Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Hollow Empty World

_____
Here's one for ya------I have an email account that is extra. That is old. So, I don't use it as much. I have not used it for a long time. But I might go there to do a little checking. OK. So when I go there, what do I see? I see that on the false email system I am more popular.  
     I am more beloved on my nobody email account than my real one. But of course! The non-me is so much more valuable and lucrative. If you were a corporation, would you prefer a real person, who makes trouble, or a nobody who serves you little money packages wrapped in tin foil from used chewing gum. Anyways, I am apparently highly valued in emails into the email account I don't use.
     In other words I am not even home. And I don't exist there. And that fellow is the one everybody is beating down the bushes to get to. These "persons," if that's what the marketers or the marketing programs are, "pretend" to be interacting with somebody, somebody who has real money, for that is the main way that a member of a capitalist society participates. But it kind of seems like they prefer to send mail to the distinguished non-person at the non-email. This is dysfunctional, and it is dysfunctional because they prefer the person's money to the person. That means that the capitalist actors in the economy are no longer targeting persons, but rather just manipulating them.
     This reminds me of some other stuff that has been happening to me lately too, all on this theme of the preference shown for mechanical actions over human action. Non-persons have become more valuable than persons. All of these experiences make one feel like if one's individual's acts in the world are done as (?) a non-living or non-conscious being-----maybe we should say to a non-living being-----it works better. But what is this contemporary condition of life that we are looking at for the past few years? This condition of things, today's condition, is historical in nature, it is the end result of old, ongoing processes. This is old, human stuff. Or, stuff that was human, at one time!
     Capitalism did not develop by treating people like machines. It treats people like machines now. It may seem to be happening now, yet the "now" is of a piece with phenomena that are also historical. These are the processes that, over much time and many years, create our livable world. It (the world; the economy) is laboriously created over the centuries. If you don't like it, you can try to change it. But this is the work of history. Our world today is the work of humans over history, and these processes are human. These processes are human, if they are anything.
     What is happening? Today, we are simply bringing all that down, we are bringing down history and fomenting a permanent attack on mankind by filthing and defiling the very progress of capitalism.
     To erase history, brings down the civilization. There is a real capitalism, that which has been created historically. And there is also a more superficial world of finance and investing.
     A human phenomenon, hopping through history, has now been robbed of its hop (of its vitality, its consciousness, its quality of being conscious, living, which we summarize as: "human"). And now here's a word from Jack's muse-----his autistic and yet somehow creative muse:

The hoppies warned us
that the modern world was dehumanizing. But
Wii didn't listen. We just played with our wii.
Now look around you, what do ya see?

Well, I'd say a society that is "truly" dead, whatever that means. This is the "real" zombie society.
Excited yet?

Well, some people are; some people like it.

True? Real?

Truly? Really? You like death? Really?

Then you should die.



-----more on the wii game here: http://us.wii.com/iwata_asks/wii_console/

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Perry View Or Up PerryScope --- Gov. Rick Perry



Sounds like a word slinger or a loose talker -- a person that will say anything. Sounds like a person not really concerned about whether what he says actually makes any sense or not.

Just likes the sound of his own voice. Easily defeatible, assuming a sane society, but this also depends on how Obama does at running when it comes time to run again. I figure I am probably going to have to become an advisor for this guy (Obama, not Perry).
     Also (this just in) I just read about the way Obama's policy creates murder in Mexico, and this is really terrible.

Then again, he (Obama again) is usually pretty good, when it comes to running --- they all are, aren't they?
"
...we would not be here today at the precipice of such a dangerous  move if the Obama Policy in the Middle East wasn’t na├»ve,  arrogant, misguided and dangerous." -- Gov. Perry 

That was easily linked to from the "Governor Perry" fb page  http://www.rickperry.org/support-israel/

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Americans like Palin For Something; but, not the president

___
CNN had an interesting feature today. I saw it while I ate breakfast. Americans like Sarah Palin but just not as president.
     We may give her a T. V. show. She shoots guns at targets. We watch.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September 20, 2011


_____
    Money is like a slippery monkey that won’t stay in its cage and in bygone days a few persons would set themselves up as merchants. But they were not so very well-respected, in olden times.  My judgment can be confirmed, if you like.
    The matter of the society’s money dealings, in those days, was taken care of by this scattering of merchants.  There were many other persons of the ruling class, doing other things.   
    Merchants were relegated to one particular level. In most cases they were a minor classification of person even though, true, they did have more money.
    But, in capitalism, this money principle is not very well-disciplined, you know. And similar to an ink blot or to a greased monkey, it won’t stay. it won't keep put; it bleeds like an ink blot. The language of money and commercial behavior is just like the behavior itself. It bleeds into all other parts of language to stage a linguistic takeover. Money takes over everything–so powerful.
    At any given time, a large proportion of the population is in debt. What do we do when homeowners default – they just recently did it – on their debts? We pour more money into the system; we simply create money with the stroke of a pen.
    Economists and bankers, in their utter genius, say the best way to solve the problem of too much debt is to create More Of It. What will we all do when, as a result of the additional stimulus or additional funds, the economy starts to recover? We plan to start borrowing – it is all we know how to do.
    We no longer have poets, statesmen or human rights activists – no examples that we respect, anyhow. Instead of such persons, what we look to are just businessmen.
    Money works on society, but can also corrupt society. Businessmen—they are people too—want to know a little deeper level of decency in their own selves. Or maybe they seek to see less corruption and superficiality, as they observe the world they see around them. They seek to deepen their humanity. They throw a little money at the wall for this special purpose—Or, they throw it at art to put on the wall or objects, fine textiles, or—poets. But the money has spread like an inkblot. It has saturated the mind; and language itself swoons.

