Modern Monetary Theory

http://rt.com/programs/capital-account/stephanie-kelton-monetary-government/

The link is to a short video at RT on modern monetary theory.  The basic idea is that we have been had by economics.  Governments can print money and their basic job should be prioritising what this is spent on in democratic fashion.  We could even print such money in order to reduce taxes.  The video is very basic and includes such issues as creating full employment in order not to waste the 34 billion man-hours as current in the USA.

One can see many difficulties in the approach – but really we should be looking at this kind of stuff rather than clapped out, simplified BBC-bimbo programmes on Marx, Hayek and Keynes that make money for Stephanie Flanders and similar crew repeating ‘made facile’ textbooks as though they are knowledgeable.

Key problems in economics are really about why we allow competition on such grounds as ‘Chinese’ wages being so much lower and never give anyone any chance of voting for or against such ‘globalisation’.  There is no reason to do this I know of other than the ideology of free-trade and connected ideas on the ‘right to manage’.

MMT would require industrial/work democracy to work and to be taken up in large trading blocks like the Americas and Europe.  Most people have never heard of it – which just demonstrates the idea of voting ‘on the economy stupid’ is done in ignorant bliss.

Time To Junk Economics

Africa, that well known collection of basket-cases, has long been a net exporter of money even after aid is taken into account.  This is known as capital flight.  These externally held assets are held by a small minority and the countries’ public debt is paid for by everyone else.  A number of university studies have shown this and the sums are in hundreds of billions.

The majority of the world’s wealth is held by very few people and we now regularly hear of the ‘one percent’, but I meet few people who understand much, if anything about how this wealth is amassed inn so few hands and what this form of capital actually does, other than making a few incredibly rich.

I think we can safely assume the wealth of the one percent has little good effect on raising living standards for the many.  It’s been around and getting worse for centuries.  It may be possible to argue that all improvement in this sense may be done to massive improvements in productivity due to increased knowledge and technological innovation, though these may have some link to the focus of wealth (we wouldn’t have science without people otherwise idle enough to do it).

As a scientist, rather than someone who teaches low-level university economics to make a crust, I find economics an intolerable discipline in that it fails to address itself as a history of mistakes and is predicated on ‘world-views’ rather than more modest research programmes.  It is not possible, as a scientist, to think that such issues as capital flight, offshore tax-dodging and other obvious cheating, or such matters as a small number of people needing the motivation of great riches while others starve, can form the core of a research programme.

Sociologists generally don’t like explanations of capitalism as only existing because people are incredibly dumb, but frankly, when one looks at what we are expected to swallow on the needs for mass austerity and to let the rich get even richer, the levels most people can achieve in universal education, widespread scientific illiteracy and global competition really being about depressing wages and conditions of employment, and getting people who aren’t smart to worker smarter (as we import smarter people because this doesn’t work), along with what passes as mass entertainment and research on just how dumb human communities have been in various ecocides and wars … then evading questions about how human dumbness comes about hardly seems scientific.

My thesis is that we are almost chronically dumb and can’t face up to this (none of us is exempt).  In one of my favourite Voyager episodes, Janeway not only refuses to drop her pants to get technology that would get her crew home, but tries to trade the sum total of human literature for it – essentially trying to trade what you’d be stuck with on a desert  island (of the radio show) for technology that shrinks space.  We live with fantasy like this in a world in which women and children are traded to much worse fates and in which we are all traded in an economic system beyond democratic sanction.

My guess is we could know about economics if we studied the issues from a fractal perspective.  I don’t mean the creation of a new set of mathematical wangles that mean ‘there’s nowt down for you Son, ‘cos you can’t do this kind of counting’.  There are structures that seem to repeat themselves in human affairs, including repeated numbskull behaviour by majorities and minorities.

My start is in the non-human and the way bacteria, plants and animals behave.  Much we see as human can be found in this.  Ants ‘take slaves’ by stealing the eggs of other ants, many insects are involved in ‘complex gardening’ using anti-biotics and there is much ‘chemical warfare’ practised – none presumably needing the kind of rational mind we attribute to ourselves.  Chimpanzees act to ‘police’ their societies (so no change there then!).  Many species are now extinct and it’s clear our own almost was.  We need some understanding in economics of how we are borne in evolution and are not in mastery of it.

