Nov 272022
 


Johannes Vermeer View of Delft 1660-61

 

The Consumer Economy Has Completely Collapsed (CTH)
41% of US Small Businesses Can’t Pay Rent This Month (JTN)
Most NATO Members Are Out Of Weapons For Ukraine – NYT (RT)
Europe Accuses US Of Profiting From War (Pol.eu)
Ukraine Is Proud Of Its War Crimes (Milacic)
Biden Admin Quietly Greenlights Plan to Build Huge Gulf Oil Terminal (ET)
Musk: Exposing Hunter Biden Laptop Story Necessary To Restore Public Trust (ZH)
Companies Join Call to Suspend Advertising with Twitter (Turley)
Climate Activists: Slaughter Millions of Dogs To ‘Reduce Carbon Pawprint’ (NP)
Thoughts On A Crypto Crisis (Melekan)
Klaus Schwab Declares China A ‘Role Model’ (AT)
Finis Sinarum: Why I think China Cannot Win This (Pattberg)
US Officials Pressured Canada To Stop ‘Freedom Convoy’ (NYP)
The Vaccinated Now Account For A Majority Of Covid Deaths (Techno Fog)
People With Stable Cancer Rapidly Progress After Having a Booster (Dalgleish)

 

 

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.”
– Paulo Coelho

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maersheimer 2015

 

 

 

 

Musk Putin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Normally, it’s wrapped all the way around the building. Today: no one.”

The Consumer Economy Has Completely Collapsed (CTH)

“Crowds? I see nothing. I’m surprised,” retail worker Jeremy Pritchett told FOX 2. “Normally, it’s wrapped all the way around the building. Today: no one.” That’s the typical ground report from areas all over the country. No one, literally almost no one, is doing any holiday shopping and the traditional Black Friday rush to get deals and discounts just didn’t happen. Financial media are scratching their puzzlers, perplexed with furrowed brows. Interestingly, almost every financial media outlet is using the same Retail Federation talking point about anticipating an 8% increase in holiday sales this year. Apparently, pretenses must be maintained. Meanwhile, news crews and camera crews are having a desperate time finding any holiday shopping to use as background footage for the claims that sales are strong. “Look, over there. There’s a person buying something. Oh, wait, no, that’s just an employee dusting the empty cash register.” At a certain point, one would have to believe reality would run head-first into the mass delusional pretending. Maybe this holiday season will be it, maybe not.

Reuters – […] “About 166 million people were planning to shop from Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday through this coming “Cyber Monday,” according to the National Retail Federation, almost 8 million more than last year. But with sporadic rain in some parts of the country, stores were less busy than usual on Black Friday. “Usually at this time of the year you struggle to find parking. This year, I haven’t had an issue getting a parking spot,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry adviser of the NPD Group Inc. “It’s a lot of social shopping, everybody is only looking to get what they need. There is no sense of urgency,” Cohen added, based on his store checks in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. At the American Dream mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey, there were no lines outside stores. A Toys ‘R’ Us employee was handing out flyers with a list of the Black Friday “door buster” promotions.”

It’s almost Kafkaesque to see how the media are continuing to maintain economic pretenses, yet the reality of a completely collapsed consumer economy is physically staring them in the face. (Bloomberg) – “Activity Light at One San Francisco Mall (4:40 p.m.) – At the Stonestown mall in San Francisco, shoppers were few and far between. The Target and Zara stores were mostly empty, and there was no line for the mall’s Santa Claus. Uniqlo and Apple were the busiest locations, but they still weren’t crowded. […] Crowds were thin in the late morning at the Stamford Town Center mall. Kay Jeweler, empty. Safavieh, empty. Only a couple of people waited at the checkout line at Forever 21 and just a few were in line for a purchase at Barnes & Noble. […] At a Target store on Chicago’s North Side, the parking lot was barely half full at about 9 a.m. local time. Shoppers were greeted with $3 ornaments and discounted Christmas trees when entering, and the store seemed calm and relatively quiet.

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“Last month, rent delinquency rates increased seven percentage points from 30% in September to 37% in October..”

41% of US Small Businesses Can’t Pay Rent This Month (JTN)

More than 40% of U.S. small business owners say they couldn’t pay rent on time or in full for the month of November, the highest this year. The small business network group Alignable released the survey, which found that the hardship varies by industry. A notable 57% of beauty salons said they couldn’t make rent as well as 45% of gyms, 44% of retail and 44% of restaurants. “Making matters worse, this occurred during a quarter when more money should be coming in and rent delinquency rates should be decreasing,” Alignable said. “But so far this quarter, the opposite has been true.” This latest report continues a steady increase in businesses that can’t pay rent this year. “Last month, rent delinquency rates increased seven percentage points from 30% in September to 37% in October,” Alignable said.


“And now, in November, that rate is another four percentage points higher, reaching a new high across a variety of industries.” Business owners cite a range of reasons for the difficulty making rent, including higher rent costs and lower revenue. But 60% cite inflation. “One indicator of the toll inflation is taking on businesses is a steep drop in the percentage of small businesses that are fully recovered, earning as much if not more than they did monthly prior to COVID,” Alignable said. “The percentage was 24% in October, but dropped to 14% in November — an all-time low.” Michigan had the highest percentage of small business owners unable to make rent at 51% with New York in second at 49% and Massachusetts third highest at 45%. The survey queried 6,326 small business owners in November.

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Buy buy buy.

Most NATO Members Are Out Of Weapons For Ukraine – NYT (RT)

Western weapon stockpiles have become strained after countless arms transfers to Ukraine, making it increasingly difficult for NATO militaries to keep up with politicians’ pledges to continue supporting Kiev with whatever it needs for as long as it takes, the New York Times reported on Saturday. “Smaller countries have exhausted their potential,” and according to one NATO official, at least 20 of the alliance’s 30 members are “pretty tapped out,” the newspaper wrote. Only “larger allies,” including France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, have enough stockpiles to continue or potentially increase their weapon shipments to Ukraine. Since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in late February, the US and its Western allies have been providing Kiev with billions of dollars in security assistance, to the tune of nearly $40 billion, now comparable to the entire annual defense budget of France.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that the weapon shipments will only prolong the conflict and increase the risk of a direct conflict between Russia and NATO. As Ukraine continues to call for more weapons, EU stockpiles are running low, with Germany already “reaching its limit” as of early September. Meanwhile, Lithuania, which does not have any more weapons to donate, has urged the allies to give Ukraine “everything we have.” US President Joe Biden has vowed to keep the arms pipeline open for “as long as it takes,” but even American military stockpiles have taken a toll after repeated shipments to Kiev. As early as March, just weeks after the conflict in Ukraine kicked off, the US Defense Department was already scrambling to replenish thousands of shoulder-fired missiles supplied to Kiev.

