Economics

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What a tangled web we weave when first government accounting practices to deceive….

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 19/04/2021 - 6:42am in

This was a good Zoom meeting: ‘The Austerity Doctrine in the Time of Coronavirus’ here (about an hour), with Yanis Varousakis, Naomi Klein, Brian Eno and Stephanie Kelton, which is quite a line-up. For me Yanis Varousakis was the most on the ball in his assertion that the ‘nightmare of the powerful is that the... Read more

Sunday morning thoughts

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 18/04/2021 - 7:25pm in

Thoughts from my Twitter account this morning:

MMT is far from being a theory, it is a battle tested alternative to debt and austerity based economics

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 18/04/2021 - 6:55pm in

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Economics

I thought that this post by Malcolm Reavell on the facebook page of Modern Money Scotland (which I support) was well worth sharing. This story is straightforward, and apposite:

An excellent story that explains a real example of state money creation and the banking world’s reaction to it.

In the US Civil War Abraham Lincoln was running out of money to pay the troops. He went to the Rothschilds and other bankers who would happily lend him the money at an interest rate of 24% to 34% which was going to put the Union side in debt to the banks forever. Abe was smart and issued the Greenback instead, a dollar created by the government for the interest free use of the population.

In his own words: "The government should create issue and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the government and the buying power of consumers. The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but it is the Government’s greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles, the long-felt want for a uniform medium will be satisfied. The taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest, discounts and exchanges. The financing of all public enterprises, the maintenance of stable government and ordered progress, and the conduct of the Treasury will become matters of practical administration. The people can and will be furnished with a currency as safe as their own government. Money will cease to be the master and become the servant of humanity. Democracy will rise superior to the money power.” (Senate document 23, Page 91. 1865)

How did the banks react?

The Rothschilds were outraged. From the Times of London in 1865:

"If that mischievous financial policy, which had its origin in the North American Republic, should become indurated down to a fixture, then that Government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off debts and be without a debt. It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce. It will become prosperous beyond precedence in the history of the civilised governments of the world. The brains and the wealth of all countries will go to North America. That government must be destroyed, or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe."

So there we have it. MMT is the democratic solution to funding our civilisation, but it is hated by the banks, monarchs, authoritarians and all those who want to use debt as a tool to maintain their dominance at your expense.

MMT is far from being a theory, it is a battle tested (literally) alternative to debt and austerity based economies.

Courtesy of: https://twitter.com/picss3o/status/1383387933764308999?s=21

Source: https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/case-greenback-pound

Är hög statsskuld — verkligen — problemet?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 17/04/2021 - 6:49pm in

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Economics

. När depressionen drabbade 1930-talets industrivärld visade sig den ekonomiska teorin inte vara till någon större hjälp att komma ur situationen. Den engelske nationalekonomen John Maynard Keynes såg behovet av att utveckla en ny teori som på bröt mot den etablerade sanningen. I The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936) presenterade han sitt alternativ. Vad […]

Robin Simcox’s Racist and Anti-Semitic Links

Further respect to Zelo Street for adding a few more details about Robin Simcox and his membership of some very nasty right-wing organisations. Simcox is professional smirking slime-bucket Priti Patel’s choice for head of the Commission for Countering Extremism. I put up a piece about him yesterday, based on a piece about him in the latest issue of Private Eye noting that Simcox has some views himself that many might consider extreme. Like he’s a Neocon member of the Heritage Foundation, who backs sending terrorist suspect to countries where they can be tortured and further infringement on the rule of law. But that’s not all. According to Wikipedia, the Heritage Foundation denies the reality of climate change and is funded by the American oil giant, Exxon Mobil. It also promoted the false claims of voter fraud. This was done through Hans von Spakovsky, the head of the Heritage Foundation’s Electoral Law Reform Initiative, who made such fears mainstream in the Republican Party. Von Spakovsky’s work, you won’t be surprised to hear, has been completely discredited according to Wikipedia.

The Heritage Foundation, according to the Byline Times, have on their board Rebekah Mercer and her father, Robert Mercer, who funded Breitbart News, which in turn supported Cambridge Analytica. And it was Cambridge Analytica that introduced Donald Trump to Steve Bannon, who founded Parler. But it was Simcox’s links to the racist extreme right that was more worrying to that authors of the Byline Times’ article. In 2019 Simcox spoke at a meeting of the Centre for Immigration Studies. The CIS has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre. The CIS has for ten years circulated anti-Semitic and White nationalist materials, included articles written by supporters of eugenics and Holocaust deniers. According to Wikipedia, the CIS’ reports have been criticised as false or misleading and with poor methodology by experts on immigration. The Byline Times stated that in his work for the Heritage Foundation, Simcox promoted the work of several racist and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists, including a supporter of the ‘Great Replacement’ theory, which has inspired many of the extreme right-wing terror attacks in recent years. He’s also been criticised for falsely equating British Islamic organisations with the Muslim brotherhood.

Simcox therefore has links to people, whose views could be described as genuinely Nazi. But as the Street notes, the self-appointed opponents of anti-Semitism are curiously silent about all this.


So who’s making their feelings known about this appointment? “Lord” Ian Austin? “Lord” John Mann? Wes Streeting? Stephen Pollard? John Woodcock? Margaret Hodge? Daniel Finkelstein? Crickets. If only Simcox had been pals with Jeremy Corbyn.