Human history as it is taught around the world has structures in it.  My guess on these is that the first is that it is taught everywhere inaccurately.  What’s the difference between Jihad and Crusade or the various empires that have hardly graced the Earth?  What’s the difference between the ancient tribe in Peru who ‘mastered’ water supply and died horribly when their claims to deal with ‘water-gods’ was exposed in drought and the current Mob of banksters and their claim we can’t do without them?

Some way into an examination of such structures, come questions on whether competitive advantage is actually ever used in any way we can consider moral?  What other structures might be similar and/or at work – one can think of the bee hive, termite mound and social mice (where Bossmouse keeps his order through the enforced poverty of others).

There is much more to say on structures we might expect to find at different scales in our society.  The fraud we are encouraging in capital flight and investment banking may well just be a structure as surely as that of a set of genes turning on encouraged by the environment (exercise immediately causes gene activity).

Competitions really only work through rules and refereeing.  What one can compete on is restricted or we might say, structured.  We could choose to structure such matters as salary caps across work places from sport to banking.  It’s also possible to see much of the notion of motivation to great wealth as giving up to libidinal structures.

In longer term looks at structures we get laughable stuff like Elliot Waves (his other book was on running a tea-shop), but we rarely look at what has always been promised to society as a whole by putting up with economics and what has actually been delivered (a lot – not much?).  My own country (UK) has failed to produce even all its own medical doctors and steals them from countries that cannot  afford to lose them.  What does this say about working smarter and the role of training and education?    Surely if we could do so much better by getting higher skills we’d not only be producing all our own doctors but also making money hand over fist training those of other countries in our splendid and efficient medical education?  We ain’t.  And now we have kids taking on huge debts to get the “advantage” of a degree to work in a coffee shop.

If education is about employability (it ain’t – but no matter) why do we divorce it so much from the world of work?  Some dork brandishing a business degree from the places I’ve taught in, is no more employable or knowledgeable on business for real than anyone else with a non-numerate degree in anything else, and less employable than someone who sensibly left school at 16 and went to work for Sainsburys (where I know management juniors get a better education than I can offer).  So where are the economists saying we should junk much of higher education and get on with a job-based expansion because you’re only going to learn about work at work and only learn work-skills by using tools and machines?

The economics we have is such junk we have a Chancellor telling us his coming budget will be for growth and work – when it will offer more money to the rich and continue to cut the public sector.  Osbourne is crap – yet if economics is so bad we can’t even see through his jive it needs to be junked.

Why Do Our Kids Leave School So Helpless?

When I was at school kids of my grandson’s age would be leaving about this time next year and going into work of some kind.  He has at least two years to go.  I know the economy has changed under the charge of international banksterism, but when I was young kids like my grandson went into real work.  Now, with far more of them equipped with academic qualifications, vast numbers are unemployed or on schemes of some sort we know are mostly rot.

My lad has some disability and though he isn’t thick, struggles with work around the house – from hoovering to wiring a plug.  We’re getting him a new computer table tomorrow and he will struggle to put the flat-pack together – indeed he will try and avoid the task completely.  He is, in fact, work-shy, though the disability is connected with this.  All this makes him like his mates rather than unlike  them.

If dealing with unemployment was genuinely about giving people the right training we would surely have identified the skills and be producing people with them.  The identification of training needs and training evaluation is one of my skills.  I’d say we have made a complete mess of it.  The essential mistake is assuming that most people can learn work skills other than through doing the work.  Indeed, I believe education barely works at all except as child-minding and this has expanded into the universities.

The answer is to stop all the scheme nonsense and pretending education can or should produce the skills employers want.  We need instead to guarantee and provide jobs.  We are failed in this entirely by the employers and our economic thinking.  We need to fit the jobs to the unemployed not try the silk purses from sows’ ears approach.  And we need to admit all we’ve been doing is importing better workers from abroad.

I’d go for an international service programme for all our kids from 14 – 21 and all unemployed across the EU (as far across the developed world as possible).  This would include time-release to colleges and all concerned would be affiliated to a university from 16 whether they attended as students or not.  I’d like to see this programme be a safety beyond which no one could fall without making that a choice, and welfare would not be a standard alternative.

