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Will Germany Oust Peripheral Countries from EMU?

by ARGeezer Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 12:16:06 PM EST

CAUTERISE AND PRINT: GERMANY'S NEWEST PLAN A  Yanis Varoufakis

While Greece burnt, and the Parliament of the Hellenic Republic was insincerely accepting impossible conditions for implementing yet another unworkable fiscal adjustment plan, the buzz in Frankfurt's financial district was an exciting, fresh German Plan A.[1] For the first time in two years, since the euro Crisis began, Germany's captains of finance could be seen to have re-discovered a spring in their step. The new optimism stems from a new Plan which is predicated upon a long delayed recognition and two strategic choices:

Germany's belated epiphany is that, without a major redesign of the euro architecture, a number (>1) of eurozone member states are irretrievably insolvent. As for the two strategic choices, the first is Berlin's conclusion that German politics have no stomach for, or interest in, a structural redesign of the euro system.[2] The second choice involves a massive bet in attempting to save the eurozone by shrinking it forcefully while, at the same time, authorising the ECB to print trillions of euros to cauterise the stumps left when the states earmarked for the chop are severed.

The detail not yet `worked out' concerns the identity of the countries to be shown the door. The consensus opinion in Frankfurt was that Greece and Portugal are certainties. Few expressed the view that Portugal is too close to Spain to cauterise effectively while others went against the grain of majority opinion suggesting that Ireland ought to be liberated too. My impression is that, current thinking, has settled on Greece and Portugal, with a questionmark over Ireland. (Emphasis from original.)

Read more... (37 comments, 814 words in story)

The Future of Economics

by ARGeezer Thu Feb 2nd, 2012 at 03:40:15 AM EST

Bloomberg invited Steve Keen to write an 800-word feature on "The Future of Economics" for the World Economic Forum, which started on Wednesday, January 25 2012 in Davos. Perhaps the senior editor thought this paper was too challenging. I haven't been able to find this paper either at Bloomberg News' site or the World Economic Forum web site to confirm that it was distributed to participants, but it would be a high profile appearance for TARA if it were. The challenge is to the orthodoxy rather than to the intellect.

For its entire history, macroeconomics has been dominated by mathematical models that ignore the existence of money, debt and banking, and that perceive the economy's movement through time as transitions from one state of equilibrium to another.

At any point in history, these would be heroic assumptions. Could it really be true that models without either money or instability are provably superior at predicting the economy's future course than models in which money and banking exist, and in which the model economy can be out of equilibrium? If not, is it the case then that such models are simply too difficult to construct--that the best we can do is pretend that the economy doesn't have banks or money, and that it's always in equilibrium, even if we know these assumptions are false?

Read more... (191 comments, 595 words in story)

Denkverbot

by ARGeezer Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 11:35:29 PM EST

From: Bailout Rebellion in Germany Heats Up  zero hedge

"There cannot be any prohibition to think" just so that the euro can be stabilized, wrote Philipp Rösler, Minister of Economics and Technology, in a commentary published on September 9 (Welt, article in German). "And the orderly default of Greece is part of that," he added. Instantly, all hell broke loose, and Denkverbot (prohibition to think) became a rallying cry against the onslaught of criticism that his remarks engendered.

I have always believed: "when you are right you are right!" In this case Philipp Rösler is definitely right about Denkverbot. But there is a more fundamental Denkverbot than the one to which he referred which should also be rejected: That the current financial crisis could better be resolved by writing down unpayable debt, as opposed to bankrupting governments trying to pay the unpayable.

Read more... (18 comments, 368 words in story)

Liquidity, Bank Capital and Market Reform

by ARGeezer Sun Sep 4th, 2011 at 01:12:09 PM EST

Liquidity has almost been given a bad name by all of the officials who have claimed that the problem with the economy from 2008 to today is lack of liquidity. Critics have vociferously asserted that the bigger problem is solvency. Given the price history of US residential real estate since 2008 and the size of the class of US RMBS financial assets from 2002 to 2006 the solvency of institutions holding these RMBSs certainly seems questionable. But looked as on its own merits, as opposed to the camouflage uses to which it has been put, liquidity is an important and neglected factor in our financial markets.

London Banker has a new post on this subject: Liquidity, Liquidity, Bank Capital and Market Reform. After all, there was a time when central banks were not the chief source of liquidity and it would seem desirable to find a way to return to that situation, especially seeing that re-inflating the bubble doesn't seem to be working so well. His post consists of a series of comments from a friend's e-mail, shown here in orange, to which London Banker responds.  

