Linking ≠ endorsement.
⇧ Paul Krugman on Brexit and falling investment - Marginal REVOLUTION
Good post by Tyler Cowen.
What makes it good is that it's more realistic politically. It is less certain politically. It is more artful than rigidly "scientific" (pretentious) in the face of so much truly real political uncertainty.
It is true investment might bounce back if Brexit were essentially undone, but that is hardly an argument for Brexit. The UK economy is about 85 percent services, those are currently "passported" into the rest of the EU, and it is very very hard to negotiate a new free trade agreement for services in anything like a timely manner, even when passions are not inflamed and there are no considerations of punishing other possible EU-defecting countries. So if you read someone writing "...after Brexit, the UK will face an average tariff rate of only xxx..." that is a sign they are not thinking hard enough about how trade agreements for services really work.
⇧ EconoSpeak: Which Way Is Up? How Much Schmexit After The Brexit
Now, this one (by Barkley Rosser) is really honest by making it extremely clear that many people are being nothing more than herky-jerky. That's part of the human condition (that is, Humanity).
Some people are highly skilled at coping and remaining calm before rushing to judgment. They reserve final judgment until they have sufficient verified data and had enough time to digest it and even sleep on it. They may be willing to discuss things, but you'll notice that they qualify their statements with honesty that they remain open to new information altering or even reversing their current speculative thinking. In other words, they don't suffer from attention-deficit/hyperactivity.
They are pretty much the exact opposite, which must be nice. Ha! Just kidding. It is much nicer than the emotional roller-coaster (sometimes steamroller) of knee-jerk reactions, not that there aren't times to make extremely quick and decisive decisions. What am I revealing about myself here? Yes, I saw more impulsive days. It is nicer, much, much nicer, to be more grown up.
⇧ Obama Administration Approved Gulf Fracking During Deepwater Horizon Disaster
We lack transparency necessary for a properly functioning democracy when we don't know what's being pumped and discharged into the air, land, and water. No entity should be exempt from full-disclosure requirements, which should be mandated by law at the federal level. All such entities should be fully regulated and their executives and shareholders held personally responsible and accountable.
Hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") technology has been widely used to maximize oil-and-gas production in the Gulf of Mexico in recent years, and the government allows offshore drillers to dump fracking chemicals mixed with wastewater directly into the Gulf, according to documents released to Truthout and the Center for Biological Diversity under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
From 2010 to October 2014, the Obama administration approved more than 1,500 permit applications for offshore drilling plans that included fracking at hundreds of wells across the Gulf of Mexico, according to the documents. An unknown number of permit applications have yet to be released, so the scope of offshore fracking in the Gulf is likely larger.
⇧ Newsletter: Real History Of Revolution | PopularResistance.Org
This is the best article I've read at Popular Resistance.
The pre-revolutionary era was a complex time. The Founding Fathers were not believers in democracy, as we are often told, but were elites who used violence to steal property from the indigenous and used slavery to profit from the land. It is important to realize how it was a mass upheaval, or mass movement, that created a nonviolent revolution prior to the war because then we also understand our roles today of being part of a movement for economic, racial and environmental justice.
The Founding Myth Still Impacts the US Today
By not knowing the real story of our founding, many of the difficult issues of that era remain unresolved, such as that US Empire is the child of Manifest Destiny, racism and abuse of African Americans and the Indigenous. Violence and militarism continue to be dominant in US culture. We see that war culture in the Fourth of July itself — bombs bursting in air are represented by fireworks and the military is on parade while there is no celebration of the nonviolent movement of that era.
In July 4th, the Meaning of Democracy, Howie Hawkins describes how US leaders applaud democracy while denying it at home and abroad. The oligarch founders of the nation feared democracy, limited the power of voters and created a government where only 6% could actually vote. Today, US democracy needs major transformations to become a real democracy, and its economy needs to represent not just the 1% but all of us. Hawkins writes, "it is time to declare our independence from the oppressive King Georges of our time in the oligarchy of the super-rich and their bought and paid for political representatives in the Democratic and Republican parties."
