Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Class Warfare

The Covid-19 pandemic is the physical manifestation of a deeper disease plaguing the West: Class Warfare. The veil has been lifted. Social distancing, a legitimate response to Covid-19, predominately affects the working class.

Fortunately, Covid-19 is an equal opportunity plague: As the rich and powerful congratulated each other, as they moved among the rightfully adoring crowds…oops, I think I caught something! Just hazards of the games they play. Certainly, it was never contracted on the factory floor.

Suddenly the rich and privileged claim they are in the same boat. Really? Mega-yachts are handy get-aways, as are well-protected island boltholes.

And who is supposed to do the nasty work, who has little opportunity to run and hide, who must do the the work that makes actual existence possible? Not the rich.

Who can work from home and not lose his or her job?

Rich and powerful women now have to cut their own nails! Oh, the shame of it. They have to dye their own hair–coif themselves! What no colorist?

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Panama Redux

The latest U.S. arrogance: Charging Venezuelan Maduro with Narco-Terrorism. The U.S. answers to no international court, but believes it has the privilege levying charges against anyone or any state it wishes to over-throw. Of course the charges are all about oil. What else is new? Meanwhile, the U.S. sanctions whomever it pleases.

Meanwhile, Dick Cheney runs free as a bird, as does warmonger Hillary, and Obama and his almost senile sidekick Biden. Of course, who could possibly ignore the narcissistic monster now the POTUS of a broken and corrupt U.S?

Like it or not: The U.S. and its allies are no longer the shining light on the hill.
Greed and profit know no limits.

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How is the Consumer Society Doing?

The rich, the wealthy, the privileged have to provide for themselves? What, no dog walkers, no maids, no waiters and all the other little people that make life a joy? Gardners, bus drivers, private nurses, second houses in the Hamptons, a third house in Hawaii–all cared for by the loving poor?

Cutting interest rates no longer primes the pump? Neo-liberalism on its last legs? What is going to happen when climate and ecological disruption really hit?

And Bezos now wants his enslaved workers to donate time to help others? King of the mountain, he is. The wonder of neo-liberalism in love with worker efficiency and low wages, he is.

And how is the health care going? Pharmaceuticals off-shored? The Sacklers and Pelosi–no longer arm in arm? Lobbyists losing their sting?

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Is a Zero Growth Economy Viable?

The present pandemic demonstrates that the global economy is closely tied to consumer spending. Suppose the pandemic is merely a foretaste of the effects of climate change and ecological destruction. Can we fashion a world base on Zero Growth, a Steady State Economy?

Zero growth might well entail the following:

1. A fixed and renewal body of resources.
2. A demographic balance, i.e., a fixed population size.

Can such an economy enable all of humanity to prosper and grow? If so, what must be do to enable us to grow and prosper?

Can we have an economy where consumption is stable, i.e., does not grow?

Or, to put it another way, where the amount of capital spent on consumption is constant, fixed.

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The Rules and Format They Keep A’Changing

Now Tired Joe gets to sit, relax a bit….not worry about record players and 150 million gun deaths….

Of course the DNC has now changed the rules again! Tulsi will not be allowed to debate….oh….but “she has no real support,” you say! So what?
Rules can be altered for billionaires….what a party for the rich and privileged. DNC is Trump-light.

As Hillary said, “Rules are rules”….except when they are changed!

Good luck, you guys who think all is wonderful in DNC land.

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Conor Lynch’s Article: Joe Biden Would be Donald Trump’s Dream Opponent

I suggest that all of you read Conor Lynch’s piece on TruthDig:

Joe Biden Would Be Donald Trump’s Dream Opponent

Here are some apt quotations:

Biden is a lot like Clinton, but worse in almost every measurable way. On issue after issue, Biden has consistently been to the right of Clinton throughout his fifty-year political career. He has a record of advocating cuts to Social Security and Medicare; he helped write the 1994 Crime Bill that led to an explosion in mass incarceration; he played a critical role in passing the 2005 bankruptcy bill that stripped bankruptcy protection from some of the most vulnerable people. Biden also supported and championed the Iraq War.

This list goes on and on. Beyond his extremely problematic record, which will make it hard for Democrats to go after Trump about, say, cutting Social Security (which Biden himself supported not too long ago), Biden has his own personal scandals that will make it very difficult for him to cast Trump as corrupt.

In the lead-up to the general election, Biden, who has recently struggled to string coherent sentences together, would provide the slick demagogue Donald Trump with all the ammunition he needs.

The behavior of Biden’s family will haunt him in the general election. As Ryan Grim wrote in The Intercept last October, Biden’s son and brother have been “trading on their family name for decades, cashing in on the implication — and sometimes the explicit argument — that giving money to a member of Joe Biden’s family wins the favor of Joe Biden.” Predictably, a majority of voters believe it was inappropriate for Biden’s son to take a job with the Ukrainian firm, and Trump will exploit this and use it to defend his own family’s nepotism and corruption.

Read the piece. And address its assertions.

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The Deep Cynicism of the DNC

The DNC is about to nominate a man who has real difficulty completing an intelligent sentence. We are not talking fluffs or an occasional mistake.

We are talking about a man who is mentally incompetent.

The media will hide the fact. The DNC will protect him as much as possible.

For this reason alone, Biden is the weakest possible candidate to face Trump.

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The West “Weeps” for What It Has Sowed

At the Munich Security Conference the U.S. and its allies had no idea of how to handle China, a problem of their greed and stupidity. The West is divided, confused. What to do about Huawei? Really, what to do with China?

So when Mike Pompeo…proclaimed…”we are winning,” the largely European audience was silent and worried in what sense “we” existed longer.
In the meantime, Europe, including the U.K, finds itself in a mincer between the U.S. and China

Unfortunately for us. China has followed the U.S. playbook and has outplayed the West, especially the U.S.

Walter Rostow of the Johnson administration, an avid anti-communist, wrote the playbook: How can an undeveloped nation take its place among the leaders of the world.

The answer: Industrialize as rapidly as possible. Do whatever it takes.  China did just that.

In its five year plans, China acknowledged its debt to Rostow and started to industrialize. While I have described this process many years ago, I again outline it briefly here.

First: China entered the W.T.O. Bill Clinton and Congress were accommodating and instrumental:

Last fall, as all of you know, the United States signed an agreement to bring China into the W.T.O, on terms that will open its markets to American products and investments.
Bill Clinton speaking before Congress, March 9, 1998

Second: China offered dirt cheap labor, labor that had no effective right to bargain
Third: China did not require a company to obey any environmental regulations.
Fourth: China often offered a ten-year grace period without any taxation. If there were taxes they were less than those on its own indigenous firms.
Fifth: China manipulated its currency, making products cheaper to make but getting higher profits in the West.

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