Thu Apr 4th, 2013 at 04:52:52 AM EST
This is interesting.
Leaks reveal secrets of the rich who hide cash offshore
Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 04:34:36 AM EST
In my previous diary, Once more into the fray, taxes, deficits, and MMT, an interesting discussion developed on the social and economic limits to the ability of the government to create full employment. That is a really interesting topic which was only partly addressed in the discussion, and I'd like to invite the ET community to return to that topic for a more focused examination of the topic.
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Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 03:57:24 AM EST
I posted a diary a while ago on my understanding of what exactly taxes, deficits, and the national debt are, and it provoked a wonderful discussion. I've been busy lately, and there was an election or something recently, so I never returned to the topic as I'd planned.
But a couple of days ago, I got a burst of inspiration, and wrote a long diary on the topic on Kos, Why deficits don't matter
Thinking about it, I should have posted this here first, to get expert commentary and criticism before preaching to the unwashed masses. Nonetheless, the reception was reasonable. So take a look and let me know what you think.
As should be clear from the start, I was going for persuasive and readable over detailed and wonky, and got a bit over the top towards the end. Next time.
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Sat Aug 11th, 2012 at 11:45:37 PM EST
I just got back from an 11 day tour of central China. I started off in Hangzhou, continued to Suzhou, then flew inland to Zhangjiajie, drove up to Fenghuang, and finally flew to Chengdu and did sightseeing in the nearby area. Here are some observations I made during the trip that I thought the readers of ET might find interesting.
I apologize ahead of time that there are no photos. I don't have pictures of many of the things I discuss in this diary. Also, I have yet to figure out how to put pictures into ET diaries.
[update] See photos in my Flickr gallery here
Wed Jul 25th, 2012 at 06:26:55 AM EST
This was linked on the front page of Daily Kos, and I thought it might be of particular interest over here - especially since I haven't seen a LQD in a while.
The US Economic Policy Debate is a Sham
Tue Jun 26th, 2012 at 05:27:16 AM EST
Courtesy of Sustainable Business News, hat tip to Daily Kos diarist Lawrence's diary, Japan about to experience Huge Renewable Energy Boom!
This weekend, Japan approved re-starting two nuclear reactors despite mass public opposition at the same time as announcing pricing for the country's landmark renewable energy feed-in tariff (FiT).
Solar stocks rallied on the premium price that will be paid for solar, which many think will boost Japan to the world's largest solar market.
The FiT could spur at least $9.6 billion in new solar installations with 3.2 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, around the output of three nuclear plants, forecasts Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Japan's FiT will no doubt shore up the world's solar manufacturing industry, but Japanese business groups worry it will raise utility bills and slow economic recovery.
The FiT requires utilities to pay $0.53 cents per kilowatt-hour for 20 years for solar, triple that of China's and almost double that of Germany.
Greenwashing, better than nothing, or a real step in the right direction?
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Fri May 25th, 2012 at 04:29:20 AM EST
Reading here on ET has given me a few ideas as to how government finance and the money supply work. I'm curious to see what people think, and to have my thinking corrected by the infinite font of wisdom that is ET.
- Money is created by government spending and bank lending.
- Money is destroyed by taxation.
- The purpose of taxation is not to fund government, but to manage the money supply, and to penalize or support certain activities in the economy.
- There is no special connection between government spending and inflation - government spending is an inflation driver only in the circumstances in which the same spending by private entities would be inflationary.
- Maintaining a connection between government spending and taxation is completely pointless.
If these are reasonably correct, then what exactly are the outer boundaries for a workable system of government finance?
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Sat Feb 11th, 2012 at 11:02:21 PM EST
Every so often I get big, utopian ideas that are probably totally unworkable and undesirable, but nonetheless interesting to think about. ET is a great place for reasoned and rational discussion of policy ideas, and there hasn't been much talk along these lines outside of finance and energy of late. So, here are some big ideas to think about. Tear me to pieces, and in the process let's have an interesting discussion.
Up for discussion today is an old idea, the abolition of advertising, and a new one, the radical dissolution of media conglomerates.
When possible, I'd like to ask people to think about, "is this a good idea?" and "would this work as intended?", rather than "The powers that be would never allow this." I'm fully aware of the utterly impossible nature of ridiculous Utopian ideas - but I do find it fun to think about them.
Sun Nov 13th, 2011 at 09:47:02 PM EST
ET is excellent at deconstructing events in politics and economics, and at picking apart the dominant narratives that are destroying Western society. Further, there has been a fair bit of discussion regarding alternative solutions (TINA) to the European financial crisis.
However, I've not seen so much in the way of real discussion of larger reforms that would help fix the mess we're in. I'm not talking about utopian social reforms so much as legislative-type proposals that could use existing institutions and frameworks to solve various social problems. Obviously, anything effective would be anathema to the powers that be, but it doesn't hurt to think about and discuss these sorts of things.
So here's an idea for people to mull over - Corporate Governance Reform.
Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 09:52:41 AM EST
In the comments of a recent Salon on an article about Libya and its future, I was called to task for being pro-intervention.
I don't think of myself as a rampant militarist, nor as an all-weather defender of "humanitarian" military intervention. But I suppose I am a bit more supportive of the West's actions in Libya than some here. I started to write a response on the issue, but it quickly became diary-length. So here's the diary.
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Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 05:46:41 AM EST
A few days ago Frank Schnittger posted a very interesting diary on Samantha Power, the Monster, and the Libyan Intervention, inviting a discussion on what I think are fundamental questions and problems in liberal thought and political philosophy in the context of the Libyan Intervention. Later in that diary, ceebs posted another quite interesting discussion of the origins and evolution of the idea of military humanitarian interventionism from the Adam Curtis Blog, Goodies and Baddies.
However, the diary got hijacked by a discussion of DPU ammunition without really addressing the matters initially presented for discussion. So, round 2!
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Tue Sep 14th, 2010 at 02:01:58 AM EST
In a several day old Salon thread, on a thread about the legacy of Bush, Cheney, and the Project for a New American Century, I wrote this.
On another point, could you even say they got lucky? Sure, they got their "transformative event," and the wars they wanted - which proved what a complete bunch of idiots they were. The wars have been disastrous failures for everyone except defense contractors, and the people who argued for them are generally agreed to have been either dramatically misguided or idiots. Their big master plan was shown to be little more than fanboy drooling, as America teeters on the bring of complete collapse.
This prompted a response from generic . . .
But in a lot of ways they succeeded. Constitutional rights are almost gone and a lot of their policies are now locked in.
Unemployment may be disastrously high, but absent a social movement that threatens the hierarchy of property in a big way that will probably only lead to more recruits for the army. The Federal deficit is quite a lot bigger than it would have been, but it is also not all that important. The army may be overstretched, but it also isn't needed to make defiance of US dictates incredible costly.
The point I am trying to make is as follows: The Neocons may have through their actions made most everyone worse off, but I doubt that they brought the US empire much closer to collapse.
It seems like something worth discussing.
Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 02:27:23 AM EST
This is not a terribly substantive diary, nor one which presents new information or arguments. However, it may be a place for substantive discussion, as the question posed in the title may perhaps be a gateway to a further discussion of one of ET's favorite topics . . . DOOM!!!!
So here it is - is there any point, given where the world economy and the whole of Western Civilization are headed, in saving money?
Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 05:35:00 PM EST
I had a bizarre encounter yesterday.
I was scurrying around after work, getting stuff ready for a department barbecue we're having after school today. I had shopping to do, but I wanted to price things at several stores before I shopped, but I had something being delivered at 6:00, but I needed to eat because I knew I'd be likely pinned down until the delivery person arrives, possible not until 8:00. Hustle, bustle, scurry scurry scurry.
Continued after the fold
Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 06:47:34 AM EST
The results of a recent study show what some of us may have intuitively felt for some time now.
Cost of Living Now Outweighs Benefits - America's Finest News Source
ET's always been strong on Doom, but it seems like the gloom side is still alive and kicking.
Wed Dec 10th, 2008 at 05:51:52 AM EST
As those of you who helped out with my last request, regarding graphs, may remember, I am a teacher at an international school in Japan. Once again, I'm asking for help, but this time with books.
Fri Jul 11th, 2008 at 03:21:30 AM EST
I have recently switched jobs, and am now a real and proper teacher at a combined middle/high school in a dumpy city on the outskirts of Tokyo. Follow me below the fold for an amusing tale of teaching, English, woe, and a subject near and dear to the hearts of ET readers everywhere . . . graphs!
Evidence graphs are not boring - Promoted by Migeru
Wed Jan 30th, 2008 at 07:54:36 AM EST
A common theme in the various discussion on this site is that it's important for the left to have alternative ideas ready and waiting, so that when the moment comes it can be seized. Every so often a discussion of possible policy solutions to the diverse ills of the modern world comes up, but it seems as if it would be a topic worthy of more regular attention.
So, I thought maybe I'd try and help get things started with an idea of my own. Should this provoke an intriguing discussion, I may post more, and make it a series of sorts. Feel free to join in the fun with your own policy ideas!
This entry tackles the problem (at least, I think it's a problem!) of advertising, and proposed a rather radical step - its complete abolition.
It's not called "Insane Policy Ideas" for nothing!
Sat Sep 15th, 2007 at 10:53:31 PM EST
A recent discussion in the daily news forum got me thinking about the issue of rural population decline in developed countries. I have a sense of the problem in Japan and the US, but I'm curious about the situation in other parts of the world, and I wonder what the community thinks about the issue.
Articles and discussion after the jump.
Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 06:34:19 PM EST
I found a somewhat puzzling article in the NYT international pages this morning over coffee. It's a really quite confusing report about what could either be a trade dispute, a regulatory conflict between the Russian government and transnational capital, or plain old corruption. So, I thought, maybe somebody here could clarify what exactly is going on. More on the flip.
Full text of the article should be available here