Yearly Archives: 2018

Warren Mosler, The Euro: past, present and future.

YouTube has the video Warren Mosler, The Euro: past, present and future. The Crossroads Workshop 1 in Zurich. This was published on Mar 29, 2013.

The euro assumed its position on January 1, 1999. Representatives of the prospective member nations achieved political consensus, as manifested in the Treaty of Maastricht. The ‘no bailout’ directive for the new ECB (European Central Bank) emerged as a pillar of the political imperative, intended as protection from a genetic proclivity toward fiscal irresponsibility. Unfortunately the naked heel is but a magnet for the financial market’s arrows.

I don’t know how you could make the explanation any simpler. Still, people cannot believe this when they hear it. The explanation is that people decide on what they are going to believe by gut reaction, and then the search for information or ignore information as necessary to confirm their pre-chosen beliefs. I find the first step is to start to wonder if this guy has something to tell you that is worth understanding. That’s how I started to understand Modern Money Theory.

The only issue I see with this presentation is that the emphasis is too much on monetary policy and not enough on fiscal policy. As Keynes explained in great detail, you can make all the money you want available to the private sector, but you cannot make them spend it on what the economy needs. There are perfectly rational reasons for this behavior that I won’t go into here. The upshot is that when the economy gets stuck in this situation, only direct spending by the government on the necessary items can get the economy going again quickly.

What Can Humanity Learn From The Great Law of Peace?

The Real News Network has the two part series What Can Humanity Learn From The Great Law of Peace?

Western “democracies” wrongly prioritize individual rights over the rights of the collective.

Stuart Myiow of the Mohawk Traditional Council explains that the enduring peace depends on our respect for the laws of creation.

What Can Humanity Learn From The Great Law Of Peace (2/2)

The 20 minutes in these two videos is only enough time to give a hint at the profound wisdom that may be here. It will take more independent research to get beyond just the hint.

Here is a MS Thesis for that deeper research – INTERNATIONAL LAW/THE GREAT LAW OF PEACE.

Here is the constitutioin translated into English – The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations

Finding and Removing Backdoors

Wordfence has the article 3.2: Finding and Removing Backdoors.

Backdoors can be difficult to find as they are often obfuscated code. Usually if there is one backdoor, there are others that may or may not look the same.

I know I have this sort of stuff on my site, but I have never been able to find it. This gives me a better idea of what to look for. Someday, I might give it another try to look for this.

Here is an article about the kind of thing I actually know I have on the site. 3.3: Removing Spam Pages From WordPress Sites.

Spam pages are files added to your publicly available web site with the intent of manipulating search engine result pages.

Michael Hudson on TRNN ‘J is for Junk Economics’

The Real News Network has a 5 part series Michael Hudson on TRNN ‘J is for Junk Economics’.

Economist Michael Hudson, author of the newly released ‘J is for Junk Economics,’ says the media and academia use well-crafted euphemisms to conceal how the economy really works.

I am just now getting to understand why I want to read this book.

Here is the first segment.

Michael Hudson on TRNN ‘J is for Junk Economics’ 2 of 5

Michael Hudson on TRNN ‘J is for Junk Economics’ 3 of 5

‘J is for Junk Economics’: Michael Hudson on TRNN (4/5).

Michael Hudson on TRNN ‘J is for Junk Economics’ 5 of 5

Syria’s Grand Mufti Hassoun Discusses Peaceful Coexistence, Love, and an Inclusive, Nonsectarian Syria

Mint Press News has the interview Syria’s Grand Mufti Hassoun Discusses Peaceful Coexistence, Love, and an Inclusive, Nonsectarian Syria

Syria is a civilized country — it embraces all the civilizations of the world because it is the gate to the Orient. So [historically] those who wanted to go to China from Europe passed through Syria. And those who want to go back to Europe pass through Syria. Syria a hundred years ago was far bigger than Syria today. In Syria in 1900, 118 years ago, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria were one country. One bank, one currency, one president, and one nation. There were no religious minorities in it. The reason is that it is the land of Abraham, and Abraham was the forefather of all prophets. He was the forefather of Moses, and of Jesus, and the forefather of Muhammad, may prayers and peace be upon them.

This gives quite a different look at the origins of sectarianism in the Middle-East. You won’t hear this from the oligarchs’ news media.

The history of debt forgiveness

On Contact with Chris Hedges has the interview The history of debt forgiveness.

Economist and author Michael Hudson, author of ‘…and Forgive Them Their Debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year’, shares with journalist Chris Hedges how ancient cultures forgave debt cyclically to prevent debt peonage and the rise of an oligarch elite.

This is the first discussion of Michael Hudson’s new book where I got enough detail to understand exactly what he was proposing for the modern world. It turns out that Chris Hedges is the ideal interviewer to get this information to come out. As he says, Chris Hedges has a seminary background so that the religious aspects of the thesis are right up his alley.

The headline of my previous post “He Died for Our Debt, Not Our Sins” becomes meaningful to me in a way that did not become apparent when I read that other article.

The “commercial” interlude in the video should be skipped over. The people who made that commercial obviously never heard the interview they were interrupting. Sort of like the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. The people writing the editorials and the op-ed pieces seemed to be completely oblivious to the news that was in The Wall Street Journal itself, often on the same day the editorial appeared.

December 26, 2018

I was thinking that part of what Michael Hudson says in this interview undercuts the message of Modern Money Theory (MMT), of which Hudson is one of the founding pioneers. He talks about how important it was for the rulers to collect taxes from the citizens to fund the activity of the government. In fact, MMT makes the technical point that the government does not need to collect taxes in order to fund its activities.