Central bankers and securities regulators lost sight of liquidity over the past decade or two in permitting reforms which compromised the health of the financial system. Thanks to the Greenspan and Bernanke puts, and to surplus recycling by Asian economies, many took liquidity - like oxygen - for granted. Like oxygen, you only realise how critical liquidity is when its absence becomes noticeable.

Now that bank regulators have rediscovered liquidity as an essential attribute of healthy banks and healthy markets, it is important to reinforce some key qualities.

   Liquidity means you can generate cash from a physical asset or paper claim.

If you can't exchange the asset for a major currency to meet a sudden funding need, then the asset shouldn't be permitted as regulatory capital. Basel II and Basel III have generated hundreds of pages around credit scoring and asset type while ignoring the fact that most of what banks are attributing as capital cannot be turned into cash on demand.


But, effectively, the criteria came to be having a AAA rating on the asset. But that was like Kansas before the tornado of 2008. The tornado exposed the fraud of the AAA ratings and "We ain't in Kansas anymore!"

Read more... (58 comments, 872 words in story)

The Modest Proposal of Yanis Varoufakis

by ARGeezer Tue Jun 7th, 2011 at 01:32:34 AM EST

Saviour of Last Resort

Over the last few weeks Yanis Varoufakis and Tasos Patokos "have carried out a series of simulations regarding the Greek debt-to-GDP ratio under different scenaria." The graph below represents four scenarios that have been modeled:

Read more... (68 comments, 589 words in story)

To Save the Euro, Germany Has To Quit the Eurozone

by ARGeezer Thu May 26th, 2011 at 09:27:59 PM EST

Marshall Auerback has a post in New Economic Perspectives with the above title. He makes an interesting case. I know that similar observations have been made on ET in the last year. At the very least, his article pushes a re-framing of the existing debate over debt in Euro-zone countries.

When the euro was launched, leading German politicians used to argue, with evident relish (and much to the chagrin of the British in particular), that monetary union would eventually require political union. The Greek crisis was precisely the sort of event that was expected to force the pace. But, faced with a defining crisis, Ms Merkel's government is avoiding airy talk of political union - preferring instead to force harsh economic medicine down the throats of the reluctant Greeks, Irish, Portuguese and Spanish electorates. This is becoming both economically and politically unsustainable. If the objective is to save the currency union, perhaps policy makers are looking at this the wrong way around. In the end, paradoxically, to save the European Monetary Union, the least disruptive way forward would be for the Germans, not the periphery countries, to leave.

Read more... (95 comments, 1336 words in story)

Will Chinese bubble(?) pop or deflate?

by ARGeezer Mon Jan 24th, 2011 at 11:45:43 PM EST

China has seemed to avoid the worst of the global financial crisis, but critics claim that they have done so by inflating a domestic real estate bubble. ET readers have probably heard of Ordos. But how will it end? Hard or soft landing? Here are some views:

Strong China growth boosted by $1.5 trillion in loans  by Malcolm Moore - Telegraph (H/T to Automatic Earth for the Telegraph links.)

   For the second year running, Chinese banks loaned out more money than the UK's entire public debt. Their extraordinary largesse helped the Chinese economy maintain the 10pc growth level it has recorded each year, on average, for the last two decades.

    Despite a global economic malaise, the National Bureau of Statistics said China's gross domestic product (GDP) had expanded by 10.3pc compared with the 9.2pc it grew in 2009. "It is not difficult to grow at double digits if you are pumping money into the economy like there is no tomorrow," said Alistair Thornton, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Beijing. "The banks are lending more than twice as much as they were before the financial crisis and they are also printing new money - money supply is up 50pc from a couple of years ago."

Read more... (46 comments, 1431 words in story)

The Tunisian Revolution

by ARGeezer Sat Jan 15th, 2011 at 02:07:04 AM EST

Migeru noted:

I would expect some gray regime insider to be installed as caretaker to organize 'free' elections. Might well be from the military.

The Prime Minister, Mohamed Ghannouchi, an economist, fills the bill for now. The other thing that must be done to have a chance of being successful is to satisfactorily reassure Paris and Washington that their "vital interests" are being protected. At a minimum this probably has to be plausible.

In any case the US is preoccupied with Lebanon, along with all its other ongoing disasters and doesn't really need a new adventure in North Africa. It appears that Mohamed Ghannouchi may fill the bill re US concerns and it helps that he is reasonably popular in Tunisia, if not viewed as full time leadership material.

