Comments on: The EAST cure for unemployment Wed, 07 Oct 2015 17:23:32 +0000 hourly 1 By: paintcan Thu, 04 Oct 2012 13:19:07 +0000 @OOTS- America could afford to “embrace capitalism” as you put it – because there was an undeveloped continent waiting to be exploited.

That is not the case today. The US is not the new world anymore. We have become Europe and Tsarist Russia and are as class ridden as they were. If 80% of Chicago school children are qualifying for free lunches that means most of the better off kids aren’t attending public schools but their own better-staffed, better disciplined and more expensive charter and private schools. If times get too rough here they will have the educations and influence to pack up and leave for better pastures.

The United States hasn’t actually been totally enthralled with capitalism. It values social equality more to keep some semblance of democratic values alive and a level of income equality most of all. Newports versus Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods were not considered healthy signs of American values even 100 years ago. Roosevelt used taxation to level the peaks and to fill in the valleys more or less the way they use earth to provide a smoother gradient for railroads and interstate highways. I have been hearing about the control of the top wealthiest tier since I was in high school in the 60’s but I never went unemployed for so long as today. The top layer was also larger than to the so-called 1%.

The United State was actually a primitive and mostly agricultural economy until about 100 years ago. Now it is post modern, post industrial and not even money seems to have the solidity it was once assumed to have. Gold has traditional creds with most of the world but gold bugs might be wise to know that if the world monetizes it again it would have to be controlled exclusively by the government and those may very well set a standard value that is far lower than the bugs would like. And they will have to give it up to central government for the value the government sets. Or it is just another speculative commodity.

It is quite possible there is no solution. Alexis de Tocgueville maintained that the French Monarchy tried everything it could to develop the industrial base, to make significant improvements to infrastructure and to see to social welfare needs before the revolution. Nearly everything the Revolution said about the monarchy was a lie and the revolution was the product of the most sophisticated media then existing. It lived on theories and slogans. The state suffered from insolvency and military defeats. And that’s the fact that made the Revolution so deadly for the same reason the Bolshevik Revolution was so destructive for the Russians. A lot of people died for nothing.

Most people underestimate OBL. He knew just what he was doing. He knew that the USSR was made bankrupt by its adventures in Afghanistan and set us up to do the same thing and it’s working. Perhaps he wanted the developed economies to retreat to within their own borders? Perhaps he wanted them bankrupt and forced to attack each other?
I never read a word of his about his theories but I heard he could be pedantic and very boring actually. But I’ll bet he was accurate. Hitler was an accurate critic of prewar Europe. And he hated their guts for what they did to Germany after WWI.

OBL probably knew that capitalism doesn’t live without something cheap to exploit and made more valuable by employing labor. It’s finding resources or labor that are cheap that kept us going for the last 50 years. The old colonialism was how the west kept its standard of living so high and he knew it was ending. The US lived on commercial colonialism and increasing the effectiveness of labor and that was its advantage over Europe. Now it is far more difficult to find cheap resources or labor. In fact: Mr. Hadas, among other things, is saying that the benefits of making labor more effective is almost working against itself now. If technological advance is making the worker obsolete, what benefit is it bringing to the people it is intended to help? Can the machines be taxed to keep the rest of the country alive? That defeats the purpose of using them.

That’s why our time is up. OBL knew that all he had to do was increase the cost of “overhead” and the house would come crashing down. How could he not appreciate that fact? He was the son of a family of wealthy contractors. The Fed is trying to keep the cost of capital down but somehow that isn’t the same thing as “overhead.” for USA Inc.

That’s why the Fed can’t get the ball rolling again. WE are trying to live on the illusion that somehow money can make money all by itself. It’s an optical illusion that lives in Bookkeeping.

