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#15086189
jimjam wrote:
Many smaller oil companies are expected to seek bankruptcy protection in the coming months after having spent years borrowing billions of dollars to extract and move crude. Production companies have $86 billion in debt coming due between 2020 and 2024, and pipeline companies have an additional $123 billion they have to repay or refinance over the same period, according to Moody’s Investors Service. The reverberations to other industries could be significant. A decade or two ago, low oil prices would serve to bolster the American economy by reducing energy costs. But the oil industry has become so big and important — it directly and indirectly employs 10 million people — that its problems will deal a blow to many kinds of businesses, including manufacturers that build its equipment, steel companies that make its pipes and banks and hedge funds that lend it money.



The big shale oil guy took on insane levels of debt expecting he'd get bailed out if he got into trouble.

And like good little masochists, we'll let him privatise his profits, and socialise his losses by paying his debt.

Welfare bum.
#15086960
The current economic downturn will drag on for months, with double-digit unemployment rates rocking the labor market and a deficit ballooning to $3.7 trillion ($3,700,000,000,000 :eek: ) this year, the Congressional Budget Office said in a grim projection Friday. CBO expects real GDP to plummet by 11.8 percent in the second quarter. Overall, the economy is expected to shrink by 5.6 percent in 2020, before growing by 2.8 percent next year.

:hmm: Time for another tax cut for billionaires ….. it'll "trickle down" and solve all our problems :lol: .
#15087578
While U.S. billionaire wealth soared by 1,130 percent since 1990, median household wealth increased by only 5.37 percent.

If expanding billionaire wealth “lifted all boats” and created, in effect, a society that worked well for everyone, we could perhaps afford to worry less about billionaire fortunes. But the number of households with zero or negative wealth. . .is increasing. Our society is most definitely not working for all of us. A high percentage of U.S. households are living on the edge, paycheck to paycheck. The current pandemic is exposing our central economic and social reality: Extreme wealth inequality has become America’s “pre-existing condition.”
#15087784
Widespread layoffs and business closings didn’t hit until late March in most of the country. Economists expect figures from the current quarter, which will capture the shutdown’s impact more fully, to show that G.D.P. contracted at an annual rate of 30 percent or more, a scale not seen since the Great Depression. Consumer spending, the bedrock of the decade-long economic expansion, fell at a 7.6 percent rate. Business investment, which had already been struggling in part because of the trade war, fell for the fourth straight quarter. Imports and exports both declined sharply as the pandemic brought global trade Spending on services fell at a 10.2 percent rate in the first quarter, and spending at restaurants and hotels was down nearly 30 percent on an annual basis. Consumers even spent less on health care, as they put off appointments and canceled elective procedures to a near standstill. Spending on cars plunged at a 33.2 percent rate.

With each month of unpaid bills and rock-bottom sales, more businesses will go bankrupt (Donald's preferred business model) or decide not to reopen. More workers will drift away from their employers, turning temporary layoffs into permanent job losses. More loans will lapse into delinquency, endangering banks and the broader financial system.
#15087962
The Commerce Department reported on Thursday that consumer spending in March fell 7.5 percent from February’s level, a stunning decline that helps explain why the overall economy is so weak. Consumer activity is responsible for two-thirds of the country’s economic performance. Most of the quarter came before the coronavirus pandemic forced widespread shutdowns and layoffs.
#15087978
Okay, please bear with me, everyone -- with TTP's prolonged silence over at the 'mingy little beasts' thread I've found my political time to be freeing up, and so I recently discovered the 'latest posts' thread listing at the bottom of each post. I'm now working my way into the PoFo forum at large....

Here are some select portions of posts from this thread that I'd like to respond to:


Patrickov wrote:
I think in general Member Rancid is right. However, there will probably be a lot of holes and traps.

Take the following as an example. I threw one of the said stock away despite holding it for almost two decades.

HSBC and Standard Chartered shares plunge after cancelling dividends, suspending buy-backs as coronavirus pandemic batters economies

https://www.scmp.com/business/banking-f ... -buy-backs



From recollection HSBC has been scandal-ridden lately, so it may not be the best example, or indicator, since it's so atypical.


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Tainari88 wrote:
Let go under what conditions Annatar? That is the question. Puerto Ricans have been told for centuries that they are not capable of self rule and so on. Even though many small nations including Palau from the ex unincorporated territories list (that gained its independence from the USA gov't in 1993) is proof that islands can become independent and rule themselves.

People have to stop with the lies Annatar2014. Making excuses for the sellouts that are not valid. I studied the history of the Caribbean basin for years. All the islands have had colonial pasts in some form. But? The reality is that we can have incredibly great and advantageous relationships with each other and North, South and Central American nations. But the USA has to stop being bad second rate copy cats of all these horrific invading crazy empires from England (UK), Spain, Portugal, France, Holland, the USA...it is terrible. Just allow the Caribbean islands to be free and develop on their own and with being able to adopt interesting and good policies that favor their own interests. Not the ones who live thousands of miles away and don't care about the locals. It is not going to make things better.



One gets the sense that the U.S. cultivates its 'backyard' (imperialism) almost entirely for the sake of imperialist *social status*, since it's so materially self-sufficient otherwise.

Under the present system of world capitalism it's difficult to imagine independent-minded frameworks for such distinct landmasses as Puerto Rico, and the UK, etc. -- in the overall *productive*-economic global economy there's not much there, aside from perhaps *regional* (Stalinist-type) trading networks in the area / Caribbean, like Venezuela's 'ALBA' (if I recall correctly).

The inherent friction of politically separate (and even *separatist*) nation-states of all sizes, against the now-more-than-ever-before globally integrated world economy just points more intensely to the objective empirical need for a transition to *full socialism* so that the *political* component can be fully globalized as well, under workers control, to appropriately complement the already-globalized *economics* (and take it off of *commodity-production*, for exchange values, of course, in favor of producing to fulfill *human need*).


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foxdemon wrote:
In my view the basic failure of ideologies such as communism and fascism is that there is no consideration of how leaders could be made accountable for what they do with their power. A political ideology must attempt to answer both questions of how to distribute resources and also how power is to be accountable. Only liberal democracy, amongst current ideologies originating from the enlightenment, makes a serious attempt at answering both.



It's a persistent *misnomer* that state regimes of communism and fascism failed due to their *inherent poltiical ideologies*. In the case of *fascism*, of course, it *should* fail, but Western governments have historically propped it up, as with allowing the Nazi rail lines to Jewish extermination camps, even though the Allied intelligence networks knew about it from early on, from overhead surveillance photographs. More recently would be the U.S.'s sponsorship of fascists in state power in Ukraine.

Regarding the misnamed 'communism' -- really *Stalinism* or the Stalinist idea of 'socialism-in-one-country' -- there was nothing to *do* internally in Russia in the '20s and '30s except to attempt to resuscitate the economy and industrialize, to catch up with the West / world, as quickly as possible, which is what Stalin *did*, in record time, but at a horrible human cost. I contend that the likes of a strongman figure like Stalin wouldn't have even *gotten* into power if it wasn't for the initial international imperialist *counterrevolution* fomented there by the Allies, that destroyed its economy, against the nascent soviet (workers councils) control of the economy after the overthrow of tsarism, in Russia.

Liberal democracy tends to *gloss over* these historical details / developments, to present a kind of *whitewashed*, bland, generic historical account, one which happens to *blame* and demonize non-Western-liberal-democratic governments and their best attempts to stay geopolitically anti-imperialist and 'independent' despite worldwide Western capitalist imperialist hegemony.



But, as Lenin insisted in January 1918, ‘Without the German Revolution we are ruined’. 78 The belief in international revolution was not a fantasy. The war had already led to upsurges of revolt similar to those in Russia, if on a considerably smaller scale—the mutinies of 1917 in the armies of France and Britain and in the German navy, a strike by 200,000 German metal workers against a cut in the bread ration, five days of fighting between workers and soldiers in Turin in August 1917, 79 illegal engineering and mining strikes in Britain, and a republican rising in Dublin during Easter 1916.



Harman, _People's History of the World_, pp. 424-425




The Allied intervention, striking simultaneously with the rebellion of the kulaks [rich peasants] and the collapse of the soviet alliance [with the Left Social Revolutionaries], poses an unmistakable threat to the survival of the republic. The proletarian dictatorship is forced to throw off its democratic paraphernalia forthwith. Famine and local anarchy compel a rigorous concentration of powers in the hands of the appropriate commissariats... Conspiracy compels the introduction of a powerful apparatus of internal defence. Assassinations, peasant risings and mortal danger compel the use of terror. The outlawing of the socialists of counter-revolution and the split with the anarchists and Left Social Revolutionaries have as their consequence the political monopoly of the Communist Party... Soviet institutions, beginning with the local soviets and ending with the Vee-Tsik [all-Russian executive] and the council of people’s commissars now function in a vacuum. 84



It was at this point that the revolutionary government turned, for the first time, to the systematic use of terror. The ‘White’ counter-revolutionaries had shown their willingness to shoot suspected revolutionaries out of hand. They had done so in October, as they fought to cling on to Moscow, and Whites in Finland had killed 23,000 ‘Reds’ after putting down a Social Democrat rising in January. 85 Now the revolutionaries felt they had no choice but to respond in kind. The shooting of suspected counter-revolutionaries, the taking of bourgeois hostages, the adoption of methods designed to strike fear into the heart of every opponent of the revolution now became an accepted part of revolutionary activity. Yet despite the impression created by works such as Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, the terror was very different from that employed by Stalin from 1929 onwards. It was a reaction to real, not imaginary, actions of counter-revolution and it ended in 1921 once the civil war was over.



