towards a New Socialist Movement.”

He has given me permission to publish his email anonymously here, and has expressed to me that he would love feedback, thoughts, or questions on what he’s written. Like he says, his goal is to write “Towards a New Socialist Movement,” and he would very much like to know what the readers of this blog would like to see in such a book.

I am publishing it on the blog because he has a lot of ideas that are relevant to socialist strategy in the USA and probably also in the UK…
Paul Cockshott's Blog
Neo-Socialism (Part 1, 2, etc….)
Paul Cockshott | Scottish computer scientist, Marxian economist and a reader at the University of Glasgow

Sustainability And Canadian Housing — Brian Romanchuk

Economic data are starting to recover from the distortions created by the pandemic, and so lazier analysts like myself can get a better handle on the current state of the economy. Although I have an interest in inflation, I want to also see what is happening in the real economy.…
Bond Economics
Sustainability And Canadian Housing
Brian Romanchuk

The Great Climate Migration Has Begun | Amanpour and Company

 The climate crisis is forcing thousands around the world to flee as their homes become increasingly uninhabitable. Abrahm Lustgarten is a Pulitzer Prize-winning environmental reporter and has spent years looking at how climate migration will reshape the world. He speaks with Hari Sreenivasan about his latest project.





Thursday, June 17, 2021

Michael Roberts – Profits call the tune

I have argued in many posts that ‘profits call the tune’ in capitalist accumulation. What I mean by that is that any change in business profits (and profitability) will lead to changes in business investment – and not vice versa over time.

Profits are key to capitalist investment, not ‘effective demand’ as Keynesians argue, or changes in interest rates or money supply as Monetarists and the Austrian school argue. I differ strongly from the post-Keynesian view that profits are a ‘residual’ generated by investment; or as Keynesian-Marxist Michal Kalecki put it: ‘capitalists earn what they invest, while workers spend what they earn’.

Yes, workers spend what they earn from wage labour ie (consume and save little); but capitalists do not ‘earn’ profits from their investment in capital (means of production and labour). This theory denies Marx’s law of value that only labour produces value and surplus value (profit) for the capitalist. It turns profit into the ‘gift of capital’; ie there is no profit without capitalists investing. Yet profits can be generated out of the exploitation of labour power and capitalists may not invest. Indeed, that is what we can see now in the expansion of ‘fictitious capital’ at the expense of productive investment.

And it’s not just the theory; the empirical evidence is overwhelming that profits lead investment. In several posts and papers, I have cited empirical work done by Marxist economists like Alan Freeman, Andrew Kliman, Peter Jones, Jose Tapia, Guglielmo Carchedi and others including myself that show this. Moreover, there are also many mainstream economic studies from prestigious sources that deliver the same story....

Brave New World
Michael Roberts – Profits call the tune

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

America’s Soup-Brained President Says The US Never Interferes In Other Countries’ Elections — Caitlin Johnstone

Somebody had to say it. Caitlin Johnstone does a decent job of it, although far more could be said and documented with evidence.
The fact that not one person in the press pool questioned or criticized Biden’s outrageous remarks tells you everything you need to know about the western media and what its real function is....
The US position is that it is OK for us to do since we are exceptional.

Caitlin Johnstone

Zero Hedge — Maersk Warns South China Port Congestion 'More Significant Disruption' Than Suez Canal Closure

Ditlev Blicher, Maersk Asia Pacific Managing Director, was quoted by Seatrade Maritime, who said Yantian port is operating at a 40% capacity, and "We're expecting that to continue for the next month with significant delays for vessels to be able to berth."

A recent surge in COVID-19 infections in the port area and prevention and restriction measures put in place by local authorities is the primary reason for the lack of capacity at the port...
Zero Hedge

Statements after Putin / Biden summit

Transcripts.

The Vineyard of the Saker
Statements after Putin / Biden summit

See also
So who prevailed today? Cui bono, one must ask. As suggested above, the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex (MICIMATT), never more powerful, sleeps soundly tonight.
AntiWar
Ray McGovern: Trust Lacking at Blah Summit

Links — 16 June 2021

Moon of Alabama (where's the beef?)
Summit Summary

U.S., UK Information Warfare Behind Regime Change Drive In Belarus

Russia Observer (much ado in the press over nothing)
PUTIN-BIDEN SUMMIT
Patrick Armstrong

POLITICO (it's OK when we do it)
Biden derides Putin's 'ridiculous' whataboutism
Nick Niedzwiadek


Times of India
Twitter deliberately chose path of non-compliance: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Internationalist 360º (NATO running scared?)
China Responds to NATO
Rick Rozoff

The Intercept (neo-imperialism)
Meet NATO, the Dangerous “Defensive” Alliance Trying to Run the World
Jon Schwarz

Sputnik International
Beijing Warns NATO Against Exaggerating 'China Threat Theory' in Wake of Summit 2021

TASS
NATO states display double standards regarding China, its defense policy — Beijing