By August, US stockpiles of 155mm artillery ammunition were “uncomfortably low,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The Pentagon’s latest fact sheet detailed more than $19 billion in direct military aid approved since February, including over 46,000 anti-armor systems, nearly 200 Howitzers, 38 long-range High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), and a litany of other heavy weapons, vehicles and ammunition – as well as over 920,000 of 155mm artillery rounds. The US think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) previously pointed out that the American military is “not structured to fight or support an extended conflict,” while the defense industry is “sized for peacetime production rates,” and expanding capabilities would take years.

NATO is heavily invested in Ukraine, with the alliance’s members also providing training and intelligence capability. Despite this “unprecedented support,” the military bloc’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, has repeatedly claimed that “NATO is not a party to the conflict.” Moscow sees things differently. Multiple top officials, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, have accused NATO of waging war against Russia “by proxy,” while Putin has described Russia as fighting “the entire Western military machine.”

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I think the word is “profiteering”: “..the price Europeans pay is almost four times as high as the same fuel costs in America.”

Politico.eu is usually alright, but here it reverts to things like ” The Kremlin is likely to welcome the poisoning of the atmosphere among Western allies.”

And it’s high time to stop blaming the consequences of western incompetence, on Putin. We only make things worse that way.

Europe Accuses US Of Profiting From War (Pol.eu)

Nine months after invading Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is beginning to fracture the West. Top European officials are furious with Joe Biden’s administration and now accuse the Americans of making a fortune from the war, while EU countries suffer. “The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the U.S. because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons,” one senior official told POLITICO. The explosive comments — backed in public and private by officials, diplomats and ministers elsewhere — follow mounting anger in Europe over American subsidies that threaten to wreck European industry. The Kremlin is likely to welcome the poisoning of the atmosphere among Western allies.

“We are really at a historic juncture,” the senior EU official said, arguing that the double hit of trade disruption from U.S. subsidies and high energy prices risks turning public opinion against both the war effort and the transatlantic alliance. “America needs to realize that public opinion is shifting in many EU countries.” Another top official, the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell, called on Washington to respond to European concerns. “Americans — our friends — take decisions which have an economic impact on us,” he said in an interview with POLITICO. The U.S. rejected Europe’s complaints. “The rise in gas prices in Europe is caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Putin’s energy war against Europe, period,” a spokesperson for Biden’s National Security Council said. Exports of LNG from the U.S. to Europe “increased dramatically and enabled Europe to diversify away from Russia,” the NSC spokesperson said.

The biggest point of tension in recent weeks has been Biden’s green subsidies and taxes that Brussels says unfairly tilt trade away from the EU and threaten to destroy European industries. Despite formal objections from Europe, Washington has so far shown no sign of backing down. At the same time, the disruption caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is tipping European economies into recession, with inflation rocketing and a devastating squeeze on energy supplies threatening blackouts and rationing this winter. As they attempt to reduce their reliance on Russian energy, EU countries are turning to gas from the U.S. instead — but the price Europeans pay is almost four times as high as the same fuel costs in America. Then there’s the likely surge in orders for American-made military kit as European armies run short after sending weapons to Ukraine.

It’s all got too much for top officials in Brussels and other EU capitals. French President Emmanuel Macron said high U.S. gas prices were not “friendly” and Germany’s economy minister has called on Washington to show more “solidarity” and help reduce energy costs. Ministers and diplomats based elsewhere in the bloc voiced frustration at the way Biden’s government simply ignores the impact of its domestic economic policies on European allies. When EU leaders tackled Biden over high U.S. gas prices at the G20 meeting in Bali last week, the American president simply seemed unaware of the issue, according to the senior official quoted above. Other EU officials and diplomats agreed that American ignorance about the consequences for Europe was a major problem.

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“The question involuntarily begs itself, does a united Europe need such a Ukraine, proud of the massacres?”

Ukraine Is Proud Of Its War Crimes (Milacic)

In the Russian mentality, mockery and mistreatment of prisoners is unacceptable. You can kill the enemy, but not torture. Russians in their ideology have always opposed themselves to the German Nazis with their concentration camps and gas chambers. So, if someone posted a video of the torture and murder of captured soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Russian audience would explode with indignation, recognizing the perpetrators of such acts as war criminals. However, the true reason for the appearance of Ukrainian torture videos lies not even in the different mentality of Ukrainian nationalists and Russians. In fact, Kiev propagandists deliberately give the green light to such videos. This is primarily done to scare Russian soldiers and reservists.

And official Kiev does not pay much attention to these crimes. Take for example the recent Ukrainian war crime in Makiivka. The Ukrainian army immediately began to claim that the video was staged and fake. However, it was the Western experts who confirmed the authenticity of the video and the Western media exerted pressure to launch an investigation. However, such video propaganda of cruelty actually has a much more serious purpose. Its main task is to form a stable feeling of hatred between Russians and residents of Ukraine. EU residents have little idea of the mentality of the average Russian. The fact is that many in Russia sincerely consider the current war to be a civil one. Almost all Russians treat Ukrainians either as a very close people or as southwestern Russians.

Half of the inhabitants of Ukraine have Russian surnames, relatives in Russia and use Russian as their main language. However, each such video should, according to the plan of Kiev radical propagandists, change the mentality of Russians more and more. They must hate all the inhabitants of Ukraine, stop treating them as “their own” and recognize that reconciliation with Ukraine and a new reunification with it is impossible. Peace will come sooner or later, but a steel wave of hatred will fall between the future Ukraine and Russia. At the same time, Russia’s desire to punish the killers of defenseless prisoners of war and civilians will also prevent the settlement of relations between Moscow and Kyiv for many decades.

