Author: How Financial Interests Influence News Making Decisions

YouTube has this segment from the show Rising, Author: How Financial Interests Influence News Making Decisions. (Skip the ads if you can).

Author, Ashely Rindsberg, discusses his book “The Gray Lady Winked: How the New York Times’s Misreporting, Distortions and Fabrications Radically Alter History.”

Long ago, I coined the phrase “The Dreaded New York Times“. Perhaps this is a vindication of what I finally figured out for myself.

Economist Michael Hudson on new cold war, Super Imperialism, China & Russia, dedollarization

The Grayzone has a video Economist Michael Hudson on new cold war, Super Imperialism, China & Russia, dedollarization.

Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton of Moderate Rebels discuss with world-renowned economist Michael Hudson his concept of US “Super Imperialism,” the new cold war on China and Russia, and the potential end to the dollar as the global reserve currency.

Naked Capitalism includes this in their post Michael Hudson on American as Absentee Landlord on The Greyzone[sic]: Biden Administration, New Cold War, Super Imperialism, Dollar Weaponization. They have a slight dissent before the link to the video.

I commented on Naked Capitalism:

Grayzone with an “a”.

Max Keiser is so insistent on selling bitcoin, that I finally could not stand it anymore. I seldom watch the Keiser Report unless someone brings a particular episode to my attention.

What the video talked about China’s methodology at the end is what I have labelled “What Worksism”. I call myself a “what worksist”. If there is a niche in our society where a particular ism would work to make life better, I am for it. Industrial Capitalism in its proper place, Government Socialism in its proper place, and whatever other ism can be thought up.

What the Grayzone does not understand about Modern Money Theory could fill an ocean. Michael Hudson didn’t spend a lot of time trying to straighten them out. Modern Money Theory does not limit itself to governments with sovereign currency. It does explain the additional economic options that come with having a Sovereign currency and debts denominated in that currency. It is worth listening to Fadhel Kaboub talk about the range of sovereignty a country can have.

On Facebook I commented:

Great discussion. At the end they talk about my favorite ism “what worksism”, but they don’t use that term. What the Gray Zone does not understand about Modern Money Theory could fill an ocean, but Michael Hudson doesn’t waste too much time trying to correct them. Michael Hudson’s discussion about Max Keiser was very enlightening even if it went way over the heads of Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal.

LEFT OUT: David Harvey on Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason

Democracy at Work has the podcast LEFT OUT: David Harvey on Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason.

In this episode, we speak with David Harvey about his latest book, Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason, as well as what the Left must focus on to effectively organize for a better economy and society.

This may be the beginning of the next major step in my education. David Harvey has been been a big part of what the Democracy at Work internet presence has provided. I just did not realize until now what a valuable part of that offering was that is embodied in David Harvey.

Why Marx Still Matters   Recently updated !

The Tribune has the interview with David Harvey Why Marx Still Matters. This is from March 05, 2020.

On the second centenary of Karl Marx’s birth, global capitalism is stumbling from crisis to crisis. In the wake of the financial crash, interest in Marx’s ideas has blossomed once again. This should come as no surprise: they remain vital to understanding not only the dynamics of capitalism itself but the manner in which it structures our modern world.

I was glad I read this article. It gives me a better understanding of what I should seek to learn.

Before I read the article, I had these thoughts about people commenting on it. These thoughts are still valid, but there was so much more in the article than I imagined.

The Communist Manifesto is not the great economic criticism that gets people to study what Karl Marx said. Read Das Kapital, and tell me what you think.

It is hard enough to identify and describe what is wrong with a system. It is much, much harder to figure out how to fix what is wrong. I have learned to forgive people who accomplish the first task, but fail at the second.

I admire people who concentrate on the successful part of someone’s work, and then try to do a better job on the part that was not successful.

I think I am a victim of what the interviewee had to say about Marx’s three volumes.

Dan Denvir: You differ with other Marx scholars in that you pay a lot of attention to volumes two and three, in addition to volume one. Why is that?