The way Michael Hudson should have phrased it was that the government needed the efforts of the citizens to provide the goods and services to the government that the government needed to carry out its mission for the good of the society. (Hudson did specifically mention the military service, but there is much more than just that.) The fact that the government collects taxes is the incentive for people to do work for the government to earn the currency provided by the government so that they can pay their taxes. Without the collection of taxes, the public could feel free to ignore the government provided currency, and use whatever means they wanted to use for trade among themselves. They could also refuse to do work for the government if their were no incentive to need the official government currency. Since the government only accepts its own currency for payment of taxes, fines, and fees, the citizens must earn at least enough of it to pay those obligations. Of course, while the system of official currency is in place, it is easier to use that system for other trade purposes as well. Since the money is in general circulation, people who don’t provide direct goods and services to the government can earn the official currency by trade with others who do get some of their money directly from the government.

In modern times we are starting to see things like crypto-currencies (Bit Coin) as an alternative to the official currency. So far these have not been major competitors to the official government currency.

Automatic Debt Reduction

Let us not forget the role inflation used to play as an automatic debt reducer. In the days of union strength before 1980, salaries and income kept up with inflation due to contract negotiations with unions and the spill over effect even to non-unionized workers. With long term debt like mortgages and student loans, the principle started to pale compared to people’s income. The inflation effect was just as important as amortization. Eventually the debt was easily paid off.

Now that incomes no longer keep up with inflation, inflation is no longer the friend of the borrower and the bane of the lender. The children of the baby boomers and the millennials are in a completely different economic ballgame than their parents were.

Michael Hudson: He Died for Our Debt, Not Our Sins

Naked Capitalism has the article Michael Hudson: He Died for Our Debt, Not Our Sins.

As many people turn towards their Christian and Jewish faiths this Christmas and Hanukkah in an attempt to make sense of the year that was, at least one economist says we have been reading the bible in an anachronistic way.

In fact he has written an entire book on the topic. In And Forgive them their Debts: Credit and Redemption (available this spring on Amazon), Professor Michael Hudson makes the argument that far from being about sex, the bible is actually about economics, and debt in particular.

When I first read this article and then posted it on Facebook, I remarked that this may be a bit much for some people to take. I have no opinion on him myself. I then stumbled across another interview with Michael Hudson, The history of debt forgiveness, that I almost didn’t watch because it just would have been repetitive. I didn’t realize how much it would enlighten me about the book in ways that I had not yet understood.

Seymour Hersh: Banishing Truth

Truth Dig has the article Banishing Truth. When Pam Wall shared this story on Facebook, she used the following excerpt from the article:

The later part of Hersh’s career is the most distressing. He was writing for The New Yorker when Barack Obama was elected president. David Remnick, the magazine’s editor, socialized with Obama and was apparently wary of offending the president. When Hersh exposed the fictitious narrative spun out by the Obama administration about the killing of Bin Laden, the magazine killed the story, running instead a report about the raid, provided by the administration, from the point of view of one of the SEALs who was on the mission. Hersh resigned. He published the account of the raid in the London Review of Books, the beginning of his current exile to foreign publications. When we most urgently need Hersh and good investigative reporters like him, they have largely disappeared. A democracy, at best, tolerates them. A failed democracy, like ours, banishes them, and when it does, it kills its press.”

This is why I feel justified in always referring to the newspaper as “The dreaded New York Times”. Much as I dislike Trump, I realize he did manage to echo some of the real disappointments of the USA people when he campaigned. One of those disappointments was in fake news, although he doesn’t always understand what news is the fake news.

Cold War Radar System a Trillion Dollar Fraud – Lester Ernest on RAI (1/4)

The Real News Network has the interview Cold War Radar System a Trillion Dollar Fraud – Lester Ernest on RAI (1/4).

Profit and deception drove cold-war militarization, says Lester Ernest, founder of the Artificial Intelligence Lab at Stanford; Ernest says the anti-nuclear bomber SAGE radar system never worked and carried on for 25 years – Lester Ernest on Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay

Having grown up in Massachusetts and having gone to MIT in the early 1960s, all these names and places are very familiar to me. I never worked on any of the projects or companies mentioned in the interview.

December 26, 2018

The second part is called Military-Industrial-Congressional Frauds – Lester Earnest on RAI (2/4).

Corporations bribed politicians—it’s legal, it’s called campaign contributions—and they funded projects the Defense Department contracted out, giving the crooks a lot of money; that’s still going strong today – says Lester Earnest, founder of the AI Lab at Stanford

December 28, 2018

The third part is called DOD Criterion for Success: Spend all Your Money by Year End – Lester Earnest on RAI (3/4).

After working on the MIT SAGE radar system and at the Joint Chiefs, Earnest concluded “it’s basically a money making system, that’s what it’s about and has nothing to do with real defense” – Lester Earnest on Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay

January 4, 2019

The fourth part is called Billionaires Shouldn’t Control Artificial Intelligence – Lester Earnest on RAI (4/5).

“Patents block progress” – says Lester Earnest, founder of the Artificial Intelligence Lab at Stanford, on Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay

This may be the most valuable part of the series.

January 4, 2019

The fifth part is called AI Should Improve Quality of Life, Not Make Capitalists Rich – Lester Earnest on RAI (5/5)

Artificial Intelligence can make the world better or be a tool for war – says Lester Earnest, founder of the Artificial Intelligence Lab at Stanford, on Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay