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The Secular Stagnation as an Immanent Feature of Post-2008 Neoliberalism

Image courtesy of Koren Shadmi (What’s Behind a Rise in Ethnic Nationalism? Maybe the Economy - The New York Times, Oct 14, 2016)
News Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Recommended Links GDP as a false measure of a country economic output Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism as antidote to Neoliberalism Chronic Unemployment Redistribution of wealth up as the essence of neoliberalism
Forthcoming slow motion collapse of global neoliberal empire led by the USA Anti-globalization movement Why Peak Oil Threatens the International Monetary System Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Economics of Peak Energy Upward Redistribution of Wealth
Identity politics as diversion of attention from social inequality Neoliberalism war on labor The Great Transformation Eroding Western living standards Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Greece debt enslavement Ukraine debt enslavement
Neoliberal rationality Neoliberal "New Class" as variant of Soviet Nomenklatura The fiasco of suburbia Quite coup Casino Capitalism Lawrence Summers Oil glut fallacy
Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks: The efficient markets hypothesis Austerity Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy Energy Geopolitics Corruption of Regulators MSM propagated myth about Saudis defending market share Great condensate con
Russia oil production Helicopter Ben: Arsonist Turned into Firefighter Financial Quotes Casino Capitalism Dictionary Financial Humor Humor Etc

Introduction

Secular stagnation is a term proposed by Keynesian economist Alvin Hansen back in the 1930s to explain the USA dismal economic performance during this period. The period in which sluggish growth and output, and employment levels well below potential, coincide with a problematically low (even negative) real interest rates even in the face of the extraordinarily easy monetary policy. Later a similar phenomenon occurred in Japan. that's why it is often called called Japanification of the economy.  Secular stagnation returned to the USA in full force after the financial crisis of 2008 (so called The Long Recession), so this is the second time the USA society experience the same socio-economic phenomenon. 

Formally it can be defined as any stagnation that lasts substantially longer then the business cycle (and dominates the business cycle induced variations of economic activities), the suppression of economic performance for a long (aka secular) period. It also can be viewed as the crisis of demand, when demand became systemically weak (which under neoliberalism is ensured by redistribution of wealth up).

The global stagnation we are experiencing is the logical result of the dominance of neoliberalism and a sign of its crisis an a ideology. It is somewhat similar to the crisis of Bolshevik's ideology in the USSR in 60th when everybody realized that the existing society cannot fulfill the key promise of higher living standards. And that over centralization of economic life naturally leads to stagnation.  The analogy does not ends here, but this point is the most important.

Neoliberalism replaced over-centralization (with iron fist one party rule) with over-financialization (with iron fist rule of financial oligarchy), with generally the same result as for the economy ( In other words neoliberalism like bolshevism is equal to economic stagnation; extremes meet).  The end of cheap oil did not help iether. In a sense neoliberalism might be viewed as the elite reaction to the end of cheap oil, when it became clear that there are not enough cookies for everyone.

This growth in the financial sector's profits has not been an accident; it is the result of  engineered shift in the elite thinking, which changed government policies. The central question of politics is, in my view, "Who has a right to live and who does not".  In the answer to this question, neoliberal subscribes to Social Darwinism: ordinary citizens should be given much less rather than more social protection. Such  policies would have been impossible in 50th and 60th (A Short History of Neo-liberalism)

In 1945 or 1950, if you had seriously proposed any of the ideas and policies in today's standard neo-liberal toolkit, you would have been laughed off the stage at or sent off to the insane asylum. At least in the Western countries, at that time, everyone was a Keynesian, a social democrat or a social-Christian democrat or some shade of Marxist.

The idea that the market should be allowed to make major social and political decisions; the idea that the State should voluntarily reduce its role in the economy, or that corporations should be given total freedom, that trade unions should be curbed and citizens given much less rather than more social protection--such ideas were utterly foreign to the spirit of the time. Even if someone actually agreed with these ideas, he or she would have hesitated to take such a position in public and would have had a hard time finding an audience.

And this change in government polices was achieved in classic Bolsheviks coup d'état way, when yoiu first create the Party of "professional neoliberal revolutionaries". Who then push for this change and "occupy" strategic places like economics departments at the universities, privately funded think tanks, MSM, and then subvert one or both major parties.  The crisis of "New Deal Capitalism" helped, but without network of think tanks and rich donors, the triumph of neoliberalism in the USA would have been impossible:

...one explanation for this triumph of neo-liberalism and the economic, political, social and ecological disasters that go with it is that neo-liberals have bought and paid for their own vicious and regressive "Great Transformation". They have understood, as progressives have not, that ideas have consequences. Starting from a tiny embryo at the University of Chicago with the philosopher-economist Friedrich von Hayek and his students like Milton Friedman at its nucleus, the neo-liberals and their funders have created a huge international network of foundations, institutes, research centers, publications, scholars, writers and public relations hacks to develop, package and push their ideas and doctrine relentlessly.

Most economists are acutely aware of the increasing role in economic life of financial markets, institutions and operations and the pursuit of prifits via excotic instruments such as derivatives (all this constituted  financialization). This dominant feature of neoliberalism has huge the re-distributional implications, huge effects on the US economy, international dimensions and monetary system, depth and longevity of financial crises and unapt policy responses to them.

They have built this highly efficient ideological cadre because they understand what the Italian Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci was talking about when he developed the concept of cultural hegemony. If you can occupy peoples' heads, their hearts and their hands will follow.

I do not have time to give you details here, but believe me, the ideological and promotional work of the right has been absolutely brilliant. They have spent hundreds of millions of dollars, but the result has been worth every penny to them because they have made neo-liberalism seem as if it were the natural and normal condition of humankind. No matter how many disasters of all kinds the neo-liberal system has visibly created, no matter what financial crises it may engender, no matter how many losers and outcasts it may create, it is still made to seem inevitable, like an act of God, the only possible economic and social order available to us.  

Neoliberalism naturally leads to secular stagnation due to redistribution of wealth up. which undermines purchasing power of the 99%, or more correctly 99.9 of the population. In the USA this topic became hotly debated theme in establishment circles after Summers speech in 2013.  Unfortunately it was suppressed in Presidential campaign of 2016. Please note that Sanders speaks about Wall Street shenanigans, but not about ideology of neoliberalism.  No candidates tried to address this problem of "self-colonization" of the USA, which is probably crucial to "making America great again" instead of continued slide into what is called "banana republic" coined by American writer O. Henry (William Sydney Porter 1862–1910). Here is how Wikipedia described the term:

Banana republic or banana state is a pejorative political science term for politically unstable countries in Latin America whose economies are largely dependent on exporting a limited-resource product, e.g. bananas. It typically has stratified social classes, including a large, impoverished working class and a ruling plutocracy of business, political, and military elites.[1] This politico-economic oligarchy controls the primary-sector productions to exploit the country's economy.[2]

... ... ...

In economics, a banana republic is a country operated as a commercial enterprise for private profit, effected by a collusion between the State and favoured monopolies, in which the profit derived from the private exploitation of public lands is private property, while the debts incurred thereby are a public responsibility.

This topic is of great importance to the US elite because the USA is the citadel of  neoliberalism. It also suggest that the natural way neoliberal economic system based on increasing of the level of inequality (redistribution of wealth up) should behave: after the initial economic boom (like in case of steroids use) caused by  financialization of economy (as well as dissolution of the USSR), helped by off-shoring of manufacturing, the destructive effects of this temporary boost come into foreground. Redistribution of wealth up increases inequality which after a certain delay starts to undercuts domestic demand. It also tilts the demand more toward conspicuous consumption (note the boom of luxury cars sales in the USA).  

But after  inequality reaches certain critical threshold  the economy faces extended period of low growth reflecting persistently weak private demand (purchasing power of lower 90% of population).  People who mostly have low level service economy jobs (aka MC-jobs) can't buy that much.  Earlier giants of American capitalism like Ford understood that, but Wall Street sharks do not and does not want.  They operate under principle "Après nous le déluge" ("After us, the deluge").

An economic cycle enters recession when total spending falls below expected by producers and they realize that production level is too high relative to demand. What we have under neoliberalism is Marx's crisis of overproduction on a new level. At this level it is intrinsically connected with the parasitic nature of complete financialization of the economy. The focus on monetary policy and the failure to enact fiscal policy options is the key structural defect of neoliberalism ideology and can't be changed unless neoliberal ideology is abandoned. Which probably will not happen unless another huge crisis hits the USA. That might not happen soon.  Bolshevism lasted more then 70 years. If we assume that the "age of neoliberalism" started at 1973 with Pinochet coup d'état in Chile, neoliberalism as a social system is just 43 years old (as of 2016). It still has some "time to live"(TTL) in zombies state due to the principle first formulated by Margaret Thatcher as TINA ("There Is No Alternative") -- the main competitor, bolshevism, was discredited by the collapse of the USSR and China leadership adoption of neoliberalism. While Soviet leadership simply abandoned the sinking ship and became Nouveau riche in a neoliberal society that followed, Chinese elite managed to preserved at least outer framework of the Marxist state and the political control of the Communist party (not clear for how long). But there was a neoliberal transformation of Chinese economy, initiated, paradoxically, by the Chinese Communist Party.

Currently, no other ideology, including old "New Deal" ideology can  compete with neoliberal ideology, although things started to change with Sanders campaign in the USA on  the left and Trump campaign on the right. Most of what we see as a negative reaction to neoliberalism in Europe generally falls into the domain of cultural nationalism.    

The 2008 financial crisis, while discrediting neoliberalism as an ideology (in the same way as WWII discredited Bolshevism), was clearly not enough for the abandonment of this ideology. Actually neoliberalism proved to be remarkably resilient after this crisis. Some researchers claim that it entered "zombie state" and became more bloodthirsty and ruthless.

There is also religious overtones of neoliberalism which increase its longevity (similar to Trotskyism, and neoliberalism can be called "Trotskyism for rich"). So, from a small, unpopular sect with virtually no influence, neo-liberalism has become the major world religion with its dogmatic doctrine, its priesthood, its law-giving institutions and perhaps most important of all, its hell for heathen and sinners who dare to contest the revealed truth.  Like in most cults adherents became more fanatical believers after the prophecy did not materialized. The USA elite tried partially alleviate this problem by resorting to military Keynesianism as a supplementary strategy. But while military budget was raised to unprecedented levels, it can't reverse the tendency. Persistent high output gap is now a feature of the US economy, not a transitory state.

But there is another factor in play here: combination of peak (aka "plato" ;-) oil and established correlation of  the speed of economic growth and prices on fossil fuels and first of all on oil. Oil provides more than a third of the energy we use on the planet every day, more than any other energy source (How High Oil Prices Will Permanently Cap Economic Growth - Bloomberg). It is dominant fuel for transport and in this role it is very difficult to replace. 

That means that a substantial increase of price of oil acts as a fundamental limiting factor for economic growth. And "end of cheap oil" simply means that any increase of supply of oil to support growing population on the planet and economic growth now requires higher prices. Which naturally undermine economic growth, unless massive injection of currency are instituted. that probably was the factor that prevented slide of the US economy into the recession in 2009-2012.  Such a Catch-22.

Growth dampening potential of over $100-a-barrel oil is now a well established factor. Unfortunately, the reverse is not true. Drop of oil price to below $50 as happened in late 2014 and first half of 2015 did not increase growth rate of the USA economy. It might simply prevented it from sliding it into another phase of Great Recession. Moreover when  economies activity drops, less oil is needed.  Enter permanent stagnation.

Also there is not much oil left that can be profitably extracted at prices below $80. So the current oil price slump is a temporary phenomenon, whether it was engineered, or is a mixture of factors including temporary overcapacity . Sooner or later oil prices should return to level "above $80", as only at this level of oil price capital expenditures in new production make sense. That des not mean that oil prices can't be suppressed for another year or even two, but as Herbert Stein aptly noted   "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop,"

 The alien spaceship landing

Imagine the alien spaceship landed somewhere in the world. There would be denial, disbelief, fear, and great uncertainty for the future. World leaders would struggle to make sense of the events. The landing would change everything.

The secular stagnation (aka "end of permanent growth") is a very similar event.  This also is the event that has potential to change everything, but it is much more prolonged in time and due to this less visible ("boiling frog effect").  Also this is not a single event, but a long sequence of related events that probably might last several decades (as Japan had shown) or even centuries. The current "Great Recession" might be just a prolog to those events. It is clearly incompatible with capitalism as a mode of production, although capitalism as a social system demonstrated over the years tremendous adaptability and it is too early to write it down completely.  Also no clear alternatives exists. 

A very slow recovery and the secular stagnation is characteristic of economies suffering from a balance-sheet recession (aka crisis of overproduction), as forcefully argued by Nomura’s Richard Koo and other economists. The key point is that private investment is down, not because of “policy uncertainty” or “increased regulation”, but because business-sector expectations about future profitability have become dramatically depressed — and rationally so — in a context characterized by heavy indebtedness (of both households and corporations). As businesses see the demand falls they scale down production which creates negative feedback look and depresses demand further. 

The key point is that private investment is down, not because of “policy uncertainty” or “increased regulation”, but because business-sector expectations about future profitability have become dramatically depressed — and rationally so — in a context characterized by heavy indebtedness (of both households and corporations). As businesses see the demand falls they scale down production which creates negative feedback look and depresses demand further.   

Five  hypothesis about the roots of secular stagnation

There are at least five different hypothesis about the roots of secular stagnation:

Summers’s remarks and articles were followed by an explosion of debate concerning “secular stagnation”—a term commonly associated with Alvin Hansen’s work from the 1930s to ’50s, and frequently employed in Monthly Review to explain developments in the advanced economies from the 1970s to the early 2000s.2 Secular stagnation can be defined as the tendency to long-term (or secular) stagnation in the private accumulation process of the capitalist economy, manifested in rising unemployment and excess capacity and a slowdown in overall economic growth. It is often referred to simply as “stagnation.” There are numerous theories of secular stagnation but most mainstream theories hearken back to Hansen, who was Keynes’s leading early follower in the United States, and who derived the idea from various suggestions in Keynes’s General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936).

