Saturday, 20 May 2017

Reflections on the state, economic regulation and violence reduction

Rehabilitating Leviathan:
Reflections on the state, economic regulation and violence reduction

Northumbria University, UK and University of Teesside, UK

This article argues that some currently influential liberal-culturalist discourses tend to underplay the direct link between violent street crime, economic marginalization and the more ruthless adaptive aspects of advanced capitalist culture. In doing so they consistently reify the state, misconstrue its social role and represent its decline as a fait accompli. There is also a tendency to misrepresent the relative and moderate success in reducing street violence that it once achieved by using its political mandate to help maintain underlying economic stability above the required threshold. Underneath these discourses is a tacit political endorsement of the global neo-liberal project that is revealed by their collusion in the political neutralization of populations and the delegitimization of the potentially democratic state and its vital role in socio-economic stabilization and violence reduction.

Friday, 19 May 2017

I have a dream...

This graph is for Australia. I've seen similar nrs for the USA, about 30% of GDP is rent seeking. Now, imagine that grey area pledged as taxes. And most of the pink area, if not all, shifting its colour to blue. With the rentier excess charge destroyed, you'd have a lower cost of production and consumption. LVT at or near 100% rate would keep land values stable and fair. You'd probably need a progressive tax on non-rent income that only the opulent minority would qualify to pay. A tax on luxuries and an excise on fossil fuels. Patents ought to be abolished too, as they're just another form of rent seeking. Banking regulated on the asset side, being run as a public utility by the Gov for non-profit (my personal preference). Couple all this with a JG, BIG, Single Payer (or NHS)... Oh, orgasmic...

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

They kill pregnant whales but they won't kill Breivik

It's ok to kill rare peaceful mammals with big brains, but it's not ok to kill Breivik. More so, Breivik needs a bigger cell + all the latest video games. *sigh*

Sweden, the tyranny of the SJWs

Also, here's the reaction of Israel's ambassador to Sweden, and I agree with him

Check this out as well

ISRAEL: Sweden has placed Israeli Foreign Ministry and Israel's Ambassador on a Twitter block list for 'hate speech' (Via Jerusalem Post)

Now, that 's MFA and ambassador are blocked - is much safer in reading Iran and others, that were not blocked.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Steve Hall contributes to my recent rant on couch communists

"What the communists didn't grasp, and what today's lazy narcissistic liberal-lefties can't even understand, is that the Enlightenment irrevocably changed human subjectivity - the way we feel and think about the world. Today's 'emotivist' individuals are no longer fit for any form of 'mutual help' society or economy" ~Steve Hall

Friday, 28 April 2017

Hayek & utter stupidity

If you had a fraction of respect for Hayek, this statement of his will erase that.

“It may perhaps be pointed out here that it has, of course, never been denied that employment can be rapidly increased, and a position of ‘full employment’ achieved in the shortest possible time by means of monetary expansion–least of all by those economists whose outlook has been influenced by the experience of a major inflation. All that has been contended is that the kind of full employment which can be created in this way is inherently unstable, and that to create employment by these means is to perpetuate fluctuations.
There may be desperate situations in which it may indeed be necessary to increase employment at all costs, even if it be only for a short period–perhaps the situation in which Dr. Brüning found himself in Germany in 1932 was such a situation in which desperate means would have been justified. But the economist should not conceal the fact that to aim at the maximum of employment which can be achieved in the short run by means of monetary policy is essentially the policy of the desperado who has nothing to lose and everything to gain from a short breathing space.” (Hayek 1975 [1939]: 64, n. 1).

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Cures for stagflation, my opinion

In contrast to Roger Mitchell's deficit spending + high interest rates, here's how I would tackle stagflation.

First of all, rationing, if the cause is heavily supply-side intense.
If it's not, I'd do the following:

-increase capital requirements for banks (because this is more effective at putting drag on the growth in bank debt than rate hikes)

-increase the Land-value-tax (Why? The land value tax in and of itself puts drag on the economy, but it also has other beneficial effects; it lowers production and consumption costs. It leaves the landowner with less bargaining power. People pay less rent to the landowners, which leaves more income to be orientated towards investment and consumption. At least, that's how I see it in theory)

-see which sectors struggle with demand and underemployment, and adjust (increase) Government spending and (lower) other taxes appropriately (aka deficit spending)

Messing around with interest rates, you're modifying the cost of settlement payments. This doesn't deter Animal Spirits. If people feel comfortable with their level of income, and decide that going into debt is good now to achieve their aims, then they're gonna do it. If more and more people feel this way, you got an economy that officially looks good, which leads to more private debt and more private consumption.
Now, mainstream view is that OMF net Government spending is inflationary. I say that's bullshit. If OMF (Overt Money Financing) isn't inflationary, then I don't see how higher interest bearing bonds or higher IOR will be less inflationary. During the war bonds era, they were used to drain liquidity and as a psychological tool to improve the spirits of the population. In most cases, when you went to the market, some goods were rationed. And you also had price controls.
I don't think Mitchell's higher interest rates would solve the inflation part. This is just my 2 cents. Feel free to add your own thoughts.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Trump commits an act of war against Syria

It's truly a fucked up world, when republicans and democrats are more of a threat to world peace than neo-nazis...
And yes, Hillary would have done the same thing.

