Sunday, October 31, 2021

Unfinished Business: The rest of my answer to Fareed Zacharia — Stephanie Kelton

Link to Stephanie Kelton's interview with Fareed Zacharia and a more extended answer to a question she did not get a chance to finish owing to time constraint.

The Lens
Unfinished Business: The rest of my answer to Fareed Zacharia
Stephanie Kelton | Professor of Public Policy and Economics at Stony Brook University, formerly Democrats' chief economist on the staff of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, and an economic adviser to the 2016 presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders
https://stephaniekelton.substack.com/p/unfinished-business

Comments on Recent Marxist Claims about MMT and Incidentally Kalecki — Peter Cooper

This post concerns ten recent Marxist claims about MMT and one about Kalecki (a forerunner, in certain respects, of MMT). Some Marxists claim that:
heteconomist
Comments on Recent Marxist Claims about MMT and Incidentally Kalecki
Peter Cooper
http://heteconomist.com/comments-on-recent-marxist-claims-about-mmt-and-incidentally-kalecki/

Rodrigo Aguilera - How the left went anti-vax

 Paranoid anti-establishment ideation became a fertile breeding ground for a growing segment of the left to distrust science as much as the right


Many of anti-imperialist and anti-establishment left lack psychological flexibility, and so view everything that the establishment does as being bad and  so don't trust anything from it, even when backed by science. I've been arguing with them a lot, and since Noam Chomsky's statement about the antivax isolating themselves for common decency (and he didn't say let them starve), they call themselves the true left and call people like me establishment shills. It's all very childish, but as this article says, they seem to be stuck in the witch brew Middle Ages. But many of the left antivaxxers have seen their audiences greatly increase and the money pouring in. 



One of the most unfortunate developments in our battle against the coronavirus has been the emergence of an anti-vax movement from the left, specifically the anti-establishment populist left. Before the pandemic, the anti-vax movement had a distinctly conservative/libertarian flavor. For example, a 2015 study by Yale psychologist Dan H. Kahan revealed that “respondents formed more negative assessments of the risk and benefits of childhood vaccines as they became more conservative and identified more strongly with the Republican Party”.

Other studies have shown that the main driver isn’t so much conservatism per se, but rather the libertarian instincts that characterize large segment of conservatives. A 2013 study from Stephan Lewandowski of the University of Bristol showed that free-market endorsement had a strong association with opposition to vaccinations, whereas conservatism on its own didn’t. The study hinted at the possible reasons why non-conservatives may also oppose vaccines, even though the data at the time did not lend itself to make definitive conclusions:

“The different polarity of those associations is consonant with the notion that libertarians object to the government intrusion arising from mandatory vaccination programs, whereas people low on conservatism—who, by implication, are liberal or progressive—may oppose immunization because they distrust pharmaceutical companies. The latter link, however, was far from overwhelming.”

Lewandowski was right, though it would take a global pandemic to make it obvious. As anyone who has encountered an anti-vaxxer from the left over the past few months realizes, there are numerous common denominators in the cognitive systems of these people, namely, opposition to Big Pharma, distrust of government, and distrust of the mainstream media which they believe peddle the news that serves to benefit the interests of Big Pharma. All of this creates a perfect storm of anti-establishment obsession which leads to the almost inevitable next step of distrusting established science too. The only mystery is why we didn’t see it coming.

Anti-establishment for the sake of it
The salient characteristic of a left-wing anti-vaxxer is extreme, dare I paranoid, anti-establishment ideation. The worldview of the left-wing anti-vaxxer is one which has only one enemy: a political establishment that is captured by elite interests from major corporations (including, of course, Big Pharma) and the military-industrial complex, and whose legitimacy is underpinned by the mainstream media which peddles all the lies needed to keep it in power. This worldview is so totalizing that anyone who does not subscribe to it, even other leftists, are not seen as true believers to the cause and inevitably earn a cocktail of scripted insults like “shitlib”, “neolib fascist”, “CIA plant”, “sellout” among others, during any heated Twitter exchange. 

There is, of course, a lot of truth to this worldview when not taken in a such an obsessive fashion. Especially in the US. Big Pharma, for example, happens to be the industry that spends most on lobbying and it’s no surprise that this has kept the US from adopting any form of universal healthcare like literally every other Western country has. It is also true that the mainstream media in the US is far from being fair and balanced. While we typically associate the Rupert Murdoch-financed conservative propaganda of Fox News to be the epitome of this, the liberal media is just as bad. Major newspapers are owned by billionaires (whose wealth their op-eds shamelessly defend) and cable news outlets like MSNBC and CNN are all too often little more than mouthpieces for the Democratic establishment and their financial backers, offering no spaces for dissenting voices from the left. Just ask yourself how many anti-war personalities were invited on prime-time slots to discuss the Afghanistan withdrawal compared to the dozens of national security “experts” (many who sit on defense contractor boards or who were former neo-con hawks). Hardly any.


"How the left went anti-vax - by Rodrigo Aguilera - progressum@substack"


William Beveridge knew that modern monetary theory was right in 1944. Why can’t modern politicians take note? Richard Murphy

Quote you may wish to file. Also a link to download the article.

Tax Research UK
William Beveridge knew that modern monetary theory was right in 1944. Why can’t modern politicians take note?
Richard Murphy | Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University, London; Director of Tax Research UK; non-executive director of Cambridge Econometrics, and a member of the Progressive Economy Forum

Kenzo - My Near Death Experience

 This is such a good video! It's not about the after life, but it's spiritual. 


In December 2015 I was involved in a near-fatal accident on my motorcycle. I spent 9 days in the hospital and went through several surgeries. I then spent almost a year in physical therapy trying, to walk again That whole time being confined to a wheelchair. My story should be one of motivation and inspiration. I want anyone who watches this video to understand that each one of us has a hard-luck story to tell. We all have hardships in life to overcome. In the years since the accident, I've been able to reflect on the accident and reveal that what I once thought of as the worst thing that ever happened to me turned out to be the best.




Kenzo - My Near Death Experience

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Analysis News - House Committee Chairwoman Maloney Nails Oil Executives

 This is good!  


House of Representatives Oversight Committee held hearings with the CEOs of the largest oil companies where Chairwoman Maloney read quotes from internal Exxon documents, which exposed that Exxon knew for years that fossil fuels were causing global warming and that it would lead to catastrophic consequences. She attempted to get the CEOs to acknowledge having lied, which they refused to do. This is an excerpt from the House of Representatives Oversight Committee held on October 28, 2021




Analysis News - House Committee Chairwoman Maloney Nails Oil Executives


Why Russia Is Walking Away From NATO and European Union — Finian Cunningham interview Professor Paul Robinson

Short.

Strategic Culture Foundation
Why Russia Is Walking Away From NATO and European Union
Finian Cunningham interview Professor Paul Robinson, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa

America’s Next Aristocracy — Mathis Bitton

Interesting article that comes to similar conclusions as Ravi Batra's The New Golden Age: The Coming Revolution against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos and Neil Howe and William Strauss's The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny. They all address America's increasingly dysfunctional system based on different theories and analysis. 

It seems to me that these are all factors the need to be considered in approaching the system, and there are also many more factors, since this is a complex adaptive system embedded in a larger complex adaptive system constituted by the world system. Clearly, America handles its own system will have far-reaching influence on the world system in an era of American empire. 

Palladium
America’s Next Aristocracy
Mathis Bitton is a student of political theory at Yale University
https://palladiummag.com/2021/10/29/americas-next-aristocracy/

Daniel Sutter — Government jobs for all?