Brave New World (neocolonialism)
Jonas Elvander – Interview with Wolfgang Streeck: The EU’s war in Africa
Wolfgang Streeck, economic sociologist and director emeritus of the Max Planck Institute in Cologne

RT (tipping point?)
Arctic expedition chief warns we’ve ‘set off the beginning of the explosion’ of irreversible global warming

ECNS (another routed added)
New China-Europe freight train departs from NW China's Gansu













Eric Li: China’s🇨🇳 Meteoric Rise Impossible Without Achievements of Mao Era

 Over the last 30 years modern China has built a civilisation that is as advanced as the West, but without war, imperialism, or empire. Eric li says this is a first in history and is a model to be celebrated, but the West, which prefers imperialism, neoliberalism, and wealth extraction, has surrounded China with military bases and warships instead. 



My new podcast episode is out

Radioactive leaks found at 75% of US nuke sites

 BRACEVILLE, Ill. - Radioactive tritium has leaked from three-quarters of U.S. commercial nuclear power sites, often into groundwater from corroded, buried piping, an Associated Press investigation shows.


The number and severity of the leaks has been escalating, even as federal regulators extend the licenses of more and more reactors across the nation.

Tritium, which is a radioactive form of hydrogen, has leaked from at least 48 of 65 sites, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission records reviewed as part of the AP's yearlong examination of safety issues at aging nuclear power plants. Leaks from at least 37 of those facilities contained concentrations exceeding the federal drinking water standard -- sometimes at hundreds of times the limit.

While most leaks have been found within plant boundaries, some have migrated offsite. But none is known to have reached public water supplies.

....since much of the piping is inaccessible and carries cooling water, the worry is if the pipes leak, there could be a meltdown.

 "You got pipes that have been buried underground for 30 or 40 years, and they've never been inspected, & the NRC is looking the other way," said engineer Paul Blanch, who has worked for the industry and later became a whistleblower. "They could have corrosion all over the place."


CBS


Radioactive leaks found at 75% of US nuke sites 

FOMC Statement: No Policy Change — Bill McBride

Full statement.

Calculated Risk
FOMC Statement: No Policy Change

FOMC Projections and Press Conference
Bill McBride

Empire of Clowns vs. Yellow Peril — Pepe Escobar (UPDATED)

Global South will be unimpressed by new B3W infrastructure scheme funded by private Western interests out for short-term profit….
The Vineyard of the Saker
Empire of Clowns vs. Yellow Peril
Pepe Escobar
Originally at Asia Times

UPDATE

The Unz Review
The Real B3W-NATO Agenda
Pepe Escobar
Originally at Asia Times

The Roaring 2020s: Further Reading — JW Mason

Mike Konczal and I have a piece in the New York Times arguing that the next few years could see a historic boom for the US economy, if policy makers recognize that strong demand and rising wages are positive developments, and don’t get panicked into turning toward austerity.
Given the foreign policy/military stance now, the predominance of government spending is likely to go to "defense" for the foreseeable future. This is likely to crowd out other spending initiatives and also encourage austerity with respect to domestic spending. The only fiscal "stimulus" that can be expected is from tax cuts given the political makeup and mood of the US electorate. The ridiculous brouhaha over "inflation" is a symptom, especially when it based on an erroneous rationale that misunderstands "money printing."

J. W. Mason's Blog
The Roaring 2020s: Further Reading
JW Mason | Assistant Professor of Economics, John Jay College, City University of New York

Questioning Modern Monetary Theory: Part 1 — Nick Johnson

Following yesterday’s introduction, this is the first part of a new series which aims to explore, through some questions and answers, particular aspects of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) which interest me. As I have already outlined some of MMT’s implications already, I will jump straight in....
The Political Economy of Development
Questioning Modern Monetary Theory: Part 1
Nick Johnson

Brazil to Lift Rates as Inflation Pressure Grows

 

This is funny the monetarist morons are reporting Brazil raising rates creating their figurative  “inflation!” while at same time recommending US raise rates to reduce their figurative “inflation!”….   paradox has no place in material systems administration…





Kevin Bird - No support for the hereditarian hypothesis of the Black–White achievement gap using polygenic scores and tests for divergent selection

This study aims to show conceptual and methodological flaws of past studies supporting the hereditarian hypothesis.


Kevin Bird - No support for the hereditarian hypothesis of the Black–White achievement gap using polygenic scores and tests for divergent selection

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Questioning Modern Monetary Theory: an introduction — Nick Johnson

This then is the introduction to a series of posts on MMT which aim to explore and critique (rather than criticise) some of its aspects. The series does not aim to be comprehensive. Instead, I will write about aspects which I find interesting, whether I think they are correct or otherwise. It will be set out as a series of questions and answers, which can be an appealing format, and one which focuses the mind on whatever topic is being suggested.
The Political Economy of Development
Questioning Modern Monetary Theory: an introduction
Nick Johnson

Kyle Bass's fund down 46% since 2013. This is what happens when you're an idiot.

