Archive for March, 2009

Why there is a financial news blackout

March 31, 2009

The media is conducting a blackout of the real bad economics news. To see it, one has to read through the “Financial Times” and http://www.bloomberg.com, where they have both the good news and bad news.

The reasons for the blackout are two-fold. One is that the economists are worried about an increased savings rate by consumers, just over 4% of disposable persynal income in the united $tates right now.(1) The economists fear that fear adds to the savings rate just when the economy needs spending. People think they will be unemployed and then obtain new ideas about savings.

Secondly, the media is trying to turn around the stock market. Alan Greenspan expresses the view nicely that without an improvement in equity values, there is less collateral for loans, hence a downward spiral in banking larger than the Fed can ever deal with. He says over $40 trillion has been lost in wealth globally from stock market downturns and housing downturns.(2)

Even this website helps out the stock market by talking about future inflation. Such talk may drive money out of mattresses and money market accounts into the stock market. The “Wall Street Journal” is also talking about inflation versus deflation risks, with some pretty scary statements about future inflation.(3) (It might also have the effect of scaring investors about the U.$. economy generally though.) Our intention is not to aid the stock market but to look at Third World interests including whether they’re being well-served in too much business with the united $tates.

We should return to the question why bankers do not lend.

Perhaps one could say it started as a few bankers going on strike to help elect Obama. Both David Brooks and Ann Coulter have pointed out that Democrats and Obama in particular have had heavy donations from the financial industry. However, once the election was over, one would think the capital strike would stop. Furthermore, smaller banks could eventually move in to take over business left hanging by the capital strike, especially with the Fed being so accomodating.

So we are back to the housing bubble. If the bubble really pops, then that would yet again further drive lending down in connection to home equity loans. We would say the true Liberal answer is to pop the bubble and pay the price. (We’re not Liberal.)

MIM has argued for many years that the growth of home equity in the West was not based in labor. That home equity could be exchanged for labor was an example of how asset bubbles can disadvantage the Third World proletariat. By making an external psychological argument about panics, the economics and banking professions can escape the exploitive aspects of bubbles exchanging against labor. We say the answer is right at home for economists in the variables of labor and asset prices. (They might counter that racism is psychological.)

This time around, if Greenspan is right, the contraction in lending may be so severe that capitalism can finish itself off by itself. One can then see an argument for why he kept up mini-bubbles. Labor exchanged against home equity; bubble-value in the stock market only added to problems. It cannot go on forever without crisis — no sudden discoveries in global psychology necessary.

Notes:
1. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123815632294556303.html
2. “Equities show us the way to recovery,” Financial Times 29Mar2009.
3. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123836516806167317.html

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Arab League demands acceptance of peace terms

March 30, 2009

I$raeli newspaper “Ha’aretz” says the Arab League told I$rael today that it could withdraw the Arab Peace Initiative if the I$raelis do not accept it soon.(1)

That’s exactly what we need, an ultimatum. Time deadlines clarify things.

There is no one besides the Arab League appropriate for all the related diplomatic challenges. The countries bordering I$rael have to decide first before other countries can back them up.

Unfortunately Egypt is not attending the summit.(2) The Arabs should issue a joint statement at least on the peace initiative.

Meanwhile, in unrelated news, I fell behind. Back in February Peres made some interesting comments. On capitalism:

“‘They thought they were making money out of nothing,’ and Americans, ‘they have guts.’ Of the Chinese, he said, ‘They’re running the business really well.'”(3)

Now Peres is campaigning to show Europe that Netanyahu will continue the peace process.(4)

Notes:
1. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1074806.html
2. http://www.voanews.com/english/Africa/2009-03-29-voa11.cfm
3. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1061753.html
4. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1237727566689&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Paul Krugman makes it big time

March 29, 2009

We’ve been talking about Paul Krugman, because he is on the spot in this economic crisis, as the public face of the Keynesian wing of the economics profession. He won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2008 and now he is going to be on Newsweek’s cover for being an Obama critic.(1)

He’s referred to as a “liberal” critic of the Obama administration or “loyal opposition.” Along with a few other people, he shapes what Treasury Secretary Geithner says to the public.

As we reported before, we are surprised to find Krugman outside the Obama administration at all.(1) Obama seems to scoop up anyone who could be a potential critic or ally, whether Volcker or Clinton for example.

An exception creating more space to the left of the Obama administration is Joseph Stiglitz.