⇧ Who Exactly Benefits from Too Big To Fail? - Economic Synopses - St. Louis Fed
Why is having a bank labeled TBTF a problem? First, by being viewed as TBTF, a bank receives an insurance policy against default from taxpayers but does not pay a premium for this insurance. Second, being provided with this insurance creates moral hazard since bank management can undertake riskier activities and reap the higher returns while shifting the risk of default to the taxpayer. Note that the first benefit occurs even if the bank does not change the risk structure of its balance sheet—e.g., even if it does not engage in moral hazard. Thus, it is important to keep in mind that having TBTF status is not just about moral hazard. It is also about the provision of free insurance to the bank by the taxpayer. This latter point is often overlooked in discussions of TBTF.
To summarize, the value of being designated TBTF is capitalized into the price of a firm's equities and its bonds. TBTF provides a windfall capital gain to shareholders and creditors at the time of the designation. But after that, new buyers of equities and debt are paying for that status. Con¬sequently, determining who gets "bailed out" when an institution is TBTF is a more complicated task than it appears.
If the government is unable to commit to letting banks fail or breaking them up is not a serious option, then the best that can be done is compensate taxpayers for the default insurance it provides to large financial institutions. Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari has advocated turning the banks into financial public utilities and regulating them accordingly. An alternative may be to have the government sell CDSs against the debt of large financial institutions. Debt holders would then pay the government directly for this insurance. Having the U.S. government sell insurance is already a common policy: The U.S. government currently sells crop insurance, flood insurance, disability insurance, etc. So it is not unprecedented. While this may not solve the moral hazard pro blem, it at least compensates taxpayers for providing default insurance.
Kashkari's position is the correct one.
⇧ Europeans Contest US Anti-Russian Hype — Consortiumnews
I'm so glad the truth is finally getting out about Russia versus neocon/neolib lies.
⇧ Chilcot report: MPs plan to impeach Tony Blair over Iraq War using ancient law | UK Politics | News | The Independent
A number of MPs are seeking to impeach former prime minister Tony Blair using an ancient Parliamentary law.
Last year, current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the former prime minister could be made to stand trial for war crimes, saying that he thought the Iraq War was an illegal one and that Mr Blair "has to explain that".
He added: "We went into a war that was catastrophic, that was illegal, that cost us a lot of money, that lost a lot of lives.
"The consequences are still played out with migrant deaths in the Mediterranean, refugees all over the region."
And you wonder why the Blairites want Corbyn out?
⇧ The 4 Phases of the Real Estate Cycle (& What All Investors Should Know About Them)
Yes; however, deregulation, privatization, fraud, bubble, boom, burst, bust, crash, bottom, recession, depression, V-shaped, L-shaped, U-shaped, recovery, quantitative easing, fiscal policy, real economy, are also just some of the additional terms to understand within the context provided.
⇧ Real estate industry cultivates while it can | Columbus CEO
When it comes to apartment markets, there are none hotter than Columbus, real estate service Zillow announced in April, ranking it ahead of Seattle (No. 2). "As fast as builders can put up new apartment buildings in Columbus, Ohio, renters are snapping them up," Zillow says.
⇧ Here's Why A Pro-EU Party Could Be Screwed At The Next General Election - BuzzFeed News
Leaving aside the fact the EU is profoundly anti-democratic due to plutocratic and corporatist capture, this article is interesting.
Of course, people have had a chance to see how leave was sold by some who can't keep the promises made. Also, the vote was not legally binding.
I still say that the real question is whether greater democracy is achievable inside or outside the EU. That also means whether leaving could induce greater democracy within, especially if other nations leave.
The best world would be rather quick democratization within the EU without any nation leaving. Unfortunately, that would require huge changes of hearts and minds of current member-state leaders or their replacements. No small task that.