By: ParadigmShift Thu, 04 Oct 2012 06:55:07 +0000 interesting thoughts! no doubt, might be very useful short-to-medium term. what happens though when machines are able to do just about anything better, faster and cheaper than humans? are we still going to create artificial and pretty much meaningless jobs then? or, maybe it’s time to start thinking about how to organize life around something other than jobs? …just asking, i don’t have any proven answers. here’s an interesting blog on the subject and a free book in .pdf:

By: OneOfTheSheep Wed, 03 Oct 2012 22:24:17 +0000 @Pseudo Turtle,

You ignored what I said, but purported a “response” utterly lacking. Who asked for a “third choice”? I didn’t. Who asked for your “advice”? I didn’t. You used my identity to get others to read an unrelated rant.

You don’t seem to like debating ideas in public with the “hearts and minds” of readers at risk. The perspiration of American taxpayers that has made America and the associated inspiration America has provided by example and in help and hope to countless countries again and again for well over two hundred years is not something for the likes of you to so casually and contemptuously dismiss.

By: PseudoTurtle Wed, 03 Oct 2012 21:00:08 +0000 @ OneOfTheSheep —

If you read what I said, I did not offer a third choice because logically there is none — ignorance is no excuse at this juncture with the state of the US economy such as it is presently.

This advice isn’t for you because I know you will not take it, having been sold a total “bill of goods” by “America’s embrace of capitalism and historical results (that) has long been a shining beacon to the rest of the world”.

I refer anyone interested in learning the real truth about the US economy from (my favorite) a series currently running in the Asia Times called “CREDIT BUBBLE BULLETIN, Commentary and weekly watch by Doug Noland”.

His weekly commentaries on the financial and economic aspects of the global economy are a “must read” for anyone who wants to understand what is going on with the global economy that is totally free of US censorship. omy/NJ03Dj01.html

A collection of his commentaries for the last few months can also be found at ary/creditbubblebulletin.

Or, simply do a Google search under his name.

Those of you accustomed to reading the “vege-pap” in US “news” are in for a surprise (shock) on how well real news can be covered, and how different reality can be from what those in power want you to believe.

Even The Guardian (UK) business section provides more information than any US source is allowed to do.

The choice is entirely up to you.

PLEASE don’t take my word for it. There are reliable sources outside of the US that will tell you the truth.

By: OneOfTheSheep Wed, 03 Oct 2012 19:57:36 +0000 @Pseudo Turtle,

I am neither a “…fool or a liar…” and I ask you to repeat your first sentence aloud standing in front of a mirror.

America’s embrace of capitalism and historical results has long been a shining beacon to the rest of the world, a promise that, in so many words, that if you do as we do, you, too, can EARN a better life.” You would have us betray that promise? Shame on you.

You have heard the parable of “give a fish and feed for a day, teach to fish and feed for a lifetime”? Well, it doesn’t do much good to teach someone how to fish if they cannot fish where the fish are.

Grow up. It is folly to believe America can stand alone in singular economic success while the rest of the world starves. The ostrich with it’s head in the sand is not nearly as safe as it thinks it is (if it thinks at all).

By: OneOfTheSheep Wed, 03 Oct 2012 19:46:41 +0000 Delete last sentence above, included in error.

By: OneOfTheSheep Wed, 03 Oct 2012 19:45:39 +0000 Kudos, Mr. Hadas! You understand that the first step in solving any complex problem is properly perceiving and defining it. Appropriate remedies are then, and only then, easily seen.

“In the short term, the government should be an employer of last resort, just as it has become a lender of last resort. Right now, all the Fed’s newly created money is flowing into the financial markets. The next president would be wise to look EAST and put cash into the pockets of newly hired employees.” Well, yes and no.

On the other hand, the WPA in the thirties did what needs to be done rather well at relatively low cost. Everyone knew those “jobs” were temporary and none would become a permanent place at the public trough. I don’t think they had much in the way of “benefits” either. Such an approach in the near future (after the election) would be a MUCH better move than the cash presently flowing into the financial markets.

Thinkers who not only can see the REAL problems but propose practical solutions to genuinely address them in a feasible manner are, perhaps, society’s greatest resource”. Well said, indeed!

It can create jobs directly – for example through public works projects – or indirectly by subsidising new jobs in the private sector.

