It is capitalism, not government, that is the problem. The fusion of corporate and state power means that government is broken. It is little more than a protection racket for Wall Street. And it is our job to wrest government back. This will come only through the building of mass movements.The Post-Constitutional Era (via azspot)
95% of economics is common sense. You don’t need a degree to understand it.
We’ve got this profession wrong; a lot of professional economists think what they do is too difficult for ordinary people. You’d be surprised how often these people are stupid enough to say things, at least in private, like ‘you wouldn’t understand what I do even if I explained it to you’. If you cannot explain it to other people, you have the problem.
People express strong opinions on all sorts of things despite not having the appropriate expertise: climate change, gay marriage, the Iraq War, nuclear power stations. But when it comes to economic issues, many people are not even interested, not to speak of not having a strong opinion about them. When was the last time you had a debate on the future of the Euro, inequality in China or the American manufacturing industry, despite the fact that these issues can have a huge impact on your life, wherever you live?
Economics is not a science.
Despite what the experts want you to believe, there is more than one way of ‘doing’ economics
People have been led to believe that, like physics or chemistry, economics is a ‘science’, in which there is only one correct answer to everything; thus non-experts should simply accept the ‘professional consensus’ and stop thinking about it.
Contrary to what most economists would have you believe, there isn’t just one kind of economics – Neoclassical economics. In fact there are no less than nine different kinds, or schools, as they are often known. And none of these schools can claim superiority over others and still less monopoly over truth.
I accept that being suddenly asked to taste nine different flavours of ice cream when you had thought that there was only one plain vanilla can be quite overwhelming. In order to help, I attach here a simple table that will help you overcome your initial fear [see above photo].
Economics is politics.
Economic arguments are often justification for what politicians want to do anyway. Economics is a political argument. It is not – and can never be – a science.
Behind every economic policy and corporate action that affect our lives – the minimum wage, outsourcing, social security, food safety, pensions and whatnot – lies some economic theory that either has inspired those actions or, more frequently, is providing justification of what those in power want to do anyway.
Only when we know that there are different economic theories will we be able to tell those in power that they are wrong to tell us that ‘there is no alternative’ (TINA), as Margaret Thatcher once infamously put it in defence of her controversial policies.
Never trust an economist.
It is one thing not to foresee the financial crisis; it’s another not to have changed anything since.
Most economists were caught completely by surprise by the 2008 global financial crisis. Not only that, they have not been able to come up with decent solutions to the ongoing aftermaths of that crisis.
Given all this, economics seems to suffer from a serious case of megalomania.
The financial crisis has been a brutal reminder that we cannot leave our economy to professional economists and other ‘technocrats’. We should all get involved in its management – as active economic citizens.
We have to reclaim economics for the people It’s too important to be left to the experts alone.
You should be willing to challenge professional economists (and, yes, that includes me). They do not have a monopoly over the truth, even when it comes to economic matters.
Like many other things in life – learning to ride a bicycle, learning a new language, or learning to use your new tablet computer – being an active economic citizen gets easier over time, once you overcome the initial difficulties and keep practicing it.
Unless you are willing and able to challenge the professionals, challenge the experts, what’s the point of having a democracy?
There is no excuse for complacency. If you organize and demand reforms then a lot of amazing things happen, but it won’t come easy – we have to fight for it.
Billions of dollars’ worth of military weapons and equipment is available to local police departments through grant programs administered by federal agencies such as the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security. Until now, this has gone on with very little public oversight. Too little has been known about how much military equipment law enforcement agencies have, why they have it, and how they are using it.Community Police Armed with the Weapons and Tactics of War (via azspot)
A study, to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy, meaning profoundly corrupt, so that the answer to the study’s opening question, ‘Who governs? Who really rules?’ in this country, is:US Is An Oligarchy, Not A Democracy, Says Scientific Study | Common Dreams. (via universalequalityisinevitable)
‘Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But…’ and then they go on to say, it’s not true, and that, ‘America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened’ by the findings in this, the first-ever comprehensive scientific study of the subject, which shows that there is instead ‘the nearly total failure of ‘median voter’ and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.’
To put it short: the United States is no democracy, but actually an oligarchy.
But it was also clear that an all-round increase in wealth threatened the destruction — indeed, in some sense was the destruction — of a hierarchical society. In a world in which everyone worked short hours, had enough to eat, lived in a house with a bathroom and a refrigerator, and possessed a motor-car or even an aeroplane, the most obvious and perhaps the most important form of inequality would already have disappeared. If it once became general, wealth would confer no distinction. It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which WEALTH, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while POWER remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.George Orwell (via azspot)
America has a problem. And it isn’t a gun problem. Guns are merely instruments or tools- nothing more. The problem America has is deeper than just the availability of guns. America has a sickness in its soul. A sickness driven by self interest, selfishness, self aggrandizement, and greed.It’s Just Another Day In America… (via azspot)
Interstate Pipeline Spills 10,000 Gallons of Crude Oil Into Ohio Nature Preserve
READ MORE on EcoWatch: http://ecowatch.com/2014/03/19/pipeline-spills-crude-oil-ohio/
First…. Many Indigenous Nations have calendars which have
been counting the years for a very long time. I am aware that
the calendar of the Mohawk Indian Nation has been counting
the winters for over 33,120 years. This pre-dates the so-called
‘land-bridge’ of the Bering Strait theory, unless, of course, the
Bering Strait scientists decide to move their interestingly illusive
time period for “early migration” of Indians back to 40,000 years!
Many American Indian early histories tell of events that took
place on this Turtle continent (North America) long before any
so-called ice age. But, for political reasons, these histories
have been mostly ignored. You see, the Bering Strait, in truth,
is a theory that was born of the politics and propaganda of
early America. In the midst of the American ‘Manifest Destiny’
social climate, the Bering Strait theory provided a ‘scientific’
means to justify the taking of ancestral Indian lands. In short,
the mythical theory eased the conscience, as it was a way for
land hungry immigrants to believe that, because Indian people
were only ‘recent inhabitants’ of this land , it was not really their
‘homeland’. Therefore Indians were, in their minds, not any more
the ‘original people’ of this land than they were. This was, and
still is, the political power of the infamous ‘Bering Strait theory’.
The B.S. (Bering Strait) Myth
By John Two-Hawks
The Bering Strait Theory was made to make colonialism seem less like exploitation.
I cannot reblog this enough! my thoughts exactly.
…the GOP is the Party that Wrecked America. From tax cuts for the rich and policies that have created the widest income inequality since the Gilded Age, to endless wars and an endless war on the commons and “entitlements” — in reality, the earned benefits of Social Security and Medicare — the Republicans have pursued a radical, ruinous agenda. To be sure, they had help from corporate Dems, especially in the deregulation that set the table for the worst recession since the Great Depression, and in bad trade deals that have helped hollow out the middle class. But, really. Today’s American disaster? “The Party of Lincoln” owns it. And a majority of voters are inclined to put them in charge of the Senate?Rogue Columnist (via azspot)
The world needs to understand that the neoconservative US government is the Third Reich on steroids. It is a malevolent force with no sense of justice or respect for truth, law, or human life. Just ask the residents of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Palestine, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Lebanon, Honduras, Venezuela, Cuba, Iran. Even the deluded western Ukrainians will soon catch on. Obama himself declared that the US is “the exceptional nation.” This is the neoconservatives version of Hitler’s declaration that the German nation was exceptional and, therefore, above all others. The only difference between Washington and National Socialist Germany is that Washington has a far more powerful police state and nuclear weapons.Paul Craig Roberts (via azspot)
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