     Money is like a slippery eel. It won’t stay in its cage. Isn’t it about time that someone really study how is worms and winds its way through history?

Galbraith, James

James Galbraith, University of Texas at Austin---------


Barack Obama’s presidency began in hope and goodwill, but its test will be its success or failure on the economics.

Did the president and his team correctly diagnose the problem? Did they act with sufficient imagination and force? 

And did they prevail against the political obstacles—and not only that, but also against the procedures and the habits of thought to which official Washington is addicted?

Unfinished job, James! It should read: "—and not only that, but also against the procedures and the habits of thought..." .....to which the economists are addicted. And, sure, we could also call them the official economists.

Why does nobody get it but myself? Economists have their little tropes they are educated in. Economics is not that hard. In one sense it is very complicated, yes but people figure out all kinds of complicated things. I have known these people. You might find them shopping at Home Depot. They build sailing ships in bottles. Economics can be figured out, too. We are just too afraid of the witch doctors.
     There are good economists out there, several of them. But why is it so hard for them to feel the pervasive rot out there in their field, the field of economics?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Shall We Spend?

Congress has apparently convinced Barack Obama that the U. S. does not have a lot of money (I really find this hard to understand, but I am just trying to repeat what I have heard) and, apparently, now the President of the U. S., in the person of Barack Obama, will spend less -- and this is going to save -- well, at least help -- us. Barack will help us by spending less. Well, I'm kind of cynical because it has not been established that spending less is really the point. Keynes thought you should spend more. I find John M. Keynes palatable and understandable. I do not find his thinking that mysterious. He brought into doubt the old idea that benefit only comes from one direction, i.e. savings. He contradicted the accepted orthodoxy of Says Law, which is to say the implicit value associated with "frugality," the frugality syndrome, you might say.
     Too much spending is immoral, after all, or it soit'nly seems that way. You might, for example start wasting money instead of spending it sensibly in a way that makes sense. And, to this day, conservatives always want to be sensible, not lunatic, with money. Keynes challenged that old logic. So, naturally if you are a conservative you aren't going to like this.
     So now everyone hates Keynes for saying this stuff.  Everyone who was boring and conservative and staid and unimaginative, that is to say. Or, to put it differently, persons that already had money were angry at him. But he didn't care because he was a sharp guy. He just wanted to tell the truth. Keynes made his point, noting that such old notions as those of Say's Law might actually not be all that relevant. OK, so that's what Keynes did and that was a singular achievement. In essence, Keynes said that economics might make another kind of sense. His works helps us to understand the way capitalism represents a special stage of history.
     Now Obama has gone Keynes one better. He is going to do both at the same time. Bowing to pressure from Boehner and that group, he will do both. The government will spend less-----that is in order to placate sensitive emotions in the "frugality group."  But I don't think they are telling the private sector to spend less. So the idea doesn't apply to the private sector. As for the private sector, or what we call the "private sector"-----well, it seems to me that these same persons want the private sector should spend more --- Isn't that what economics today is all about?-----spending more money? How do you do anything if you don't spend money? I suspect that, in this age, that's what economics is all about. And that's very Keynesian. But when it comes to government spending the conservative faction of society believes that the very opposite is true. I see no evidence that this makes any sense. And there is something scary about this, which is to say about entering into a brave new world where we stopped making sense. They are supposed to be staid and sensible, these old frugality-type guys. So, it's scary: a world that no longer make sense is a scary thought.
     First things first: there is an economic problem. It is possible to spend less, or spend more. Which should the majority of the economic actors choose to do? Should you (or the average economic actor) solve the problem by spending more, or by spending less? The frugality crowd says all problems are to be solved by spending less (and that is more moral as well) and the Keynesian crowd is clever, and they say, well, it doesn't actually work that way-----you could also spend more. The result, based on the big deficit showdown that happened about a month ago is to do both. Why is spending less on the part of government going to help the economy, and make everything better, BUT, spending more, on the part of the rest of us, will also make everything better? Two opposite things are both solving the economic problem (supposedly). Or am I somehow wrong, and it is not the case that Republicans want more (private) spending? I kind of assume they do. They are all capitalists. They are all in business. They want economic activity. "Spending" is like  economic activity. Maybe it is a Keynesian thing to say, but everyone seems to believe it today. The wisdom seems to say that you cannot have economic activity if you do not have spending. Maybe that is wrong, but that is what everybody (Keynesian or whatever) believes.
     That means more spending from investors, for example, but also from business owners; also from those business owners' consumers. At the same time, we want less spending when it is spending by government. As an aside, recall that, when it comes to government, homo Republicanus would want less, period-----less of everything-----everything government, and that, I assume would include spending.
     It seems to me that the fundamental contradiction is something like this: we assume that spending more is a good idea when that is convenient. This means when everybody with any money at all feels there will be benefit for business. Every businessperson wants other people to spend in order to buy whatever it is s/ he sells. But we also assume spending less is a good idea, when that is convenient. This to avoid embarrassing the old wrinklyface "frugality" type individual. It just depends on which Hershey bars they are chewing on. I depends on a particular moment and context. And, speaking of "H" words, the Heisenberg principle is a philosophically-tinged aspect of modern physics that responds to a rather weird fact that, in quantum physics, when dealing with the matter of light (should I italicize that, or is the word bright enough?) it can be or it is explainable simultaneously both by a concept invoking waves, and by a concept of particles. At one and the same time! Just like Boehner-Obamian economics today! Economics is like light: saving and spending are both true. I don't doubly it for a second, I'm easily convinced. OK. So, when you want to use the wave theory, use it; when you want to use the particle theory, use it. That is what they do in physics; they just use both theories. The same goes for the new post-Keynesian type of economics Boehner and Obama collaborated on. (But one thing: I doubt that it all breaks down neatly into government spending vs. private spending; in fact, it could even be the other way around, but we may never know, what with the Heisenberger thing in effect still.) What follows are a few more thoughts I had, at the time I was coming up with all this stuff. These thoughts follow a little different course. They aren't really related. Neither are particles and waves. They are totally different things, like the Stones and the Beatles, or, for  that matter, black and white. OK, now I'm in trouble!