Misleading article on the MMT JG as workfare and make-work as substitutes for private sector jobs. From his presentation it appears that he read at least some of the MMT literature but he totally misses the MMT argument for a universal job guarantee, or he just ignores it.

Alabama Today
Dan Sutter: Government jobs for all?
Daniel Sutter | Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University and host of Econversations on TrojanVision

For better arguments against the MMT JG, see also 

Federal Debt is Money
MMT’s divorce from reality: Jobs Guarantee and inflation fear
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Sorelle Amore - The Dark Side of Philanthropy

 These funds are often really just tax dodges, which grow in size as they give money away. This doesn’t mean to say that they don't always do a lot of good, says Sorelle Amore, because some are excellent, but it's wise to read the small print.




 https://youtu.be/ahXCPuv9MZ8

Friday, October 29, 2021

Nice Pics 13



Caught hiding in the celler. 




3D-printed 285ยตm racecar as big as the width of 3 hairs



A bridge to nowhere (Goldern Gate Bridge) 




On a cold day









Photography - Trigonometry 





A beautiful day outside 



This one's a pest! 



Drying off when your cold and wet 



Hawkeye 



A beautiful world!


Yoko Ono Quote: I love nature, but nature doesn't love me. 

Pitbull Economics. Applied MMT.

 


Why I see a war in the Donbass as (almost) inevitable — The Saker

Clear and cogent analysis.

The Vineyard of the Saker
Why I see a war in the Donbass as (almost) inevitable
The Saker
http://thesaker.is/why-i-see-a-war-in-the-donbass-as-almost-inevitable/

See also

Katehon
OVERVIEW OF HYPERSONIC WEAPONS, AUTUMN 2021
Seppo Niemi
https://katehon.com/en/article/overview-hypersonic-weapons-autumn-2021

Lars P. Syll — Modelling Dangers

Statistics professor David Freedman quote.

"It's the assumptions, stupid." And may some "torturing the data."

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Modelling Dangers
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University
https://larspsyll.wordpress.com/2021/10/29/modelling-dangers/

EVERYTHING You’ve Been Told About Food IS WRONG! | Tim Spector

 Tim Spectre says all our research about food is driven by the corporations, which have an agenda to switch us onto food that is cheaper to produce and is more profitable for them. This fits in with the other video below. 

Now you can see the anti-science brigade running away with this one, but you have to look at each situation independently. 






Dr. David Ludwig - 'The Carbohydrate Insulin Model of Obesity'

 High fat, high protein foods are filling and satisfying, and can lead to weight loss. I certainly found that adding olive oil to my food made me feel more comfortable and satisfied. 

I can remember having scrambled egg on toast as a boy, and loaded with butter, it was scummy, which left me feeling full for hours on end. 

From what I've read recently, high carb diets are excellent for fit and active people, but if you are inactive, or in poor health, a high carb diet can push your insulin levels up too high, leading to weight gain and ill health. So everyone is different. 


David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, is a practicing endocrinologist, researcher, and professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. He received a PhD and an MD from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed an internship and residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at Boston Children's Hospital.


Dr. Ludwig also directs the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. His research focuses on the effects of diet on hormones, metabolism and body weight. He developed a novel “low glycemic load” diet (i.e., one that decreases the surge in blood sugar after meals) for the treatment of obesity-related diseases. In addition, his group has done some of the original studies linking sugar-sweetened beverages and fast food to excessive weight gain, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.


Described as an “obesity warrior” by Time magazine, Dr. Ludwig has fought for fundamental policy changes to restrict junk food advertising directed at young children, improve the quality of national nutrition programs, and increase insurance reimbursement for obesity prevention and treatment.




https://youtu.be/OK1zePxBJu4


Cryptocurrencies will be as useless in the metaverse as they are now

Both ideas are about making a few people rich, not about building a decentralised paradise where everyone prospers



Using cryptocurrency means being exposed to the volatility inherent in these speculative tokens. It also means having to pay an exchange fee — the standard rate charged for exchanging fiat currency to crypto, or vice versa, is around 2.5 per cent. There is no reason to use crypto in the metaverse — the vast majority of money nowadays only exists digitally anyway. Cryptocurrencies, in other words, will have as much use as money in the metaverse as they do in the real world. I have always suspected that one of the reasons people keep buying into crypto — which I consider akin to a Ponzi scheme — is that they don’t really understand it. In some ways, therefore, the elusive metaverse is a perfect partner. Talking up ideas that people find confusing is a great way of obfuscating things that people find objectionable, as Zuckerberg seems to have discovered. It’s also apparently a great way of making a quick buck — or much more for a privileged few.

FT


Thursday, October 28, 2021

Military vs climate spending: A moral catastrophe in 3 pictures — Richard Eskow

Priorities.

Alternet
Military vs climate spending: A moral catastrophe in 3 pictures
Richard Eskow
https://www.alternet.org/2021/10/military-v-climate-spending/

Putin exploits Europe's energy crisis — Dave Lawler

Russia didn’t cause Europe’s current energy crisis, which has seen natural gas prices spike 5x over last year, but Vladimir Putin seems intent on using it to his advantage....
You see, "Putin" (Russia) is supposed to come to the aid of Europe as a good friend is expected to, when Europe shot itself in the foot and then demands help from a country it considers an enemy against which a German official recommended first use of nuclear weapons, and has instituted sanctions against in order to bring the economy down. Sounds like over-the-top chutzpah to me.

But just on market principles the argument makes no sense. When you have the advantage, you charge what the market can bear because your job is maximizing shareholder value not helping others out of a jam that that created for themselves because it is your "moral responsibility."

Hey, Europeans, capitalism is a bitch. You need new leaders that have some brains. (OK, maybe a bit snarky.)
https://www.axios.com/putin-europe-gas-energy-crisis-d67d61d8-1424-4d4b-843d-3c35d9040ed6.html

The New Economics: A Manifesto by Steve Keen-Review — Dirk Bezemer

Steve Keen did it again. This Manifesto is a lucid deconstruction of fallacies in neoclassical economics, a reflection on its puzzling persistence, a passionate plea for another kind of economics, and a demonstrationof the hands-on creation of that alternative in two areas, monetary economics and environmental economics. All this comes in a slim volume of less than 160 pages, with copious notes and extensive references added. The book is at once accessible, engaging and scholarly. The breadth of Keen’s reading and analysis is impressive, ranging from the earliest history of economics to the profession’s latest newspaper polemics, from population biology and complexity science to implications of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and from the primeval origins of money to the latest fashion in monetary theory (‘MMT’).…
 Brave New Europe
Dirk Bezemer
https://braveneweurope.com/the-new-economics-a-manifesto-by-steve-keen

Supply Chains Need $100 Trillion To Become Net-Zero By 2050 — Tsvetana Paraskova

Supply chains, which account for 80 percent of the world’s total carbon emissions, would require as much as $100 trillion of investment if they are to become net-zero emission by 2050, new research by HSBC and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) showed....
Oilprice
Supply Chains Need $100 Trillion To Become Net-Zero By 2050
Tsvetana Paraskova
https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Supply-Chains-Need-100-Trillion-To-Become-Net-Zero-By-2050.html

ECNS — China's data security industry suffers talent supply gap

There are only about 20,000 graduates in cybersecurity each year, while the talent gap ranges from 500,000 to one million. “It's still a conservative estimate,” said Wang, “and the talent shortage is everywhere in the industry.”

To address the problem, the Chinese government has urged colleges and universities to set up majors to cultivate talents in data protection and information security, Wang said.…

Growing field. Probably not just in China. 