I've spoken about this idiot many times in the past. (And commented on his idiotic calls.)

This is what happens when you fundamentally don't understand how the  monetary system works.

The guy's fund is down 46% since 2013. Not surprising.

What surprises me is who gives this guy money to manage? BTW...the S&P is up 270% in the same period of time. And the average hedge fund way underperformed the market, not as bad as Bass, but well below the market's return.

They all suck.


Schiff probably the same.



Monday, June 14, 2021

Guest Post — Krugman’s cockroach views on Brazil and hyperinflation

Today, I am publishing a special guest post from three authors working in the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) tradition about inflation in Brazil. They are examining recent claims by Paul Krugman that the Brazilian experience ratifies basic Monetarist theory that links excessive monetary expansion with inflation (and hyperinflation). It turns out that the reality is quite different which is no surprise when it comes to confronting Krugman’s assertions with facts.

Daniel Negreiros Conceição is a professor of Public Planning at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Fabiano Dalto is a professor of Economics at the Federal University of Paraná.

Caio Vilella is a PhD student of Economics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Fadhel Kaboub is a associate professor of economics at Denison University and president of the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Krugman’s cockroach views on Brazil and hyperinflation
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Ndongo Samba Sylla — Neoliberalism’s Colonial Origins

Neoliberal political economy as the antithesis of MMT.

China Watch

Selections from Godfree Roberts’ extensive weekly newsletter: Here Comes China

The Vineyard of the Saker
Sitrep: Here Comes China: Elephants, Finance and Trade, RCEP


See also at VS

G7: Desperately Seeking Relevancy
Pepe Escobar

Also

India Punchline
G7 and China: Fault lines in the world order
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

Bitcoin lacks a solid foundation as an international currency

 The increase in value is reminiscent of a pyramid scheme where investors constantly hope that others will value the asset ever higher.

When bitcoin regains its true value, the awakening could be brutal for many. It is not only the cryptocurrency that has a limited volume, but also the number of people who are tempted to join pyramid schemes.


The Financial Times 


Bitcoin lacks a solid foundation as an international currency

Sunday, June 13, 2021

While many people have a 'vivid' mind's eye, others have none at all

 All my life I have been able to visualize things quite easily, but 10 years ago I discovered to my surprise that many people can't. I put out a post here around a year ago where Jordan Peterson was saying that a third of the population think in pictures, a third think in words, and the last third think in both, which is what I do. In this article it even says that some people, although rare, are unable to play music in their heads either. 


Over the 16 years since that first patient, Zeman and his colleagues have heard from more than 12,000 people who say they don’t have any such mental camera. The scientists estimate that tens of millions of people share the condition, which they’ve named aphantasia, and millions more experience extraordinarily strong mental imagery, called hyperphantasia.


Deccan Herald 


While many people have a 'vivid' mind's eye, others have none at all-all-995054.html

‘Terribly scary’ situation as birds die, go blind in D.C. area

 In the last 10 days, people in the Washington, D.C., metro area have been reporting increasing numbers of sick, blind, injured, and dead birds. For the most part, they have been juvenile Common Grackles, European Starlings, and Blue Jays.


“Eye issues were reported in what otherwise looked like healthy juvenile birds, causing blindness and the birds to land and stay on the ground,” said the Animal Welfare League of Arlington in a statement. “Animal Control is now seeing additional species of birds affected. Other agencies and localities across the region and state are reporting similar issues.”


Bird Watching Daily


‘Terribly scary’ situation as birds die, go blind in D.C. area

0 per cent’ chance: former French official who oversaw safety standards at Wuhan lab dismisses leak theory

 Biosecurity expert Gabriel Gras supervised the construction and accreditation of the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s BSL-4 laboratory in 2017

He says he has ‘no doubt’ about the safety of the facility, despite growing scrutiny over the possible role of a lab accident in the origins of Covid-19


A former French government official who oversaw safety standards at the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s maximum security laboratory ahead of its opening has dismissed the theory that Covid-19 escaped from the institute, as a growing clamour of voices lends credence to the previously fringe hypothesis.

In his first interview with English-language media, Gabriel Gras, a virology researcher and biosecurity expert who was employed as a technical expert at the French embassy in China, said he did not believe SARS-CoV-2 originated or escaped from the WIV.

Gras said he had “no doubt” about the safety of the institute’s biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory, the first of that security specification to be built in China, after supervising its construction and accreditation by way of a collaboration between the French government and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

SCMP


0 per cent’ chance: former French official who oversaw safety standards at Wuhan lab dismisses leak theory



Saturday, June 12, 2021

BIS on Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)