Responses to Summers have been all over the map, reflecting both the fact that the capitalist economy has been slowing down, and the role in denying it by many of those seeking to legitimate the system. Stanford economist John B. Taylor contributed a stalwart denial of secular stagnation in the Wall Street Journal. In contrast, Paul Krugman, who is closely aligned with Summers, endorsed secular stagnation on several occasions in the New York Times. Other notable economists such as Brad DeLong and Michael Spence soon weighed in with their own views.3

Three prominent economists have new books directly addressing the phenomena of secular stagnation.4 It has now been formally modelled by Brown University economists Gauti Eggertsson and Neil Mehrotra, while Thomas Piketty’s high-profile book bases its theoretical argument and policy recommendations on stagnation tendencies of capitalism. This explosion of interest in the Summers/Krugman version of stagnation has also resulted in a collection of articles and debate, edited by Coen Teulings and Richard Baldwin, entitled Secular Stagnation: Facts, Causes and Cures.5

Seven years after “The Great Financial Crisis” of 2007–2008, the recovery remains sluggish. It can be argued that the length and depth of the Great Financial Crisis is a rather ordinary cyclical crisis. However, the monetary and fiscal measures to combat it were extraordinary. This has resulted in a widespread sense that there will not be a return to “normal.” Summers/Krugman’s resurrection within the mainstream of Hansen’s concept of secular stagnation is an attempt to explain how extraordinary policy measures following the 2007–2008 crisis merely led to the stabilization of a lethargic, if not comatose, economy.

But what do these economists mean by secular stagnation? If stagnation is a reality, does their conception of it make current policy tools obsolete? And what is the relationship between the Summers/Krugman notion of secular stagnation and the monopoly-finance capital theory?

... ... ...

In “secular stagnation,” the term “secular” is intended to differentiate between the normal business cycle and long-term, chronic stagnation. A long-term slowdown in the economy over decades can be seen as superimposed on the regular business cycle, reflecting the trend rather than the cycle.

In the general language of economics, secular stagnation, or simply stagnation, thus implies that the long-run potential economic growth has fallen, constituting the first pillar of MISS. This has been most forcefully argued for by Robert Gordon, as well as Garry Kasparov and Peter Thiel.6 Their argument is that the cumulative growth effect of current (and future) technological changes will be far weaker than in the past. Moreover, demographic changes place limits on the development of “human capital.” The focus is on technology, which orthodox economics generally sees as a factor external to the economy and on the supply-side (i.e., in relation to cost). Gordon’s position is thus different than that of moderate Keynesians like Summers and Krugman, who focus on demand-side contradictions of the system.

In Gordon’s supply-side, technocratic view, there are forces at work that will limit the growth in productive input and the efficiency of these inputs. This pillar of MISS emphasizes that it is constraints on the aggregate supply-side of the economy that have diminished absolutely the long-run potential growth.

The second pillar of MISS, also a supply-side view, goes back at least to Joseph Schumpeter. To explain the massive slump of 1937, Schumpeter maintained there had emerged a growing anti-business climate. Moreover, he contended that the rise of the modern corporation had displaced the role of the entrepreneur; the anti-business spirit had a repressive effect on entrepreneurs’ confidence and optimism.7 Today, this second pillar of MISS has been resurrected suggestively by John B. Taylor, who argues the poor recovery is best “explained by policy uncertainty” and “increased regulation” that is unfavorable to business. Likewise, Baker, Bloom, and Davis have forcefully argued that political uncertainty can hold back private investment and economic growth.8

Summers and Krugman, as Keynesians, emphasize a third MISS pillar, derived from Keynes’s famous liquidity trap theory, which contends that the “full-employment real interest rate” has declined in recent years. Indeed, both Summers and Krugman demonstrate that real interest rates have declined over recent decades, therefore moving from an exogenous explanation (as in pillars one and two) to a more endogenous explanation of secular stagnation.9 The ultimate problem here is lack of investment demand, such that, in order for net investment to occur at all, interest rates have to be driven to near zero or below. Their strong argument is that there are now times when negative real interest rates are needed to equate saving and investment with full employment.

However, “interest rates are not fully flexible in modern economies”—in other words, market-determined interest rate adjustments chronically fail to achieve full employment. Summers contends there are financial forces that prohibit the real interest rate from becoming negative; hence, full employment cannot be realized.10

Some theorists contend that there has been demographic structural shifts increasing the supply of saving, thus decreasing interest rates. These shifts include an increase in life expectancy, a decrease in retirement age, and a decline in the growth rate of population.

Others, including Summers, point out that stagnation in capital formation (or accumulation) can be attributed to a decrease in the demand for loanable funds for investment. One mainstream explanation offered for this is that today’s new technologies and companies, such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, require far less capital investment. Another hypothesis is that there has been an important decrease in the demand for loanable funds, although they argue this is due to a preference for safe assets. These factors can function together to keep the real interest rate very low. The policy implication of secular low interest rates is that monetary policy is more difficult to implement effectually; during a recession, it is weakened and can even become ineffectual.

Edward Glaeser, focusing on “secular joblessness,” places severe doubt on the first pillar of MISS, but then makes a very important additional argument. Glaeser rejects the notion that there has been a slowdown in technological innovation; innovation is simply “unrelenting.” Likewise, he is far less concerned with secular low real interest rates, which may be far more cyclical. “Therefore,” contends Glaeser, “stagnation is likely to be temporary.”

Nonetheless, Glaeser underscores secular joblessness, and thus the dysfunction of U.S. labor markets constitutes a fourth pillar of MISS: “The dysfunction in the labour market is real and serious, and seems unlikely to be solved by any obvious economic trend.” Somehow, then, the problem is due to a misfit of skills or “human capital” on the side of workers, who thus need retraining. “The massive secular trend in joblessness is a terrible social problem for the US, and one that the country must try to address” with targeted policy.11 Glaeser’s argument for the dysfunction of U.S. labor markets is based on recession-generated shocks to employment, specifically of less-skilled U.S. workers. After 1970, when workers lost their job, the damage to human capital became permanent. In short, when human capital depreciates due to unemployment, overall abilities and “talent” are “lost” permanently. This may be because the skills required in today’s economy need to be constantly practiced to be retained. Thus, there is a ratchet-like effect in joblessness caused by recessions, whereby recession-linked joblessness is not fully reversed during recoveries—and all this is related to skills (the human capital of the workers), and not to capital itself. According to Glaeser, the ratchet-like effect of recession-linked joblessness is further exacerbated by the U.S. social-safety net, which has “made joblessness less painful and increased the incentives to stay out of work.”12

Glaeser contends that, if his secular joblessness argument is correct, the macroeconomic fiscal interventions argued for by Summers and Krugman are off-base.13 Instead, the safety net should be redesigned in order to encourage rather than discourage people from working. Additionally, incentives to work need to be radically improved through targeted investments in education and workforce training.14 Such views within the mainstream debate, emphasizing exogenous factors, are generally promoted by freshwater (conservative) rather than saltwater (liberal) economists. Thus, they tend to emphasize supply-side or cost factors.

The fifth pillar of MISS contends that output and productivity growth are stagnant due to a failure to invest in infrastructure, education, and training. Nearly all versions of MISS subscribe to some version of this, although there are both conservative and liberal variations. Barry Eichengreen underscores this pillar and condemns recent U.S. fiscal developments that have “cut to the bone” federal government spending devoted to infrastructure, education, and training.

The fifth pillar of MISS necessarily reflects an imbalance between public and private investment spending. Many theorists maintain that the imbalance between public and private investment spending, hence secular stagnation, “is not inevitable.” For example, Eichengreen contends if “the US experiences secular stagnation, the condition will be self-inflicted. It will reflect the country’s failure to address its infrastructure, education and training needs. It will reflect its failure to…support aggregate demand in an effort to bring the long-term unemployed back into the labour market.”15

The sixth pillar of MISS argues that the “debt overhang” from the overleveraging of financial firms and households, as well as private and public indebtedness, are a serious drag on the economy. This position has been argued for most forcefully by several colleagues of Summers at Harvard, most notably Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff.16 Atif Mian and Amir Sufi also argue that household indebtedness was the primary culprit causing the economic collapse of 2007–2008. Their policy recommendation is that the risk to mortgage borrowers must be reduced to avoid future calamities.17

As noted, the defenders of MISS do not necessarily support a compatibility between the above six pillars: those favored by conservatives are supply-side and exogenous in emphasis, while liberals tend towards demand-side and endogenous ones. Instead, most often these pillars are developed as competing theories to explain the warrant of some aspect of secular stagnation, and/or to defend particular policy positions while criticizing alternative policy positions. However, the concern here is not whether there is the possibility for a synthesis of mainstream views. Rather, the emphasis is on how partial and separate such explanations are, both individually and in combination.

Neoliberal economy actually needs bubbles to function

As Krugman said "We now know that the economic expansion of 2003-2007 was driven by a bubble. You can say the same about the latter part of the 90s expansion; and you can in fact say the same about the later years of the Reagan expansion, which was driven at that point by runaway thrift institutions and a large bubble in commercial real estate." In other words blowing bubbles is the fundamental way neoliberal economy functions, not an anomaly.

As much as the USA population is accustomed to hypocrisy of the ruling elite and is brainwashed by MSM, this news, delivered to them personally by the crisis of 2008 was too much for them not question the fundamentals (A Primer on Neoliberalism):

Of course, the irony that those same institutions would now themselves agree that those “anti-capitalist” regulations are required is of course barely noted. Such options now being considered are not anti-capitalist. However, they could be described as more regulatory or managed rather than completely free or laissez faire capitalism, which critics of regulation have often preferred.

But a regulatory capitalist economy is very different to a state-based command economy, the style of which the Soviet Union was known for. The points is that there are various forms of capitalism, not just the black-and-white capitalism and communism. And at the same time, the most extreme forms of capitalism can also lead to the bigger bubbles and the bigger busts.

In that context, the financial crisis, as severe as it was, led to key architects of the system admitting to flaws in key aspects of the ideology.

At the end of 2008, Alan Greenspan was summoned to the U.S. Congress to testify about the financial crisis. His tenure at the Federal Reserve had been long and lauded, and Congress wanted to know what had gone wrong. Henry Waxman questioned him:

[Greenspan’s flaw] warped his view about how the world was organized, about the sociology of the market. And Greenspan is not alone. Larry Summers, the president’s senior economic advisor, has had to come to terms with a similar error—his view that the market was inherently self-stabilizing has been “dealt a fatal blow.” Hank Paulson, Bush’s treasury secretary, has shrugged his shoulders with similar resignation. Even Jim Cramer from CNBC’s Mad Money admitted defeat: “The only guy who really called this right was Karl Marx.” One after the other, the celebrants of the free market are finding themselves, to use the language of the market, corrected.

Raj Patel, Flaw PDF formatted document, The Value of Nothing, (Picador, 2010), pp.4, 6-7

Now for the second time in history, the challenge is to save capitalism from itself

Now for the second time in history, the challenge is to save capitalism from itself: to recognize the great strengths of open, competitive markets while rejecting the extreme capitalism and unrestrained greed that have perverted so much of the global financial system in recent times. It took such a statesman as Franklin Delano Roosevelt to rebuild American capitalism after the Great Depression. New Deal policies allowed to rebuild postwar domestic demand, to engineer the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe and to set in place the Bretton Woods system to govern international economic engagement.

With the abolishment of those policies blowing of one bubble after another, each followed by a financial crisis  became standard chain of the events. Since 1973 we already have a half-dozen bubbles following by economic crisis. It started with  Savings and loan crisis which partially was caused by the deregulation of S&Ls in 1980, by the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act signed by President Jimmy Carter on March 31, 1980, an important step is a series that eliminated regulations initially designed to prevent lending excesses and minimize failures.

To hide this unpleasant fact neoliberals resort to so called the Great Neoliberal Lie:

What is neoliberalism

The fallacious and utterly misleading argument that the global economic crisis (credit crunch) was caused by excessive state spending, rather than by the reckless gambling of the deregulated, neoliberalized financial sector.

Just as with other pseudo-scientific theories and fundamentalist ideologies, the excuse that "we just weren't fundamentalist enough last time" is always there. The neoliberal pushers of the establishment know that pure free-market economies are as much of an absurd fairytale as 100% pure communist economies, however they keep pushing for further privatizations, tax cuts for the rich, wage repression for the ordinary, and reckless financial sector deregulations precisely because they are the direct beneficiaries of these policies. Take the constantly widening wealth gap in the UK throughout three decades of neoliberal policy. The minority of beneficiaries from this ever widening wealth gap are the business classes, financial sector workers, the mainstream media elite and the political classes. It is no wonder at all that these people think neoliberalism is a successful ideology. Within their bubbles of wealth and privilege it has been. To everyone else it has been an absolute disaster.

Returning to a point I raised earlier in the article; one of the main problems with the concept of "neoliberalism" is the nebulousness of the definition. It is like a form of libertarianism, however it completely neglects the fundamental libertarian idea of non-aggression. In fact, it is so closely related to that other (highly aggressive) US born political ideology of Neo-Conservatism that many people get the two concepts muddled up. A true libertarian would never approve of vast taxpayer funded military budgets, the waging of imperialist wars of aggression nor the wanton destruction of the environment in pursuit of profit.

Another concept that is closely related to neoliberalism is the ideology of minarchism (small stateism), however the neoliberal brigade seem perfectly happy to ignore the small-state ideology when it suits their personal interests. Take the vast banker bailouts (the biggest state subsidies in human history) that were needed to save the neoliberalised global financial sector from the consequences of their own reckless gambling, the exponential growth of the parasitic corporate outsourcing sector (corporations that make virtually 100% of their turnover from the state) and the ludicrous housing subsidies (such as "Help to Buy and Housing Benefits) that have fueled the reinflation of yet another property Ponzi bubble.

The Godfather of neoliberalism was Milton Friedman. He made the case that illegal drugs should be legalised in order to create a free-market drug trade, which is one of the very few things I agreed with him about. However this is politically inconvenient (because the illegal drug market is a vital source of financial sector liquidity) so unlike so many of his neoliberal ideas that have consistently failed, yet remain incredibly popular with the wealthy elite, Friedman's libertarian drug legalisation proposals have never even been tried out.