⇧ Brexit research suggests 1.2 million Leave voters regret their choice in reversal that could change result | UK Politics | News | The Independent
"Remain voters want the government to prioritise staying part of the EU's single market while Leave voters are keen to end free movement between the UK and the EU and both priorities are likely to be mutually exclusive."
Within one day of this article, aspects discussed had already changed. The situation is very fluid. The markets went way down, but they came racing back up. The dust won't settle for years, and major events could kick up more dust than already went up.
⇧ Stumbling and Mumbling: Cognitive biases, ideology & control
... what such a platform might be: for me, it includes a citizens income and worker democracy among other things. The point, though, is that whilst we hear much about inequalities of income, the left must also think about reducing inequalities of power.
Well, you don't get one without the other.
⇧ Untamed: How to Check Corporate, Financial, and Monopoly Power - Roosevelt Institute
Nell Abernathy, Mike Konczal, Kathryn Milani:
Until the late 1970s and early 1980s, regulators were well aware of these dangers. Early efforts by the original trustbusters to fight rent-seeking and tackle the "robber baron" monopolies of the Gilded Age were centered as much on political inequality as on economic inequality. As industrialization gave rise to super-firms like U.S. Steel and Standard Oil, the antitrust movement was not merely concerned with market share and economic dominance, but also with the impact of excessive political power on democracy.
Increasing market concentration across the American economy has been a driver of declining economic opportunity and widening inequality in recent decades. In industries ranging from hospitals and airlines to agriculture and cable, markets are now more concentrated and less competitive than at any point since the Gilded Age.1 This growing concentration threatens economic equality and dynamism and has a range of effects that include raising costs for consumers, lowering wages for workers, stunting investment, retarding innovation, and handing a few corporations and individuals in each sector outsized power over our economy and our democracy.
These policies helped generate today's political economy, characterized by highly concentrated markets and extreme inequality. As the consequences of this concentration come into full view, both policymakers and the public are recognizing that it threatens economic dynamism and political democracy.
... the power and wealth of these firms poses serious problems for democracy; financial sector passthrough businesses like hedge funds and private equity firms form a powerful lobbying block. In 2014, the top two campaign donors were hedge funds, which benefit from the tax advantages of partnership structure.25 So long as these businesses are successful in lobbying for preferential treatment and shielding profits from taxation, they will conti nue to direct resources toward the wasteful pursuit of rents. Only comprehensive reforms structural reforms can reverse the trend.
I'm for much greater democratic control than Nell Abernathy, Mike Konczal, and Kathryn Milani propose in their plan.
Democracy always first and foremost: Capitalism should not have any control of anything unless there is permanent, real (fully transparent) democracy first and the People democratically allow the specific capitalist entity(s).
⇧ 12 Home Remodeling Experts Share Their #1 Tip for Homeowners | Home Remodeling Contractors | Sebring Services
This is how these men sell themselves and their businesses: marketing.
Casting absolutely no aspersions against any of them, as they may all be truly fabulous at what they do, you'll be entering into a binding contract.
Do you read contracts before signing them?
Do you only read the documents at the last second?
Do you know what should be covered in the contract?
Do you know why each of those things is in the contract or should be?
⇧ EU tells Swiss no single market access if no free movement of citizens | World news | The Guardian
The European Union is to show its determination to make no concessions to the UK on Brexit terms by telling Switzerland it will lose access to the single market if it goes ahead with plans to impose controls on the free movement of EU citizens.
The Swiss-EU talks, under way for two years but now needing a solution possibly within weeks, throws up the exact same issues that will be raised in the UK's exit talks — the degree to which the UK must accept free movement of the EU's citizens as a price for access to the single market.
⇧ Blame or cheer Brexit as 30-year rates expected to drop below 3% - The Orange County Register
Market volatility is too great to know for certain.
My guess is that you'll be able to find that 30-year under 3 percent commonly within the next four months.
