Salvador Dali Portrait of my father 1920
“You have a device in your pocket that can communicate with satellites so that you can order tacos in your undies but we can’t count ballots.”
That says 150 million.
The Simpsons, 2010. Which of the writers for this show had access to DHS inside information? pic.twitter.com/9b75WVhvDd
— Aaron Kheriaty, MD (@akheriaty) November 9, 2022
This cannot be due to the vaxx/boosters, because no-one’s taking those.
Green becomes the color of oppression.
• How The Green Agenda Is Being Used To Fleece The Naive (Rachel Marsden)
Banks and corporations making pledges of ‘net-zero’ emissions are taking the public for a ride, according to a new United Nations report released at this week’s COP27 climate change conference. “We must have zero tolerance for net-zero greenwashing,”UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, in reference to the concept of virtue-signaling a green agenda for marketing purposes as a strategy to gain more business, all while failing to back up the claims in practice. Oh, so the airlines asking whether you want to freely donate extra cash when buying a plane ticket to offset the carbon footprint of your flight aren’t technically achieving much beyond making the insufferably sanctimonious feel good about themselves? Or that the energy companies using renewables as window dressing are nonetheless continuing to invest in fossil fuels? You don’t say!
In case the idealists haven’t noticed, there’s currently an energy crunch in the West due to Western sanctions on fuel from Russia – and renewables aren’t anywhere near ready for prime time as a replacement. Germans are turning instead to coal and firewood, while France is scrambling to ramp up nuclear power. The EU even backpedaled at the beginning of the year in labeling gas and nuclear ‘green’ – which now conveniently allows its leaders to run around to fossil fuel pariah countries asking for desperately needed energy. Might as well, though, for all the good that this pricey and pretentious charade is doing. The UN says that more financing, to the tune of up to $340 billion per year by 2030, is the key. Anything less is apparently futile.
The notion of massive funding being necessary to prevent Earth’s temperature from increasing by 1.5C above pre-industrial levels is a tough sell, particularly in the absence of any logical explanation of how the cash would credibly be used to realistically adjust the thermostat, so officials now seem to be trying a new sales pitch. “The world must step up and protect people and communities from the immediate and ever-growing risks of the climate emergency. We have no time to lose,” Guterres said, with the UN citing things like flooding in Pakistan and multi-year droughts as justification for the funding.
Greenwashing is just another way of scamming the hopelessly naive. And no one does it better than governments themselves, who have managed to relieve taxpayers of countless billions to fill slush funds under the guise of saving the world. And now US President Joe Biden is using a green pretext to protect US economic interests to the detriment of European allies – even as the US ramps up fossil fuel liquefied natural gas exports to the EU. Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act is conveniently framed as a green energy initiative, offering US consumers tax incentives to buy American electric cars with batteries that have at least 40% of components from the US or a country with which it has free trade. Germany and France view the measures as blatant protectionism.
“An artificially-imposed union in unnatural borders is known as ‘a construct’..”
USA and Europe are constructs.
• On Deconstructing Constructs (Batiushka)
An artificially-imposed union in unnatural borders is known as ‘a construct’. Constructs are artificial, as they are populated by different peoples, who speak different languages and have different cultures, and who would prefer to live in their own common nation-state because of those differences. For these reasons constructs are always imposed top-down for ‘reasons of State’ and rejected by those who are oppressed by them at the grassroots. Constructs are only ever popular among the elites which invent them and make money from them. They rarely achieve more than 50% popularity, usually far less. They are always rejected by the people at the bottom of the pile. This is why constructs never last.
1. The USA as a Construct For instance, the USA, founded on exploitation, gun-law, slavery and the genocide of its native peoples, is a construct. Its straight-line borders are artificial, the result of wars and treaties, forced on others by historical circumstances or illegal occupations, for example as in Alaska and Hawaii. Much of its southern territory is Spanish-named and was stolen from Mexico and is now – such is the justice of history and the reward of patience – being reoccupied by Spanish speakers. As for the northern border, that was fixed because basically the lands northwards were cold and uninviting. The vast majority of them, except for a very narrow strip close to the US border, spread up to the Arctic and were uninhabitable. Thus, the US elite left them to the unwanted whom they called ‘Canadians’, who presented no threat to them.
As regards its ‘United’ States, they are the result of an incredibly bloody Civil War, leaving as many as one million dead, the equivalent of ten million today. It was directed by an industrial elite in the North-East and the result, enforced by genocide, was by many never accepted. That elite was Zionist (not Jewish, though many of its financiers were Jews) in its proclamation that it was exceptional and that its ‘manifest destiny’ (i.e. manifest only to themselves) was to spread ‘from sea to shining sea’.
2. Europe and its Constructs Europe (meaning by etymology ‘the west’) is also a construct, its identity going back to an ancient Greek myth. For the Romans 2,000 years ago, it did not exist separately from Asia and Africa. Indeed, it is artificially separated from Asia (meaning by etymology ‘the east’), from where its peoples emigrated. There is no natural border between the European peninsula and Asia: its eastern border is purely political and for the moment fixed in the Ural Mountains and the Caucasus. Moreover, nearly all of its languages are ‘Indo-European’ and have their origins in a language spoken in today’s Turkey (Asia Minor) or even further east, well over 5,000 years ago. The historically recent contempt of ‘Europe’ for anything ‘Asian’, contemptuously termed ‘Asiatic’ or ‘barbarian’, is simply a rejection of its own origins and a self-justification for its artificial state of separation.
In the early 90s the then French President, Chirac, called on all: ‘Creeons l’Europe, Faisons l’Europe, il faut construire l’Europe’ (Let us create Europe, Let us make Europe, We must build Europe’). This was simply an open admission that Europe did not exist. It does not. Within contemporary Europe the EU, the UK and the Ukraine are obviously constructs. The EU goes back only to 1993, the Ukraine to 1992, and the UK to 1922. In other words, they are all temporary inventions of the twentieth century. Now we are in the twenty-first century, we can see that they will not last much longer.
“..a Republican-controlled House has plenty to investigate, and impeachment is unlikely his greatest fear..”
• How the Loss of Control of Either House Could Impact the President (Turley)
Last Thursday, Biden warned supporters that the Republicans have made clear “they’re gonna impeach me.” When Biden warned that he might be impeached if voters do not stop a Republican wave, there was an audible laugh which prompted the President to added “No, I’m not joking.” While Biden may or may not be the subject of an impeachment, a Republican-controlled House has plenty to investigate, and impeachment is unlikely his greatest fear. Here are the top three concerns, and there is every indication that Biden is wise to be worried.
Hunter Biden and Influence Peddling
House Democrats repeatedly moved to block investigations into the alleged multimillion-dollar influence-peddling operations by the Biden family. For his part, Attorney General Merrick Garland steadfastly refused to appoint a special counsel despite an overwhelming basis for such an appointment. Biden has repeatedly denied knowledge of Hunter Biden’s business entanglements despite numerous emails and pictures showing him meeting with Hunter associates. Hunter’s partner, Eric Schwerin, alone made at least 19 visits to the White House and other official locations between 2009 and 2015. There are emails of Chinese, Ukrainian and other foreign clients including some thanking Hunter Biden for arranging meetings with his father. People apparently were told to avoid directly referring to Joe Biden. In one email, Tony Bobulinski, then a business partner of Hunter, was instructed by Biden associate James Gilliar that the Bidens wanted to avoid such references: “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u [sic] are face to face, I know u [sic] know that but they are paranoid.” [..]
Social Media and Censorship-by-Surrogate The president has at times acted as a virtual censor-in-chief, denouncing social-media companies for “killing people” by not censoring enough. Recently, he expressed doubt that the public can “know the truth” without such censorship by “editors” in Big Tech. There is growing evidence of long-suspected back channels between government and Democratic political figures and Big Tech. Some of those contacts were recently confirmed but Congress again refused to investigate. If officials coordinated the censorship of citizens, it could lead to lawsuits (in addition to already pending actions) and embarrassing disclosures. The government cannot do indirectly what it is barred from doing directly. The investigation could produce considerable collateral damage for political and media figures alike.
Pandemic politics and policies Republicans have pledged to open a full investigation into what officials knew about the origins and risks of COVID-19. Specifically, members like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have pledged to uncover material showing what officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci knew about the lack of efficacy of masks as well as guidelines on limiting groups or the closure of businesses and schools. These investigations might also reveal the coordination of health-care guidelines with teacher unions and political allies. These investigations could eventually be linked in critical ways. For example, many of those who questioned the efficacy and cost of the massive lockdown were barred on social media (and attacked in the mainstream media). Fauci is accused of quickly scuttling such discussion, and critics point to his own alleged approval of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab.
“Joe Biden promised unity but has instead demonized and smeared Americans while making life more expensive for all..”