ECNS
China's data security industry suffers talent supply gap

China Trading Apps Tank After Official Calls Them ‘Illegal’ — Bloomberg

These online brokers are engaged in “illegal financial activities” because they have no “driving licenses” to operate in China, Sun Tianqi, a senior People’s Bank of China official wrote in an article published on the website of Finance 40 Forum. Sun didn’t name the brokers, and added that calling them illegal has nothing to do China’s capital control rules....
Yahoo Finance
China Trading Apps Tank After Official Calls Them ‘Illegal’
Bloomberg
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/china-trading-apps-tank-pboc-095623204.h…

See also

Wall Street On Parade
Congressman Brad Sherman: Wall Street Has Been Underwriting Cayman Islands Shell Companies and Passing Them Off as the Real Chinese Companies
Pam Martens and Russ Martens
https://wallstreetonparade.com/2021/10/congressman-brad-sherman-wall-street-has-been-underwriting-cayman-islands-shell-companies-and-passing-them-off-as-the-real-chinese-companies/

Bank of Canada Comments — Brian Romanchuk

The Bank of Canada released its October 2021 Monetary Policy Report, and I just want to make some brief comments.
Bond Economics
Bank of Canada Comments
Brian Romanchuk

McKinsey — Open-source e-commerce: The next wave of value for the enterprise

Why open-source is the future of digital. Because cooperation.

McKinsey
Open-source e-commerce: The next wave of value for the enterprise
Arun Arora, Klemens Hjartar, Jake McGuire, Oscar Villareal, and Rodney Zemmel, representing views from McKinsey Digital
https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/open-source-e-commerce-the-next-wave-of-value-for-the-enterprise

Winston Churchill & British imperialism — Tony Norfield

Even patriotic Brits know that their hero Winston Churchill did not win World War 2 or fly a Spitfire. What they, and others, may not know is how his statements often shed a clear light on British imperialism. From Britain’s reliance on colonies, to the political rationale for giving the working class some welfare services, Churchill’s rhetorical flourishes in speeches, newspaper articles, and deliberations with his peers, illuminate things all too often absent from contemporary political consciousness.

The text cited below is in chronological order. Information is taken from many sources,1 including articles previously on this blog and from other material I have put onto Twitter and Facebook. But it should not overtax the modern attention span. I do not claim or aim to cover everything, and will give a few lines of context where these might be helpful.

When all of these statements were made, except one, Churchill had a senior position in the British government of the day, or had even been Prime Minister. They are not just the musings of a random reactionary and empire enthusiast....
MR Online
Winston Churchill & British imperialism
Tony Norfield
Originally published: Economics of Imperialism
https://mronline.org/2021/10/28/winston-churchill-british-imperialism

Michael Roberts Blog — COP-out 26

Numbers.
Which countries are to blame for this failure to do anything remotely close to avoiding the environmental disaster. China is usually picked out as the main culprit. It is currently by far the world’s biggest emitter of CO2 and is planning to build 43 new coal power plants on top of the 1,000 plants already in operation. But China has some excuses. It has the largest population in world and so its per capita emissions are much lower than most other major economies (although it’s the mass that counts). Second, it is the manufacturing centre of the world providing goods for all the rich countries of the Global North. As a result, its emissions are going to be huge because of the consumer demand for its products globally.

Moreover, historically, cumulative emissions built up in the atmosphere in the last 100 years come from the rich previously industrialised and now energy consuming North. There is a direct, linear relationship between the total amount of CO2 released by human activity and the level of warming at the Earth’s surface. Moreover, the timing of a tonne of CO2 being emitted has only a limited impact on the amount of warming it will ultimately cause. This means CO2 emissions from hundreds years ago continue to contribute to the heating of the planet – and current warming is determined by the cumulative total of CO2 emissions over time…
Implies that the geoeconomic system based on capitalism's assumption of unlimited growth must be reconfigured. Michael Roberts is pessimistic about this happening. Too many interests and too much investment involved.
 
Michael Roberts Blog — blogging from a marxist economist
COP-out 26
Michael Roberts
https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2021/10/28/cop-out-26/

Government spending, profits & capitalism — Chris Dillow

 MMT-compliant. Worth a read.

Stumbling and Mumbling
Government spending, profits & capitalism
Chris Dillow, Investors Chronicle
https://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2021/10/government-spending-profits-capitalism.html

Bill Mitchell — In the battle between government and the hedge fund gamblers – the government has all the cards

Given my inflation report yesterday, I have shifted my usual Wednesday light blog post day and music feature to today. The economic debate has moved in recent years from ‘when is the government going broke’ to ‘hyperinflation is approaching’. It amazes me how puerile the economic commentary is as journalists and economists seeking headlines trot out headlines about how bad something (insert: insolvency, inflation, whatever is the latest craze) is going to be and what needs to be done about it. Nothing much happens in the real world and they keep their jobs and begin the next mania. Replay. And so it goes. It seems though that within this fictional world, that masquerades as informed economic commentary, subtle changes are underway. Governments worked out that during the GFC, the only weapon they had that would save the system was fiscal policy. They also worked out that large-scale bond buying by their central banks complemented the effective use of fiscal policy and didn’t deliver all the maelstrom that the mainstream New Keynesian textbooks predicted. The pandemic has accentuated that. And now there is this sort of stand-off between the ‘markets’ that were given too much latitude in the pre-GFC period and governments. The market players, who have become accustomed to manipulating government policy to ratify their speculative bets, which delivered massive profits to the hedge funds and the like, are now confronting central banks and treasuries that actually have power and cannot be bullied into delivering such policy ratification. That is progress and interesting to observe....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
In the battle between government and the hedge fund gamblers – the government has all the cards
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

White House Urges GOP To Make 2022 Budget Offer, Begin Talks


 Whaaaaaaaaaaatttttttt?????



All together now!   LFG!




Bond Curves Flash Warning On Growth!


 ๐Ÿ˜‚ LOL right on cue… now it’s “the bond market is forecasting a slowdown!” anthropomorphism from these zombie Art degree morons… you knew it was coming…


๐Ÿค” So let me get this straight from these people …  first it went “inflation!” then it went  “hyperinflation!” then it went “stagflation!” now it’s just going “stag!” ?   What happened now to the “flation!”  ?






Wednesday, October 27, 2021

My new podcast episode is out

Moon of Alabama — Pentagon Generals, News Writers Abuse Chinese Test Flight To Argue For More Weapons

Ka-ching.

Moon of Alabama
Pentagon Generals, News Writers Abuse Chinese Test Flight To Argue For More Weapons
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/10/pentagon-generals-news-writers-abuse-chinese-test-flight-to-argue-for-more-weapons.html


The Tribalist Threat to Climate Action — Andrew Sheng and Xiao Geng

The rise of tribalism is threatening to lead the world to a future of great-power conflict and runaway climate change. The only way to mitigate this risk is to negotiate a new social contract that addresses inequality head-on....
A virtual impossibility in the current climate. Any viable solution requires a modification of the world system in ways that are not feasible politically. So the problem will be left to the kids and grandkids, and subsequent generations not yet borne.

Project Syndicate
The Tribalist Threat to Climate Action
Andrew Sheng, a distinguished fellow of the Asia Global Institute at the University of Hong Kong and a member of the UNEP Advisory Council on Sustainable Finance, is a former chairman of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission; and Xiao Geng, Chairman of the Hong Kong Institution for International Finance, is a professor and Director of the Institute of Policy and Practice at the Shenzhen Finance Institute at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen.
https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/us-china-competition-tribalism-impede-climate-action-by-andrew-sheng-and-xiao-geng-2021-10

OXFAM — 26 billionaires had as much as the world’s bottom 50%



Real-World Economics Review Blog
https://rwer.wordpress.com/2021/10/27/26-billionaires-had-as-much-as-the-worlds-bottom-50/

Bitcoin is largely controlled by a small group of investors and miners, study finds — Shawn Knight

Market concentration.