Zelo Street: Tory Anti-Semitism Link – No Problem! (zelo-street.blogspot.com)

Quite. But the above weren’t opponents of anti-Semitism per se. They were simply determined to destroy the Labour left and protect Israel and its persecution of the Palestinians. And as Tony Greenstein has shown ad nauseam, Israel has no problem collaborating with real Nazis if it will serve its interests.

Rural buses

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/04/2021 - 7:02pm in

While we are in the area of bus travel some may remember that a few weeks ago I mentioned a report by the Council for the Preservation of Rural England (CPRE) on local bus travel “Every village every hour”. As local elections are coming up the CPRE now have a website with a template email... Read more

Bernard Madoff — la plus grande pyramide de Ponzi de l’histoire

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/04/2021 - 6:59pm in

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Economics

L’auteur du plus grand scandale financier du XXe siècle s’est éteint, mercredi 14 avril, à 82 ans. Il était parvenu à extorquer des fortunes à ses clients tout en jouant sur la pusillanimité des régulateurs. Bernard Madoff avait développé à partir des années 1960 une société de courtage devenue, au fil des ans, l’une des […]

Agnotology: the study of how ignorance and doubt is spread in society

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/04/2021 - 4:47pm in

Regular blog commentator PSR posted this comment on the blog yesterday, responding to my lament on falling standards in public life. I think it worth sharing more broadly as the idea referred to - of agnotology - makes a lot of sense in the world that we  now live in where it is a part of the new culture of corruption that the right wing are creating:

————

I’ve been reading (wrestling) with Philip Mirowski’s book ‘Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste’ (2013) about how Neo-liberalism avoided its comeuppance after 2008.

This book is occasionally like walking in a heavily wooded forest, and then entering a clearing or beautifully illuminated glade where you come across something you have never seen before in all its glory (remember that I might not be as well read as people like John S Warren so take that last statement with a pinch of salt!). So here is what Mirowski (especially from Chapter 5, p.239 has revealed to me (wait for it – drum roll!!):

Agnotology: the study (and practice moreover) of how ignorance and doubt is spread in society.

Mirowski gives examples of how agnotology has been practiced in science, PR and advertising and highlights the methods cigarette manufacturers (but also think how climate change denial has been working) also worked along agnotological lines to supress the knowledge about tobacco’s link to cancer.

Cigarette manufacturers even funded beneficial medical studies (avoiding lung cancer of course) in order to be associated with such positive activities to further create a picture of being ‘benign’ organisations in the minds of the public. The idea was to create a form of ‘cognitive dissonance’ in society which leads to uncertainty: on one hand these people are selling death to the public; but on the other they are funding valuable research into diseases and giving grants to poorer countries etc., etc. Are they good or bad people? ‘Well, I don’t really know……….??”.

Now…..think about how Putin runs Russia. It is well known that his Government funds some of the opposition parties and that they may also have stirred up tensions in the former Soviet region, created artificial crises so that are seen riding to the rescue. People fall for it every time. It’s hard for them to know who is saying what?

Think about modern ‘Think Tanks’ – as we know here, how many of them have got questionable funding, decanting their rubbish into society, causing more doubt and confusion; The Great Barrington Declaration for example. What was that about really?

Mirowski accuses orthodox economists (Neo-liberal of course) of the doing the same in his book – noting how economists since 2008 created obfuscation about the causes of the credit crunch – economists are accused of deliberately not agreeing on the causes of the crash, or creating useless specious dissent in order to put people off the scent.

Think about how Trump ran his Government and his adherence to ‘alternative facts’? Think about the messages being bled into society about UK Government debt and who from? Think about the European Research Group (ERG) sounding like a serious, pious research body but in fact nothing but a group ‘swivel eyed loons’.

Mirowski points to the consequences – with so much doubt, there can only be stasis and indecision because no one is really sure – especially at the ballot box. And so what you get is TINA, and then Timothy Snyder’s construct of ‘Inevitability Politics’ comes more sharply into focus.

And all of this agnotological practice is turbo charged by the internet and the untaxed/corrupt wealth that funds it.

So maybe this is it – we are living in the ‘Age of Agnotology’ – an age of mass mis-information. In order to keep us where we are, and to prevent a more courageous age.

Remember that word folks ‘AGNOTOLOGY’. In your neighbourhood since 2010.

SOTD – even Peter Oborne in his book ‘The Assault on Truth’ (2021) p.17 points out that Johnson lied about Corbyn. How much of this went out on the internet and sullied him, God only knows.

Even the BBC has come across agnotology:

The next economic revolution?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/04/2021 - 8:20am in

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Economics

Economics has traditionally been based on prioritizing scarcity and allocation. Now we seem to be moving to an era of abundance (if not over-supply).

Stephanie Kelton läxar upp Sveriges finansminister

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/04/2021 - 6:48am in

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Economics

En av USA:s mest uppmärksammade och omdebatterade nationalekonomer, Stephanie Kelton, kritiserar nu finansminister Magdalena Andersson. Enligt Kelton hade regeringen i vårbudgeten kunnat välja att låna ännu mer för att få fart på ekonomin. När finansministern på torsdagen presenterade vårbudgeten pratade hon åter igen om att regeringen har sparat i ladorna och därför kan satsa nu […]

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