           Apparently the worst thing is to offend others'           mental ideas              Look at the original impact of the ideas of Mr. (Lord) Keynes. He had every pedigree in the book. He was acknowledged as one of the top minds at his university, Cambridge. He was right up there. And also he still had to proceed very carefully and do everything right and accept all of their conventions (which, apparently, he did). Even with all of this, and even though his ideas made sense, they did not even gain acceptance, until depression came. He needed to phrase everything very carefully. Everyone is worried about offending somebody else's precious sensibility. You can see, even today, that many perople are very conservative and have intellectual lockjaw.

Jack Silverman Takes on Rahm Emmanuel

"    Rahm Emmanuel tried to apply his autocratic style in his meeting with the chief of the teachers' union. She reports he cursed and yelled at her.
     Mr. Emmanuel appears to be an abusive husband
"
partner anyway. He has a views himself as the boss of everyone. His idea is the bully's idea, that he has the right to boss everybody around. he believes that his aggression counts for more than anything of yours----your reaction, your opinion, or obviously your arrogant response. Hmmm... What is that?
     Isn't there a word for that?A word for that autocratic take on life?

     The word I am thinking of is "Bully." He's a bully not a class act. Society prospers when there are gentlemen at the top, we need gentlemen at the top positions not bullies. When leaders have a lack of class and deportment that means it is all going downhill. The mayor should NOT act crudely. 
     He is supposed to set an example,and he is supposed to be my "better," not someone I have to write this blog posting about. I want him to be better. but now I know he is not better. 
     Now I know: this man is a cheap, skinny low-life and  shows bad manners when he screams. He should not scream at other people. I scream into the blog interface. But I am just a common blogger, after all...


http://www.suntimes.com/7558652-417/teachers-union-president-says-mayor-emanuel-exploded-at-her.html 

(note: updated for style on July 19th, 2012)
 

An essay on economists' emphasis on profit

_____
Economists make a mistake they focus on profit. One reason may be of course that after all profit is important in the system, the system we call "capitalism." Profit is what firms want, what proprietors, what operators of stores (or of restaurants) want. But capitalism is a social system and, thus, the only profit (alternative words are: benefit, boon, etc.) to worry over, ultimately, is the profit (or benefit) to the society. All you need to worry about, ultimately, is that persons are alive and not dead. We can assume that, if they are alive, they are healthy. (The only exception I can see is if some horrible person or party is going to intentionally put them in camps or starve them to death or something.) A human society does not fundamentally need profit, although we do have to mention here that it depends on what you mean by the word "profit," so it is a mistake for economists to only look at profit. Look back at this one [http://jacksgreatblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/stall.html]. I have already made the same kinds of statements regarding the "growth" concept.   