The fact that neoliberals are so often prepared to ignore the fundamental principles of libertarianism (the non-aggression principle, drug legalisation, individual freedoms, the right to peaceful protest ...) and abuse the fundamental principles of small state minarchism (vast taxpayer funded bailouts for their financial sector friends, £billions in taxpayer funded outsourcing contracts, alcohol price fixing schemes) demonstrate that neoliberalism is actually more like Ayn Rand's barmy (greed is the only virtue, all other "virtues" are aberrations) pseudo-philosophical ideology of objectivism  than a set of formal economic theories.

The result of neoliberal economic theories has been proven time and again. Countries that embrace the neoliberal pseudo-economic ideology end up with "crony capitalism", where the poor and ordinary suffer "austerity", wage repression, revocation of labor rights and the right to protest, whilst a tiny cabal of corporate interests and establishment insiders enrich themselves via anti-competitive practices, outright criminality and corruption and vast socialism-for-the-rich schemes.

Neoliberal fanatics in powerful positions have demonstrated time and again that they will willingly ditch their right-wing libertarian and minarchist "principles" if those principles happen to conflict with their own personal self-interest. Neoliberalism is less of a formal set of economic theories than an error strewn obfuscation narrative to promote the economic interests, and  justify the personal greed of the wealthy, self-serving establishment elite.
 

Bubbles as the neoliberal tool for wealth redistribution

The 1930s, a well researched period of balance-sheet recession, provides some interesting perspective despite large historical distance.  Roosevelt was no socialist, but his New Deal did frighten many businesses, especially large business which BTW attempted a coupe to remove him from is position. Fortunately for Roosevelt CIA did not exist yet.  And New Deal  government projects has been much bigger and bolder, then anything Obama ever tried, because Obama administration was constrained in its action by dominant neoliberal thinking. Like regulatory capture, which is an immanent feature of neoliberalism,  there is also less known and less visible ideological capture of the government. Which also makes neoliberalism more similar to bolshevism as this ideological capture and related inability of the USSR elite to modernize the economy on some "mixed" principles, when over-centralization stopped working. It, along with the collapse of the ideology,  probably was one of the main reasons of the collapse of the USSR.  Chinese leadership managed to do this and introduced "new economic policies"(NEP). 

Uner New deal regime when public investment and hence aggregate demand expanded, the economy started to grow anyway. Roosevelt did have a vision and he did convince the electorate about the way to go. Cheap optimism of Reagan, or even audacity of hope "Obama style" were not enough. After all, as Francis Bacon may remind us: “Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper” (Apophthegms, 1624).

Obama/Bernanke-style attempts to stimulate growth by pure injection of cheap money in this environment not only inflate new bubbles instead of old one, with which the fighting starts. They also lead to massive redistribution of wealth that makes the problem even worse:

Paul Krugman tells us that Larry Summers joined the camp concerned about secular stagnation in his I.M.F. talk last week, something that I had not picked up from prior coverage of the session. This is good news, but I would qualify a few of the points that Krugman makes in his elaboration of Summers' remarks.

First, while the economy may presently need asset bubbles to maintain full employment (a point I made in Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy), it doesn't follow that we should not be concerned about asset bubbles. The problem with bubbles is that their inflation and inevitable deflation lead to massive redistribution of wealth.

Larry Summers was the first establishment economist who conceded that this is the fact (Wikipedia)

... Larry Summers presented his view during November 2013 that secular (long-term) stagnation may be a reason that U.S. growth is insufficient to reach full employment: "Suppose then that the short term real interest rate that was consistent with full employment [i.e., the "natural rate"] had fallen to negative two or negative three percent. Even with artificial stimulus to demand you wouldn't see any excess demand. Even with a resumption in normal credit conditions you would have a lot of difficulty getting back to full employment."[13][14]

Robert J. Gordon wrote in August 2012:

"Even if innovation were to continue into the future at the rate of the two decades before 2007, the U.S. faces six headwinds that are in the process of dragging long-term growth to half or less of the 1.9 percent annual rate experienced between 1860 and 2007. These include demography, education, inequality, globalization, energy/environment, and the overhang of consumer and government debt. A provocative 'exercise in subtraction' suggests that future growth in consumption per capita for the bottom 99 percent of the income distribution could fall below 0.5 percent per year for an extended period of decades".[15]

One hypothesis is that high levels of productivity greater than the economic growth rate are creating economic slack, in which fewer workers are required to meet the demand for goods and services. Firms have less incentive to invest and instead prefer to hold cash. Journalist Marco Nappolini wrote in November 2013:

 "If the expected return on investment over the short term is presumed to be lower than the cost of holding cash then even pushing interest rates to zero will have little effect. That is, if you cannot push real interest rates below the so-called short run natural rate [i.e., the rate of interest required to achieve the growth rate necessary to achieve full employment] you will struggle to bring forward future consumption, blunting the short run effectiveness of monetary policy...Moreover, if you fail to bring it below the long run natural rate there is a strong disincentive to increase fixed capital investment and a consequent preference to hold cash or cash-like instruments in an attempt to mitigate risk. This could cause longer-term hysteresis effects and reduce an economy's potential output."[13] 

Cost of energy as a defining new factor

The cost of energy is probably another reason of secular stagnation along with excessive public and private debt. Rising cost of energy is deadly for capitalism.  Here are some comments that might clarify the situation:

raskolnikov:

This is the biggest crybaby column Krugman's ever written. He should be ashamed of himself and return his Nobel prize immediately. Has he ever put down Keynes long enough to read a little Marx?  Here's Robert Brenner summing it up in 2009:

 What mainly accounts for the long-term weakening of the real economy is a deep, and lasting, decline of the rate of return on capital investment since the end of the 1960s.

The failure of the rate of profit to recover is all the more remarkable, in view of the huge drop-off in the growth of real wages over the period.

The main cause, though not the only cause, of the decline in the rate of profit has been a persistent tendency to overcapacity in global manufacturing industries."

 There's more, too. Instead of siding with crackpot Summers, Krugman should expand his research and be of some use to us all.

Kievite

I am not sure that it is correct to think about public debt as internal debt. It's all about energy.

That means that public debt is to a large extent foreign due to unalterable oil consumption (and related trade deficits). And that completely changes the situation unless you are the owner of the world reserve currency.

But even in the latter case (exorbitant privilege as Valéry Giscard d'Estaing called it ) you can expect attacks on the status of the currency as world reserve currency. The growth is still supported via militarization, forced opening of foreign markets (with military force, if necessary) and conversion of the state into national security state. But as Napoleon admitted "You can do anything with bayonets except sit on them"

One positive thing about high public (and to a large extent foreign owned) debt in the USA is that it undermines what Bacevich called "new American militarism" (http://www.amazon.com/The-New-American-Militarism-Americans/dp/0195173384). Bacevich argues that this is distinct political course adopted by the "defense intellectuals," the evangelicals, and the neocons. And they will never regret their failed efforts such as Iraq invasion.

From Amazon review:

=== Quote ===

Bacevich clearly links our present predicaments both at home and abroad to the ever greater need for natural resources, especially oil from the Persian Gulf. He demolishes all of the reasons for our bellicosity based on ideals and links it directly to our insatiable appetite for oil and economic expansion. Naturally, like thousands of writers before him, he points out the need for a national energy policy based on more effective use of resources and alternative means of production.

=== End of Quote ==

Heinberg's Five Axioms of Sustainability

As Heinberg explained fossil fuels, primarily oil, permeate every aspect of our modern culture - from agriculture to cities and a long-term perspective. In the age of almost 7 billion people demanding more and more of limited resources, the media, politicians and governments tend to only report short-term perspectives and ignore Heinberg's Five Axioms of Sustainability to the extent that these concepts are taboo to be spoken, discussed or thought (Heinberg, Richard (2007) Five Axioms of Sustainability):

1. (Tainter’s Axiom): Any society that continues to use critical resources unsustainably will collapse.

Exception: A society can avoid collapse by finding replacement resources.

Limit to the exception: In a finite world, the number of possible replacements is also finite.

...

2. (Bartlett’s Axiom): Population growth and/or growth in the rates of consumption of resources cannot be sustained.

...

3. To be sustainable, the use of renewable resources must proceed at a rate that is less than or equal to the rate of natural replenishment.

...

4. To be sustainable, the use of non-renewable resources must proceed at a rate that is declining, and the rate of decline must be greater than or equal to the rate of depletion.

The rate of depletion is defined as the amount being extracted and used during a specified time interval (usually a year) as a percentage of the amount left to extract.

...

5. Sustainability requires that substances introduced into the environment from human activities be minimized and rendered harmless to biosphere functions.

In cases where pollution from the extraction and consumption of non-renewable resources that has proceeded at expanding rates for some time threatens the viability of ecosystems, reduction in the rates of extraction and consumption of those resources may need to occur at a rate greater than the rate of depletion. 

Archaeologist Joseph Tainter, in his classic study The Collapse of Complex Societies (1988), demonstrated that collapse is a frequent if not universal fate of complex societies and argued that collapse results from declining returns on efforts to support growing levels of societal complexity using energy harvested from the environment.  Jared Diamond’s popular book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005) similarly  makes the argument that collapse is the common destiny of societies that ignore resourse constraints. This axiom defines sustainability by the consequences of its absence—that is, collapse.

Historical periods of stagnation in the United States

Adapted from Wikipedia

Excluding the current, there were two period of stagnation in the USA history:

Construction of structures, residential, commercial and industrial, fell off dramatically during the depression, but housing was well on its way to recovering by the late 1930s.[17]

The depression years were the period of the highest total factor productivity growth in the United States, primarily to the building of roads and bridges, abandonment of unneeded railroad track and reduction in railroad employment, expansion of electric utilities and improvements wholesale and retail distribution.[17]

The war created pent up demand for many items as factories that once produced automobiles and other machinery converted to production of tanks, guns, military vehicles and supplies. Tires had been rationed due to shortages of natural rubber; however, the U.S. government built synthetic rubber plants. The U.S. government also built synthetic ammonia plants, aluminum smelters, aviation fuel refineries and aircraft engine factories during the war.[17] After the war commercial aviation, plastics and synthetic rubber would become major industries and synthetic ammonia was used for fertilizer. The end of armaments production free up hundreds of thousands of machine tools, which were made available for other industries. They were needed in the rapidly growing aircraft manufacturing industry.[18]

The memory of war created a need for preparedness in the United States. This resulted in constant spending for defense programs, creating what President Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex.

U.S. birth rates began to recover by the time of World War II, and turned into the baby boom of the postwar decades. A building boom commenced in the years following the war. Suburbs began a rapid expansion and automobile ownership increased.[17]

High-yielding crops and chemical fertilizers dramatically increased crop yields and greatly lowered the cost of food, giving consumers more discretionary income. Railroad locomotives switched from steam to diesel power, with a large increase in fuel efficiency. Most importantly, cheap food essentially eliminated malnutrition in countries like the United States and much of Europe.

Many trends that began before the war continued:

Researchers who contributed to understating secular stagnation

One of the first researchers who clearly attributed secular stagnation problem to neoliberalism was Alan Nasser, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy and Philosophy at The Evergreen State College. In his September 22, 2005 paper  ECONOMIC LAWS, STRUCTURAL TENDENCIES, SECULAR STAGNATION THEORY, AND THE FATE OF NEOLIBERALISM  he pointed out the key features of secular stagnation long before Summers started to understand the problem  and even befor the economic crash of 2008 ;-)

September 22, 2005 | alannasser.org

Alan Nasser Invited presentation, University of Lille,

"We have now grown used to the idea that most ordinary or natural growth processes (the growth of organisms, or popu- lations of organisms or, for example, of cities) is not merely limited, but self-limited, i.e. is slowed down or eventually brought to a standstill as a consequence of the act of growth itself. For one reason or another, but always for some reason, organisms cannot grow indefinitely, just as beyond a certain level of size or density a population defeats its own capacity for further growth."

Sir Peter Medawar, The Revolution of Hope

"A business firm grows and attains great strength, and afterwards perhaps stagnates and decays; and at the turning point there is a balancing or equilibrium of the forces of life and decay. And as we reach to the higher stages of our work, we shall need ever more and more to think of economic forces as those which make a young man grow in strength until he reaches his prime; after which he gradually becomes stiff and inactive, till at last he sinks to make room for other and more vigorous life."

Alfred Marshall, Principals of Economics (1890)

"Though Keynes's 'breakdown theory is quite different from Marx's, it has an important feature in common with the latter: in both theories, the breakdown is motivated by causes inherent to the working of the economic engine, not by the action of factors external to it."

Joseph Schumpeter, Ten Great Economists

In this paper I shall address two major issues. Firstly, I shall discuss the implications for economic theory of a conception of economic laws widely at variance with the empiricist and/or positivist account of what laws are, how they are discovered, and how they are related to theory. At the same time, I will reject one cornerstone of anti-positivist thought, namely the idea that one cannot provide an account of laws that is fundamentally the same for the natural and the social sciences. Thus, I shall argue that an anti-positivist account of laws is entirely compatible with a conception of scientific laws that applies to both the "hard" (natural) and the "soft" (social) sciences. I shall defend this position by showing its application to economics and economic laws. In doing so, I will compare and contrast both natural-scientific (primarily physical) laws and social-scientific (primarily economic) laws. Secondly, I will argue that perhaps the most significant economic law descriptive of mature capitalism is the law of secular stagnation. The latter states that it is the natural tendency of a developed, industrialized capitalist economy to default to a state of chronic excess capacity and underconsumption. And this is itself a result of the tendency in advanced capitalism for the economic surplus (roughly, the difference between the Gross Domectic Product and the cost of producing the GDP) to grow at a rate more rapid than the growth of profitable industrial investment opportunities. In the course of my discussion I will use the United States as a paradigm case, Much as Marx attempted to identify the underlying features of the accumulation process by reference to England during the Industrial Revulution.

This has in fact been the state of global capital since the end of the "Golden Age" and the commencement of the age of globalized Reaganism/Thatcherism, i.e. the Age of Neoliberalism. I date the transition as commencing in 1973, the last year of post-War Keynesian growth rates in the USA. In fact, I will argue, neoliberal economic policy exacerbates capitalism'a tendency to stagnation. Let me begin with an account of economic laws.