Harman, _People's History of the World_, p. 428



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foxdemon wrote:
So how will you hold those in power to account for their decisions? How will they be replaced when they screw up? Should they ruthlessly suppress any opposition when they fail to attend to the needs of the public and tenaciously cling to power regardless?


That seems to be how socialist systems work out. All because they depend on virtuous leaders who never fail. Alas, such people do not exist in the real world. So the lack of any system of accountability turns socially systems into dystopian social order, since there is nothing to prevent those who hold power turning not tyrants.



This is *stereotyping*, based on a particular playing-out of historical circumstances from the early 20th century. Socialism doesn't *call for* a Stalinist strongman-type hierarchical totalitarian structure -- rather it calls for 'All power to the soviets', meaning to the workers councils.


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Tainari88 wrote:
Human beings are my favorite species. Not because of the parts in which they are destructive and selfish? But when they become these enhancers of life. when they adapt and get creative and inventive and flexible and original thinkers and artistic and scientific innovators and caring and dynamic and see how they fit into the scheme of things not to dominate, control and hate....but to yield, and give and love...and through that love and caring they make life great. It is the choice of our species. Something that animals can't do because animals are instinctual only creatures with underdeveloped front lobe stuff. The animals are naturally in harmony with the natural order. They are naturally adapted and their levels of conscious choice are limited. Humans have a tiny percentage that is incredibly powerful. It is about self internal freedom. A tiny bit of us is about freedom.



Not that I *glorify* animals, but I have to take some exception to your portrayal, Tainari. I think this particular depiction of human-vs.-animal nature is unwittingly *geneticist*, while leaving-out the *environmental* / 'nurture' aspect of life for either people or animals -- what, exactly *do* animals have to do within their default natural setting, among others like them, say, as in a rainforest?

Their conscious choice is limited by their *natural environment*, and not so much by brain capacity or function -- primates like monkeys and chimps do just fine in front of touchscreen computers, solving number puzzles and such things, and I have the suspicion that almost *all* animals could do similarly, provided with species-appropriate devices and interfaces.


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blackjack21 wrote:
Communist means basically stripping people of their property and forcing them into poverty by force of arms while telling people it is for their own good, and that the people are being protected from capitalist oppressors. I'm not much interested in Marxian theories anymore. We have seen enough of it in practice to know that the "No True Scotsman" defense has worn thin.



This is more of the same -- you're buying into past Cold War propaganda, even though that whole cultural paradigm is *defunct* now.

Yes, Stalinist-type revisionist "communism" was just as patronizing and condescending as the U.S. continues to be, today. Much of the Cold War superpower showdown was just two different types of nationalist protection rackets operating parallel to each other, over their respective populations.


blackjack21 wrote:
Oh, I think people can clearly see that the virus hit Italy like a ton of bricks and Italy has a national health service. It's not Italy's fault. It's China's fault. However, you appear to be clearly pushing the CCP propaganda platform.



I'll accept that the coronavirus was *possibly* bio-engineered, and so it evades typical everyday medical and health approaches. You're *opportunistically* using this world event, though, to propagandize against any kind of nationalized / national single-payer-type healthcare approach, which is exactly the kind of structure that governments *have*, for acute domestic concerns like this one.


blackjack21 wrote:
Uh huh. Yet, if this came from the Wuhan virology lab, just as Chernobyl was a Soviet fuck up, when are you going to admit that these "communist" or "socialist" systems that are somehow non-compliant with utopian orthodoxy that if complied with would somehow deliver utopia/nirvana/whatever may actually be no more real than a unicorn vomiting rainbows?



This is a *distortion* of revolutionary leftist politics, though, since no socialist would claim that geographically-constrained *nation-states* are what the Communist Manifesto calls to implement.

There's no such thing as 'utopian orthodoxy' -- you're probably thinking of the modern *origins* of the socialist movement, which *began* with this kind of *idealizing*, in localist, commune-type ways.


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jimjam wrote:
Social security and Medicare have given way to massive tax reductions and a general stacking of the deck for the top 1% - 10%.



blackjack21 wrote:
They have always been financed FICA payroll taxes, not some sort of means-tested progressive system. The reason isn't because they love taxing the poor. It's because political support for Social Security and Medicare collapses if it gets means-tested.



You're not even *addressing* jimjam's point, but rather are *sidestepping* it, showing that you'd prefer to *ignore* the dire civilizational dynamic of *income inequality*, or the class divide.

Social Security, Medicare, and *all* human-health / -welfare kinds of social services should be the *norm* for any modern industrialized economy these days, regardless of any comparatively *backward*, right-populist-type opinionating about it.


jimjam wrote:
A few trillion in tax reductions for billionaires is followed shortly by talk of "austerity" and the "unsustainability" of Social Security.



Yup -- it shows the class divide regarding government policies.


blackjack21 wrote:
You could confiscate all of Jeff Bezo's shares in Amazon, and it wouldn't do much to help Medicare expenses.



Maybe we should *do* it first, to confirm or disprove your 'clinical' hypothesizing.