    But profit is non-essential. It is not essential. Non-essential. I hope I can make you understand. I argue is that an economist is not the one that needs to be thinking about profit. (That would be the businessman, right?) What does the economist need to concentrate on, then? He needs to discover some kinds of generalizations he can make about economics. He needs to discover the true laws of economics,basically. I won't settle for anything less. Those laws apply to entire societies, and, in globalization, to interactions between those societies.

     For example, China and the U. S. Those are two societies. They are interacting. If we say "profit," does it mean that there some kind of standard thing that applies to both in the same way?-----Or do they perhaps have distinct national interests? China and the U. S. are both "profiting" on their mutual trade but I don't think there is just one simple thing that is called "profit." Trading partners would not be engage in the trade if each did not experience some benefit. But there is no generic concept of "profit." Once you admit that, you start getting interested in things other than these individual profits, for firms. As we have mentioned, there is the social element, and countries are societies. So China is like a society. China certainly see its profit in a way that is different from the way the U. S. sees its own profit. They each have their own version of individual or national profit. The simple conception of "profit" vanishes. 
     The focus should therefore shift to something like a matter of what is going on in the whole society, either the China society, the U. S. society, or perhaps both. 
     "Profit" therefore should mean something proper to a society. (And this is, in economics circles, very unusual. It is an unconventional way of thinking about economics.)
     The basic idea I am trying to get across here is the idea that there is a lot going on in economics that we might miss, if we think everything has to do with the idea of profit, meaning the kind of "profit" that one must profit, if one is to turn a business deal. 
     So, to think that profit is the only consideration is wrong. If I think that it is not the only consideration, and I want to play out the idea that profit is not the only consideration in terms of dollar trade with China, I might note that China receives its profit in dollars, which it holds as T-bills. I don't think the U. S. pays in Renminbi or Yuan. So, one society is profiting from holding the money of the other society. While China takes its profit in U.S. dollars, the U. S. sees its profit from the China trade more in terms of money in the pockets of consumers or profits for the retailers, who get a lower price on their items bought from the Chinese. 

     Anyways, the basic idea is that profit is one aspect of how a group of persons engage in economic activities. Economists should never focus just on profit alone. And this corresponds to my earlier post about the illusion of growth, or, better put, the growth illusion. 

Two links here:
http://jacksgreatblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/illusions-of-growth.html
and:
http://jacksgreatblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/stall.html

The Name of the actual post may differ because it was changed by the blogger, myself. And the old name is retained by the application. 

Orderly Default in Greece

[from CNN Money on Sept. 19]
".....FORTUNE -- The opportunity for debt-troubled Europe to avoid a disaster is shrinking. Fast. Over the weekend, Greek leaders struggled to agree to a set of radical budget cuts as the country approaches an October deadline to qualify for $11 billion in aid without which it will certainly default on its growing debt......"

Sorry oh great "Fortune" pundits, but I don't even think "austerity" measures are a good idea in the first place. I don't believe in the budget-cutting thing. How radical of me.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/19/news/international/greece_orderly_default.fortune/index.htm?hpt=hp_t1

Friday, September 16, 2011

NYT as a Person; Volume Two

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In the blog of Sept. 14 we clammed on the NYT that it was one stuffed-to-the-hilt cultural upload-----for the reader to suck in. But what if it is for the "culture" of the owners and staff in N.Y? If not, then it is for the consumer-----the humble persons of the U. S. A?-----or maybe those suckers just eat the humble pie they source from "USA Today." There's one that is even more "humble"-----in not pretending to be anything but a consumer product. This clarifies that it is a question of who (or what) the NYT serves.
     Is the enterprise done for money? Or does it actually serve the public need for the "news"?

Another question: are "consumers" and "producers" the same person sometimes? Obviously, they are. But, I seem to feel strongly that it is useful to make some kind of conceptual distinction here. This is NOT to deny that there can be a unitary consumer-producer, when the N.Y.T. pressroom operator buys a bagel....etc.

That's the guy who operates the printing press. Where was I?  Oh yeah. This is major: Staying with the same line of reasoning as the day before yesterday, we begin to see the consumer as mere supplicant. So that is going to be the theme here today. OK? Does the "little guy" actually have, as we say in Chicago, "clout"?

     Does the consumer-supplicant have any clout at all? Does he have any power whatsoever? If nothing else, they are The People----as we say. In a democracy they should have some power. Hell, in any society. If nothing else, they are the people whom we allow to live. This is capitalism, not fascism. We don't kill them. We don't put them into the concentration camps, either.

     No, we let them clog up the streets. This is "capitalism," Virginia.

     But if "the people" do not really mandate the content of the NYT, or the USA Today, or anything else, then where exactly does that clout come in? Do they engage in a consumer "negotiation"? Do they engage in a consumer negotiation about price? In other words, do they order producers around, with "consumer demand," to get the prices or  the products they require? Well, in my thinking, I doubt it.
     In my version of economic theory, this has been brought into doubt. It is such an important matter, though! This because the neo-Classical theory says people are parties to some larger "Negotiation" (I capitalized it by accident --- but, I'm not tenured, so it doesn't matter) whereby they Negotiate their desires, through decisions closely related to either buying or not buying some specific product items that are on the market.