Here's what I wrote in May of 2014:
"Well, we were wondering last year if we'd see the 2's. It really should have happened and would have had Ben Bernanke not started the premature taper-talk. Anyway, now we're waiting for the 3's again due, again, to the taper, slowing the global economy." ( https://propertypak.com/2014/05/27/news-real-estate-risk-economics-may-27-28-2014/#0527144 )
The 3's came back, of course, even though all the "experts" were predicting the 5's.
Now, here we are waiting for the 2's again.
Construction and development hasn't been able to rev up the economy the way it used to because our economy shifted to servicing the upper-economic classes.
We aren't really going to be doing nearly as well as we should be until governmental policies shift to subsidizing massive construction for the lower-income-and-wealth classes. They should not have delayed. There's a serious lag between a policy shift and when constraints can be lifted through the supply and labor chains in the industries that would need to respond.
⇧ Rents in LA Are Rising Way Faster Than Incomes - Curbed LA
Nationwide, nearly half of renters in 2014 spent more than 30 percent of their income on rent; only 24 percent did so in 1960.
These statistics paint a bleak picture, but in Los Angeles the situation is especially dire.
And that's completely a policy choice.
Now, if we had real democracy, which requires transparency, would the People vote for higher incomes and lower housing costs without destroying industries and without letting anyone fall through any cracks, without causing inflation, without slowing growth? Yes.
Can that be done? Yes.
Do the superrich know it? The "smart" ones do.
⇧ Brexit brings call for change: has UK ignited battle for new EU? | Politics | The Guardian
This is what political uncertainty and volatility look like.
Anyone who thinks the economic technocrats can handle it, or should be even allowed to try, is living in unreality.
There is only one solution: real democracy, not the thing the EU calls democracy.
⇧ The Silence of the Left: Brexit, Euro-Austerity and the T-TIP
"Wake up, and smell the coffee" is the old expression. Well, wake up to the leftist arguments for being anti-EU.
I'm for union, but not at the expense of real democracy. What about you? Do you think the EU can be changed from within?
The only way to do that is by changing the hearts and minds of the People so they will change leadership. Would that be easier or faster?
I like Yanis Varoufakis AND Michael Hudson.
⇧ Sanders: Party platform still needs work
In my view, the Democratic Party must go on record in opposition to holding a vote on this disastrous, unfettered free-trade agreement during the lame-duck session of Congress and beyond.
Frankly, I do not understand why the amendment our delegates offered on this issue in St. Louis was defeated with all of Hillary Clinton's committee members voting against it. I don't understand that because Clinton, during the campaign, made it very clear that she did not want to see the TPP appear on the floor during the lame-duck session.
If both Clinton and I agree that the TPP should not get to the floor of Congress this year, it's hard to understand why an amendment saying so would not be overwhelmingly passed.
Let's be clear: The trade agreement is opposed by virtually the entire grassroots base of the Democratic Party.
Every trade union in this country is strongly opposed to the pact. They understand that this agreement will make it easier for corporations to throw American workers out on the street and move factories to Vietnam, where workers are paid 65 cents an hour.
Virtually every major environmental group is opposed to the TPP because they understand that it will make it easier for the biggest polluters in the world to continue despoiling our planet.
Major religious groups are opposed because they understand that it will reward some of the biggest human-rights violators in the world.
Doctors Without Borders is strongly opposed to this agreement because its members understand that it would increase prescription-drug prices for some of the most desperate people in the world by making it harder to access generic drugs.
This agreement also threatens our democracy. We cannot give multinational corporations the ability to challenge our nation's labor and environmental laws simply because they migh t reduce expected future profits through the very flawed Investor State Dispute Settlement system. That would undermine the democratic values that our country was founded on.
He said. "democratic values that our country was founded on."
It's a common mistake to consider the original set up of the US as democratic. The US has yet to ever become democratic. The real values the country was founded on were not truly democratic but elitist. Even the so-called birthplace of democracy, Greece, didn't have real democracy.
