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Open mike 03/07/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 3rd, 2010 - 17 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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17 comments on “Open mike 03/07/2010 ”

  1. Bored 1

    Its Saturday, great fine morning for a pleasant stroll, plant a few things along the way, aprreciate our lovely land and look out to sea….before I go some themes common to us out there.

    More news from the edge of Aotearoa outward…..the stuff the MSM does not want you to hear

    Summer fun in Europe

    The economic crisis is accelerating across Europe, but so is the fightback as workers in Greece, France and Italy take action……A general strike brought Greece to a halt on Tuesday.

    In France around two million people took to the streets in 200 towns and cities on Thursday of last week also over attacks on pensions.The demonstrations were about twice as large as the last day of action on 27 May and the strikes were bigger too.

    Workers in Italy poured onto the streets during a general strike organised by the CGIL union federation on Friday of last week.

    They struck against the policies of right wing prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

    We understand his (now) ex wife aso struck Silvio in the recent past with some sterling (or was it lira) resistance.

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=21656

    Its not just dollars, it’s the environment too says Barak

    BP’s disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, leading to accusation by Obama himself of corporate recklessness, and to huge numbers of lawsuits for damages and loss of earnings, is also capable of leaving very long-term ecological damage.

    Nice to see Barak so so forceful, controlling, in their pockets…..

    http://www.energybulletin.net/node/53301

    In Sport, Tigers girlfriends get banned from being near his children, whilst Elin gets enough to buy a small third world country…how will the poor dear cope?

    Elin, 30, is set to receive the largest divorce settlement in history – a whopping $750 million.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1291245/Tiger-Woods-No-women-allowed-near-kids.html#ixzz0sW9Myy73

    Superhero time not high profile for a year but we hope he is still producing the flowers for Europes summer of fun, or maybe he has just planted himself, the Human Shrub….

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/gardening/article-1198062/Human-Shrub-plants-flowers-protest-councils-horticultural-spending-cuts.html

    Polly, any news from Aotearoa?

    • jcuknz 1.1

      The rot is becoming embeded ….another sensible piece from PK.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/02/opinion/02krugman.html?th&emc=th

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Quoting article:

        But don’t worry: spending cuts may hurt, but the confidence fairy will take away the pain. “The idea that austerity measures could trigger stagnation is incorrect,’ declared Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the European Central Bank, in a recent interview. Why? Because “confidence-inspiring policies will foster and not hamper economic recovery.’

        Obviously, the pixies at the bottom of the garden have been busy spreading the Pixie Dust 😀

      • Quoth the Raven 1.1.2

        It’s about as convincing the Keynesians like Krugman explanation of “animal spirits” and market movements. Anyway here’s a good fisking of Krugman: Krugman and the “Long Depression’ Myth

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1

          by espousing the ridiculous notion that the late 19th century, a time of unprecedented economic growth, was dominated by a “Long Depression’.

          I didn’t bother reading beyond that as it shows someone else who is either ignorant of history or purposefully rewriting it.

          • Quoth the Raven 1.1.2.1.1

            You mean this period.

            If you had bothered to read it you’d have read this:

            Yet what sort of “depression’ is it which saw an extraordinarily large expansion of industry, of railroads, of physical output, of net national product, or real per capita income? As Friedman and Schwartz admit, the decade from 1869 to 1879 saw a 3-percent-perannum increase in money national product, an outstanding real national product growth of 6.8 percent per year in this period, and a phenomenal rise of 4.5 percent per year in real product per capita. Even the alleged “monetary contraction’ never took place, the money supply increasing by 2.7 percent per year in this period. From 1873 through 1878, before another spurt of monetary expansion, the total supply of bank money rose from $1.964 billion to $2.221 billionñ€”a rise of 13.1 percent or 2.6 percent per year. In short, a modest but definite rise, and scarcely a contraction. It should be clear, then, that the “great depression’ of the 1870s is merely a mythñ€”a myth brought about by misinterpretation of the fact that prices in general fell sharply during the entire period. Indeed they fell from the end of the Civil War until 1879. Friedman and Schwartz estimated that prices in general fell from 1869 to 1879 by 3.8 percent per annum. Unfortunately, most historians and economists are conditioned to believe that steadily and sharply falling prices must result in depression: hence their amazement at the obvious prosperity and economic growth during this era.

            • Bored 1.1.2.1.1.1

              All of the above may be true, but percentages of growth do not always tell the full story. For example the bulk of the GDP growth in a low wage economy can be captured by a single tiny class of robber barons as was the case in the US in the 1870s/90s. It has an eerie mirror image today in China and India today, countries with massive numbers of new millionaires and exponentially massive numbers of industrial wage slaves. Given that to the bulk of the population the US was in this era a third world country, with pockets of extreme affluence, the numbers quoted must have meant very little to the impoverished masses. The same is true today, as is the dogged determination of those who have to grasp any increase and add it to their already considerable holdings. It is how the rich get rich, by keeping the poor subservient, underpaid and poor.

              • Quoth the Raven

                As Rothbard noted in that quote real per capita wages were growing over that time (nominal wages may drop but it was a deflationary period). Your contention may or may not be the case, but the point is that this period is not what most people would call a depression. There may have numerous problems here and there, but overall looking at the evidence it’s hard to call it a depression.

                As to the robber barons were those like the railroad barons largely derived their advantage from the state (not all railroad barons did). The state grabbed large swathes of land through eminent domain and handed it over to these barons (another example of a state created boom that eventually turned to bust). The whole robber baron thing really doesn’t fit with the anti-market musings when you look at the details of their relation to the state.