• Moscow Comments On US Electoral System ‘Crisis’ (RT)
The US electoral system has found itself in dire straits amid a high level of political polarization, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday, adding that the problems are evident to the entire world. Speaking to Sputnik radio, Zakharova was asked to comment on the midterm elections in the US. According to the spokeswoman, the crisis of the US voting system “is being noticed even by their closest allies.” The concern is also shared by “members of official international institutions” that assess elections from a legal point of view, she continued. “In my opinion, one can see this with the naked eye even without these statements,” Zakharova noted.
She pointed to the current intense political struggle between the Republican and Democratic parties. “I’m not even talking about social polarization, I’m talking about the level of dialogue between these poles,” she said, adding that it “looks more like annihilation than electoral procedures.” According to CNN vote tracking, the Republican Party is on course to regain control of the US House of Representatives and is projected to take at least 198 seats, against the Democratic Party’s 178. In the Senate, the parties appear to be neck and neck. However, exit polls suggest that 70% of US voters believe that the democratic system itself is “threatened,” either by lax voting laws, faulty vote machines, or false allegations of electoral misconduct.
This sentiment was echoed by US President Joe Biden last week, who accused his predecessor Donald Trump and other Republicans of encouraging political violence while blasting them for denying the results of the 2020 presidential election. The GOP dismissed the allegations, and accused the president of fostering division in America. “Joe Biden promised unity but has instead demonized and smeared Americans while making life more expensive for all,” it said.
“..could “signal to Moscow that the US was providing weapons that could target positions inside Russia.”
• Washington Refuses To Send Advanced Drones To Ukraine – WSJ (RT)
The administration of US President Joe Biden has rebuffed Kiev’s requests to provide it with state-of-the-art drones over concerns that doing so could escalate the Ukraine conflict, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing sources. According to US officials and people familiar with matter interviewed by the newspaper, the US won’t send the Gray Eagle MQ-1C drones to Ukraine that it has been requesting for months. This type of military aid, they said, could “signal to Moscow that the US was providing weapons that could target positions inside Russia.” US officials also worry that the technology used in the drones, particularly the cameras, could fall into the wrong hands, the report says.
In September, a bipartisan group of members of the US Congress is said to have insisted that the Biden administration send to Ukraine the medium altitude and armed drones, which can stay in the air for more than 24 hours. In their letter, they asked for the review process to be accelerated, which spurred a briefing on Capitol Hill, congressional officials told the WSJ. The MQ-1C Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft Systems can fly at an altitude of up to 7,600m for more than 27 hours and carry up to four HELLFIRE missiles. They also have a range of up to 4,600km via satellite communications, which may potentially enable Ukraine to strike targets deep inside Russian territory.
Since the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine in late February, the US has been supplying Ukraine with large quantities of weapons, including reconnaissance and kamikaze drones. Washington has so far resisted calls to provide Kiev with advanced weaponry such as Patriot air defense systems and F-16 fighter jets. Russia has repeatedly warned the West against “pumping” Ukraine with weaponry, saying that do so will only prolong the conflict.
Makes me wonder how many foreigners there are today in Ukraine’s army.
• Ukraine Extends Martial Law, Mobilization For 90 Days Until Feb. 19 (Az.)
With efforts to hold back Russian forces continuing, Ukraine’s parliament has extended martial law and military mobilization in the country for 90 days, until Feb. 19 of next year. Tuesday’s passage of legislation presented by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy goes into effect as of Nov. 21, when the previous law on the extension of martial law expires. The previous extension of martial law and mobilization in light of the war was passed this Aug. 15, again for 90 days. Martial law in Ukraine was first declared by Zelenskyy on Feb. 24, when Russia launched its war on its neighbor. It was first extended in March for a period of 30 days.
“Schwab was very clever to have put together an organization where the richest, most powerful, and most influential people in the world are charged huge amounts to be introduced to each other..”
• The WEF Plan for Mankind and What Comes Next (Casey)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) describes its mission as the “international organization for public-private cooperation.” What do you make of the WEF and the power it wields? Doug Casey: “International organization for public-private cooperation” is a code phrase for economic fascism – which is to say, the hand-in-glove melding of the political power of the State with the economic power of corporations. Things like the WEF, and other NGOs (non-governmental organizations), institutes, and think tanks, have proliferated in recent years. They’re almost all destructive parasites on productive society. Almost all of them are leftist, statist, and collectivist in orientation. They’re typically populated by intellectuals and academics and funded by tax-exempt foundations, usually set up by elderly do-gooders interested in leaving a “legacy.”