By: PseudoTurtle Wed, 03 Oct 2012 18:01:47 +0000 Are you really as S-T-U-P-I-D as you sound?

The ONLY thing that will bring back US jobs is the reversal of free trade and tax policies that have made the wealthy class richer and everyone else poorer for the past 30+ years!

YES, it really is as simple as that.

ANYONE, whether the person is a government official, politician, business leader or economist, etc. who says otherwise is either a fool or a liar.

By: xit007 Wed, 03 Oct 2012 17:50:40 +0000 So it is Communism – wow that is new..Obama is right with your thinking…every time there is wavering of the economy the freaking bleeding communist come out. This is pathetic. this is just conversation – the reality of the communist world is depraved.

By: paintcan Wed, 03 Oct 2012 17:24:18 +0000 Mr. Hadas. You were one of the few writers who liked classical references. And I think it was Sigfried Gideon who mentioned that fact the the old Roman Empire could have actually started to use steam engines had they had sufficient need for them. They knew about Hero of Alexandria’s Heliopyle but had so much cheap labor in the form of slaves and freedmen, they had no incentive to develop it. They built massive public works to keep as many people employed as possible. I think the ancient Egyptians and even the Chinese emperors were doing the same thing for the same reason. I learned recently on a Chinese site that the Forbidden City is enclosed with a wall that is actually made largely of rice, sand and shells. The material is very hard and long lasting and I think it may have been an attempt by the early Ming Dynasty emperors to soak up excess rice production to preserve price stability. An Emperor in Japan once paid a quart of rice for every smooth pebble brought to him to pave the shore line of a decorative pond in his Kyoto garden (it’s till there) and that may also have been a way of keeping food in circulation at a time of economic slowdown. It’s a bit pricey for small stones.

But today, the US and European governments can’t really afford to make many changes in unemployment if it means lowering the wages. That would tend, inter alia, to drop the wages overall and undermine housing prices and tax revenues. It might also cost less to pay them and cost more for health care benefits.

Politicians have to cater to their constituents and they are working at cross-purposes as much as the King’s ministers were during the closing years of the monarchy in France. The monarchy couldn’t make a move without disturbing some interest that preferred the status quo.

It is too complicated to try to list all the dichotomies at play but one obvious one is – the western developed economies are adapting to aging workforces while the developing economies are trying to employ massive numbers of young people who have educations but can’t find economies sufficiently active to absorb them. But the development of the rising economies also undermines the dominance of the developed economies.

The slowdown in the affluent countries makes it harder for the developing countries to continue to grow and makes them more politically volatile, further aggravating the stability of the industrial economies that feel they must preserve political stability globally. They cannot exert dominion over the world Roman Style and therefore, cannot rape the countries quite as baldly as the Romans could. It costs a bundle to play global cop. And everyone, everywhere, is more astute and sophisticated than at any time in history.

The US can’t institute any massive public works projects or react to changing global environmental or political changes now because it will cut across the interests of the vested in, or dependent on, the status quo at all levels.

To make matters worse: People will live with massive inequality of wealth as long as their own smaller needs are met. But when the wealth becomes moribund at the top and the rest start to hurt – not even wealth will be quite able to “buy happiness” the same way it did when the economies were more liquid. It’s not much benefit being rich if one has to eventually live bunkered against or guarded against the wanting and those desperate to fill the shoes of the well fixed at almost any cost That is the built-in threat of global depression and great income inequality. That is a constant theme throughout history.

The story of the Titanic is so iconic because it shows modern industrial life baldly and all the same class distinctions and attitudes are very easy to update for modern times. And the tub sank. Even the Arab spring is walking on quick sand. “Liquidity” tends to make sand a dangerous substance under foot.

I’m not at all optimistic anymore. For one thing – I’m one of the old and dependent now and whatever gets done isn’t going to do much to help me anymore. I’d be a revolutionary if I could think of one revolutionary move that might actually have a chance of surviving and winning. But it’s so soul and mind numbing boring sitting in the graveyard of Thorton Wilder’s “Our Town” watching endless repeats of the Titanic.