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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 16, 2018, 07:07:49 pm »


Until We Confront Capitalism, We Will Not Solve the Climate Crisis

BY Anton Woronczuk, Truthout

PUBLISHED December 16, 2018

SNIPPET:

International climate negotiations have failed to curb runaway greenhouse gas emissions. Consumer-focused solutions to climate change won't be enough to address the systemic nature of the crisis. So what do we do to halt global warming? Simon Pirani, author of Burning Up: A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption, discusses the prospects for transitioning to a post-fossil fuel world.

Full article:

https://truthout.org/articles/until-we-confront-capitalism-we-will-not-solve-the-climate-crisis/

   

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 16, 2018, 05:04:40 pm »

Agelbert NOTE:  "TEU" stands for "Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit" (TEU) is a shipping container whose internal dimensions measure about 20 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8 feet tall. It can hold between 9 and 11 pallets, depending on whether they are standard pallets or EUR-pallets.



Port of Los Angeles On Track to Surpass 9 Million TEU This Year, But November Volumes Down

December 14, 2018 by Mike Schuler

Port of Los Angeles. Photo: trekandshoot / Shutterstock.com

America’s busiest container port, the Port of Los Angeles, processed 832,331 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in November 2018 putting it on track to once again surpass 9 million TEUs this year.

November marked the fifth consecutive month volumes exceeded 800,000 TEUs and tthe sixth busiest month in the 👀 Port’s history.

Compared to November 2017, however, November 2018 imports decreased 8.8 percent to 422,793 TEUs while exports also fell 14.3 percent to 152,527 TEUs. Exports of empty containers decreased 9.1 percent to 257,011 TEUs. Combined, November overall volumes were 832,331 TEUs, a 9.9 percent decrease compared to last year.

Last November’s 924,256 TEUs were an all-time record until it was surpassed in October 2018.

Year-to-date through November, overall volumes are 8,555,490 TEUs, nearly the same volumes compared to 2017 when the Port set an all-time annual cargo record.

“In November, we processed a number of high-volume vessels brought into service to facilitate the holiday season cargo surge and accommodate the push to import cargo before tariffs that were previously scheduled to increase on January 1st,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “As we enjoy the holiday season, I’m grateful to all of our labor workforce, customers and stakeholders for the role they play in moving such a high volume of trade. As 2019 approaches, we are committed to tackling the challenges and seizing the opportunities that await.”

The Eleonora Maersk, calling at the Port’s APM Terminals, set a new North American container handling record for a single cargo vessel with the off-loading and then loading of 27,846 TEUs.

November cargo volumes at neighboring Port of Long Beach rose to 621,835 TEU, a 1.5 percent increase compared to November 2017, which puts it on track to break its 7.5 million TEU record set in 2017. According to Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero, recent container trends, such as the growth of imports relative to exports and the large number of unloaded containers, illustrate how the higher tariffs imposed this year by the United States and China have impacted the flow of commerce.

https://gcaptain.com/port-of-los-angeles-on-track-to-surpass-9-million-teu-this-year-but-november-volumes-down/

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 14, 2018, 09:56:45 pm »

The Shrinking Difference Between Today's Working Class and Feudal Serfs (w/ Prof Richard Wolff)

10,555 views


Thom Hartmann Program

Published on Dec 6, 2018

Is Donald Trump's unplanned fumbling with an economy already experiencing it's cyclical capitalist crisis pushing us toward the return of feudalism?

Professor Richard Wolff joins Thom

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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 14, 2018, 09:47:28 pm »

Are We Witnessing The Impoverishment of America?

4,584 views


Thom Hartmann Program

Published on Dec 12, 2018

More and more Americans are shopping for groceries at Dollar Stores where only food with the least nutritional content is sold.

The middle class used to shop at K Marts and big name grocery stores but over a quarter century of Reaganomics has diminished the middle class and it's buying power.

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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 14, 2018, 06:06:43 pm »


Meltdown: Traders Tremble As Trump, Trade & Talc Trigger Turmoil

by Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 16:00

SNIPPET:

6th day of "sell the ***king rip" in a row...


Year-to-Date, all the majors except Nasdaq are back in the red...


All the major US equity indices are in correction (down 10%) or worse...

Dow -10.5% from highs

S&P -11.3% from highs - lowest weekly close since March 2018

Nasdaq Comp -14.6% from highs

Trannies -17.8% from highs - Nov 2017 lows, worst 2-week drop since Aug 2011

Russell 2000 -18.5% from highs - lowest since Sept 2017

Breadth is getting extremely weak with just 24% of all NYSE stocks now trading above thei 200DMAs...


Read more:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-14/stocks-slammed-trump-trade-talc-trigger-turmoil

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 14, 2018, 05:26:41 pm »

December 14, 2018

SNIPPET:

S&P Financials are now down 20.3% from their highs - officially entering a bear market as they fall to the lowest since September 2017...


The S&P Bank index is extending losses, now down 24% from its 2018 highs and at its lowest since September 2017.


Read more:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 14, 2018, 04:24:46 pm »

December 14, 2018




Quote
December 14, 2018 - Bank of America's Chief Investment Strategist: It is rare for combo of such capitulation out of risk, capitulation into US dollar & Fed dovishness not to spark rally; only reason it would not is fear of “credit event” & “policy impotence.”

Agelbert provided TRANSALATION (see below):

Quote
marcel tjoeng
If parasitic capitalism is running out of ideas where to feed its blood from, that gives you an idea of how much untapped blood there is around.

No more, apparently. Now the bloodsucking parasite must turn within, turn on each other, or not be able to grow more, or just gaze at its shrivelling own body. So, what exactly is the problem .. ?
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 14, 2018, 02:02:57 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 14, 2018, 01:51:47 pm »

December 14, 2018

SNIPPET:

Quote
Many of the Yellow Vests have flat-out rejected Macron's proposals, according to European-Views.

He is trying to do a pirouette to land back on his feet but we can see that he isn’t sincere, that it’s all smoke and mirrors,” said Jean-Marc, a car mechanic as a gathering of some 150 Yellow Vests in the southern town of Le Boulou.

It’s just window dressing, for the media, some trivial measures, it almost seems like a provocation,” said Thierry, 55, a bicycle mechanic.

“All this is cinema, it doesn’t tackle the problems of substance. “We’re really wound up, we’re going back to battle,” he told AFP before taking part in blocking the Boulou turnpike on the French-Spanish border.

“Maybe if Macron had made this speech three weeks ago, it would have calmed the movement, but now it’s too late. For us, this speech is nonsense,” said Gaetan, 34, one of the “Rennes Lapins Jaunes” (Yellow Rabbits of Rennes).

One 35-year-old French official said that Macron "is being held hostage so he drops some crumbs."

Read more:


Quote
Arrogance & Ignorance : A Toxic Mix

Notice Macron's age, when he became a senior civil servant - 27 years of age. That’s important. The French elites are young men and women, who have been told that they are not just the intellectual creme de la creme, but morally superior. Better human beings, than their inferiors.  These people are arrogant. But they are also ignorant. Raised in very wealthy families and cosseted in the networks those families are part of, they have no understanding of ordinary people and their real lives. Arrogance and ignorance is a very toxic mix. Macron’s tone-deaf appeal to climate change to justify the rise in diesel taxes, as well as his outrageous suggestion that ordinary French folk must drive less, is a classic example of the problem.

Just 27 years old. Young people without life experience, are suggestible. They believe what they are told by superiors and haven’t yet had time to test their opinions, against reality. Macron simply doesn’t have a clue.