David Harvey: It’s clear that in Marx’s mind, he had an idea of the totality of the circulation of capital. His plan was to break it down into these three component parts in the three volumes. So I just follow what Marx says he’s doing. Now, the problem of course, is that volumes two and three were never completed, and they aren’t as satisfactory as volume one, which is a literary masterpiece. So I can understand why, if people want to read Marx with a certain sense of joy and fun, that they would stick with volume one. But I’m saying, ‘No, if you really want to understand what his conception of capital is, then you can’t understand it as just being about production. It’s about circulation. It’s about getting it to market and selling it, then it’s about distributing the profits.’

This is certainly something I didn’t know. My initial remarks to the comments on the post on Facebook about not having solutions might have been moderated a little.

Common Good Economics – What Biden’s Big Spending Plan Means for the Economy   Recently updated !

YouTube has the video Common Good Economics – What Biden’s Big Spending Plan Means for the Economy

Economics Professor Fadhel Kaboub joins us to talk about what $6 TRILLION in federal spending would mean for the economy.

Fadhel never disappoints. I have been saying for years that the MMT proponents need to explain things the way Fadhel Kaboub does. It frustrates the heck out of me that other MMT folk just do not explain things as well as Fadhel does. For years I have been urging MMT people to talk about the inflation of the 1970s as Fadhel Kaboub does here. I have been so insistent about this one issue that I have been banned from a few MMT web sites and Facebook pages.

If you are a proponent of MMT, but you cannot explain the inflation of the 1970s, then you don’t understand MMT as well as you claim you do. Steve Grumbine attacked me personally on social media because I kept saying this. When I complain about this, I am not attacking the ideas of MMT. I am attacking the proponents of MMT who won’t explain what is so easy to explain in terms of MMT.

Some MMT proponents are their own worst enemies. Warren Mosler sticks to his way of not explaining even though he could explain in ways that more people would understand. It is not for lack of me understanding that I complain. I complain of the adamant refusal to reach more people with easy to understand simple explanations.

One thing I remember about the oil embargo by OPEC in the 1970s was that inflation was already happening. The OPEC countries were getting about $2.50 per barrel of oil. They came to realize that with inflation of the dollar running rampant, $2.50 was not near enough to pay for the valuable commodity they were selling. Sure, their conflict with Israel ws part of the issue, but there was a pure economic issue, too.

American DEBUNKS All Major Western Propaganda on Uyghurs and Xinjiang!

YouTube has the video American DEBUNKS All Major Western Propaganda on Uyghurs and Xinjiang!

We have done it… We have broken down each bit of major Western propaganda on the Uyghur and Xinjiang situation in order to debunk the lies and reveal the truth. For over an hour, Bay takes on a series of propaganda ranging from Adrian Zenz to inconsistent witness testimony to debunking sterilization claims and all major propaganda promoted surrounding this incredibly manufactured issue.

I was hoping for an independent analysis to back up what The Gray Zone has been reporting. Unfortunately for that purpose, this uses Gray Zone reporting for some of what he says. That does not make it any more or less true, but it isn’t the completely independent source that I thought this might be. As I got further into the video, it does seem to bring in many other sources. He makes a very convincing case for what he is saying, but that just raises my doubts. I know when I am getting the hard sell.

Of course each side is going to say that the other side’s witnesses are being coerced. I don’t know how viewers and readers of these reports can know which side, if any, is telling the truth. If I am forced to say that I no longer know what is true, then one side’s propaganda is working. In the high tech industry where I worked for 40 or so years, campaigns to disparage a competitor’s product would use fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) if our own product could not win on its own merits.

I tried to discourage the use of FUD behavior, but my influence was minimal in most cases. I did have a situation where our marketing people wanted to suppress a customer’s effort to build a product similar to what my team had built. I told them that the customer could get all the technical information he needed from the same university published work where I got my information. Our company’s failure was to not understand the market for the product, and I did not do enough inside the company to educate the marketeers. Another customer we tried to sell the product to, told us what other things we needed to do to get him to buy the product. When we failed to listen, he eventually joined a company that made the product the way he wanted. My company eventually bought his company.