LAWS, GENERATIVE MECHANISMS AND TENDENCIES

On the Humean or radical empiricist (positivist) account of laws, the latter are descriptions of observed regularities. Presumably, the scientist observes a "constant conjunction" of different kinds of happening, and infers from the regularity of the conjunction that the latter could not be merely accidental, and so concludes that the observed pattern of regularities must be nomological or law-like. 'Sodium chloride dissolves in water' and 'Metal expands when heated' would be simple examples of the results of this account of how laws of nature are discovered.

That this empiricist account is flawed becomes evident when we consider full-fledged laws of a genuine natural science, e.g. physics. I emphasize that laws are components of theories, which themselves are constitutive of established scientific disciplines, such as physics, chemistry, and biology. In fact, the two "laws" mentioned at the end of the preceding paragraph are not laws of physics at all. Among the genuine laws of physics is, e.g., 'Falling bodies near the surface of the earth accelerate at a constant rate.' This law is certainly not established by the observation of repeated conjunctions of events. On the contrary, actually observed falling bodies in "open systems", that is, in the circumstances of everyday life, conspicuously fail to conform to this law. Yet this is not taken to refute the law. For the law describes the behavior of bodies in a vacuum, that is to say, in a "closed system", one created by the scientist, typically in a laboratory situation. Philosophers of science have tended to ignore the distinction between regularities observed only in closed systems, and conjunctions observed in everyday life, which, as such, have no value as contributions to scientific knowledge. These philosophers have, accordingly, written as if the regularities in question were features of open systems, of nature. This confusion impedes our understanding of all types of laws, from physical to economic.

This failure –until relatively recently- of philosophers of science to properly attend to the importance of laboratory work in the acquisition of scientific knowledge is due to the fact that these philosophers have focused almost exclusively on science as established theory, i.e. as a way of representing the world. They had ignored how these theories were actually established. That is, they paid little attention to experiment, which is a way of intervening in the world. This inattention to what happens in closed systems created in the laboratory led thinkers to miss the importance of the concept of tendencies or dispositions in grasping the concept of a law of science. Let us dwell on this point and its relation to economic laws.

It is not that our knowledge of natural laws is not based on observed regularities. The point, rather, is that these regularities are not found in nature. They are found in closed systems, elaborately designed experimental circumstances found in laboratories. Yet, we correctly believe that what we learn in experimental situations gives us knowledge that is not confined to these situations. We believe that what we learn from observations of repeated patterns in experiments gives us not only knowledge of the behavior of objects in laboratory circumstances, but also knowledge of these same (kinds of) objects as they behave in nature, in the open systems of everyday life. But scientifically significant repeated patterns are not found in the world of daily life. This raises profound epistemological and ontological questions.

The most significant epistemological question arises from the following consideration: Were it not for the intervention of the experimenter, closed-system regularities would not obtain. Hence, the experimenter is a causal agent of the pattern of regularities observed in the laboratory. It is these contrived conjunctions which we invoke to justify our belief in (usually causal) laws. And while these regularities are the (partial) result of the intervention of the experimenter, we do not believe that the experimenter in any way originates the laws whose existence is attested to by the contrived regularities. The question therefore arises: What justifies our (correct) belief that knowledge obtained in closed laboratory systems designed by an agent applies also in open systems, i.e. in nature, which of course is not designed by scientists and does not evidence the regularities found under designed experimental circumstances?

I want to suggest that this question comes to the same as the following question: What must nature be like, and what must experiment reveal, in order for experimental knowledge to be able to be legitimately extended to the world outside of the laboratory, i.e. to nature? Note that this is a Realist question: it asks what we must presuppose about the constitution of the world in order that our experimentally-based scientific beliefs be justified. This is the precise Realist counterpart to Kant's Idealist question: What must we presoppose our minds –as opposed to nature or the world- to be like in order for scientific knowledge to be possible? I will argue that the answer to our Realist question provides the conceptual resources to elucidate the general nature of economic laws and economic theory, and the nature of the subject matter investigated by economists.

I will argue that since we believe that what we learn by experimental observation justifies our claim to knowledge of the experimental objects as they behave in nature, we must assume that these objects possess natural structures, similar to what Aristotle and the scholastics called "natures" or "essences." A natural structure must be conceived as what Critical Realists call a generative mechanism (hereafter, GM). The latter is a specific mode of material organization. What GMs generate are tendencies or dispositions to behave in characteristic ways. The statement that a physical thing or a social institution or structure tends to generate characteristic regularities is a statement of a law. The natural structure of salt, expressed in chemistry as HCl, is such that when it is mixed with water, whose natural structure or organization is expressed as H2O, it tends to dissolve. Gases tend to expand when heated and falling bodies near the surface of the earth tend to accelerate at a constant rate. These are statements of chemical and physical laws. We shall see that precisely the same kind of analysis can be made of laws in economics.

Tendencies are not the same as trends. The latter are merely observed regularities; there need be no implication that an underlying structural feature of the thing in question generates the regularity. This feature of laws is reflected in ordinary language in non-scientific contexts: we might say "He has a tendency to exaggerate." We mean that a disposition to exaggerate is a natural expression of his underlying character. We do not usually mean that he exaggerates whenever it is possible for him to exaggerate. This is part of the meaning of 'tendency.' Thus, tendencies can exist without being exercised. This happens when, e.g. salt is not mixed with water. Salt's nomological tendency to dissolve in water remains its categorical property even in the absence of circumstances in which its tendency to dissolve can be exercised. In addition, tendencies can be exercised without being realized. This is the case in the natural sciences when we observe, in non-laboratory situations, falling bodies accelerating at different rates. Indeed, no falling body in open systems is observed to accelerate at a constant or the same rate. But of course this is not taken to falsify the law of falling bodies. In nature, GMs continue to act in their characteristic ways without producing the patterned outcomes observable in closed experimental systems. This is so because in nature a multiplicity of GMs combine, interact and collide such as to result in the (scientifically irrelevant) flux of phenomena of the everyday world. The realization of a natural tendency can, in other words, be offset by counteracting forces. Thus, empiricism's mistake is to fail to recognize that GMs operate independent of the effects they generate. That is, GMs endure and go on acting (in the way that experimental closure enables us to identify) in nature, i.e. in open systems, where patterned regularities do not prevail. Statements about tendencies are not equivalent, salva veritate, to statements about their effects. Laws may exist and exercise their tendencies or powers even though no Humean "constant conjunctions" are observed. (This would be the case if it happened that the practice of creating closed experimental conditions had never been engaged in, i.e. in a world without science.)

LAWS, GENERATIVE MECHANISMS AND TENDENCIES IN ECONOMICS

GMs are not confined to the natural world. Natural structures are not the only structures there are. Plainly, there are humanely constructed structures. Capitalism is one such structure. Structures of this kind, GMs, that are dynamic by nature, i.e. which are characteristically diachronic, be they natural or socially constituted, share the same ontology. This should not be confused with the radical empiricist (positivist) claim that the natural and the social sciences share the same method. Clearly they do not: closed experimental situations exist but are not typical i istic outcomes ceteris paribus, ie. other things being equal, i.e. ceteris absentibus, other things being absent. When we identify the tendency of a thing, we specify what will happen, as a matter of course, if interfering conditions are absent. That is the point of vacuums in the closed systems created in laboratory experiments: they permit exercised tendencies, i.e. tendencies in operation, to be realized. If we want to know what gases tend to do when acted upon by heat, we eliminate all potential counteracting forces by creating a vacuum in the chamber, so that both gas and heat can express their natures unimpeded.

Thus, implicit in both physical- and social-scientific practice is the crucial distinction between the exercise and the realization (or manifestation) of a tendency. This distinction is essential to structural analysis in economics because of the impossibility of creating the social equivalent of a vacuum in the social sciences, which deal with the open systems of everyday life, where a great many forces and tendencies collide. Accordingly, just as the law of the tendency of falling bodies to accelerate at a constant rate is not falsified by the failure of falling bodies to behave accordingly in open systems, so too, e.g., the law of the tendency of the growth of productive capacity to outpace the growth of profitable investment opportunities -the thesis of secular stagnation theory- is not undermined by the remarkable growth rates of the Golden Age. In both cases, the presence of offsetting factors prevents the structurally generated tendency from being realized or manifested. I argue that the same can be said for any putative economic law.

In social science –and this is most conspicuous in economics, the most theoretically developed of the human sciences- we compensate for the absence of experimentally closed systems by constructing their functional equivalent, which we might call, in terms redolent of Weber, an ideal-typical theoretical model. It is an unfortunate habit (perhaps a tendency in the above-elaborated sense…) of mainstream economists to employ these models as if they described the open-system observable facts of economic life. This is, I suspect, a consequence of the economic empiricist's mistake referred to above, namely to think that GMs, if they must be spoken of at all, are to be conceived as reducible to their effects. (Recall Hume's claim, inspired by his reading of Newton, to expunge all notions of "power", "generation" and "production" from his analyses.) But, as noted above, GMs in both the social and the natural sciences employ unrealistic models, i.e. models which do not pretend to offer the equivalent of a photographic representation of the world. In both natural-scientific experiments and social-scientific ideal-type models, an attempt is made to abstract from the nonessential. We seek to place the spotlight of theory on what is necessary to the situation, system or institution under investigation, and to prescind from the arbitrary and accidental. In economics we seek to identify those features of capitalism that make it what it is. This enables us to identify capitalism's distinct and characteristic tendencies, and to describe what will happen as a result of the exercise of these tendencies, ceteris absentibus.

That there are such tendencies seems to me to be uncontroversial. We all know, for example, that cyclical downturns are not mere empirical contingencies of capitalist development, but structurally generated tendencies which follow inexorably from the specific mode of organization (structure) of capitalism. And like all tendencies, their realization can be offset, as we have seen above, by counteracting factors, such as fiscal and monetary policy. Other examples would be what Marx called the tendencies of capital to concentrate and centralize. The tendency, and corresponding law, with which I will be primarily concerned in this paper is constitutive of the theory of secular stagnation, and is far more likely than the immediately foregoing examples to generate controversy. I refer to the tendency of mature capitalism to suffer from a chronic paucity of profitable industrial investment opportunities, relative to the great magnitude of its investable surplus. Let us look more closely at this tendency.

THE THEORY OF SECULAR STAGNATION

It is worth mentioning that the view that the continuous accumulation of capital is both essential to the normal development of capitalist societies and essentially self-limiting was held by virtually all of the major modern political economists, in the form of one version or another of the doctrine of the falling rate of profit. Adam Smith explained the secular decline of the profit rate by the increasing abundance of capital in a developing capitalist society. Ricardo and Mill believed that the rate of profit would be depressed by the diminishing productivity of the land which would drive up the price of wage goods and therefore of the wages of labor, and so drive down the profits of capital. Marx pointed to the increasing capital-intensity of industry and the paucity of working-class purchasing power relative to the productive capacity of the economy, as the principal threat to the profit rate. And Keynes held that in mature capitalist economies the "marginal efficiency of capital", i.e. the expected rate of return (over cost) on an additional unit of a given capital asset, would tend to decline. All these thinkers had an at least intuitive appreciation of the fact that the growth of capital tends to be terminally self-limiting. (It is worth citing a remark of Joseph Shumpeter at this point:

"Though Keynes's 'breakdown theory is quite different from Marx's, it has an important feature in common with the latter: in both theories, the breakdown is motivated by causes inherent to the working of the economic engine, not by the action of factors external to it.")

In my estimation, no one understood the underlying dynamics of the tendency to stagnation better than the Polish economist Michal Kalecki, who is known to have developed the essentials of Keynes's General Theory before Keynes himself (and to have produced far more elegant mathematical formulations thereof). Perhaps the best way to understand Kalecki's thought is to see him as having argued that certain features of a not-yet-mature industrializing economy persist after the process of industrialization has been accomplished, with the effect that the developed capitalist economy is saddled with a problem of chronic excess capacity. Let me sketch this train of thought.

In the course of their natural growth capitalist economies reach a level of industrial development characterizable as maturity, a point beyond which growth must either cease, or be sustained by exogenous (in a sense to be elucidated below) means. Straight away we are confronted with a rejection of an assumption that is implicit in mainstream neoclassical theory, viz. that both the supply and the demand curves shift, virtually automatically, to the right. On the stagnationist conceptualization of growth or development, the process of development is not everlasting, but rather is at some point accomplished. There is the period, industrialization, during which the economy is developing, and which culminates in a (finally) industrialized or developed infrastructure. At this stage there will have been built up, or "accumulated", a complement of plant and equipment in steel production, machine tools, power stations, transport systems, etc., that is capable of satisfying a level of consumption demand consistent with the moral limits of a reasonably civilized style of life, the constraints imposed by a finite fund of natural resources, and, most importantly for stagnation theory, the limited possibilities of what Marx called "expanded reproduction" imposed by the accumulation process itself.

This account point can be expanded as follows. During any period of industrialization, the growth of the capital goods industry (hereafter, following Marx, Department I, or DI) must outpace the growth of the consumption goods industries (hereafter, again following Marx, Department II, or DII). Indeed, it belongs to the nature of the process of industrialization that the demand for the output of DI cannot be a function of the behavior of consumption demand; during industrialization, investment demand is both rapid and relatively autonomous. For if the principal project is to develop the means of production, then a disproportionate share of national wealth must be devoted to investment/accumulation at the expense of consumption. Strategic capital goods such as transport and communications networks and steel mills cannot be built bit by bit. This is clear with respect to railroads (Recall Keynes's remark that "Two pyramids are better than one, and two masses for the dead better than one; but two railroads from London to York are not necessarily better than one."), but perhaps not as clear with respect to steel facilities.

Suppose 1) that the efficient production of steel requires equipment with the capacity to produce 200,000 tons of steel, and 2) that demand turns out to be for 300,000 tons. The investor has two alternatives, either to forgo an extra market or to take a chance and add another 200.000 tons. On the second alternative, the one virtually assured in a period of (rapid) industrialization, the manufacturer is left with a surplus capacity of 100,000 tons. Here we see, writ small, a crucial source of two basic tendencies of capitalist development, the unrelenting pressure to expand markets, and the tendency to overproduction of a specific kind, namely the overproduction of capital goods, the tendency to overaccumulation. Each of these tendencies is the basis of a corresponding law of economics: Wherever we find a competitive, profit-driven market economy, we must also find a system-driven tendency to expand markets, and: Wherever we find a competitive, profit-driven market economy, we must also find a system-driven tendency for the growth of productive capacity to outpace the growth of effective demand.

