‘We Can Be Whatever We Have the Courage to See’: New Video From AOC Envisions a #GreenNewDeal Future

Common Dreams has the article ‘We Can Be Whatever We Have the Courage to See’: New Video From AOC Envisions a #GreenNewDeal Future.

The article includes the video A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

What if we actually pulled off a Green New Deal? What would the future look like? The Intercept presents a film narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and illustrated by Molly Crabapple.

A political movement without a vision won’t go far. It is wonderful to see movements making the effort to share the vision.

A very detailed walkthrough of Modern Monetary Theory, the big new left economic idea.   Recently updated !

The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies has the Facebook post A very detailed walkthrough of Modern Monetary Theory, the big new left economic idea.

This leads to a Vox article Modern Monetary Theory, explained.

Modern Monetary Theory is having a moment.

The theory, in brief, argues that countries that issue their own currencies can never “run out of money” the way people or businesses can. But what was once an obscure “heterodox” branch of economics has now become a major topic of debate among Democrats and economists with astonishing speed.

This article is an OK explanation, but it does not show a really deep understanding. What disturbs me in particular are the frequent statements that “this is not a problem now” without a word about exactly why it is not a problem now, but what would be the circumstance in which it would be a problem.

Here is one example of what I don’t like.

In the discussion of hyperinflation, there is no real mention of the cause of many past hyperinflations. In most of those cases, if not all of them, there was a sudden drop in the supply of goods relative to an existing supply of money. If the definition of inflation is too much money chasing too few goods, that situation can occur because of a change in the supply of goods as well as a change in the supply of money. People have been conditioned to always think only of the supply of money. The government reaction to the drop in supply and resultant inflation, might have been to print more money, but that was certainly a misbegotten strategy that made matters worse.

There is a reason why William Mitchell, L. Randall Wray, and Martin Watts wrote the book Macroeconomics to explain all this, as the article mentions. Attempts to write a short explanation inevitably lead to their own failures. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that having read a brief introduction equips you to be a consultant on or a teacher of the subject. I am no consultant or teacher, but even I see the failings of the brief explanation.

Which Starving Children Does Our Government Worry About   Recently updated !

I make this post to starkly highlight something that has been bothering me about the propaganda we are being fed about starving children. I have not chosen images to be “fair and balanced”.

The USA government is helping Saudi Arabia to fight a war in Yemen. See the next picture from and article in The Irish Times, More than one million children starve as Yemen war rages.

Starving child from Yemen.

This is a war we refuse to stop supporting.

Now let’s move on to a war the USA wants to start to protect the starving children in Venezuela. Here is a Huffington Post article Hundreds Of Children In Venezuela Are Starving To Death, Says New York Times Report.

Starving children in Venezuela

I suppose it is worth pointing out that a lot of whatever starving is going on in Venezuela is caused by the 20 years of economic war that the USA has fought against Venezuela.

If government of the USA refuses to back out of a war that is causing starvation in Yemen, but wants to start a military war in Venezuela because of lesser dire starvation in Venezuela, what is the logic or consistency of our attitude toward the two situations?

Let me make it clear. I am not saying that there is no need for concern about the children in Venezuela. Exactly the opposite. If the USA starts a war in Venezuela, the condition of the children in Venezuela will start looking more like the starving children of Yemen.

Functional​ finance — how to cope with inflation   Recently updated !

The Gower Initiative For Modern Money Studies posted the story on Facebook, Functional​ finance — how to cope with inflation.

The post consisted of the following quote on Lars P. Syll’s blog:

Less well worked out is a technique of dealing with the other responsibility of the creator of money – the responsibility for maintaining its value. The key points here are not in the direct supply of money, or even in the regulation of the level of spending. The key points are in the determination​ of wage rates​ and in​ the determination of rates of markup of selling prices over costs … Higher wages relatively to prices are necessary for long-run prosperity but​ raising wages will do no good because they​ will only lead​ to higher prices and inflation.

The dilemma can be resolved only by the government going to work on both money wage determination and on markup rates. Both are problems of monopoly and as such are inevitably destructive of a free economy. Markup rates must be reduced​ by antimonopoly measures … The most important help to the government in this will be the policy of maintaining​ full employment which will make it profitable for business to work with smaller markups.

The origin of the quote is Abba P. Lerner The American Economic Review Vol. 37, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the Fifty-ninth Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (May, 1947), pp. 312-317.

That is a pretty modern insight considering that Modern Money Theory (MMT) covers the theory of money of the last 6,000 years.

Coincidentally, I saw the Now This video Lawmakers on Both Sides Grilled Insulin Producers on High Prices.

I cannot embed the Now This video. You will have to view it at the above link.

The inflation in insulin prices are probably the result of illegal collusion to fix prices between the different manufacturers of insulin. That’s not quite a monopoly by the standard definition, but they are exercising monopoly like power that is prohibited by our Anti-Trust laws.

What Ilhan Omar Actually Said About 9/11 w/ Abby Martin

YouTube has the video What Ilhan Omar Actually Said About 9/11 w/ Abby Martin.

Jimmy Dore finally shows the context of Ilhan Omar’s remarks that have been edited out of almost every new report I have seen. I have heard comments about the lack of context, but those people have never provided the context they knew was missing (I have a vague recollection of seeing that context somewhere, but that was before I realized its significance.)

Try to remember the location of this video for rebutting the next attempt to smear Ilhan Omar that you run across.

How Russian trolls use Facebook to influence Americans   Recently updated !

NBC News has the article How Russian trolls use Facebook to influence Americans.