Abstract
Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) could ease current frictions in cross-border payments – and particularly so if central banks factor an international dimension into CBDC design from the outset. Based on a survey of 50 central banks in the first quarter of 2021, this paper explores initial thinking on the cross-border use of CBDCs. While most central banks have yet to take a firm decision on issuing a CBDC, the survey responses show a tentative inclination towards allowing use of a future CBDC by tourists and other non-residents domestically. They have a cautious approach to allowing use of a CBDC beyond their own jurisdiction. Concerns about the economic and monetary implications of cross-border CBDC use and about private sector global stablecoins are taken seriously. At the wholesale level, 28% of surveyed central banks are considering options to make CBDCs interoperable by forming multi-CBDC arrangements. This involves arrangements that enhance compatibility, interlink or even integrate multiple CBDCs into a single payments system. Finally, almost 14% of respondents are considering an active role for the central bank in FX conversion.
Keywords: central bank digital currency, CBDC, multi-CBDC arrangements, mCBDC, mCBDC Bridge, cross-border payments, payment systems, central banking, digital currency, stablecoins, remittances.
BIS
CBDCs beyond borders: results from a survey of central banks PDF
Raphael Auer, Codruta Boar, Giulio Cornelli, Jon Frost, Henry Holden and Andreas Wehrli

The Conspiracy of Silence

 The Franklin Cover-up


This documentary was made by Yorkshire Television but it got pulled when lawyers won a court battle on behalf of those accused. All copies of the film were ordered to be destroyed too, but this rough unedited version later turned up on YouTube.

 To be accused of a terrible crime you didn't do is a horrendous thing, so you always have to be careful about this sort of thing. 


John Decamp - who was a Republican politician and a lawyer - did all the original research.

I think you will find it to be one of the most fascinating and disturbing documentaries you've ever seen.






Exposing the Black Budget

 The Cold War is over. So why, Paul McGinnis wanted to know, are major CIA, NSA, and Department of Defense programs still being kept secret from Congress and US taxpayers?


In Blank Check, Weiner argued that the black budget represented an entire culture of deception - "the realm of nukes and spooks," he called it.

Black budgeting, its opponents argue, is more about hiding from Congress and the public than from any foreign enemies....

the details of the black budget are revealed to only a few select Congressional committee members - and sometimes not even to them.

The size of the appropriation for Aurora rose from $8 million in 1986 to $2.3 billion for 1987. The next year it vanished.



Friday, June 11, 2021

Zero Hedge — Western Companies "Shocked" After China Rushes Through Anti-Sanctions Law

There should be little doubt that the timing is intentional: China on Thursday passed its sweeping new law to 'safeguard' Chinese businesses and entities from Western and especially US sanctions, just hours ahead of President Joe Biden sitting down with G-7 leaders in Cornwall to argue for a common stance on curtailing China's influence....
Zero Hedge
Western Companies "Shocked" After China Rushes Through Anti-Sanctions Law
Tyler Durden

See also

Visual Capitalist
RCEP Explained: The World’s Biggest Trading Bloc Will Soon be in Asia-Pacific
Iman Ghosh

Also

ECNS
China's consumption heats up in May: commerce ministry

Related

History To Go
Reed Smoot and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, 1930
Jeffrey D. Nichols

Blaming China For US Poverty And The Broken American Dream

 China joined the WTO in 2001 and has gained $13 trillion in GDP since then. America has gained $11 trillion during the same time period, has a quarter of the population of China, but most Americans have not seen any increase in their standard of living, and many have become a lot poorer. So China isn't making America poorer, as such, even though most Americans believe it has. The One Percent made all the gains. 

However in the past 20 years, almost 5 million manufacturing jobs in America have been lost, as factories moved overseas, creating Rust Belt de-industrialisation, a surge in poverty levels and anti-China sentiment. 


Dayton, Ohio, home of the Wright brothers, was once known as “The City of 1,000 Factories” and the Silicon Valley of its age. From 2001 to 2007, the city lost almost 23,000 jobs, as factories such as General Motors shut down. Ironically in 2015, Chinese glass-maker Fuyao set up a factory in Dayton employing 2,300 workers - the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary American Factory.


But how much is globalisation, and China in particular, to blame for America's deindustrialisation woes, and how much the one-percenters and unequal distribution of wealth? America's GDP after all has grown by some US$11 trillion since 2001. 




Blaming China For US Poverty And The Broken American Dream

What Went Wrong With California's High-Speed Railway

 It promised to transform how Californians travel but is now seen as a “bullet train to nowhere.” This is why America's west coast megaproject has been far from high-speed.





The latest Wall Street scandal: Archegos Capital Managemen

 This is the story of the latest financial scandal to rock Wall Street and the global financial industry. It’s one of those stories that only happens in the United States.

 

It’s the story of Bill Hwang, a South Korean immigrant who, after arriving in the United States with his father, learned to read and write English while working at McDonalds, later became a successful financier in the multi-billion dollar hedge fund industry and has now left several of the world's largest banks shaking in their boots




How To De-Seed A Pomegranate | Jamie’s 1 Minute Tips

 


Understanding China’s Young Consumers — Zak Dychtwald

Revealing. Demographic comparison of China, where those under 40 dominate luxury spending, with the US, where the bulk of luxury spending is done by the Boomer and above generations.

HBR
Understanding China’s Young Consumers
Zak Dychtwald

China passes anti-sanctions law that ‘can target individuals, families, organisations’ — Sarah Zheng and Tony Cheung

Upping the ante. 

The global economy is fracturing as countries assert sovereignty, which was repressed during globalization. The reasons are many but one is clear. No one really thought it through in terms of pros and cons, and costs versus benefits. Now the historical dialectic has swung in the other way in correction.

SCMP
China passes anti-sanctions law that ‘can target individuals, families, organisations’
Sarah Zheng and Tony Cheung

Also

Notice the different spin.

Yahoo Finance
China passes anti-foreign sanctions law
AFP

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Taiwan’s COVID death rate climbs to 2.4%, higher than world average

People are dying in their homes. 

So far Taiwan has registered 286 COVID deaths, for a mortality rate of 2.4%. That’s higher than the world average of 2.15%. Experts say old age and chronic illnesses are factors at play.

Taiwan officially becomes an aged society with people over 65 years old breaking the 14% mark



Bill Mitchell — MMT and Power – Part 2

This is Part 2 of a series that is developing here on the topic of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and power. I often read that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is defective because it has no theory of power relations. Some critics link this in their narrative to their claim that MMT also has no theory of inflation. They then proceed to attack concepts such as employment buffers, on the grounds, that MMT cannot propose a solution to inflation if it has no understanding of how power relations cause inflation. These criticisms don’t come from the conservative side of the policy debate but rather from the so-called Left, although I wonder just how ‘left’ some of the commentators who cast these aspersions actually are. The problem with these criticisms is that they have clearly adopted a partial approach to their understanding of what MMT is, presumably through not reading the literature widely enough, but also because of the way, some MMT proponents choose to represent our work. In Part 1, I examined how the economics discipline evolved from political economy to a narrow focus on the ‘economy’ as if it existed in a void of power. I also disabused readers of the notion that MMT ignores the link between money and the real economy, which is a regular claim offered by critics from the Left. I also questioned critics who seem to want MMT to be a theory of everything. As I regularly point out MMT cannot predict who wins the football this week, but that isn’t a criticism. In Part 2, I am going to complicate things a little by expanding on the MMT is the MMT is a lens narrative as if we can neatly separate values from facts. I will also explain how power enters into the dominant theory of inflation in MMT....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
MMT and Power – Part 2
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Part 1 is here.

I hope Bill will  continue this series and perhaps write an article and then a book on it. 

Power relationships are foundation to the social, political, and economic asymmetry endemic in modern "capitalistic" societies in a way that resembles the role of land ownership the previous agricultural age. Political economy, which is what classical economics was called, acknowledge this role. Laissez-faire was about limiting the power of the state, however, in the historical period in which liberalism was challenging the power of church in imposing dogma and the state, dictates. 

Marx based his work on the role of power in economics, focusing on the power inherent in property relations instead. As result, Marx became anathema in economics and politics — but not sociology, which was left to study power. (See C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite.) Presently, the role of power in economics is chiefly pursued in economic sociology and political science rather than economics, and most conventional economists simply ignore it, as they do money, since wealth is one of the pillars of power relationships. This is rather incredible considering that asymmetrical power undermines key assumptions of neoclassical economics regarding the operation of market forces in ways that vitiate conventional modeling as representative of real-world systems and events.

Charles Burress - Biased History Helps Feed US Fascination With Pearl Harbor

 Originally published by The Japanese Times but it was behind a paywall, so I searched for it and found it at Rense.com. 


It's a parallel to how the US is treating China today. 


Pearl Harbor didn't just fall out of the sky. It followed a long chain of events that had filled many Japanese minds with resentment and hostility against the Western powers in general and the U.S. in particular. The first came in 1853 when U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry confronted Japan with a squadron of gunboats -- the "Black Ships" -- that eventually forced Japan to open its ports and accept unequal treaties.

 

Japan deeply feared being colonized and was shocked by this gunboat diplomacy into rapid industrialization and a desire to join the club of imperial powers, including their feast on China and other weak, resource-rich territories. Japan modeled its rebirth after the Western mold, and joined with Western powers in suppressing the anticolonialist Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900.

 

But the Western powers ultimately didn't want to grant what Japan felt it deserved. When Japan asked for a racial equality clause for the new League of Nations at the end of World War I, the white nations refused. America's sanctions against Japan were prompted not only by a desire to evict Japan from China and release Japan's grip on the vital raw materials of Southeast Asia. Americans were horrified also at the large-scale atrocities inflicted on Chinese citizens by the Japanese Imperial Army.

 

Subsequent Japanese horror at American atrocities -- the firebombing and atomic bombing of Japanese cities, estimated by MIT historian John Dower to have killed 400,000 civilians -- is often rationalized in the American mind by the conviction, as one American veteran vehemently told me, "Japan started the war!"

 

But is that entirely true? Japan did launch the attack on Pearl Harbor before American "Flying Tigers" were able to fire their first shots at Japanese planes in China, but both sides were already on the road to war. Before the attack, the U.S. was making contingency war plans for razing Japanese cities with firebombs.


