The Polls Are All Wrong

First of all, AP is a hard rightwing organization run by millionaire fundamentalist Christian Texans, some of whom are Christian Reconstructionists, with deep ties to corporate America. AP has a deep Republican bias, and based on their articles, especially by Liz Sidotti, they are pulling out all the stops for the Republicans with their biased reporting.
Much is being made of a New York Times – CBS TV poll on October 27. It showed Republicans with a 6 point lead in the generic Congress race. Other recent polls come up with similar numbers.
However, as I noted earlier, all of these polls leave out “cell phone only” voters. Many of these are young people. So far, the two polls that included cell phone only voters gave Democrats a 6 point lead in the generic Congress poll. That means that the recent NYT-CBS poll is wrong by a margin of 12 points. I’d like some more information on the cell phone only voters polls. Did they poll registered voters or likely voters?
All projections of huge Republican gains in the House and Senate are based on these flawed polls, which are off by a full 12 points.
Now, it’s possible that even with a 6 point lead in the generic poll, Democrats will lose the House. I don’t understand the polling well enough to comment on that. But they won’t lose the Senate. At the very least, I am quite certain this is not going to be the wipeout everyone says it will be.
Many races are very close:
Democrat Barbara Boxer is beating Republican zillionaire Carly Fiorina by 5 points. Boxer will win in a close race.
Democrat Harry Reid is tied with Republican Sharron Angle. Toss up!
Democrat Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey are tied in Pennsylvania. Toomey should have been walking away with this one. Toss up!
Democrat Patty Murphy is up by 2 points over Republican Dino Rossi in Washington. She’s going to win, but it will be very close.
In early voting, more Democrats have voted than Republicans in North Carolina! This means super-nut Republican Richard Burr may lose to Democrat Elaine Marshall!
Republican Ron Johnson is up by 2 points over Democrat Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. He may well win a cliffhanger race.
Democrat Scott McAdams is now leading the crazy 3-way race in Alaska with Republican Joe Miller and Libertarian Lisa Murkowski! The Democrat may win, but it will be close and crazy!
Republican Rob Portman will probably defeat Democrat Lee Fisher in Ohio but it will be a close race.
In a 3-way race in crazy Florida, Republican mental patient Marco Rubio will defeat both closet gay Independent Charlie Christ and Democrat Kendrick Meek.
Republican Mike Lee will surely defeat Democrat Sam Granato in Utah.
Republican Don Hoeven faces Democrat Tracy Potter in North Dakota. I haven’t the faintest idea who will win.
Team Crazy Republican Ken Buck ought to be walking away with the race in Colorado. Instead, he’s tied with Democrat Micheal Bennet!
Republican lunatic Cristine O’Donnell will lose badly to Democrat Chris Coons in Delaware.
Democrat Ron Wyden will easily defeat Republican Jim Huffman in Oregon.
Democrat Barbara Mikulski will easily defeat zillionarie Republican Eric Wargotz in Maryland.
Republican Tom Coburn will handily beat Democrat Jim Rogers in Oklahoma.
Democrats Kristin Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer will destroy the Republicans in New York.
Democrat Daniel Inouye will destroy Republican Cam Cavasso in Hawaii.
Republican Johnny Isakson will defeat Democrat Mike Thurmond in Georgia.
Democrat Pat Leahy will easily defeat Republican Len Britton in Vermont.
Republican Jim DeMint, lunatic, will handily defeat Democrat Alvin Greene in South Carolina.
Republican Jerry Moran will easily beat Democrat Lisa Johnston in Kansas.
Republican nut Rand Paul is tied with Democrat Jack Conway in Kentucky. Toss-up!
Democrat Richard Blumenthal will beat wrestling mogul Republican Linda McMahon in Connecticut.
Republican kook Roy Blunt will defeat Democrat Robin Carnahan in Missouri, but it will be a close race.
Democrat Blanche Lincoln will lose to Republican John Boozman in Arkansas in a close race.
Republican Mike Crapo will easily defeat Democrat Tom Sullivan in Idaho.
Republican Chuck Grassley will defeat Democrat Roxanne Conlin in Iowa.
Democrat Alexi Giannoulias is beating Republican Mark Kirk in Illinois. He will win, but it will be close.
Republican Kelly Ayotte will defeat Democrat Paul Hode in New Hampshire in a close race.
Democrat Joe Manchin is starting to pull away from Republican John Raese in West Virginia.
Republican Dan Coats will easily defeat Democrat Brad Ellsworth in Indiana.
Republican John McCain will easily defeat Democrat Rodney Glassman in Arizona.
Republican David Vitter will defeat Democrat Charlie Melancon in Louisiana, but incredibly enough, it will be very close.

Ireland and Latvia

Uncle Milton engages in his usual sophistry as he shills for neoliberalism again. He’s been shilling for neoliberalism since almost the very day he showed up on this site, but he always denies it. Whatever.

…It was US government directed policy and willful neglect of fraud which help create the property bubble…As the Soviet Union and Latvia…why did they shift away from command economies in the first place…?
Here you call Ireland a social welfare state:
but now you blame their property bubble and implosion on neoclassical economics…?

Ireland was affected by the global financial crisis set off by neoliberalism in the US. UM continues to deny the obvious fact that neoliberalism caused the financial crisis, when it’s clear that it did.
Anyway, the neglect of “fraud” as you put it is part and parcel of the neoliberal project.
Yet it’s unclear whether the sale of mortgages to unqualified buyers and then repackaging the toxic loans to suckers as mortgage based derivatives was even illegal. Apparently it was completely legal! So there was no fraud at all, though there should have been.
There was fraud in the foreclosing of homes after the crisis hit, but this is not what caused the crisis. It now appears that up to 75% of recent foreclosures were deliberately fraudulent. The logical thing to do would be to wipe out the foreclosures and give these folks back their homes from the banks. However, the neoliberals are screaming that this will “destroy the US housing industry.”
Neoliberals always shill for fraudulent businesses, because businesses love to commit fraud. Fraud is pretty much what business eats for breakfast every day. Did you know the Chamber of Commerce opposes every attempt to write new business fraud laws and go after fraudulent businesses? Clearly the CoC loves fraud. Did you know that District Attorneys who aggressively pursue business fraud are almost always liberals and that rightwing district attorneys typically let businesses get away with murder? Did you know that in the US, rightwing administrations typically have by far the worst instances of fraud and corruption? The Reagan and Bush Administrations set new records for corruption and fraud in the Executive Branch.
Yes, Ireland is a social democracy. However, Ireland instituted neoliberal economics in order to deal with their deficit problems after the crash. Yes, social democracies are practicing neoliberalism. Sad, no?
The problem with Latvia was not merely “shifting away from command economies;” all of the Baltic states went totally overboard and embraced radical neoliberalism, possibly as a reaction to Communism. After the financial crisis hit Europe, many countries reacted with stimulus spending to cushion the blow (Keynesianism). All of these countries did well.
However, the Baltics and Ireland followed neoclassical economics and engaged in massive austerity cuts in the face of a major recession. They were rewarded with recessions and depressions, wage losses of up to 30%, 20% unemployment, capital and worker flight, and other horrors.
It doesn’t work. Neoclassical economics is the philosophy of economic destruction.

Capitalism is Bad for Your Health

Libertarian Chuck pontificates (incorrectly) about Cuban health care:

RL:The health care is so great that the rich of Latin America, usually very rightwing people, fly to Cuba from all over the continent to have specialty work done that’s not available in their country.
Chuck: That’s a facade. Cuba saves their best medical resources for foreigners who pay good money to receive health care. They reserve the shit health care for their own citizens.
For instance, here is a story of 26 Cubans freezing to death in a Cuban mental hospital. The government vowed to prosecute those responsible even though the responsibility lies with the nationalized health care system and the totalitarian regime. But Castro can’t flog himself I guess.

1. Cuba has the lowest or almost the lowest infant mortality in Latin America. Cuba’s infant mortality is below the US.
2. Cuba has the highest or nearly the highest life expectancy in Latin America. Americans live only 8 months longer than Cubans, and the US is 4.7 times richer.
Given the above, the notion that Cubans get “shit health care” is seriously dubious. Even if they do get shit health care, it’s better than what anyone else in the region gets, and it’s better than our capitalist health care here in the US.
4. Cuban exiles and other gusano types like neoclassicals love to parrot the notion that Cuba lies about her figures. There is zero, I mean zero, evidence for this. The UN has investigated Cuba and found that their figures were accurate. This is the worms’ worst rejoinder of all to Cuba’s great figures: they are lying.
The story of the deaths of 26 people in a Cuban hospital is most unfortunate, but we have to look at the overall figures. They live longer than we do and they have lower infant mortality, end of story. Cubans get better health care than we do. That’s all there is to it.