Our economies can’t recover without doing something about flat-lined and decreasing wages – we have made the bottom half of our societies so illiquid we have begun to destroy our markets in the real economy.  We need to make our employers compete for the workers they want – they always claim to be smart, innovative and the rest afterall.  Currently, the discrimination against our dafter and less skilled is worse than anything we managed on race and colour.

 

We need to look more closely at intractable problems like arming the police

Many arguments in the public domain rely on what we think the consequences of change will be.  I’m broadly in favour of arming our police officers with tasers and handguns and improving response time in getting expert markspeople to scenes where necessary.  One can see potential problems – there are rogue cops and more obviously armed police could lead to more obviously armed criminals and so on.  It might disappoint some, but I’m not far from the position Gadget fairly regularly outlines on this particular topic.  I want to see a different form of regulating our police, but really want them to have the tools and back-up in the CJS to do the job.  Currently, I doubt this is the case either for police doing their job or for the public who need their help.

I’m not interested in policing per se but the wider problems of society.  Frankly, I don’t think social science and philosophy are much help in this.  The people doing this stuff are too often up themselves and stuck in their own interests and soaked up values.  Very few put their work into the broad public domain as , say, Steve Keen (economics) or Alain Connes (maths) who can be read for free.

If we start to think through the consequences of arming our police, I’m sure we would quickly come up with good and bad.  What interests me is how quickly impasse is reached even over such a simple matter.  What chance then of Keen’s (and others) ideas on radical social change in forgiving debt (a regular feature of our history – see David Graeber) and returning to banking focused on productive work and innovation in a real economy?

The problem is that human beings do very little thinking and are broadly content with habit. The irony of my teaching might be summed up as ‘brow-beating people into thinking for themselves’.  One or two of my own teachers worked this miracle on me in the past, and I’m very grateful.  However, the issue of flogging dead horses remains.

In the end, we can’t all decide whether special and general relativity are any good because we have already balked at much lower hurdles like basic algebra.  Universal education has obviously failed to turn us all (or even many) of us into scientists or creative thinking individuals.  One idea developing from modern brain science is that we make few rational decisions and rely on a kind of unconscious reasoning.

I think science is mostly straight and that matters like banking (as banksterism),politics and economics largely bent – like the Emperor’s New Clothes.  I have little problem with elite groups doing science, but am generally sickened by what other elite groups get up to. I can explain why.  The problem is not a matter of explanation – it’s that the way we enter into explanation on social matters is itself the problem we can’t overcome.

I’d like to see questions like whether to arm our police alongside deeper economic issues in mainstream discussion in order to find new decision-making processes based in practice and honesty.

 

 

A moral economics?

When given a budget as a chief constable or a department head across all services we know that is pretty much what we have to manage – sure we may be able to press for our own corner over exigencies or make cases that other departments should cough up if they can be shown to be using ‘our’ resources.  We might even float a body across a river to leave those on the other side with the expenses of the enquiry,  We sometimes end up in dumb situations like keeping old people in hospital to ‘save’ the care budget.

We understand in doing the above that we are controlling costs and we know the system isn’t perfect.  We generally know that the money left in the month before year end needs spending or we’ll lose it – or else some central authority will steal it twice – the money itself and by reduction of next year’s allocation.  We know the dodges.

Economics is really not much more than the stuff we do routinely in work places, yet it’s largely a disaster,  What we’re being told is that our policing, hospitals and education systems all rely on very clever people with amazing skills making the money that allow us to enjoy such expenses,  I no longer believe a word of this.  We have the priorities wrong.  All we need is to be free (something structured under law and as much to do with decent police and army people as anything else) to organise work and make sure it gets done.  We are good, if imperfect, at this, it ain’t rocket science and can be done with reasonably equitable rewards,  The rest is pathological fiction and white collar crime.

What’s gone wrong is broadly moral in form.  The moralities we’ve learned are ancient in form and don’t suit a modern world.  This is obvious when we look at religious stuff that allows discrimination against women and non/other believers – indeed encourages the rot. What we need is some basic dialogue on what our own morality should now be and how we can get that embedded in our economic practices.  With modern levels of technology and productivity, the first place to look is our attitudes towards work.

In short, I would not want to be the sort of prat motivated so much by money that I spent my time developing a career portfolio or spinning the invisible cloth of financial mega-riches for me.  And I don’t want to live in a world dominated by such sick people.  I’m sure we can do without their ‘creativity’ and make a better fist of things with our own.

What we have to realise is not a ‘general relativity of economics’ but the value of the work we all do in a new way,  Our pensions aren’t disappearing because we didn’t put the work in or because there is a need to do so much more work.  The ‘cake’ is vastly bigger than it was and there is a planet of plenty – what’s wrong is our organisation of it.  This is a moral issue, held back by economics and a lack of faith in our abilities to live decently and police this.

The worst is yet to come – and bring it on

Most of us looking on at the ‘Euro-antics’ and OccupyX probably have some disdain for the lot if it.  How long before a police officer is badly hurt trying to do his or her best over protests that are probably necessary because our democratic centre is collapsing?  Most of us are getting round to knowing the ‘bimbo BBC‘ type of coverage offers no real analysis.  Over the last few months they have been catching on very slowly but are still trapped in the idea that this is some kind of liquidity crisis in banking.

I’m reminded of my old work in chemistry – banking looking like endothermic reactions that suck energy in, a control system that uses up all the resources with only tiny returns.  It’s as though we are watching a game of Monopoly expecting this to produce a real economy. BBC Bimboistas tell us money is being pumped into the economy, but QE and such are no such thing and build no factories and provide no cash (wages, partial debt jubilee) that might keep restaurants and pubs open.

No jobs are being created (beyond churning) and the old attitudes pervade – we talk of education and training – but seriously go to your local job centre and look what turns up on their machines – take a serious look at how limited many jobs are, requiring few skills and a decent attitude to hygiene and punctuality.  There is no structural analysis and yet there is scary talk about making sackings easier – scary not because some shirkers might get the push but because it reeks of indenture to ‘work correctness’.  Most of us know to say we are hard workers, relish challenge and so on – but the reality is something else entirely – we’re waiting to win the lottery and escape.

The further up the greasy pole I slid, the less work I found being done, and less talent.  Essentially, I hate politics and want as little of it and government as possible.  I’d say the same of economics.  I want enough of both for street protests to be marginal, not mainstream.  Our problems are that we have too much of the damned stuff and what there is works only in the interests of a tiny minority.  It’s enough to turn a non-believer like me onto the street – and this is what I think the problem will become, writ large. Newsnight’s solution tonight is eating insects.  This is the only part of the programme with any intellectual validity.  It’s about farting, with insects 8 times less flatulent than pigs.

My guess is our problems are to do with work-shyness.  We have created non-job after non-job whilst degrading the rewards of real hard graft, instead of organising worthwhile work around vast improvements in technology and productivity.  And we are about to ‘discover’ this as surely as any of the ‘economic bubbles’ that have been pricked from dotcon to ghost city building.  This is being left out of ‘analysis’ and is what will eventually spill onto our streets.  Our problem is efficiency in production and waste in neurosis all around it.  My students are always visibly shocked by real work seen and heard in factory and mine visits – and look at what happens when the BBC takes our callow youth to do work in the far east.  I feel I teach little more than how to idle in bureaucracies in my classrooms..  They are content there, knowing I have to set them something easy enough to pass.  They study so little, most don’t even realise inflation will ensure their loan repayments kick in at half the real pay they think it will.  A vague memory of phrases such as debt peonage may ring in the future we are killing off for them, keeping quiet to ensure mortgage payments.  A few – those who grasp that the single Gaussian copula isn’t a cooking implement – might get in on the right bets in what follows the shock to come.

We are close now to the shock promised in the last days of my youth – that of computerised expert knowledge catching up with other embodied knowledge in production that has robots doing what was once skilled work.  My lectures have long been obsolete, but ‘death by Powerpoint’ continues for now.  Accountants continue even though software does a better job – the ‘reason’ in both cases is fraud and being able to sign off (pass) what our VCs or CEOs want.  This is OK as long as ‘good times’ eventually roll but they look to have stopped.  There is no real market for university graduates and the times in which the off-balance-sheet could be lost in a good year are catching up on us as the ‘holes’ brim over.

The answer is to slay the Jabberwock.  Instead, politicians who would be mediocre students pretend they know what they are doing and feed our virgin daughters to it.

What might a positive economics be?

I’m always struck that “economics” is so generally the reason we can’t do what’s needed. Those of us who teach it often refer to it as ‘war by other means’ (said of diplomacy too). We have our own jargon -macro-micro monetary-fiscal abrabloodycadabra.  These days we tend to go straight for models and arithmetic and cut out thinking altogether.

This means if it seems sensible to have more and better equipped cops (and let’s face it, there’s no shortage of labour) to improve our quality of life through more freedom from crime, we can’t have them because they will be a cost – we even end up cutting jobs and equipment budgets.  Sensible ideas like renovating and greening our housing stock can’t be done for the same reason.  It’s better to “employ” people to do nothing on the dole!  I make no apologies for saying this isn’t clever, it’s fucking stupid.  The ultimate “success” of current economics is about consuming stuff that makes us fat, unhealthy and childlike as we breed ourselves into poverty and war and resource annihilation.

A positive economics needs to start with a list of what we want to achieve and the barriers to this.  I’d say the first issue is one of world population control.  This has more or less tripled in my lifetime, just as the more advanced countries have curbed that of their indigenous peoples.  A very thorny issue, yet we’re reaching the point of competition for air and land exhaustion.  Our main means of population control has been the education of women and making kids too expensive.

The next is some form of reasonable equality combined with innovative conservation of capital and the work that produces it.  This means full employment and probably radical changes in employment relationships.focused on dignity.  I guess we could more than get by on a 30hour, three-day week and a 40 week year and raise living standards and quality of life.  This is a radical change and we need to understand our current practices are feudal, medieval and broadly neurotic.  We are now massively productive.  Half of all French workers in 1958 worked on the land and all our economies were once agrarian. We need to harness modern productivity to quality of life, not work as serfs to profit as in the Domesday Book.  Our work ethic is out of date.

The point of economics would be to ensure funding for work that needs doing.  We have ceded this role to banks – nearly all money is now created by them and allocated as credit.  Current disasters have all been to do with their failure to put the money into the right investments and we should return to primitive banking with bankers on wages.  I wouldn’t ring fence the rest, but arrest in large numbers and bury the speculative dross and its restrictive practices as surely as the ‘Amalgamated Union of Holeborers’.

I see plenty of room for markets (even Lenin did) but these need to be free of insider trading, algorithms, derivatives and accounting practices that hide failure to the very point of draining the swamp after we’re up to our arses in alligators.  We need to wrench capitalism back from favoured oligarchs and parasitic ‘speed’.

Deep questions remain in any of this (and much more) -not least what must replace greed and massive accumulation – or for that matter the fear of poverty as a work motivator and how we could still ‘discipline’ work.and provide some form of productive leisure for the social animals we are.

Perennial problems of world peace, despotic creeps, chronic religionists and bandits still prevail and we need ideas on this beyond vapid assertions on the wonder of human nature.  We’ve been living under an American umbrella that has been a holocaust of ‘killing hope’ for others.  The maintenance of this has required the beggar thy neighbour economics to keep military superiority and I for one don’t want to give this up to a bunch of the ‘wrong Mullahs’.

That economics isn’t democratic is obvious in history and our democracies have wilted in corruption.  We clearly don’t want to create a situation in which getting work done is like herding cats.

Yet what is work now?  We know that if you haven’t got any you’re likely to be poor or very rich.  What does work make?  We would rather give it to North Koreans in Mongolia (paying the clown dictator) than our own.  We can’t afford cops, yet we can afford Rooney and the half-assed media circuit of celebrities and news poodles.  We aren’t housing our people and creating a green economy, but can have Xmas cheer in the form of plastic crap from China.

The positive questions really concern whether we can trust ourselves with a more rational system and prevent any ‘darkness at noon’ and iron cage of bureaucracy.  In the meantime we have nurses chatting whilst old patients starve – and a probable 15% unemployment while all sorts of things can’t be done.  We need a leveling and this will come through war unless we can establish a more rational way.

The ideas are around and the analysis could be done.  We are apathetic.  Another key issue to addfress,

 

How Do We Crack Selfish Indolence?

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/97122913/BCG_Back_to_Mesopotamia_Sep_11%5B2%5D

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) claims to be the major player in global strategic issues.  Students may remember their portfolio management scheme of stars, cash cows, dogs and question marks.  You can get a short paper from them at the link above that summarises the economic stuff going on across the world and may help disabuse thoughts that QE2 is about shipping and so on.  They clearly don’t believe any of the IMF Bankster dross politicians use to pretend they do anything in our interests and there is a clear statement governments are not really facing up to the problem at all.

Most people don’t pay any attention to economics or politics other than to protect their own lives from them.  It’s dull, bent and mostly demeaning because we can do so little about it.  I suspect we vote only to vote out governments that have become regal and smug.  In the meantime all our governments have been in league with massive debt creation involving banks and investment wizards who have sold out our interests to make fast bucks.

The financial crooks tell us they worked hard and deserve their massive bonuses.  This was always a lie – but now they claim it when it must be obvious to all they were always getting it wrong and their performance has been huge negative. We’ve been suckered and are allowing this to continue.

One of the ways we sucker ourselves is to blame welfare scroungers and so on.  I suspect this is really just a case of indulging our own selfish indolence towards politics.  I don’t approve of free-riding but the BCG material clearly demonstrates the big problem free-riders are rich, not poor.

We are tranced by gossip and have almost no ability t do the hard yards of argument.  We let all kinds of bad practices, from arse-licking at work for promotions not needed in already stuffed hierarchies to feckless policing of riff-raff form the basis of our day to day. We look after our own and in the meantime ‘we’ have mounted massive debts and let a bunch of spivs run off with out harvests year on year.  Some of still believe they keep the Jabberwock away!  We’ve been sold out to a foreign power as surely as any of the Soviet spies managed.  If you can cope,read up – I know most of you can’t face the music, wake up and smell the coffee – but some of us have to try and save freedom.

I believe the rich have prevented:

1. a world without war

2. working conditions that would equate to 6 months a year at work

3. a fairly crime free society

4.advanced leisure and health facilities

5.meaningful education for all

6. eradication of material poverty

7. sensible global population control

8. self-sustaining economic practices

I’d contend we could have had this now if it wasn’t for the rich – not in the future.  If you could read the BCG report you’d see they not only intend debt peonage for us through stealing our past opportunities, but through stealing from our futures to continue their infamy.  I suspect street revolution is closer to us than the Middle East.  ‘Intefresting times’ for cops ahead!

Cops, of course, tend to this selfish indolence towards economics and politics more than most.  That BCG and other generally right-wing ‘we’re only in it for the money’ organisations police usually protect as the status quo are admitting what the “anarchist left” has been posturing for over a century and sounds like the old religious argument ‘property is theft’ (did Christ own the clothes he wore etc?).  We are close to being back to the General Strike with cops strung out on the ‘wrong side’ of the lines.

A police commissioner can now ‘earn’ more in a couple of years than a lifetime of minimum wage toil.  This is worse than a farce.  The BCG story is one of debt peonage for most to a system that allows this kind of madness.  I think of it as the San Paulo variation in which people accumulating wealth end up in walled cities, the rest in shanty towns.  Not one of these ‘men of honour/ladies of virtue’ have the morality necessary to recognise they aren’t in place and receiving this loot other than through merit.  What we currently have is one farce justified by another – of course Peter Fahey is worth more than Wayne Rooney in turn worth more than some thieving politician like Blair or all the banksters put together. This just elides none of them being worth more than a woman pushing a tea-trolley in any monetary multiple of more than five.  This is not just about ‘equality’ but rather returning to wages and away from debt (if you can’t see why then you lack education).  Easily accumulated wealth a money rather than social capital leads to serfdom, whether to a dictatorship or rich elite.

We have know for a long time now that embodied knowledge cuts the amount of human work necessary across agriculture and manufacturing – that is that nearly all traditional forms of work require less workers.  A modern 500 man fighting unit could take on an old Division of 7000 from WW2. What’s coming if we don’t start to get accountable governments is mass unemployment and poverty.  When this hits the middle class as it did in the Middle East we will hopefully hit the streets.  If we weren’t selfish and ignorant this wouldn’t be necessary.

Many unnecessary jobs have been created to stave off mass unemployment, along with a whole army of tax credit part-timers.  The economy is screwed and has been for two decades across the world.  Labour would cut £3K of student fees.  This is school politics.  The Tories believe (apparently) that deficit cutting is a good idea just as depression hits and debt swell as a percentage of GDP (logic failure).  Clegg and his bum boys are worse.  Labour produced Blair, a CIA bag man now placed in the related bankster union.  All we can know is they will say anything and are useless, more than usually self-interested turds.  We can’t even know whether Blair was already working for the ‘CIA-JP Morgan’ axis of evil whilst pretending to be our PM (or that Churchill was not a similar OSS-JP Morgan’ bad man).  We are more likely to do ‘conspiracy’ on anal probing aliens than on the propaganda fed us.