    That is supposed to be where their power is, but if this is wrong, what is right? If they do not negotiate prices, then how do they act as viable individual entities? How, in other words, do they act or behave?

     This is the question we need to ask. So this series of conceptualizations will have to continue....because, I think I have some idea of what the answer will be.

September 16, 2011 - What More Do You Want?

Let's talk about "growth" a little more. A Harvard Econ professor:  "...the median family is in worse shape than it was in the late 1990s."

Worse? What is it that is better or worse? Where does the idea of some kind of alarm come into this? Where do these values come from? Why the implication of a horrible downward slide? Why is money supposed to be all we want?

What exactly would so terrible about stabilizing at the wealth level of 1996?

In other words, why is there a value structure that comes into it? Why does 2011 have to be better or worse than 1996?

So we have "slipped" to 1996 ----- Wow. If we just stabilized there we as a country would be fine. Every additional item should be sent to countries where they actually need it. What is that? ----- elasticity or something?

The level of wealth needed to support a median family was achieved let us say in 1965. But let us suppose that we revert to, say 1975. That is fine. We don't need more that that. There is no problem. You cannot have an argument with this. Basic human needs (for this country) were satisfied by 1965 for sure.

     I think this Harvard economist is just jibber-jabbering back to the public what they programmed him with in the first place. (He stays on the same assumptive level he was programmed with. In the beginning he was supposed to talk about whether we are "better or worse" and that is what he does. He is like any serf; he just does what he's told.)

     If I could have peace on earth, I'd be perfectly willing to live at the level of 1996, or 1975, or even 1965. For you spoiled babies, I'll give you 1975. OK? Can you live with that?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Septermber 15, 2011

____
As we move forward in time do things get better? There are two opinions. Opinion 1) is that: Nothing changes; 2) is that: Everything gets better.

File under 2) the notions that, politically, everyone gets more human rights and freedom and, economically, the standard of living increases. But neither of those things are happening for everyone. The truth is that they are only happening for a few. Unless these gains, those of human rights and of economics, are made for more persons, we are going to crash.
     And what will crash? It is capitalism, a form of life, that will crash.

Of course some of us enjoy more freedom; and, more leisure and/or comfort. But if we do not make a serious effort to share that with others, then what is it worth?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NYT as Person

____
If the N.Y.T. were an actual person      and    not      a large compendium       of words and woodpulp that person would be very cultural--the individual would know every new performance, every new book and even every new item presented to the people of the world (or at least the New York world) by every new restaurant ----- the ones in New York City I mean. What a rich life that gal would live! But the rich cultural life implied by the NewYorkTimes is conjured only to benefit the Times, its staff, and owners and the purpose of all that culture is it is for the producers or the board. Now a word about our dear "consumer." Ah yes the consumer. Why, they are the ones that buy the product! How could I have forgotten them? Oh no, I was coming to it. Them consumers! Piping money like lavender music into the hands of the ... producers, board, the owners, and [insert  trumpet fanfare] the shareholders. Oh yes, the consumers. I was coming to it. They buy the product. Oh the product. The :news. ...produced by the "producers" ---- and I do not mean by that the B'way play, or the film, ...starring Zero Mostel. No. I just mean the producers. And once we talk about producers in capitalism we have to talk about consumers.

OK, but the important question is that of whether the paper is really produced for consumers, or whether on the other hand it is a cultural device for the producers, the staff, the shareholders? If the answer to that question is that the paper is produced for the later group, then it is produced for their culture, and not for the culture of others. What I think is happening is that this wonderful lady operates for the producers of the paper, for the owners, not for the consumers, the persons that read it...

Comments, anyone?

Baker, pt. 2

SO, the "framing" is that it is going from the losers to the winners. (Q: what? A: tax money; alt: assets, wealth) To wit:   "cnservatives like the market" ; "puts liberals in the position of..."
http://jacksgreatblog.blogspot.com/
wanting to requisition money from, or tax, in one specific direction: from the winners to the losers. The assertion is that they want to have money flow from losers to winners. Why do we call them "liberals"? The words "liberal" and "conservative" have good provenance. That (pro-venahns I mean) is a French word, meaning history or legitimacy. And these two words have been jumbled around the mulberry bush many times, but it is still better than throwing the words out altogether.

This framing the conservatives are being accused of is only a correct framing. Liberals do want to move assets from winners to losers. It is basically correct. And one more thing: I am not sure this is always a bad idea.

Just as an aside: the idea of human rights is that "losers" (another diablical "framing") are also HUMAN and HUMAN trumps LOSER.

So, the liberals want (alternatively: are accused of wanting) ----- they want or ought to want or are said to want to reward the losers. This is the problem here maybe.

So, where are we in all this? There are many actors in society, especially a big, democratic not to even mention "globalized" society. There are persons in the world, whose countries have been entered, penetrated by global trade, but whose populations have suffered from this rather than benefited. Or their crime was to have black skin, or to have a culture that was more slow to assimilate into global capitalism. Big deal. That doesn't make them bad people. (Or a "bad" ethnicity, like the Amazonian Indians, who get nothing at all out of international high finance.)

So move some wealth to the losers already. NOW~!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Arguing with books I Haven't Read

There is a book called "The End of Loser Liberalism," by Baker, which seems to be advice as to how progressives can win more elections.

"   Progressives need a fundamentally new approach to politics. They have been losing not just because conservatives have so much more money and power, but also because they have accepted the conservatives’ framing of political debates.   "

     That is from book. Or at any rate from http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/books/the-end-of-loser-liberalism.  The webpage also says this:

"    The framing that conservatives like the market while liberals like the government puts liberals in the position of seeming to want to tax the winners to help the losers.   "

     First of all, no one knows what the word "market" signifies. Why do we always assume that we know what a word means, when we do not? Where is "the market?" Who is the "market"? I just do not find it so simple. I don't even know what the distinction is between "market" and "the market." I feel like such a loser. Because: if you don't know what "market" means you're a jerk. Right?
     But wait a minute. What about the transition when something is transformed from state of natural existence into a market condition or market existence? How does something become market? Was the coconut tree always part of the larger market?---of the universe?  If we send a satellite up to Saturn does Saturn then become part of the market when it was not, before? In the very first transition, when some piece of property goes from what is called "use value" (some terms I get) to "exchange value" (same as "surplus value," to me) when did that coconut tree or that piece of land (or chunk of gold?) become a market coconut tree or acre of land? Think about it for yourself.  I've been thinking about this shit for ten years.

     Why then are the conservatives not the "winners"? Whatever the market is, whatever the rules of the game are, face it, some persons are winners and some are losers. It seems to me like the wealthy conservatives did win. They got the gold, man! (I'm sounding like Louis Armstrong, now.) And guys like me are losers.

     Boo-Hoo.

p.s. his freaking book isn't even real; it's on virtual only. You need a Kindle, which, of course, is made by the wealthy conservatives (?)

Sept. 13, 2011

I get it. Thanks for telling me: it is about money we do not have enough of this stuff: so we need to cut social, cut medicare, etc. It seems to be the case that we have some sort of shortage of natural resources or, of money. Actually, the two are quite related. Or, conceptually, there could be any type of a shortage of any combination of those two. But there is one shortage that we do not have, which is a shortage of narrow-mindedness.

A shortage of narrow-mindedness would be welcome...

A shortage of greed would be most great... but why should I believe that there is a shortage of money? this being the money that the government runs on. Come on. A shortage of money? This country has produced more money than anyone ever has in the history of the uncivilized world. In all of history no one has ever had as much material wealth as we have. And isn't every single item of that pile of wealth or of material paid for by money? We had the material, so we must have had the same amount of money. I'm an economist. I "get" this stuff!!! (I think.)    
     Economists should pay less attention to making up equations, more attention to reality. Mathematics is just an idea. It is "just" an idea. It isn't real. But the newspapers tell us no their version of it is that there is a freaking shortage of money. I think we should tear down this system. My understanding of the capitalistic social and monetary system is that it has built up a lot of trade. All of this trade uses money. Doesn't it? The more you trade, the more you need money, so the businessmen are, it seems, always creating more money by borrowing it. The government also borrows money. They issue money to themselves and they borrow it? What for? Or else they issue it to the banks and the banks distribute this money to borrowers, who engage in a transactional society, making all their deals that get them into the clover. What is a government to do when the government cannot pay its own debt? Why did they take out the debt in the first place, if they are the government? Aren't they in charge of money itself?
     But now the government has a shortage of money. Well, if they really did have a shortage of money, which is something that I have indicated my disbelief about, then the non-existent money shortage could be alleviated since they are the government and they could requisition some money from the people. This should be a straightforward procedure. I would take some from Bill Gates if I were in power. I know his name, and that of Warren Buffet. If I were the government, I would contact those people, you know?
     I would take some from Warren Buffett. (Apparently I don't know how to spell. There is a squiggly line under it, red.) Anyone who is great at making money is a really good resource for the government. The government needs money and these two guys are super at making money. They are just really, really good at making money. At getting it. At having it on hand. Whatever. I think when you show this kind of talent for making money there should be some other kind of process that kicks in, following on your success. How much money is there out there? A lot. Give the government some. It just seems natural. It isn't like Bill Gates made that money on his own or anything. Of course we'd have to put some money-requisitioning rules in place and we'd have to change the society a little. Like I suppose that is bad? To change the society a little? Who thinks that is bad? A few rich persons think it is bad. Give me a break. We need change. Didn't Obama say that? (That name needs a r,w&b logo around it)
     If I did the research I could find more names too you could get a list. All these guys are absolute pros at creating or collecting money whatever it is they do. We know perfectly well who these persons are and we know where to get the money. That's the beauty of our "open society" system.
     So. The newspaper boys, obviously, are not going to let me get away with all of this stuff. Are they? They probably have some kind of wack-ass theory of their own that they made up-----in the form of some ideas, like, that the government does not make money. Or if they do they gave it away to the people. And they aren't allowed to take it back. Don't believe it. The government can get money. If their cops can beat people up and their soldiers can kill people (bad soldiers you can see this on YouTube they are killers — they vaporize persons ) they must have some kind authority, right? Then they can get money. Who created money, in the first place? Well, I guess that's a good q. Anyways: They can just order the rich to relinquish their money. And if they close down their factories (as if there were any) as revenge, refusing to make more money, then the free-enterprise system simply goes into effect, and the government can re-sell those factories to entrepreneurs, to some private enterprise buffs. And, since it is all the beginning of something new, they/we/the govt. can regulate all these new factories from the git-go. If we need regulations, we can have them. If not, not, but I think there are some you are always going to need. All we have to do is figure out how to do this stuff. We just need some new thinking. Remember how I said "narrow-mindedness" was a problem? I said that.
     I live in Chicago's gold coast whatever that means. I don't know what it means. I don't worry about it. That's what my neighborhood is called. I don't know what the freaking hell it means. It's just a name. Gold? What's that? Money? Money Coast?
     There are all these tall luxury buildings around here, and all these  uptight persons who are all very concerned with whether they are "acting right" or have the proper requisite elegant behavior. I"d say, 300,000 "rich" type persons here. I mean, they have a lot of money. How was that again? There is a money shortage? We do not have enough money you see.  Wow, I just cannot get over it.
     I counted the tall luxury hotels and skyscrapers. There are 300,000 rich people in my neighborhood, or in all of Chicago. Something like that.
plently of the stuff money buys, too...

What I think, really, is that maybe we are too hung up on individuality. All the money "has to" go to individuals, as in "private property." Now I am not in favor of immediately dismantling or taking apart anything but I think the economic system or the system of capitalism (which I am not in favor of dismantling) may be run too much on an individualism basis at this stage. There was always a lot of right-wing pressure for this kind of system and now the time for that is over. I really think the system of capitalism needs to be publicly managed. I don't think it is a private system. It has brought us to this point but we're just too narrow-minded understand the things we need to, and what we need to understand is that it is time for major re-structuring of this capitalist economic system that we have.
     I do not really know what "Economy" or "economic system" means. From what I have come to understand about the various intellectual players, how the various public or elite persons use the term, I don't think they do either. An "economic" way to handle money (or wealth) would be something like a rational way. This has something to do with distribution. "Economics" means being sensible and putting things in the right places. For a long time there were big arguments and debates about whether wealth should be handled by private individuals who engage in what is called "business," which has something to do with money, or whether the state should have more control over it. Well, maybe the time has come to say, "OK, we see all the things that the handling of money and trade by private individuals has done. You have done your thing. Now we want you to continue to do it, but under some new rules." Is that so damn hard?

The rebel voters

     The rebel voters - Companies in the eurozone increasingly face rebel voters, says
Ruth Sullivan.
     The eurozone's public spokesmen admit they have dissent, something that would
never happen within the culture and society of U.S.
     "Dissent" means that sometimes there are two opinions. The U.S.A. was founded
by a group of colonists who fell into the position of dissent, rebellion. Today, the U.S.
does not officially admit such a thing.
     It does not even exist-----not in the newspapers or public forums,
anyway.

(see FTfm Sept. 12, 2011)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dean Baker

Came to alma mater Roosevelt to hear economist Dean Baker. Class act fo' sure. His set of concerns are distinct from the present blogger's. His lecture, for the "Roosevelt Club," goes back to the capitalism of the 1930's for a direct comparison with today, as if it is the same world. Seems to me as if he says there is no difference in the present society and that of 75 years ago.

In some sense I suppose there isn't ---- i.e. if the statistics that are kept correspond logically.  This yields a lot of good statistics. For example, deflation today is one-half per cent. Deflation in the great depression was as much as eight per cent. Such direct comparison is good for a lot of things of course: so, unemployment in the G. Dep. was a lot higher than it is now, 25% compared to 10%. But then, later, he tells us that for African American black male youth (ha ha - redundant) unemployment is 46%.

So much for his thesis that unemployment is lower today than it was then. All depends on who you compare I guess.  Baker "gets" a lot of well-grounded points. He's a well-grounded sort of guy.

But my thesis --- so different from his that I would not bother confronting him directly over this --- is as follows. Capitalism means change, acceleratingly so. Thus, between 1850 and 1930 we would see this kind of thing: great capitalistic progressiveness or "change." That is eighty yrs. OK. Between 1930 and 2010 is also eighty years, and I would also expect to see great change. I would expect more change if change accelerates.

What the case is today is drastically distinct from what it was in 1970; not to mention compared to 1930. I just  think it is a different world, different situation.

I look to the future; Dean Baker looks to the past.

Very well-grounded down to earth personality though.

Derek Wall

"Capitalism is an articulated system. A key node is of course property rights, but capitalism links economics, culture and politics — it’s a whole system..."

Correct, up to here. "...and it’s a process that exploits and degrades both humanity and the rest of nature."

Not necessarily. More benign parts of capitalism ought to be recognized, if only for the reason that this system is already here, and, if indeed capitalism has some good parts, all you have to do is preserve those. 

http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=5373

My "cut" and "paste" was taken from the blogpost, about eleven short paragraphs down.

Growth as bad as stall

The WSJ (Wall Street Journal):
                          Fed to act on the "Economic Stall"
The idea is       ...Fed prepares to act...       and, the idea is that the U.S. central bankers are going to "consider unusual steps"

OK.

...if they do "avert" an economic stall, that will result in growth, or what the newspaper would call more growth, or "growth." ("G" is the solution, "S" the problem. Growth solves Stall.)
     What if "growth" is no solution?
     What if we are just exchanging one problem for another?

I so hate to insult the business community by rejecting there favorite concept -- "growth" -- you know -- but what if "growth" will kill us just as surely?

The point being: they want to cure "stall" with "growth" and it's going to be another problem.

Here's a short essay droplet:


     For years --OK, a few centuries to be exact ----- economics has proceeded on the basis of growth. This was at one time tenable. There was plenty of space to grow into. Now the whole globe is "globalized." (Before it was a globe, but it wasn't "globalized," so I am OK with that terminology.) In other words, globalization means that the globe is "wrapped up." It's all one capitalistic globe.
     And  thus, the principle of growth is no longer tenable. My opinion, as above: if an economic downturn, depression or "stall" will kill us, this notion of "growth" will kill us too.


     Instead of falling for the "growth" business (of course, growth in intelligence, or in sustainable practices, or environmental awareness, or even "market" activities that do not harm anyone ----- that is fine, but the very word "growth" as these people use it seems narrow, as if it is some kind of tricked language or a language ploy) maybe it is time to wake up to the fact that there have always been problems in this world, many problems; and maybe, just maybe, this is a good opportunity, a good time to take a time-out. And maybe it is a good time to take this opportunity to say, "let's address all those problems now, now that nothing else is working."  We have never as a human race gotten very far with all those old problems.
     Maybe it's time to try out some of those other, newfangled ideas. No? You want to stick with the growth thing?

     Growth is a problem. Downturn, meltdown, stallalso a problem. If both are an equal problem, we have no answer or solution.

     Those few words on the front page of the WSJ that I spied tell a story. There is a certain story here. It claims that if the problems whatever they are (the "stall") could be overcome, then those problem (whatever that is -- a feared economic downturn -- "stall," in this week's terminology) can be averted. Problem solved. Then we can grow again. They are assuming "growth" NOT to be a problem. The notion that such a resolution would comprise its own problem is exogenous -- this is totally foreign to their thinking, to the WSJ that is to say.  The WSJ (and economists and commentators in general) (are) (is) so out of it that they have no grasp of the limits on growth. We are, so far, only thinking about economic "fixes" that restore growth. Clueless, yeah --- even though they were warned by Donatella Ross. That  was in 1974 (The famous "limits to growth" paper that everyone rejected).

At this point the reader may ask: "then how do we solve it? What are your ideas?"

One kind of alternative thinking is that the natural world must be restored. This means "the" natural world; the natural world is also called nature.


     Well, that came out kinda short. I know that. But my solution, in this instance of my thinking, is: revere nature. So, here's a summation of this kind of thinking I am doing today.

Revert to nature.
Look to nature.
How do humans solve problems in nature?
Maybe try looking at that.
How do humans live before, or outside of, capitalism? Look past capitalism, at human life as it was "meant to be," or, if "meant to be" is faulty ( unscientific reasoning), at any rate as it was for a million yearsbefore the capitalist gesture, before the capitalist act.
If you take away all the artificial layers, that is what you get back to. Nature. What is wrong with looking to nature?

     Thank capitalism for a job well-done. But don't let it be overdone. Yes overdone!like a cooked chicken. Take the chicken out of the oven now. It is not going to ever taste any better; it is only going to get overcooked; there is no more point in leaving it in the ovenit won't get or taste any better!

Do not merely revert to the normal pattern! The Age of growth is over!
Do not just revert to "normal growth."
Whatever they call growth...

And as the "Climate and Capitalism" blog ----- my latest discovery ----- says, there ain't no other way Jose'.  Well, they didn't exactly say it like that.  Third way?.... what was that? ....OK, I have to go get this, for accuracy. (pause to Google stuff)  It reads like this:

Ecosocialism or Barbarism: There is no third way

That's a blog I discovered recently. Google it.