Also, THIS!
Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate.
~Donald Trump, October 2012

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Consumption taxes are fine? No, they're not

Very disappointed with Bruening's reasoning here.

I reply to him via twitter the following:

--- Matt, by regressive, critics mean that the levy is the same for the rich & poor. The rich won't feel the tax, the poor will.
Also, since you're talking about the US, US Federal Taxes don't fund anything. They simply create demand for the US dollar.
State governments, unlike the Fed Government, are constrained in their spending by what they can borrow, tax, and receive from the Fed Gov.
So if you want state governments to levy a 10% VAT, that's fine. But there's absolutely no reason why the Fed Gov should levy a VAT.
If you want to tax the rich, levy a progressive tax on all incomes, that only the opulent minority will qualify to pay. ---

Whether he realizes or not, Bruening is actually making the case for flat taxation, invoking that a person's tax obligation is proportional to his or her spending. Proportional equity. So the rich pay more, the poor pay less, at the same tax rate. Very strange to see this type of argument from a progressive.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Life is bitter when you see it clearly as a Deficit Owl

People who complain that Trident is the reason they can't have housing & health care are so aggravating. How exactly does a nuclear submarine deprive you of bricks, mortar, medical doctors, and pharmaceuticals? Similarly, people who complain that the Welfare system is the reason why they can't have smaller taxes are aggravating as well. How does a food stamp or a minimum pension spent on output deprive you of extra numbers on your balance sheet?

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

How the UK Left Lost the Working Class

Chris Beck: There seem to be some areas of legitimate concern, but have they made Islam the scapegoat?

Steve Hall: The Islam issue has allowed UKIP to deflect the blame from global neoliberalism, the true source of the working class’s problems. This is the principal service UKIP offers to the establishment.

Read the full interview here.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Concerning Romania & all interested outsiders

The Constitutional Court of Romania just bitch-slapped the opposition, the prosecutors, and the superior council of the magistrates. The prosecutors & the magistrates DON'T MAKE the law. They APPLY the law. There is no conflict between the Executive and the Judiciary regarding Government decree nr 13.

Monday, 6 February 2017

The best article I've read, explaining the shit going on in Romania

Bogdan Herzog nails it.

Update. So I found out that this think tank is a Russian far right revisionist think tank. 😠 I've read many articles in mainstream publications, and all of them were lacking in key facts. This article is by far the most pertinent I've come across.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Double Standards: Where Were the Liberal Protesters During Obama's Wars?

The election of Donald Trump has sent millions of people pouring out onto the streets to protest a man they think is a racist, misogynist, xenophobic bully who will destroy US democracy in his quest to establish himself as supreme fascist ruler of the country.

Maybe they’re right. Maybe Trump is a fascist who will destroy America. But where were these people when Obama was bombing wedding parties in Kandahar, or training jihadist militants to fight in Syria, or abetting NATO’s destructive onslaught on Libya, or plunging Ukraine into fratricidal warfare, or collecting the phone records of innocent Americans, or deporting hundreds of thousands of undocumented workers, or force-feeding prisoners at Gitmo, or providing bombs and aircraft to the Saudis to continue their genocidal war against Yemen?

Where were they?

Read the whole article here!

Saturday, 21 January 2017

A friend shared this story with me

"I was traveling with two women... my partner and her best friend, who is a PhD biologist at our university. I'm at the airports. They were playing the inauguration of Trump, and at one point she mentioned that she was going to the 'women's march' today. Our conversation went something like this:

Her: Tomorrow I'm going to the women's march to protest.

Me: What are you going to be protesting?

Her: Against women's oppression for women's equality.

Me: Where are women oppressed?

Her:'s about women's health issues and against the patriarchy that has prevailed in this country for generations.

Me: Do you have healthcare?

Her: Well, yes, but many women can't afford basic checkups, and we don't want Trump to overturn our rights to abortion.

Me: That's true! But aren't there lots of men who can't afford basic care also? That seems more like a class issue than a gender issue. Where in the country can you not get an abortion for free?