I shouldn’t care much on any of this – my flat in Portugal will be all the cheaper, my sterling pension likely to go further.  I care because we have let ourselves down so badly and been conned.  Did anyone else notice our looters often looked like people taking revenge?

Wages Only Rise After Black Death and War

If you scan this blog you may believe I’d think IMF stands for international mother-fuckers, and of course, you’d be right.  Despite being murderers on an industrial scale over many years, these turds don’t vary much in postured economics from me.  Of course, I don’t believe in austerity that kills children like them, but take a look at what they post on income inequality - http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2011/09/index.htm

I grew up under expectations that people were becoming more equal and that fairness was on the increase.  In fact, as the IMF confirm, the rich have been stealing in vast amounts.  The inequality leads to ‘current acount’ deficits and massive indebtedness, at least in economies with developed banking.

Generally, wages don’t rise unless workers are killed off in sufficient numbers to be in short supply.  Pestilence and war are good for wages.  Another way to produce this good situation for workers, without killing them off in droves, is to guarantee something like twice the current minimum wage for jobs in a system structured to employ sufficient people to remove the reserve army of labour and force employers to give better pay and conditions to their people.  That is change the current dominance of the employer.  Why not do this across the EU – to fuck off the standard anti-democratic bastard excuse we can do nothing because of international competition and capital flight?  This solution is just as economic a model as belief the private sector cavalry is coming.

Whilst I believe high wages (as in Scandinavia) are an answer along with full employment and EU protectionism, this is essentially a short to medium perspective.  We should be asking ‘why wages’ in the sense of trying to discover how property ownership and wealth possession give any individual or group rights not to work for what they get as beneficiaries in our society.

Our high earners now ‘earn’ so much they could retire after a couple of years – even the likes of bungling social service directors – and have more to live on than some poor sod dragging the plough for 40 more years.  This kind of disparity must lead to something like the queen bee being structured in our human society, demanding as much of the fruits of labour without the beneficial genetic future such a queen provides (the science is complicated, but a queen passes on more genes that a worker has than the worker on her own could).

The ‘motivation’ in a hive stands up from a bottom-up perspective.  In human affairs all we hear is the drone that the already rich need even vaster riches to be arsed to get out of bed.  Down at the bread-line, crumbs are enough.    In the hive the resource costly queen actually provides a superior lineage of worker offspring (in the sense of more genetically similar offspring than a worker could produce in mating).  In human society, the resource costly rich gain all the advantage over many generations.  I’m now so sick of hearing how much this bunch of wasters are worth to the rest of us, that I think we should have a cull in order to test out the theory.  We could eliminate all financial services people (say 1 in 9 jobs – China has killed this proportion of Tibetans and all countries with imperialist history have managed worse) and see what happens.  Thought experiment only in my case, but don’t kid yourself our rulers care about such considerations – they’ve killed us in droves through history.

A whole shed-load of our soaked-up ideologies, Bacon’s Idols that still enthrall us, can ne looked at in reverse.  I’d put it this simply.  Why the fuck are we still arranging everything through an economics that exploits scarcity when we have the technology and wherewithal to live in plenty?  It isn’t because it works so well, and this means it must be because it’s the way non-democratic interests rule us.  Economics is the bewitchment of human reason through long-cast shadows of trauma.  Every argument in it can be turned on its head.  What makes me laugh is that all the spew about hard work, creativity, innovation and the rest, emerges in a population to idle to even understand basic economics.

Let’s face it, we’re so dumb and scared,we go along with all the crap on how ‘lovely’ hard work is, how great it is to turn in when your boss is a bully and an incompetent who gets ten times your pay.  We love work so much we are gone from it almost on rumour of a lottery win.  What liars we are and how easily we have fallen for the really big ones.  Show me the research on the deserving rich.  It’ll be a slim volume.