May 3, 2021

Here is the list of sources that go with the video. There are over 71 items in the list.

The source that I first checked out was Demystifying Xinjiang and the Uighers with Carl Zha. This was number 2 in the list of sources.

THRIVE Act to Tackle ‘Our Biggest Emergencies’

Common Dreams has the article Dingell and Markey Introduce $10 Trillion THRIVE Act to Tackle ‘Our Biggest Emergencies’.

The bill aims to ensure “an intersectional response” to the climate crisis, coronavirus pandemic, economic inequity, and racial injustice “that is proportionate to the scope of the problems we face.”

If you want to read the 65 pages of the act, read this PDF file This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Transform, Heal, and 4Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy Act’’ or the ‘‘THRIVE Act’’

Now we have some people talking about a plan that is of a scope that matches the problems we face. Makes Biden’s plans look rather puny – too little, too late.

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

I looked up the SCOTUS decision on Citizens United. Admittedly, I only did a cursory scan of some of the materials here. I was interested in the remarks about corruption. It is complicated, but in this opinion by Justice Kennedy, I found the following quote. It may very well be out of context. Check for yourself.

Justice Kennedy , Opinion of the Court

What we have said also shows the invalidity of other arguments made by the Government. For the most part relinquishing the antidistortion rationale, the Government falls back on the argument that corporate political speech can be banned in order to prevent corruption or its appearance. In Buckley , the Court found this interest “sufficiently important” to allow limits on contributions but did not extend that reasoning to expenditure limits. 424 U. S., at 25. When Buckley examined an expenditure ban, it found “that the governmental interest in preventing corruption and the appearance of corruption [was] inadequate to justify [the ban] on independent expenditures.” Id. , at 45.

With regard to large direct contributions, Buckley reasoned that they could be given “to secure a political quid pro quo ,” id. , at 26, and that “the scope of such pernicious practices can never be reliably ascertained,” id. , at 27. The practices Buckley noted would be covered by bribery laws, see, e.g., 18 U. S. C. §201, if a quid pro quo arrangement were proved. See Buckley, supra, at 27, and n. 28 (citing Buckley v. Valeo , 519 F. 2d 821, 839–840, and nn. 36–38 (CADC 1975) (en banc) (per curiam) ). The Court, in consequence, has noted that restrictions on direct contributions are preventative, because few if any contributions to candidates will involve quid pro quo arrangements. MCFL , 479 U. S., at 260; NCPAC , 470 U. S., at 500; Federal Election Comm’n v. National Right to Work Comm. , 459 U. S. 197, 210 (1982) (NRWC) . The Buckley Court, nevertheless, sustained limits on direct contributions in order to ensure against the reality or appearance of corruption. That case did not extend this rationale to independent expenditures, and the Court does not do so here.

For the reasons explained above, we now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.

Here is what I found in the Stevens opinion.

Undergirding the majority’s approach to the merits is the claim that the only “sufficiently important governmental interest in preventing corruption or the appearance of corruption” is one that is “limited to quid pro quo corruption.” Ante , at 43. This is the same “crabbed view of corruption” that was espoused by Justice Kennedy in McConnell and squarely rejected by the Court in that case. 540 U. S., at 152. While it is true that we have not always spoken about corruption in a clear or consistent voice, the approach taken by the majority cannot be right, in my judgment. It disregards our constitutional history and the fundamental demands of a democratic society.

What does he mean by crabbed view? From the Oxford English Dictionary, we have the following:

1.1 (of style) contorted and difficult to understand.
‘crabbed legal language’

A 4000-year perspective on economy, money and debt

On Michael Hudson’s web page this article is called The Honest Sector. On YouTube this is called Webinar with Michael Hudson: a 4000-year perspective on economy, money and debt.