⇧ Brexitonomics - The New Yorker
He begged the E.U. to make a tariff-free trade deal with the U.K., and promised that the British "will be your best friends in the world." Farage was articulating the fundamental dilemma of Brexit. In 2015, forty-four per cent of the U.K.'s exports went to E.U. countries, and fifty-three per cent of its imports came from them. Although London is famous as a global financial center, it enjoys that status largely because it's a gateway to the Continent. So, while the referendum pushes the U.K. away from the E.U., economic needs require it to stay close.
Brexiteers insist that leaving will let the U.K. discard stuff that many voters dislike—free movement of labor, high budgetary dues, nitpicky regulations—without jeopardizing the country's access to Europe's tariff-free single market. Matthew Elliott, the Leave campaign's chief executive, promised that the U.K. would "be able to trade with the single market on free-trade terms, without paying into the system or accepting freedom of movement." And Boris Johnson, in a post-Brexit article, insisted that "there will continue to be free trade, and access to the single market."
Tell that to the rest of Europe. ...
... President, François Hollande, has already said that financial clearinghouses would have to move out of London if they wanted to continue to clear European trades, a loss that he said would "serve as a lesson" to those who "seek the end of Europe."
As Hollande's comments suggest, the negotiations over a new trade deal won't be about economics alone. They'll also be about politics.
Genuine European unity must come from below, not above—through the overthrow of the EU and all its constituent governments and establishing the United Socialist States of Europe.
The site's name is "Defend Democracy Press." I trust, therefore, that they seek a democratic-socialist European union based upon grassroots democracy. I'm assuming by "overthrow," they mean democratically not via a violent revolution.
"The United Socialist States of Europe" really isn't the ultimate way to go. It should simply be "Europe," and not say "Socialist," as that should only be determined by real democratic choice and subject to change by the same means. If the People want to allow "private" (not at first in the employee-democratic-ownership sense but the current elitist sense) ownership of the means of production, then so be it. I don't think that would be the choice they'd make after full, transparent, deliberations, but their choice should be honored either way.
⇧ It's Time for a Second American Revolution
On July 4, politicians declare their love for the American Revolution and democracy, while doing their best to oppose both at home and abroad.
Jill is a democrat. Would power corrupt her, or could she stay true to her grassroots, democratic convictions?
She thinks Bernie Sanders isn't going to succeed in revolutionizing the Democratic Party. She wants him to leave that party and join hers, the Green Party. Jill has said that she'd step aside so Bernie could run as the Green Party presidential candidate. No doubt, the Greens would fully embrace him.
Bernie has said that he's committed to voting for this year's Democratic nominee, even if that means Hillary Clinton. He hasn't done what Donald Trump did, state that his vote would depend upon how he's treated, how his campaign is treated, how his movement is handled. There are already Sanders supporters suing the Democratic Party over pro-Clinton biases at the top of the Party's management, which biases were clearly exposed via email leaks.
[The remainder of my commentary on this link was written before the FBI recommended not indicting Hillary Clinton.] Some people believe that Bernie is counting upon scandal to undo Hillary by convention time or even during it. They are counting on an indictment by the US Justice Department coming down against Hillary before the convention.
Conventional wisdom is that the Attorney General will not indict Hillary no matter what. I must say, I'd be surprised were she indicted.
We'll just have to wait.
⇧ Trump, Trade and Workers - The New York Times
About globalization: There's no question that rising imports, especially from China, have reduced the number of manufacturing jobs in America. One widely-cited paper estimates that China's rise reduced U.S. manufacturing employment by around one million between 1999 and 2011. My own back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that completely eliminating the U.S. trade deficit in manufactured goods would add about two million manufacturing jobs.
"... eliminating the U.S. trade deficit in manufactured goods ..." has what to do with how many jobs that were being done in the US are not now being done? I'm sorry, but I don't understand what he's talking about here. One would think that the object is to go well beyond the trade deficit to surplus. We used to be a net exporter. One would also think that new manufacturing opportunities will unfold going forward.