TechSpot
Shawn Knight
https://www.techspot.com/news/91937-bitcoin-largely-controlled-small-group-investors-miners-study.html

“The Spoils of War”: How Profits Rather Than Empire Define Success for the Pentagon — Jon Schwarz

In the introduction to “The Spoils of War,” an extraordinary new book by Andrew Cockburn, he makes a straightforward assertion about the U.S. military. “War-fighting efficiency has a low priority,” he writes, “by comparison with considerations of personal and internal bureaucracies. … The military are generally not interested in war, save as a means to budget enhancement.”…

Summarizing what has been known for decades. 

The Intercept
“The Spoils of War”: How Profits Rather Than Empire Define Success for the Pentagon
Jon Schwarz
https://theintercept.com/2021/10/27/pentagon-budget-book-spoils-war-andrew-cockburn/

See also

Counterpunch
Charles Whittner
https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/10/27/why-is-u-s-military-spending-increasing-to-new-outlandish-levels/

Related

The American Conservative
NATO Is Stuck In Its Old Ways
Bradley Devlin
https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/nato-is-stuck-in-its-old-ways/

Zero Hedge (goodbye Europe)
Moscow Outraged After German Defense Minister Advocates 'First Use' Nuke Policy Against Russia
Tyler Durden
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/moscow-outraged-after-german-defense-minister-advocates-first-use-nuke-policy-against

Asia Times
The Taiwan issue will fade away – literally
David P. Goldman
https://asiatimes.com/2021/10/the-taiwan-issue-will-fade-away-literally/

One World
Andrew Korybko
http://oneworld.press/?module=articles&action=view&id=2283

Bill Mitchell — Australia–annual inflation rate falls to 3 per cent with the quarterly rate stable and the press go crazy

Apparently, inflation in Australia has come ‘roaring’ back, if you believe one financial commentator today. There has been a lot of talk about how inflation is spiralling upwards and it demonstrates the MMT ‘quackery’. If you examine today’s data release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics – Consumer Price Index, Australia (October 27, 2021) – which relates to to the September-quarter 2021, then it becomes clear that the slightly elevated CPI result is largely due to uncompetitive cartel behaviour and deliberate government petrol pricing policies that ensure that the cartel behaviour is ratified in the form of higher local petrol prices. Not much more to see than that really. Nothing much to do with Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) at all. Sorry about that. The CPI rose by 0.8 per cent in the September-quarter 2021 and 3 per cent over the 12 months. The two main drivers were the rise in prices for New dwelling purchases by owner-occupiers (3.3 per cent) and Automotive fuel (7.7 per cent). Last quarter, the annual rate of CPI increase was 3.8 per cent, which makes statements like ‘roaring back’ seem ridiculous and designed to attract headlines.
After years of ZIRP doing nothing to raise the inflation rate to the central banks' targets, a moderate rise in some prices "owning to MMT quackery" is viewed as the beginning of hyperinflation "as predicted." Bonkers analysis.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Australia – annual inflation rate falls to 3 per cent with the quarterly rate stable and the press go crazy
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=48574

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Revenge of the Billionaire’s Tax? — Stephanie Kelton

Arguing of pay-for that are not necessary for spending. Spending and taxation are separate fiscal operations,. Ideally, each should be directed at objectives in terms of the socio-economic system taking politics into account as an expression of the will of the people, spending for public purpose to promote the general welfare and common good, and taxation to make space for public spending as well as to control inflation. Taxation can also serve to regulate the system by providing positive and negative incentives, e.g., promoting investment in green and discouraging negative externality and imbalances such as excessive inequality that creates a drag on the system. Ad hoc measures and unnecessary linkage are unlikely to be effective and will likely involves unintended consequences that are not desirable.

The Lens
Revenge of the Billionaire’s Tax?
Stephanie Kelton | Professor of Public Policy and Economics at Stony Brook University, formerly Democrats' chief economist on the staff of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, and an economic adviser to the 2016 presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders
https://stephaniekelton.substack.com/p/revenge-of-the-billionaires-tax

The True Costs of Government Spending — Michael J. Boskin

Conservative argument against government spending that is not simplistic like government bankruptcy or hyperinflation. Another sign the debate is advancing.

Project Syndicate
The True Costs of Government Spending
Michael J. Boskin is Professor of Economics at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was Chairman of George H.W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1989 to 1993, and headed the so-called Boskin Commission, a congressional advisory body that highlighted errors in official US inflation estimates
https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/biden-spending-bill-does-not-cost-zero-dollars-by-michael-boskin-2021-10

Moon of Alabama — On The Delusion In U.S. Foreign Policy And What Might Change It

The US elite are delusional. Counting the ways.

Moon of Alabama
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/10/on-the-delusion-in-us-foreign-policy-and-what-might-change-it.html

See also

Asia Times
The Taiwan issue will fade away – literally
by David P. Goldman
https://asiatimes.com/2021/10/the-taiwan-issue-will-fade-away-literally/

Biden’s Nominee Omarova Has a Published Plan to Move All Bank Deposits to the Fed and Let the New York Fed Short Stocks — Pam and Russ Martens

This month, the Vanderbilt Law Review published a 69-page paper by Saule Omarova, President Biden’s nominee to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal regulator of the largest banks in the country that operate across state lines. The paper is titled “The People’s Ledger: How to Democratize Money and Finance the Economy.”
Sounds like a (pretty radical) plan.

Wall Street On Parade
Biden’s Nominee Omarova Has a Published Plan to Move All Bank Deposits to the Fed and Let the New York Fed Short StocksPam Martens and Russ Martens
https://wallstreetonparade.com/2021/10/bidens-nominee-omarova-has-a-published-plan-to-move-all-bank-deposits-to-the-fed-and-let-the-new-york-fed-short-stocks/

An American Coup — Alfred McCoy

History lesson in coups. What is not mentioned is the attempted soft coup against Trump. Turns out that coups are now bipartisan in America.

Tom Dispatch
Alfred McCoy | Fred Harvey Harrington Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison
https://tomdispatch.com/an-american-coup/

See also for the flip side.

The Grayzone
Russiagate Archives - The Grayzone
https://thegrayzone.com/tag/russiagate/

The New Economics Foundation talks fiscal rules within the context of MMT – even if they aren’t saying so – and the result is really good — Richard Murphy

More signs the debate is shifting.

Tax Research UK
The New Economics Foundation talks fiscal rules within the context of MMT – even if they aren’t saying so – and the result is really good
Richard Murphy | Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University, London; Director of Tax Research UK; non-executive director of Cambridge Econometrics, and a member of the Progressive Economy Forum
https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2021/10/26/the-new-economics-foundation-talks-fiscal-rules-within-the-context-of-mmt-even-if-they-arent-saying-so-and-the-result-is-really-good/

Modern Monetary Theory, or MMT, is Here to Stay. What Investors Need to Know. — Stephen Dover

The author has no idea about what MMT is and cites no sources. Says it is debt monetization which he equates with QE. Ridiculous.