The diversification of the economics profession protects it from being swept away with one capitalist failure. However, Krugman himself says out loud that there may not be political wherewithal to try what he wants done once capitalist failure gets beyond a certain point. Hence, someone may offer a theoretical difference and the terrain may change before it gets a try-out.

We find it likely that Krugman is in the Obama administration bullpen. The public will want to try many options, and it has those options without turning to socialism. We won’t get a clean sweep of the economics profession in one year.

Notes:
1. http://www.newsweek.com/id/191393

Edward Green and the Pope on condoms

March 29, 2009

In the Washington Post, Edward Green,(1) a public health researcher defends the Pope on condoms in Africa.(2)

That’s now, but in 2006, here is what Green had to say:


“It appears that behavior change programs, particularly involving extensive promotion of ‘zero grazing’ (faithfulness and partner reduction), largely developed by the Ugandan government and local NGOs including faith-based, women’s, people-living-with-AIDS and other community-based groups, contributed to the early declines in casual/multiple sexual partnerships and HIV incidence and, along with other factors including condom use, to the subsequent sharp decline in HIV prevalence. Yet the debate over “what happened in Uganda” continues, often involving divisive abstinence-versus-condoms rhetoric, which appears more related to the culture wars in the USA than to African social reality.”(3)

It’s not a question of African reality. Obviously, abstinence, fidelity and condoms reduce risk of HIV transmission.

What could be at question is the paternalism of people who believe some youth don’t deserve a full education. If condoms don’t work to prevent disease, it would only be because of people who blocked proper education about them. The poor will be at most risk from demagogues from rich countries.

The Pope’s other comments were less controversial. He stressed that Catholicism has a more humyn God than other sects. After all Christ suffered with the humyns. This is of obvious import to the Muslims saying “there is no God but God.”

The Pope said he will also work within capitalism to bring ethics to it. Now is the time for the Pope to get on board with reparations to the Third World to jumpstart the economy. Ban Ki-moon asked for $1 trillion.

The Pope said inter-religious dialogue with the Muslims is improving. We are glad for the African people.

Notes:
1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/27/AR2009032702825.html
2. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2009/march/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20090317_africa-interview_en.html
3. http://www.springerlink.com/content/h00r4n6521805w27/

Olmert overture to Abbas?

March 28, 2009

I$rael’s outgoing prime minister Olmert continues to make assertions that Palestinian leader Abbas whimped out on a peace agreement. There could be two motivations other than the truth.

One is that Olmert wishes to position his Kadima Party now that Barak of the Labor Party has joined the Netanyahu government and brought Labor’s peace credentials under fire. There is talk of a split in the Labor Party and Kadima and Meretz would be positioned to pick up the pieces.

Two is that Olmert tries to say something about history, which is yet obscure.

Xinhua found it worthwhile to report on what we had only seen in “Ha’aretz” so far, namely that Olmert offerred 93% of the West Bank and some international solution for Jerusalem.(1) Perhaps in reply the Palestinians said they needed action on an agreement concerning all core issues, which would include refugees/right of return.(2)

I$rael could always publish the terms of the agreement Olmert says Abbas turned down. It could be a way to win over international public opinion.

Abbas is no longer Palestinian president, problem number one, because his term expired in January. So for Olmert to go public now is perhaps disingenuous. On the other hand, if Hamas got hold of the agreement, perhaps Hamas could in theory agree and various people sign before Netanyahu comes in. So it could be more than just rhetorical.

As for the argument that U.$. Congress or I$rael is to blame, not Obama, the Democrats in Congress rely on Obama. Their fates are intertwined.

Palestinian negotiator Erekat says Olmert was to blame. Olmert tried to create the impression he made an offer, but Erekat says it was in the midst of the invasion of Gaza and included no official documents or maps.(3) MIM would certainly agree that would be an example of peace for propaganda purposes only.

Erekat says one more failed round of negotiations will end hopes for a two-state solution.(4) Pressure is on Netanyahu.

Notes:
1. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-03/27/content_11079458.htm
2. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-03/25/content_11072443.htm
3. http://www.imemc.org/article/59649
4. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/27/AR2009032702112_2.html?hpid=opinionsbox1&sid=ST2009032702663

Latin America validates Mao’s Three World’s Theory

March 28, 2009

In the past month, MIM has followed events in Latin America with an eye on Maoism and Mao’s theory of the Three Worlds. Mao’s theory said that even bourgeois leaders of the Third World would form a natural alliance against imperialism, while the workers’ struggle in the imperialist countries would be delayed.