Look, do I think US manufacturing jobs are the be-all and end-all? Absolutely not. Technology really is going to replace human manual labor and even supervisory jobs over such technology. The robots will mind the robots, etc.
We need a universal income sooner than later. I'm for one being put into place immediately.
⇧ The job race: Machines versus humans | VOX, CEPR's Policy Portal
Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo:
If what has changed is the technology for creating future innovations, and in particular, if automation-related innovations have become easier than creating new tasks, then the wave of new automation technologies we are now seeing will be just the first stage before the economy settles into a new long-run equilibrium with worse prospects for labour. ...
We view our work as a first step towards a systematic investigation of different types of technological changes that impact capital and labour differentially. Several areas of research appear fruitful based on this step. First, a more systematic analysis of the efficiency implications and how this interplays with different types of labour market imperfections (which create wedges between the opportunity cost of labour and wages) is an important area for future work. Second, a richer analysis of tasks at different parts of the complexity distribution being automated is an important area for research, especially in light of much evidence that automation will affect not just low-skilled but increasingly also high-skilled workers in the near future. Third, since there may be major differences in the ability of technology to automate and also to create new tasks across industries (e.g. Polanyi 1966, Autor et al. 2003), the extent to which these differences become constraining factors needs to be investigated. Finally, and most importantly, there is great need for empirical evidence on the impact of automation and robotics on employment. Indeed, whether rapid automation does act as an impetus for the creation of new complex tasks is of the utmost importance to provide greater empirical content to the framework developed here.
They aren't sure. I am.
Technology will become creative to such a degree that it will do what chess programs do now but concerning nearly everything that goes into producing goods and services.
It does not mean that computers will become alive with self-awareness in the human sense. It will not be possible for us to know if mimicking ever becomes self-awareness, at least not until we gain God's perspective.
It also doesn't mean that we become less important than we are.
The issue is the reason for the technological advancement. If it is for selfish rather than unselfish reasons, it won't go well.
This is philosophical, not scientific in the testable sense.
⇧ Flooding kills 186 in China, 43 in Pakistan, 23 in India - UPI.com
At least 186 people are dead after rainstorms over the weekend caused flooding and mudslides across 1,000 miles of central and southern China and more rain is expected.
⇧ Vancouver's real estate is 'fuelled by a money laundering bubble': Market analyst | Globalnews.ca
"China has capital controls on and Vancouver has become the money laundering mecca of either the world or North America and something is going to change and change drastically."
The question is what happens to values when new money stops flowing in. Do they necessarily crash? Vancouver has always been tight on development/expansion. I don't think they crash, but the appreciation certainly will slow and might stall and somewhat reverse for a bit due to profit takers who fear other profit takers getting out first.
It will, nevertheless, remain an extremely desirable place to live due to climate and scenery, etc.
⇧ How Tech Is Transforming American Real Estate - Bloomberg
Yes In My Back Yard (YIMBY) is extremely wise urban planning. It does not have to mean accepting environmentally harmful or risky projects though. We're talking instead about cities not shunning the non-rich.
Glenn Kelman, chief executive officer at Redfin, discusses technology's impact on real estate, the San Francisco market and the trends he's seeing. He speaks to Bloomberg's Cory Johnson on "Bloomberg West."
⇧ Sawhorse Revolution teaching construction, building community at same time
Great idea, but I see a number of job-site health and safety issues right in the featured image for this article. Do you?
Okay, stop with the suspense, Tom. Just tell us what do you see?
Tie that hair back.
Is it a hardhat area?
Those safety glasses could fall where and cause what?
We're not talking about highly skilled workers here who have developed many automatic reflex responses to potential risks but trainees.
She won't have someone else holding the material for drilling in real life construction, so why teach her the way it's being done in the image?