Read more... (74 comments, 968 words in story)

EROI, ROIIC and The Collapse of Complex Societies

by ARGeezer Sun Dec 12th, 2010 at 11:46:41 PM EST

EROI = Energy Return On Investment.   ROIIC = Return On Investment In Complexity†.  The Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph Tainter.

†See excerpts from Tainter quoted below the fold.

In a thread in a previous diary while discussing growth vs. sustainability question arose as to whether an argument being used conflated the issue of economic growth with that of social equity. This issue goes to the heart of the different approaches currently employed in "mainstream economics" and that employed in other social sciences, especially anthropology, archeology and sociology. My response outgrew the bounds I thought proper for a comment and that diary was already unwieldy, so I have made it into another diary, if somewhat belatedly.

Julian Simon had made the argument, cited by santiago:

-- that there is no reason to presume that human population growth actually be limited by merely linear projections of resource use and availability into the future because people can adapt to scarcity.

I responded:

....

The problems for the next two decades are likely to be learning to deal with declining marginal returns on the investments required to provide the energy to drive our cultures. Renewable energy sources provide positive marginal returns. I have seen figures of up to 20:1 for wind. But that may be inadequate to support systems that were built up during times of 50:1 returns.

My fear is that by denying the existence of foreseeable constraints we will run into them very hard and, instead of moving gracefully to a scenario in which we rely on 20:1 returns from renewables, we end up in a near total collapse of the culture. We have to consider that, by blindly following hopeful scenarios and denying the possibility of negative scenarios we could end up needing to rebuild all of our coastal cities on higher ground in a world in which 20:1 returns on investment are the best obtainable. And we could end up having to do that in a social context where a tiny minority possesses almost all disposable wealth and control of the apparatuses of government and has no interest in the survival of the bottom 90% of income earners in the society. But that might get us back to a population less than 10% of what we have today.

To this santiago responded:

There are two arguments being conflated here (and I don't mean just your comment).  One is an efficiency (or growth) argument, and one is an equity argument.

My eventual response is that there are two arguments but they are not so much conflated as co-existent. The Growth/Sustainability argument is not dependent on maintaining equity. In fact decreasing equity would seem to go nicely with decline and collapse, and that certainly was the case with the Western Roman Empire.  But then I paused to wonder if perhaps sustainability IS dependent on social equity And on the question of if and how it is reasonable to attempt to separate the economy from the society in which it operates and to disregard the effects of the operation of that economy on the society in which it is actually embedded. Julian Simon, meet Karl Polanyi.

 

Read more... (82 comments, 3494 words in story)

EROI, ROIIC and The Collapse of Complex Societies

by ARGeezer Sun Dec 12th, 2010 at 10:14:02 PM EST

EROI = Energy Return On Investment. ROIIC = Return On Investment In Complexity†. The Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph Tainter.

†See excerpts from Tainter quoted below the fold.

In a thread in a previous diary while discussing growth vs. sustainability question arose as to whether an argument being used conflated the issue of economic growth with that of social equity. This issue goes to the heart of the different approaches currently employed in "mainstream economics" and that employed in other social sciences, especially anthropology, archeology and sociology. My response outgrew the bounds I thought proper for a comment and that diary was already unwieldy, so I have made it into another diary somewhat belatedly.

Julian Simon had made the argument, cited by santiago:

-- that there is no reason to presume that human population growth actually be limited by merely linear projections of resource use and availability into the future because people can adapt to scarcity.

I responded:

This apparently makes sense to adherents of Neo-Classical Economics. Perhaps that explains why they deny that financial bubbles occur, that they can be seen as they inflate and that they can be managed in the long term interest of society. A better question just now seems to be if the world economy can successfully recover from the most recently burst bubble.

To others, this "insight" seems more like folly and wishful thinking. Prudence would seem to dictate that we take seriously the pending depletion of the fossil energy resources on which the increasingly complex societies of the last two hundred years have been built. Without access to the highly favorable EROIs that were available until the 1970s, much, if not all, of that complexity could undergo a dramatic collapse in the not too distant future.

The problems for the next two decades are likely to be learning to deal with declining marginal returns on the investments required to provide the energy to drive our cultures. Renewable energy sources provide positive marginal returns. I have seen figures of up to 20:1 for wind. But that may be inadequate to support systems that were built up during times of 50:1 returns.

