Forum Replies Created
Although the sagacity of a 10-year-old is one viewing angle, another is simply that economics is bad science but brilliant politics (for some). The question our elites and comprador managers have stopped asking is what is good for economies, or one’s particular nation over all. Some time back, the basic compact that Ralston Saul mention in Voltaire’s Bastards that the technocracy was assuming control from the aristocracy in the interests of the nation has been abrogated. The technocracy has returned to serving an aristocracy or plutonomy–this has been a cluster**ck but one in which some, those driving the parade, have made out like bandits, and we can only assume they think they have enough private security and walled compounds to dominate the chaos that ensues. It’s not just that the US has destroyed its labour force, middle-class, manufacturing base, but even its critical arms-manufacturing infrastructure.
Put otherwise, those that profit from the offshoring of manufacturing are not necessarily the ones who profit from arms manufacture, who are not necessarily the ones who profit from maintaining US critical infrastructure, who are not necessarily the ones who profit from debt, There’s overlap but apparently little overall strategy among these parasitic profit-takers.
That anyone is still doing anything for the long-term benefit of anything so broad as a nation, civilization, or species seems increasingly implausible.
It’s with considerable regret that I find so little to argue with here. The European project had once seemed grand, a blueprint of sorts for a more efficacious global polity. But now as Raul notes, is such a cautionary tale as to make these ideals more remote in practice than ever.
Would just add that recently German intelligence stated that they found the Ukranian death toll of 5000 not credible. The actual numbers may be ten times higher.
The corporatist MSM has become utterly nauseating through all this. Interesting to learn about German online readers turning away en masse in disgust from the most heavily visited news sites and now the demonstrations in Ireland against the state broadcaster RTE, as an apologist for austerity.April 25, 2014 at 2:59 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle Apr 25 2014: Is America Preparing For The Wrong War? #12517
A perspective post, and amazing links, as usual. The resurgence of neocon Cold Warmongers is startling. As with the financial industry in 2008, not prosecuting them established an impunity that we will continue to pay dearly for. One of the tricks from their Total Information Dominance playbook seems to be to accuse their opponents, targets or victims of what they themselves are doing or plotting. To appropriate the accusation in advance. So the bit of ventriloquism over World War III would be particularly alarming in that context, and given the degree of crazy in the power formations around Washington.April 15, 2014 at 4:26 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle Apr 15 2014: This Is Where We Say Good Night And Good Luck? #12309
This is rapidly becoming my favourite site. I have no doubt that you have many daily site visits, but am wondering why so few people post.April 1, 2014 at 11:35 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle Apr 1 2014: What Kills The Economy Kills The Planet Kills Us #12039
Thoughtful post, well expressed.March 29, 2014 at 5:52 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle Mar 28 2014: The China Clock Goes Tick Tock #12020
A first response is to ask in turn where the trillions come from that we used to place junk bank assets and now QE on the public balance sheet. The broader point being that if the aim–which would not be my idea of a sensible aim–is to promote a return to growth, then even by the low lights of (neo)classical economic thinking we would get far more stimulative benefit, a greater multiplier effect, from putting money into the hands of those who *need* to spend it, and into infrastructure projects that have an immediate and evident future benefit (the civil engineers tell us that something in the neighbourhood of 4 trillion could and arguably must be reinvested in our electrical grids, sewage, water, pipelines, rail lines), than from parking it in banks and corporate cash reserves and share buybacks, fuelling stock market and real estate speculation, and maintaining artificially low tax rates on these.March 28, 2014 at 9:32 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle Mar 28 2014: The China Clock Goes Tick Tock #12009
Not to spend too much time in the Wonderland of neoclassical economics, nor much more defending Krugman as among its less delusional and most civic-minded theorists, but I don’t see these massive expansions of public liability to sustain financial sector bubbles as Keynesian. Not all deficits are Keynesian. The more plausibly Keynesian response that Krugman is probably correct in maintaining has never really been tried, is putting money in ordinary people’s hands, in the productive economy, not in banks, hedge funds and share speculation.March 28, 2014 at 4:20 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle Mar 26 2014: This Is Why We Are Doomed #12001
I was relieved to note some pushback from the IPCC authors on the misleading underestimate of costs. But as useful as Michael Mann’s 2036 timeline is, give feedback lag times, if we reach 2C we will already likely be locked into 4, 5, 6 … runaway. It would have been helpful if he or whoever quoted him had finished the thought…
I thought the “Shock Doctrine” meme had gotten pretty good traction, so seeing it here I find myself surprised by how rarely we see this in the context of “Austerity”. Odd how “austerity” promoted from on high becomes palatable when voluntary simplicity, intentionally reduced consumption, and an end to a generation growth (in effect if not by declaration) have been and likely remain beyond the pale. I would say Klein’s shock analysis goes some way to accounting for the docility with which we respond to “the god that failed”…March 27, 2014 at 1:51 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle Mar 26 2014: This Is Why We Are Doomed #11968
If you prefer “catastrophic anthropogenic climate forcing” or “climate disruption” or “climate destabilization” I’ll play along. Or you might be interested to hear that climate change has always been the used more than global warming in the UK.