Drilling sideways with both hands on the handle is to prevent what, kickback in the face or a wrenched wrist? What about much more difficult handling and control where the drill could more easily get away from the worker?
This isn't about just teaching to use a drill but all equipment handling.
It also about saving on workers compensation premiums. Yep, good brokers want you to save money and reduce accidents and injuries for a whole host of good reasons.
⇧ Phony numbers meant to smear superb Kansas services | The Kansas City Star
The Kansas "Fallacy" Institute, er, I mean Kansas Policy Institute, headquartered in Wichita, is called a think tank.
But that is a misnomer because the folks who crank out numbers there don't really think about issues at all. Rather, they take a preconceived notion that government and schools are enormously wasteful and inefficient, and then concoct absurd calculations to make it seem so.
To what end does the institute spew out its gross distortions? Its stated goal is to shrink government and to dramatically lower taxes. I would add: Regardless of the possible negative effect to services. The institute never seems to conclude that the public is being served well, and that our exceptional quality of life is something worth spending a little more on.
What Steve doesn't mention is privatizations. The object is to shrink all government so certain elitists can get a bigger cut to provide very often inferior services at higher ultimate costs to the People.
⇧ Sizing the 'Liberal Leave' position — Medium
As Jonathan Portes has previously noted, if the result had gone the other way so that Remain emerged victorious, the question about allowing free movement to continue as now would have been stated as "settled" and indeed accepted.
To leap from that position to one that says "free movement must be stopped" after a narrow Leave victory, especially given that this victory was only achieved with the help of because of liberal Leavers, seems like a leap too far.
⇧ The elites hate Momentum and the Corbynites - and I'll tell you why | David Graeber | Opinion | The Guardian
I should emphasise that I am myself very much an outside observer here — but one uniquely positioned, perhaps, to understand what the Corbynistas are trying to do. I've spent much of the past two decades working in movements aimed at creating new forms of bottom-up democracy, from the Global Justice Movement to Occupy Wall Street. It was our strong conviction that real, direct democracy, could never be created inside the structures of government. One had to open up a space outside. The Corbynistas are trying to prove us wrong. Will they be successful? I have absolutely no idea. But I cannot help find it a fascinating historical experiment. The spearhead of the democratisation movement is Momentum, which now boasts 130 chapters across the UK. In the mainstream press it usually gets attention only when some local activist is accused of "bullying" or "abuse" against their MP — or worse, suggests the possibility that an MP who systematically defies the views of membership might face deselection.
⇧ Republicans Talk a Better Game on the Economy Than Democrats | Mother Jones
... Republicans. They've been focused like a laser beam on tax cuts as economic miracle workers for more than 30 years now. The fact that virtually no evidence supports this claim doesn't matter. Democrats, conversely, can't quite bring themselves to make the same unequivocal claim. Are they too embarrassed to just flatly lie about it? Too disorganized to agree on any one thing? Too muddled to make their points loudly and clearly? It is a mystery.
It is not a mystery. The Democratic Party was turned into a pro-corporatist party without transparently informing its busy base that lacked the information to understand the long-term hugely negative impacts of neoliberal economics.
Okay, let's get something straight right up front. I'm no Bolshevik and don't want to go anywhere near it. It was a terrible, anti-democratic Party that used violent coercion even against fellow socialists and even Communists (with a capital C).
That said, I'm including this because it does make clear that privatization can, and usually does, go horribly wrong.
⇧ West Virginia Flood Damages At Least 5K Homes; $10M in FEMA Aid Available
... killed at least 22 people ... estimated the floods destroyed 1,500 homes, ravaged 125 businesses and caused $36 million in damage to roads.
⇧ How Martin Feldstein Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Inflation | Uneasy Money
Too much fun not to include:
Feldstein should read up on level targeting before he writes his next op-ed. Although the Wall Street Journal might not be too happy with it, I am sure that, as a distinguished Harvard Professor, he will have no troubled getting it published somewhere else, maybe even in the Financial Times.