Barron's
Modern Monetary Theory, or MMT, is Here to Stay. What Investors Need to Know.
Stephen Dover, chief market strategist and head of the Franklin Templeton Investment Institute
https://www.barrons.com/articles/mmt-isnt-going-anywhere-what-investors-need-to-know-51635169796

Bill Mitchell — Federal Reserve research paper kills another core New Keynesian idea about inflation expectations

The New York Times article (October 1, 2021, updated October 15, 2021) – Nobody Really Knows How the Economy Works. A Fed Paper Is the Latest Sign – reported on a paper by one Jeremy B. Rudd, who is a senior advisor in the Research and Statistics division at the Federal Reserve Bank in the US. The paper – Why Do We Think That Inflation Expectations Matter for Inflation? (And Should We?) – published as Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2021-062, by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, argues that a core aspect of New Keynesian macroeconomic orthodoxy “rests on extremely shaky foundations … and adhering to it uncritically could easily lead to serious policy errors.” The paper rejects the central notion in mainstream macro that the trajectory of inflation is driven by expectations. The idea that expectations are the key force has led central banks deliberately using the unemployed to fight an (imaginary) inflation threat. It has led fiscal authorities to pursue contractionary policies that have forced millions into unemployment. The Rudd paper is important because it shows the mainstream edifice is collapsing – it jettisons an other core concept. There is not much left in mainstream economics that hasn’t been rejected by evidence or exposed as being theoretically inconsistent....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Federal Reserve research paper kills another core New Keynesian idea about inflation expectations
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

News Corp's dramatic climate change backflip

News Corp’s dramatic U-turn over climate policy. Critics call its Mission Zero campaign ‘greenwashing’ but we argue it is a significant shift for Australia’s largest media company. 




News Corp's dramatic climate change backflip


"Unvaccinated Workers Pay More for Health Insurance"

If people were to bear the cost of their decision, rather than let the rest of us pick up the tab, they might rethink their decision. 


Executives at some companies are now starting to charge unvaccinated workers more for health insurance premiums.

They say they are doing so to encourage workers to get vaccinated and to offset costs incurred when employees are hospitalized for COVID-19.

The policies are similar to those invoked on employees who smoke.

Most employees will continue to have the right to choose whether or not to get vaccinated against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.


  "Unvaccinated Workers Pay More for Health Insurance"

Vaccine-resistant coronavirus 'mutants' are more likely when transmission is high, new model finds

 The vaccines only slow down transmissions for 3 months, so the antivaxxers are asking why should they get a vaccine? They have a point, except they are overloading our hospitals are burning the staff out, but also, mutations are more likely to occur in the unvaccinated. 


Anyway, some antivaxxers are now tweeting the research below, which shows that in a society where a large amount of people are vaccinated, but where not everyone is, mutations are more likely to occur, so they are blaming the the high amount of vaccination for the mutations, but they haven't read the research properly, because the scientists are recommending that everyone should get vaccinated to reduce mutations.


The new model underscores the risk of letting SARS-CoV-2 spread unabated, particularly when a large fraction of people — but not everyone — is vaccinated. That said, the model doesn't perfectly match reality, and we're still contending with big unknowns, Kondrashov said.


The best way to snuff out vaccine-resistant mutants before they spread is to get shots in arms as quickly as possible, while also keeping viral transmission low, the authors found; in their model, they assume low transmission rates reflect the adoption of behavioral measures like masking and social distancing.


Vaccine-resistant coronavirus 'mutants' are more likely when transmission is high, new model finds


The crazy world of arguing with antivaxxers and climate change. 




The Truth Why Stupid People Think They Are Smart





https://youtu.be/oFL5NoM9GVE

Monday, October 25, 2021

Capitalism Is Violence: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix — Caitlin Johnstone

 Some Marxism without mentioning Marx. 

CaitlinJohnstone.com
Capitalism Is Violence: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
Caitlin Johnstone
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/10/26/capitalism-is-violence-notes-from-the-edge-of-the-narrative-matrix/

Why Everyone Is Wrong About Biden’s $600 Billion Climate Bill — Leonard Hyman & William Tilles

  • It looks like Senator Joe Manchin will stand firm in his stance against the climate change provisions in Biden’s infrastructure bill
  • When it comes to the climate bill it looks like there are no winners here, with both Manchin and Biden failing to secure anything concrete from negotiations
  • Ultimately, the bill is unlikely to have a significant impact on a transition that is clearly underway already within the United States
Oilprice
Why Everyone Is Wrong About Biden’s $600 Billion Climate Bill
Leonard Hyman & William Tilles
https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/Why-Everyone-Is-Wrong-About-Bidens-600-Billion-Climate-Bill.html


Sputnik — US Urges Germany to Consider Sanctioning Russia Over Gas Supplies

Risible. Who is holding the stronger hand?

Sputnik International
US Urges Germany to Consider Sanctioning Russia Over Gas Supplies
https://sputniknews.com/20211025/us-urges-germany-to-consider-sanctioning-russia-over-gas-supplies-1090199074.html

Reading The Classics: Mathematics Vs. Economics — Brian Romanchuk

There’s been a fun (but silly) long-running debate on Twitter whether economists need to read canonical texts: Smith, Marx, Ricardo, Keynes, etc. What caught my eye is that a mainstream economist compared economics to mathematics — why don’t we learn calculus by studying the history of calculus? Why this is interesting is that is showed a lack of understanding of the situation in both mathematics and economics.

Please note that this article is a discussion of the philosophy of teaching at the university level, so do not expect any conclusions that will help make analysing bond markets easier. That said, there is an outline of a critique of the core methodological principles of neoclassical macro.

I will first start with mathematics....
As an aside, having spent a good deal of time as an educator, I think that teaching the history of all subjects is worthwhile, both individually and as a whole in terms of major periods. This should begin in grammar school when the study of history is introduced.

First, it makes a subject more interesting for students being introduced to a subject. Secondly, and it also shows the important of the heritage of knowledge upon which civilization is built. Thirdly, studying the history of the development of knowledge also reveals how social reproduction through culture in contrast to individual reproduction along with other animals makes humanity exceptional. Finally, it shows how different aspects of knowledge interacted with each other historically in a single complex adaptive system to contribute to this phenomenon involving not only human development but ecology. And it does a lot more.

Bond Economics
Reading The Classics: Mathematics Vs. Economics
Brian Romanchuk
http://www.bondeconomics.com/2021/10/reading-classics-mathematics-vs.html

On the role of economics and global inequality — Branko Milanovic

Important for thinking about economics and its relation to the world.

Global Inequality
On the role of economics and global inequality
Branko Milanovic | Visiting Presidential Professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and senior scholar at the Stone Center on Socio-economic Inequality, senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), and formerly lead economist in the World Bank's research department and senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
It takes a while for the mainstream organisations in economics, banking and finance to start to realise that the framework they use cannot explain the actual events in the real world, without serious revision. The problem though, is that the overall framework is flawed and the typical ‘response to anomaly’ approach, which changes a few assumptions to get ‘novel results’ is inadequate because it leaves one blind to all the possible policy solutions. The latest example is the Bank of International Settlements paper – Indebted Demand (released October 19, 2021) – which was written by three economists from Princeton, Harvard and Chicago Booth, respectively. They now recognise that rising inequality and massive household debt is a major problem for economic growth and macroeconomic stability. But, in maintaining ‘conventional’ assumptions about the government sector, they miss the vital linkages in the story, that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) economists have been providing for the last 25 or so years. Whether these responses to anomaly represent progress or different variations in a flawed ‘chess’ strategy is a matter of opinion. My thought is they are a largely a waste of time, although marginally, they demonstrate that elements of mainstream macro theory that were considered core elements a decade ago are no longer sustainable....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
When ‘new’ is really old and doesn’t get us very far – latest BIS paper
Bill Mitchl | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australiael

The Tight Fist of Special Interests — Michael Hudson

Transcript of Paul Jay interview.

