Sunday, December 05, 2021

A/C

"Why the White Elite Wants to Talk about Race instead of Class" (Shetterly):

"Rich white people know they would win a race war and lose a class war."

"Journalists reveal the truth of El Mozote massacre to the world " (El Salvador Perspectives).  Remember those days long ago when the JYT actually hired journalists, who did journalism?  Me neither.

"Will the Public Finally See What Happened in the Capitol Tunnel?" (Kelly).

"Ukraine warns EU about 5 million refugees".  I would think this kind of information would cause the Europeans, were they in any way sane, to back off on annoying Russia.

"Will Ethiopia Become Biden’s Libya 2.0 or a Driver for an African Renaissance?" (Ehret).  We've not seen the usual neocon PR blasts about the butchering of the poor people of Tigray, or even the use by Ethiopia of WMDs (!), for me to see American boots on the ground, or even overt aerial support, as likely.

It is not all bad news, as American control over South and Cemtral America continues to fall apart, and all Killary's efforts to ruin Honduras are coming undone.

"The China-Iran Strategic Partnership: 40 Years in the Making" (Hamrah/Eliasen).  Yet again, the irony of a failing Empire - the Americans prompted the Iran-Iraq war using their great ally Sadddam, and the upshot is the current huge Iran-China relationship.

"Is it in the end all just words?" (eugyppius).  Rather optimistic.  Despite streets full of protestors, I'm seeing no budge from the politicians and bureaucrats, just the opposite in fact.  Neither the calamitous failure of the 'science', nor the obvious considerable levels of political dissent, seems to make the least difference to pushing forward Schwab's plans.  There needs to be a different kind of incentives, or, rather, disincentives, on the politicians and bureaucrats.

"As the Lock Rattles" (Lanchester):
"The economic response to Covid has been a technocratic masterpiece, saving the world from what could easily have been worse than the Great Depression. But it has done so by ripping up the economic rule book, the ‘Washington consensus’ which has been central to the running of the world economy for the last four decades. In order to create the necessary economic stimulus, central banks have been buying back their own debt with newly created money. It works like this: imagine I’m the central bank. You have $100 million of my debt, paying an interest rate of, say, 2 per cent. I say: I’ll take that back off you, and in return, I’ll electronically create a new deposit in your name to the tune of $100 million. That’s money you can go out and spend, and that spending is what will stimulate the economy. This is called monetising the debt: turning government debt into cash. It’s ingenious, but it’s also the exact opposite of what central banks are supposed to do, according to the neoliberal economic rule book. Tooze has a wonderful quote from the prominent MIT economist Rüdiger Dornbusch from 2000: in the past twenty years, he says, ‘the very rise of independent central banks [has been] all about getting priorities right, getting rid of democratic money, which is always short-sighted, bad money’. Central banks, according to this system, are explicitly forbidden from monetising debt, because that would make their actions subordinate to the impulses of politicians. But now, it turns out, the thing that was completely banned – monetising government debt – is actually fine. Central banks can’t print money for political reasons, but it’s perfectly OK for them to print money when it’s necessary to keep the system running. It’s sometimes said that a certain kind of technocratic insider wants to keep democracy safe for capitalism. This is what that looks like: banks and governments doing things for economic reasons they would be forbidden from doing for political reasons. Printing money to keep the system running? Fine! Printing money to fulfil democratically mandated political objectives? Verboten!"
and (my emphasis in red):
"In May 2020, the estimated cost of vaccinating the entire planet was $25 billion. That’s a lot of money. On the other hand, $20.2 billion is what the US military spent on air-conditioning each year in Afghanistan and Iraq. It might turn out to have been a very stupid $25 billion for the rich world to have saved. Covid is still here, 44 per cent of the world’s population is unvaccinated, and the lock is still rattling."
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