Some Recent Failures of Neoclassical Economics

Have you noticed that practically all these neoclassical types do is lie? There’s a reason for that. Their theory is good for the rich and the upper middle class only, and it’s crap for everyone else. They can’t come out and say that, so they have to lie to the 80% of the population who is going to get screwed by their rentier and banker class philosophy and tell them that it’s good for them.
This is similar to the modus operandi of conservatism. As conservatism is always and everywhere a philosophy of the plutocrats that benefits them and some upper middle class folks and hurts everyone else, they can’t very well be honest about the nature of their class war project. This is why conservatives, everywhere and Earth and all down through the past, have always lied. Conservatism is dishonest because it must be. A philosophy that benefits the top 20% while harming the bottom 80% is going to be difficult to sell to the masses if you are honest about, although Americans may well just go for it, as they are just that stupid.
Analyses of neoliberalism in the past few decades around the world showed that it tended to benefit about the top 20% of society and harm about the bottom 80% of society. That is, there is a huge wealth transfer from the bottom 80% to the top 20%. It resulted in damage or collapse of health and education figures in most places where it was tried, and the resulting death toll is surely in the many millions. This is why so many nations have been trying to chuck it lately.
Even major ruling class organs like Time Magazine admitted that decades of neoliberalism in recent years in Latin America had largely failed.
Neoclassical economics killed 15 million people in Russia alone in the 1990’s.
Neoclassical economics has failed to lift people out of poverty. Peru and India have implemented neoliberal policies in recent years. After years of high growth in Peru, the poverty rate remained flat at 51%. In India, after 16 years of high economic growth, the malnutrition rate was flat at 51%. Neoclassical economics is trickle down supply side economics, and we all know that doesn’t work.
The neoclassicals caused the recent financial crisis that took out the US economy and nearly took down the world’s economy with it.
Neoclassical economics destroyed Latvia, leading to a 20% loss of GDP, 2/3 as great as the Great Depression in the US. Housing values collapsed, losing 70% of their value. Wages were deliberately collapsed by the neoclassical government. They deliberately reduced public sector wages 30% and are now trying to spread it to the private sector. So it appears that one of the goals of neoclassicalism in Latvia is the destruction of wages.
Hoover’s neoclassical economics only deepened and worsened the Great Depression in the US.
Neoclassical economics caused a depression in Ireland with 10% loss of GDP.
The top neoclassical economists, including Hayek and Friedman, went down to Chile and advised Pinochet on how to run his economy. They implemented the most radical experiment in neoclassical economics that has ever been tried. The result was one of the worst economic depressions in modern history. However, at the end of Pinochet’s term, workers had lost 1/3 of their wages, and there was a massive wealth transfer from the bottom 2/3 to the top 1/3. Hayek and Friedman both said that neoclassical economics was so bad for workers and ordinary people that the only way to put it in was via a dictatorship. This is why both Hayek and Friedman were huge cheerleaders for the murderous Pinochet.
The countries that got creamed worst in the financial crisis were those that had followed neoclassical theories in their financial system.
Iceland underwent possibly one of the most radical experiments in neoclassical restructuring of its financial sector. The result was that when the crash hit, Iceland was ruined. Its three largest banks went bankrupt, and there was a run on banks. Iceland itself was effectively bankrupt. The banking collapse was the worst suffered by any state in recent history.
The Icelandic stock exchange collapsed and lost 90% of its value. Sure, let’s privatize social security! If Iceland had privatized social security, your social security check would have lost 90% of its value. Instead of getting $1000/month, you would get $100/month.
The cost of the crisis exceeded 75% of the nation’s GDP. Since then, Iceland has been in recession, with a 5.5% loss in GDP, but it is expected to fall by 10%, meaning that Iceland will go into a depression. 500,000 depositors outside of Iceland could not access their money for some time. A giant German bank, BayernLB, nearly collapsed and had to be bailed out by taxpayers. Pensions collapsed and lost 20% of their value. Inflation is expected to run up to 75% this year.

Tea Party Assholes

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydyOTADrCFc]
The usual crap. This isn’t a very good video about their assholery, since it’s made by liberal idiots (Color of Change), but it’s OK.
Barack Obama does not hate White people, White culture, White America or any of that. He’s as White as a Black man gets. This is the language of White nationalism that Beck is using.
When Fat Man Rush calls Obama a “magic Negro,” this is racist language. Among White racists, the phrase “magic nigger” is common. What it means is that most niggers are at worst evil and at best useless. However, they agree that there are a few niggers who are pretty much like White people, but they are so rare, it’s ridiculous. Maybe 5%. White racist forums argue a lot about “magic niggers” and whether or not you should hate them too. They usually say that you should hate the magic niggers too.
Oh yeah. I would like to say one more thing about Rush Limbaugh. He’s fat. LOL!
I can’t believe this Jew John Stossel is arguing for getting rid of anti-discrimination laws. I hope he gets his wish and half the stores he tries to walk into throw him out for being a slimy kike, which frankly he is anyway. This guy’s really gone insane. Remember back when he was one of the most famous talking heads on US TV on 48 Hours. He was always shilling for corporations back then. Now he’s come out as a full-blown Libertarian radical. Wow.
All this shit about Obama being a Muslim and not being an American is racist too. Blacks  aren’t really Americans according to White nationalism. WN says that only Whites can be Americans. Not Amerindians? WTF. And to be a real American, you have to be not only White but also Christian. Saying that Obama is a Muslim from Kenya is just another way of saying that niggers are not Americans and can never be Americans. It’s the language of White nationalism.

Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan

AJ asks:

Neoliberalism works in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. They are rated as the freest economies by the Heritage Foundation. No starvation or shantytowns there. 

First of all, I would never read anything that the Heritage Foundation says about anything, nor would I trust any of their scales, which are probably rigged so that rich countries mysteriously end up with the “freest economies” and poor countries somehow end up with the “least free” economies.
Anyway, capitalism can definitely create wealth. Anyone knows that.
The post asked why it can’t do stuff like feed people, educate them, give them medical care, give them decent clothes and housing, transportation and full unemployment. Obviously, neoclassical economics is a complete disaster as far as all that goes.
Hong Kong is full of the most horrible shantytowns that lack even the most basic services. It’s truly awful.
Singapore is a social democracy. Plus it has very heavy state involvement in the economy (corporatist), unless I am mistaken.
Taiwan is another state in which the state is heavily involved in working with industry to plan the development of the capitalist economy. This is the corporatist model that is typical in that region. South Korea and Japan area also corporatist states. Taiwan appears to be a social democracy. They also did a huge land reform in the early days. In addition, their economic growth was predicated on decades of protectionism as they used trade barriers to protect their nascent industry from foreign competition.
Neoliberalism is opposed to land reform, social democracy in any and all forms, protectionism and trade barriers, and in particular to corporatism.
Even if those countries were running according to the neoliberal model (and it’s not clear if they are), one must ask why it is succeeding there and failing everywhere else.

The Place of Horners Among the Major Races

A commenter asks:

…I was wondering, is it true that Ethiopians, Somalis, Eritreans, Djiboutis, and some Kenyans (people from the Horn of Africa) are mixed Caucasoid-Negroid? What is “Hornoid”? I’ve seen it in a map on the origin of races. Are “Hornoids” different from Negroids? Are modern day Horn Africans descended from Hornoids and Caucasoids, and not Negroids or a combination of three? 

No one really knows what those Horners are. You can make a good case that they are a separate race entirely from Black Africans, sort of midway between Black Africans and Caucasians.

This excellent chart shows Ethiopids, or Horners, as a completely separate race from African Blacks and Caucasians

They seem to be a mix between some sort of ancient Caucasoid and some interesting form of Black African. On some gene charts, they plot midway between Africans and Caucasians.
This interesting map shows both Ethiopids and the San as separate races. I agree that the San are also probably a separate race from Black Africans.

The Failure of Neoclassical Economics in Latin America

Chuck the Libertarian continues:

For all your railing against capitalism and in favor of socialism/Communism, the best controlled experiment we’ve had for that is East versus West Germany. Remember, it was the East German government who had to build a wall to keep their people from spilling out of the country. The only difference was the communist totalitarian regime and the lack of economic and personal freedom that entails.

That Berlin Wall was put up due to brain drain. The East Germans were fleeing a Communist East Germany for a socialist West Germany. It was mostly the smartest who were leaving, mostly to make more money. People like money. And many West German Leftists moved to East Germany in the early days.
I’m not so big on Communism. It’s got a ton of problems, but it was able to do some things well. For instance, in Latin America, Cuba has provided electricity, plumbing, decent housing, access to transportation, good clothing, plenty of food, work for everyone.
Cuban medical care is better than the medical care in capitalist Latin America. Cubans live longer and have lower infant mortality rates than other Latin Americans. The health care is so great that the rich of Latin America, usually very rightwing people, fly to Cuba from all over the continent to have specialty work done that’s not available in their country.
Cuban education beats education in the rest of Latin America. With 2% of the population, Cuba has 10% of the scientists. The have more agronomists per capita than anywhere else in Latin America.
Capitalism in Latin America in general has utterly failed to do any of these things.
They have not been able to:

  1. Provide electricity for all of their people. Even Argentina has not wired up the whole country. The Indian areas of the northeast lack electricity.
  2. Provide plumbing and sewage treatment for all their people. Even Mexico does not provide it for 27% of the population.
  3. Provide decent housing for all their people. Horrible shantytowns are everywhere.
  4. Provide access to transportation for everyone. For many, the only transportation is on foot.
  5. Provide good clothing for their people. Many people are barefoot or practically dressed in rags. In videos of Cuba, one thing you notice is that everyone is dressed in nice, modern clothing.
  6. Provide food for all their people. Cuba has a malnutrition rate of 2%, the lowest in Latin America. Even in Argentina, recently 50 children a day were dying of malnutrition. Even Costa Rica has 7% malnutrition. Capitalism in Latin America has failed in the worst possible way – it can’t even feed it’s own people.
  7. Provide jobs for everyone. Cuba has full employment. Mass unemployment is typical in Latin America.