What makes the gilets jaunes protests unique? Their main gripe? Elites blaming ordinary people, for problems that the same elites have caused. Elites never being held accountable for their incompetence. And elites never having to experience the conditions, that their failed ideas cause.

French people are sick of being held in chains by a ruling class. They are sick of being poor and unemployed. They want a new direction, for their beloved nation.

Sound familiar?

Agelbert NOTE: If these empathy deficit disordered ruling class Capitalist ideologues don't resolve to go 100% SOCIALIST very, very soon, this will inevitably follow:

It's the CAPITALISM, stupid!

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 14, 2018, 01:20:19 pm »

Quote
Millions of French citizens have been violently demonstrating across France for the last month.

They are known as the gilets jaunes, or "yellow jackets". The protestors wear the yellow high-viz jacket, that is common on building sites and airports.

France: Understanding the Gilets Jaunes Uprising

by Rex

Mon, December 10, 2018

SNIPPET 1:
The vast majority haven't been told the truth about life for ordinary citizens, in France. As a result, they don’t understand the significance of the violent ‘gilets jaunes’ protests across the country. Having lived in France for years, REX explains why these are the most important protests in France since 1968 - and likely a beacon for citizens all across Europe.

SNIPPET 2:
In other words - why are millions of French citizens on the rampage, right now?

Because there’s a real France, that few ever see.

The France of the gilets jaunes. Or as we might label them, les deplorables.

And they are in a state of fury at a ruling class who not only let the population suffer, while enjoying a life of luxury and wealth, but who also blame ordinary people for their own suffering.


SNIPPET 3:

The French Ruling Class

Many still understand France through the lens of Vogue magazine covers: a nation of affluent, happy people who live in elegant homes, with endless holidays, wine and food.

A 24/7 utopia of chic, elegance and style.

Important to note: that France does exist. It is the world of the French ruling class , less than 1% of the population.

This small group of citizens have dominated the business, banking, legal and political scenes for decades.

The ruling class comes from a small group of grandes ecoles, or elite colleges. There are only 3 or 4. The top of the top? L’Ecole d’Administration Nationale (ENA).

Emmanuel Macron’s journey is typical of the ruliing class. He completed a Master's of Public Affairs at Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (called "Sciences Po"), the #2 elite college, before graduating from ENA in 2004, age 27. He then worked as a senior civil servant at the Inspectorate General of Finances (The Treasury), before getting a high paid gig ad an investment banker at Rothschild & Cie Banque.

See how fast Macron worked his way into the senior civil servant position in the Treasury, before flipping into an exclusive investment bank? That is normal in France. It's a never-ending protected cycle of patronage, promotion, favors and cronyism.

Agelbert NOTE: IOW, it's the CAPITALISM, stupid!

Quote
"Capitalist ideology claims that the world is perfectly ordered and everybody is in their place (i..e. everybody gets what they deserve). This self legitmating aspect of Capitalism is Socially Catastrophic. This is the Victorian view of the world." Rob Urie - Author " Zen Economics"

Full article:

https://quodverum.com/2018/12/344/france-understanding-the-gilets-jaunes-uprising.html


Quote
Proverbs 1 KJV
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.




Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 13, 2018, 08:49:12 pm »

Jamarl Thomas

Published on Dec 7, 2018

Richard Wolff | Masterfully Explains France's Yellow Vest Movement
 

43,138 views


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Category News & Politics

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 13, 2018, 08:08:49 pm »

Economic Update: The Great American Purge

43,495 views


Democracy At Work

Published on Dec 10, 2018

Help us reach 100,000 subscribers and gain access to more studio time!  Please hit the red SUBSCRIBE button above. ^^^

Support the show! Become an EU patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/economicupdate

Economic Update: [S8 E24] The Great American Purge

This week’s episode of Economic Update is a little different from the usual program. Professor Wolff begins by explaining the economics behind the great U.S. anti-leftist purge (“McCarthyism”) after 1945. It then shows the economic impacts of that purge over the last half century.

In the second half, Prof. Wolff explains how that history produced a very different political response to the crash of 2008 compared to FDR’s response in 1929.


To watch the second half of the interview, please visit us at https://www.patreon.com/economicupdate

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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 13, 2018, 01:33:34 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 13, 2018, 01:21:25 pm »

"Sell The F**king Rip"- Day 5

by Tyler Durden

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:24

Another joyous green open 🐵 🙉 🙊 and another immediate round of selling...

💣

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-13/sell-fking-rip-day-5
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 13, 2018, 12:57:44 pm »

"Modern slaves are not in chains, they are in debt."~Anonymous

"Let the American people go into their debt-funding schemes and banking systems, and from that hour their boasted independence will be a mere phantom." ~William Pitt, (referring to the inauguration of the first National Bank in the United States under Alexander Hamilton).

“The new law will create inflation whenever the trusts want inflation. From now on depressions will be scientifically created.” ~Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, after the passage of the Federal Reserve act 1913.

“The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debt.” ~Henry Ford

“In our time, the curse is monetary illiteracy, just as inability to read plain print was the curse of earlier centuries.” ~Ezra Pound

"The true equation is 'democracy' = government by world financiers...The main mark of modern governments is that we do not know who governs, de facto any more than de jure. We see the politician and not his backer; still less the backer of the backer; or what is most important of all, the banker of the backer. Enthroned above all, in a manner without parallel in all past, is the veiled prophet of finance, swaying all men living by a sort of magic, and delivering oracles in a language not understanded [sic] of the people." ~J.R.R. Tolkien, Candour Magazine, 13 July 1956, p. 12

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Quote
Since the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, many countries overtly rig their stock markets including Japan and China. This type of activity can be effective in the short term, but if equities markets are artificially inflated, the bubble will eventually burst.  💣

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/plunge-protection-team.asp
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 12, 2018, 02:34:58 pm »

Famous economist on Banking's  🎩💵😈 (pernicious) Social Externality:

Quote
"There is here I think a fundamental disconnect between that what is rational for the private banker, from the point of view of their shareholders, and their solvency, from that which is rational for society" -- Adair Turner


📢  1:02:40 mark in the following video:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 12, 2018, 11:29:43 am »

Quote
“Scared sick to look at it”

The title of Gundlach’s talk was taken from a 1925 book of short stories by Ernest Hemmingway with the same name. Gundlach cited quotes from that book to illustrate points during his talk. One of those quotes was, “Scared sick to look at it,” which Gundlach said was a fitting reference to some aspects of the global economy.


Why Gundlach Is "Scared Sick" Of The Global Economy

by Tyler Durden

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 09:19

SNIPPET:

Gundlach returned to a theme from prior webcasts, which is the correlation between global central-bank balance sheets and the performance of equity markets. As central banks have tightened their monetary policies, equity returns have been the victims.

He said that 75% to 80% of global markets are in a “death cross” pattern, where 50-day moving average has fallen below the 200-day moving average.

Gundlach predicted in January that the S&P 500 would show a loss in 2018 and, with stocks near unchanged for the year, he reiterated that prediction. He added that 90% of asset classes have negative year-to-date returns, which is the highest such percentage since 1900.

Read more:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-12/why-gundlach-scared-sick-global-economy

Some Truth filled comments:

south40_dreams
I've been scared sick every day since I first saw through this charade 33 years ago.

    bunnyswanson
    Only solution I can come up with is a reversal of the transfer of wealth. The choice is send 100 thousand financiers
    into the poor house or send 7 billion into the poor house. Being dirt poor without an escape will drive people crazy.
    Crazy people do crazy things. It would take a century to undo the damage of a global deflation of this Ponzi
    scheme. Therefore, a reversal of fortune is the only solution.



        batman 11
        Adair Turner has looked at the situation prior to the crisis where advanced economies were
      growing by 4 - 5%, but the debt was rising at 10 – 15%.


