Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Reading the Guardian news page from UK I came upon a story which, if true, smacks of corruption in the Obama WH reminiscent of the Teapot Dome Scandal of nearly 90 years ago in the Harding administration. If the report in The Guardian is to be believed, a pipeline across the upper midWest and down into Texas carrying an especially toxic and filthy effluent of oil from Canadian oil sands represents a threat to the environment, and that threat has been swept under the rug due to the efforts of a group in the State Dept. consisting of the leavings of Hillary Clinton’s move for the presidential nomination about 4 years ago. And the muscle behind the hiding of the nearly secret signing away of the rights of the US people lies in that group, likely Hillary herself and possibly the strength of her power exerted not through the Interior Department but a misuse of the State Dept. itself. If the report is accurate, it makes the scandal from about 90 years ago sound like child’s play by comparison. And it all happened while the BP negligence was flooding the delicate ecosphere of the Gulf with tons of polluting oil. It may be that this is larceny pointing up what we may have been spared by the defeat of Hillary’s grasp for national power beyond what she may have exercised as First Lady. Yet whatever power may have initiated this grab, what is more frightening was the total hiding of a possible corruption of this magnitude from the “free press”, which is supposed to prevent this sort of action from taking place out of the grasp or reach of the supposedly free People. It is shameful that only the reach of the UK press can bring such a crime to the attention of the nation. What would the administration of the Billionaire Lobby have made of this if it had happened in a country not allied to the movement to rule the whole world, domestic and international, out of DC? Maybe it is time that Lady Clinton be consigned to the slag heap of history?
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The reality of Game Theory reveals the weakness that underlies its role in destroying the economy. The theory involves antagonists playing a game for a prize, and in order to do what usually passes for mathematics, and thus for science, the prize, and its probabilities, has to be reckoned in real numbers. The fact that the economy includes many things, like life and health and justice and education, which cannot be measured in mutually understood numbers, reveals why the attempt to reduce it to a game over real numbers cannot take account of some of the subtleties, and this gives the lie to the claim of the economic theorists that they are analyzing with science. The attempt to measure things in imaginary units called utiles ends up measuring them in dollars. Thus this 3-cushion shot gives us the 300-year-old error that money alone measures the effectiveness of economics. In the region of elections, we see the failure of that theory. The New Labour Party in UK acted in accord with the theory when they moved their policies to as near that of the Tories as they could without erasing any difference, but in the end they came so close that a substantial portion of their base in UK labor did not see enough difference between them and the Tories to make it worthwhile voting for Gordon Brown. Now that the Tories are in the saddle, they have plenty of opportunity to see that difference, and who knows how long the workers who abandoned the New Labour Party will sweat and bleed under that yoke before they will be able to rescue their lives and those of their children and grandchildren. Now Obama has the chance to make the error of Blair and Brown and submit US to the yoke of the tea party, in which case the ruination of obsolete economics may extend a century. The threat, as in UK, has no obvious road back to sanity if they regain the whip hand.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
About 300 years ago, about the beginning of the Age of Reason, as the economy of EU was making the transition from the Imperial mode to what was called the Free Market, the economy was defined as one of need, when even the emerging industrial revolution could not provide the basic needs of life for even the advancing population of the new industrial countries. Life under the remains of serfdom remained marginal for many of those working on the land. For the new working class it was actually more secure, though barely so. The social and economic thinking of the day saw no alternative to the greedy and rapacious market and death from hunger was not unknown. Still, it seemed to many as the only way, despite the optimistic thinking that was experimenting with the idea of cooperation as an acceptable alternative to the whipping that was competition, often called cutthroat. Today, at least in the industrial world, it is clear that an economic model built on a standard work life of 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year over 45 years produces enough to provide a living wage for all those willing and able to do it, with the increase in productivity giving more than enough for that and an ample surplus to provide rewards for those who genuinely exceed the average to a notable degree. Still, in almost all the world, the Free Market does not provide jobs for all willing and able to meet the need and joblessness of eager workers rears its head frequently, even constantly. And the economic profession is apparently unable to find a way to use the prospective labor surplus to supply manifest needs in the infrastructure, the schools, health provision and other places, like clean air and water, where only governmental initiative can provide what would be a benefit in the lives of all the people. The paid propaganda of the continuing greedy classes has convinced most of the people that would lead to the Gulag, via the workings of the now defunct Soviet Union.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
For those who had read and understood “The Affluent Society”, the demands of support for the economy back in November 08 lay supporting the States. Instead of waiting to learn what promises those governments might make as a support for the payroll, it would have been wise to immediately announce a program of federal support for those commitments they had made when they thought they were staking their own money. Obama should have announced that there would be an immediate infusion of about $200 billion to them on a per capita basis to enable them to retain their public employees, especially teachers, and to continue the infrastructure contracts they had already made under the same belief, with further help to follow based not on promises, but on the way in which the first payment sustained the economy. Of course, the economic establishment was operating not on the basis of Keynes, but on Ayn Rand, as dictated by the business schools, under the illusion that Game Theory was the answer to every problem in the economy. It would have been hard for Obama to move against the nearly unanimous opinion of those who proclaimed their dicta scientific, having armored themselves by buying themselves a counterfeit Nobel Prize to crown each other with. Of course, we now know that the Democrats had abandoned the legacy of the New Deal and had lost even the history of that remedy 80 years ago. So the result was to undertake a recovery that would have been weak even in the hands of Herbert Hoover. There remains the wisdom that those who have not learned the lesson of history will be condemned to repeat it, and we are now reaping the harvest of the policies that did not work for Hoover and now not for Obama. Game Theory is an interesting study in the situation of a simple game, but the economy is deeper than that, and has many more dimensions.