So far, I have only watched 25 minutes of this. To demonstrate my nerdiness, i find this presentation to be fascinating. Luckily I will know what the future holds, but most people won’t watch this. I can invest like I am reading tomorrow’s newspapers today. I only post this here for bragging rights. In the future, I will refer to this post and say “See, I told you so.” Don’t spoil my fun by looking at this now.

April 29, 10:05 PM

I just realized that with the transcript on Michael Hudson’s web page, I can easily mine this for pithy quotes.

China says: we’re not in it for the money, we’re not developing this transport and belt and road infrastructure in order to make a profit. We’re developing it in order to create a region-wide prosperity, in which we can all share.
So, the conflict between the United States and with Europe is the tail in China. It isn’t a conflict about who’s going to make better iPhones. It’s a conflict to the death of economic systems. The United States and Europe cannot permit any country to survive that is not polarizing the economy.

It’s a conflict between an economic system that impoverishes the economy, which is the political aim of the European governments and the American governments, or an economy that is structured so as to help economies grow, which is Chinese pragmatic industrial economy.

We’re really talking about a conflict not among nations, but between what was industrial capitalism, which is evolving into socialism, or finance capitalism. The United States represents finance capitalism, and it imposed this on Europe as its satellite. As long as Europe lets itself become a satellite for finance capitalism, it’s going to end up being de-industrialized as the United States.

Discussing MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) with Warren Mosler

YouTube has the video Discussing MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) with Warren Mosler.

Discussing MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) with Warren Mosler

Warren Mosler might have explained that money created by private banks has been tried many times throughout history, but most times such monetary systems were subject to panics and crashes. That’s ostensibly why the Federal Reserve Bank system was created. Why didn’t Warren understand where the interviewer was coming from so that he could adjust his explanation to the capabilities of the interviewer? I could only stand to watch about 50 minutes of this. Maybe, in the next hour that I didn’t see it all worked out.

This is the comment I left for Warren Mosler.

Sorry to say this, but in the 49 minutes of this that I watched, it seems like you kept going around in circles. You kept sticking to your fundamental, but you weren’t successfully communicating with this guy. It’s a fun exercise if you like that sort of thing, but after enough experiences with this type of argument, wouldn’t you start to suspect that there must be a better way to go at this? Have you ever watched Fadhel Kaboub? He seems to make progress explaining these things to people that you don’t seem able to achieve.

Is there some point to discussing MMT beyond just being right? Tell me where in this two hour video I should look to see where you finally got through to this guy. If you continually fail to get through to large numbers of people, maybe the blame doesn’t fall solely on the listener. Maybe the speaker has to learn how to adapt to the way people learn.

Your teaching methods worked for me, because I have learned to understand MMT pretty well. However, the vast majority of the people haven’t go it yet. Some of the people who have got it learned from Stephanie Kelton and Fadhel Kaboub. I am also a big fan of Michael Hudson’s, but it has taken me several years to finally understand him.

It was either Bill Keane or William Mitchel who mentioned the high level of debt that was a problem in China. I thought that was an odd thing for an MMT proponent to say. It took me a few years to realize thew debt he was worried about was private sector debt, not government debt of a country that had a sovereign currency. Maybe it was listening to Michael Hudson over and over again that finally made me see the light.

I love good explanations that straighten out my understanding of reality, but I also appreciate good teaching methods that more people can use to understand the explanation.

Where I went to college we often talked about lessons where the professor would apocryphally say that “this is obvious to the most casual observer”. However, that was an ironic joke on how some professors taught. To many very smart students it was not obvious at all. We spent many hours trying not to be the most casual observer, and we still had troubles some times.

As a matter of fact, I have great difficulty explaining this problem to some leading proponents of MMT. I keep plugging away trying different methods of explaining, but so far I don’t seem to find the way to explain it. I wish Fadhel Kaboub would teach me how to explain it the way he does.

I have two previous posts that demonstrate how Fadhel Kaboub explains things. See MMT Insights on Different Amounts of Currency Sovereignty and African Monetary Sovereignty