Tainari88 wrote:
@foxdemon the problem I have with liberalism is a lack of ethics and a lack of consistency with regards to capitalism. For me? Cappies fail to acknowledge that having owners versus nonowners and having class- based systems will fail to prevent abuse and collapse. The system is innately flawed.



Yup -- it's practically ivory-tower thinking, that shines the spotlight on everything *except* the ivory tower.


blackjack21 wrote:
Yet we have already seen abuse and collapse of so-called "socialist" systems many times. You do not see the design flaw there? "It's not truly socialist/communist, because (insert excuse for failure here)."



The 'excuse' is what actually happened in history, which you'd rather gloss-over and ignore -- the historical downward slide of *revisionism*, from the initial Communist Manifesto goals, was due to *Western imperialist invasions* that threw the Bolshevik Revolution off-track.


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blackjack21 wrote:
China is industrialist, run by a communist party.



They *call* themselves 'communist', but they're actually revisionist, or *Stalinists*.


Political Spectrum, Simplified

Spoiler: show
Image



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late:]

4) I couldn't find anyone advocating that much crazy. China holds onto a ton of American money. Cut all trade, and they dump dollars. Do you have any idea what that would do?[/quote]


[quote="blackjack21 wrote:

Not necessarily. If they dump dollars, they destroy the competitiveness of their export markets.



Your type, BJ, would typically be making the *economic*-sided argument of 'free-markets', but when it comes to the *real world*, you're suddenly national-chauvinist, *politically*, favoring the foreign retention of U.S. dollars, and making up bullshit to cover for why China *shouldn't* dump dollars.


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SolarCross wrote:
IMHO the issue with China is not so much the involvement of the government in the economy but in the philosophy of that government and their basically hostile intentions towards anyone who is not them which happens to include the better part of their own populace. It would be better if their economics were less like ours and more like that of Mao if only because the economic trainwreck that is Maoism made the CPC LESS of a threat because economic power precedes military power. The problem with China is that it is ruled by the CPC not that it is somewhere on the "mixed economy" spectrum. The CPC is strengthened by its mixed economy.



Mao was successful at being anti-imperialist, and he / China deserves a lot of credit for that alone, since few other countries were able to resist Western colonization while also internally industrializing at the same time. Mao's *economics* were highly *politicized*, and were aimed at the *agriculture* sector, instead of at the industrial sector, which, predictably, became a train-wreck, unfortunately.

At this point, the U.S. and other plutocratic Western countries can't claim to be any more 'democratic' than China's CPC, so I don't think there's a hell of a lot of difference there (see the 2000 U.S. presidential election). Whether the governance is plutocratic or bureaucratic-elitist is a toss-up, really, since both are ultimately *ruling class*.


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SolarCross wrote:
Communism = One party totalitarian autocracy. The CPC (the clue is in the name) are still communists, just because they are using capitalism to strengthen themselves does not make them less communist. We were fools to think otherwise.



I think everyone here can probably agree on the term 'bureaucratic elitism' -- again, not what The Communist Manifesto describes as the political end-goal.


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blackjack21 wrote:
Exactly. Communism needs to finally be placed on the ash heap of history along with the reputations of the people who proposed free trade with China.



This again is conveniently ignoring the *economics* of it, which has been, until recently, the dirt-cheap price of China's labor -- ever hear the term 'the workshop to the world'?


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late wrote:
Yes, dumping their dollars would hurt China, as well as America. But cutting off all trade would be a disaster for China. It's the only counter-move they would have, and they would use it.

They don't get their oil from the USA, last time I looked, they were getting it from the ME. They could, and prob would, use those dollars to buy long term contracts. They have a good relationship with the Saudi.



Patrickov wrote:
I mean the United States still controls transport of oil around the world, not necessarily that they are primary supplier. Besides, I heard that refining technology and capacity are both very important matter too. Assuming these are true (sorry I did not bother to find proof), these are what US Dollar credibility is based on. Until all these having alternatives, dumping US dollar will not hurt the US at all.



late wrote:
Dollars are the reserve currency, which means other countries hold a lot of dollars. If China were to dump enough dollars, it would likely start a panic sell off of dollars.

Everyone would dump their dollars, which would instantly end our status as the reserve currency.

This would be very bad for the United States.

China doesn't want to go there, and we certainly don't want them to go there. But the stakes are really quite high.



My understanding is that the U.S.'s economic strength is in having the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency, and also in its militaristic global 'protection racket' to the countries of the world that are its 'clients' / participants (the past 'Coalition of the Willing', etc.).
By late
#15087990
late wrote:
Dollars are the reserve currency, which means other countries hold a lot of dollars. If China were to dump enough dollars, it would likely start a panic sell off of dollars.

Everyone would dump their dollars, which would instantly end our status as the reserve currency.

This would be very bad for the United States.

China doesn't want to go there, and we certainly don't want them to go there. But the stakes are really quite high.