        This always was an unsustainable growth model; it had no long term future.


        After 2008, the emerging markets adopted the unsustainable growth model and they too have now reached the
        end of the line.

        The UK brought neoliberalism to the West in 1979.


        It ran on debt and had no long term future; it was baked in from the start.


 

        Neoclassical economics was rolled out everywhere for globalisation  💵 🎩 🍌 😈 .

        Neoclassical economics doesn’t consider private debt.

        The experts didn’t realise what was going on as they weren’t looking at private debt.

        Everyone did the same thing as they were guided by the same economics.

        At 25.30 mins you can see the super imposed private debt-to-GDP ratios.


        The sequence of events:

        Debt fuelled boom
        Minsky moment (e.g. 1929 / 2008)
        Balance sheet recession (stagnation / new normal / secular stagnation)
        Japan was the canary in the mine that no one noticed; the US, UK, Euro-zone and China have all done the same
        thing.

            batman 11

            Neoclassical economics is as bad as it’s always been.

            The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation
            of the Great Depression.

            No one realized the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn’t
            look at private debt, neoclassical economics.

            It’s still the same.

 

            The neoliberal era, when mankind turned the "stupid" dial to 11.


            It only goes up to 10.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 10, 2018, 08:34:53 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 10, 2018, 12:29:57 pm »

by Tyler Durden Mon, 12/10/2018

Nasdaq Plunges Into Red For 2018 - Worst Year In A Decade

  Truth filled comments:

LawsofPhysics
LOL! Talking about "prices" in the absence of a mechanism for true price discovery is a fool's errand.

Everyone has been admitting for 10+ years now that the world's "markets" are being managed by central banks and the financier/ownership class!!!!

there is no "market" for ****'s sake, stop pretending there is.

Place you damn bets, but stop being such disingenuous ***** and talking your books/bets.

nonutn
DJ was down over 500 and recovered some. PPT to the rescue.

CashMcCall
Trump : "The stock market loves my trade economic policies"

2018 Worst performing stock markets in a decade.  ;D


Rapunzal
It’s all planned by the ruling class, our banking elites. They will use the FED and Trumps “Trade Wars” as an excuse. As expected. All a show until it isn’t.

NoDebt
You mean to tell me that an index loaded to the brim with negative-profit, negative-cashflow companies trading at div/0 PE levels based on a slick story about future billions in profits, a strategy that failed spectacularly in 2001, would suffer larger declines when the **** hits the fan than other indexes?

Get the **** outta here.  No way.

     Buzzsaw99

     ...and completely dependent upon chinese slave labor which is now becoming wildly unpopular on all fronts in the
     usa.


Bokenrijder
Quote
Who could have seen that coming?

I can see the PPT & a Powell-Put standing by to save the day/year.

     Cash is King
     With Pres. Trump 🦀 breaking Powell’s balls publicly I can imagine he might be a bit slow to take the call.

     The day PT  took credit for this market (after calling it a huge bubble while running) I knew that was going to be the end of his run.

           Swmnguy
            Yep.

            Candidate Trump, the early version, I found interesting other than the pandering to racists.  He actually said
            something that needed to be said and are verboten in official US politics.

            Late-campaign Candidate Trump, and all of President Trump, has been utterly worthless.  It's been the
            intellectual bankruptcy of the very dumbest or most-cynical Republicans, tied to the moral bankruptcy and
            utter lack of mental discipline of Donald Trump.

            Even by modern US standards, that's a fetid concoction.

Agelbert NOTE: If you do not know what the abbreviation, "PPT", stands for, you do not understand how the stock markets in the USA have been RIGGED since 1987. Here's a brief summary:

Quote
Plunge Protection Team - PPT

REVIEWED BY INVESTOPEDIA STAFF   Updated Mar 11, 2018

DEFINITION of Plunge Protection Team - PPT

The "Plunge Protection Team" (PPT) is a colloquial name given to the Working Group on Financial Markets. The PPT was originally created to provide financial and economic recommendations in the wake of turbulent market times. Members of the team are the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.


BREAKING DOWN Plunge Protection Team - PPT

The name PPT was coined by The Washington Post in 1997. Although the team had a viable purpose when initially created, conspiracy theorists suspected that the team was created to shore up, or even manipulate, the markets. Some suspected that the team could executing trades on several exchanges and manipulate the markets when they were heading downward. The team was believed to collaborate only with big banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, to report only to the President, and to keep no records of trades.


The Creation of the Plunge Protection Team

In 1989, the then President, Ronald Reagan, created the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets after two stressful events, the stock market crash in 1987 and the near-crash in 1989. The group acted as an advisory group on the markets for the president and regulators. However, others suspected the group to be capable of more nefarious activity and possibly capable of rigging the stock market in turbulent times. This theory was further strengthened when Robert Heller, a former governor of the Federal Reserve, gave a speech confirming suspicions surrounding the working group.

The Plunge Protection Team at Work?

On Monday February 5, 2018, the Dow Jones experienced a drop that was twice as large as its biggest point decline in history. However, arbitrary and aggressive buying cut the decline in half in one day. On the Tuesday and Wednesday of that week, stocks opened lower, and each time aggressive buying buoyed the markets. Heller suggested that the Federal Reserve purchased stock index futures contracts to stop a market collapse. He also believes that because the Fed already rigs the bond market through securities purchases, the stock market is easy to control.


Similar activity was noted during the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 when telephone calls between then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Wall Street actors were recorded on days when the stock market was tanking and a downward spiral required reversal.

Since the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, many countries overtly rig their stock markets including Japan and China. This type of activity can be effective in the short term,
but if equities markets are artificially inflated, the bubble will eventually burst.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/plunge-protection-team.asp


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 07, 2018, 07:17:36 pm »

   


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 06, 2018, 07:29:10 pm »

THIS was two days ago (the markets were closed yesterday).


THIS is the  way it is going, so far, TODAY:




The (PROTECT THE CAPITALIST ELITE CROOKS) Plunge Protection Team springs in to save the "free" market from REALITY.


Ain't Dat CAPITALISM just wonerful?  ;)
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 06, 2018, 12:47:27 pm »

Bernie Sanders: Concentrated Wealth is Concentrated Power

December 6, 2018

Sen. Sanders joins Paul Jay who asks if breaking up the big banks is enough to weaken the power of Wall St.


Story Transcript

PAUL JAY: Welcome back to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay. We’re in Burlington, Vermont at the Sanders Institute Gathering. And once again, we’re joined by Senator Bernie Sanders. Thanks for joining us.

BERNIE SANDERS: My pleasure.

PAUL JAY: In one of the panels yesterday you said it’s not just about concentration of wealth and how the inequality, how unfair that is, the suffering it causes. But concentration of wealth means concentration of power. How do you challenge that power?

BERNIE SANDERS: This is not easy stuff. But we are certainly not going to deal with it if we don’t discuss it. And one of the crises that we face right now is that you’ve got a media that will not talk about this issue. And you’ve got, essentially, two parties that don’t talk about it very much. And I think one of the things that I wanted to do in my presidential campaign is kind of bust this whole thing open. Let’s talk about the real issues. You know, whether CBS likes it or not.