Russian trolls are creating false personas on social media who accumulate followings of real people in order to stage protests and create chaos. Watch more of Richard Engel’s reporting when “On Assignment” airs tonight at 9pm ET on MSNBC.

So, I have to ask myself after all the Russia hysteria that NBC and MSNBC has foisted on us, and after how the unmasking of their propaganda has hurt their ratings, would they go this far out on a limb to double down on their bet?

Originally, I doubted whether tactics like those reported in this story could possibly work. Then I thought about the fact that the Koch brothers actually founded the Tea Party movement, but I doubt than many members of that movement had any idea who founded it. Then I thought about what seems like successes by the CIA to use tactics like this in their latest incarnation of dirty tricks in Syria and Venezuela. Which makes me think of how the USA bragged in private about doing this stuff in the Ukraine. Which reminds me of the Contras in Nicaragua we created. Or the overthrow of Allende in Chile. Or the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran in 1953.

Not only could the Russians have done this to us in 2016, but it is also possible that our own CIA with their own knowledge of such techniques could make up a story like this about the Russians. Our CIA could also make up the evidence to prove the case. With the willingness of NBC and MSNBC to go along with this fake story for so long, the CIA wouldn’t even have to work very hard to make up stuff that NBC could “report”.

It is so hard to know if anyone is telling the truth. That is why a very healthy dose of skepticism is warranted for everything you think you know.

April 15, 2019

I have had a few thoughts about this over the last few days.

There are frequent reports of how police efforts to stop attacks involve setting up fake personas to lure would be perpetrators into a trap. It must work, if there are so many reports of its success. All those news stories can’t all be lies.

Then there is the story of the organization that claimed to expose Russian bots creating their own bots that pretended to be Russian.

Even The Dreaded New York Times took notice in this article Fake News as ‘Moral Imperative’? Democrats’ Alabama Move Hints at Ugly 2020

Tulsi Gabbard On Net Neutrality, Julian Assange, And Party Unity

TYT has the video Tulsi Gabbard On Net Neutrality, Julian Assange, And Party Unity.

Tulsi Gabbard is back on The Young Turks! Cenk Uygur and Tulsi Gabbard, hosts of The Conversation, break it down.

Hosts: Cenk Uygur, Tulsi Gabbard

Cast: Cenk Uygur, Tulsi Gabbard

This is a very issue oriented discussion that people need to hear. It saddens me to know that there are people who have closed their ears to Tulsi for one reason or another, Despite whatever she may have said that you don’t like, she has so much to say that is important. If we refuse to listen to serious people who have serious things to say to us, we really are in trouble as a nation.

Chris Horton Discusses Classism

Chris Horton is the major organizer of the Worcester For Bernie group. He wrote an excellent email to the group about classism. He has give me permission to publish his email here. The addressee, Bobbie, is not the issue, but I didn’t want to edit out any of Chris’s words.

Bobbie, if you experience the Clark neighborhood as dangerous, I won’t try to deny your reality, although I believe that our campaign must not be afraid to go wherever the people are. I’ll walk you to your car when I get the chance. But I want to say something about “classism”, because I think understanding it is essential to our success.

Rebecca Solnit, in her book “Hope in the Dark” p 25, wrote “imagine the world as a theater. The acts of the powerful and the official occupy center stage. … The limelights there are so bright they blind you to the shadowy spaces around you … from the places that you have been instructed to ignore or rendered unable to see come the stories that change the world …”

Those of us who grew up with class privilege, with the help, expectations and pressure that pushed us into success in school, the good first jobs that go to those with a degree as a Certified Public Gentleman or Lady, and indoctrination in a whole raft of beliefs, ideas, stories and selected facts meant to support the system of privilege and power, are often blind to the reality of the regular working people around us. Blind to the urgency of their lives and the insanity of the positions they find themselves in, and most of all blind to the pain of being a working person in America, what one author called the “hidden injuries of class”. The pain of being looked down on, of having your ideas and perceptions discounted and undervalued, of having your intelligence doubted and having doors closed in your face, of being mistreated and disrespected by officials and police, of working too long and hard, living in fear of job loss and unemployment, unable to take off when our families need us and having to swallow our feelings and jump when the boss says jump. If this sounds a lot like the experience of racism, it is. For Black working people, women, immigrants there’s overlays of discrimination that can be devastating. For white working folk there’s the bitterness of the judgment that because of their skin color they should have done better, that their condition must be due somehow to their own failure.

If you want to understand how so many working people stayed home when their votes could have stopped Trump, how some basically decent people could even vote for him, the answer is I believe in their experience of politicians telling us pretty lies but not even seeing the agonizing economic and social reality of our lives, politicians who won’t take on the fight for – in Bernie’s words – anything that will cost the billionaire class serious money. This manipulation and blindness triggers a lifetime of the pain of being overlooked and thought a lesser person.

These are the people – of all races, colors and nationalities, urban and rural, men and women of all gender identities – who most hunger for Bernie’s message, and those of us with a background of class privilege, with our skill and inclination to take charge, need to include them in our leadership and meet them where they are, with open hearts and minds and the humility of accepting that they may see the reality of our world far more clearly than we do.

I hope that helps.

SDTC 2019 Fundraiser   Recently updated !

Sharon and I attended the Sturbridge Democratic Town Committee 2019 Fundraiser.

The Sturbridge Democratic Town Committee held its annual fundraiser for scholarship and political action on April 12th. The well=attended event brought in local Democrats, politicians and Sturbridge residents to enjoy the food, drink and lively conversation. Generous contributions helped refuel our scholarship account which is used each year to provide scholarship monies to deserving Tantasqua seniors. Awards will be made on Class Night on May 30th