Starting with Brazil, President Lula da Silva just said: “‘This crisis was caused by the irrational behaviour of white people with blue eyes, who before the crisis appeared to know everything and now demonstrate that they know nothing.'”(1)

British prime minister Gordon Brown replied it was “cynicism.”(2) He is hoping the upcoming meeting of the “G20” leaders about the economic crisis is not a total failure. Brazil is an important player.

Another critical note came from the New York Times, which says the Peruvian Communist Party (PCP) is going again, this time fueled by drug money. (The New York Times said the same thing before 1992 too, but apparently this time the PCP is limited to just one drug trade area.) A civilian under PCP control said, “‘We can live in peace,’ Ms. Auccatoma said quietly, ‘as long as we obey the uncles.'”(3)

On another drug note, the president of Bolivia wrote against U.$. imposed laws against chewing coca leafs.(4)

Meanwhile, the president of Venezuela says Obama is an “ignoramus”:
“Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his US counterpart is clueless about the ‘reality of Latin America’, urging him to ‘read and study’.”(5)

Brazil’s president says he is going to ask the G20 meeting for a $100 billion expansion of trade credits for the world.(6) From what MIM can tell, that would be inadequate.

We share Lula da Silva’s frustration with the rich countries and their banking problems that are spilling over to affect the whole world. He is right that the poor are suffering and that Western economists apparently don’t know anything.

Notes:
1. By Jonathan Wheatley, “Brazil’s leader blames white people for crisis,” Financial Times 27Mar09.
2. By Jean Eaglesham. “Brown warns against G20 ‘cynicism,'”
Financial Times 28Mar09.
3. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/18/world/americas/18peru.html?pagewanted=2&sq=peru%20uncles&st=cse&scp=1
4. Evo Morales Ayma, “Let Me Chew My Coca Leaves,” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/14/opinion/14morales.html?scp=1&sq=bolivia%20chew&st=cse
5. http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=89370&sectionid=351020704
6. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,510954,00.html

Counterrevolutionary careerist Obama

March 27, 2009

Racist Crap Party spawn, counterrevolutionary careerist Obama is the talk of pollsters. First the State Department said just his campaigning for president raised U.$. approval ratings in the world five points.

Capitalism may have received a death blow already. Capitalism might be about to receive more death blows because the imperialists are nonetheless uniting the exploited and oppressed for action, but here is Obama the speculation of pollsters:

“One question that I raised with the panelists is whether the glimmers of hope that we are seeing represent in any sense an ‘Obama effect.’ Several of the President’s programs haven’t had a chance to kick in very much yet — for example, that big stimulus package. But ever since the stimulus package was enacted, President Obama has shifted to a more optimistic tone about the economy and has been encouraging Americans to look toward a brighter future.”(1)

The whole persynality cult strategy fits Keynesian (bourgeois) economics to a “t.” It’s all about confidence. That’s what so many economists are saying.

Pollster Zogby is looking at the same thing.


“Zogby Interactive survey shows 45% of likely voters believe the nation is headed in the right direction, a gain of five points from a similar survey completed on March 5. At the beginning of the year, only 14% held that positive view.”(2)

So when any revolutionary ranging from Lenin to the Peruvian Communist Party (PCP) says we do not “patch up” the system, that has concrete meaning.

The Keynesians are going to count pumping up the system as a “gain.” Ending the recession is a gain in the minds of these Keynesians. This is where progressives have to decide if they are pro-capitalist or not. For us communists, we say, the united $tates chose not to join the global climate change agreement, so the best thing for the global environment, the single best thing we could do would be to chop the U.$. economy in half in the meantime, while we wait for the Obama administration to get on board with the rest of the world. It could turn out to be the difference between disaster and survival.

For us, a “gain” is liberation of countries. If we count Iraq as semi-liberated, Afghanistan certainly is not, and Palestine least of all.

If Palin is as bad as all these Democratic Confucians say, then all we needed was her in power for capitalism to be done. Instead, the Confucians try to persuade the labor aristocracy to progress instead of letting the labor aristocracy learn from experience.

If people thought we were in the same rut or lacked confidence, that would rattle the old mainstream of economists. Obama’s patch to the system, even if it lasts only a couple months, is a concrete example of how counterrevolution comes from the far right sometimes, but also from the pseudo-left, because the pseudo-left is able to fool the most people into supporting capitalism.

Notes:
1. http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2009/03/27/are-those-glimmers-real/
2. http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.cfm?ID=1686

Dishonesty in polemics

March 27, 2009

I see people showing up on the tail end of a discussion that has now been shutdown with the assistance of the Democratic Party. They try to join in a discussion, probably from ulterior motives to destroy our movement which is having great success right now. This is another important way in which eighth-assed racism works.