Michael Hudson — On Finance, Real Estate And The Powers Of Neoliberalism
The Tight Fist of Special Interests
Michael Hudson | President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Guest Professor at Peking University
https://michael-hudson.com/2021/10/the-tight-fist-of-special-interests/

Sunday, October 24, 2021

This Shows Why The Yuan Is Defying Economic Slowdown — Ye Xie

In the face of moderating growth, China's leadership has a handle on the RE crisis and both exports and foreign purchase of Chinese stocks and bonds. 

Zero Hedge
This Shows Why The Yuan Is Defying Economic Slowdown
Ye Xie, Bloomberg markets live commentator and analyst
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/shows-why-yuan-defying-economic-slowdown

Also at ZH

You can disregard ZH's commentary. They think that today's economies are replicating Seventies stagflation. Completely different conditions. And ZH is on record that the Chinese economy is going to crash. We'll see.

Goldman Cut's China's 2022 GDP To Just 5.2%
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/goldman-cuts-chinas-2022-gdp-just-52

The Bright Side of Higher Inflation — Stephanie Kelton

It beats the alternative.
The Lens
The Bright Side of Higher Inflation
Stephanie Kelton | Professor of Public Policy and Economics at Stony Brook University, formerly Democrats' chief economist on the staff of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, and an economic adviser to the 2016 presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders
https://stephaniekelton.substack.com/p/the-bright-side-of-higher-inflation

Capsian Report - Why China cannot abandon communism

Interesting video! 

Capsian Report seem to be neutral, but I need to find out more about them. I don't know how correct their analysis is, but it seems feasible. 

The world is a pretty dangerous place, with countries still up for grabbing each others resources and wealth, if they can, so China needs to hang into its inner regions, Tibet and Xinglian, etc, as a buffer zone against attack. But these regions are poor, so the richer coastal parts of China have to subsidise them, hence communism still serves China a purpose.  

Southern China can suffer from floods, but the North can suffer from droughts, and both these have caused famines in the past, so the government is spending billions on one of the worlds most ambitious projects, and is building waterways to take some of the water from the South up to the North. But much of the water in the south comes from the rivers that flow from the mountains in Tibet, so China has always insisted that this region is part of its mainland because of its need for water security. 

 

President Xi Jinping pledged to redistribute wealth while turning up the heat on China’s upscale citizens and businesses. So, what keeps Chinese communism going?




Capsian Report - Why China cannot abandon communism


Does economic growth cause unemployment? — Sandwichman

Usually, a question in the title of an article is a teaser and the answer is almost always "no." Not in this case. The standard argument is that economic growth is necessary to create jobs and that unemployment results from the slowing or interruption of growth.

Even advocates of degrowth or a steady-state economy assume a positive connection between growth and employment. Advocates prescribe reduction of working time as a means to mitigate job losses that would otherwise result from productivity gains.

In chapter 25 of Capital, volume one, however, Marx claimed that the same factors that spur economic growth also stimulate an expansion of the population supplying labour power and the "industrial reserve army." He proclaimed the growth of the surplus population relative to employed labour to be, "the absolute general law of capitalist accumulation."

That, of course, was just an assertion. Defenders of the conventional view argue that Marx either didn't explain a mechanism for his "absolute general law" or if he did it was either wrong or incoherent.

I don't want to pretend expertise on whether Marx's theory stands up to rigorous critique. I sort of suspect every economic theory has a crack in it. That's how the light gets in.

What I want to do instead is suggest that there was a more compact version of Marx's surplus population argument in the Grundrisse that hasn't been refuted because it has mostly gone unnoticed....
Econospeak
Does economic growth cause unemployment?
Sandwichman


Comments on Profit and Capital — J. Barkley Rosser

It's complicated. Barkley Rosser unpacks it.

Econospeak
Comments on Profit and Capital
J. Barkley Rosser | Professor of Economics and Business Administration James Madison University

Posts on socially necessary labour time — Sandwichman

This came up in the comment. Here is the link for the record. It is a useful series on the meaning of "socially necessary labour time" relevant to Marx's labor theory of value. The posts are short.

Econospeak
Posts on socially necessary labour time
Sandwichman (Tom Walker)

Sanctioning Yourself in the Foot — Ted Snider

"Sanctions," Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, told the UN General Assembly, "are the US’s new way of war with the nations of the world." At least nineteen countries are currently besieged by the economic warfare of US sanctions.

As when they wage military war, the US is willing to accept the high civilian cost of sanctions. In their book Why Civil Resistance Works, Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan cite studies showing that sanctions "often harm the civilian population more than the targeted regimes." .…
The point of sanctions as economic warfare is to target the adversary government's population with the purpose of instigating an uprising that results in change of government.

But this doesn't work.
Though sanctions do not produce the desired effects, they do, ironically, produce four undesired effects....

The great recoil of neoliberal globalization — Paolo Gerbaudo

The current political era is best understood as a “great recoil” of economic globalization. It is a moment when the coordinates of historical development seem to be inverting, upsetting many of the assumptions that dominated politics and economics over the last decades. This moment corresponds to the “second movement” socialist economic historian Karl Polanyi described in his book The Great Transformation, when phases of capitalist expansion recede and are met by “societal responses.”

According to Polanyi, in phases of profound crisis like that opened by the 1929 Wall Street Crash, society tends to act defensively, erecting forms of social protection against a capitalist logic that has manifestly failed to deliver prosperity, yet becomes even more aggressive in its attempts to extract profit. During this moment, societies are involved in a process of “re-internalization” that aims to “re-embed” the economy in society....
ROAR
The great recoil of neoliberal globalization
Paolo Gerbaudo

A New Capitalism: The Case for Universal Property — Peter Barnes

Excerpt from Ours: The Case for Universal Property by Peter Barnes

Capitalism as we know it has two egregious flaws: it relentlessly widens inequality and destroys nature. Its ‘invisible hand,’ which is supposed to transform individual self-seeking into widely shared well-being, too often doesn’t, and governments can’t keep up with the conse­quences. For billions of people around the world, the chal­lenge of our era is to repair or replace capitalism before its cumu­­la­tive harms become irreparable.…
Like Marx said would happen due to internal contradictions in the design leading to breakdown. 

But, as an entrepreneur friend likes to say, "Every breakdown is an opportunity for a breakthrough."

This post contains some good information relevant to the issues and also some good ideas for addressing them.

Again, Marx concluded that the problem arose fundamentally from property rights and recommended abolishing them. Peter Barnes takes a similar but different tack. It is move I suspect Marx would approve in that it is a modification of capitalism that leads eventually to the adoption of socialism.

Peter Barnes posits that property rights are institutional, chiefly legal, not natural as John Locke attempted to argue based on use. I don't think Locke's argument is convincing to anyone without confirmation bias being operative. It is based on a just-so story rather than history and anthropology, like the just-so story about barter (Robinson Crusoe and Friday).

Evonomics
A New Capitalism: The Case for Universal Property
Peter Barnes is an entrepreneur whose work has focused on fixing the deep flaws of capitalism. He has co-founded several socially responsible businesses (including Working Assets/Credo) and written numerous articles and books, including Capitalism 3.0 and With Liberty and Dividends For All.
https://evonomics.com/a-new-capitalism-the-case-for-universal-property/

Jacob Weisberg - Elitist Nonsense

 The right’s favorite scare word is “elitism.’ What does it mean?


When I say the elite, I mean the ruling class, but when the Right say the elite, they mean educated people and academics, like climatologists, psychologists, and epidemiologists, etc. 