My fear is that by denying the existence of foreseeable constraints we will run into them very hard and, instead of moving gracefully to a scenario in which we rely on 20:1 returns from renewables, we end up in a near total collapse of the culture. We have to consider that, by blindly following hopeful scenarios and denying the possibility of negative scenarios we could end up needing to rebuild all of our coastal cities on higher ground in a world in which 20:1 returns on investment are the best obtainable. And we could end up having to do that in a social context where a tiny minority possesses almost all disposable wealth and control of the apparatuses of government and has no interest in the survival of the bottom 90% of income earners in the society. But that might get us back to a population less than 10% of what we have today.

To this santiago responded:

There are two arguments being conflated here (and I don't mean just your comment).  One is an efficiency (or growth) argument, and one is an equity argument.

My eventual response is that there are two arguments but they are not so much conflated as co-existent. The Growth/Sustainability argument is not dependent on maintaining equity. In fact decreasing equity would seem to go nicely with decline and collapse, and that certainly was the case with the Western Roman Empire. But then I paused to wonder if perhaps sustainability IS dependent on social equity And on the question of if and how it is reasonable to attempt to separate the economy from the society in which it operates and to disregard the effects of the operation of that economy on the society in which it is actually embedded. Julian Simon, meet Karl Polanyi.

Read more... (3096 words in story)

Actual Monetary Practice, aka Modern Monetary Theory

by ARGeezer Sun Oct 31st, 2010 at 05:58:00 PM EST

As noted below, Modern Monetary Theory, MMT, is neither "Modern" nor a "Theory". It is based on observation of how our monetary system works, as Stephanie Kelton notes. Prominent Mainstream Economists will, of course, acknowledge that the USA went off the Gold Standard totally in 1971. Yet they continue to frame economic policy and the public discussion of that policy as though we were still on the Gold Standard. Perhaps that is because pretending we are on the Gold Standard for purposes of framing and discussing economic policies gives all of the policy advantages of a Gold Standard without the practical awkwardness of an actual Gold Standard. This practice provides a compelling, if bogus, argument for ideologically favored policies, especially "Austerity". But insisting on presenting monetary policy options in terms of a monetary approach that is, in fact, not being used is about as helpful as following a false to fact map.

There are now available several good presentations focused on policy and based on "Modern Monetary Theory" from an April 28, 2010 Fiscal Sustainability Teach-In And Counter-Conference that was staged to run counter to the Peterson sponsored "fiscal responsibility" propaganda blitz last spring. Transcripts slides and videos are available for all presentations. Presentations are aimed at a more general, yet economically aware audience. Introductions and samples of each presentation follow:

Read more... (364 comments, 3142 words in story)

Better Economic Theories

by ARGeezer Fri Oct 22nd, 2010 at 05:28:56 PM EST

While many have complained about the limitations of Mainstream Economics others have worked to provide alternatives. One of those is Steve Keene, who has now come up with a simple but powerful change that incorporates the role of debt into our understanding of economic cycles in a way that can easily be added, at least by those not resolutely obtuse, onto existing formulations:

Deleveraging, Deceleration and the Double Dip   October 19th, 2010

For a long time I've focused on the contribution that the change in debt makes to aggregate demand, in the relation that "aggregate demand equals the sum of GDP plus the change in debt". An obvious extension of that was that "change in aggregate demand equals change in GDP plus acceleration in the level of debt"--which would imply that change in unemployment is driven by changes in the rate of growth of debt.

Though I was aware of this implication of my analysis, I held off from testing it because I was concerned that this was pushing the data one step too far.

A physical system with a similar relationship between velocity (the rate of change of one variable) and acceleration (whether the velocity of another variable is increasing or decreasing) would generate a large volume of sufficiently detailed data that the relationship could be empirically tested.

But the economic system, with the large time lags in data collection, survey methods rather than direct measurement, and the dodgy practices statisticians are forced into by politicians and economic bureaucrats who often don't want raw information to be available? I just thought that the relationship, even though it made sense, wouldn't be discernible from published statistics. So I held off.