                • Bored

                  Most people might not have called this a depression, agreed. The great literature of the time, the works of Sawyer describing the down and out life along the Mississipi, or Dickens or Balzac on the condition of the working poor might prove a more realistic record of the human condition of the era. They dont mention depression, they merely give graphical record of the human condition in poverty. When times are good for the upper strata the lowest levels may notice no difference, depression or boom their condition remains constant.

                  What I am saying is that the historic record set by numbers, percentages etc may or may not discount a boom or depression. To the poor this meant degrees of deprivation, but deprivation nevertheless. And from an economic viewpoint it was a time of laissez faire liberalism, for which system must be attributed the responsibility for the condition of the poor masses.

                  It was this system that gave rise to the toxic collectivist experiments, both great varieties of totalitarianism, and cyclical economic failure. Given these bastard off spring it amazes me anybody would bother to defend free market capitalism as anything but a road to perdition.

                  • Quoth the Raven

                    Well that’s why I pointed out that real per captia wages increased over this time. I might also have pointed out that hours worked decreased from 61 hours in 1870 to 48 by the nineteen twenties because of increased productivity. The whole 19th century saw a great expansion of the middle class. BTW Balzac was long dead by the 1870s and Dickens died in 1870.

                    And from an economic viewpoint it was a time of laissez faire liberalism, for which system must be attributed the responsibility for the condition of the poor masses.

                    What a complete ahistorical piece of nonsense! All those liberals championing laissez faire lamenting the condition of the working classes at this time must’ve been mistaken. The tale of the robber barons who were political connected rent seekers who garnered government favours and government granted monopolies, cronyist regulation and so on should tell you otherwise. See: THE IRON FIST BEHIND THE INVISIBLE HAND Corporate Capitalism As a State-Guaranteed System of Privilege

                    • Bored

                      Nice article Q, much to commend it, a good read thanks. My point ahistoric nonsense I think not, the age was still that of liberal laissez faire with all its attendant warts. As Carson points out in the article capital co-opted the powers of the state as it does today. Free markets were not allowed to exist where capitalists were able to seize control by monopoly and cartel, they fought amongst themselves as much as with the emerging proletariat.

                      I suspect where we differ is that I dont believe free markets can ever exist in isolation to the human desire to maximise their personal gain by any means, thereby corrupting the principle of market freedom. Conversely any regulation also has the potential to pervert, Catch 22.

                      More importantly it was as I pointed out the condition of the masses caused by the corrupt behavoir and wilfull exploitative force of the capitalists themselves that gave rise to the over reaction. Thats what I accuse this era of generating.

                      You might want to comment on why working hours came down, unionisation /mechanisation / intensive energy use perhaps. Reading Orwell in the age of the 40 hour week I would not say conditions overall were hugely changed for those on the periphery. As I have learnt at work over years with the P&L numbers are important, why the numbers are as they are requires more investigation.

                    • Quoth the Raven

                      The decrease in working hours came about through industrialisation and the increased productivity (greater output per hours worked) that came along with it. Unionisation is very important and at that time we could see the use of state power to repress unionism. Collective bargaining for better conditions and wages is a market activity and unions should be free to carry out their activities what we saw early in the twentieth century was cooption of unions by the state which really deradicalised the unions. Ideally unions shouldn’t just bargain, but work towards worker self management, but the bureaucratic coopted unions of today are content to lobby the state for counterproductive regulation or nationalisation.

                      There is much to lament in the system, but here is much to laud as well. The rise of capitalism saw the end of the feudalist system and the great rise and growth of the middle class. We see it today in China and India. Millions are being lifted out of poverty at the some time the middle class is growing exponentially. The free market works to eliminate extremes of wealth and poverty. Where there has been great exploitation and use of market power to the expense of the masses it has come about from cooption of state power.

      • Quoth the Raven 1.1.3

        I note in Krugman’s artilce another little myth:

        What’s the evidence for the belief that fiscal contraction is actually expansionary, because it improves confidence? (By the way, this is precisely the doctrine expounded by Herbert Hoover in 1932.)

        That is covered here:Did Hoover Really Slash Spending? and he doesn’t bother to mention Hoover’s disastrous protectionist policies.

  2. joe90 2

    The Australian 60 Minutes oil spill videos supposedly axed by BP.

    Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcvzkrPL9C4

    Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC-tYZ7tbYM

    • Bored 2.1

      Bloody tragic, as the lady says everything dying. It wont stop some idiot authorised by Brownlee having a go at oil in deeper stormier East Coast water, these buggers dont want to learn.

      Capcha problem

  3. BLiP 3

    Murkier and murkier . . .

    It’s now official. The Prime Minister’s office has confirmed another community rumour regarding the meetings with key players connected to Pacific Economic Development Agency Ltd and the government budget appropriation of $4.8 million. They don’t say it in those words.

    [snip]

    JR Pereira, the CEO of Pacific Economic Development Agency Ltd, is also the Deputy Chair of Auckland City Council’s Pacific Board. He was not elected by the community but the board itself at a later stage. Pereira was heavily involved behind the scenes of Pasifika when Labour MPs were preventing from speaking on the stage for the first time in the Festival’s history.

    Good to see that not all the PI Media have been cowed by the government and even their own people. There’s much more to this story and it seems Sleepy Sam Lotu Iiga has only been using the House to catch up on the sleep he missed when working for the pay-backs on behalf of his mates.

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