My understanding is that the U.S.'s economic strength is in having the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency, and also in its militaristic global 'protection racket' to the countries of the world that are its 'clients' / participants (the past 'Coalition of the Willing', etc.).

[/quote]

Reserve status is given, it can also be withdrawn.

You get reserve status because your currency is seen as a safe haven. It usually goes to a close ally.

The strength of the dollar comes from the strength of the economy. Notice any changes there?

Trump has been busy undermining alliances and playing kissy face with dictators.

Such changes weaken the very reasons countries extend reserve status to us. Countries don't like to rock the boat, so that status tends to last longer than you would think. But that is the direction things are headed.
#15087999
ckaihatsu wrote:I'll accept that the coronavirus was *possibly* bio-engineered, and so it evades typical everyday medical and health approaches. You're *opportunistically* using this world event, though, to propagandize against any kind of nationalized / national single-payer-type healthcare approach, which is exactly the kind of structure that governments *have*, for acute domestic concerns like this one.

I don't think it was bio-engineered. I think it was probably isolated in the Wuhan virology lab and released by the same sort of negligence we saw with Chernobyl.

As for nationalized health care, I don't want this for the United States. What's interesting is that the worst hit countries in terms of death toll per capita are Italy, Spain, and the UK, which all use the Beveridge model of a national health service. The countries with the lowest death toll per capita are the US, which uses a private health system and Germany which relies on the Bismarck model.

ckaihatsu"You're not even *addressing* jimjam's point, but rather are *sidestepping* it, showing that you'd prefer to *ignore* the dire civilizational dynamic of *income inequality*, or the class divide.[/quote]
I generally don't care about income inequality as a problem by itself. However, I do think people need the opportunity to provide for themselves, and government policies that undermine that ability is generally a bad thing.

[quote="ckaihatsu wrote:
The 'excuse' is what actually happened in history, which you'd rather gloss-over and ignore -- the historical downward slide of *revisionism*, from the initial Communist Manifesto goals, was due to *Western imperialist invasions* that threw the Bolshevik Revolution off-track.

If communism cannot survive its enemies, it pretty much sucks as a system.

ckaihatsu wrote:Your type, BJ, would typically be making the *economic*-sided argument of 'free-markets', but when it comes to the *real world*, you're suddenly national-chauvinist, *politically*, favoring the foreign retention of U.S. dollars, and making up bullshit to cover for why China *shouldn't* dump dollars.

If China dumps dollars, they kill off their number one export market. Their practice has been to dump Yuan. There is a reason for this even if it is not obvious to you or @late.
By late
#15088005
blackjack21 wrote:

If China dumps dollars, they kill off their number one export market. Their practice has been to dump Yuan. There is a reason for this even if it is not obvious to you or @late.



Did you not read the thread, or did you not understand it.

First, they don't dump yuan. That's silly. They do keep it down to pump up exports.

Second, some genius was saying we should stop doing business with China. In that case, they'd dump dollars and that could put us in a depression even if there was no Corona virus.
#15088052
My understanding is that the U.S.'s economic strength is in having the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency, and also in its militaristic global 'protection racket' to the countries of the world that are its 'clients' / participants (the past 'Coalition of the Willing', etc.).



late wrote:Reserve status is given, it can also be withdrawn.

You get reserve status because your currency is seen as a safe haven. It usually goes to a close ally.

The strength of the dollar comes from the strength of the economy. Notice any changes there?

Trump has been busy undermining alliances and playing kissy face with dictators.

Such changes weaken the very reasons countries extend reserve status to us. Countries don't like to rock the boat, so that status tends to last longer than you would think. But that is the direction things are headed.

I agree with your comments.

It's interesting to add that (so far as I can tell) reserve status was indeed explicitly granted to the US at Bretton Woods in 1944, and was institutionalized at the time. Of course, the Bretton Woods system ended in the early 70s, and it would seem that ever since the reserve status of the US dollar has indeed been based on implied trust in the US dollar as a safe haven, without the rigid institutional backing which had persisted until the end of Bretton Woods. The abandonment of this rigid framework would seem to have effectively amounted to a removal of barriers for the abandonment of the US dollar as reserve currency, given the right conditions. The end of the Cold War and the relative multi-polarization of geopolitics which has gone on since, potentially seem like additional major developments which could prove relevant to the eventual undermining of the US dollar's status as reserve currency. The word 'potentially' here is important because obviously we are in the area of speculation about possible future events.

blackjack21 wrote:If China dumps dollars, they kill off their number one export market. Their practice has been to dump Yuan. There is a reason for this even if it is not obvious to you or @late.

This has been the saving grace evoked for at least two decades in mainstream circles.

China certainly doesn't want to lose the US market, but it's quite blind to the circumstances to not realize that they have been diversifying over the years which tempers their reliance on the US. Manufacturers in China still pine for access to the American market, which is still perceived as the richest market from a seller's perspective, but even these sorts of sentiments seem to bemoan a time in recent memory when such was still more the case than it is today; and in so doing to silently acknowledge the changes which have already been underway. The US market is already not the cash cow for Chinese exporters that it was. The financial crisis of 2008 was, for one, a big catalyst of change (i.e., it created impetus to not overly rely on exports to the US, and to focus more on internal development as a basis for economic development policy, etc.). In short, a position of too much comfort (which is what you evoke) is not a safe and secure place to rest.

And you're referring to the practice of depreciating the Chinese yuan to cheapen Chinese exports, obviously. Did you actually think that was some kind of cleaver insight you were concealing? That's about as basic as you can get.
#15088103
blackjack21 wrote:
I don't think it was bio-engineered. I think it was probably isolated in the Wuhan virology lab and released by the same sort of negligence we saw with Chernobyl.



Okay -- or that. (Not my field.)


blackjack21 wrote:
As for nationalized health care, I don't want this for the United States. What's interesting is that the worst hit countries in terms of death toll per capita are Italy, Spain, and the UK, which all use the Beveridge model of a national health service. The countries with the lowest death toll per capita are the US, which uses a private health system and Germany which relies on the Bismarck model.



Your concern is about the 'internal' *inflation* that would occur -- as someone pointed out in regards to college tuitions -- with the influx of government-backed funding, for health care.

It's understandable, but it's still too economics-sided -- the more important aspect, *on top* of the underlying economics of it, is that more people would simply have more access to health and college, respectively. These are the kinds of things that *shouldn't* be subject to command-like rationing through austerity-type funding decisions when we know that there's plenty of *supply* to be had from these industries.

I can't speak to the specific statistic you're mentioning, but it's noted.


ckaihatsu wrote:
You're not even *addressing* jimjam's point, but rather are *sidestepping* it, showing that you'd prefer to *ignore* the dire civilizational dynamic of *income inequality*, or the class divide.



blackjack21 wrote:
I generally don't care about income inequality as a problem by itself. However, I do think people need the opportunity to provide for themselves, and government policies that undermine that ability is generally a bad thing.



But doesn't the (governmental) mass-provisioning of something, like, say, roads, contribute to the empowerment of the individual, as with being able to drive on those roads to get to a destination? If the pre-existing streetcar infrastructure hadn't been undermined by cars, rubber, and oil, maybe we'd have better public transportation today, and, if done well, that could always become the go-to option for the future.


blackjack21 wrote:
If communism cannot survive its enemies, it pretty much sucks as a system.



Well those are two different things -- getting-there, and being-there. I tend to focus more on the 'being-there' aspect, so that at least everyone can get a sense of what it is that should be aimed-for, with mass participation for the 'getting-there' part.

Things happened historically that were less-than-desirable, and the existing material conditions are much better today, so we'll see....


blackjack21 wrote:
If China dumps dollars, they kill off their number one export market. Their practice has been to dump Yuan. There is a reason for this even if it is not obvious to you or @late.



Oh, okay, I see it now -- I was thinking the *obverse* side of it, that it would wreck the *U.S.* economy, but I now concur that it would ruin the U.S. economy as China's export destination in the process.

(Haven't had my coffee yet.) (grin)

In the past China was *stuffing* yuan because they were so in-the-lead, accumulating vast amounts of both domestic *and* foreign currency. But capitalism is hitting them, too, now, so they're not as high in the water as before, and they've increased domestic spending, which is more than the U.S. can say for itself, before the coronavirus.
#15088107
Crantag wrote:
I agree with your comments.

It's interesting to add that (so far as I can tell) reserve status was indeed explicitly granted to the US at Bretton Woods in 1944, and was institutionalized at the time. Of course, the Bretton Woods system ended in the early 70s, and it would seem that ever since the reserve status of the US dollar has indeed been based on implied trust in the US dollar as a safe haven, without the rigid institutional backing which had persisted until the end of Bretton Woods. The abandonment of this rigid framework would seem to have effectively amounted to a removal of barriers for the abandonment of the US dollar as reserve currency, given the right conditions. The end of the Cold War and the relative multi-polarization of geopolitics which has gone on since, potentially seem like additional major developments which could prove relevant to the eventual undermining of the US dollar's status as reserve currency. The word 'potentially' here is important because obviously we are in the area of speculation about possible future events.



I'll repeat that it's the U.S.' 'global protection racket' / immense military buildup that makes it appear 'strong' to foreign capital, but I think that's the *extent* of it -- we're seeing increased international populist-type movements against national leaders and the officially-allowed corruption of paramilitary groups on the right-wing and far-right-wing in those countries.


Protests of 2019

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protests_of_2019


The U.S. dollar is *convenient*, but there are certainly *technical* alternatives to it that have been surmised, like baskets-of-currencies, but this is all beside the point, of course, since the world doesn't really need to be shackled to *exchange values* whatsoever. Eliminate capitalism and you eliminate the 'middleman' function altogether. Needed goods and services could be provided directly from the factory / workplace, to the consumer, and mass organic consumer demand could simply be surveyed and tallied every day, and made public, as I developed in my 'labor credits' model:


Emergent Central Planning

Spoiler: show
Image



labor credits framework for 'communist supply & demand'

Spoiler: show
Image


https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads/20 ... ost2889338


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Crantag wrote:
This has been the saving grace evoked for at least two decades in mainstream circles.