The WEF is by far the most successful of the breed. Instead of just cadging donations so intellectuals could hang around and seem prestigious, in 1971, Klaus Schwab formed a club where the rich and powerful could discuss ideas with other members of the overlord class. Political and financial types could find a philosophical home, disguising the quest for money and power with a patina of benevolence. It’s become an amazingly large and powerful organization. They have roughly 800 full-time employees, most of them very highly paid. They have an annual budget of over $300 million. Their balance sheet indicates that the WEF is worth over $1 billion, funded by major corporations who give it millions of dollars, as do various governments. Most of the world’s political leaders and corporations are members.
Schwab was very clever to have put together an organization where the richest, most powerful, and most influential people in the world are charged huge amounts to be introduced to each other and talk about how they can become even richer, more powerful, and more influential. It seems clear that members of the WEF have to toe the party line or be disinvited. Nobody wants to be excommunicated from the WEF or cut off from association with other rich and powerful people. It’s safe to say that WEF members share a common philosophy, one that’s in line with Schwab’s weltanschauung.
“The natural progression of every form of Marxism, communism, socialism, fascism etc. all ultimately lead to a kind of globalist ideology..”
• The WEF’s Stakeholder Capitalism Is Just Global Fascism By Another Name (AltM)
The concept of “fascism” was originally entered into the Encyclopedia Italiana by Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile, who stated that “Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” Benito Mussolini would later take credit for the quote as if he had written it himself, but it’s important to note because it outlines the primary purpose of the ideology rather than simply throwing the label around at people we don’t like as a dishonest means to undermine their legitimacy. Despite the fact that leftists today often attack conservatives as “fascists” because of our desire to protect national boundaries and western heritage, the truth is that all fascism is deeply rooted in leftist philosophies and thinkers.
Mussolini was a long time socialist, a member of the party who greatly admired Karl Marx. He deviated from the socialists over their desire to remain neutral during WWI, and went on to champion a combination of socialism and nationalism, what we now know as fascism. Adolph Hitler was also a socialist and admirer of Karl Marx, much like Mussolini. It is actually hard to find where Marx, the communists and the fascists actually differ from each other – A deeper sense of nationalism seems to be one of the few points of contention. Though Marx saw the existence of nation states as temporary to the proletariat and to the ruling class, he noted that the industrialists were erasing national boundaries anyway. Marx argues in the Communist Manifesto with some optimism:
“National differences and antagonisms between peoples are already tending to disappear more and more, owing to the development of the bourgeoisie, the growth of free trade and a world market, and the increasing uniformity of industrial processes and of corresponding conditions of life.” Marx saw the development of corporate power as useful and the next necessary step towards socialism, noting that joint-stock companies (corporations) and the credit system are: “The abolition of the capitalist mode of production within the capitalist mode of production itself.” In other words, corporations are viewed as a tool for the eventual transition to a socialist “Utopia” and the death of free markets. Once again, we see there is very little difference in motive between the political left and the fascists. The natural progression of every form of Marxism, communism, socialism, fascism etc. all ultimately lead to a kind of globalist ideology and erasure of cultural separation.
“A Slovak government contingency plan envisages that about 700,000 refugees may pour into the country this winter..”
• Europe Braces For New Refugee Crisis (RT)
Eastern European countries are girding for a new influx of Ukrainian refugees this winter, with Slovakia anticipating that hundreds of thousands people may arrive in the country in the coming months due to low temperatures and hostilities in Ukraine, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing local officials. A Slovak government contingency plan envisages that about 700,000 refugees may pour into the country this winter, the report says. “A large number of (Ukraine’s) internally displaced people are currently temporarily housed in conditions that are not suitable for the winter,” the document reads, according to Reuters, adding that the “further escalation of the conflict is also a risk. Moreover, European nations are said to be opening reception centers and stocking up products to get ready for a new refugee crisis.
In Hungary, Zsofia Dobis-Lucski, a spokesperson for the charity organization Hungarian Reformed Church Aid, told Reuters that about 300–500 people have been arriving daily at the border train station in the town of Zahony in recent weeks. However, Witold Wolczyk, an official from Przemysl in eastern Poland, has so far noticed little commotion. At the same time, he told the outlet that local authorities have to prepare for a potentially difficult winter, as well as for a new wave of refugees. “We are constantly stocking up on hygiene products and food,” Wolczyk added. According to UN data, about 4.5 million refugees are currently registered within various national protection schemes in Europe, with about seven million people internally displaced in Ukraine itself.