The line of military contact between Russia and Ukraine is lengthening, fresh troops and new weapons are coming to the front from both sides. Obviously, the execution in Makiivka will not be the last video demonstrating the complete disregard of Kyiv, for “democratic values”, the Geneva Convention and human rights. However, what appalls observers of the conflict in Ukraine even more is the fact that the Ukrainian army tortures and kills its own citizens. We could see this during the Ukrainian seizure of Izyum and Kherson. After which hundreds of Ukrainian citizens simply disappeared, that is, they were liquidated by the SBU and the Ukrainian army. The question involuntarily begs itself, does a united Europe need such a Ukraine, proud of the massacres?

Doug Valentine on CIA in Ukraine

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What they do, not what they say.

Biden Admin Quietly Greenlights Plan to Build Huge Gulf Oil Terminal (ET)

The Biden administration has quietly approved plans to build a new crude oil terminal in the Gulf of Mexico off Texas, seemingly in contradiction to the president’s climate agenda. The Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration approved the application (pdf) for Enterprise’s Sea Port Oil Terminal, one of four proposed offshore oil export terminals, on Monday. According to the application, the port will be located offshore of Freeport, Texas. It will have 4.8 million barrels of storage capacity and add 2 million barrels per day to the U.S. oil export capacity. In its 94-page decision, the Maritime Administration said that it had approved the application because the construction and operation of the port is “in the national interest and consistent with other policy goals and objectives.”

“The construction and operation of the Port is in the national interest because the Project will benefit employment, economic growth, and U.S. energy infrastructure resilience and security,” the administration wrote. “The Port will provide a reliable source of crude oil to U.S. allies in the event of market disruption and have a minimal impact on the availability and cost of crude oil in the U.S. domestic market.” The decision states that the project will expand on an existing Enterprise Crude Houston operated terminal located in Houston and will generate 62 permanent jobs over 30 years. Additionally, 1,400 temporary construction jobs will be created, with the majority of the workforce being hired from existing labor pools in Texas and Louisiana, according to the application.

The Environmental Protection Agency quietly issued its approval (pdf) of the project in October but stressed that “more emphasis is needed to ensure that environmental justice and climate change considerations are included in the project for the protection of overburdened communities.” Protests broke out shortly after on the Gulf Coast, The Texas Tribune reported, with climate activists condemning the move, and pointing to the fact that President Joe Biden has prioritized issues such as climate change and clean energy incentives during his time in office. Biden has vowed to cut carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

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He talked about “Twitter’s Internal Discussion Of..”, but certainly at this point the essence is the same. Musk realizes Twitter pushed away half its audience, and its credibility.

Musk: Exposing Hunter Biden Laptop Story Necessary To Restore Public Trust (ZH)

Revealing Twitter’s internal discussions surrounding the censorship of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story right before the 2020 US election is “necessary to restore public trust,” according to new owner Elon Musk. Musk was responding to a tweet by the recently-unbanned @alx, who said: “Raise your hand if you think @ElonMusk should make public all internal discussions about the decision to censor the @NYPost’s story on Hunter Biden’s laptop before the 2020 Election in the interest of Transparency.” The Post had its Twitter account locked in October 2020 for reporting on the now-confirmed-to-be-real “laptop from hell,” which contains unprosecuted evidence of foreign influence peddling through then-Vice President Joe Biden – including a meeting between Joe and an executive of Ukrainian gas giant Burisma, in 2015.

“The laptop contained caches of emails detailing business dealings with Burisma and state-owned CEFC China Energy Co, from which his firms received $4.8 million in wire transfer payments from its founder, Ye Jianming, according to a Senate report.” -Daily Caller. Twitter had restricted any user from sharing links of the Post’s coverage, both publicly or via direct message – while the social media giant also locked out former White House spox Kayleigh McEnany’s personal account, as well as former President Trump’s campaign account, for sharing the link. In the ensuing years, the authenticity of the laptop has been confirmed by both the Washington Post and the New York Times, while CBS News authenticated the laptop on Monday.

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“..these companies appeared to have no objections to the company maintaining one of the world’s largest and most notorious censorship systems..”

Companies Join Call to Suspend Advertising with Twitter (Turley)

National Public Radio yesterday posted an article titled “Twitter has lost 50 of its top 100 advertisers since Elon Musk took over, report says.” The article relies on a report from the liberal site Media Matters for America founded by Democratic operative David Brock. The report lists companies that have publicly pulled their advertising and the article strongly suggests that it is due to the pledge of Elon Musk to restore free speech protections on the social media site. These companies are well within their free speech rights to boycott the company or suspend their support in light of possible changes on content. However, customers also have the right not to support companies that do not support their free speech rights.

The NPR article contains this graph: “Chevrolet, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Ford, Jeep, Kyndryl, Merck & Co. and Novartis AG all issued statements about halting Twitter ads or were reported and confirmed as doing so. The others ceased advertising on the platform for a “significant period of time following direct outreach, controversies, and warnings from media buyers.” A quick review of these companies show that many use the same vague rationale of Chipolte that they want to wait to “gain a better understanding on the direction of the platform under its new leadership.” These companies have not expressly called for censorship. They simply say that they will not advertise with the company until that they satisfied with the company’s new “direction.”

The assumption is that the companies were fine with the “direction” of the old Twitter in limiting free speech. In the very least, it did not seem to be a sufficient concern to prompt them to make public statements suspending advertising in prior years. The companies have remained silent on why the prior “direction” did not appear to be a corporate concern. They did not apparently view the prior Twitter policies as barriers to advertising. Specifically, these companies appeared to have no objections to the company maintaining one of the world’s largest and most notorious censorship systems. The blocking of the Hunter Biden laptop story did not appear to be a barrier for advertisers. The blocking of individuals offering opposing views on Covid, climate change, transgender policies or other issues was not an apparent barrier. Yet, the announced intention to restore free speech protections has warranted these suspensions.

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Beyond cow farts…

Climate Activists: Slaughter Millions of Dogs To ‘Reduce Carbon Pawprint’ (NP)

Climate activists are now calling for millions of dogs worldwide to be slaughtered in an effort to reduce the “carbon pawprint” they produce as a result of eating meat. In the last few years, the level of urgency to “save the planet” coming from the mainstream media and globalist elites has intensified to dizzying new heights. From the early warnings of “don’t shower every day,” to today’s open discussions about eugenics. Trying to deface iconic works of art is sadly just the start, they’re now trying to openly kill our pets and will eventually move onto humans too. Wnd.com reports: Scientists — who write the papers funded by eco-idealogues with findings developed so that they can write the next paper funded by eco-idealogues — use any means necessary to scare people.