China certainly doesn't want to lose the US market, but it's quite blind to the circumstances to not realize that they have been diversifying over the years which tempers their reliance on the US. Manufacturers in China still pine for access to the American market, which is still perceived as the richest market from a seller's perspective, but even these sorts of sentiments seem to bemoan a time in recent memory when such was still more the case than it is today; and in so doing to silently acknowledge the changes which have already been underway. The US market is already not the cash cow for Chinese exporters that it was. The financial crisis of 2008 was, for one, a big catalyst of change (i.e., it created impetus to not overly rely on exports to the US, and to focus more on internal development as a basis for economic development policy, etc.). In short, a position of too much comfort (which is what you evoke) is not a safe and secure place to rest.



Agreed, though that last sentence is puzzling -- are you saying that the world's current retrenchment, away from international markets, is a *good* thing, in your estimation? (*I* don't think so, but the world economy inevitably 'hits the ceiling' with a lack of cohesive global *politics* / arrangements, to match the complementary *trade* capacity of the globalized economy.)
#15088164
ckaihatsu wrote:Agreed, though that last sentence is puzzling -- are you saying that the world's current retrenchment, away from international markets, is a *good* thing, in your estimation? (*I* don't think so, but the world economy inevitably 'hits the ceiling' with a lack of cohesive global *politics* / arrangements, to match the complementary *trade* capacity of the globalized economy.)

My last sentence:
In short, a position of too much comfort (which is what you evoke) is not a safe and secure place to rest.


I'm referring to Blackjack's sentiment that China won't dump the US dollar because of the importance of the US export market and how (as I've stated) this sentiment has been a source of comfort for American commentators.

Thus, believing that the US is safe because China is reliant on the US export market (and presumably will be for perpetuity, or at least the foreseeable future, according to these sentiments) is itself a position of excessive comfort. I guess it was my nice way of calling it delusional (the notion that things must continue to be as they have been, on this front).

I suppose that such a potentiality may very plausibly accompany retrenchment away from international trade capacity of the global economy (not necessarily so, but very plausibly). I really didn't seek to comment on such a thing, much less make normative judgements about the desirability or not of such a thing.

Would such a potentiality be good? I still don't really know, but I don't think the question is that important, at least from the perspective of the hapless working class.
#15088181
Crantag wrote:
My last sentence:


I'm referring to Blackjack's sentiment that China won't dump the US dollar because of the importance of the US export market and how (as I've stated) this sentiment has been a source of comfort for American commentators.

Thus, believing that the US is safe because China is reliant on the US export market (and presumably will be for perpetuity, or at least the foreseeable future, according to these sentiments) is itself a position of excessive comfort. I guess it was my nice way of calling it delusional (the notion that things must continue to be as they have been, on this front).

I suppose that such a potentiality may very plausibly accompany retrenchment away from international trade capacity of the global economy (not necessarily so, but very plausibly). I really didn't seek to comment on such a thing, much less make normative judgements about the desirability or not of such a thing.

Would such a potentiality be good? I still don't really know, but I don't think the question is that important, at least from the perspective of the hapless working class.



International trade is of significance to *consumers*, which is not necessarily the same interests as *workers*:


Components of Social Production

Spoiler: show
Image



Obviously the U.S. and China are interdependent, and are economically symbiotic.
#15088188
ckaihatsu wrote:International trade is of significance to *consumers*, which is not necessarily the same interests as *workers*:


Components of Social Production

Spoiler: show
Image



Obviously the U.S. and China are interdependent, and are economically symbiotic.

Of course it is significant. But it is also well beyond the ability of the working class to influence situations like the state of international trade, which is a complicated topic in its own right. There are those in high places which may have some ability to influence the course of events, but this too only to an extent.

I can certainly anticipate disruptions which would result from international retrenchment. For instance, determinants of prices of some things becoming derelict. But normative judgements about the condition of international trade is not something which strikes me as useful or interesting. Moreover, it's not clear to me that such normative judgements are even that feasible given the range of uncertainties (above and beyond the various disparate underlying causative conditions, and their own complexities).

Insofar as the practicality of this question goes, the only advice I can fathom from the standpoint of workers would be to control what one can. I.e., maybe start--or expand--a garden. And the like.
#15088199
Crantag wrote:
Of course it is significant. But it is also well beyond the ability of the working class to influence situations like the state of international trade, which is a complicated topic in its own right. There are those in high places which may have some ability to influence the course of events, but this too only to an extent.

