Stiglitz Explains Democratic Socialism   Recently updated !

In an interview, Joseph Stiglitz was asked:

Ana Kasparian
In a few sentences explain democratic socialism.
Joseph Stiglitz
So all that Democratic Socialism is – let me say it’s not socialism as it was understood, until, say, 1980. Socialism was the ownership of the means of production … No one is talking about that. No one says that is the direction we are going. What Democratic Socialism is actually very close to what in Europe is called Social Democracy. …

You might look on the internet to find a definition of social democracy. Here is a wordy explanation that I am not sure captures it all, but it is a start. This is from the Wikipedia definition of Social Democracy.

Social democracy is a political, social and economic philosophy that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist-oriented economy.

For instance, Bernie Sanders is advocating that government pays for health care. If you buy a car from General Motors, I hope you don’t think you own the means of production for building cars.


Debunked: Bloomberg’s claim that redlining led to the housing crisis

The Hill’s show Rising has the segment Debunked: Bloomberg’s claim that redlining led to the housing crisis

Aaron Glantz shares his thoughts on Michael Bloomberg’s comments about redlining.


Now here is where Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti do the typical pundit game of playing extremely dumb. They and their expert don’t get anywhere near the problem that caused the housing bubble. I could have explained it better than they did, at least in the part of the video I could watch before I almost threw up.

The housing bubble started when the banks figured out they could sell their mortgages to “investors” by packaging up whatever mortgages they could originate into collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). Once the bank was going to recoup what ever money it lent by selling the loans to investors, they had no reason to care about the quality of loans. They just needed lots of loans to sell. If they had to lie to the “investors” about the quality of the loans they were selling them, no problem. Bribe real estate appraisers, bribe bond rating agencies, no problem. Anything they had to do to originate a mortgage that they could sell. Mortgage brokers writing lies on mortgage applications that the borrower never even saw, no problem with that either. Mortgages to sell the investors (suckers) were so desperately needed that there was no depth too low for bankers to stoop to. Tell me if Krystal, Saagar, and their expert ever got around to telling you that story.

I know the story because I was an investor trying to stay clear of this kind of investment, and I got sucked in anyway a little bit.


Thomas Piketty says Bernie Sanders’ electoral strategy is the way to beat back the right

Salon has the article Thomas Piketty says Bernie Sanders’ electoral strategy is the way to beat back the right.

New paper explores how both parties were captured by the “elite,” leaving a politically rudderless underclass

Piketty’s paper from March 2018 is Brahmin Left vs Merchant Right:Rising Inequality & the Changing Structure of Political Conflict(Evidence from France, Britain and the US, 1948-2017). After you click on the link, you have to change the “https:” to “http:”. WordPress won’t let me publish the link without the “s”, but the link won’t work with the “s”


Centrist-Child Syndrome

The Outline has the article Centrist-child syndrome.

Two of the Democratic party’s most proudly moderate candidates seem to still be rebelling against their Marxist dads.

This is a terrific article. I think I understand this better than even the author does. My maternal grand-father was a socialist (although he played the capitalist game pretty well). My mother married my father whose parents were Republican. I grew up as a Republican. Somewhere around my sophomore year in college, I did some research for an essay and had an awakening. As I have grown older, I have become a “what worksist” that understand the need for a healthy dose of socialism to go along with our capitalism. My daughter and her husband are not nearly as leftist as I have become. Her in-laws are staunch working-class Republicans.

I know there are many counter-examples, but my experience has been that if your children don’t rebel against you, you have cheated. Actually, the problem may be being too doctrinaire. Maybe that is what they feel that they have to rebel, at least in some things.


Write-In Vote For Bernie Sanders

If the DNC steals the nomination from Bernie, you don’t have to vote for Trump, a third party candidate, leave the ballot blank, or refrain from voting. You can write in Bernie’s name. The space alloted might be only 0.25 inches by 2.25 inches. With the thick felt-tipped marker we get at the polling place, it would be hard to write in a valid name and address. Here is a sticker you might use to paste to the ballot. I’ll uncover the street address if it ever becomes necessary to actually use this as a write-in.