 If there’s one epithet the right never tires of, it’s “elitism.” Republicans are constantly accusing Democrats of it this campaign season, as when Kentucky Senate nominee Rand Paul attacked President Obama as “a liberal elitist … [who] believes that he knows what is best for people.” With the Tea Party’s rise, conservatives have even begun accusing each other of it, as Sharron Angle, the Nevada GOP nominee did when she charged that Robert Bennett, the outgoing senator from Utah, “has become one of the elitists that is no longer in touch.” Other days, they simply lament that the entire country is falling prey to it, as California Senate nominee Carly Fiorina recently did in asserting that “the American Dream is in danger” because of the “elitists” in charge of the government.

Thus did the son and grandson of admirals, a millionaire who couldn’t remember how many houses he owned, accuse his mixed-race opponent, raised by a single-mother and only a few years past paying off his student loans, being the real elite candidate in the campaign.


Jacob Weisberg - Elitist Nonsense

China maps path to carbon peak, neutrality under new development philosophy — Xinhua

By 2030, China's carbon dioxide emissions will peak, stabilize and then decline, and by 2060, China will be carbon neutral and have fully established a green, low-carbon and circular economy, it said, reiterating the country's previous pledge.

ECNS
China maps path to carbon peak, neutrality under new development philosophy
Xinhua (Chinese state media)

Markets and Freedom — Chris Dillow

One of the great political changes of my adult lifetime has been the right’s abandonment of free market economics, as illustrated by the government imposing trade frictions within the UK and putting up the tax burden to what the OBR says will be “its highest level since Roy Jenkins was Chancellor in the late 1960s.” Two books I’ve read recently pose a question: might this shift be due in part to an awareness that markets are no longer the foundation of freedom we once thought they were?...
Interesting contrast between libertarians of the right like Friedman, Hayek and Thatcher, and libertarians of the left, here Marx in particular.

Libertarians of the right assume that freedom is the highest value and that freedom is maximized in a market economy under freed market capitalism. Libertarians of left assume that freedom is the highest value but that freedom is maximized in a socialist society with genuine democracy, that is, governance of, by and for the people, with a strong bill of rights to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority.


Stumbling and Mumbling
Markets and Freedom
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle
https://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2021/10/markets-and-freedom.html

DWAC on WSB

 

Reddit WSB people starting to pick up on the Trump thing:












@jack: “hyperinflation will soon change everything”

 

Jack thinks we’re going “hyperinflation!”… “hahper!”…  if we don’t get it, this could turn out to be another Trump Curse situation… he’s already dressed for it… wouldn’t have to change clothes…





Saturday, October 23, 2021

Kay and Peele - Das Negros

 American comedy this week. 


I don't look for comedy, it just turns up in my YouTube app, but not so much has turned up lately. 




https://youtu.be/m1bLXk6UVts



FAT DRUNK PIG ROLLS DOWN A HILL[TRY NOT TO LAUGH]




FAT DRUNK PIG ROLLS DOWN A HILL [TRY NOT TO LAUGH]

Trump SPAC

 

This thing had a good 2 days Thursday and Friday… and it appeared to be in “liquidation only” on Friday my broker would not accept a market order to buy….  I don’t know if an ipo was ever treated like that before…

This is interesting from the Zero Hedge people here I don’t know if this is accurate or not:

Finally, we note that DWAC would have to reach $1,739 to be as large as Twitter... food for thought for analyst price targets.

And if Pinterest is supposed to be worth $50b I have to think the Trump thing would be worth at least as much as that…





Germany on the brink of legalizing cannabis | DW News

One topic in the coalition talks to form a new government in Germany is the legalization of cannabis products. All three parties are in favour of a regulated system for cultivation, trade, and sale. German pharmaceutical companies are also hoping for a boost from this.

When cannabis was legalized in Canada three years ago, many customers were eager to make the first legal purchase of marijuana. Today, the legal cannabis industry in Canada posts more than two billion euros in sales annually. The government there closely monitors cultivation and sales.




Germany on the brink of legalizing cannabis | DW News



But Nick Wright's negative experience is not uncommon. 



Friday, October 22, 2021

Biden's China Ambassador Pick Says Beijing Is "Greatest Threat" To US & The "Democratic World" — Dave DeCamp

 How to scuttle relations right out of the box in choosing diplomats.

First, the Biden administration sends Victoria Nuland to negotiate with Russia, and now is proposing an outspoken China hawk as ambassador to China. Beyond dumb unless you want to program the outcome to fail, where in your own mind failure of better relations is success. A similar situation is unfolding in negotiations with Iran that guarantee no deal.

The US is sounding more and more like the British Empire before its dissolution as a result of WWI, engineered by Britain to preserve its empire, and then WWII, which was a direct result of WWI. Let hope that is not a precedent. The US and NATO have not fought a war where the other side could actually fight back since the stalemate in the Korean War after China entered it even though China then was only a shadow of what it is now.

But ka-ching for the MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex) and maybe some points in the toxic environment of US domestic politics.

AntiWar
Biden's China Ambassador Pick Says Beijing Is "Greatest Threat" To US & The "Democratic World"
Dave DeCamp
https://news.antiwar.com/2021/10/20/bidens-ambassador-to-china-nominee-says-beijing-is-the-greatest-threat-to-the-us-and-the-democratic-world/

Is There a Method Behind China’s Tech Crackdown Madness? — Ruihan Huang

The method is revealed by the numbers. China is tightening ship.

MacroPolo
Is There a Method Behind China’s Tech Crackdown Madness?
Ruihan Huang

Links — 22 Oct 2021

All the clickable links were correct and checked. The URLs are provided separately as back up.

Moon of Alabama (traditionalism, which includes most of the world, vs. Western liberalism)
Putin's Musings On 'Wokeness'
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/10/putins-musing-about-wokeness.html

How Biden's Too-Clever-By-Half Iran Strategy Failed
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/10/why-bidens-too-clever-by-half-iran-strategy-failed.html

The Vineyard of the Saker
From Russia, With (Taliban) Love
Pepe Escobar
https://thesaker.is/from-russia-with-taliban-love/

Asia Times
The world according to Vladimir Putin
Pepe Escobar
https://asiatimes.com/2021/10/the-world-according-to-vladimir-putin/

Sputnik International
Why Putin's 'Conservatism of Optimists' Approach Resonating With Traditionalists in US and EU
https://sputniknews.com/20211022/why-putins-conservatism-of-optimists-approach-resonating-with-traditionalists-in-us-and-eu-1090128178.html

The Intercept (she is only the tip of the iceberg)
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Is the Dying Scream of the Corporate Democratic Party
Ryan Grim
https://theintercept.com/2021/10/22/kyrsten-sinema-corporate-democrats/

Sen. Joe Manchin Has Been Fighting to Keep Billions in Subsidies for Fossil Fuel Industry
Aileen Brown
https://theintercept.com/2021/10/22/manchin-climate-fossil-fuel-subsidies-reconciliation/

Counterpunch
The US Empire: Coercion and Consent
Supid Bhattacharya
https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/10/22/the-us-empire-coercion-and-consent/

AlterNet
New intelligence report warns of 'destabilizing effects' from climate change and its national security risks
Meaghan Ellis
https://www.alternet.org/2021/10/climate-change/

The American Prospect
Amazon Warns Sellers: Marketplace Could Shut Down If Congress Tries to Regulate It
David Dayan
https://prospect.org/power/amazon-warns-sellers-marketplace-could-shut-down-if-congress-regulates/

TASS
Gas under long-term contracts 4 times cheaper for EU than spot contracts - Putin
https://tass.com/economy/1352739

CNBC
U.S. government agency in charge of financial stability weighs in on climate change risks
Emma Newburger
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/21/financial-stability-oversight-council-weighs-in-on-climate-risks.html

The Week
How the 'economics of global warming' are unfolding differently in Russia
Brigid Kennedy
https://theweek.com/russia/1006344/how-the-economics-of-global-warming-are-unfolding-differently-in-russia

International Policy Digest
Richard Carroll
https://intpolicydigest.org/what-if-the-republic-fails/









Julia Corliss - "Flu shot linked to lower heart attack, stroke risk - Harvard Health"

A study published in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association finds that getting the influenza vaccine lowers a person’s odds of a having heart attack, stroke, heart failure, or other major cardiac event—including death—by about a third over the following year.


What’s the connection between flu and cardiovascular problems? “When you get the flu, your body mounts an impressive immune response, which causes a lot of inflammation. As a result, the plaque inside your blood vessels can become unstable, which can lead to blockage and a possible heart attack or stroke,” says study leader Jacob Udell, MD, a cardiologist at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto and a clinician-scientist at the University of Toronto.



  Julia Corliss - "Flu shot linked to lower heart attack, stroke risk - Harvard Health"

Black Rock’s Larry Fink blames gig economy for stoking inflation

BlackRock’s Larry Fink is less upbeat on the economy than Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan.


 BlackRock Inc. CEO Larry Fink shared a cloudier view on climate change efforts and inflation than Bank of America Corp. CEO Brian Moynihan at a virtual industry gathering on Tuesday.


Fink said the U.S.’s long-term shift toward a gig economy has left workers without traditional pensions and other benefits, and is feeding a drive toward sharper wage increases nowadays.


“You have more flexibility, but we lost the connection between our workers and many companies,” Fink said in his remarks at the Institute for International Finance (IIF) annual meeting. “The fragmentation and polarization of society is because of these issues.”


Market Watch


Black Rock’s Larry Fink blames gig economy for stoking inflation


BlackRock - The company that owns the world?


#BlackRock. There’s a good chance you have never heard of them. 

In less than 30 years, this American financial firm has grown from nothing to becoming the world’s largest and most trusted manager of other people’s money. The assets left in their care are worth a staggering 6.3 trillion US dollars – a figure with 12 zeroes.




https://youtu.be/A4foal20UTA

The Confusing State of Inflation Inputs — Barry L. Ritholtz

Looks about right.

The Big Picture
The Confusing State of Inflation Inputs
Barry L. Ritholtz is co-founder, chairman, and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management LLC.

Related

Naked Capitalism
Supply Chain Shortages and Inflation: How Bad Will the Disruption Become?
Yves Smith

Trump curse

 

Now it got Alec Baldwin…. They continue to drop like flies….





Why Some White Evangelicals Are Rethinking Their Politics l FiveThirtyEight

 Plus a bit about my early childhood 


Although my parents weren't religious they still sent my brother and me to Sunday school because they thought that we would pick up some good values there. A big black van would turn up outside people's houses every Sunday and all the kids would be bundled into the back. There were no seats or windows inside the back part of the van where they put us so we were just driven about like cattle. Fortunately, the Sunday school was just around the corner, so I didn't get travel sickness, something I suffered a lot from when I was young. 

Most of the time what they taught us at Sunday school just went right over my head, especially as I had never seen a miracle before, and most of the teaching was about the miracles, like walking on water, and turning water into wine, etc, but none of it seemed to relate all that much to the world that I lived in which was a council estate in South London (see below). I don't think I really believed the stories all that much either, or rather, I didn't know quite what to make of it all. 

They taught us the teachings of Jesus and he seemed to be a very nice person, who was very compassionate and considerate. They also told us about the parables: The Eye of the Needle and the Rich Man, Turn the other cheek, Forgive your enemies, etc.

  

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

 

Also they also told us what Heaven and Hell was like: 

In Hell, they said, there were tables full of food, but everyone was hungry, because the spoons were really long, so they were unable to feed themselves. But in Heaven, everything was exactly the same, except no one was hungry because they fed each other with the long spoons. 

Would Jesus recognise right-wing evangelical Christianity today ? I doubt it very much somehow. 


White evangelicals are often seen as a solidly Republican voting bloc. In the 2020 election, 84 percent of them voted for Donald Trump. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, many of Trump’s supporters began identifying as evangelical during his presidency.


But white evangelicals aren’t a monolith. In our first episode of Political Outliers, meet two devout evangelicals who were raised in conservative households, but are now self-proclaimed “progressives.” They both say that their political views became more liberal as they immersed themselves deeper into their faith




Why Some White Evangelicals Are Rethinking Their Politics l FiveThirtyEight


I went bit off the beaten track here last night when I added this part, but I decided I might as well post it now. The above article really got me into thinking about that early part of my life. 


The Brandon Estate 


I lived right next to the Branden Estate in Southwark, South London, between the ages of 6 to 8 years old and had many friends there who I would play on the estate with. I was amazed to find this old footage of the Branden Estate recently which was shot in 1961, although I live there between 1964 and 1966. The estate had a bad reputation although I don't remember there being any problems, but it might have got this reputation later. The kids were quite friendly too and I was never bullied by anyone here. 


There’s no sound, and it may not be riveting, but it's exactly how it was, so it was fascinating to find it, but black and white makes it look more gloomy than it was. 




https://youtu.be/yN8MCyeI4qA


Below is our prefab where we lived from 1964 to 1966, which was tempory home that was supplied by the council. They called these ones Mobile Homes to distinguish them from prefabs, but like the prefabs, they were made in a factory and then transported on a lorry, afterwhich a crane would put them into place. It was quite nice really, a detached bungalow, in fact, but there was one big problem - the whole thing was made of asbestos!

You can see the Brandon Estate in the background in the photo below. 

The large flower pot is a barrow my dad cut in half. He was a butcher and he would get them from where he used to work. It was a popular idea where he worked. 





This is my brother, Mark, (the blonde one at the back) playing with his friends, Christopher (I've forgotten his second name) and Robert Gateson, who were neighbours. It looks like my dad must have given my neighbour half a barrow to be used as a flowerpot. 



My mum with me in the front garden. Apparently, that toy bus is worth a fortune now. I think my mum gave it away when I was very young after I hadn't played with it for years. 



We went to St John's The Devine School, which was Protestant and very strict. In the background of the above photo you can see the steeple of St John's The Devine Church. 

At school one day they got us into the assembly room to tell us about the school rules, and that if we broke them we would be severely punished, which might mean even getting the cane. I was only 6 years old and was very new at the school, and I had no idea what rules were, so I thought they must be 10 inch long glass rods that they kept in a locked glass cabinet in the headmasters room. They must be very special, I thought, but I couldn't figure out what the hell they would be used for, or how anyone could break one if they were in a glass box. 

My mum made the Batman and Superman suits. She was a seemstress and she made us a lot of clothes. In the photo I have the Batman the suit on. 




The steeple was jaw dropping and seemed to go right up into the sky beyond the clouds, well, that's how it looked to me when I was a very young boy. The church was beautiful, but quite menacing and severe, a bit like the teachers. Neither my brother or I liked St John's School. It was definitely something out of a Charles Dickens novel - very dark and foreboding. I think the teachers there considered children to be the Devil. 

The church is regarded as a fine example of Victorian Gothic. The general construction is of red brick, but all parapets, window openings, doorways, etc. are dressed with stone. The upper part of the spire is entirely of stone. At over 260 feet, it is the tallest spire in south London and can be seen for miles around. The poet John Betjeman remarked that St John the Divine was "the most magnificent church in South London."