As we have seen, all the major classical political economists anticipated the stationary state; they all assumed that the period of development or industrialization would come to an end. Basic industries would be in place, and DI would be capable of meeting all the replacement and expansion demands of DII. Prescinding for the moment from the emergence of new industries, DI would no longer be a source of substantial expansion demand for its own output; most of DI's internal expansion demand would be extinct.

But this is not th hread of classical (and perhaps neoclassical) theory contains the assurance that the capitalist economy provides a mechanism that in the long run counteracts the tendency of the demand for the products of DI to peter out. As one might expect, this is the price mechanism, which brings about, in the circumstances described above, a falling rate of profit (or interest) and thereby a simultaneous check on accumulation and spur to consumption. The causal chain is simple: the fall of the profit rate would lower capital's share of national income, i.e. it would transfer income from capital to labor. Thus, the demand gap created by the sharp waning of DI's expansion demand would be made up by the increase in consumption demand, which would of course mean an expansion in the demand for the output of DII. Moreover, an immediate expansion of DII at the expense of DI in order to assure a rapid transition out of the stationary state would be entirely feasible given the adaptability of certain key industries in DI to new market conditions resulting from the newly-expanded purchasing power of the working class. The construction of new factories could, for example, yield to the construction of new homes.

The theoretical elegance of this scenario is impressive -almost inspirational- but, alas for illusions, the price mechanism does not work this way. For the above-mentioned transfer in national income from capital to labor is supposed to happen when industrialization comes to an end by virtue of its having been accomplished. But from the capitalists' perspective, it is as if nothing counts as industrialization coming to an end. New industries, for example, can create a situation functionally equivalent to industrialization. "Accumulate, accumulate, that is Moses and the prophets."

We have at this point arrived at a picture of a developed capitalist economy which is in a state of permanent industrialization. Excess capacity prevails and working-class income is stagnant or declining. Interestingly, this has in fact been the state of both the U.S. and the global economy since 1973. According to the foregoing analysis, this reflects the fact that the U.S. and global economies are now instances not merely of the exercise of the law of the tendency of mature capitalism to stagnate, but of its realization. To put it differently: these economies are now in their natural state.

But important questions immediately arise. Why are these economies in their natural state now? And if there is a structurally generated tendency for capitalist economies to stagnate, how shall we account for the historically unprecedented growth rates of the Golden Age? I have barely sketched an outline of a response to these challenges above: if there is indeed a tendency for capitalism to stagnate, then there must have been in operation during the Golden Age what I called "counteracting forces and tendencies" which had spent themselves by the mid-1970s. In the absence of new offsetting forces, the tendency to stagnate has, as we should expect, re-asserted itself. These claims require further elaboration, and it is to this task that I now turn.

SECULAR STAGNATION AND TRANSFORMATIONAL GROWTH

In order to account for the actual pattern of capitalist growth in the context of stagnation theory, we must reflect on the kind of growth required by capitalist economic arrangements. Mainstream theory does not distinguish between kinds of growth if and when it addresses the specific requirements of capitalist growth at all. This is, I believe, a serious error. I will begin by introducing the notion of transformational growth, which transforms the entire way of life of society and absorbs exceptionally large amounts of the investible surplus. My point shall be that a capitalist economy cannot sustain growth merely by producing more and more different types of widgets, in the absence of pervasive structural change. Growth sustained in the latter manner is transformational growth.

We are forced to introduce the concept of transformational growth for reasons related to my earlier discussion of the structural features of mature capitalism which generates a chronic tendency to stagnation. I will now embellish this analysis. It should be clear that capitalism cannot grow in the way in which a balloon grows: its growth cannot leave its proportions intact, i.e. such that there are no new products and no new processes of production. This is to say that a capitalist economy either undergoes transformational growth or it stagnates. The argument is as follows.

Investment expands productive capacity, which in turn requires that demand increase at the same rate as potential production. Without the required rate of demand growth, underutilization/excess capacity will discourage further investment or capital accumulation and the result will of course be stagnation. Let us not address this issue in the manner of the neoclassical economist, who seems to assume that both supply and demand curves can be counted on to perennially shift to the right (absent, of course, undue government interference). But this quaint assumption is belied by the enormous literature on the development and indispensability to capitalism of the marketing and advertising industries, which we might view as massive efforts to counteract Keynes's declining marginal propensity to consume by deliberately creating among the consuming masses a full panoply of "manufactured" consumption desires. These considerations point to the need constantly to exogenously stimulate consumption demand in order to narrow the demand gap generated by the tendency to overaccumulation. But they do not yet establish the need to generate a broad, nation-wide pattern of demand required by structural change and transformational growth.

What is needed at this point are concrete examples of the generators of transformational growth, and of exactly how these generators accomplish one of the fundamental features of transformational growth, the mobilization and coordination of the economic resources of the entire country into a grand national project which stimulates demand not merely for this and that consumption good, but for crucial commodities and institutions such as oil, steel rubber, and other primary products, and communication and transportation facilities. What this requires are what Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy termed, in their influential Monopoly Capital (Monthly Review Press, 1966), "epoch-making innovations". Edward Nell and Robert Heilbroner have characterized these same innovations as "transformative innovations". Let me approach transformative innovations by looking at the tendency to stagnation from yet another perspective, one which focuses on the role of competition as a major force behind the growth of both investment and consumption.

Competition reduces the need for investment by tending to increase both productivity and savings. Let us see how this happens. As a result of competition business is under continuous pressure to cut costs and produce more efficiently. To the extent that business succeeds in these respects, productive potential is increased. At the same time, competition also requires business to hold down wages and salaries and to pay out dividend and profit income relatively sparingly. Together, these pressures hold back both worker and capitalist consumption. The result is a tendency for productive capacity to expand faster than consumption. This means that there is no reason for investment to grow, for capital to achieve the required rate of accumulation, unless there are major pressures transforming the way people live. In the absence of such pressures, we may expect stagnation.

There are two dimensions of transformative innovations which are in fact two aspects of the same phenomenon. One dimension is solely technological, and the other points to changes in a population's entire way of life. Neither of these is part of a process of steady, balloon-like growth, nor is either automatically, or normally, generated by the fundamental capitalist dynamics identified by the mainstream textbooks. For this reason I have called the stimulus imparted by these innovations 'exogenous'. Let us look first at the technological dimension of transformative innovation.

This can be identified, after the owl of Minerva has spread its wings, by reflecting on some of the requirements of ideal-typical capitalism. Neoliberals correctly remind us that the bottom line is of course "freedom", primarily the freedom of capital to roam the world seeking markets, sources of cheap labor and investment opportunities. Microecenomic textbooks in fact tend to assume the perfect mobility of both capital and labor.

Let us focus on sources of power, which became especially important after the industrial revolution. Technological development resulted in the virtually total replacement of human and animal muscle power by inanimate sources of power, mainly water and steam. But reliance on water as a source of power places extreme limits on the mobility of capital, and hence on the possibilities of capitalist growth. Water power is site-specific, and the number of rivers and streams is limited. Moreover, the water had to be fast-running and productive facilities had to be located as far downstream as possible. And of course water power is only seasonally available. These restraints alone place an intolerable obstacle to the free and ongoing accumulation of capital. Here we find an overwhelming incentive to switch from water to steam power. This constitutes a huge stimulus to the accumulation of capital on a national scale.

Capitalism requires sources of power that are independent of nature and can be applied constantly wherever they are needed. And these are precisely what steam power made possible. It was now possible to set up productive facilities virtually anywhere; a major fetter to the accumulation of capital was removed. The universal mobility required by capital was now much more fully realized. At this point I want to emphasize that this technological /economic transformation was necessarily accompanied by profound social and cultural changes. For the steam engine's reduction of the seasonality of water power made possible a feature of work that is increasingly common on a global scale: the emergence of modern year-round work habits. With this change comes a dramatic transformation of our notions (and practices) of work and leisure, with all the consequences these have for the felt experience of everyday life. That is an instance of the second dimension of transformative innovation, i.e. its introduction of dramatic cultural changes, changes in the way populations live.

Much the same can be said for the subsequent shift to electrical power, which makes possible trolley cars, refrigerators (as opposed to what used to be called, in the U.S., "ice boxes"), ranges, toasters, radios, washing machines, fans, et al.

The railroad too is a transformative innovation par excellence. Consider the spectacular effects of railroad expansion: internal transport costs are sharply reduced; both new products and new geographical areas are brought into commercial markets; it is now possible to deliver exports to port with unprecedented efficiency, thereby encouraging the extensive development of the export sector; and impetus is provided to the development of the coal, iron and engineering industries. As with the steam engine, these technological and economic benefits wee necessarily accompanied by profound social and cultural changes. The railroads changed the way of life of the people by binding them as never before. The possibility now existed for mass production, mass consumption and indeed mass culture.

And of course the establishment of a national rail network absorbed massive amounts of investible capital, thereby spurring sustainable growth and offsetting the realization of the economic law that capitalist economies tend to stagnate. Apropos: in the latter third of the nineteenth century, railroad investment in the U.S. amounted to more than all investment in manufacturing industries.

And who can doubt that the transformative effects of the introduction of the automobile were epoch-making? The expansion of the automobile industry was the single most important force in the economic expansion of the 1920s. Car production increased threefold during this decade. (The automobile industry produced 12.7% of all manufactured output, employed 7.1% of all manufacturing workers, and paid 8.7% of all industrial wages.) Immediately after World War II the auto industry continued what was to be its breakneck expansion, and the possibilities created thereby constituted what was perhaps the most extensive transformation of the country's way of life in its history.

Consider the stimulus to capital accumulation and employment constituted by the following, each and all a consequence of the increasing automobilization of American society and culture: the migration of the population from the central city to the suburbs and exurbs (first made possible by the streetcar, before the major streetcar operations were bough and then quickly dismantled by the auto companies); the need for surfaced roads, road construction and maintenance, highway construction and maintenance (which had already accounted for 2% of GDP in 1929); the suburbanization of America, with the attendant construction of housing, schools, hospitals, workplaces, and more; the growth of shopping malls; the expansion of the credit industry; the spread of hotels and motels; and of course the growth of the tourism/travel industry. Never before had any population's way of living been transformed so profoundly in so short a period of time. And of course no one has failed to recognize that Americans' main symbol of their most precious possession, their personal freedom/liberty, is their ability to drive, solo, cars that have increasingly come to resemble tanks. Americans' liberty, embodied in the automobile, has become, literally, a commodity.

The long-term growth of the U.S. economy cannot be adequately explained or described without reference to these transformative innovations. None of these are required by the models of capital accumulation found in neoclassical, Keynesian or Marxian growth theory. After the civil war, growth in the last third of the nineteenth century was spurred primarily by the railroads. This stimulus fizzled, as railroad expansion began to slow down, around 1907, when, in spite of extensive electrification of urban (and even some rural) areas, the U.S. economy began a stretch of slow growth, which lasted until the outbreak of World War I. After the end of the War, the economy experienced a brief slump, which was followed by a period of fairly sustained expansion in the 1920s. The latter, as we have seen, was spurred mainly by the growth of the automobile industry. But the rate of growth of the automobile industry slowed down after 1926, and with it the rate of growth of almost all other manufacturing industries. And wages and employment had not risen as rapidly as production, productivity or profits.

In fact, the economic situation in the U.S. at the end of the 1920s bore a remarkable resemblance to the current economic situation in America. After 1926 overcapacity emerged in many key industries, the most significant of these being automobiles, textiles, and residential construction. Contractionary forces are cumulative: excess capacity caused business confidence to decline, with resulting cutbacks in spending on productive capacity in the consumer durables and capital goods industries. The economy was intensely unsound at the end of the 1920s, and the indications at the time were clear. Consumer demand was held down by a steadily growing inequality of income. Thus, an increasing percentage of total purchases were financed by credit in order to foster purchases of consumer durables. About seventy-five percent of all cars were sold on credit. Accordingly, both home mortgages and installment debt grew rapidly. This was the extension of a trend that had begun as early as 1922, when total personal debt began rising faster than disposable income. Thus, underconsumption and traces of excess capacity, key indicators of stagnationist forces, were in effect from the very beginning of the "roaring '20s". These tendencies became increasingly foregrounded over the course of the decade.

Excess capacity in key manufacturing industries was displacing workers from capital-intensive, technologically advanced sectors to industries relatively devoid of technological advance, i.e. service industries such as trade, finance and government. With capital unable to find sufficiently profitable investment opportunities in high-productivity industries, rampant speculative activity ensued, fostered by the growing concentration of income and therefore savings during the decade. More than two thirds of all personal savings was held by slightly over two percent of all families. The wanton optimism of the 1920s led those with substantial savings to want to get richer quickly, and with little effort. The stock market bubble that materialized at the end of the decade seemed to justify the expectations that fortunes could be made overnight in real estate and the stock market. When investors acted on these expectations, the existing bubble became bigger and hence more fragile. To those familiar with the current state of the U.S. economy, the present situation presents itself as history repeating itself -contra Marx- yet again as farce.

FROM GREAT DEPRESSION TO GOLDEN AGE TO NEOLIBERALISM

The mounting instabilities of the economy of the 1920s led to a Depression that was unresponsive to the Roosevelt administration's elevenfold increase in government spending. When U.S. entry into World War II finally brought about a resumption of growth, there was nonetheless an abiding fear among economists that once War spending ceased, the forces and tendencies that had generated the Depression might reassert themselves and exceptionally slow growth could resume. Instead, much to the surprise of many economists, American capitalism began the most sustained period of expansion in its entire history. The period from 1947 to 1973 has come to be called "The Golden Age", and appears, on the face of it, to be a fatal anomaly with respect to secular stagnation theory. After all, if the causes of the Great Depression were structural, and the exogenous stimulus provided by the War was what produced a resumption of growth, how was it possible that the economy, in the absence of powerful exogenous stimulus, exhibited an historically unprecedented period of long-term growth?