Decades of the sky not falling means only a minute fraction of the public believes the hype, and therefore support extreme positions regarding population control and now, even animal control.” A few years ago, cow flatulence was going to keep the world from achieving its climate goals, so Bessie was targeted for her carbon hoofprint. That was child’s play compared to the CNN column, recapping a study that immediate action was necessary to stop the pending climate catastrophe. Their solutions? Don’t bring large-breed animals into your home, and no matter the size, feed Fido or Fluffy only insect-based meals. According to the CNN column, “Their [pets’] meat-heavy diet is the biggest contributor to their carbon pawprints, which requires an abundance of energy, land and water to produce.

And the production of pet food emits huge amounts of planet-warming gases … if our furry friends formed a separate country, it would rank 5th in global meat consumption behind China, the US, Brazil and Russia.” As a pet owner, the thought of sacrificing any of my six dogs — three small-breed and three whose size exceeds 45 pounds apiece — is both laughable and irritating. My girls’ care, feeding, health and exercise is top-notch, and their importance to my family is beyond anything the world would achieve by eliminating the larger three, or replacing the occasional beef or chicken-based treats with a grub, grasshopper or glowworm.

Read more …

There Will Be Blood.

Thoughts On A Crypto Crisis (Melekan)

If you’ve never seen the movie “There Will Be Blood” starring Daniel Day Lewis, then now might be a good time. Based loosely on an Upton Sinclair novel that satirizes the early days of the oil industry, it portrays the life of an independent oil man who rises to great wealth and power at the expense of his humanity. While that character’s arc is predictable, what makes the movie is his back and forth interaction with a young pastor whose own lust for power turns out to be just as great, and just as corrupting. Lewis’ character, while evil, is at least self-aware about his greed and selfishness. The pastor is not, and in some ways turns out the more pathetic character. Welcome to the state of crypto in its thirteenth year, except that in our story the greedy entrepreneur and the morally bankrupt spiritual leader have turned out to be the same person.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, but also Do Kwon (of Terra), Su Zhu (of Three Arrows Capital), Alex Mashinsky (of Celsius) and a few others. All claimed to be working towards the greater good. All ended up obscenely wealthy in the process. All turned out to be frauds. Tempting as it might be to focus all of our energy into anger towards these men, this is a time for self reflection. As an industry, but also a community. Crypto has attracted millions of people from all over the world and the vast majority are good people who believe in this new way of building trust. But we are terrible at picking leaders (with a few exceptions) and have only ourselves to blame when they let us down. The great irony of the collapses we’ve experienced lately is that nobody has to use these firms. Unlike Wall Street, where consumer choices are always limited (by design) the censorship resistance of crypto often means nobody has to use any service.

Most of FTX’s clients could have custodied their own coins and used DeFi, in the same way that people who wanted a more decentralized stablecoin could have used Dai. And yet, countless users who came to crypto to get away from traditional authorities ended up running into the arms of services offered by inexperienced leaders who act like they are running a cult. But why? The simplest answer is greed. The KwonZhuMashFried’s of the world all promised their followers a faster road to riches. Greed has an exponential function. The more money people make, the more they (paradoxically) want, despite the marginal utility of the next dollar declining quickly. Crypto has made a lot of people rich, but for every user who cashes out there seems to be two who double down. This compulsion for always making more drives some people to suspend disbelief and to seek out the quacks who make the most grandiose promises. But blaming everything on greed is too simple. There has to be more to this story, and true self reflection requires going deeper.

Max Keiser

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Monica Showalter: “China in fact is a giant prison, complete with slave labor, sweatshops, low wages, continuous lockdowns and actual laogai, or Gulags..”

But how exactly is that different from the US? You know, once you incorporate 2-3 years of Fauci and Covid in your view.

Klaus Schwab Declares China A ‘Role Model’ (AT)

Once upon a time, the Soviets had a tightly controlled network of internationalists known as the COMINTERN to promote their communist model to Europe and beyond. As it stands now, the Red Chinese have gone them one better: They’ve got Klaus Schwab. According to Fox News: World Economic Forum founder and Chair Klaus Schwab recently sat down for an interview with a Chinese state media outlet and proclaimed that China was a “role model” for other nations. Schwab, 84, made these comments during an interview with CGTN’s Tian Wei on the sidelines of last week’s APEC CEO Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. Schwab said he respected China’s “tremendous” achievements at modernizing its economy over the last 40 years.


“I think it’s a role model for many countries,” Schwab said, before qualifying that he thinks each country should make its own decisions about what system it wants to adapt. “I think we should be very careful in imposing systems. But the Chinese model is certainly a very attractive model for quite a number of countries,” Schwab said. A role model? A country of zero freedom, low social mobility, social credit scores, and constant government surveillance? Who the heck, even among the revolutionary wokester crowd, is openly calling for a Chinese model for their own countries? China in fact is a giant prison, complete with slave labor, sweatshops, low wages, continuous lockdowns and actual laogai, or Gulags. Challenge the government in any way and you’ll be packed off to one for years upon years in no time. In the case of the Uighurs, just being the wrong nationality is enough for such punishment.

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Long piece on education and the way China sees Americans annd other “westerners”

Finis Sinarum: Why I think China Cannot Win This (Pattberg)

The Western control over China is blatantly obvious. And because it is so blatant and obvious, you would be considered a baichi—an idiot—to speak about it. A baichi is a person who is oblivious to social conventions. Which makes him a tragic hero, to some. But more generally speaking, an idiot does more damage than good to a harmonious society. If the baichi does not die from immediate consequences, he transforms into a huairen or bad person. In the West we would call him a villain. All the idiot heroes who point out the obvious situation that Chinese education is already westernized will be considered terrorists as well.

