Periodic Posts

Posts made periodically by a particular author. The periodicity may be totally random.

The Empire Files: Propaganda & Engineering of Consent

The Empire Files has has the story The Empire Files: Propaganda & Engineering of Consent in two parts.

This is from 2016, but this information needs to be repeated frequently. Maybe this sill get a few more people wondering why Democrats and Republicans are pushing the phony Russiagate stories. Almost everybody seems to have bought the story that the Clinonistas made up about Russia. In the beginning there were dissenters from the Russiagate story, but there seem to be fewer and fewer of those dissenters left. Sometimes I have to remind myself of all the evidence that points to how phony the story is., and how little actual evidence to point to the possibility of any of it being true.

Part 1

Part 2

Interview with the Cooperative Development Institute

Democracy At Work posted a snippet from All Things Co-op on their Facebook post Interview with the Cooperative Development Institute. On Facebook, the following excerpt was featured in audio and slides.

Cooperatives are a form of ownership. As I often say to the business owners when they’re inquiring and exploring this idea is that cooperatives don’t run businesses. Managers run businesses. Cooperatives own businesses. They set direction for the business, they set policy for the business. You still need to have somebody in charge, or some management team in charge operationally.

Wow, this answers some of the questions I have had about co-ops. I keep listening to Democracy at Work to learn more about how co-ops function on a day-to-day basis. This is the first time I have heard this issue addressed. It was one of the major doubts that I had.

I would like to hear the context of this discussion. This is the full episode from which this snippet comes, although in scanning it, I have not found out where these ideas were mentioned.

The world’s first Covid-19 vaccine: Everything we know about Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’

RT has the article The world’s first Covid-19 vaccine: Everything we know about Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his country had registered the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, named ‘Sputnik V’.

I am not attesting to anything in this story. I am just offering an article to read that does not have an anti-Russian bias. That does not mean it is with or without other biases.

Here is the website mentioned in the article. Again, this is for you to look at with an adult mind. Don’t accept everything you read, and don’t dismiss everything you read. The first registered vaccine against COVID-19.

All Things Co-op: Interview with the Vermont Employee Ownership Center

Democracy at Work has shared the Facebook post Interview with the Vermont Employee Ownership Center.

Don’t miss the latest episode of All Things Co-op: Interview with Matt Cropp, the Co-Executive Director of the Vermont Employee Ownership Center.

Matt mainly works on conversions, but has had experiences of all types organizing different worker cooperatives and ESOPs. We discuss the work that the VEOC does, including its upcoming conference. This conversation spanned many topics and Kevin, Cinar and Larry can’t wait to have Matt back on to talk more about his work.

Listen to or watch the latest episode of All Things Co-op on Democracy at Work’s youtube channel, website or on your favorite podcast player. We make it a point to provide this show for free and free of ads. If you’re willing and able, please consider supporting our work by becoming a member of the ATC Patreon community!

This podcast adds to my understanding of the mechanisms that make co-ops work. This is an ongoing learning process for me.

Zephyr Teachout EXPOSES Bipartisan Consensus On Protecting Corporate Power

YouTube has the video Zephyr Teachout EXPOSES Bipartisan Consensus On Protecting Corporate Power

Author, Zephyr Teachout, discusses her new book, ‘BREAK ‘EM UP: Recovering Our Freedom from Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money.’

I knew that the courts have a really pinched view of what is wrong with concentrated corporate power. I didn’t know that the judges appointed by Ronald Reagan were responsible for this myopia suddenly afflicting our judicial system,

Either Zephyr Teachout misspoke or I misheard. The new court interpretation seems to be that if consumer prices don’t go up because of a monopoly, then consumers aren’t harmed. By what logic does the Supreme Court forget that people who are consumers are also workers? If workers’ wages and benefits are held down by monopoly market overlords, then their ability to consume is harmed. If monopoly vulture capitalists steal the pension benefits of workers, then they cannot be strong consumers. When monopoly employers cut workers’ health benefits, people go bankrupt paying medical bills. How can a Supreme Court be so blind to the reality? I guess it is hard to keep your eyes and ears open when you are being paid to keep them shut.

Yanis Varoufakis: Why Bitcoin Is Not a Socialist’s Ally – Reply to Ben Arc

Naked Capitalism has the post Yanis Varoufakis: Why Bitcoin Is Not a Socialist’s Ally – Reply to Ben Arc

In summary, the monetary system is like the dog’s tail. It cannot wag the capitalist dog, in the sense that democratising money by means of a monetary commons will not democratise economic life but, rather, make capitalism uglier, nastier and more dangerous for humanity.

Having said all this, a monetary commons (that may very well rely on something like the blockchain underpinning Bitcoin) will, I have no doubt, be an essential aspect of a democratised economy; of socialism.

The article gives reasons to support the first paragraph quoted above. I have no idea what thinking backs up the second paragraph. For all the problems he raises about Bitcoin, I don’t see how taking control of the money supply out of the hands of government is going to help anything. Yanis needs to explain the automatic stabilizers he envisions for such a system before I can imagine hos such a system would prevent the crises he depicts in his post.

Private-equity crowd wants your 401(k) money — ‘yikes!’

Yahoo! Market Watch has the opinion piece Private-equity crowd wants your 401(k) money — ‘yikes!’,

From the Department of Dangerous Ideas comes the news that your employer may soon offer you the “opportunity” to invest some of your hard-earned money in private equity as well as in the public stock and bond markets.

I read most of this. “yikes!” is the appropriate response. One thing the article didn’t mention in the part that I read is that much of the superior performance is attributable to insider trading which has caused a few hedge fund managers to go to jail. As William Black titled his book, “The Best Way To Rob A Bank Is to Own One“. Just imagine how rich we could all be if we just resorted to robbery.

AskProfWolff: What is the Labour Theory of Value?

Every now and then, I need to refresh my memory about what Richard Wolff had to say about the labor theory of value. I have been a little off the mark lately.

Here is another explanation from Richard Wolff.

This makes a nice ending to the trilogy. Wolff’s explanation of the transition from feudalism to capitalism is a bit apocryphal compared to the way Modern Money Theory explains it, so take the point his is trying to make, but the details are somewhat ahistorical. Markets and the division of labor have existed throughout history. They were not invented by capitalists.

I think the USA today is an example of how market pricing misallocates labor in the USA. Too much labor is going into the financialization of our economy instead of productive uses that makes life better for us all. Financialization means making profits from moving money around rather than producing anything that improves people’s lives.

Financialization: Tackling the Other Virus

Naked Capitalism has the post Financialization: Tackling the Other Virus.

Financialization has involved reorganizing finance, the economy, and even aspects of society, to enable investors to get more from financial market investments, effectively undermining sustainable growth, full employment and fairer wealth distribution.

Most people seem to have no idea of the pernicious effects of this virus. For years, I have been trying to raise awareness with my blog where you are reading this post now.

Some people don’t know that our former Governor, Mitt Romney, made his fortune as a vulture capitalist, which is my word for some practitioners of financialization. Even our erstwhile former progressive Governor, Deval Patrick, could not resist the lure of vulture capitalism when he left office. Patrick now works for Bain Capital where Mitt Romney made his fortune.

I suspect that former President Barack Obama is making money this way. The fact that Obama and his Attorney General, Eric Holder, refused to prosecute the worst crimes of financialization is now being well rewarded.