Bernie Write-In sticker


The Holocaust, the BBC and Antisemitism Smears

Counter Punch has the article The Holocaust, the BBC and Antisemitism Smears.

I will quote a few paragraphs from the article as an example of what is there. I won’t quote more because I don’t want to violate the doctrine of fair use of copyrighted material. There is plenty more in the article, which I urge you to read.

European racism towards Jews culminated in the Holocaust; the Holocaust was used by the Zionist movement to justify European sponsorship of a Jewish state on the ruins of Palestine; Palestinians and their supporters feel aggrieved that the Holocaust has become a pretext for ignoring their plight and suppressing criticism of Israel. Each of those links is irrefutably true. And unless the truth is now antisemitic – and there is mounting evidence that it is being made so by Israel, its lobbyists and western governments – what Guerin said was not conceivably antisemitic.
.
.
.
Israel could never have been established without the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland and the destruction of hundreds of their villages to prevent any return. That is why a growing number of historians have risked the wrath of the Israel lobby to declare these events ethnic cleansing – in other words, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The above is representative of the issues that trouble me about the creation of Israel. When I was much younger, I didn’t have any concept of the existence of these issues. Now that I am aware, I can no longer ignore them.

I read about three quarters of the article. By then I felt that it had made its point, and there wasn’t much more to add.


Economic Update: Military Spending and Debt

Democracy at Work has the episode Economic Update: Military Spending and Debt.

The second half of this week’s episode features an interview with journalist Bob Hennelly on military spending and debts in the US economy.

I first saw a video clip of the beginning of the second half, before I got to see the entire episode.


It is too bad that Richard Wolff and Bob Hennelly seem to be completely ignorant of Modern Money Theory. The budget of a currency user is not like the budget of the currency issuer. As an economist, Prof. Richard Wolff should be capable of understanding this.

The “borrowing” that the Federal Government does to support a war is to use the productive capacity of our economy to make war material instead of using that capacity to improve the lives of the people. If our productive capacity is used for war it isn’t and won”t be available for making lives better. There is no bankruptcy in terms of money when you are creator of the money.

The way that future generations pay for the “borrowing” the federal government does is to forego the benefit of the productive capacity that was diverted to war and not used to develop even more productive capacity for civilian use. Talking about borrowing “money” which the government freely creates only diverts attention from what was really lost.


Secular Stagnation: Demand Is Indeed the Culprit

Naked Capitalism has the article Secular Stagnation: Demand Is Indeed the Culprit.

Stagnation is a sad instance of iatrogenesis: a pathology caused by the exact economist experts whose task it is to improve the economy’s health. To fail better, we must try again and discard ‘decided opinion’ that secular stagnation is an exclusively supply-side phenomenon and recognize that demand drives growth ‘all the way’ (see also Taylor et al. 2019). Without new economic thinking, macro policy will retain its deflationary biases and secular stagnation remains the ‘normal’.

If I ignore all the economic research of the last 50 years, and hark back to what I learned in the early 1960s, I end up with the same conclusion as this article. Actually, this article does the analysis to back up the conclusion that John Maynard Keynes was right in the 1930s when he explained why the the economy behaves the way it does.


Busting pro-war propaganda: What China is really like

The Gray Zone has the article and video Busting pro-war propaganda: What China is really like.

Red Lines host Anya Parampil speaks with Danny Haiphong, a contributing editor at the Black Agenda Report, about his recent two week trip to China. Danny discusses what he learned about China’s economic model, it’s efforts to reduce poverty nationwide, and his experience in Xinjiang, the province where western media, politicians, and human rights groups claim Beijing is housing millions of Muslims in concentration camps. Did Danny see any evidence of this policy, and what do average Chinese people think about the claims?


Could it be that the USA oligarchs’ news mafia could have been lying to us about China for all these years? Can you consider the possibility that China is not anything like the image most of us in the USA have of China? I would be interested to hear what tourists from USA have experienced in China in recent years.

It will be easiest to leave your comments on my Facebook post of this article.