Why the forced choice between addressing the externalities of one part of the energy economy but not the other? Why embrace the science of radiation poisoning but not the simpler physics and chemistry of heat absorption, understood in its implications for the atmosphere a century and a half ago, and the basis of very good prediction of present temperature values by the early 1970s?
Instead of insisting on the ascendancy of your hierarchy of values why not look into what we might agree on?
Perhaps that an economy that factors a full accounting of socio-ecological costs into its activities, that can subtract as well as add, that can look beyond decisions based on its executive bonus structure, would be preferable to both Fukushima and geoengineering, and to the military spending that keeps this globalizing regime in place?
When you’re prepared to embrace the military-caused-global-warming theory, why treat the plausible prospect of potentially catastrophic anthropogenic climate destabilization as a conspiracy theory underpinned by the research of 97% of the world’s scientists most competent to take a position on the question? Or is it that the latter, on the face of it, fails to be marginal enough to gratify the conspiracist mindset–too mainstream, perhaps? Or is it that one conspiracy would require that you alter your behaviour and place our capitalist / corporatist economy at risk, and the other asks only that we shake our keyboard warrior fists at the fighter jets on our TV screens?
What might timely climate action have meant or still mean? Less waste, less pollution, better vehicle mileage and public transportation, more resilient distributed energy systems, more localized economies, less corporate welfare, or accountability for externalities, water and food security, more investment in sustainable economies.
But refuse to manage risk and insist on iron-clad certainty long enough and we get a menu of disaster capitalism, bubble finance, shock doctrine austerity, geoengineering, repression and militarism.
What, other than doubling down on more of the same with a dash of technoromanticism, do you have left to offer? I’ll bet we could find something in your offerings to agree on.
Sorry Raul. For some reason I assumed this was Nicole’s personal blog. Congratulations on and thanks for your fine work.March 26, 2014 at 10:06 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle Mar 26 2014: This Is Why We Are Doomed #11964
1. Deny until the window closes on prevention.
2. Resist mitigation as too expensive.
3. Promote adaptation as the less expensive alternative.
4. Exalt adaptation and mass-extinction clearances as a growth opportunity.
5. Wind down life on Earth, declare a time-discounted, fully depreciated and hedged write down.
6. Promote IPO for leveraged move to nearest available planet or space-station.
I can’t say I disagree with your conclusion:
Are we still going to be chest thumping by then? Or will we have learned to recognize the traits that make the leaders handpicked for us to vote for, unfit to represent out interests? I think that the poorer we get, and that process will forcibly continue, the more likely we are to pick the less competent ones. As long as they use the right words to promise us better days, and they look like they could work in TV, they got the job.
That said, if we could lay some of the present incompetence at the feet of a complacency toward the competence of our politicians that we (ever more clearly now) could never afford, it’s curious that a loss of complacency may not actually inflect the trend back towards greater competence.
Do you have some mechanism or dynamic in mind that effects or selects for incompetence? Is it contradictory to hold that leaders are no so much incompetent as enacting policies that favour those whom they actually rather than nominally represent (Could we, alternatively, claim that to pursue a goal of narrowly distributed benefit would be reflective of a loss of competence at the level of goal-setting, which might in turn be a matter of selecting among options and theories that are themselves feckless…)March 21, 2014 at 5:38 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle Mar 21 2014: A Wealth of Embarrassment #11903
I’ve been wanting for some time to write and express appreciation for your work, notably today’s, but until today I had not been able to find the website registration facility. You may have all the commenters you wish to have already, but if not you might also consider making the registration / log in facility more visible / accessible.