   

Read more... (1 comment, 1169 words in story)

WHO Are The Utopians?

by ARGeezer Sat Oct 2nd, 2010 at 12:36:56 AM EST

Right wingers and liberal Democrats both love to say that I advocate for some kind of nebulous utopian dream.
 from The Progressive Dilemma by Nick Egnatz in the Diary What to do now? by tahoebasha3 at Docudharma

Polanyi, the history of economic thought and the economists

The terms Utopia and utopian are often used as terms of disparagement, and not without reason. Massive social experiments based excessively on theory or reason have wreaked social havoc from The Terror during the French Revolution to the Maoist Great Leap Forward in the 1960s and 1970s. Yet one of the most dramatic Utopian experiments was never so labeled. The fact is that both Classical Economics and Neo-Classical Economics were/are utopian systems. In this sense Adam Smith predates Classical Economics. He was more practical and descriptive. Bentham, James Mill and Ricardo were prescriptive and axiomatic. And the economic system they created was, in fact, utopian, but of the dystopian flavor for all but the very wealthy. The 20th Century extension of Classical Economics -- Neo-Classical Economics -- retains all of the original utopian features despite the problems it has been shown to exhibit. Between them, Classical and Neo-Classical Economics as applied in the UK and the USA constitute the longest running Utopian experiment of which I know. We need to understand this history, which has been actively shunned, in order to understand where we are and where we are headed, unless we can change direction. Update [2010-10-2 9:36:11 by ARGeezer]: Spelling, syntax, added link and edits for clarity.

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Discrediting NCE: does "Britain's Broken Economy" do it?

by ARGeezer Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 03:20:11 PM EST

Britain's Broken Economy - and how to mend it  by The new political economy network.  An e-book published by Soundings.

This is an attempt to construct a compelling alternative to the current Neo-Classical Economic which has been taught to almost all now alive who have formally studied economics. Sadly, more than 90% of those accept that framework as reality. The popular attitude is that, while there may be some problems, there is really no alternative to this existing approach. This e-book is an attempt to provide just such a compelling alternative. This is a difficult task and I believe this could become a valuable contribution. The authors are generally on point, at least in their conception, though I do find some aspects with which to quibble:

The economic crisis should herald a new progressive moment for the centre left, but instead there is a lack of a sense of purpose, and a difficulty in defining a new radical politics. Nowhere is this problem more acute than in the realm of political economy, where the discrediting of neoclassical economics has left an intellectual void in policy making.

The revival of a progressive politics requires a new political economy that will enable Britain's transition from casino capitalism to a balanced, low carbon, equitable form of economic development. We need an economics whose principles are ecologically sustainable wealth creation, cultural inventiveness, equality and human flourishing.

I must dispute one of the above statements:

Read more... (23 comments, 2383 words in story)

Towards an Economic Tutorial

by ARGeezer Wed Sep 15th, 2010 at 08:39:50 PM EST

In Sven's Paris diary Fran asked, regarding ET goals:

What would a good alternative, to the current system, look like? and, later:So what and where should our society move towards? Once this is defined, we can start brainstorming how this can be done.

I responded, in part with the following assertion:

The core of our current problems lies in the capture of governmental power by economic elites. The style and method might vary from country to country, but that is the essence of the problem.

It follows that the solution is to break the money link between economic power and political governance any way we can!

I identified spreading awareness of this problem and goal as The first step and then noted:

The second step is to publicly critique what currently passes for the official economic theory. None of the theories commonly taught in universities acceptably explain the functioning of the existing system. There are better approaches available. They are not being pursued because the existing theory has been found to be useful as propaganda for the existing economic elites. This has to be drilled into the popular mind.

To which Fran responded:

What are these better approaches? I think that would be also important to spread - if they know and understand more about these other/better approaches the more they will demand them and also vote for those people who will most likely implement them.

I responded and Fran suggested that response be turned into a diary so others could more easily find it. See below:
  Update [2010-9-17 1:39:24 by ARGeezer]: To include diaries by Migeru on Keynes.

Update [2010-9-18 11:58:50 by ARGeezer]: To include a diary by Migeru about and on-line text of works by Thorstein Veblen.

Update [2010-9-18 23:7:49 by ARGeezer]:: To include posts by Bill Mitchell per the recommendation of Bruce McF.

Update [2010-9-19 15:16:58 by ARGeezer]:: To add Propaganda by Bernays.

Update [2010-9-22 0:27:18 by ARGeezer]::: To add THE LOST TRADITION OF BIBLICAL DEBT CANCELLATIONS by Michael Hudson and Our Best Economic Minds are Failing Us by Michael Hirsh.

Update [2010-12-30 10:16:20 by ARGeezer]: To include links to Rob Parenteau and 3 Sector Financial Balance analysis.

Read more... (40 comments, 2382 words in story)

The Alarm Bell of The Pending Gulf Disaster

by ARGeezer Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 03:34:23 PM EST

From The Gulf Stream To The Bloodstream  H/T to pinche tejano at Docudharma

When Is Enough, Enough?