I’m not talking about one or two by-standers stopping by a conversation and making the mistake of getting in without knowing how detailed that discussion is. I’m talking about a group level phenomenon that we can now draw conclusions about.

How many YEARS with thousands of visitors each year were those anti-zombie polemics up on etext.org against the crypto-Democrats and not ONE persyn said, woops, we shouldn’t be railing against the “engineering perspective” and “accounting and statistics” with Marx. It took years before one persyn showed up and proved that Marx not only had math but made a published contribution to math. Interesting that one persyn claimed to be on MIM’s side. It would have been nice if ONE persyn who was not pro-MIM and knew the deal had said something.

When we said that a persyn’s stand on discrimination profits was enough for us to decide whether s/he was worth talking with, we received individual persynal attacks. These are people not interested in class, gender and nation analysis, and hence MIM is not interested in them.

If you study the crypto-Democrats going back decades, you will see that they train their affiliates to say, “don’t blame the party for what I said. I’m not an expert in Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.” And for this weak excuse, they also ran from owning up to their own racist crap on everything from super-profits to discussion habits. That turns out to be the only thing holding together that career network, a shared training on how to avoid accountability for the party. This training is nothing but the ‘ole boys network.

Yet that is the degree of dishonesty we are talking about, hundreds or thousands of people engaging documents over years of time. And yet while they were not honest enough to shoot down their own racist crap, they had time to spin individual rumors out of no process involving me.

That’s what I’m talking about with racism. These are people who lose an argument and flee to persynal attacks as if persynal attacks should matter to a party like this.

Now we have people who are aware of two other racist fabrications against me, and they writhe and turn to avoid uncomfortable conclusions. It’s pointless arguing with people who don’t agree in principle with accountability. If the audience is not going to engage on a real level, I have other things to do besides opening Das Kapital and showing people the algebra in it.

Meanwhile, the most people have found against me is a sentence I wrote in a private discussion, which they run with any way they feel like, well because after all it was them who fled struggle. The only thing they can do is invent their fears any which way they want.

And you better believe all our stuff was voted on. What can’t be voted on is the stuff that hides behind hoods, because that is the point of it — hit-and-run racism.

UN panel, Joseph Stiglitz for ending dollar parasitism

March 27, 2009

Hell freezes over;
Bourgeois economists change their minds;
Supposed rich country “left” still in Church of Parasitism

“On the monetary front, Stiglitz, the 2001 Nobel economics laureate, told a press conference here there was ‘a growing consensus that there are problems with the dollar reserve system.’

“He noted that such a system was ‘relatively volatile, deflationary, unstable and (had) inequity associated with it.’

“‘Developing countries are lending the United States trillions dollars at almost zero interest rates when they have huge needs themselves,’ Stiglitz noted. ‘It’s indicative of the nature of the problem. It’s a net transfer, in a sense, to the United States, a form of foreign aid.'”

Joseph Stiglitz is also on board with Krugman that Geithner’s plan amounts to a stumble most likely and a massive taxpayer subsidy to investors in the best case.(2)

Stiglitz is the most cited author among professional U.$. economists. He says that it is possible to roll out a new system within a year, but he says reality probably dictates no sooner than 2013.(3)

Meanwhile the left-wing of parasitism continues with its deafening silence in refusing to admit the truth of MIM’s line on imperialist country “workers” — that by trade deficit figures alone, they’re parasites. That’s before getting into the real depth of Marx’s theory of surplus-value: it’s that blatant and MIM’s opponents ARE that racist.

The international united front has imperialism right where it wants it. The imperialists should be begging for currency reform, but the international united front has plenty of time to get in some mortal blows against capitalism if the need arises in coming months.

Notes:
1. http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.18e9e5692442aa61d7510553b5ffc14e.8b1&show_article=1
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=30309&Cr=financial+crisis&Cr1=
2. http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge/idUSTRE52N1IQ20090324
3. http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/03/26/world/worldwatch/entry4895876.shtml

The Brits

March 26, 2009

Some people are wondering if we know who is who among the Brits. Like we said, one explanation available to all was in the Harry Potter lexicon chats before we started talking about the related matters. There was also a more recent source.

By the old rules, lynching is still fine for infiltration gambits.

We warn our international comrades that much bullshit is still afoot with regard to myself. Comrades should be prepared to continue class struggle. A racist conspiracy against my civil rights is ongoing.