I have suggested that sustained national (as opposed to intra-national regional) growth has been engendered by the emergence of transformative innovations, and it is this kind of consideration that I believe offers the most plausible explanation both of Golden-Age expansion and of the petering out of this growth period and the resumption of (global) stagnation. Five stimuli to long-term growth were set in motion after the War, and these were for the most part exogenous in the sense indicated, and essentially limited. I will construe these stimuli as forces counteracting the tendency to stagnation. Once most of these stimuli had spent their potential, stagnationist tendencies re-asserted themselves, and overinvestment became evident once again. With profitable industrial investment opportunities in short supply, the economic surplus was invested instead in what became a vast proliferation of financial instruments. When the bubble created by this process finally burst, it was replaced with a housing bubble. Indeed a variety of bubbles, in financial assets, in housing, in credit, and a substantially overvalued dollar now threaten an historically unparalleled reassertion of the tendency to stagnation. But let us look first at the counteracting forces.

After the War, and as a result of wartime rationing, Americans had accumulated a very large fund of savings, and the time had come when these could finally be spent. This accounted for an immediate surge of consumption spending which temporarily averted the onset of recession. But the effectiveness of this source of spending was soon spent. What truly impelled the sustained growth of the Golden Age was 1) the resumption of a vast expansion of the automobile industry, and with it the stimulation of the broad range of investment and employment opportunities discussed above in connection with automobilization; 2) large-scale economic aid to Europe, which stimulated export demand; 3) a nationwide process of suburbanization, which, in tandem with the expansion of auto production, expanded significantly the demand for the output of every other major industry; 4) the emergence of what president Eisenhower christened the "military-industrial" complex, which provided additional stimulus to the industries most vulnerable to economic instability, the industries of DI, the capital goods sector; and finally 5) the steady and growing expansion of business and especially consumer credit, which in recent years has assumed elephantine proportions.

Three of these factors bear the two most important features of epoch-making innovations. The expansion of the auto industry, suburbanization, and the ever-increasing expansion and extension of credit all absorb massive amounts of investible surplus, and transform the mode of life of the entire population. In so doing they impart a massive push to the macro-growth process. The first two of these have their initial direct effect on investment. The third factor, the growing importance of credit, affects both investment and consumption, but the long-term trend of the credit industry in the U.S., evident now in hindsight, is much more significant in relation to consumption. There is now in the States a credit bubble of menacing proportions, with consumers now in debt to the tune of about107% of disposable income. The Marshall Plan (number 2 above) affected mainly and directly investment and employment, with boosts to consumption following thereupon. By the mid- to late-1970s, the employment-generating capacity of the military had declined. Washington determined, in the light of the defeat in Vietnam, that hi-tech warfare, which is of course technology- rather than labor-intensive, must replace traditional forms of subversion and aggression, in order to render less likely a repeat of the "Vietnam Syndrome."

It is worth mentioning that the military-industrial complex and the vast extension of consumer credit were what constituted what Joan Robinson called "bastard Keynesianism" in the United States. Recall that Keynes had insisted that fiscal and monetary policy were necessary but not sufficient conditions for avoiding stagnation. The tendency to stagnation could be offset for the long run only if some key industries were nationalized, and income redistributed. Nationalization would allow the State to offset lagging demand by providing cheap inputs to the private sector, thereby enabling lower prices. And redistributing income would transfer liquidity from those who had more than they could either consume or invest to those whose consumption demand was severely constrained.

American policymakers saw it as their challenge to reap the effects of nationalization and redistribution without actually nationalizing industries or redistributing income. The solution was ingenious: the military-industrial complex would be the functional equivalent of state-owned industries, and would, as noted above, stimulate the demand for the output of those very firms that produced capital goods. And the extension of consumer credit would allow working people to mortgage future years' incomes and spend more without a corresponding increase in either their private or their social wage.

As mentioned earlier, these forces counteracting the tendency to stagnation were all inherently limited and temporary. By the late 1960s, the automobile industry had achieved maturity, suburbanization had been accomplished, and aid to Europe had not only long ended, but had apparently created for America the economic equivalent of Frankenstein's monster. Europe and Japan were now formidable threats to U.S. economic hegemony. (Germany, for example, has overtaken the U.S. as an exporter of capital goods.) These three colossal absorbers of surplus were now no longer in operation. In the mid-1960s social spending had overtaken military spending as the larger share of government spending. And credit had begun to function as a supplement to declining real income, rather than a further addition to growing income.

These combined developments rendered the post-War counters to the realization of the tendency to stagnation obsolete. The result was the onset of stagnation not only in the U.S. but also worldwide. In America there has been overcapacity in autos, steel, shipbuilding and petrochemicals since the mid- to late-1970s.

This general picture is widely reflected in the business press. Business Week noted that "..supply outpaces demand everywhere, sending prices lower, eroding corporate profits and increasing layoffs" (Jan. 25, 1999, p. 118). The former chairman of General Electric claimed that "..there is excess capacity in almost every industry" (The New York Times, Nov. 16, 1997, p. 3). The Wall Street Journal noted that "..from cashmere to blue jeans, silver jewelry to aluminum cans, the world is in oversupply" (Nov. 30, 1998, p. A17). And The Economist fretted that " the gap between sales and capacity is "at its widest since the 1930s" (Feb. 20, 1999, p. 15). At this time excess capacity in steel is exceeding twenty percent, in autos it has fluctuated around 30%. And these figures look good in comparison to unused capacity numbers in the "industries of the future" of the "New Economy", semiconductors and telecommunications. Not long ago, ninety-seven percent of fibre optic capacity was idle.

MAINSTREAM ECONOMICS AND STAGNATION THEORY

Let us begin with the indisputable fact that the regime of neoliberalism has brought with it a substantial decline in economic growth. The most widely cited study on this issue, produced for the IECD by Angus Maddison, shows that the annual rate of growth of real global GDP fell from 4.9% in 1950-1973 to 3 % in 1973-1998, a drop of 39 %. Theoretical commitments can guide perception: neoliberal economists either denied or ignored the decline in global growth because of their reliance on Say's Law, that it is not possible for total demand to fall below full-capacity supply over the long run. In my earlier remarks I offered an explanation of sluggish growth rates since 1973. Many orthodox economics have done something similar: they have offered explanations of the initial rise in excess capacity. But what has not been explained is why global supply did not eventually adjust itself to the slower rate of demand growth, with the result that in the mid-1970s the global economy would enter a period of sluggish expansion. And it is worth mentioning that even Keynesian macro-theory is inadequate in this regard. It assumes that slow growth in aggregate demand will result in a proportionate decline in the growth of aggregate supply through its effect upon investment and therefore productivity.

An adequate explanation of the sustained character of excess capacity can be constructed from insights from Schumpeter, Marx and the contemporary economist James Crotty. The analysis that follows should be understood within the framework of the version of secular stagnation theory sketched above.

Before the shift to neoliberal policies by Jimmy Carter, Reagan and Thatcher, the global economy was already subject to downward pressures on demand growth resulting from two oil price shocks and the restrictive macro policy imposed in response to oil-price induced inflation. These impediments to demand growth were exacerbated by neoliberal policies. In combination, these forces led to a sharp rise in excess capacity in globally competing industries. At the same time competitive pressures were further intensified by the reduction of the market power of national oligopolies caused by the removal of protectionist barriers to the free movement of goods and money across national boundaries. Accordingly, competitive pressures between nations rose dramatically. In this context, normal stagnationist tendencies operated to further constrain global demand growth and further reproduce industrial capacity faster than either neoclassical or Keynesian theory could comprehend.

The Achilles Heel of neoclassical theory with respect to its inability to account for the persistence of overcapacity during the neoliberal period is its account of competition. So-called "perfect competition" is alleged to lead to maximum efficiency and the elimination of excess capacity. This claim appears inconsistent with the history of real-world, pre- and post-oligopolistic competition. Textbook-like competition has led to periodic market gluts or overproduction crises, price wars, plummeting profits, unbearable debt burdens and violent labor relations. Neoclassical theory banishes these demons with the aid of two assumptions which appear designed explicitly to make them impossible. The first assumption claims that production cost per unit rises rapidly as output increases, and the second that exit from low-profit industries is free or costless. If these assumptions were indeed true, then pure competition could not be shown to have stagnation- or depression-inducing effects. But these assumptions are, I shall suggest, false.

I will begin with the least plausible of these two assumptions. It states that there is free or costless exit from low-profit industries. But productive assets are typically immobile or irreversible, i.e., they are not liquid, and this forces a sizeable loss in the value of a firm's capital should it choose to leave an unprofitable industry. Whether they are sold on a second-hand market or reallocated to a different industry, productive assets will lose substantial value. Capital flowing out of the aerospace industry has been found to sell for one third of its replacement cost. Insolvent telecom firms in the U.S. have sold their assets for 20 cents on the dollar. And isn't this what one would expect? For it is usually poor profit prospects and/or great excess capacity that heighten a firm's incentive to leave an industry. But it is precisely those circumstances which deeply depress the price of industry-specific assets on the second-hand market, since the supply of these assets grows even as the demand for them has collapsed.

Before I turn to the slightly more plausible (yet still false) assumption -that unit production cost rises dramatically as output increases- I will outline the corollary of neoclassical theory itself which neoclassical economists seek to evade by introducing this assumption. The theory tells us that pure competition will force price down until it covers marginal cost. Now if unit production cost remained constant irrespective of the output level, then marginal production cost and average production cost per unit would be equal. When perfect competition forces price to equal marginal cost, total revenue will be equal to total production cost. But in this case there will be no revenue left over either to pay the "fixed" cost of maintaining capital stock in the face of depreciation or obsolescence, or to pay interest and/or dividends to investors. Thus, perfect competition is seen to cause the representative firm to suffer, in each production period, a loss that is equal to fixed costs. Keeping in mind that most important global industries have huge fixed costs, no industry could long survive the consequences of intense competition.

We seem to have found a tendency to stagnation or complete system breakdown where we would least expect to find it - in neoclassical theory itself. But the theory claims to have a response to this embarrassment. It simply denies the claim that appears to entail the undesired consequence, namely the claim that unit production cost remains constant no matter what the output level. Armed now with the (false) assumption that unit production cost rises rapidly as production increases, the conclusion is drawn that marginal cost and price are greater than average unit production cost. Thus, in equilibrium, the gap between price and average production cost is sufficiently large to cover all fixed costs. Let competition be as fierce as you wish, the typical firm will not lose money. Voila!

I have claimed that each of the rescuing assumptions discussed above is false. What would realistic assumptions about marginal cost and the reversibility of invested capital look like? To answer this question we must recognize the distinctive character of the dominant industries of global trade and investment. These industries include steel, autos, aircraft, shipbuilding, petrochemicals, consumer durables, electronics, semiconductors and banking. Studies of this type of industry suggest that marginal cost does not typically rise with output, with the rare exception of cases when the industry is producing near full capacity output. Marginal cost behaves as we would expect in cases of economies of scale: it remains constant or declines as capacity utilization rises. It follows that if free competition forces price to equal marginal cost in these industries, we should count on an ensuing wave of bankruptcies. Here again we see that neoclassical theory, corrected for unrealistic assumptions, seems to commit us to conceptualize mature capitalism as subject to the law of an inherent tendency to stagnation or worse.

The issue I am focusing on here turns on the dynamics of unrestricted competition among oligopolies in the context of economies of scale. The importance of economies of scale underscores the crucial similarity of all the dominant industries, including the new information-technology and telecommunications (ITC) industries. I stress this point because influential neoclassical economists have wanted to claim a significant difference, with respect to overcapacity problems, between the ITC industries and the other dominant industries. For purposes of explaining the persistence of excess capacity under neoliberalism, we want to remember that as scale economies grow, marginal costs fall as fixed costs per unit rise. Thus, the greater the economies of scale, the more destructive becomes the marginal cost pricing required by intense competition. With this in mind, we can more easily see that 1) these dynamics in especially conspicuous operation in the ITC industries, and 2) that such differences as there are between ITC and the other dominant oligopolies are insignificant for the analysis of secular stagnation theory, and of capitalist growth in general.

The key issue right now, recall, is the highly destructive consequences of the tendency of free competition among dominant industries to force price to equal marginal cost. That this is the case is easier to see in the ITC sector than in the other dominant industries. This is because in ITC marginal cost is often close to zero. Producing another copy of software or adding another customer to eBay is virtually costless. This has led many mainstream economists to argue that ITC industries are exempt from the laws of the neoclassical theory of perfect competition. Since ITC firms have marginal costs much lower than their large fixed costs, the argument goes, the possession of at least temporary monopoly power is the only guarantee of an incentive to produce anything at all. Without monopoly pricing power prices will be competed down to marginal cost and fixed costs will be unable to be covered. Thus, the motor of the "new economy" is said to be the constant pursuit of monopoly power. But, contrary to the neoclassical claim, none of this distinguishes significantly between ITC and other key industries. The drive to monopoly power is characteristic of all large corporations in the present age.

As Paul Sweezy argued in his Marshall Lectures, the typical firm in an oligopolized industry strives to be a monopolist. Each firm does this individually, and they all do it collectively. Individual firms seek monopoly status through the sales effort, where the firm's product is put forth as the best in the industry and as different from all the others. Firms within the same industry seek to approach monopoly status by collusion with respect to pricing policy, especially by agreeing to refrain from cutthroat price competition. For reasons developed at length above, therefore, all dominant firms, whether old- or new-economy operations, will tend to achieve monopoly status and to be chronically saddled with excess capacity.

A SCANDALOUSLY BRIEF LOOK AT SLOW-GROWTH CAPITALISM

We are in the midst of another unparalleled period of historical capitalism. Since the onset of stagnation, the median wage in the States has not changed at all for the vast majority of wage workers. Over the past six quarters the gowth of wage income has been negative. A brief sketch of the state of the U.S. economy toward the end of last year highlights features whose most plausible explanation may lie in the fact of secular stagnation. If stagnation theory is accurate, what follows is precisely what we would expect to find. The current state of the U.S. and the global economy is best understood, I believe, against the background too briefly elaborated above. Here is a picture of the U.S. economy today. The key to a healthy economy is job- and income-creating investment in capital goods, which in turn generates a virtuous cycle of further growth in investment, jobs and income. Ominously, the investment, growth, employment and income pictures are unprecedentedly dismal.

