Interesting & Important News & Analysis, December 1, 2019

Tornado warnings were issued early Friday morning and the first tornado developed just before 4 a.m. MST in Paradise Valley. This tornado tracked into northwest Scottsdale and has been rated EF1. Numerous trees were downed and roofs were damaged.

Three Unusual Tornadoes Confirmed in Arizona Friday

NWS Phoenix on Twitter: “We were asked a question if the area has seen multiple tornado days before. Here they are!…Data complied from local storm reports from SPC. #azwx…”

All landlord should totally support housing subsidies. As of the date of this post, housing choice vouchers are far from good enough.

The Rent Reform Demonstration: Early Effects on Employment and Housing Subsidies

Several things led to the fact that the population explosion wasn’t as large as expected and what there was of it didn’t result in as much obvious-to-the-masses-as-it-happened environmental degradation.

The people curbed having as many children for a whole host of reasons too numerous to list here. Technology made food easier to produce and distribute. Libertarian capitalists largely managed to suppress facts about environmental degradation from reaching the mainstream. The technology to produce and distribute food and so-called food has caused huge environmental destruction and degradation.

Armed with those facts, read the following linked-article.

Eco-fascists and the ugly fight for ‘our way of life’ as the environment disintegrates

Concerning the right-wing Zionists colonizing Palestinian land beyond the 1967 Green Line, the Geneva Convention (IV) states:

The undersigned Plenipotentiaries of the Governments represented at the Diplomatic Conference held at Geneva from April 21 to August 12, 1949, for the purpose of establishing a Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, have agreed as follows: … The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

The right-wing Zionists militarily occupied areas of Palestine and transferred parts of its own civilian population into the territory. In what way are the Zionists’ actions not a clear violation of international law?

Furthermore, UN Security Council Resolution 242 expressly states the following:

The Security Council,

1. Affirms that the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

Smoking doesn’t cause cancer, carbon burning doesn’t cause global warming, and gross income-and-wealth inequality isn’t a problem needing to be reversed. Do you believe that?

The Denialist’s Playbook

The talk that dupes by omission:

Sir Ed said the party would raise spending, for example on childcare, but would balance it out by a rise in corporation taxes and capital gains tax. He added: “You can still meet fiscal rules and be economically responsible, and make important environmental, social and economic investments. You just have to be honest about where the money’s coming from.

General election 2019: Liberal Democrats say government should run permanent spending surplus in dig at Tories and Labour

That any government should run a permanent spending surplus is moronic in this day and age, when everybody and his brother knows full well that money comes from governments simply deciding to create more money. There is no such thing as a real money-constraint. There is only price inflation or price deflation. There is only too much money chasing too few goods or services or there is not enough money or too many goods or services. We absolutely don’t need monetarism. It’s completely counter-productive. We only need proper fiscal policy and practices. We don’t need any credit, public or private. We don’t need any debts whatsoever. We need not pay a dime in interest to anyone for anything. The People need to wake up and take over.

Excellent analysis:

The IFS prides itself on being independent and objective. But its analysis often resembles ideology masquerading as science.

We need to talk about the Institute for Fiscal Studies

Okay, the following shows an educated mind. In fact, it was written by Amartya Sen, professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard and who won the 1998 Nobel Prize for economics. However, what’s his article glaringly missing, something that he knows all about?

Keynes ushered in the basic understanding that demand is important as a determinant of economic activity, and that expanding rather than cutting public expenditure may do a much better job of expanding employment and activity in an economy with unused capacity and idle labour. Austerity could do little, since a reduction of public expenditure adds to the inadequacy of private incomes and market demands, thereby tending to put even more people out of work. …

… Democracy should be about preventing mistakes through participatory deliberations, rather than about making heads roll after mistakes have been made. This is one of the reasons why John Stuart Mill saw democracy as “government by discussion” (a phrase coined, along Millian lines, by Walter Bagehot), and this demands discussion preceding public decisions, rather than following them.

… an imagined case for indiscriminate austerity, which does not do anything to change a ­system while hugely inflicting pain. …

… The very process of the formation of human capability, on which Adam Smith put emphasis as the real engine of economic success and human progress, has been quite badly mishandled through the tying together of uncalled-for austerity (which no country really needed) with necessary reform (which many European countries did need).