Example. One baichi German guy at Beijing Foreign Language University pointed out that the 50,000 holders of the Chinese Government Scholarships (CSC) are NOT looked after by the Chinese side, and that the applications were pre-sorted and forwarded by Western governments. Two months later, the guy died in an accident. Most nationals do not realize this, but the West controls education globally. Not just all the standards. Not just the Anglo-Satan BA, MA, MBA, PhD degrees, publications, and university structures, but also international exchange, scholarship, and permissions. Chinese degrees, Benke, Shuoshi, Boshi, etc., on the other hand, are invalid.

An Englishman who carelessly studied in China on his own, with no UK governmental backing, is holding a worthless degree. UK universities, including Cambridge and Imperial College, prohibit their students from studying in mainland China unless they are part of their many state-supervised exchange programs. The entire West has huge barriers to its citizens learning in China unsupervised. This is also the reason why most British students miraculously end up in exchange years in pro-Western Hong Kong or Taiwan. British scholars are not free, and they are definitely not autarch. They are children of the Empire,… and suck their owners’ titinob.

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Canada is ruled by lapdogs.

US Officials Pressured Canada To Stop ‘Freedom Convoy’ (NYP)

Top Biden administration officials pressed their Canadian counterparts to clear truckers blockading parts of the United States’s northern border during protests in January. A public inquiry into the Canadian government’s decision to use emergency powers to clear the “Freedom Convoy” protesters revealed on Thursday that frantic phone calls were placed by Washington to Ottawa in an effort to open up choked-off supply lines. “They are very, very, very worried,” Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote in an email to her staff after a Feb. 10 phone call from White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, according to Politico. s“If this is not sorted out in the next 12 hours, all of their northeastern car plants will shut down,” Freeland continued in her email.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg phoned his Canadian counterpart, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, the same day Deese called Freeland, according to the report, and Buttigieg pressed Alghabra about Canada’s “plan to resolve” the protests. Alghabra told the commission that Buttigieg initiated the call and that the interaction was “unusual.” Brian Clow, deputy chief of staff to Canada’s prime minister, also heard from White House aides, including National Security Council director Juan Gonzalez, who wanted to connect Canadian national security officials with the US Department of Homeland Security. A phone call between President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took place the following day, on Feb. 11, where Trudeau conveyed to the commander-in-chief that Ottawa had a plan to end the blockades.

In his call with Trudeau, Biden reportedly alluded to trucker convoys rumored to be threatening to disrupt the Super Bowl in Los Angeles and streets in Washington. Freeland told staff in an email that the Deese wanted daily updates on the protests which never materialized because the Emergencies Act was invoked three days after Trudeau’s call with Biden. Freeland told Canadian investigators that she worried Canada was “in the process of doing long-term and possibly irreparable harm to our trading relationship with the United States” and feared DC politicians “who would love any excuse to impose more protectionist measures on us.”

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This is not much use anymore if you don’t include -and separate out- vaccine deaths.

The Vaccinated Now Account For A Majority Of Covid Deaths (Techno Fog)

There’s a remarkable concession appearing in The Washington Post today: “a majority of Americans dying from the coronavirus received at least the primary series of the vaccine.” The latest data shows that 58% of COVID-19 deaths in August 2022 were from people who were vaccinated or boosted. Based on past figures and the current trends, we can reasonably estimate that the number of vaccinated/boosted COVID-19 deaths will only rise. (In September 2021, the vaccinated accounted for 23% of COVID-19 deaths; in January/February 2022, the vaccinated were 42%.) This is what happens when you rush ineffective and dangerous vaccines.

The FDA’s promises of efficacy – 91% for the Pfizer vaccine and 93% for the Moderna vaccine – were always based on hope, not data. So too were the promises of safety. At the time of the official approvals, both Pfizer and Moderna hadn’t submitted any type of long-term numbers on effectiveness. Their trials were polluted with the unblinding of participants and their safety studies are “ongoing.” Now, we’re seeing efficacy numbers plummet within months of vaccination. The pandemic is of the vaccinated. The boosters? They’re to the benefit of the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical companies, as they mask the true problems with the two-shot vaccines. Even with these numbers, the outgoing Anthony Fauci continues to vouch for the jab, stating the data “overwhelmingly show the effectiveness of vaccines.”

This is the same man who demanded school closures, inserted himself into the 2020 election by criticizing Trump’s COVID-19 response while complimenting China, and criticized Governor Ron DeSantis for reopening Florida’s schools. All the while, Fauci was lying to the public about COVID-19 origins. In May of 2020, he told National Geographic that COVID-19 “could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.” What he didn’t tell us was that he and US government clients were sabotaging and shutting down research and fact finding into the lab leak theory. What he didn’t say was that internal communications among himself and Francis Collins and Jeremy Farrar, revealed through a FOIA request by Jimmy Tobias, discussed “accidental lab passage in animals” and how the Wuhan lab was the “Wild West” and why the lab leak was a serious possibility.

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Cancer and plastic blood clots. What a future we have created for ourselves.

People With Stable Cancer Rapidly Progress After Having a Booster (Dalgleish)

A letter from Dr. Angus Dalgleish, Professor of Oncology at St George’s University of London, to Dr. Kamran Abbasi, the Editor in Chief of the BMJ. It was written in support of a colleague’s plea to Dr. Abbasi that the BMJ make valid informed consent for Covid vaccination a priority topic.

Dear Kamran Abbasi, Covid no longer needs a vaccine programme given the average age of death of Covid in the U.K. is 82 and from all other causes is 81 and falling.vThe link with clots, myocarditis, heart attacks and strokes is now well accepted, as is the link with myelitis and neuropathy. (We predicted these side effects in our June 2020 QRBD article Sorensen et al. 2020, as the blast analysis revealed 79% homologies to human epitopes, especially PF4 and myelin.)vHowever, there is now another reason to halt all vaccine programmes. As a practising oncologist I am seeing people with stable disease rapidly progress after being forced to have a booster, usually so they can travel. Even within my own personal contacts I am seeing B cell-based disease after the boosters.

They describe being distinctly unwell a few days to weeks after the booster – one developing leukaemia, two work colleagues Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and an old friend who has felt like he has had Long Covid since receiving his booster and who, after getting severe bone pain, has been diagnosed as having multiple metastases from a rare B cell disorder.vI am experienced enough to know that these are not the coincidental anecdotes that many suggest, especially as the same pattern is being seen in Germany, Australia and the USA. The reports of innate immune suppression after mRNA for several weeks would fit, as all these patients to date have melanoma or B cell based cancers, which are very susceptible to immune control – and that is before the reports of suppressor gene suppression by mRNA in laboratory experiments. This must be aired and debated immediately.