Europe is bracing for a new refugee crisis amid Russian strikes on Ukraine’s power plants that have knocked out up to 40% of the country’s energy infrastructure, according to Kiev. The bombardment came after Moscow accused Kiev of conducting “terrorist attacks” on Russian infrastructure, including the strategic Crimean Bridge. Against this backdrop, in late October Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk urged her fellow citizens who had fled the country not to return home before spring to ease pressure on the power grid.
€1.5 billion per month for
• Hungary Reacts To EU Aid Plan For Kiev (RT)
Hungary has rejected an EU loan scheme set to provide €18 billion ($18.1 billion) in stable financial aid to Ukraine next year. Finance Minister Mihaly Varga was quoted by the media as saying on Tuesday that Budapest has had “bad experience” with joint EU loans and still has not received enough aid regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Bloomberg, Varga told his colleagues at a meeting in Brussels that Budapest will not back the idea to use the EU budget in order to offer concessional loans to Kiev. The measure needs the approval of all the bloc’s 27 member states. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday that his country will not stop helping Kiev, but will also not greenlight a bloc-wide borrowing plan. “We are ready to continue financial support on a bilateral basis,” Szijjarto said.
“But we will certainly not support any kind of joint EU borrowing in this field.” “Why? Because we have already done it once. We supported joint borrowing during the coronavirus epidemic, and that was more than enough,” he explained. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed an aid package of €1.5 billion ($1.5 billion) per month for Ukraine over the course of 2023. The amount will ensure “a stable and reliable, predictable flow of income” for Kiev, she said last month. In a video address to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in October, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said his country will need $55 billion next year to cover the estimated budget deficit and rebuild critical infrastructure amid the conflict with Russia.
Lavrov will do. Putin can spare the others from humiliating themselves.
• Kremlin Comments On Putin’s G20 Plans (RT)
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the summit of G20 leaders in Bali, Indonesia next week in person, his press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, confirmed on Thursday. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be heading the Russian delegation at the two-day event, the official said. The same information was also given by Russia’s Embassy in Jakarta to Russian and foreign media outlets, while Reuters reported on it citing an Indonesian government official. Both sources said Putin may participate in the event via video link. The host nation previously came under pressure by the US and its allies to block Putin from attending the meeting, claiming that Russia should be isolated diplomatically as punishment for sending troops into Ukraine.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, together with representatives from the UK and Canada, walked out of a meeting of G20 finance ministers in April, in protest against a speech of Russian delegates. Jakarta did not yield and sent an invitation to Putin just like any other leader of G20 nations. There was some speculation in the Western media that US President Joe Biden could meet Putin on the sidelines of the gathering, but the White House ultimately ruled this out. According to some reports, the Biden administration made plans on how to prevent even a casual encounter between him and Putin, should the Russian leader attend the G20 summit in person. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is expected to participate in the event virtually too. He conditioned his involvement on Putin’s not going to Bali.
I know! I know this one! Call Robert Mueller to investigate!
• Biden: Elon Musk’s Links To Other Countries ‘Worthy Of Being Looked At’ (G.)
Joe Biden thinks Twitter boss Elon Musk’s relationships with other countries is “worthy of being looked at”. Biden was asked at a news conference on Wednesday whether he thought Musk was a threat to national security and if his acquisition of Twitter with help from a Saudi Arabian conglomerate should be investigated by the US government. “I think that Elon Musk’s cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at,” Biden said. “Whether he is doing anything inappropriate, I’m not suggesting that. I’m suggesting they’re worth being looked at.” Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, among the richest Middle East investors, and his investment firm has emerged as the second-largest investor in Twitter after Musk’s takeover of the social media platform.
Two US senators – Democrat Ron Wyden, who chairs the finance committee, and Chris Murphy of Connecticut – last week called for a “thorough vetting” of the Twitter deal. In a statement, Wyden said: “Given the Saudi regime’s history of jailing critics, planting a spy at Twitter, and brutally murdering a Washington Post journalist, the Saudi regime must be blocked from accessing Twitter account information, direct messages and other data that could be used to identify political opponents or to suppress criticism of the royal family. “I’ve long argued that the United States has a national security interest in protecting Americans’ data from murderous foreign governments, and this Saudi regime absolutely fits that description.” The White House said last month that reports the US was discussing launching a national security review of some of Musk’s ventures, including Twitter, were “not true”.
This is not China.
• The Quiet Merger Between Online Platforms and National Security State (Jac.)