Compared to cyclical recoveries between 1949 and 1973, recoveries during the neoliberal period have been weak. Indeed, one or two of the post-1973 upturns has been weaker than some downturns during the Golden Age. Since the stock market collapse of four years ago, the situation has worsened. Growth rates since 2000 have been half their previous average. Even this weak performance required historically unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus: 13 rate cuts, three tax cuts, massive government deficits and record growth in money and credit.

Official figures mask the economy's most serious problems. Growth figures are annualized by U.S. statisticians. Thus, the much-touted 7.1% growth rate in the third quarter of 2003 was the one that would emerge after twelve months if the current trend were to continue. The same growth rate would have been reported in the eurozone as 1.8%. This is an uncommonly weak performance.

Investment data are equally misleading. Since the mid-1990s the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has adjusted upward actual business dollar outlays on computers and related equipment to take into account quality improvements (faster processors, bigger hard drives, more memory). BEA calls this "hedonic adjustment." Accordingly, the BEA estimates that business high-tech investment quadrupled between 1996 and 2002, from $70.9 to $283.7. But in actual dollars spent, the increase was only from $70.9 billion to $74.2 billion, very low by historic standards. The high-tech boom was both greatly exaggerated and misleading. After all, neither profits nor wages are taken in "hedonically adjusted" dollars.

The difference between real and hedonic outlays explains what would otherwise be a paradoxical feature of the years 2000-2003: government was reporting big increases in high-tech investment, while manufacturers were bemoaning declining sales.

Hedonic pricing has accounted for a steadily rising percentage of all reported capital investment. But if we look at actual dollars spent, we find that since 1998 the growth rate of business fixed investment has actually been declining. Real capital investment has in fact not been this weak since the Great Depression.

The fudging of investment figures also obscures the sorry state of the jobs market. The Commerce Department's figures on nonresidential investment for the third and fourth quarters of 2003 reported increases of, respectively, 12.8 and 9.6%. A closer look reveals that the "adjusted" hi-tech sector is the only bright spot, with production and capacity rising, respectively, 24.6% and 11.1% over the past year. But hi-tech is not where significant jobs increases are found. Employment in hi-tech has declined steadily through the so-called "recovery" since its 2001 peak.

In non-hi-tech manufacturing, where investment figures are not adjusted, production from January 2003 to January 2004 rose only 0.9%, while capacity actually declined -0.2%. This represents a record nineteen-straight-month decline in mainline manufacturing capacity. Since it is mainline manufacturing which employs almost 95% of all manufacturing workers, it comes as no surprise that for the first time since the Great Depression the economy has gone more than three years without creating any jobs.

The jobs crisis is even worse than it appears. Here again statistical sleight-of-hand, this time by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), obscures economic reality. Based on data gathered employing the "net birth/death adjustment," BLS announced in April, 2004, that the long-awaited jobs recovery had finally arrived. Nonfarm payrolls had allegedly surged by a whopping 308,000 in March, 2004. The birth/death model uses business deaths to "impute" employment from business births. Thus, as more businesses fail, more new jobs are imputed to have materialized through business births. This improbable statistical artefact accounts for about half of the reported 308,000 March, 2004 payroll increase.

The birth/death model is based on statistics covering 1998-2002. This was a period of explosive telecom and dot.com startups, quite unlike today's flat economic landscape. Thus, two thirds of the 947,000 new jobs BLS "imputed" for March-May, 2004, were never actually counted by BLS and never reported by any firm.

BlS's household and establishment surveys tell a more sobering story. March employment by private industry actually fell by 175,000, and the number of self-employed workers declined by 288,000. Without the simultaneous increase of 439,000 government jobs, the March job announcement would have been a calamity. And both average weekly hours and total hours worked declined markedly, even as (according to the dubious birth/death findings) the work force increased. This is the first time in U.S. history that net job growth has been negative 26 months into a recovery.

The wage and salary picture has also set grim records. During the current recovery, wage and salary growth has actually been negative, at -0.6%, in contrast to the average increase of 7.2% characteristic of this point into each of the other eight post-War recoveries. In fact, median family income in the post-War period exhibits an ominous trend. From 1947 to 1967, real median family income rose by 75%. But since 1967, it has grown by only 30%.

Labor's losses have been capital's gain: since the peak of the last recovery, in the first quarter of 2001, corporate profits have risen 62.2%, compared to the average of 13.9% at the same point in the last eight recoveries. Never in American history has any recorded recovery had such a lopsided balance in the distribution of income gains between labor and capital.

Given the dismal investment, wage/salary and employment pictures, how has it been possible for consumption to have risen to 71% of GDP in the early nineties, from its prior post-War average of 66%? The answer is a growth rate of consumer debt never seen before in America. For the first time ever, in March 2001, overall debt levels (mortgage debt plus consumer debt, mainly credit card debt and car loans) rose above annual disposable income. And from 2001 to 2004 consumer debt rose from 101% to 116% of disposable income. In the first half of 2004, consumer borrowing has been at its highest ever. It has declined slightly in the meantime. So has consumer spending. Should Americans decide to significantly increase their saving and service debts, while lowering correspondingly their consumption expenditures, the global economy could experience a major disruption.

Up until very recently, consumers had stepped up their borrowing to compensate for slowing income growth. Thus, such growth as the U.S. has experienced in recent years has been almost entirely consumption- and debt-driven. More fundamentally, it has been bubble-driven, fueled principally by bubbles in home values and credit.

Since the collapse of stock market/hi-tech bubbles in 2001, the illusory "wealth effect" has been sustained, and consumer spending thereby encouraged, by another bubble, the enormous inflation of house prices. The biggest increase in household debt came from home mortgage debt, especially home mortgage refinancing. With mortgage rates low and home prices rising, households' home equity ballooned. Bloated home equity then provided rising collateral to underwrite still more borrowing.

What makes this especially problematic is that over the last ten years, the average family has suffered under large increases in health premiums, housing costs, tuition fees and child care costs. As a result, households' and individuals' margin of protection against insolvency has dramatically declined. Filings for personal bankruptcy are approaching a record high.

There are indications that these weaknesses and imbalances in the economy are reaching a critical mass. The mortgage refi boom has fizzled, and consumer spending is beginning to decline. Two years ago the Fed's quarterly Beige Book reported a disturbing shift in the composition of credit spending: more and more families are using their credit cards to finance spending on essentials, such as food and energy.

It is no exaggeration to say that both the U.S. economy and the global economy are hugely dependent on the American consumer's increasing willingness to spend more than (s)he makes. (Imported goods have been a rising proportion of all goods purchased here.) Thus, a decline in U.S. consumer spending portends further declines in investment, jobs and income. From January to July of 2004, consumer spending rose at an annual rate of 2.8%, down from 3.3% in 2003 and 3.1 % in 2002. For perspective, during the boom years 1999-2000, growth rates were 5.1% and 4.7%.

Spending on consumer durables is the most significant indicator of healthy growth, and the drastically lower spending in this area is cause for alarm: spending for consumer durables was down to $23.5 billion in the first seven months of this year, in contrast to $71 billion on 2003 and $58 billion in 2002.

Should consumer spending continue to decline, the economy faces the genuine likelihood of a severe recession. Of course not a single American politician addresses this issue.

What is required is a shift from bubble-, debt-, and consumption-driven growth to investment- and income-driven growth. This in turn necessitates a decline in Americas principal export, jobs. Domestic job growth, a higher minimum wage, tax cuts aimed predominantly at low- and middle-income families, a sharp reduction in defense spending and a redirection of these funds to long-neglected and pressing social needs such as health care reform, the provision of universal pre-school, and across-the-board repair and upgrading of America's deteriorated infrastructure of roads, highways,tunnels and bridges, all these should be at the forefront of a Democratic administration's agenda. The restoration of infrastructure is especially labor intensive, and would generate an enormous number of productive jobs. And as a national project spearheaded by government initiative, government would emerge as a major employer.

All this si entirely incompatible with the overwhelming neoliberal bent of even the most "liberal" political leaders. It was after all Bill Clinton who urinated on the grave of Franklin Roosevelt when he proclaimed "the end of welfare as we know it".

As unfashionable as it is to suggest such a thing at a conference of economists, the only hope for the world's majority seems to be the revival of the kinds of mass movements witnessed here in May of 1968, and throughout the world during the 1960s. And time may be short.

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Alan Nasser is Professor emeritus of Political Economy and Philosophy at The Evergreen State College. His book, The “New Normal”: Persistent Austerity, Declining Democracy and the Globalization of Resistance will be published by Pluto Press in 2013. If you would like to be notified when the book is released, please send a request to nassera@evergreen.edu

Thomas Palley » Blog Archive » Explaining Stagnation Why it Matters

John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff clearly identify stagnation in their 2009 book The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences (HERE). They conclude with a section titled “Back to the real economy: the stagnation problem” and they write:

“It was the reality of economic stagnation beginning in the 1970s, as heterodox economists Ricardo Belliofiore and Joseph Halevi have recently emphasized, that led to the emergence of “the new financialized capitalist regime,” a kind of “paradoxical financial Keynesianiasm” whereby demand in the economy was stimulated primarily “thanks to asset-bubbles” (Foster and Magdoff, p.129).”

My own 2009 New America Foundation report, “America’s Exhausted Paradigm: Macroeconomic Causes of the Financial Crisis and Great Recession”, concluded (HERE):

“The bottom line is macroeconomic failure rooted in America’s flawed economic paradigm is the ultimate cause of the financial crisis and Great Recession…. Now, there is a grave danger that policymakers only focus on financial market reform and ignore reform of America’s flawed economic paradigm. In that event, though the economy may stabilize, it will likely be unable to escape the pull of economic stagnation. That is because stagnation is the logical next stage of the existing paradigm.”

That report became a core chapter in my 2012 book, From Financial Crisis to Stagnation, the blurb for which reads (HERE):

“The U.S. economy today is confronted with the prospect of extended stagnation. This book explores why…. Financial deregulation and the house price bubble kept the economy going by making ever more credit available. As the economy cannibalized itself by undercutting income distribution and accumulating debt, it needed larger speculative bubbles to grow. That process ended when the housing bubble burst. The earlier post–World War II economic model based on rising middle-class incomes has been dismantled, while the new neoliberal model has imploded. Absent a change of policy paradigm, the logical next step is stagnation. The political challenge we face now is how to achieve paradigm change.”

The big analytical difference between Foster and Magdoff and myself is that they see stagnation as inherent to capitalism whereas I see it as the product of neoliberal economic policy. Foster and Magdoff partake of the Baran-Sweezy tradition that recommends deeper socialist transformation. I use a structural Keynesian framework that recommends reconstructing the income and demand generation mechanism via policies that include rebuilding worker bargaining power, reforming globalization, and reining in corporations and financial markets.

Larry Summers’ story of serial bubbles delaying stagnation has substantial similarities with both accounts but he avoids blaming either capitalism or neoliberalism. That is hardly surprising as Summers has been a chief architect of the neoliberal system and remains committed to it, though he now wants to soften its impact. Instead, he appeals to the black box of “secular stagnation” as ultimate cause and suggests fiscal policies that would ameliorate the demand shortage problem. However, those policies would not remedy the root cause of stagnation as they leave the economic architecture unchanged.

Though Summers and Krugman are relative late-comers to the stagnation hypothesis, they have still done a great public service by drawing attention to it. Now that stagnation has been identified, the real debate can begin.

The questions are what caused stagnation and what must be done to restore shared prosperity? There is no guarantee we will answer those questions correctly (my prior is mainstream economists will continue their track record of getting it wrong). But it is absolutely certain we will not get the right answer if we do not ask the right question. So thank you Larry Summers and Paul Krugman for putting stagnation on the table. Let the debate begin.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 24th, 2014 at 12:53 pm and is filed under Economics, U.S. Policy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Summers makes the idea of secular stagnation mainstream

Larry Summers (“Why Stagnation May Prove To Be The New Normal,” The Financial Times, December 15, 2013)  suggested the current "lack of demand" is not anomaly but a feature of the current sociao-economic system.  He suggested that we have been in the throes of stagnation for a long while, but that has been obscured by years of serial asset price bubbles. His article produced great public debate and marked the point when the idea became mainstream. The debate began with Summers’ speech to the IMF’s Fourteenth Annual Research Conference in Honor of Stanley Fisher. Summers noted that the panic of 2008 was “an event that in the fall of 2008 and winter of 2009 … appeared, by most of the statistics—GDP, industrial production, employment, world trade, the stock market—worse than the fall of 1929 and the winter of 1930. …”

Tha means the major defeat for “stabilization policies” that were supposed to smooth the capitalist industrial cycle and abolish panics. And the problem preceeds the 2008 panic itself.

The highly misleading unemployment rate calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor notwithstanding, there has been a massive growth in long-term unemployment in the U.S. in the wake of the crisis, as shown by the declining percentage of the U.S. population actually working.

The current situation also refute the key tenet of neoclassical economy (which is pseudo-religious doctrine, so that only increase fanatic devotion of its well-paid adherents). Neoclassical economists insisted that since a “free market economy” naturally tends toward an equilibrium with full employment of both workers and machines, the economy should should quickly return to “full employment” after a recession. This is not the case. See also Secular Stagnation Lawrence H. Summers

There were several uncessful attempts to explaint his situation from neoclassical positions. In Secular Stagnation, Coalmines, Bubbles, and Larry Summers - NYTimes.com Paul Krugman  emphasized the liquidity trap – zero lower bound to interest rates which supposedly prevents spending from reaching a level sufficient for full employment.

Larry’s formulation of our current economic situation is the same as my own. Although he doesn’t use the words “liquidity trap”, he works from the understanding that we are an economy in which monetary policy is de facto constrained by the zero lower bound (even if you think central banks could be doing more), and that this corresponds to a situation in which the “natural” rate of interest – the rate at which desired savings and desired investment would be equal at full employment – is negative.

And as he also notes, in this situation the normal rules of economic policy don’t apply. As I like to put it, virtue becomes vice and prudence becomes folly. Saving hurts the economy – it even hurts investment, thanks to the paradox of thrift. Fixating on debt and deficits deepens the depression. And so on down the line.