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Musk T0

 

 

Magic

 

 

Sting rays

 

 


Mt. Fuji. Instagram’s Taitan21

 

 

Owl petting

 

 

 

 

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Feb 162019
 


Marcel Duchamp The king and queen surrounded by swift nudes 1912

 

Over 60% Of All New Debt Created Globally In Past Decade Was In China (NYFed)
Worms Turning (Jim Kunstler)
FBI Created, Covered Up “Chart” Of Potential Hillary Clinton Crimes (ZH)
Mueller Discloses Evidence Roger Stone Communicated With Wikileaks (G.)
Are Russian Trolls Saving Measles From Extinction? (RFE)
Democrats’ Coveted 2020 Prize? An Endorsement From Ocasio-Cortez (G.)
The Green New Deal, Capitalism and the State (CP)
Corbyn To Hold Brexit Talks With EU’s Barnier And Verhofstadt (G.)
When The Swabian Hausfrau Saves (Steve Keen)
9/11 Fund Running Out Of Money For Those With Illnesses (AP)
Subsidies to Amazon Are Uneconomical, Un-American, and Unconstitutional (PM)

 

 

As Trump flunks his emergency, Xi flunks his economy. I’ll wait for the shouting match over the first to settle over the weekend.

This is from the New York Fed’s Liberty Street Economics. The second graph is not from their piece, but very much to the point. After all that new debt, China’s transition to a consumer economy is faltering. So people are clamoring for rate cuts and more stimulus. But do they realize how much stimulus China has already neede to get where it is today?

Over 60% Of All New Debt Created Globally In Past Decade Was In China (NYFed)

Although there has been a notable deceleration in the pace of credit growth recently, the run-up in debt in China has been eye-popping, accounting for more than 60 percent of all new credit created globally over the past ten years. Rising nonfinancial sector debt was driven initially by an increase in corporate borrowing, which surged in 2009 in response to the global financial crisis. The most recent leg of China’s credit boom has been due to an important shift toward household lending. To better understand the rise in household debt in China and its implications for financial stability and China’s economic performance, it is important to examine the expansion in household credit, how the rise in debt compares to international experience, and the associated risks.

The growth of China’s household debt reflects a natural evolution in financial sector deepening and has grown in two waves. The first occurred during the late-1990s following major financial reforms and the privatization of China’s housing stock. The second wave began in the wake of the global financial crisis and has witnessed much more rapid growth, with debt increasing by nearly $5.7 trillion, or nearly 30 percent of China’s GDP. In fact, household lending overtook corporate borrowing in early 2018 to become the largest driver of aggregate loan growth in China. New household lending now accounts for roughly half of new loans.

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Glad someone’s keeping count.

Worms Turning (Jim Kunstler)

[..] late this week, William Barr was confirmed as a new Attorney General, meaning the extreme case of bureaucratic constipation in that department may be resolving in a shitstorm of counter-revelations and prosecutions in what amounted to an attempted coup d’etat. A lot of the evidence for that is already public and overwhelming. It includes:

• Using FBI counter-intelligence assets improperly and illegally.
• Using fabricated “opposition research” provided by Mrs. Clinton to obtain warrants to spy on her election opponent, and failing to verify it as evidence (according to strict “Woods” procedures) submitted to FISA court judges.
• Recruiting Britain’s MI6 to spy on US citizens as a work-around from US laws prohibiting US Intel from spying on Americans.
• Setting up the notorious Trump Tower meeting to entrap Donald Trump Jr., using a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, in the employ of Fusion GPS, Mrs. Clintons oppo research contractor.
• Orchestrating leaks of secret FBI proceedings to the news media to feed a Russia collusion hysteria.
• Malicious prosecutions by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and egregious political conflicts-of-interest among Mr. Mueller’s team of prosecutors.
• Coverup of the Uranium One scheme facilitated by Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
• A scheme to surreptitiously and illegally record conversations with Mr. Trump once he became president.
• Conspiring to bury multiple inquires into illegal conduct of Mrs. Clinton, her employees and associates by failing to obtain evidence and allowing it to be destroyed.
• Misconduct in office by former CIA chief John Brennan, former National Security Director James Clapper, former AG Loretta Lynch, and members of President Obama’s White House inner circle.

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Tie in this one with Jim Kunstler’s list above.

FBI Created, Covered Up “Chart” Of Potential Hillary Clinton Crimes (ZH)

The top brass of the Obama FBI went to great lengths to justify their decision not to recommend charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information, according to Judicial Watch, which obtained evidence that the agency created a ‘chart’ of Clinton’s offenses. The newly obtained emails came in response to a court ordered Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that the DOJ had previously ignored. Via Judicial Watch: “Three days after then-FBI Director James Comey’s press conference announcing that he would not recommend a prosecution of Mrs. Clinton, a July 8, 2016 email chain shows that, the Special Counsel to the FBI’s executive assistant director in charge of the National Security Branch, whose name is redacted, wrote to Strzok and others that he was producing a “chart of the statutory violations considered during the investigation [of Clinton’s server], and the reasons for the recommendation not to prosecute…”

[..] On May 15, 2016, James Rybicki, former chief of staff to Comey, sends FBI General Counsel James Baker; Bill Priestap, former assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division; McCabe; Page; and others an email with the subject line “Request from the Director.” Rybicki writes: By NLT [no later than] next Monday, the Director would like to see a list of all cases charged in the last 20 years where the gravamen of the charge was mishandling classified information. It should be in chart form with: (1) case name, (2) a short summary for content (3) charges brought, and (4) charge of conviction. If need be, we can get it from NSD [National Security Division] and let them know that the Director asked for this personally. Please let me know who can take the lead on this. Thanks! Jim

Page forwards to Strzok: FYSA [For your situational awareness] Strzok replies to Page: I’ll take the lead, of course – sounds like an espionage section question… Or do you think OGC [Office of the General Counsel] should? And the more reason for us to get feedback to Rybicki, as we all identified this as an issue/question over a week ago. Page replies: I was going to reply to Jim [Rybicki] and tell him I can talked [sic] to you about this already. Do you want me to?