If neoclassical economics works so great, why can’t it provide food, jobs, electricity, plumbing, decent clothing and housing and transportation for the people of this land? Why has neoclassical economics failed so badly compared to Cuba in terms of health care and education?
If you go to the rural areas of Cuba, you will see an interesting thing. Everywhere you go, you will see happy, healthy, well-fed, well-clothed children. In general, you will not see this in the rural areas of most other Latin American countries. Why can’t neoclassical economics provide for children the way the Cubans do?
In Latin America, it looks like neoliberalism is nothing but a massive fail.

Neoclassical Silliness on the Minimum Wage Again

Chuck is the latest proponent of neoclassical nonsense to grace our blog:

How much worse off would people in those countries be if their children couldn’t work? You can’t apply U.S. ideals to countries that aren’t as far along the economic life cycle as the U.S.

His first paragraph attempts to justify the total failure of the lack of minimum wage laws in the 3rd World to deal with the problems of unemployment or poor pay. He deals with this by not answering the question.
Meanwhile, Cuba has a minimum wage law and has full employment. In the US, there are indeed states in the US South that have no minimum wage laws. I’m not sure what the means in terms of what employers can do, but those states have the worst pay and working conditions in the US.
In fact, you will see an excellent correlation in the US and around the world: Everywhere there is no minimum wage law, you have terrible pay and working conditions, and in many places, you also have mass unemployment. The working man is getting fucked. Countries that have minimum wage laws, on average, tend to have better treatment of workers and better pay.
Lack of minimum wage laws is bad for workers!
Once again, we see the enemies of the workers, the neoclassicals, claiming that they are out to help their worker buddies. It’s a lie. Why would our enemies want to help us? The neoclassicals are the agents of Capital and the rich. They want to get rid of minimum wage laws because that’s good for capitalists. It’s good for capitalists and bad for workers. Workers in the developed world won’t work at a shit job that doesn’t even pay enough to survive. Indeed, the minimum wage itself is barely even enough to survive on. Some say it’s low that you can’t survive on it. I’m not sure if that’s true, but if you can barely survive on a minimum wage, how could you survive on a sub-minimum wage?
Thomas Sowell, a Black neoclassical economist, says that we should get rid of minimum wage laws so ghetto Blacks could have jobs. But the jobs did not leave the ghettos because of minimum wage laws! They left because the ghetto Blacks destroyed the neighborhood, mostly through crime, and all of the businesses fled. There are jobs in those areas, but many young Blacks do not want to work for them. They barely want to work for minimum wage. They consider that chump change. They make a Hell of a lot more money selling dope, which is why they do it.

Government Intrusion, That Nasty Little Thing

We have some commenters railing against “government intrusion.” I’m actually a libertarian on most of the social stuff, so I’m sympathetic about complaints about cops out of control. But I don’t consider a government safety inspector to be a cop.
Anyway, your average anti-Big Government type railing against government intrusion into our lives is not complaining about cops. Was Reagan complaining about cops when he said he was here to get Big Government off the backs of the American people? Of course not. The guy was an authoritarian bastard who ran the Drug War and declared jihad on whisteblowers. When the Tea Party rails against government intrusion and Big Government, are they complaining about cops? Don’t think so. The local Tea Party chapter urges a No vote on Proposition 19, the Marijuana Initiative. George Bush was the most authoritarian President in recent memory.
From the Net:

  1. Safety laws are government intrusion.
  2. Pollution laws are government intrusion.
  3. The law against slavery is government intrusion.
  4. The law against murder is government intrusion.
  5. The speed limit is government intrusion.
  6. Taxing people to pay your salary is government intrusion.

Austerity = Economic Destruction

Neoclassical economics is senseless. It’s the philosophy of the rentier classes who have been waging war on the Enlightenment for 300 years now. If you’re down with neoclassical economics, Libertarianism, austerity, balanced budgets and whatnot, you’re in bed for the forces of the Counter-Enlightenment beginning with Smith and Ricardo 200 years ago.
Recall that these are the folks who consider themselves the “natural rulers of mankind.” The Enlightenment was a move towards democracy and popular rule, and the rentier class has been furious ever since. What do the rich want? The rich do not just want to pay few to no taxes. This is a falsehood. They want much more than that. In my opinion, the rich actually want to be paid tribute! Notice that the war on Obama really picked up when he said some nasty things about rich people? That’s when the media war on him really opened up. It’s to be expected, as all of the media is owned by the rich. They don’t take kindly to insults. They’re still furious over the gunning down of the Romanovs 90 years ago. This was an insult that must be paid back in spades for as long as memory allows.
Want to fix the economy? The change needs to come from the private sector, not government. And if the private sector is frozen up and the banks are not making loans so the private credit market is dead, what then?
When the private sector is saving and not spending, there is a lack of demand and the private credit market is dead, then the state must step in. There’s a lack of money in the private sector, so the state must rectify that unbalance with deficit spending, stimulus, etc, in order to keep the economy moving, lower the rate of unemployment, take care of the currently unemployed, create jobs, etc. This deficit spending and stimulus must continue for as long as the private credit market is frozen and dead in the water.
Neoclassical economics is a joke. Neoclassical economics is what created the financial disaster that blew up the US economy, took down much of the world economy with it, and left us in the mess we are in.
Neoclassicals would have us engage in mass deficit cuts in the middle of a downturn. This is not economic salvation; it’s economic destruction. Look at the lesson from Ireland:
Ireland began cutting back deficit spending in 2008, when its banking crisis began to spread and its budget deficit as a percentage of GDP was 7.3 per cent. The economy promptly contracted by 10 per cent and, surprise, surprise, the deficit exploded to 14.3 per cent of GDP.
This is what will happen in every country that engages in deficit reduction austerity. The more you cut the deficit, the more it grows!
Latvia is the poster child for the neoclassicals. They want all of Europe, especially Greece, to follow the wonderful example of Latvia. Latvia undertook massive deficit reduction austerity cuts and the economy contracted a full 20%. Latvia’s central bankers are currently running a budget surplus. The idea behind this surplus: to lower wages. Neoclassical economics is always about lowering wages, everywhere and in any way. The public sector has already taken a 30% wage cut. Now they hope to spread that to the private sector. Property values crashed by 70%, and homeowners are on the hook for life, since there is no foreclosure in Latvia. And so we have the return of debt peonage. This is what the deficit hawks have in mind for most of Europe: Depressions, falls in GDP of 10-30% and wage reductions of up 30%.
This stuff isn’t even economics, or rather, it’s bad economics. More accurate, it’s politically driven economics. What’s the game here. Apparently a project by the rentier classes (neoclassical economics is the economics of the rentier classes) to roll back 300 years of the Enlightenment.
The lie is that the austerity is supposed to be produce “confidence” in the private sector. This is nonsense. Instead the agenda is political. To roll back social security, pensions, health, education and other spending on human needs, and especially to increase unemployment so much that it drives down the wages – the Latvian central banker was explicit on this. This is a logic of self-destruction. Austerity will lead to depressions, decreasing tax revenue and actually paradoxically increasing deficits. In Latvia, it has resulted in mass brain drain and capital flight as skilled workers and capital have fled the nation.
Clearly, the European nations are not pursuing the interests of the majority of citizens nor even of their industry. This again contradicts an essential axiom of neoclassical economics – that humans will always act in their own self-interest. What logic is there in the philosophy of economic destruction?
The reason is that neither politicians nor citizens are calling the shots anymore. Instead, as in the US, the bankers are. It’s as if we have an International Dictatorship of Bankers. Finance capital has gotten itself into a horrible mess by their own devices. In order to keep their game going, they operate the economy to benefit the banks instead of the logical alternative, running the banks to benefit the economy.
So the austerity measures are to rescue the financial sector. The only way to rescue the financial sector is through hammering social security, health care, education and workers and also selling off government property via privatization. The financial sector needs huge bailouts from the state to deal with the mountains of toxic assets that they are loaded up with. The state can’t loan the money. So the bad debts of the bankers must be passed on to workers and industry. This will be hard to sell to people, so the bankers sell it to us by saying that our poverty today will result in our prosperity tomorrow. Lots of people are buying it, as you can see in the comments section.
For 50 years now, the IMF has been imposing austerity plans on 3rd World countries. The results are dismal. It’s not a road to prosperity at all. It’s been 50 years of failure of the worst kind. It hasn’t benefited those countries one bit. Who has it benefited? Who knows? The 1st World, who bought up public assets in those nations for 10 cents on the dollar? If it didn’t work in the 3rd World, it won’t work here. 50 years of failure is enough evidence. What more do you need?

The Reason for Minimum Wage Laws

From the Internet:

There’s a reason for things like minimum wage, job safety, workman’s comp, health insurance from your employer. Because the last time there were no government regulations employers had 14 year olds working in coal mines. The young girls whom died in the garment fire because they were locked in. Right now supply demand would have employers paying pennies instead of dollars.

Same thing in the 3rd World today, no? Neoliberals are insane. Everything is government’s fault. The free market is what’s best for everyone, firms, workers, consumers, the poor, the rich, society at large, the environment, you name it. Truth is that this is the view that has seized the leaders of many of the world’s nations today, including Obama.

Two New Polls Have Democrats Ahead

All along, the polls that have had Republicans ahead in the generic Congress race have left out cell phone only voters. There are quite a few voters who simply do not have a land line at all. Typically, these are young people. It looks like young people are breaking in a huge way for Democrats.
Now, two new polls, one by McClatchy and one by Newsweek, which included cell phone only users have the Democrats up by +6 in the generic poll. The polls which exclude cell phone only users typically have Republicans up by up to 12 points. Early voting shows that more Democrats are voting than Republicans.
I would like to take this moment to bash Hispanics. Talking to a few of them around here, Hispanics, even US citizens, even 3rd generation, simply do not vote. If I am wrong on this, please correct me.

I Heart Big Government

Erranter contradicts himself in this comment:

I’m against austerity, btw. But I don’t see why you worship the government and think it’s going to solve all of our problems. Have you even been to Europe, Japan, Russia, talked to people there, and see what they think of the increasing bureaucratization of life?

You’re against austerity, but you’re for deficit reduction, all the way to a balanced budget. Deficit reduction is austerity. So you’re for austerity.
Americans, usually White Americans, are always ranting on and on about Big Government. Obviously, as a socialist, all this carrying on has always left me a little bit cold. I have never understand the American obsession, fear and hatred of Big Government and it’s so-called intrusion in our lives. Reagan came to power saying he was going to get Big Government off the backs of the American people.
Tell you what. All you folks who can’t stand Big Government, or government, or government intrusion, whatever that means, why don’t you lay out specifically what you dislike about this Boogeyman called Big Government.
Even show me some examples of this horrible bureaucracy you guys are always talking about.
And don’t talk about cops or military, because most Lefties are not too wild about that either.

Voter Guide for California

Here are my picks for California:
Governor: Jerry Brown (D)
Lieutenant Governor: Gavin Newsom (D)
Secretary of State: Debra Bowen (D)
Controller: John Chiang (D)
Treasurer: Bill Lockyer (D)
Attorney General: Kamala Harris (D)
Insurance Commissioner: Dave Jones (D)
Superintendent of Schools: Tom Torlakson (D)
State Senator: Barbara  Boxer (D)
I am voting straight Democrat down the line this time, even though Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris are complete idiots, San Francisco liberals gone nuts. The Republicans running against them could not possibly be better, but I don’t know anything about them. Meg Whitman is a ridiculous candidate, and Jerry Brown has always been one of my favorite politicians. Bill Lockyer is another of my favorite politicians. Debra Bowen has done a good job. Barbara Boxer is an excellent liberal Senator in the tightest race of her life. Carly Fiorina is a Tea Party crazy who is way too rightwing for California.
Most of the Republicans seem to be unheard of, except Mike Villenes, who is running for insurance commissioner. He used to be my Congressman. He was an asshole as a Congressman, and he’d be just as bad as Insurance Commissioner.
I usually vote straight D, except when I am mad and the Democrat has the race wrapped up, in which case, I throw my vote away with Peace and Freedom or Green.
Proposition 19: Yes
Proposition 20: No
Proposition 21: Yes
Proposition 22: No
Proposition 23: No
Proposition 24: Yes
Proposition 25: Yes
Proposition 26: No
Proposition 27: No
Judges
Supreme Court
Tani Cantil-Sakauye: Yes
Ming Chin: No
Carlos Moreno: Yes
Appellate Courts
Brad Hill: No
Bert Levy: No
Jennifer Detjen: No
Chuck Poochigian: No
Tani Cantil-Sakauye is a good, moderate Republican appointed by Schwarzenegger to the Court. She deserves a yes vote. Ming Chin is a rightwinger appointed by Deukmejian. Voted against legalizing gay marriage. Vote no! Carlos Moreno is a good, solid liberal on the court. Keep him there.
Brad Hill, Bert Levy, Jennifer Detjen and Chuck Poochigian are all conservative Republicans. Vote no!

Boxer is Way Up Against Fiorina

I can’t believe the Republicans were so stupid as to run this woman. She ruined Hewlett-Packard, ran it into the ground and was fired. She’s pro-life and doesn’t believe in global warming. No way would California elect a pro-life, anti-global warming Senator. Ain’t going to happen. Boxer is now beating her by 8 points. Fiorina has had breast cancer, and she recently had to go back into the hospital with an infection a few days before the election. Previously, she was down by only 2 points. I think going in the hospital is what nailed her.
 

The Republicans Make "Pledge to America" If They Win the Elections

Along the lines of Newt Gingrich’s Contract on America in 1994, the Republicans have issued a Pledge to America if they win the elections next Tuesday.
There is much nonsense in there. Much of it is focused on deficit reduction, but one of their ways to deal with that is to cut taxes (LOL). This is your brain on Republicanism. They are always talking about reducing deficits, and then their project is always to cut taxes. Guess what? Cutting taxes raises deficits, idiots. The Bush tax cuts blew a massive hole in the US budget for no good reason that we are still paying for now.
At the same time, they pledge deficit reduction by cutting programs. Cutting spending in the middle of an economic downturn is a terrible idea, but it’s being promoted all over the media and by the rightwingers and deficit hawks. The result will not be economic growth, but economic destruction. The combination of tax cuts and spending cuts in the middle of an economic downturn promises economic harm more than anything else.
In an economic downturn, consumers are saving and not spending. Unemployment is high. So there is a lack of activity in the private sector. This lack of activity must be made up for by increased spending in the public sector to keep the economy moving, to keep people employed and to keep the economy from falling into depression.
As long as the financial mess remains unresolved, we will be running deficits no matter what. High unemployment by itself causes deficits. The spending cuts rightwingers are advocating will only hurt millions of Americans, slow down economic activity and GDP and will do nothing at all to help the deficit, since the deficit is caused by the financial crisis and poor economy and not by excess spending. Only 10% of the present deficit is caused by stimulus spending or excess spending as the deficit hawks screech.
They also pledge to undo Obama’s excellent health care reforms, which were a good start on what’s needed for the country. Much of the current federal deficit has its roots in high health care costs. To the extent to which these can be driven down by health care reforms, hopefully all the way to Single Payer, we can reduce the deficit. Republican plans to unravel health care reform will only make deficit problems worse, while reducing or eliminating health care options for tens of millions of people.
In addition, Republicans pledge to undo Obama’s financial sector reforms. Clearly, these reforms did not go far enough, but they were an excellent start towards reigning in the out of control criminal financial sector, the capitalist failure of which blew up the economy, causing the economic crash and the current high deficits. By undoing financial reform, Republicans will set the stage for more raping and destruction of the economy by the parasitical financial sector, more economic blowups like we just had, and consequently worse deficit problems.
Republican Pledge to America
1. Legalize family inbreeding – The Utah Initiative
2. Make legal “Strike a woman marathon” – Paul Amendment
3. Legalize bigamy – The Georgia Model
4. Close public schools – The Alabama Project
5. Bring back the Dixie Confederacy
6. Change the Fourth of July to “Flat Earth Day”
7. Make Witchcraft legal – O’Donnell Amendment
8. Make science illegal – The Texas Model
9. Make oil spills legal
10. Start 3 new wars
Think when you vote next Tuesday.

Libertarian Nonsense About the Minimum Wage

In the comments section, Libertarian Robert Taylor continues to humor us with fact-free tidbits from the Libertarian faith-based community, this time about the Libertarians’ favorite bogeyman and font of evil, the minimum wage:

Robert, don’t you see who it is you are actually benefiting?? If you raise the minimum wage, you only hurt poor people and small businesses! Why do you think companies like Walmart in the US back the hiking of minimum wage? Because they can handle the hike, but they know that their small mom and pop competitors can’t. You ultimately favor big business that’s in bed with the government.
As for your claims that hiking minimum wage creates inflation, you are wrong. While it may raise demand of goods in the short term, raising prices, it ultimately results in job losses in the long term. Inflation can only occur under the power of a central bank/federal reserve that can print money.

I’m amazed that Walmart backs the hiking of the minimum wage.
Hey, if Walmart pays people better than Mom and Pop Ripoff Mart, all the power to em.
Unfortunately, there is no correlation whatsoever between rises in the minimum wage and the destruction of small businesses in favor of large businesses, the formation of monopolies, or consolidation in industries. These are normal trends in capitalism. And the monopolists and large firms tend to pay their workers worse and treat them worse than small businesses.
Many very small businesses treat their workers very well for some reason. I think it is because they are part of the community – you know, the corner store – and everyone goes there, and they want to be on good terms with the community, so they treat workers quite well. There are a lot of very small businesses around here, and my observation was that they tended to treat their workers quite well. As businesses get larger, my observation is that they don’t treat workers so great anymore. I guess they don’t have to?
Europe has high minimum wages, and there are small businesses swarming all over the continent. Even in Sweden. Go to Sweden sometime. So many small business it would make your socks fall off. The 3rd World is full of small businesses, and there is no minimum wage there. There doesn’t seem to be any correlation between the number of small businesses and the presence of absence of a minimum wage, nor its height within reason.
Rising wages don’t cause inflation? This is some Libertarian revisionism, right? I thought that this is a pretty clear trend in Economics, and there’s a good, solid theory to back it up, too.
As unemployment drops, the labor market tightens up, and workers start getting more choosy about jobs. They refuse to work at crap jobs with lousy pay and terrible conditions. Firms start raising pay and bettering conditions to attract workers, increasing the costs of business. In addition, workers at firms start getting bolder, demanding raises and better working conditions on threat of strike or leaving. The reserve army of labor that keeps labor meek and mild is gone, and the working man is standing up. Firms start to raise wages and better conditions in response to strikes and workers threatening to take off, raising the costs of doing business. Firms pass on rising costs to consumers in the form of higher prices.
It’s simply incredible that neoclassical idiots don’t believe in this most basic of economic concepts.
Appealing to small businesses is a great way to tug at your heartstrings, but Libertarians like Taylor are promoting the philosophy of the Rich and Big Capital, not the philosophy of small business. Every time big business goes up against small businesses, Libertarians, neoliberals and the Republican Party always back big business versus small business. This is a philosophy of the rentier classes, not Mom and Pop’s Struggling Whatevermart.
So when Libertarians, the enemies of small business, try to sell their ideas to us by appealing to the interests of small business, we need to listen hard. Why would the enemies of small business promote a theory supposedly to better small business?
They would not.
Taylor also tries to stand up for the poor here. The Libertarians and neoliberals hate the poor. There’s probably no one they hate more than poor people, except maybe Leftwingers. Libertarian theory is a theory of the rentier classes whose ancestors were the landed gentry and monarchists of Europe. These are the “natural rulers of mankind.” They’ve been pissed off at progress since the Enlightenment, and Libertarianism is their way of fighting back. Why would the enemies of the poor try to sell us their theory on the grounds that it benefits the poor?
Surely they would not.
A commenter earlier quoted an article on LewRockwell.com, an extremely racist anti-Black website associated with Ron Paul, saying that if we got rid of the minimum wage, we could put all these unemployed inner city Blacks to work at $4-5/hour. Hell, why not $1/hour? So much more “efficient.” Interesting argument that seems to make intuitive sense, however, inner city Blacks won’t work for $4-5/hour. Neither will I. Neither will just about anyone. They will tell the owner to fuck off and walk away. Who will work that low? Illegal aliens, maybe?
The minimum wage is great for poor people, as long as you don’t raise it too high. If you raise it too high, it’s true that you can cause some job loss. It puts a lot more money in the hands of the poorest working people, and they spend every nickel of it and then some.

Deficits 101

Uncle Milton in the comments:

To Rob:Maybe I should be like Dick:
Cheney to Treasury: “Deficits don’t matter”
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill was told “deficits don’t matter” when he warned of a looming fiscal crisis.
O’Neill, fired in a shakeup of Bush’s economic team in December 2002, raised objections to a new round of tax cuts and said the president balked at his more aggressive plan to combat corporate crime after a string of accounting scandals because of opposition from “the corporate crowd,” a key constituency.
O’Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone-posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. “You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don’t matter,” he said, according to excerpts. Cheney continued: “We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due.” A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired.
Looks like Paul O’Neil was prescient. (and early…)

What Uncle Milton fails to understand is that it’s not the deficit itself that is so important, but more what is causing it.
If you figure out what is causing the deficit, then you can figure out how to deal with it. Bush was running up huge deficits by tax cuts and massive spending on wars. The way to deal with that is to get rid of the tax cuts and stop fighting the wars.
The present deficit is being 90% caused by the present financial crisis. Only 10% of it is being caused by stimulus spending. So there goes the whole rightwing argument that the deficit is due to excess spending.
As long as the financial crisis persists, the deficit will persist. No amount of austerity measures will actually reduce the deficit in the midst of this crisis. All deficit reduction will do is harm citizens and workers and also harm the economy via decreased government spending. So we have to decide what kind of deficit we want to run. Do we want to run a positive deficit by putting people back to work, etc. or do we want to run a negative deficit via decreased tax revenues and a slowed down economy, possibly progressing to Depression and deflation?
With high unemployment, governments will run deficits. It’s inevitable. These unemployment-driven deficits will continue for as long as the high unemployment goes on. Austerity will not drive down these deficits. It will just cause declines in the economy, possibly leading to depressions or even deflation.
Deficit hawks say the main danger from deficits and the reason we need to engage in austerity measures right now is that deficits will lead to increases in interest rates. The present interest rate from the Fed is 0%. However, they are probably referring to interest rates on long-term federal bonds. Low deficits will be rewarded in low interest rates for US government bonds (a good thing), whereas the bond market will punish fiscal irresponsibility by raising interest rates on US government bonds.
Let’s see if there is anything to that. Interest rates on 10 year US bonds are currently 4%, low by historical standards. In 1990, they were at 8%, and that was when we had not only a balanced budget but a budget surplus, which George Bush promptly blew. So, looking 10 years out, the bond market is not worried at all about US deficits and is not punishing the government for its deficits by higher interest rates. So the theory is not working. There is no risk of high interest rates at the moment. The deficit hawks’ argument is revealed to be a gigantic lie.
Another argument is that bond markets can change at any minute. We have to reduce deficits now because the bond market could change at any time. But this makes no sense. If the bond markets are irrational, all arguments towards rationality along the lines that the bond markets punish irresponsibility and reward austerity vanish. We are not dealing with a rational market here. And if the market is irrational, it makes sense to borrow now as long as it is offering good deals (low interest rates so the state can borrow cheaply).
Another argument is that deficits lead to the risk of inflation.
There is little to no inflation in the US at the moment, so this argument appears to be hogwash as far as right now anyway. Core CPI inflation is running at 1%. The opposite of inflation, deflation, is actually the worry here.

Libertarian Nonsense on the Minimum Wage

John Stossel and other libertarians would argue that if a minimum wage is good for workers, why not raise it even more? why not 20, 50, or $100 per hour?

That POS Jew is officially a Libertarian now? He was the favorite journalist on ABC’s 48 Hours for many years.
First of all, neither John Stossel, nor any Libertarian alive, cares what is good for workers, so why should he even talk. Libertarians are the enemies of all the workers of the world, why are they talking to us about what is good for workers and what is not?
There is a limit to how high you can raise the minimum wage. I’m sure these Libertarian assholes know that. If you raise it too high, firms just won’t hire more workers. They will figure out other ways to deal with the problem instead. You can only raise the minimum wage so high. Plus you run into inflationary risks. This is Economics 101. The nonsense these guys spout is so silly that you think that either they must know they are lying and they don’t care, or else they’re so brainwashed, they actually believe this BS.
There are crappy countries all over the 3rd World with no minimum wage. They not only have shit wages, contrary to Libertarian theory that no minimum wage is worker paradise, but they also often have very high rates of unemployment, contrary again to Libertarian crap that no minimum wage gets rid of unemployment (As if they care about unemployment!).
We really need to be careful when the enemies of the workers (the Libertarians and other shills for the capitalists) tell the workers that they know what’s good and what’s bad for them. I mean, your enemy is telling you what to do and what not to do. Forget that! My enemies would probably give me some poisoned food and tell me it’s caviar. If I was offered a job making $100K/yr, they would try to convince me not to take it.
Libertarians, as the agents of the capitalists, are trying to convince workers that what is good for workers is actually bad for them, and what is bad for workers is actually good for them.
I generally feel the minimum wage should be at a level equivalent to the wage in 1968. Or it should be a given percentage of the average wage (usually 50% or so). California’s minimum wage is $8/hour. That seems about right. The federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour. Pretty good, but I think it should be $8/hr like California’s.

More Debt and Deficit Sophistry

Japan’s is one of the highest on Earth – it is ~216% of GDP. Has their bond rating been creamed yet, and have they been afflicted with mass capital flight? Are investors unwilling to invest in Japan and therefore not doing so?
Mass capital flight can occur when you have external investors (unlike the US) Japan has almost none. (And as with the US their debt is payable in their own currency…)
There are three very big differences between Japan and the US in regards to debt…around 50% percentage of US debt is held externally (mostly by foreign central banks so that the currencies of respective nations do not rise appreciably against the US dollar, it’s good to be the king until you are overthrown…) whereas almost all of Japan’s debt is held internally, the US has a substantial trade deficit whereas the Japan has run trade surpluses for years (even if the Japanese Yen were to go kaput Japan makes more products that the world wants than it buys), and the US is a net debtor nation whereas Japan is a net creditor nation.
The US has incentive to eventually renege on it’s debt either by outright default or by de facto default by printing money.
US debt held by foreigners
Total US debt
Note usually when we speak of US debt we speak of Debt Held by the Public as opposed to total US Public Debt which includes intergovernmental holdings. If we were to compare total US debt to GDP, then the US would hit more than 100% debt to GDP ratio by next year.
There’s another option to massive deficit spending…raise taxes on fuel (70% is imported…) on consumer items (a huge chunk of which is imported – exclude food, drugs, and clothing…) and on the wealthy (above 150k for individuals…) and reduce our overseas military exposure. These steps would align the US more closely to the EU tax structure. I place the possibilities of the aforementioned in the near future (2 to 5 years…) as somewhere between Bob Hope and no hope but believe eventually all of the above will be adopted.

Uncle Milton, a deficit hawk, repeats common falsehoods about the US debt. First of all, Japan had little to external investment before it ran up all that debt, and it has none now. So there was no loss of external investment with debt run-up. True, Japan’s debt is held internally.
The US debt is the 3rd lowest in the developed world. Hardly anything to get exercised about.
Uncle Milton plays the game of comparing debt held by the public (the only meaningful measure) with total debt, which includes intergovernmental debt, which is meaningless. Intergovernmental debt is where the government borrows from itself, for instance dipping into the Social Security trust fund. It’s not an important debt measure and it’s never used when comparing comparative debt burdens between states.
Why do deficit hawks constantly bring up the meaningless intergovernmental debt? Because it produces a nice big fat number that scares people and makes them want to make the budget cuts that the deficit hawks slaver over. A phony number, but a big number. Another phony game they play is to add up all US federal debt, all state and local debt, and all consumer debt. Then they come up with some number that says that the US has more debt that any other country on Earth. But that’s not a meaningful or important measure last time I checked. It’s just another phony game they use to scare people into making cuts.
A number that is typically tossed about is 100% of GDP held by the public. At that point, you start running into the risk of a debt crisis. At the current rate of growth, our debt will hit 100% of GDP in 2074, and that is with a fake deliberately low rate of economic growth projection from the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO deliberately made up this fake low rate of growth in order to justify heavy spending cuts. So we will hit a possible crisis in 2074. Is that anything to get exercised about right now? I think not.

Deficit Reduction

Erranter, a fiscal conservative, is in the comments attempting to justify the deficit reduction going on in the developed world:

But either way the fear of defaulting on debt is one of the main reasons for cuts, if not the reason. I think the UK is alright, mainly for historical reasons, along with Japan and the US, even if they went over 100 percent, but “newer” economies such as Spain and Greece don’t have as much credit history to back themselves up and are therefore making the cuts to show that they’re serious about fiscal stability. 

Japan’s is one of the highest on Earth – it is ~216% of GDP. Has their bond rating been creamed yet, and have they been afflicted with mass capital flight? Are investors unwilling to invest in Japan and therefore not doing so? Of course not. So I wonder about all of this.
Erranter is right though. It’s the investors and bond markets who are calling the show here. The governments are making the cuts because they are afraid that if they do not, they will get hit by the investors via the bond markets. It’s not justifiable in the US or UK, it hasn’t happened in Japan, but I can’t speak of elsewhere.
Shall I point out what is going on here? The international investor class (the internationalist rich who are the enemies of every poor and middle class person on Earth) are ordering national governments around and telling them what to do. National sovereignty is gone. Nations no longer even rule themselves. They are ruled by the international elite rich who pursue their own interests.
So really what we have now is an International Dictatorship of the Rich, and all of world’s nations live under this dictatorship as subjects.
Apparently the dictatorship has told many world governments that social democracy is unsustainable and therefore needs to go. Not surprising, as they’ve always hated it anyway. And apparently governments are starting to obey. The rich, the world media and the elites could not be happier. They have hated social democracy since the day it was born and have spent the last century plotting ways to destroy it. Now maybe they found one.
What this points out, I think, is that capitalism sucks! I’ve been saying this over and over on this site, but few seem to listen to me. The World Capitalist Class has told the nations of the world that social democracy has to go. It’s actually blackmail. If you don’t get rid of it, we will cut off your loans and investment and drive you to the poorhouse.
So we can have one or the other, capitalism or social democracy, but not both. I don’t want to live in a world like that, and I don’t want to live under a capitalist regime like that.
Fuck it. I’m outa here. Try something else.

More Neoliberal Insanity

Another rightwing Libertarian who also happens to be part of the race realist and PUA/men’s rights communities (Who would have guessed?) has ventured into our comments section pushing insane neoliberal snake oil:

By the way, I’m in agreement with your argument as posed to Robert Lindsay. There is no concept of “evil capitalist” because if they were evil they would become uncompetitive as less evil capitalists took their productive workers from them. In short, the free market would beat the evil right out of these employers.Eventually, as economist Gary Becker has pointed out, these inefficient employers will shoot themselves in the foot.
Tangentially, that’s the reason this legislation for the Paycheck Fairness Act – which hopes to eradicate discrimination against women by closing the mythical 23 cent pay gap between men and women – is illogical. Businesses and ultimately consumers don’t care who has jobs and makes goods and adds value. If a woman of equal education and equal ability made 77 cents to a man’s $1, a smart firm would come along and pay that woman 78 cents. This would continue until that gap was effectively closed.

More neoclassical insanity. This stuff works in theory, but not in the real world. In fact, I am amazed that you guys act like you actually believe this nonsense. You’re lying, right? You know this is all crap, right, and you’re saying it to sell the proles a good line that works great for the rich and screws everyone else? Because if you actually believe this nonsense, you are deluded.
The real world simply does not work this way. With mass unemployment, firms do not compete for workers by offering higher wages. They don’t do this in the 3rd World either. They hardly do this anywhere. The general trend is for capitalists to pay less for labor. The capitalist always try to pay the least for his labor as he can possibly get away with.
Let’s look at the construction industry. This used to be a high-paying industry with good jobs paying what would now be $33-40/hour. The work was all unionized. The capitalists, in order to pay less, broke all the unions, at least here in California. They went through the sectors breaking the unions one by one. Then the capitalists flooded the US with illegal alien labor. The capitalists started using the illegal alien labor to outcompete each other. This is still going on in California as I speak. Eventually, most of the unions were broken, the wages had fallen from $37 to ~$10/hour, and the field was flooded with cheap labor, legal and illegal.
There are still some places around that pay good wages. There are painters paying $25/hour, but they are always in danger of being taken out by the illegals making $10/hour. My friends work for local White construction companies who treat their workers like shit and are always threatening to replace them with “Mexicans” = illegal aliens. I believe that construction workers are generally treated much more poorly here in California now than they were in the era of unionized construction work.
There are zero, I mean zero, construction firms here in California in the past 20 years who are competing with other firms to pay workers more or treat them better in order to drive all the others out of business. It doesn’t happen.
Let’s look at the meatpacking industry. These used to be high-paying jobs that paid around $17-25/hour. It was mostly working class Whites working at them. The unions were all broken and the jobs were filled with illegal aliens working minimum wage. Working conditions crashed and workers are seriously treated like shit.
Not one meatpacking firm has opened up to pay workers and treat them better to outcompete the other firms.
Let us look at the IT industry. This used to be a place where you could make a good wage. However, the industry was mad about workers being paid so well, so they started importing Hindu 1-B guest workers from overseas to drive down wages in order to maximize their profits. This crashed wages in the field to the point where no sane White American would go into this field. I’m not sure about working conditions, but I am told that many workers now work in Hindu IT “sweatshops,” for their Hindu scum bosses who treat them abysmally in the time-honored Indian way that the working man has always been treated in that blighted land. So apparently working conditions have taken a dive too.
One would think that some enterprising firms would have sprung up to pay workers well and hire all the workers away from the firms hiring the Hindu 1-B invader-thieves, but this has not occurred. Why not?
Taxi driver used to be a good job. For some reason, it’s not anymore. The field has been taken over by fly by night firms, mostly run by shady immigrants, who hire downtrodden immigrants to work very long hours for terrible pay, sometimes possibly below the minimum wage. The field has been nuked, worker-wise.
Not one taxi company has sprung up to pay workers better and drive all the other firms out of business. Not one.
Short-haul truck driver (not big rigs) used to be a great job. My working class White friends used to work in these jobs. The field is gone. It’s all Mexicans, mostly illegals. The firms are all run by criminals. The workers lease out the trucks, but they make so little (really below minimum wage) that they can’t keep the trucks up, so the trucks are always falling apart. This damages our roads and is a safety problem. The workers are overworked, downtrodden and poorly paid.
Not one trucking firm has stepped in to drive the others out of business by offering the workers better wages or working conditions. Not one.
All over the US, firms head to US South, where wages are lower and unions are scarce. Many states have anti-union right to work laws. Suppose I am in Ohio. I wish to compete with firms who moved to the South in search of non-union cheap labor. I open up my firm and say everyone come work for me as I will pay you and treat you better. How many workers are going to leave South Carolina to come up to Georgia and work for me? None.
So this doesn’t happen. Firms don’t compete with firms who moved to the South by offering better wages.
If companies competed on wages to hire workers, they would be happier with unions. Unions only want the best for their workers in terms of wages and working conditions. Most reasonable unions are not trying to drive the firm out of business in a suicidal gesture. Yet firms hate unions and do anything to keep them out because the union will try to force the firm to raise wages and improve working conditions.
In the 3rd World, unionists are regularly murdered, to the cheers of the capitalist world, its media and its militaries. In fact, one of the main strategies of US imperialism in the 3rd World has been to encourage a “kill the unionists” campaign. US imperialism teaches this philosophy via its imperialist military, CIA and their institutions such as police and military training programs and the School of the Americas in Georgia. If firms were happy to compete on wages, they would embrace unions rather than kill their members.
Most of the 3rd World is characterized by crap wages far below what the capitalists could easily afford to pay and abysmal working conditions.
One would think that firms in the 3rd World would be competing by raising wages and bettering working conditions to drive each other out of business. Yet it simply does not occur. Why not?
Nowadays, things have moved away from the field of the nation to the supranational playing field. So firms in the US compete by closing US plants and moving them overseas where labor is cheaper. Now suppose I have a firm in the US. I want to compete with these firms moving jobs overseas in search of cheap labor. I set up a plant here in the US to be the good guy and tell all the workers to come work for me because I have the best wages and whatnot. I will still be driven out of business because the worker pool I am competing with is physically overseas! The workers can’t exactly leave China to come work in my New York firm, now can they?
In Europe, in the US, in the Developed World in general, what we see is firms competing by trying to drive wages and working conditions down as low as they can get them. In the US, unions and strikes are broken, illegals and Hindu 1-B and other guest worker job thieves are imported from overseas and hired, jobs are moved overseas and workers are always told to take pay and benefit cuts.
One would think that some firms could open up to hire only American workers and refuse to hire illegals, and to pay workers and treat them better to outcompete the other firms. Yet this is not occurring. Why not?
I am thinking of my town here. I can’t think of any firms in this town who are competing for workers with other firms by trying to pay them better or treat them better to drive the competition out of business. If anyone knows of any, could you please let me know?
It’s really amazing how this nonsense has taken over the world of Economics. The truth is that if you want a job in Economics nowadays, all jobs (or 90%+ of them) are for neoclassical (neoliberal) Economists. There are no jobs for Economists from any other schools. It’s interesting to theorize why this is. Most economists nowadays work for capitalist firms. Capitalist firms only want to hire neoclassical economists, because neoclassical is what the capitalists want to hear – it’s the economic school (religion) most acceptable to them. All or most of the economic textbooks, journals, and schools are neoclassical.
As you can see from the nonsense and insanity that the resident Libertarians in our comments section regularly, spout, neoclassical, Austrian or Libertarian economics is mostly a bunch of nonsense. It’s  more of a religion than anything else. Unfortunately, most economic schools are religions, because in general, economics only works on a small scale (microeconomics) and tends to fall apart when it moves towards a larger view (macroeconomics). Most of them just publish a bunch of crap that their audience or school wants to hear, and this is how the school builds itself on and on. Based on the blatherings of our neoclassical friends in the comments, we can see there’s little empirical basis for most of it.
Adam Smith wrote some fine texts, but most of it seems to be nonsense. He was correct in one way in that he was writing against the Mercantile School of Economics.
Most nations ran Mercantile economics, where most of the trade was run by the state – sort of a state capitalism. It doesn’t work very well, but it worked well enough for a long time. Mercantilism is monopoly economics. The state runs everything. It regulates the prices of the capitalists, etc., because the state is competing against other nations. When England is competing with France, it needs its capitalists to be in line with its competitive strategy vis a vis the French, not secretly working with the French against England. You can’t allow French firms to come in to England and set up shop and run all of the British producers of some industry out of business.
However, Smith was writing in opposition to Mercantilism in favor of a free market. So Smith was anti-monopoly. Now all neoclassical economists are in favor of monopolies, although they usually don’t come right out and say so. This is because monopoly is the natural end result of capitalism.
David Ricardo is the king of the neoclassical scholars. He was some Jew who didn’t even have much of an education. He went into the family business and got stinking rich, and then wrote up a great economic theory that told the rich everything they wanted to hear. It’s mostly a bunch of nonsense and crap, but it’s still taking the world by storm, because it’s what the elites want to hear, and in capitalist society, as Gramsci notes, elites make culture – the dominant culture or bourgeois culture is that of the rich. In other words, under capitalism, everyone, the rich and the upper middle class (who need no schooling), the middle class, the working class and the poor all adopt the ways of thinking of the rich. The rich replicate their culture across all of society.
There used to be how many Mom and Pop stores in the US? Now there’s Walmart.
There’s how many OS and major software makers? One, Microsoft. There used to be countless firms.
There used to be countless media firms across the US. Now there are only a few. Less than 10 media firms, all rightwing, control almost all US newspaper, newsmagazine and TV news.
There are how many firms making microprocessors? Intel and who else?
There are how many car firms in the US? And how many in the world?
As you can see, capitalism tends more and more towards monopoly. It’s a natural tendency in a free market, and it’s only arrested via government intervention. In a monopoloy market, most of the silly economic notions of the neoclassicals go out the window. There’s no competition, so firms charge the highest price they can, abuse their workers the most and make the crappiest products that they can possibly get away with. Sure, there’s no law forcing them to do so, the neoclassicals would say, I suppose. Sure you could have a monopolist that charged low prices, made great products, and treated their workers great. But it never works that way, and anyway, nowadays, any monopolist who tried to do that would be fired by his stockholders.
Over the past 100 years, we have built up a huge amount of evidence that shows that monopolies are bad for consumers, workers and the industry itself. They treat workers poorly, abuse consumers, charge high prices, and make crappy products. They harm the industry by retarding its development. This scholarship is excellent and is beyond challenge.
In the 1970’s, the late Jewish economist Milton Friedman developed his theory of neoliberal economics around an eager group of acolytes at the University of Chicago. He has since become a demigod in the field (most economists now are Friedmanites) and the mass media adores him. His school spent many years writing a cavalcade of books, journal articles, etc. overturning 100 years of scholarship on monopolies that proved all of what we discussed in the last paragraph.
The Friedmanites “proved” via long tomes, complex mathematical models and a sea of “evidence” that monopolies to do not raise prices, abuse consumers and workers or produce crap products. In fact, they don’t even hinder competition. All laws against monopolies must therefore be overthrown. Exactly what the capitalists wanted to hear.
It’s all crazy, and it’s a pack of lies as high as the day is long; there’s no truth in any of it. But his theories (LOL) about monopolies have since gained huge currency not only in the Republican Party (Oh really?) but in large sectors of the Democratic Party, including liberals (huh?). It’s very popular with journalists, including many liberal journalists. And it’s about as reasonable as believing in a flat Earth.
Gary Becker is quoted by the Libertarian commenter above saying some nonsense about firms that try to lower wage costs as being “inefficient” (LOL). Gary Becker is an idiot who has somehow been awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics (LOL) for his stupid crap. He’s a Friedmanite, and much of what he writes is nonsense and crap, like all of them. But this guy won the Nobel Prize in Economics and is considered to be one of the world’s top economics scholars (LOL). That shows you what a joke this field is.
Yet most economists nowadays are Beckerians. So are most capitalists (duh). More frightening, most journalists all over the world are Beckerians, as are the politicians running most of the countries on Earth.
The world has gone insane.

Rightwing Agenda in the UK Makes No Sense

The party in power in the UK right now is called the Condems. It’s a cross between the Conservatives or Tories and the Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dems have the support of about 14% of the population.
The Tories ran on a platform renouncing the extremely unpopular policy of  Thatcherism. Note that Thatcher was not able to push through much of her agenda. The wildest thing she tried to do was the poll tax, basically a regressive tax on the poor and working class, and the protests against that nearly caused a street revolution in the country. She’s probably the most hated British politician of the past 100 years, although she does have some supporters. I’ve always felt she had more supporters among conservatives here in the US than she did in the UK. Since the end of Thatcher, the Tories have been backtracking on Thatcherism and saying that they want to moderate their line.
The Lib Dems are some of kind new age, pro-environment, pro-gay rights, SWPL type party that’s also more to the Right of Labor on economic stuff, though not nearly as much as the Tories. Their main claim to fame was opposition to the war in Iraq. Their supporters are these hip yuppie types who make good money but don’t want to be associated with Tory assholiness. The Lib Dems basically hate the Tories, so this is a marriage made in Hell. Nevertheless, they are going along with the worst cuts to the British welfare state that the UK has ever seen.
I’m not sure what the rationale is for these devastating spending cuts in the middle of an economic downturn. Maybe someone more versed in British politics can enlighten me.
Spending cuts in the middle of a downturn is always a bad idea. All it does is make the downturn worse, and far from reducing the deficit, it often grows the deficit because the spending cuts harm the economy so much that tax revenues crash. Hence what we have seen in Ireland and Greece, the idiot countries who have tried to cut their way out of a deficit problems. Both countries made devastating cuts to their budgets, but the more they cut, the more the deficit grew! This is because, as I noted, the spending cuts wreck the economy, causing tax revenues to collapse, paradoxically worsening the deficit!
Anyway, for whatever crazy reason they have cooked up, the Condems are determined to go ahead with these cuts. But their rationale for doing them is truly insane. According to the Condems, by making massive cuts British state spending, they will somehow stimulate the private sector, and hence begin to grow their way out of the downturn. I’m not aware of any valid economic theory on Earth in which huge cuts to the state “stimulates the private sector.” Why would it? Unless it’s some whack Libertarian theory that doesn’t even make sense on paper.
Anyway, that’s the official rationale. As I noted, it makes no sense at all. Hence, it’s a lie. Thence, we wonder why they are cutting government.
They must be cutting the state for some sort of ideological reasons, or perhaps they have a deficit reduction agenda. Anyway, it looks like not only a bad, but an unnecessary idea. And they dressed it up in crazy clothes to sell it to the gullible masses.