So what you have here is, first of all, massive income and wealth inequality. And as a nation we have got to think from a moral perspective and an economic perspective whether we think it is appropriate that three people, one, two, three, own more wealth than the bottom half of the American society. You know, that’s really quite outrageous, and it’s appropriate that we take a hard look at that. But it is not just that the one tenth of 1 percent owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. They don’t put their wealth underneath their mattresses, right. They use that wealth to perpetrate, perpetuate their power. And they do that politically. So you have the Koch brothers 🦕🦖 and a handful of billionaires 😈👹💵🎩 who pour hundreds of millions of dollars into elections, because their Supreme Court
 
gutted the campaign finance laws that were in existence, and now allow billionaires quite openly to buy elections.
 

So wealth equals power, politically. Wealth means that if I own a company in the United States, I own a GE plant, where there may be hundreds or thousands of workers, and that plant may be making money, but not as much money as it could make if I took it to China or to Mexico, I have the power to do that. Because politicians are not going to stop me. Because we have disastrous trade laws. If I am a billionaire, it is likely that I will have control over media, as well. So you have a handful of media conglomerates owned by some of the wealthiest people in this country and in the world determining what the news is; what is appropriate for the American people to discuss and not to discuss.

Now what–my wife Jane, she put this thing together, I’m a guest here. But what she understood is that when we deal with climate change, when we deal with the economy, when we deal with housing, when we deal with criminal justice or immigration issues, we have got to deal with those in a holistic way, and understand why all of that is happening. Not see them as separate issues. And a lot of that has to do that we live in a nation owned and controlled by a small number of multi-billionaires whose greed, incredible greed, insatiable greed, is having an unbelievably negative impact on the fabric of our entire country.

PAUL JAY: The process of financialization that’s taken place over the whole 20th century, especially since World War II, where finance, Wall Street is so dominant in the economy. And this concentration of ownership and concentration of power is, nowhere is that more important than in the financial sector, because it permeates everything.

BERNIE SANDERS: Yes.

PAUL JAY: But every attempt to regulate finance has been without much success at best, and currently whatever there was is being dismantled. Doesn’t there needs to also be a building up of the public sector, starting with banking? Some kind of public banking? Because you can’t really reform these guys, because they all-

BERNIE SANDERS: I don’t know that you can’t reform them. And I think your point is, though, very well taken. What we need–look, let’s be clear. You have … I will never forget, Lloyd Blankfein, the head of Goldman Sachs, came to Congress a few years ago. And this is after the taxpayers of this country bailed them out because of their greed and their illegal behavior. This is chutzpah. These guys, after being bailed out by the middle class and working families of this country, after causing incalculable harm, which–the Wall Street crash cost us millions of jobs, people lost their homes, they lost their life savings. These guys, after getting bailed out, they come to Congress. They say, you know, what we think Congress should do is you gotta cut Social Security, and Medicare, and Medicaid. And by the way, lower corporate tax rates and give more tax breaks to the wealthy. That’s power. That’s chutzpah. We have it all, we can do whatever we want to do. And I think the power of Wall Street.–you’ve got a half a dozen banks that own over 50 percent, equivalent to 50 percent of the assets in our GDP. And we have got to stand up to them.

Now, your point is, OK, while we try to do that, are there other alternative models? And right here in the state of Vermont I am a strong advocate of a state bank, for example, where we can use the tax revenue that comes in for the public good, to help us create jobs, deal with agriculture, deal with the environment and climate change, and so forth.

PAUL JAY: Because the blackmail that happened in ’07-’08, too big to fail, and too big to go to jail. And-

BERNIE SANDERS: That’s right. And we have–but I don’t want to give up that fight. We have legislation in that is so–commonsense legislation, that when you have a handful of banks that have such incredible control over our economy that when they agreed destroys the economy they have to be bailed out because they’re too big to fail. But it also gives them unbelievable political power. You gotta break them up. And we have legislation in there that would break up the largest banks and financial institutions in this country. And that’s what we should do.

PAUL JAY: But aren’t you concerned that, like when the telecoms were broken up, they reassemble. The capital behind the big banks are still there. And I’m not suggesting breaking up the big banks isn’t a good thing. But don’t you need a public bank at a scale that next time there’s, there’s this blackmail, you can say, you know, go speculate. If you go down, you go down.

BERNIE SANDERS: I’m not arguing with you, I agree with you. And I think right here in Vermont right now there are a number of people in our legislature, and I support this effort, that want to see a public bank. Ironically enough, you know what the oldest state public bank in the country is?

PAUL JAY: North Dakota.

BERNIE SANDERS: North Dakota. They’ve had it, I think, since the ’20s. And it’s worked pretty well for them. You know, we’re trying to strengthen credit unions, as well. And since the Wall Street crash, by the way, I think credit unions have seen a lot more capital coming in and a lot more growth.

PAUL JAY: Just finally–I know you have to run. The primary in 2016 got quite bitter. We know that whoever, whoever released these emails, and all the rest–we know the DNC was manipulating things in favor of Hillary Clinton and against you. This fight heading into 2020, whether you’re the candidate or there is a candidate that’s on the Sanders-esque kind of platform … This fight in the Democratic Party is not, in my opinion, just a difference of opinion how to get to the same place, which is sometimes framed that way. There’s a real struggle of interest here. The fight against the oligarchy–well, there’s an oligarchy in the Democratic Party. And there’s a fight there. How do you see this campaign unfolding?

BERNIE SANDERS: I’m proud that out of our campaign, I think, we have seen a significant increase–not just out of our campaign–but a great deal of grassroots activism all across this country. This new incoming freshman class in the Congress is not only going to be the most progressive freshman class in a very long time, but the most diverse. More women, more people of color, et cetera. Also, I think what is happening in this country is that to a significant degree we are winning the ideological struggle. Three years ago, as you recall, Medicare for All was seen to be a radical, fringe idea. Last polls that I saw, 70 percent of the American people support Medicare for All. And more and more Democrats are coming on board. Raising the minimum wage, 15 bucks an hour. Radical idea a few years ago; kind of mainstream today. Rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, making public colleges and universities tuition-free, dealing with student debt, dealing in an aggressive way with the unbelievably dangerous challenge of climate change. I think more and more people understand that. Criminal justice reform. Immigration reform.

So many of the ideas that we campaigned on have now gotten broad support throughout the country and within the Democratic Party. But as, I think, your point makes, look. There is an establishment within the Democratic Party. There are Wall Street contributors in the Democratic Party, corporate contributors in the Democratic Party. And they have a very different and more conservative vision for the future of the Democratic Party than I do. My vision is pretty simple. My vision is that we have got to have the guts to take on Wall Street, take on the pharmaceutical industry, take on the insurance industry, take on the 1 percent, create an economy that works for all. And while we do that, we bring our people, and that is black, and white, and Latino, and Native American, and Asian American together. I think that’s the way you do it. And we’re beginning, beginning, beginning to see that. We’re seeing great young candidates who didn’t wait on line for 20 years to get permission to run, but kind of jumped in and beat some long-term incumbents. They’re saying, hey, I come from the community. I know what’s going on in this community, and I’m going to fight for working people, and I’m not afraid to take on big money. We’re seeing that. We got to see more of that.

So a two-part approach. Number one, we need to fight for our agenda. We need to elect candidates from the grassroots who are going to, are going to implement that agenda.

PAUL JAY: All right, thanks very much for joining us.

BERNIE SANDERS: Thank you very much.

PAUL JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

https://therealnews.com/stories/bernie-sanders-concentrated-wealth-is-concentrated-power
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 05, 2018, 07:54:13 pm »

Marine Traffic Collapse Meter

Agelbert NOTE: The following is a screenshot of today's global marine traffic. This relatively normal activity for today is a valuable reference for all of us. Why? Because we can compare it with activity in the future.