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Mueller gets nuttier, and the Guardian gladly collaborates. On nothing new. We already knew WikiLeaks told Stone to take a hike. Most importantly, Mueller continues his cowardice vs Assange, because without his empty accusations of Assange, he really has nothing left on collusion. And if Assange could talk, he’d have even less left. And people tell me he’s not a coward.

Under US law, people have the right to defend themselves. Under Robert Mueller’s law, Julian Assange does not. Is that stating it clear enough?

As for Stone, Aaron Maté tweeted about this article: “LOL. The “communications of Roger Stone with Wikileaks” were revealed a year ago. They show WL urging Stone to stop making “false claims of association” between them.”

Mueller Discloses Evidence Roger Stone Communicated With Wikileaks (G.)

The US Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, disclosed for the first time on Friday that his office has evidence of communications between Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, and WikiLeaks related to the release of hacked Democratic party emails. In a court filing on Friday, Mueller’s office said it had gathered that evidence in a separate probe into Russian intelligence officers who were charged by Mueller with hacking the emails during the 2016 US presidential campaign and staging their release. In an email criticising media coverage of Mueller’s filing on Friday, Stone said the evidence was “innocuous Twitter direct messages” that have already been disclosed to the House Intelligence Committee and “prove absolutely nothing”.

Also on Friday, a federal judge placed some limits on what Stone and his lawyers can say publicly about his criminal case brought by the special counsel in the Russia investigation. But the US district judge, Amy Berman Jackson, stopped short of imposing a broad ban on public comments by the outspoken political operative, issuing a limited gag order she said was necessary to ensure Stone’s right to a fair trial and “to maintain the dignity and seriousness of the courthouse and these proceedings”. Stone was indicted last month for lying to Congress about his communications with others about the hacked emails. Mueller did not say at the time that he had evidence of communications with WikiLeaks. Stone, an ally of Trump for 40 years, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Stone has previously acknowledged brief exchanges with both WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 but maintains he never had advance knowledge about the release of hacked emails. But Friday marked the first time Mueller indicated he had obtained related evidence, although it remained unclear if the evidence is more substantial than what is publicly known. “The government obtained and executed dozens of search warrants on various accounts used to facilitate the transfer of stolen documents for release, as well as to discuss the timing and promotion of their release,” Mueller’s team wrote in a filing to the US district court in Washington DC. “Several of those search warrants were executed on accounts that contained Stone’s communications with Guccifer 2.0 and with Organization 1.”

[..] WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 each published emails and other documents from the Democratic party in 2016 in an operation that Mueller alleges was part of a Kremlin-backed effort to tip the election in favour of then Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

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Radio Free Europe presents Russiaphobia on steroids.

Let’s ask Mueller what he thinks.

Are Russian Trolls Saving Measles From Extinction? (RFE)

Scientific researchers say Russian social-media trolls who spread discord before the 2016 U.S. presidential election may also have played an unintended role in a developing global health crisis. They say the trolls may have contributed to the 2018 outbreak of measles in Europe that killed 72 people and infected more than 82,000 — mostly in Eastern and Southeastern European countries known to have been targeted by Russia-based disinformation campaigns. Experts in the United States and Europe are now working on ways to gauge the impact that Russian troll and bot campaigns have had on the spread of the disease by distributing medical misinformation and raising public doubts about vaccinations.

Studies have already documented how cybercampaigns by the Internet Research Agency – a St. Petersburg “troll farm” that has been accused of meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential election – artificially bolstered debate on social media about vaccines since 2014 in a way that eroded public trust in vaccinations. Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that “vaccination hesitancy” has become one of the top threats to global health. It notes a 30 percent rise in measles globally and a resurgence of measles in countries that had once been close to eradicating the disease.

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You heard it here first in The Great Discontent.

A communications director says: “She’s built a profile with a savvy way beyond her years..”, but it’s the other way around. Anyone older can not build a profile the way she has because she’s 29 and grew up with social media; it’s not an acquired taste for her.

Democrats’ Coveted 2020 Prize? An Endorsement From Ocasio-Cortez (G.)

Welcome to the AOC primary. At 29 years old, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – already known as “AOC” for short – is too young to be eligible to run for US president. But her phenomenal impact on American politics means that she could play an outsized role in deciding who does. As her fellow Democrats jostle for position ahead of the 2020 primary elections, an endorsement from Ocasio-Cortez is likely to be a widely coveted prize, a guaranteed shot of adrenaline sure to energise her army of millennial voters. But it could also come with perils in the later presidential contest, especially for so-called “centrist” candidates hoping to draw independents and moderate Republicans away from Donald Trump.

In little more than a month, Ocasio-Cortez, whose New York district includes parts of the Bronx and Queens, has taken Washington by storm, overshadowing career politicians who have spent years labouring in the 435-member House of Representatives. Her proposals – among them a Green New Deal to combat climate change and a 70% tax rate on earnings over $10m to tackle economic inequality – have reset terms of debate in the early stages of the Democratic contest. “This is a race to the left,” said Dave Handy, a New York-based political consultant and organiser. “Even if people don’t like her or her policies, they will be racing to get her endorsement because it’s a progressive check mark. She embodies the general direction the party is going in.”

[..] Ocasio-Cortez is also a social media sensation. She has in excess of 3 million followers on Twitter with more engagement than Donald Trump, Barack Obama or Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. Last week a video clip in which she quizzed ethics experts about government corruption became the most watched political video ever posted on Twitter with 37.5m views. It was another demonstration of astonishing clout. Neil Sroka, communications director of the progressive group Democracy for America, said: “She’s built a profile with a savvy way beyond her years, but she also has an agenda that feels right for the moment. AOC does not exist without the bold, inclusive, populist agenda she’s pushing. The vitriol she has inspired speaks to how afraid everyone is; Republicans see her as representing a country they don’t even know how to speak to.”

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“The American plan is to burn the oil. All of it.”

The Green New Deal, Capitalism and the State (CP)

Unbeknownst to most Americans, the nation’s forests were clear-cut from coast to coast in the mid-late nineteenth century. Photographs from the era show denuded landscapes— no trees, no animals, and streams still poisoned from the runoff in the present, for as far as the eye can see. The scars from nineteenth and twentieth century strip mining in Pennsylvania draw direct geographical and historical lines to the mountaintop removal that is taking place in West Virginia today. These natural resources produced the bounty of American capitalism every bit as much as the manufacturing prowess of the Second Industrial Revolution. In turn, this combination of low-cost resources, manufacturing prowess and natural borders (the oceans) produced the military might that defines America in the present.