The steady march of the post-2016 tech censorship campaign has been picking up pace lately, and we’ve just learned of another leap forward. According to recent major reporting from the Intercept, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been involved in efforts aimed at corralling what it refers to as “MDM”: misinformation, disinformation, and “malinformation.” Documents obtained and made publicly available by the news outlet show that the DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has been formulating a strategy to combat MDM regarding US elections and other matters. While seemingly unobjectionable on the surface -who could be against combating false information, which is rife online?- it raises serious questions about the extent of government involvement in the already-troubling phenomenon of tech censorship.
The conversations detailed in the documents show the federal government, and the DHS specifically, taking a more active role in tech companies’ efforts to suppress MDM. We’ve had some indications this was happening for a while, as when DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC in August that the government was “working with the tech companies” on “strengthen[ing] the legitimate use of their very powerful platforms and prevent[ing] harm from occurring,” and that it was doing so “across the federal enterprise” – comments that were only reported in right-wing media. The documents give us details about what that work has entailed. In these discussions, the government did not directly carry out censorship.
Rather, they involved government agencies: doing “debunking” and “pre-bunking”; directing the press, local and state governments, and other stakeholders to “trusted resources”; carrying out “rumor control”; boosting “trusted authoritative sources”; giving financial support to its external partners; and improving information literacy. Much of the focus is on elections, with participants talking about using these resources to prevent people being misled about how, where, and when to vote, and stressing that CISA should strictly be a “resource” that at most uses its “convening power.” But it’s not just election misinformation that’s the focus. Among the recommendations made by CISA is to target MDM that “undermines critical functions carried out by other key democratic institutions.” What are these institutions? It lists as examples the courts and, absurdly, the financial system which -besides not actually being one of our “democratic institutions”- is a notable broadening of what “fighting misinformation” involves. And yet a representative of JP Morgan Chase attended the discussions, and several emails suggest CISA is facilitating collaboration between Google and Facebook and the department of treasury on “social media and influence matters,” as one puts it.
From the local Greek press. “..the same basic consumer goods and necessities are much more expensive in Greece than in Germany..”
• Profit Inflation And A Basket Full Of Holes (K.)
There is certainly an inflation problem in the United States and Europe, and its reappearance after decades is a global phenomenon. No country, no economy, no one is immune. However, inflation is not a neutral phenomenon. As long as consumption holds up, companies pass the increased costs on to their customers. Even if they keep the same rate of profit, they increase their profits as an absolute number, since the same rate of profit is calculated on increased base prices. In addition, many companies take advantage of the situation to increase their profit margins. Real profits are rising, while real wages are falling, Paul Donovan, chief economist of UBS Global Wealth Management, wrote recently in the Financial Times, referring to the US economy. The problem is called profit inflation.
According to the Labor Institute of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (INE/GSEE), since April this year, the minimum wage has lost 19% of its purchasing power. In 2022, when inflation is hovering at around 10%, the losses are greater for the lowest incomes, reaching 40% for households with a monthly income of up to 750 euros. Note this too: In the first half of this year, Greek natural gas providers had the second highest profit margin in Europe. There’s profits, and there’s massive profits. Furthermore, the fact that inflation is currently a global problem does not explain why the same basic consumer goods and necessities are much more expensive in Greece than in Germany or other European and Mediterranean countries, even though some of these countries have higher wages, more expensive rents and other factors that affect cost. It does not explain why the same supermarket chains sell goods for noticeably less in their stores in Munich than they do in their stores in Athens.
The answer is because competition doesn’t work in Greece. Instead, we have the “market of cronies,” where easy and big money is made. These systems are not touched by Greek governments – certainly not the current one – even though the tsunami of price hikes, if left unchecked, will turn into a kind of looting at the expense of the people’s income. There is no magic solution. But if a government wanted to put a stop to this tsunami, it would act with responsibility, seriousness and professionalism – and it certainly wouldn’t work against the independent watchdog, the Hellenic Competition Commission. And after obtaining a real picture of the economic details of each sector from the relevant bodies (so as not to be ignorant), it would invite all those involved – from retail chains to importers, producers and manufacturers – and impose a broad agreement and cooperation to lower prices.
Nothing was done in this direction. Instead of some real fight against inflation there is the impression of a fight, with the launch of the so-called “household basket” – a set of products at supermarkets protected from inflation. It is a “basket” full of holes. The price of the products that go into it will rise modestly. But if this price needs to rise excessively, then it will be removed from the basket – with system and order.
Greece Nov 8
Protesters clash with police at Greece inflation rally
Source: The Telegraph (Youtube) pic.twitter.com/HFN3L7zfUz
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2023) November 9, 2022
Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.