In this, the "Money" topic thread, World Maritime activity can be checked here 👀 to see when an imminent collapse situation is in progress. IMHO, Capitalist economies will first evidence imminent collapse by the absence of marine traffic. 

I call this the Marine Traffic Collapse Meter. I will post a screenshot now and then, but anybody else is welcome to do so. I will also post marine related stuff here that I find of interest.
 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 05, 2018, 05:56:41 pm »

This altruistic tenet is sine qua non to Socialism. That means that the closest thing to actual socialism that has ever been tried is what, imperfectly, but it was close, controlled distribution of labor and goods for the common good during the Early Christian Church.

Don't forget the Potlach societies of the Pacific Northwest, which at its peak shared goods between more than 15 tribes and 200,000 people and lasted into the 19th century when it was made illegal by Capitalists.


RE

Well said, RE. Excellent point! It underscores the fact that, in human relations throughout history, altruism has always been at the core of really successful societies.

But there is more the Social Darwinists refuse to acknowledge, as Ashvin, with his continual defense of "justified" seeking of privilege under Capitalism, evidences. The ideology, a direct result of the Evolutionary Theory  corollary that predators can "do whatever they want" because they are "apex" is itself the basis of the flawed world view that it's, not just "a-okay". but "desirable", for the smartest humans to lord it over other humans. That flawed world view claims to be "supported by science". Well, the whole deal with Evolutionary Theory is a process that Darwin claimed continually selects the fittest individual within a species, and also provided the basis for perpetuating the fittest species in competition with other species for resources.

Here's the giant biosphere species "elephant" in the "apex predators are it" room.

Darwin, to his credit, did say that altruism was important in human affairs. Of course he meant certain humans, not the ones that were, uh, "backward" or "unintelligent" "sub-species" (wrong color, kinky hair, etc.). We know now that he was wrong there, but that isn't the real problem with Social Darwinist assumptions.

Assuming that evolution is the cause of every species that "succeeded", through natural selection, to populate the biopshere in the year 2018, it is logical to ask how long these obviously successful species have been around. It is also pertinent to ask how large is the biomass of species to learn which ones are the most successful of all.

Darwin did not know the answer to either of those questions. We know the answer now.

Embarrassingly for the Capitalists, who base their ideology on Social Darwinism, is the fact that the social insects are the most successful species in the biosphere by both species longevity and biomass. If these Social Darwinsts had an ounce of integrity, they would realize (and admit) that species that are not part of the various social insect species on this planet are all newcomers and, compared with the ants and termites (to name just two, both of which have several species among them) are newcomer experiments. The fossil record is full of predators that died off. Ants have not changed for, according to modern science, hundreds of millions of years. They apparently haven't "evolved further" because they are so successful, in their social insect colony way, at perpetuating their species.

Darwin missed that in his zeal to put white Europeans at the top of "apex" predator Evolutionary "fittest" peak. Science knows bettter now. Science knows that apex predators are the first to die off when natural disasters strike. Science knows apex predators are the most fragile of species in the trophic pyramid. Wall Street, and all the Capitalist crooks that curse our society today, missed that memo.

As I said earlier, we are not ever going to be able to function as a social insect colony. But, that is analogous to the completely altruistic Socialist Society we must strive for, if we wish to be as successful as the ants. Anyone that claims that humans are a "more successful species" than ants is into wishful thinking.



I see Ashvin is doing a bit of Scriptural cherry picking. ::) Ashvin is trying to derail the central issue here, which is the merits of altruism over privilege seeking behavior in human society. Here's what Christ said about the motive behind every act of service that the leadership in His Church had to live by when his privilege seeking disciples asked Him about who is the greatest:

Quote
Luke 22:24-27

24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.

25 So Jesus declared, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in authority over them call themselves benefactors.

26 But you shall not be like them. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who leads like the one who serves.

27 For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines? But I am among you as the One who serves.

Christ was, of course, keenly aware of the "might is right" world view shared by most people at that time, just like it is today. He deliberately flipped on its head the greed based status quo motive for doing whatever from obtaining privilege to the daily practice of altruism. Christ was not playing with words.

If what Christ ordered his disciples to do back then is not a perfect example of the altruism inherent in true Christianity, I don't know what is. Also, if that is not a perfect example of Christian Socialism in action, I don't know what is.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 05, 2018, 03:21:00 pm »

Let's all jump on Ashvin time, huh?

Among the numerous facts they ignore is that intelligence and trait conscientiousness account for some 25-40% of long-term life outcomes in capitalist society. This does not fit in with their ideological critiques, because it suggests that competence actually plays a role. But everyone knows competence plays a large role, and that makes them even more resentful and envious of the successful. To the point where they are willing to advocate for bloody revolutions and extermination campaigns as a justified means of "leveling the playing field".


Trouble is......Ashvin is 100% right on that part, and the rest of you are so caught up in your own belief systems that it doesn't matter whether he is or not. That bothers me a lot. Not whether he's right or wrong, but that the rest of your are willing to gang up and play this kind of bullshit dirty pool. It's completely unfair.

And I'm going to say that, and I challenge anyone here to offer any actual facts to the contrary to what I just quoted..

Go ahead, and big fancy caps and emoticons don't count. Just facts. Prove your points, and stop just bashing.


Provided you can keep your bullying to a low roar, I will answer with facts and without without caps and without emoticons.

First of all, your finger pointing claim that, in so many words, ideology "taints" the objectivity of anyone criticizing Ashvin, is based on your ideology. So, your claim that "Ashvin is 100% right" is nothing but an opinion based on your Social Darwinst world view; a world view that you share with Ashvin. So, your claim that readers here are unjustly jumping on Ashvin, just like GO's rush to agree, is also a reflection of your ideology, not facts.

WHAT PART OF "THE SOVIET UNION WAS STATE CAPITALISM" do you not understand, Mr. SOPHIST?

Watson only understands that which Watson shits off his keyboard.  Often enough he doesn't even understand that.  He's full of self-hatred, so he trolls this website to hate on others.  He wants to be part of the ruling elite in this country, so he gave up his birth religion to become a fake Joel Osteen style Christian and join the ranks of the Christian Right Wing Fascists.  He has an extreme case of tunnel vision and writes on only one topic, his hatred for socialism.  I let him stay on because with each post he reveals what a hypocrite he is, and because he is trying to goad me into banning him.  He's so obsessed he can't even follow through and quit posting.  It's pathetic.

RE


RE pretty much covered Ashvin's flawed outlook on human society, so I won't belabor that point, though I realize you vigorously disagree with RE and Surly in that regard. It is a fact that you disagree. It is not a fact that your opinion is fact based. It is a fact that your opinion is ideology based.

You can accuse me, as you have often, of being "blinded" by my ideology (that's when you are in a good mood. At other times you claim I am allegedly at war with the world and hate filled, etc.). You may be right, but that doesn't solve the issue of what is a reality based opinion and what is not, now does it?

Second, the definition of Soviet "Socialism" is State Capitalism, as the Anarchists note, because the boss/employee relationship was not changed from that handed off to Capitalism by the feudal lord/peasant relationship, which came from the owner/slave relationship, all of which are incompatible with true socialism, which is egalitarian. As of right now, your ideology prevents you from agreeing with this second point, even though it is factual.

Ashvin went at me with an accusation that I am somehow hiding something because I don't want to define myself as a "Marxist" or "Socialist". Ashvin's definition of those terms is a convenient aberration of what socialism actually is, just like yours is. If I say I am a Socialist, which I certainly am, you and Ashvin could, and probably would, claim I am a hypocrite because I started a corporation (3M Franchise) selling reflective window film at the age of 23, taught people to fly for money, controlled air traffic for money working for the US empire, and so on.

