Daily Archives: March 21, 2019

Doomed Boeing Jets Lacked 2 Safety Features That Company Sold Only as Extras

The Dreaded New York Times has the article Doomed Boeing Jets Lacked 2 Safety Features That Company Sold Only as Extras.

Boeing’s optional safety features, in part, could have helped the pilots detect any erroneous readings. One of the optional upgrades, the angle of attack indicator, displays the readings of the two sensors. The other, called a disagree light, is activated if those sensors are at odds with one another.

The Dreaded NYT has answered one of the first questions that came to my mind about the crashes. I wondered why the engineers who designed the plane never thought that the MCAS system should warn the pilots when it decided to intervene and countermand the pilot’s inputs through their handling of the cockpit controls.

So the designers could and did foresee what could actually go wrong, but management decided that they could squeeze more profit by making these safety features optional if you paid extra for them.

The #MMT Case for Progressive Taxes

Naked Capitalism has the article The #MMT Case for Progressive Taxes

If recent decades’ inflation rates are any indication, the U.S. is nowhere close to the point where spending exceeds the capacity of our real resources (mostly people) to produce, “supply” more stuff — the point where inflation starts to bite.

MMTers (like myself) should ask themselves why it is that all that deficit spending has not caused consumer price inflation? A little Keynesian economics explains this quite well. In the absence of enough consumer demand caused by the growing wealth and income inequality, there is absolutely no reason for the rich to invest in more production capacity. What they do “invest” in is financial derivatives, stock buy backs, and general vulture capitalism. Stock and some asset prices do get inflated. The Fed has injected way too much liquidity in the private economy exactly because injecting this liquidity is a weak monetary tool when strong fiscal tools are called for. If, by some strange chance, there is call to invest that liquidity hangover in the real economy, there could be high inflation. I hope the Fed and the government have a plan to suck that excess out of the economy fast enough. I don’t see what they could do that would be politically feasible.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative vs Washington Consensus

Naked Capitalism has the post China’s Belt and Road Initiative vs Washington Consensus.

The situation is more promising in East Asia due to China’s diminished but sustained growth, and its almost unique rising labour share of national income.

If Chinese labor is really getting a rising share of national income, then there is a chance that Chinese hegemony will be quite different from USA hegemony.