Her: Basic healthcare is more important to women than men, we need it more, and 'planned parenthood' is under attack.

Me: Isn't planned parenthood a privately funded organization?

Her: Well, mostly, but they do get some public funding.

Me: That's great! So we're already giving special funding for women's health, that men don't get. Are there any other areas where women are oppressed today?

Her: Well, women are underrepresented in some fields like engineering and economics.

Me: Aren't men underrepresented in social sciences? Isn't the most powerful economist in the country a woman (Yellen)?

Her: Girls aren't encouraged to go into those fields.

Me: But women outnumber men in almost all universities, does that mean men are oppressed?

Her: 😠well, the march is about providing a voice for oppressed women all over the world, and it shows they're not alone.

Me: That's great! We should encourage the liberation of women everywhere, but would you say that women in westernized countries are severely oppressed?

Her: This election was about misogyny, that is why Trump got elected. I'm going to carry a sign that says, "This pussy grabs back."

Me: But didn't Hillary receive the majority of the popular vote? It seems more like an electoral college anomaly than a statement of patriarchy. Don't women hold power in universities, politics, and corporations?

Her: I'm not sure you understand what women face every day.

Me: Then give me specifics, so I can help you fight against the oppression.

Her: 😡well, it's also about race and fighting white nationalism.

Me: Ahh, ok. I certainly don't want to see that either. But as far as women's rights go, it seems like you should call it the 'Women's Victory March' right?

Her: 🔥😡🔥"

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Monday, 2 January 2017

Friedman and blatant sophistry

Hendry told Ericsson that:
The graph in Friedman and Schwartz … made UK velocity look constant over their century of data. I initially questioned your plot of UK velocity–using Friedman and Schwartz’s own annual data–because your graph showed considerable nonconstancy in velocity. We discovered that the discrepancy between the two graphs arose mainly because Friedman and Schwartz plotted velocity allowing for a range of 1 to 10, whereas UK velocity itself only varied between 1 and 2.4.
Hendry went on:
Testing Friedman and Schwartz’s equations revealed a considerable lack of congruence. Friedman and Schwartz phase-averaged their annual data in an attempt to remove the business cycle, but phase averaging still left highly autocorrelated, non-stationary processes.
As Hendry puts it in the interview:
Margaret Thatcher – the Prime Minister – had instituted a regime of monetary control, as she believed that money caused inflation, precisely the view put forward by Friedman and Schwartz. From this perspective, a credible monetary tightening would rapidly reduce inflation because expectations were rational. In fact, inflation fell slowly, whereas unemployment leapt to levels not seen since the 1930s. The Treasury and Civil Service Committee on Monetary Policy (which I had advised in … had found no evidence that monetary expansion was the cause of the post-oil-crisis inflation. If anything, inflation caused money, whereas money was almost an epiphenomenon. The structure of the British banking system made the Bank of England a “lender of the first resort,” and so the Bank could only control the quantity of money by varying interest rates.
In the book by J.D. Hammond (1996) Theory and Measurement: Causality Issues in Milton Friedman ‘Monetary History, published by Cambridge University Press (page 199) you see the letter that Hendry wrote to Friedman on July 13, 1984. In part it said:
… if your assertion is true that newspapers have produced ‘a spate of libellous and slanderous’ articles ‘impugning Anna Schwartz’s and … [your] … honesty and integrity’ then you must have ready recourse to a legal solution.
Friedman never sued!
As Hendry notes in the interview:

One of the criticisms of Friedman and Schwartz was that is was “unacceptable for Friedman and Schwartz to use their data-based dummy variable for 1921—1955 and still claim parameter constancy of their money-demand equation. Rather, that dummy variable actually implied nonconstancy because the regression results were substantively different in its absence. That nonconstancy undermined Friedman and Schwartz’s policy conclusions.
Friedman and Schwartz (FS) have claimed (page 624) that their UK money demand model was constant (that is, stable in its estimated parameters):
… more sophisticated analysis … reveals the existence of a stable demand function for money covering the whole of the period we examine.

As HE showed – it was certainly a fudge in the FSs models. They wrote that FSs models were not constant once the evidence was properly considered and that the:

… inferences which Friedman and Schwartz draw from their regression would be invalid … [due to biases]
They also report a range of problems with the FS models.
In conclusion they say:

Taking this evidence together … [the FS preferred model] … is not an adequate characterization of the data and is not consistent with the hypothesis of a constant money-demand equation … none of the relevant hypotheses could have been tested by Friedman and Schwartz … without their having obtained a rejection …
Excerpts from here
For those unfamiliar with the notion of money velocity, here's Asher Edelman (aka Gordon Gekko) explaining it in under a minute.