For nearly five months, the BP oil disaster has consumed the minds of millions of people worldwide. In addition to the horrific impacts that the crude oil and chemical dispersants have daily on the environment and the economy, a fatal threat has quietly slipped by the public's proverbial radar. The harm dealt by this silent enemy is beginning to creep into the lives of those living and working in the Gulf. The problem has been lurking in the Gulf since the first days of the BP oil spill and now has the potential ignite a disaster unlike any this country has ever seen.

Read more... (33 comments, 1266 words in story)

Gibson's Paradox, Larry Summers and central bank antipathy to gold and silver

by ARGeezer Sun Aug 15th, 2010 at 01:40:18 AM EST

If it is "a barbarous relic", as has been claimed, why do central banks care about the price of gold and silver? Well, it is a "barbarous relic" with a history of several thousand years. But does it continue to have relevance in an era of fiat currency and floating exchange rates?

In 1923 British economist Alfred Herbert Gibson noted that  the rate of interest and the general level of prices were observed to be correlated. Irving Fisher's theory had predicted that the interest rate would be correlated to the change in the rate of inflation. In his 1930 work A Treatise on Money Keynes noted the difference between observation and theory, noted that Gibson's observation was "one of the most completely established empirical facts in the whole field of quantitative economics" and coined the term Gibson's Paradox.

Looking into this paradox takes us back over economic history from the 19th Century to the present. It also involves looking at some of the dissenters from the mainstream of monetary theory. Note well!  Here there be gold bugs!

Read more... (26 comments, 5488 words in story)

Systemic Fear, Modern Finance and the Future of Capitalism

by ARGeezer Mon Jul 26th, 2010 at 12:21:10 AM EST

Systemic Fear, Modern Finance and the Future of Capitalism  by Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan
Jerusalem and Montreal, July 2010

Existing theories of political economy, liberal as well as Marxist, see capital as a dual entity. According to these theories, the "real" essence of capital consists of material/productive commodities, while the "financial" appearance of capital either accurately mirrors or fictitiously distorts this underlying reality. We reject this duality. Capital, we argue, is finance, and only finance. In its modern incarnation, capital exists as forward-looking capitalization, a universal financial ritual that discounts expected future earnings to a singular present value. emphasis added.

The part in bold is the essence of modern finance. And the times when that forward looking principle is violated is fundamental to understanding the present situation.

Read more... (131 comments, 4990 words in story)

US Labor Party Nominates AFL CIO's Richard Trumka

by ARGeezer Thu Jul 22nd, 2010 at 09:04:24 PM EST

The two party system in the USA is not well serving 90% of the electorate:



Many people, myself included, believe it is time for a political realignment. At least one, if not both, of the existing parties needs to go. Could it be the Democrats turn first. A significant political development?

Richard Trumka Accepts Labor Party Nod     Corrente     john.halle's blog

Chicago-To the cheers of thousands of rank and file activists, AFL CIO head Richard Trumka accepted the nomination of the newly formed US Labor Party for the Presidency of the United States. Trumka will make his run as the standard bearer of a party fielding a full slate of candidates from the local and state to federal levels, running with the support of all major national and international unions, many peace and environmental organizations, and millions of economically and politically disenfranchised Americans.

Addressing a packed convention center a stone's throw from Chicago's haymarket, Trumka's remarks evoked labor's fallen heros and rekindled themes of radical trade unionism long thought vanquished after generations of hostility to organized labor fomented by right wing think tanks, mainstream media outlets and an army of pro-business lobbyists in Washington.

"For years the working people of this country have seen our hopes and dreams placed on the auction block and sold off to corporate criminals and Wall Street bankers," the Pennsylvania native said. "It is time to take back this country from the organized money controlling both parties which, as President Roosevelt reminded us during the last depression, is no better than an organized mob."

Read more... (7 comments, 931 words in story)

The Con of the Decade, (conservatively)

by ARGeezer Sun Jul 11th, 2010 at 05:23:10 PM EST

I discovered Charles Hugh Smith and his blog, oftwominds.com last night at Zero Hedge. His 12 point account of how we got in the mess we are in and where it is going is the best succinct description I have found, so I e-mailed him for permission to cross-post, which he graciously gave and he suggested posting both parts. Herewith:

 

Read more... (48 comments, 1708 words in story)
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News and Views

 17 Septembre 2014

by afew - Sep 16, 39 comments

Your take on today's news media

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Your take on today's news media

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