Yep, I have survived in a system I did not create. Yep, I have learned a thing or two along the way. But, trying to finger me as a "hypocrite" has absolutely nothing to do with the basic Socialist tenet of a 100% requirement for an egalitarian relationship among all the society working for the common good of all in that society. This altruistic tenet is sine qua non to Socialism. That means that the closest thing to actual socialism that has ever been tried is what, imperfectly, but it was close, controlled distribution of labor and goods for the common good during the Early Christian Church.

Ashvin claims that "Socialism" and "Capitalism" were not even defined at the time, so my claim is "nonsensical". Lawyers have a thing about definitions, too often ignoring the reality of human relations that go back millenia, where any and all economic systems that were not "defined" as such back then were, nevertheless, in limited, but factual, operation. Here's some factual information on Christian Socialism:

Quote
The most important quote[citation needed] of the Old Testament that has been recognized by Christian socialists is the verse from Ecclesiastes 3:13 that describes God as promoting an egalitarian society, stating:

It is God's gift to humankind that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil— (Ecc. 3: 13).[9]

New Testament

— (Jam. 5:1–6).[13]
During the New Testament period and beyond there is evidence that many Christian communities practiced forms of sharing, redistribution and communism.[14]

Church Fathers age


Basil of Caesarea (c. 330–379), the Father of the Eastern monks who became Bishop of Caesarea, established a complex around the church and monastery that included hostels, almshouses, and hospitals for infectious diseases.[15] During the great famine of 368, Basil denounced against profiteers and the indifferent rich.[15]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_socialism

Another thing on this second point: Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther (who's "saved by grace" interpretation of Paul's writings - now twisted by Calvinist Antinomians like Ashvin, a Catholic at the time, called out the Catholic Pope for the disingenuous, greed based, happy talk on indulgences. Luther was not a happy camper with Herr Jugger's Capitalist MO. Luther railed at Jugger for his excessive greed because it was totally at odds with the Christian Gospel. But it gets better.  Jugger was the person that convinced the Pope to charge interest on loans, something the Catholic Church had considerd sinful up until Jugger, who had loaned quite a bit of money to the Pope, convinced the Pope to revise his views.

Then it got even better. Jugger was in the indulgences racket up to his greedy Capitalist neck. The indulgence money that was paid for "guaranteed" salvation was collected by the "good graces" of Herr Jugger. So, the Catholic Church got half and, of course, Jugger got the other half. If that is not Capitalism, I do not know what is.

Way back in 1508, the Capitalist Happy Talk Propaganda by Mr. Jugger, still in evidence today, is evidence that Capitalism was functioning exactly as it is today. So, whether it was "defined" or not, is irrelevant. It was there. Here's the quote from Herr Jugger without annoying emoticons. I defy you to find any difference with what he says 500 years ago with what Capitalists defend with every lying breath today:

In 1508 Emperor Maximilian I attempted to force his bankers to invest in bonds to support another of his wars. Fugger was furious at this, and wrote a letter back to the Emperor. Steinmetz explains:

Quote
Fugger started with what he said was obvious. Companies like his benefitted every level of society, producing jobs and wealth for all. Business could only work its magic if the government left it alone. If politicians threw up roadblocks and killed the profit motive, business had no chance. Merchants and bankers were good citizens, he argued. They treated each other and their customers fairly. Sure, self-interest propelled them. But they knew better than to cheat customers. Reputation was everything and the need for credibility checked the urge to lie, gouge and steal. Hinting at the allure of tax havens (the Swiss border was only sixty miles away), he declared that other countries show businessmen more respect. He blasted those who condemned commerce and enterprise. They failed to understand that “it is for the common good that honourable, brave and honest companies are in the realm.  For it is not disreputable but rather it is wonderful jewel that such companies are in the kingdom.”

It is no surprise that when the German Peasants’ War broke out in 1524, that wealthy men like Jakob Fugger were accused by the people of corruption and stealing from the poor. At one point during that year Jakob had to flee his home in Augsburg because of the threats from protestors. Fugger did all that he could to support the nobles trying to put down the revolt, which would only end after 100,000 people were dead. http://www.medievalists.net/2018/12/richest-person-history/

Third, the (disingenuous) purist argument, which MKing often used on me because of my Camry, as a basis for claiming I am a hypocrite about Renewable Energy, is analogous to what Ashvin is trying to pull on me and anyone that survives in a Capitalist economic system. It is, as I said in another post, par for the course with people stuck on the flawed ideology of Social Darwinsm as applied to economic systems. I can not convince you that greed is bad because you are convinced that any action to obtain a privileged economic position over fellow humans is "justified" by a combination of your superior intelligence, ability and aggressiveness.

Socialism in general, and Christian Socialism in particular, inverts that seeking of privilege and position through whatever it takes (i.e. Social Darwinist pecking order ideology). Altruism is the main thing to seek in Socialism. As soon as any alleged "Socialist" system is corrupted by the seeking of privilege, it becomes a Capitalist system. Again, to Social Darwinsts, seeking of privilege and position is the only "reality based" system there is. A system (i.e. Socialism) where the reward for hard work based on intelligence, dedication, ability and grit is a viable biosphere, a healthy population, and a horizontal altruistic relationships between those who govern and those who provide goods and services is "not realistic".

Not only do I firmly believe, from having observed my behavior and that of my fellow humans for the past 72 years, that Socialism is the ideal economic system, if we do not switch to it very, very soon, humans will not be around much longer.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 04, 2018, 06:57:13 pm »

The problems with socialism are many. Orwell recognized very quickly that the socialists of his day were motivated by intellectual snobbery and resentment rather than compassion for the poor working class. 60 years later and nothing has changed...

Socialist ideology ignores human nature and treats everyone as "blank slates" who can be molded by the totalitarian state to achieve equality of socioeconomic outcomes. They set up re-education and re-training camps which are doomed to failure. This flies in the face of decades of psychological and sociological research.

Postmodern ideology tries to sneak in thoroughly debunked socialist ideology by pointing out the corrupt aspects of capitalist institutions, and then pretending that there is no other conclusion to reach other than ALL capitalist hierarchies are corrupted by power. And as long as we are playing this game, why not advocate for the socialist power hierarchies instead of the capitalist ones?

Among the numerous facts they ignore is that intelligence and trait conscientiousness account for some 25-40% of long-term life outcomes in capitalist society. This does not fit in with their ideological critiques, because it suggests that competence actually plays a role. But everyone knows competence plays a large role, and that makes them even more resentful and envious of the successful. To the point where they are willing to advocate for bloody revolutions and extermination campaigns as a justified means of "leveling the playing field".

What about the word "Quit" do you not understand?

RE


 

The problems with socialism are many. Orwell recognized very quickly that the socialists of his day were motivated by intellectual snobbery and resentment rather than compassion for the poor working class. 60 years later and nothing has changed...

Socialist ideology ignores human nature and treats everyone as "blank slates" who can be molded by the totalitarian state to achieve equality of socioeconomic outcomes. They set up re-education and re-training camps which are doomed to failure. This flies in the face of decades of psychological and sociological research.

Postmodern ideology tries to sneak in thoroughly debunked socialist ideology by pointing out the corrupt aspects of capitalist institutions, and then pretending that there is no other conclusion to reach other than ALL capitalist hierarchies are corrupted by power. And as long as we are playing this game, why not advocate for the socialist power hierarchies instead of the capitalist ones?