 

 

Towards The Ending Of The Economic Undead (part one)

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/09/david-graeber-on-the-invention-of-money-%E2%80%93-notes-on-sex-adventure-monomaniacal-sociopathy-and-the-true-function-of-economics.html

I know you guys don’t do economics.  I found it miserable at school, taught by a bastard called ‘Happy’ who spent his time preening pretty girls, before running off with one.  What put me off was it was so evidently a crock with numbers.  I switched to another real science subject.  Finding myself remaindered to teaching and researching management baloney , I got interested in why it was all so dire.  The link above is to a fairly short piece of ‘economic deconstruction’ by the admirable Yves Smith (who could run away with me at 17 anytime).

Economics is actually religious rather than scientific.  It’s run by priests who describe their work in ‘Latin’ to the god only they can communicate with, and its scriptures start with Adam Smith,  Yves Smith is just one of many commentators challenging some of the principle tenets of the subject.  The particular one around at the moment is the emergence of money from barter systems.  There is no evidence of this, rather the contrary.  Given economics is religious, it’s heresy to believe the evidence.

I don’t know how ‘non-economic’ any particular person is.  I don’t do the religion myself,other than as a vampire hunter might learn about vampires.  That a rich-political-economic class exists and sucks our blood, seems to follow from the evidence. Most people I meet can’t do economic argument, including most I’ve played some role in graduating.  Intercourse the elasticity of supply and demand does justice to this particular penguin.  Real masters of the subject, like Growling-balls Brown and Sniffer Osbourne sell gold just as the price is about to go exponential or cut public spending just when we need it most.

Trying to get a realistic public dialogue on economics is impossible,  It’s like trying to develop chemistry from alchemy.  It doesn’t even merit its sobriquet as ‘the dismal science’.  It works by boring you to death and exploiting your ignorance.

Imagine you play cards for money and find the same bunch of people always win.  I’d recommend you stop playing cards as a first rule (if I didn’t whip out a pack and rip you off myself).  But let’s say you don’t feel you’ve been playing the people better at cards than you and this is true.  We do an investigation and find marked cards and spot some of the players secretly swapping cards.  We all know what this is.

Economics needs a similar police-detective style unmasking.  I’d prefer to make the enquiry scientific, but I’m sure not enough people understand science and how it treats evidence.  More than this, science can’t kick down the necessary doors to get at the fraud. What’s going on is organised crime, as those posing as ‘cops’ in the system are bent.

The first evidence in front of us is the rich, the people supposedly playing the same game as the rest of us who end up with nearly all the winnings.  Just like card-sharps, they claim just to be better players than us or blessed with luck.  I play bridge for money, I don’t cheat and rarely lose -some of us do play better than others.  When I play in rubbers with only expert players i barely hold my own.  Some are much better than me – though these players still screw up playing with novice partners, assuming competence that isn’t there.

The presence of these regular winners in our society needs investigation.  A big block to such investigation is the ideology of meritocracy, though this has to be understood in our general state of ignorance.  If we think of the world’s wealth as ‘jewels’ that arise from human toil, we’d find hoards of these jewels amongst the rich.  If we’d been receiving, as cops, complaints about jewel thieving, we’d suspect the rich because they have the hoards of jewels.  This is the actual economic situation.  You can check this out at ONS, Wikkipedia or any source.

The rich may claim to have their own secret ‘jewel making machines’ or to have come across their wealth by fair means – just as the looter will tell you the plasma televisions stacked in a spare bedroom ‘fell off the back of a lorry’.  I’m not trying to get you to think of all the rich as thieves – just to apply ‘police suspicion’.  If you are family, friend or neighbour of a murder victim, you are a suspect on statistical grounds  I did this to many people.  It’s fraught with dangers, not least in skewing evidence to fit your suspicion.  One reason we should treat miscarriages of justice much more openly is that they could teach us a great deal about our general incompetence and lack of understanding of evidence in all circles.

To follow my argument you need to know more about the rich and their wealth to understand the ‘jewel’ metaphor, but also what you take for granted about life so that this doesn’t cloud your thinking.  This latter is very difficult.  More on the ‘jewel thieving’ in part two – the dog is pining for a walk.

I should point out David Graeber has just commented that Yves Smith didn’t write the post at the link (her blog), so we can presume he did.  I managed to miss David when I was a university academic swamped with teaching.  His books are well worth a read and you can get a good glimpse at Amazon.  The latest, ‘Debt: the first 5000 years’, is not only superb on its topic, but gets at the issues of thinking ‘history in the present’.