The logic of weapons and weaponry pervades American capitalism. Death and destruction, domination and control, are what America does. The thought that these resources were ever ‘free’ illustrates the power of ideology. With a body count of at least one-hundred million human beings— including genocide against the indigenous population, murdered slaves, coal miners in Appalachia who died from black lung disease, mill workers in Massachusetts and North and South Carolina who died from inhaling cotton fibers, and those killed in American wars for resources, the human toll of American capitalism is staggering.

[..] In the present, the introduction of a Green New Deal as a nonbinding resolution, rather than the creation of a select congressional committee, clarifies the political form of official resistance to environmental resolution. The public pronouncement itself is a call to arms, implying both that the need for environmental resolution is urgent and that it won’t be led from above. Its authors were right to take their case to the people, from whom something akin to a revolutionary movement is required. Complaints over its limited scope miss that until there is such a movement, little progress toward environmental resolution will be made. Current bipartisan American machinations toward Venezuela illustrate the conundrum. Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world. The U.S. is using state power to ‘liberate’ this oil for the benefit of nominally private multinational oil corporations. The American plan is to burn the oil. All of it.

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And why not? It must get messier still.

Corbyn To Hold Brexit Talks With EU’s Barnier And Verhofstadt (G.)

Jeremy Corbyn will hold talks in Brussels next week with Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, as he seeks to break the Brexit impasse and persuade Theresa May to sign up to a customs union. The visit is likely to be highly unwelcome in Downing Street, and risks accusations that Labour is pursuing its own shadow negotiations, undermining the prime minister’s hopes of fresh EU concessions. May will be in Brussels in the same week to meet the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker. The UK attorney-general, Geoffrey Cox, is expected to travel with her. During a whistle-stop tour of the central figures in the Brexit talks on Thursday, Corbyn is also due to meet the European parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt.

He will also hold talks with senior figures in the socialist group in the European parliament, including Labour MEPs. EU sources said Corbyn was expected to provide further details on his recent conditional offer of support for the prime minister’s deal along with an update on the cross-party talks. Earlier this month, the Labour leader said his party would back the withdrawal agreement, containing the Irish backstop, if May renegotiated the accompanying political declaration on the future relationship. Labour is seeking a permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union, a close alignment with the single market and protection for standards and workers’ rights.

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Steve wants to abolish the word ‘savings’ with regards to a government. It makes no sense at all.

When The Swabian Hausfrau Saves (Steve Keen)

Savings is promoted as a private virtue that should be practiced at a national and international level as well. What happens to the economy when it is implemented? Keen explains one of the great economic fallacies: that a government needs to manage its finances like a household, and if the government consistently spends more than it receives in income, the nation’s debt will ultimately become unsustainable, and the nation will go broke. Furthermore he will address why the predominant Neoclassical economic model of banking is dangerously misleading as a guide to how a capitalist economy actually works and was thus incapable of predicting the Great Financial Crisis of 2007.

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Hoe much more American does it get?

9/11 Fund Running Out Of Money For Those With Illnesses (AP)

The compensation fund for victims of 9/11 is running out of money and will cut future payments by 50 to 70 percent, officials announced Friday. September 11th Victim Compensation Fund special master Rupa Bhattacharyya said she was “painfully aware of the inequity of the situation” but stressed that awarding some funds for every valid claim would be preferable to sending some legitimate claimants away empty-handed. “I could not abide a plan that would at the end of the day leave some claimants uncompensated,” Bhattacharyya said.

Nearly 40,000 people have applied to the federal fund for people with illnesses potentially related to being at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon or Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after the 2001 terror attacks there, and about 19,000 of those claims are pending. Nearly $5 billion in benefits have been awarded out of the $7.3 billion fund. Bhattacharyya said fund officials estimate it would take another $5 billion to pay pending claims and the claims that officials anticipate will be submitted before the fund’s December 2020 deadline. Absent that funding, officials determined that pending claims submitted by Feb. 1 would be paid at 50 percent of their prior value. Valid claims received after that date will be paid at just 30 percent.

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Idea is good, argumentation less so. You can’t expect to be taken too seriously when you write lines like this one: A recent paper shows that companies are more likely to receive subsidies when they make financial contributions to political candidates in the state.

Subsidies to Amazon Are Uneconomical, Un-American, and Unconstitutional (PM)

Corporate subsidies are a negative-sum game. They foster crony capitalism, hurt productivity growth and inflict great harm on product market competition.

As soon as Amazon announced the location of its new headquarters, an intense media battle started on the rationality of the fiscal subsidies offered by the two chosen states to attract the new headquarters. Was it a good idea for New York and Virginia to offer $1.5 billion and $573 million respectively to stir Amazon’s decision? In each of the two chosen locations Amazon was to invest billions in infrastructure, employ as many as 25,000 people directly (and many more indirectly), and bring billions in new tax revenues. Even the generous fiscal benefits offered by the two locations seem small vis-à-vis the additional fiscal revenues the winning states will enjoy. After all, had Amazon chosen New Jersey over New York, the Empire State would have lost up to $14 billion in new tax revenues over the next 25 years.

Why shouldn’t a state pay a fraction of these enormous benefits to secure Amazon’s headquarters? While appealing, this argument is flawed and—as it turns out—self-defeating. When companies compete for customers, they have to offer better products or lower prices. They are forced to innovate and improve efficiency in production. In economist lingo, product market competition is not a zero-sum game (my gains are equal to your losses), but a positive-sum game (my gains exceed your losses). By contrast, corporate competition for state subsidies is a zero-sum game. Amazon is not going to be more productive in New York than in New Jersey –it will only pay fewer taxes. If companies are successful in pitting one state against another, they will end up paying no state taxes.

As a result, the economy will not be one iota more efficient, and the rest of us will end up paying more taxes to make up for the revenue shortfall. Competition for subsidies also fosters crony capitalism and hurts productivity growth. It fosters crony capitalism because it favors companies that are well-connected, rather than companies that are more efficient.

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