Among the numerous facts they ignore is that intelligence and trait conscientiousness account for some 25-40% of long-term life outcomes in capitalist society. This does not fit in with their ideological critiques, because it suggests that competence actually plays a role. But everyone knows competence plays a large role, and that makes them even more resentful and envious of the successful. To the point where they are willing to advocate for bloody revolutions and extermination campaigns as a justified means of "leveling the playing field".

What a pile of crap, false assertions, straw men and charged language. You certainly know how to wield language as a weapon, but you're not selling anything here.

And for the record, no one here is "playing a game" but you.

How well I remember the stories told by my father and uncles about the gulags and re-education camps they suffered under FDR.


Be sure to post the URL of your new blog, celebrating this, the best of all possible worlds.

 

The trouble with Ashvin, quite the egregious example of sophistry, intellectual snobbery and smugness himself, is that he cannot get past the "PECKING ORDER IS IT" (i.e. SOCIAL DARWINIST) IDEOLOGY. If he had an ounce of integrity, instead of deliberately twisting (in typical CAPITALIST ORWELLIAN DISCOURSE FASHION) what Orwell said and wrote, he would RECOGNIZE that that CAPITALISM and the Soviet (and Cuban) STATE CAPITALISM are tweedledee and tweedledum (i.e. OWNER-BOSS/EMPLOYEE-WORKER IS THE SAME CORRUPT SYSTEM AS COMMISAR-BOSS/COMRAD-WORKER).

TRUE SOCIALISM IS EGALITARIAN. Ashvin, like all CAPITALISTS, does not DO egalitarian. SO, he TWISTS the definition of Socialism in order to demonize it with negative attributes about Socialists that are, in fact, INTEGRAL to the CAPITALIST mindset.

Any elitist PECKING ORDER BULLSHIT introduced in a SOCIALIST SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT instantly undermines everything that SOCIALISM stands for!   

What REALLY torques me about the alleged "Christian" beliefs of Ashvin is that he pretends the Acts of the Apostles, the early history of the Christian Church, which was TOTALLY SOCIALIST at the time, was subject to the same PECKING ORDER BULLSHIT IDEOLOGY that he embraces without batting a sophist eye.

Christ made it CRYSTAL CLEAR that the leaders were exemplified by the FACT that they had SERVED/WORKED MORE FOR OTHERS than the non-leaders.

This is anathema to the Social Darwinsts, who justify absolutely ANY plunder and mayhem resulting from CAPITALISM as the "natural order of 'DESERVING' smart over the 'LESS DESERVING' less smart".

Christ excludes ANYONE with this BRUTAL, EMPATHY DEFICIT DISORDERED, CRUEL IDEOLOGY from His Kingdom, PERIOD, FULL STOP.

I would now bring up the lobsters and sex hormones devious analogy but I might get bullied by a certain admin again. SO, I won't.


One more thing because I see Ashvin is at it again with the  Soviet Gulags and such in his zeal to demonize Soviet "Socialism".  ::) WHAT PART OF "THE SOVIET UNION WAS STATE CAPITALISM" do you not understand, Mr. SOPHIST?
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 04, 2018, 05:43:21 pm »

The CAPITALIST Happy Talk (BS) we are presently cursed with is over 500 YEARS OLD! 🤬

SNIPPET:

In 1508 Emperor Maximilian I attempted to force his bankers to invest in bonds to support another of his wars. Fugger was furious at this, and wrote a letter back to the Emperor. Steinmetz explains:

Quote
Fugger started with what he said was obvious. Companies like his benefitted every level of society, producing jobs and wealth for all. Business could only work its magic if the government left it alone. If politicians threw up roadblocks and killed the profit motive, business had no chance. Merchants and bankers were good citizens, he argued. They treated each other and their customers fairly. Sure, self-interest propelled them.  But they knew better than to cheat customers. Reputation was everything and the need for credibility checked the urge to lie, gouge and steal. Hinting at the allure of tax havens (the Swiss border was only sixty miles away), he declared that other countries show businessmen more respect.  He blasted those who condemned commerce and enterprise. They failed to understand that “it is for the common good that honourable, brave and honest companies are in the realm. For it is not disreputable but rather it is wonderful jewel that such companies are in the kingdom.” 
It is no surprise that when the German Peasants’ War broke out in 1524, that wealthy men like Jakob Fugger were accused by the people of corruption and stealing from the poor. At one point during that year Jakob had to flee his home in Augsburg because of the threats from protestors. Fugger did all that he could to support the nobles trying to put down the revolt, which would only end after 100,000 people were dead.

Read a LOT more and feast your eyes on some videos about the
richest man that ever lived and his Castle with fountains, ovens and fireplaces in EVERY ROOM 👀


at a time when most people NEVER got enough to eat in their ENTIRE LIVES.  The influence 😈👹💵🎩🍌🏴‍☠️🚩 of this Oligarch and his CAPITALIST CHEERLEADING descendents to fund war and social repression continues to this day.


It was long after his time, of course, that Capitalism began to demonize Socialism with, oh so clever baloney like, "The trouble with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money" (credited to Margaret Thatcher 😈, but considering she was every bit as dumb as she was greedy, Reagan was probably the one who passed that on to her from a note Saint Milton Chicago School Fascist Friedman 👹 gave to Reagan 🐒).

Then there's that one Reagan liked about, "I'm here from the Government. I'm here to help.", delivered in his most professional actor sarcasm.

Ya know, these bastards seem to have studied Owellian discourse before Orwell invented it!

As far back as 1508, it was crystal clear to the casual observer that, THE TROUBLE WITH CAPITALISM IS  THAT YOU EVENTUALLY RUN OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY. At that point you have to kill off a bunch of angry peasants who are starving or start a war (which you make peasants fight, of course) to find new sources of asset stripping plunder to put a bandaid on the cratering economy you destroyed with CAPITALISM.

Eventually you run out of people to kill and sources of EVERYTHING out there on the PLANET, that is plunderable, to plunder.

It's hard to fit all that in a sound bite but ya get the idea.

As to Reagan's favorte bit of clever BULLSHIT, it applies now quite well to the FIRE sector.

I'm here from the F.I.R.E. (Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) sector . I'm here to help.

I just read this yesterday. It really gets to the heart of why people fall for all this Capitalist BULLSHIT. For the average person, it is hard to differentiate between socially beneficial freedoms and socially detrimental ones. The Capitalist CROOKS make sure to muddy the difference as much as possible with happy talk propaganda. This snippet from a recent Chris Hedges article pretty much exposes the CAPITALIST siren song CON.

Quote
The economist Karl Polanyi understood that there are two kinds of freedoms. There are the bad freedoms to exploit those around us and extract huge profits without regard to the common good, including what is done to the ecosystem and democratic institutions.

These bad freedoms see corporations monopolize technologies and scientific advances to make huge profits, even when, as with the pharmaceutical industry, a monopoly means lives of those who cannot pay exorbitant prices are put in jeopardy.

The good freedoms—freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, freedom of meeting, freedom of association, freedom to choose one’s job—
are eventually snuffed out by the primacy of the bad freedoms.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 04, 2018, 04:26:12 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 03, 2018, 09:57:34 pm »

Globalization, Inequality & the Predictable Corporate Takeover of the WTO (1/2)

December 3, 2018

The corporate takeover of platforms like the World Trade Organization has been denounced by developing countries and activists for decades and today the denunciations are reflected in rebuttals to pro-corporate machinations like those unpacked in this series of presentations at the 2018 World Trade Organization Public Forum


Series: Our World Is Not For Sale: 2018 World Trade Organization Public Forum (2/2)


Story Transcript

LYNN FRIES: It’s The Real News, I’m Lynn Fries.