Charles Burress - Biased History Helps Feed US Fascination With Pearl Harbor 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Embattled China seeks greater technological self-reliance Denis Simon

The imperatives motivating Chinese leaders towards greater technological self-reliance have the potential to drive China further outside of the mainstream of the global economy. Were China to succeed in achieving greater technological independence from the West, the global economy could fundamentally change. Whether or not China will feel compelled to go down this path remains uncertain as the world seems to be shifting away from techno-globalism towards techno-nationalism....
"Whether or not China will feel compelled to go down this path remains uncertain"…. What is he talking about, "uncertain." China says it is certain in the article itself. "Xi has exhorted Chinese industry to focus on building ‘secure and controllable supply chains’ to overcome dependence on the West,.… "Exhorted" means "ordered." Xi is not asking them to do this. He is telling them to do it as a top priority. And the government will support it in every way possible, whatever it takes. This is existential. The only question that remains is how well they will succeed and it what timeframe.

East Asia Forum
Embattled China seeks greater technological self-reliance
Denis Simon is Professor of Chinese Business and Technology at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University

TASS — US sanctions against Nord Stream 2 become meaningless - Putin

The Russian President added that everything that the United States did with regard to Nord Stream 2 was beneficial only to them….
Germany was just not that into buying expensive US gas.

TASS
US sanctions against Nord Stream 2 become meaningless - Putin

RT — El Salvador wants to power crypto mines with ‘100% cheap, renewable’ VOLCANO energy, after adopting bitcoin as legal tender

President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador is moving fast on his pledge to embrace bitcoin as another legal tender, already opening a new geothermal well that would use clean geothermal energy to power the cryptocurrency mines.

On Wednesday, Bukele tweeted that he had instructed the state-owned geothermal electric company LAGeoSV to power bitcoin mines with “very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanos.”.…

Competing.

RT
El Salvador wants to power crypto mines with ‘100% cheap, renewable’ VOLCANO energy, after adopting bitcoin as legal tender

Book Review: “Mine! How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives”— Lambert Strether

How property is institutionalized.

Ownership can be traced to territoriality as an evolutionary trait. See Robert Ardrey, The Territorial Imperative, for instance.

Naked Capitalism
Book Review: “Mine! How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives”
Lambert Strether

The Lewis Powell Court — Ken Melvin

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, RI, has recently begun giving a series of speeches on the Senate floor in re dark money and the effect on the Supreme Court. The two so far have centered on Lewis Powell’s secret memo to the US Chamber of Commerce in 1971 just before his appointment to the US Supreme Court. The two speeches go a long way toward explaining the present makeup of the Court, how we got to this point, how capitalism works in America, southern aristocracy, our aristocracy, … . Herewith, for your perusal, are links to the videos of both the speeches along with copies of their transcripts.…
Explains the slide toward reasserting elite control in reaction to the New Deal, spearheaded by Lewis Powell who was later rewarded by an appointment to the Supreme Court. Downhill from there. Sheldon Whitehouse is now throwing light on it.

Angry Bear
The Lewis Powell Court
Ken Melvin

SCMP - Is Grace the future of medicine?

 


My new podcast episode is out.

Natural Gas Is The Secret To Scaling Geothermal Energy — Haley Zaremba

Not exactly the way the title implies, but interesting anyway.

Oilprice
Natural Gas Is The Secret To Scaling Geothermal Energy
Haley Zaremba

G7: Desperately Seeking Relevancy — Pepe Escobar

Chiefly about the global economy — and geopolitics/geostrategy.

The Vineyard of the Saker
G7: Desperately Seeking Relevancy
Pepe Escobar

Related

Zero Hedge
More European Firms Onshoring In China Than Offshoring, Complicates Biden's Decoupling Plan
Tyler Durden

ECNS
U.S. businesses getting anxious as Trump's China tariffs remain: media

'Every deficit is good for someone' — Stephanie Kelton interviewed

The question is, cui bono? Under the present system, the financial benefit flows to the top, although other derive some economic benefit as a result of the flow. Fiscal injection (government spending) eventually flows either to saving or taxation. When tax policy is progressive, the flow is largely to taxation. Otherwise, the stock of savings increases. This increase in the stock of savings increases distributional asymmetry aka "inequality." That is to say, in the later case there is a systemic bias owing to institutionalized asymmetry.

IPS
Stephanie Kelton interviewed

Power Shifts, or Not? — Peter Radford

Power can flummox even the best economist. A typical explanation of events in an economy makes scant reference to the way in which power distorts the wondrous smooth motions that so obsess the discipline. It’s almost as if human relationships don’t exist in those wonderful models they are all so proud of. For the rest of us, power is central. It takes little time to realize that establishing an imbalance can have all sorts of advantages. They most notable being that it defeats or undermines the consequences of the classic impersonal marketplace. Fair is out. Asymmetry is in.