I can certainly anticipate disruptions which would result from international retrenchment. For instance, determinants of prices of some things becoming derelict. But normative judgements about the condition of international trade is not something which strikes me as useful or interesting. Moreover, it's not clear to me that such normative judgements are even that feasible given the range of uncertainties (above and beyond the various disparate underlying causative conditions, and their own complexities).

Insofar as the practicality of this question goes, the only advice I can fathom from the standpoint of workers would be to control what one can. I.e., maybe start--or expand--a garden. And the like.



I think it amounts to the bulk-economic aspect of *civilization* -- the more world-GDP production there is for global consumers, the more-robust the world economy is.

You seem to be okay with the current trend of lessening-international-trade -- perhaps you're congruent with Trump's economic renationalization / isolationism -- ?

The problem with d.i.y., though, is that it politically lets the ruling class off the hook -- why should everyone have to do their own gardens when we have industrial agriculture so that less than 2% of the U.S. population has to tend to farming? Should we all have to manufacture our own cars and computers, too?
#15088235
ckaihatsu wrote:I think it amounts to the bulk-economic aspect of *civilization* -- the more world-GDP production there is for global consumers, the more-robust the world economy is.

You seem to be okay with the current trend of lessening-international-trade -- perhaps you're congruent with Trump's economic renationalization / isolationism -- ?

The problem with d.i.y., though, is that it politically lets the ruling class off the hook -- why should everyone have to do their own gardens when we have industrial agriculture so that less than 2% of the U.S. population has to tend to farming? Should we all have to manufacture our own cars and computers, too?

Why do you keep trying to ascribe motive to me? I think I've been pretty clear, this isn't a topic for which I feel it adequate to make normative judgement. Moreover, normative judgement is generally not the purview of economic analysis, in my view, in large part because normative judgement is highly subjective according to the divergent standpoints of all of the economic agents which comprise the atoms of the global economy.

So how about you stop trying to pigeon hole me, which is a tactic that is usually symptomatic of laziness on the part of the prognosticator. It is easier to generalize a person based on stereotypes than it is to seek to genuinely understand a unique perspective. But it is not very useful, and is very annoying.

And I didn't provide any solutions, I illustrated the general futility of seeking solutions. Gardening is a meager assistance, but is still an assistance. It was just an example of a useful expenditure of energy, available to workers, which has a utility premium particularly in economically tumultuous times, and nothing more. I have aimed to provide analysis based on my perspectives, not solutions or normative judgements, for the umpteenth time.
#15088260
Crantag wrote:
Why do you keep trying to ascribe motive to me? I think I've been pretty clear, this isn't a topic for which I feel it adequate to make normative judgement. Moreover, normative judgement is generally not the purview of economic analysis, in my view, in large part because normative judgement is highly subjective according to the divergent standpoints of all of the economic agents which comprise the atoms of the global economy.

So how about you stop trying to pigeon hole me, which is a tactic that is usually symptomatic of laziness on the part of the prognosticator. It is easier to generalize a person based on stereotypes than it is to seek to genuinely understand a unique perspective. But it is not very useful, and is very annoying.

And I didn't provide any solutions, I illustrated the general futility of seeking solutions. Gardening is a meager assistance, but is still an assistance. It was just an example of a useful expenditure of energy, available to workers, which has a utility premium particularly in economically tumultuous times, and nothing more. I have aimed to provide analysis based on my perspectives, not solutions or normative judgements, for the umpteenth time.



Apologies -- I meant no offense. I'm here for the politics, and I had no way of knowing that you eschew taking on political positions for yourself.

You can't take the example of *gardening* out of the context of political economy, though, since it's materially a *task*, perhaps for pleasure, perhaps for work, for harvest. Time spent on one's garden is time spent not-selling-one's-labor-power, to make a wage, or in other personal pursuits.

I'll proffer the following sociological-type diagram that I developed, to provide some universal context for where I'm coming from -- it stacks the three generic / universal contexts of 'lifestyle', 'logistics', and 'politics' according to *scale* in society, going from the small-scale (individual), up to the large-scale (politics).


History, Macro-Micro -- politics-logistics-lifestyle

Spoiler: show
Image
#15088263
blackjack21 wrote:
As for nationalized health care, I don't want this for the United States. What's interesting is that the worst hit countries in terms of death toll per capita are Italy, Spain, and the UK, which all use the Beveridge model of a national health service. The countries with the lowest death toll per capita are the US, which uses a private health system and Germany which relies on the Bismarck model.



Just to be clear, all of the healthcare models you are citing were designed to be used in a capitalist economy. It should also be noted that the proposed US Medicare For All is a hybrid system with public insurance and private delivery, unlike the NHS which is a true public health service.

The UK has a strongly RW economy and political system. It's misleading to cite NHS as a marker of "socialism" (it's not), just as it's misleading to cite Medicare For All as a marker for socialism. We can certainly debate the merits of all these models, for sure, but we need to understand the capitalism covers a very wide spectrum of approaches, and it can't be limited to a Mises/libertarian descriptory model.
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