Rand Paul Supporters Head Stomp a Moveon.org Supporter at a Debate

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoDHgSAqBEY&feature=player_embedded]
Note: New information in bold below.
Pretty incredible video here. There are other Youtube videos out there, but this one has better audio. Listen carefully and you can hear the “crunch” sound as the Rand Paul campaign official head stomps the woman. That’s the sound of his boot stomping on her head.
Rightwingers have a few rejoinders to this video:
1. Either the woman or the man were some sort of plants used to set up Rand Paul in this incident. False. The woman is a Rand Paul supporter, and the man who head stomps her is Ron Profitt, a Rand Paul campaign coordinator for a county in Kentucky. Profitt has been photographed at Paul rallies carrying signs that seem to issue violent threats against the government. One of the men who held down Valle is another prominent Paul supporter. He was recently photographed at a Paul rally for people who were committed to appearing in public wearing their licensed firearms. He was photographed at the rally with two guns holstered onto his belt.
2. The man stomps on her shoulder, not her head. False. He stomps on both her shoulder and her head at the same time. You can do that with a boot. Try it sometime. The crunch sound appears to be coming from her head.
3. The woman in question is actually a man. False, she is a female, albeit a rather androgynous looking one. First the Rand Paul team rips off her blond wig, then they throw her to the ground.
The woman, Lauren Valle, was trying to present Rand Paul with a plaque from a fake organization called Republicorp, Inc. that Move On set up.  The incident is confusing. Apparently the Paul team noted that she planned to give Paul the plaque, and were determined to stop keep her from doing so. They chased her around a car to keep her from getting in a photo with Paul. The Paul supporters have other versions of the event which make them look better, but the veracity of their claims seems dubious.
We are still trying to figure out exactly why the Paul team reacted this way.
So far there have been no arrests in the case, although today a Kentucky county court filed charges against Ron Profitt.
Lauren Valle suffered a concussion, which is obvious from the cracking sound you can hear when his boot stomps her head. She was hospitalized overnite, was released, and is now pressing charges.
This incident is getting a huge media blackout from the “liberal media,” because, um, er, they’re not really liberal after all?
I strongly support Moveon.org and have for a long time now. All these liberals bitching about Jewish influence in the US ought to note that Moveon was set up and is run mostly by a bunch of Jews.

Do Latinos Hate Being Called White?

AJ gives the typical White nationalist type line about how Mexicans hate Whites, want to be thought of as Brown, and how White is a liability here in America.

The thing is, Mexicans hate being called white. Have you ever told a Mexican they’re white? They get so upset! Its like an insult to them! Also, I forgot what HBD blogger wrote about this, STDV, Whiskey, or Mangan, Jessica Alba thinks shes a “Latina” and not White. She was quoted saying something about wanting “to have a brown baby”. On her DNA test on George Lopez Tonight, it turns out shes like 87% White and 13% Native American.
I mean c’mon, look at her, shes white, not “brown”. She plays white characters on TV. When the DNA results were announced, she was *extremely* disappointed, and even tried to argue that Spain doesn’t count as Europe! WTF! Spain sure as hell ain’t in Africa or Asia LOL.
I think Latinos want to be “brown” even when they’re not. Nobody wants to be white in America, its a liability now! 100 years ago there was “passing as white”, now people want desperately to pass as NON-white.
Whats so good about being white in America? Nothing! Everybody hates you, no affirmative action, no special interest groups, no white pride at all! You’re all a bunch of racist, sexist, Islamophobic, antisemitic, colonizing, raping, oppressing, privileged people with no authentic culture! I think the rise of brown privilege coincides with the slow decline of America.
This whole thing is just the new racial pecking order in America. Think about it. Whens the last time (not on the internet) you heard someone say anything positive about Whites? Now, think about all the times you hear something positive about blacks, or Asians or any other non-white group. The American people have decided that white people suck! Get used to it!

This is what is so nonsensical about the White nationalist types. They are so divorced from reality.
I live right smack in the middle of the Diversity here, and let me tell you, it’s no liability at all to be White. In fact, many Latinos highly desire White features in themselves and others. This is especially true in females and those with deep ties to Mexico. Whites are not hated at all in Mexico – it’s the opposite – White skin is a potentially a huge privelege, especially for women.
Latinas here often seek out light-skinned or White males as potential partners or mates. They gain status in society that way, and many want to have a light-skinned or White baby. Getting a White guy is moving up in the world. Among males, it doesn’t matter quite so much, but still, White skin is not negative at all.
You hear the Jessica Alba type stuff from some bourgeois liberal Latinos who are developing a “Brown pride” thing that seeks to separate itself from Whiteness and create some bullshit “Latino identity.” This is an American thing that comes from liberal PC American society, and it’s not as popular as you think. These people are basically activists.
Latinos respond in several ways if you tell them they are White:
1. Strong approval. “Thank you very much, sir!” This is especially true with many who retain deep roots to Mexico. More than a few have beamed at me and said, “Yes, I am White. That’s because we are from Spain.” One fellow, though born in Mexico, refused to identify as Mexican. He was a Spaniard, dammit! For people with deep roots in Mexico, ties with Spain or ancestors from Spain is a huge plus and a source of pride. You often get the impression that these types think they are better than Mestizos.
2. Neutral, confused, embarrassed, nervous. This is more typical as they get more assimilated. It’s not PC to talk about race here in the US, so they don’t know how to react to someone saying something like that. Also, this subject (the Whiteness or not of various Latinos) is somewhat taboo, and you’re breaking the taboo by bringing it up. Some will say, “Oh, I know. Everyone says that. Everyone thinks I’m White.” Then they might go on to point out to you that they are not Mexicans – they are Cuban, Colombian or whatever. A lot of non-Mexican Latinos look down on Mexicans as inferior.
3. Resistance, various forms of hostility. Among those with deep ties with Mexico, this will take the form of, “I’m not White, I’m Mexican,” or, “I just see myself as Mexican.” Some of these folks have European-Mexican roots, and while they will deny being White, they might say instead, “I’m French. French from Mexico.” So it’s ok to say you’re French, but not ok to say you’re White.
Mexicans are supposed to deny race, since the theory of mestizaje says that they are all mestizos. It’s a total lie, but it’s the lie that Mexico dreamed up to try to overcome its racial issues. We’re all mestizos! See all those White people on your TV screen? Just ignore them, OK? They’re mestizos too, just like you, brown brother!
Among the assimilated gangbanger-drug dealer types, you also get White denial. Sometimes you will get hostile silence if you point out they are White. This is more retardation than anything else, because these dipshits think Latino and White are two different things; since they are the former, they can’t possibly be the latter.
It’s really the way you go about noting that they are White. If you say it in a very sensitive way, it tends to go over well.
I don’t agree at all that Whites are persecuted in today’s America, even in Latino towns. As in Latin America, White skin and features are still highly valued, as one might suspect. A lot of Black and Asian women here also think that a White man is hot property and may even preferentially select them. You see a fair amount of this in this town. The White man is the hot ticket and the way to move up in the world.
As Whites decline, I figure the future will be like Latin America. Whites will continue to dominate as an elite, and Whites will increasingly be desired as “hot property” especially by non-White females eager to move up in the world, or for other reasons.

What's "White"? What's "Latino"?

A commenter questions the firewall between the notions of “White” and “Latino”:

I find it interesting how when you look at pictures of Mexican American, you can’t help but notice how Caucasian their features are. Just look up “Mexican Mafia” or “Nuestra Familia” on Google images and you’ll see what I mean. A lot of those Mexicans in jail look so Caucasian that when they and Anglo white inmates (especially dark haired Anglo whites) wear sunglasses and comb their hair back (as they do in jail), they look indistinguishable from each other, even many in skin color they are indistinguishable.Sometimes I wonder how they didn’t assimilate, but people like Italians (who had comparable criminal histories and ethnic & cultural closeness/isolationism) did (and Italians do look like Mexican Americans, particularly the Sicilians).

I live in a mostly Latino city and I’ve become quite interested in this question. Everywhere, I mean everywhere, everywhere, I go in town, I see “Latinos” that have few to no Amerindian features whatsoever. If one were asked to place them into a race, one could only put them in Caucasian because they have few to no Amerindian features. They’re just White people. Granted, they look a bit different from a lot of what we think of as White people, but they don’t look like another race.
All the time now, I am mistaking “Whites” for “Latinos.” The whole idea that there is a difference between “Whites” and “Latinos” is insane. Clearly, many Latinos are just some species of “White.” Those with observable Amerindian ancestry are typically not exactly White, but that’s not all of them by any means.
I get my food at a Mexican joint where everyone speaks Spanish. They speak English poorly if at all. I order my food and pay for it in Spanish. 90%+ of the people there at any time are speaking Spanish. All the food for sale is labeled in Spanish. Yet every time I am in there, if it is crowded, there are at least 1 or 2 folks who are about as White as I am. This whole idea of a Hispanic race is insane.
Indeed, I could be “Latino” myself. All I need is some Latin American ancestry and wa-la! I’m in like Flynn. It helps if you speak Spanish. I start speaking Spanish to the Latinos around here, and often they ask me if I’m from Mexico too. I could just lie and say I am, then I would be “Latino.” I meet Latin Americans online and start messaging them. We start typing away in Spanish. Usually they ask me if I was born in the US or if I’m an immigrant from Latin America, since my Spanish is good. They can’t believe I’m just some White dude from the US of A.
This idea that “Latinos” and “Whites” are two different things is insane and needs to stop right now.

The State of USreal

Or, Israel, the 51st state.
The latest evidence for the theory:

Monday night, Oct. 25, Dennis Ross, Obama’s Special Assistant and NSC Senior Director on the Central Region spoke at length to the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC about the close strategic cooperation between Washington and Jerusalem. “I’m not aware of another country that we engage more regularly on such a wide range of issues,” he said. “Over the last two years, I have seen four-star generals, intelligence officers, and high-ranking diplomats all develop personal relationships with their Israelis counterparts. Frankly, this degree of coordination is unprecedented.” 
He went on to advise Iran’s leaders to “listen carefully to President Obama who has said many times, ‘we are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.'”

In other words, when Israel talks, the US may as well be talking too. Israel’s threats are those of America. You mess with Israel, you mess with the USA, since they are one and the same anyway. Got that, Ayatoilets? Good.