Conventional economic models are based on economic liberalism (capitalism), a chief assumption of which parties produce for markets and consumers consume through markets in which quantities of scarce goods are rationed by price. Included in this assumption is that markets are "perfect" in the sense of completely symmetrical, no party having an advantage over others based on the ability to influence market forces. This includes information and power. 

On the other hand, all competitors seek advantage and are thereby incentivized to encourage asymmetry that gives them an advantage. In the real world, asymmetries are endemic in socio-economics systems subject to politics where parties vie for political power owing this is incentive, for example. 

Economic liberalism is based on opportunity and incentive. For it to operate properly, opportunity must be relatively equal and incentives should not produce asymmetry. Neither are the case in contemporary systems. As a result, key assumptions of conventional economics is overly simplistic, which vitiates the application of the models to real-world conditions due to overly narrow scope.

This leads to the question, why are we doing this. The answer is that suggests itself is that this arrangement benefits those who gain advantage and it is they that support and promote it, and denigrate other approaches. It is part and parcel of capturing power to influence outcomes in the favor of some parties over others. 

The other possibilities are stupidity or some combination thereof. Where ignorance does enter is in fooling the parties that are disadvantaged by controlling the narrative. This is a weakness of political liberalism (liberal democracy).

The conclusion would indicate either forcing reality to conform to the idealistic models, which is impossible to do, or else to give up the conventional approach as flawed. The conventional approach is trying to force reality to conform to the models, but selectively in a way that still favors the advantaged parties and further disadvantages the losers. This leads to social unrest as those that are disadvantaged by the resulting conditions get fed up and protest. 

The Radford Free Press
Power Shifts, or Not?
Peter Radford

How Tariffs Affect China’s Exports — Willem Thorbecke

Donald Trump launched a trade war with China. On 6 July 2018 he placed 25% tariffs on $34 billion of imports from China and on 23 August 2018 he placed 25% tariffs on an additional $16 billion of imports. On 24 September 2019 he added 10% tariffs on $200 billion of imports and in 2019 and 2020 added tariffs on an additional $300 billion of imports. Chad Bown and Melina Kolb provided a detailed timeline of the trade war (https://www.piie.com/blogs/trade-investment-policy-watch/trump-trade-war-china-date-guide ). President Biden has left the tariffs in place.

How do tariffs affect China’s exports?
Econbrowser
Guest Contribution: “How Tariffs Affect China’s Exports”
Willem Thorbecke, Senior Fellow at Japan’s Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)

Bill Mitchell — Price rises should be short-lived – so let’s not resurrect inflation as a bogeyman

I had an Op Ed published in the UK Guardian today (my time) which analysed the latest inflation scares that have been dominating the popular media. More and more mainstream macroeconomists are coming out and asserting that economies will overheat. The usual gold bugs have been delighted by this shift in the narrative back to the obsessions and manias that keep them occupied on a daily basis. What was interesting to me was the responses of the commentators to the Guardian Op Ed. If the sentiments expressed represent the state of macroeconomic knowledge (presumably mostly in the UK) then we have a long way to go before Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and the sensible policies that it might inform gain any serious traction. Given the GFC, the stagnation in the aftermath, 30 years of Japanese history, the pandemic, which have all combined to demonstrate why the mainstream approach is dysfunctional and provides no guidance to what might happen in the real world, the commentators continued to rehearse these failed ideas about inflation, interest rates, bond markets etc. Quite dispiriting.
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Price rises should be short-lived – so let’s not resurrect inflation as a bogeyman
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

How Functional Finance differs from Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) — Dirk Ehnts

I have been re-reading the Functional Finance and the Federal Debt paper this afternoon. There are crucial differences between Functional Finance Theory (FFT) and Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Therefore, it (MMT) was not all in Lerner. Let me comment on FTT from an MMT perspective....
econoblog 101
How Functional Finance differs from Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)
Dirk Ehnts | Lecturer at Bard College Berlin, research assistant at the Technical University of Chemnitz, and spokesperson of the board of Pufendorf-Gesellschaft eV in Berlin

Tough regulations are coming for the cryptocurrency sector

The growing cryptocurrency sector needs to be regulated to protect users from online scams and prevent it from being used in crime such as money laundering. 

The growing popularity of cryptocurrency is perceived as a danger to central banks, as they are concerned about the impact that a volatile decentralized currency can have on their economy. 


Tough regulations are coming for the cryptocurrency sector 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

China Mulls Unprecedented Legislation To Counter Western Sanctions — Tyler Durden

Preparing for decoupling, a stepping up of the arms race, and an even closer relationship of China and Russia economically and militarily, with the likelihood of technology-sharing increasing. They both know that if one goes down, the other will soon follow.

This is now becoming pretty overtly a zero-sum fight to the finish as the dragon and bear react to the eagle and bull-dog as bridges are burned and positions hardened.

This does not bode well for the global economy excepting weapons and related military goods manufacture.