More than 200 years ago, Adam Smith specified with much clarity in The Wealth of Nations how to judge the good functioning of a well-run economy. Good political economy, Smith argued, has to have “two distinct objects”: “first, to provide a plentiful revenue or subsistence for the people, or more properly to enable them to provide such a revenue or subsistence for themselves; and secondly, to supply the state or commonwealth with a revenue sufficient for the publick services”.

The father of modern economics, and the pioneering champion of the market system, did not have any doubt why the role of the state fits integrally into the demands of a good society. Public reasoning over generations has increasingly vindicated and supported Adam Smith’s broad vision. There are good reasons to think that it would have done the same today had open and informed public dialogue been given a proper chance, rather than being ruled out by the alleged superiority of the judgements of financial leaders, with their breathtakingly narrow view of human society and a basic lack of interest in the demands of a deliberative democracy.

… we need economic growth; and austerity, as Keynes noted, is essentially anti-growth.

Amartya Sen: The economic consequences of austerity

In the article, he lauds discussion but doesn’t call for the People to be democratically engaged in it so they can discuss and decide getting rid of governmental borrowing. Why is that?

Huge mistake:

In latest sign of trade-war pain, the Trump administration announces tariff relief for dozens of Chinese products

… Honoré de Balzac anticipated the broader social concern: “The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime that has been forgotten, because it was properly carried out.” Or, in the more popular paraphrase: behind every great fortune lies a great crime.

… the controlling shareholders of these new behemoths operate pretty much in the same way as Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and the original J.P. Morgan once did. They use their money to buy influence and resist any kind of reasonable restraint on their anti-competitive and anti-worker behavior – even if it undermines democratic institutions.

The Billionaire Problem

What’s Behind the Subprime Consumer Loan Implosion?

… some regulators and investors say the borrowing has gone on too long and could send financial markets plunging when the next recession hits, dealing the real economy a blow at a time when it already would be wobbling.

This low-quality corporate debt bulge, by itself, is unlikely to cause a recession, according to economists and investors. But it could make the next one much worse.

Corporate debt nears a record $10 trillion, and borrowing binge poses new risks

US exports of crude oil and petroleum products – this includes gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, naphtha, and many others – exceeded imports in September by 89,000 barrels a day, the EIA reported today, and so the US became a “net exporter” of crude oil and petroleum products for the first time on a monthly basis in the EIA’s data going back to 1973.

… shale oil drilling is not sustainable at these prices, and investors are losing their shirts.

In 2019 so far, at least 33 oil and gas drillers in the US have filed for bankruptcy. Since January 2015, over 200 have filed for bankruptcy. Others are now jostling for position at the bankruptcy filing counter. Investors who’ve jumped into this in 2016, thinking they’d picked the bottom, have grabbed falling knives, and their fingers have gotten sliced off, including those of fracking billionaires.

Momentous Change in US Crude Oil Market, with Global Impact

Twenty years later, the protesters in Seattle look more right than wrong. The WTO never solved its democracy problem. The inequality produced by ignoring the demands of labor fed the rise of disruptive social movements and insurgent political parties. Ecological issues are at the center of every serious agenda. …

Twenty years after Seattle, Trump is not euthanizing the WTO to realize the demands of the protesters that filled that city’s streets. He’s killing it to put an even more asymmetrical architecture of trade governance in its place: one that contains China and puts the United States back in the position of global control from which it feels unjustly ousted.

20 Years After Seattle, the Clash of Globalizations Rages On

How could anyone support anyone calling for lying?

Behind in polls, Taiwan president contender tells supporters to lie to pollsters

This isn’t even the half of it; however, my position is somewhat catching on!

China’s prosperity and technological progress, generated in no small part by its ability to trade in such high volume with the United States, have empowered its government to do this. Our desire to keep trading with China obliges the president of the United States to remain silent about this barbarity.

In short, the leaked documents make clear that the West desperately needs to recover its ability to privilege political and moral aims over the immediate exigencies of the market, which can tolerate even this kind of repression and in fact may operate more smoothly alongside it. The power of China’s tyranny grows in parallel with our fatalism about it, and our determination to be consoled by its economic upside. But enough is enough.

We Aid the Growth of Chinese Tyranny to Our Eternal Shame