Breaking through what by nature is a complex specialized topic, a message for citizens worldwide came across loud and clear this October as representatives from South Africa’s Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization here in Geneva and Third World Network Nepal, UNCTAD’s division on globalization and development strategies and the South North Development Monitor took the floor at the Our World is Not For Sale working session at the 2018 World Trade Organization Public Forum. That session, called The Crisis in Multilateralism, laid out a longstanding track record at the World Trade Organization, where at the behest of the world’s most powerful and wealthiest nations and corporations, the public interest at this public institution has been circumvented, and instead the WTO has been turned into a global platform that’s facilitating a vicious circle where wealth and power beget more wealth and power and an ever expanding inequality between and within countries.

The Real News releases exclusive, full length documentary footage of that working session in part two of this series. Here in part one, we present featured clips, opening with comments by Deborah James, a representative for the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Our World Is Not For Sale network.

DEBORAH JAMES: We should debate what are the sources of poverty reduction in the world, that which is happening and that which is not happening. And now we’re seeing the negative impacts of globalization in high income countries such as mine, the United States, and this has in recent years contributed to political upheaval. But that globalization has been defended as if it were a great boost to millions of people throughout the world. So if we understand that this type of globalization has not benefited the majority of people in developing countries and we understand that now there’s a huge populist revolt because that same globalization model has not benefited the vast majority of people even in the developed countries. But at the same time, there’s been a huge increase in wealth creation and a huge increase in trade and investment flows. Where’s all the money going?

Well, it turns out that we have the answer in this year’s Trade and Development Report. It’s going to the top one percent of superstar vampire corporations who are sucking even more wealth out of the vast majority of people around the world in the Global North and the Global South and everywhere in between. And we would say that this corporate takeover is the predictable result of these firms using their wealth to intervene in the economy, to rewrite the rules through the WTO and also through bilateral and regional trade agreements, and through electing austerity-focused national governments.

VAHINI NAIDU: We all know that the benefits and costs of trade liberalization have not been shared equitably. Citizens are increasingly aware that the safety nets needed for trade adjustment are inadequate and that job losses in declining sectors are rarely compensated by growth in others. Job insecurity is on the rise. We need to fully acknowledge the role of trade in the state of affairs and not shy away from assessing the extent to which trade and trade agreements have contributed to growing inequality across the world. A measure of equity in the multilateral trading system will be the extent to which it facilitates Africa’s structural transformation and industrialization for sustainable and sustained development. For legitimacy and sustainability, these concerns need to be addressed. In this respect, we can recall the full range of the so-called implementation issues, advanced by developing countries, that was integral to the negotiating agenda in the Doha Development Round.

PRERNA BOMZAN: I would like to start by giving a brief introduction regarding the UN defined Least Developed Countries. So this category was established in 1971 by the UN General Assembly, obviously to draw special attention to these countries for more development attention. At that time, there were the only 23 LDCs, but today there are 47 LDCs. So that clearly shows that there is a major problem in the development paradigm that we are chasing. And out of the 47, 46 are WTO members. So I was checking the report of the Subcommittee on LDCs of last year, October 2017, and there it says that the LDCs’ share of world merchandise exports, it remains under one percent and its share in world exports of goods and commercial services, it stood at .91 percent in 2016. And the LDCs, they continue to record a sizable trade deficit, which reached 9.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, which represents a nine fold increase compared to the trade deficit in 2005, a decade back.

Right now, in the Doha rounds, the LDC package which we talk about, that is duty free, quota free market access, the rules of origin and the services waiver, that we think as the development aspect of the Doha round. And we’ve been consistently calling for the early harvest of the LDC package, but right now there hasn’t been any movement in the negotiations.

RICHARD KOZUL-WRIGHT: And by hyper-globalization, we basically see three distinct features from the earlier period of globalization from the end of the Second World War. Clearly, there’s an ideological component with the rise of neoliberalism as the dominant economic narrative. Neoliberalism, though, is not simply about more markets. That’s a very basic kind of philosophical failure in a lot of the discussion of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is fundamentally about creating a set of rules that allow business to do what it wants, how it wants, where it wants, unencumbered by the actions of governments and other potentially distortionary elements, democracy, trade unions, other things that might get in the way of business doing what it wants, how it wants, where it wants.

And because people like, particularly neoliberals who haven’t read him, like to go back to Adam Smith at this point as a kind of father figure of the neoliberal tradition, which he wasn’t, of course, and Smith had two very important insights about what we would call a rules-based system. Smith recognized, particularly in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, that a rules-based system didn’t just depend on the details of the rules themselves, but the trust that people had in those rules and whether people trusted both the rules and the execution of those rules, that was a key feature of Smith’s understanding of a healthy political economy. And one of the things that we track, particularly since the financial crisis although there were signs of it before of course, was the removal of trust from political systems both at the national level, but I think also the international level, too.

At the national level it’s pretty obvious why this has happened. The response to the financial crisis was, essentially, how do we save the banks. And we saved the banks both by handing out very large amounts of taxpayers’ money, which is how the banking system survived and recovered after the crisis, and then shifting the burden of the consequences of that action onto the vast majority of people through policies of economic austerity. And that combination of saving the institutions that caused the problems in the first instance and then shifting the burden onto your average citizen has clearly removed most people’s sense of trust in the institutions ultimately whose job it is to provide for the welfare of its citizenry.

RAVI KANTH: For the past 20 years, I have been covering every development that has been happening in this organization on a daily basis for several publications. So I’m just going to reflect about the processes that take place here which you don’t hear in these public forum discussions. I’ll start off with a small statement, namely just to indicate what this organization is all about. Here is the Director General, who when he came power sometime in September 2013, from that period, September to December 2013, he worked tirelessly on an issue called the Trade Facilitation Agreement. In fact, this hall used to be filled with the Trade Facilitation negotiators. He worked so hard for the next three months on an issue which was not a core issue of the Doha Work Program. This was one of the most controversial issues.

In fact, before he began the Director General, he was Brazil’s trade ambassador to the WTO. In one of the Trade Negotiations Committee meetings, he had actually said that the Trade Facilitation Agreement is a market access agreement and that countries like Brazil are not getting any commensurate return for what they are going to agree to in trade facilitation. That was the man who later became the Director General, and who worked hard to get this trade facilitation agreement while completely ignoring the real issues of the Doha Development Agenda, whether it’s the agriculture or implementation issues or special and differential treatment improvements, or for that matter, the LDC package.

I mean, ultimately, the face of this organization is sort of tested and measured on what it could do to the poorest of the poor countries. And the LDC package has been laying heavy on this organization since 2005 Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration in Hong Kong. There are different stages, but suffice to conclude here, the Director General who worked on the trade facilitation agreement because it was an agreement sought most by the United States and the European Union and several other countries, of what are called the Colorado Group. The Colorado Group was formed in 1996, and he was the man who has ignored the developmental issues which his own country had brought into full play starting from 2003. This exposes the kind happenings here. This organization, I’m convinced from my writings and from my day to day reports, it does not work for the developing countries, it does not work for the poorest countries, and if at all it works, it works at the diktats of the big boys.

DEBORAH JAMES: I hope that this session, even though I’m sorry that we didn’t have time for questions and discussion, has provided some more serious thought and more serious reflection about the deeper issues that are underlying the current crisis in the multilateral trading system, so that we can actually talk about solutions that will work for people and the planet and not just continue to entrench corporate interests in the WTO and other multilateral spaces.

https://therealnews.com/stories/globalization-inequality-the-predictable-corporate-takeover-of-the-wto-1-2

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