Zero Hedge
Senate Passes Sweeping Bipartisan Legislation To Counter And Compete With China

China Mulls Unprecedented Legislation To Counter Western Sanctions
Tyler Durden

KV Tweet - Billionaires Net Worth

 Jeff Bezos net worth - 186.2 billion USD


Elon Musk net worth - 151 Billion USD 


Bill Gates net worth - 126.7 Billion USD


Mark Zuckerberg net worth - 119.7 billion USD


The universe has been in existence for roughly 14 billion years.




Bill Mitchell — The monetary and fiscal normality of Wolfgang Schäuble – stagnation and entrenched unemployment

I have been working on an article that will come out in the press soon on inflationary pressures. It is obvious that characters like Larry Summers and Olivia Blanchard are trying to stay at the centre of the debate by issuing various lurid threats about the likelihood of an inflation outbreak in the US and elsewhere. Last week, the Financial Times published an article (June 3, 2021) by the former German Finance Minister and now President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble – Europe’s social peace requires a return to fiscal discipline. I was initially confronted with the juxtaposition of this author, who bullied all and sundry during to the GFC to ensure an austerity mindset was maintained at great cost to the millions who were deliberately forced to endure unemployment, with the photo of John Maynard Keynes under the title of the article. The title didn’t seem to match the picture. My first impressions were correct. Lessons have not been learned.
Now that the debate has switched to inflation and away from fiscal sustainability (except for the dodos), it is important to get the MMT position on inflation clear. Most of what I am reading in the "news" is woefully simplistic and amounts to a straw man. Happy to see that Bill is on this. 

I would also like to see more on MMT relative to global economics in terms of the the world system, which includes finance and economics but is not limited to them. There are many factors operative that influence each other and the system as a whole causally, in particular asymmetries and externalities that are often ignored in model-construction, e.g., for tractability. Simplification is expected but oversimplification vitiates the conclusions owing to narrowing of scope and failing to include significant factors. 

This is hardly a new idea. It is found in the classical economists, Marx, Keynes, and the institutionalist, environmental, ecological, evolutionary, and complexity economics, and it has been investigated by economic sociologists as well. Conventional economists largely ignore this input.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The monetary and fiscal normality of Wolfgang Schäuble – stagnation and entrenched unemployment
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Americans Have 40 Percent of the World's Guns Despite Being Four Percent of Population, Report Shows

The U.S. was the only country on the list with more guns than people and had more than the next 25 countries combined as the Agence France-Presse reported


 Americans Have 40 Percent of the World's Guns Despite Being Four Percent of Population, Report Shows

Monday, June 7, 2021

Scientists Find Cheap And Easy Way To Extract Lithium From Seawater — Mining

According to the researchers, the cell will probably need $5 of electricity to extract 1 kilogram of lithium from seawater. This means that the value of hydrogen and chlorine produced by the cell would end up offsetting the cost of power, and residual seawater could also be used in desalination plants to provide fresh water....
Oilprice
Scientists Find Cheap And Easy Way To Extract Lithium From Seawater
Mining

The Global South has lost $152 trillion through unequal exchange since 1960 — Dylan Sullivan

Dependency and world-systems theorists have long argued that “unequal exchange” is a key driver of global inequality. Since wages and natural resource prices are much lower in the global South than the North, poor countries must export many more units of embodied labour and resources than they import in order to achieve a monetary balance of trade. This creates a constant transfer of labour and ecology from the periphery to the core, developing the latter but impoverishing the former.

In a recent paper in New Political Economy that I co-authored with Jason Hickel from the University of London, and Huzaifa Zoomkawala, a data analyst based in Karachi, we quantify the value that has been appropriated from the South through unequal exchange since 1960. To do this, we use a method developed by the economist Gernot Köhler. Köhler proposes that we can use purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates constructed by the World Bank to value the South’s exports at the North’s price level. By subtracting the actual market price that the South received for its exports from this figure, we can measure the commodities appropriated by the imperialist states, in terms of the Northern price of those commodities.

Using Köhler’s method, we find that in 2017 the ‘emerging and developing economies,’ as defined by the IMF, lost $2.2 trillion worth of goods to the ‘advanced economies.’ This represents an enormous loss for the South. These resources could have ended extreme poverty 15 times over, but instead they were transferred gratis to the core. This windfall is of enormous benefit to the centres of empire. For instance, in 2017 the US gained $2,634 per person through unequal exchange, while the average Australian citizen received $3,116 from the South. Since 1990, the North’s annual gains from unequal exchange have sat at 5.2% of GDP, considerably higher than the North’s annual growth rate. In other words, if not for imperialist plunder, aggregate income in the North would have been declining for decades. The extraordinary levels of material consumption currently enjoyed in the North are predicated upon exploitation and poverty in the periphery.

Figure 1 shows total value transfer since 1960. All up, the South has lost $62 trillion (constant 2011 dollars), equivalent to 97% of its 2017 GDP. If this surplus had been available to the South, it could have been reinvested in domestic economic development. If we assume this surplus would have grown at the same rate as Southern GDP, it would now be equivalent to $152 trillion....