This is the kind of environment in which Keynes’s hypothetical policy of burying currency in coalmines and letting the private sector dig it up – or my version, which involves faking a threat from nonexistent space aliens – becomes a good thing; spending is good, and while productive spending is best, unproductive spending is still better than nothing.

Larry also indirectly states an important corollary: this isn’t just true of public spending. Private spending that is wholly or partially wasteful is also a good thing, unless it somehow stores up trouble for the future. That last bit is an important qualification. But suppose that U.S. corporations, which are currently sitting on a huge hoard of cash, were somehow to become convinced that it would be a great idea to fit out all their employees as cyborgs, with Google Glass and smart wristwatches everywhere. And suppose that three years later they realized that there wasn’t really much payoff to all that spending. Nonetheless, the resulting investment boom would have given us several years of much higher employment, with no real waste, since the resources employed would otherwise have been idle.

OK, this is still mostly standard, although a lot of people hate, just hate, this kind of logic – they want economics to be a morality play, and they don’t care how many people have to suffer in the process.

But now comes the radical part of Larry’s presentation: his suggestion that this may not be a temporary state of affairs.

2. An economy that needs bubbles?

We now know that the economic expansion of 2003-2007 was driven by a bubble. You can say the same about the latter part of the 90s expansion; and you can in fact say the same about the later years of the Reagan expansion, which was driven at that point by runaway thrift institutions and a large bubble in commercial real estate.

So you might be tempted to say that monetary policy has consistently been too loose. After all, haven’t low interest rates been encouraging repeated bubbles?

But as Larry emphasizes, there’s a big problem with the claim that monetary policy has been too loose: where’s the inflation? Where has the overheated economy been visible?

So how can you reconcile repeated bubbles with an economy showing no sign of inflationary pressures? Summers’s answer is that we may be an economy that needs bubbles just to achieve something near full employment – that in the absence of bubbles the economy has a negative natural rate of interest. And this hasn’t just been true since the 2008 financial crisis; it has arguably been true, although perhaps with increasing severity, since the 1980s.

One way to quantify this is, I think, to look at household debt. Here’s the ratio of household debt to GDP since the 50s:

There was a sharp increase in the ratio after World War II, but from a low base, as families moved to the suburbs and all that. Then there were about 25 years of rough stability, from 1960 to around 1985. After that, however, household debt rose rapidly and inexorably, until the crisis struck.

So with all that household borrowing, you might have expected the period 1985-2007 to be one of strong inflationary pressure, high interest rates, or both. In fact, you see neither – this was the era of the Great Moderation, a time of low inflation and generally low interest rates. Without all that increase in household debt, interest rates would presumably have to have been considerably lower – maybe negative. In other words, you can argue that our economy has been trying to get into the liquidity trap for a number of years, and that it only avoided the trap for a while thanks to successive bubbles.

And if that’s how you see things, when looking forward you have to regard the liquidity trap not as an exceptional state of affairs but as the new normal.

3. Secular stagnation?

How did this happen? Larry explicitly invokes the notion of secular stagnation, associated in particular with Alvin Hansen (pdf).  He doesn’t say why this might be happening to us now, but it’s not hard to think of possible reasons.

Back in the day, Hansen stressed demographic factors: he thought slowing population growth would mean low investment demand. Then came the baby boom. But this time around the slowdown is here, and looks real.

Think of it this way: during the period 1960-85, when the U.S. economy seemed able to achieve full employment without bubbles, our labor force grew an average 2.1 percent annually. In part this reflected the maturing of the baby boomers, in part the move of women into the labor force.

This growth made sustaining investment fairly easy: the business of providing Americans with new houses, new offices, and so on easily absorbed a fairly high fraction of GDP.

Now look forward. The Census projects that the population aged 18 to 64 will grow at an annual rate of only 0.2 percent between 2015 and 2025. Unless labor force participation not only stops declining but starts rising rapidly again, this means a slower-growth economy, and thanks to the accelerator effect, lower investment demand.

By the way, in a Samuelson consumption-loan model, the natural rate of interest equals the rate of population growth. Reality is a lot more complicated than that, but I don’t think it’s foolish to guess that the decline in population growth has reduced the natural real rate of interest by something like an equal amount (and to note that Japan’s shrinking working-age population is probably a major factor in its secular stagnation.)

There may be other factors – a Bob Gordonesque decline in innovation, etc.. The point is that it’s not hard to think of reasons why the liquidity trap could be a lot more persistent than anyone currently wants to admit.

4. Destructive virtue

If you take a secular stagnation view seriously, it has some radical implications – and Larry goes there.

Currently, even policymakers who are willing to concede that the liquidity trap makes nonsense of conventional notions of policy prudence are busy preparing for the time when normality returns. This means that they are preoccupied with the idea that they must act now to head off future crises. Yet this crisis isn’t over – and as Larry says, “Most of what would be done under the aegis of preventing a future crisis would be counterproductive.”

He goes on to say that the officially respectable policy agenda involves “doing less with monetary policy than was done before and doing less with fiscal policy than was done before,” even though the economy remains deeply depressed. And he says, a bit fuzzily but bravely all the same, that even improved financial regulation is not necessarily a good thing – that it may discourage irresponsible lending and borrowing at a time when more spending of any kind is good for the economy.

Amazing stuff – and if we really are looking at secular stagnation, he’s right.

Of course, the underlying problem in all of this is simply that real interest rates are too high. But, you say, they’re negative – zero nominal rates minus at least some expected inflation. To which the answer is, so? If the market wants a strongly negative real interest rate, we’ll have persistent problems until we find a way to deliver such a rate.

One way to get there would be to reconstruct our whole monetary system – say, eliminate paper money and pay negative interest rates on deposits. Another way would be to take advantage of the next boom – whether it’s a bubble or driven by expansionary fiscal policy – to push inflation substantially higher, and keep it there. Or maybe, possibly, we could go the Krugman 1998/Abe 2013 route of pushing up inflation through the sheer power of self-fulfilling expectations.

Any such suggestions are, of course, met with outrage. How dare anyone suggest that virtuous individuals, people who are prudent and save for the future, face expropriation? How can you suggest steadily eroding their savings either through inflation or through negative interest rates? It’s tyranny!

But in a liquidity trap saving may be a personal virtue, but it’s a social vice. And in an economy facing secular stagnation, this isn’t just a temporary state of affairs, it’s the norm. Assuring people that they can get a positive rate of return on safe assets means promising them something the market doesn’t want to deliver – it’s like farm price supports, except for rentiers.

Oh, and one last point. If we’re going to have persistently negative real interest rates along with at least somewhat positive overall economic growth, the panic over public debt looks even more foolish than people like me have been saying: servicing the debt in the sense of stabilizing the ratio of debt to GDP has no cost, in fact negative cost.

I could go on, but by now I hope you’ve gotten the point. What Larry did at the IMF wasn’t just give an interesting speech. He laid down what amounts to a very radical manifesto. And I very much fear that he may be right.

Supplement 1: Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit (reprint)

Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit - The Baffler

David Graeber

A secret question hovers over us, a sense of disappointment, a broken promise we were given as children about what our adult world was supposed to be like. I am referring not to the standard false promises that children are always given (about how the world is fair, or how those who work hard shall be rewarded), but to a particular generational promise—given to those who were children in the fifties, sixties, seventies, or eighties—one that was never quite articulated as a promise but rather as a set of assumptions about what our adult world would be like. And since it was never quite promised, now that it has failed to come true, we’re left confused: indignant, but at the same time, embarrassed at our own indignation, ashamed we were ever so silly to believe our elders to begin with.

Where, in short, are the flying cars? Where are the force fields, tractor beams, teleportation pods, antigravity sleds, tricorders, immortality drugs, colonies on Mars, and all the other technological wonders any child growing up in the mid-to-late twentieth century assumed would exist by now? Even those inventions that seemed ready to emerge—like cloning or cryogenics—ended up betraying their lofty promises. What happened to them?

We are well informed of the wonders of computers, as if this is some sort of unanticipated compensation, but, in fact, we haven’t moved even computing to the point of progress that people in the fifties expected we’d have reached by now. We don’t have computers we can have an interesting conversation with, or robots that can walk our dogs or take our clothes to the Laundromat.

As someone who was eight years old at the time of the Apollo moon landing, I remember calculating that I would be thirty-nine in the magic year 2000 and wondering what the world would be like. Did I expect I would be living in such a world of wonders? Of course. Everyone did. Do I feel cheated now? It seemed unlikely that I’d live to see all the things I was reading about in science fiction, but it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t see any of them.

At the turn of the millennium, I was expecting an outpouring of reflections on why we had gotten the future of technology so wrong. Instead, just about all the authoritative voices—both Left and Right—began their reflections from the assumption that we do live in an unprecedented new technological utopia of one sort or another.

The common way of dealing with the uneasy sense that this might not be so is to brush it aside, to insist all the progress that could have happened has happened and to treat anything more as silly. “Oh, you mean all that Jetsons stuff?” I’m asked—as if to say, but that was just for children! Surely, as grown-ups, we understand The Jetsons offered as accurate a view of the future as The Flintstones offered of the Stone Age.

Surely, as grown-ups, we understand The Jetsons offered as accurate a view of the future as The Flintstones did of the Stone Age.

Even in the seventies and eighties, in fact, sober sources such as National Geographic and the Smithsonian were informing children of imminent space stations and expeditions to Mars. Creators of science fiction movies used to come up with concrete dates, often no more than a generation in the future, in which to place their futuristic fantasies. In 1968, Stanley Kubrick felt that a moviegoing audience would find it perfectly natural to assume that only thirty-three years later, in 2001, we would have commercial moon flights, city-like space stations, and computers with human personalities maintaining astronauts in suspended animation while traveling to Jupiter. Video telephony is just about the only new technology from that particular movie that has appeared—and it was technically possible when the movie was showing. 2001 can be seen as a curio, but what about Star Trek? The Star Trek mythos was set in the sixties, too, but the show kept getting revived, leaving audiences for Star Trek Voyager in, say, 2005, to try to figure out what to make of the fact that according to the logic of the program, the world was supposed to be recovering from fighting off the rule of genetically engineered supermen in the Eugenics Wars of the nineties.

By 1989, when the creators of Back to the Future II were dutifully placing flying cars and anti-gravity hoverboards in the hands of ordinary teenagers in the year 2015, it wasn’t clear if this was meant as a prediction or a joke.

The usual move in science fiction is to remain vague about the dates, so as to render “the future” a zone of pure fantasy, no different than Middle Earth or Narnia, or like Star Wars, “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” As a result, our science fiction future is, most often, not a future at all, but more like an alternative dimension, a dream-time, a technological Elsewhere, existing in days to come in the same sense that elves and dragon-slayers existed in the past—another screen for the displacement of moral dramas and mythic fantasies into the dead ends of consumer pleasure.

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Might the cultural sensibility that came to be referred to as postmodernism best be seen as a prolonged meditation on all the technological changes that never happened? The question struck me as I watched one of the recent Star Wars movies. The movie was terrible, but I couldn’t help but feel impressed by the quality of the special effects. Recalling the clumsy special effects typical of fifties sci-fi films, I kept thinking how impressed a fifties audience would have been if they’d known what we could do by now—only to realize, “Actually, no. They wouldn’t be impressed at all, would they? They thought we’d be doing this kind of thing by now. Not just figuring out more sophisticated ways to simulate it.”

That last word—simulate—is key. The technologies that have advanced since the seventies are mainly either medical technologies or information technologies—largely, technologies of simulation. They are technologies of what Jean Baudrillard and Umberto Eco called the “hyper-real,” the ability to make imitations that are more realistic than originals. The postmodern sensibility, the feeling that we had somehow broken into an unprecedented new historical period in which we understood that there is nothing new; that grand historical narratives of progress and liberation were meaningless; that everything now was simulation, ironic repetition, fragmentation, and pastiche—all this makes sense in a technological environment in which the only breakthroughs were those that made it easier to create, transfer, and rearrange virtual projections of things that either already existed, or, we came to realize, never would. Surely, if we were vacationing in geodesic domes on Mars or toting about pocket-size nuclear fusion plants or telekinetic mind-reading devices no one would ever have been talking like this. The postmodern moment was a desperate way to take what could otherwise only be felt as a bitter disappointment and to dress it up as something epochal, exciting, and new.

In the earliest formulations, which largely came out of the Marxist tradition, a lot of this technological background was acknowledged. Fredric Jameson’s “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism” proposed the term “postmodernism” to refer to the cultural logic appropriate to a new, technological phase of capitalism, one that had been heralded by Marxist economist Ernest Mandel as early as 1972. Mandel had argued that humanity stood at the verge of a “third technological revolution,” as profound as the Agricultural or Industrial Revolution, in which computers, robots, new energy sources, and new information technologies would replace industrial labor—the “end of work” as it soon came to be called—reducing us all to designers and computer technicians coming up with crazy visions that cybernetic factories would produce.

End of work arguments were popular in the late seventies and early eighties as social thinkers pondered what would happen to the traditional working-class-led popular struggle once the working class no longer existed. (The answer: it would turn into identity politics.) Jameson thought of himself as exploring the forms of consciousness and historical sensibilities likely to emerge from this new age.

What happened, instead, is that the spread of information technologies and new ways of organizing transport—the containerization of shipping, for example—allowed those same industrial jobs to be outsourced to East Asia, Latin America, and other countries where the availability of cheap labor allowed manufacturers to employ much less technologically sophisticated production-line techniques than they would have been obliged to employ at home.

From the perspective of those living in Europe, North America, and Japan, the results did seem to be much as predicted. Smokestack industries did disappear; jobs came to be divided between a lower stratum of service workers and an upper stratum sitting in antiseptic bubbles playing with computers. But below it all lay an uneasy awareness that the postwork civilization was a giant fraud. Our carefully engineered high-tech sneakers were not being produced by intelligent cyborgs or self-replicating molecular nanotechnology; they were being made on the equivalent of old-fashioned Singer sewing machines, by the daughters of Mexican and Indonesian farmers who, as the result of WTO or NAFTA–sponsored trade deals, had been ousted from their ancestral lands. It was a guilty awareness that lay beneath the postmodern sensibility and its celebration of the endless play of images and surfaces.

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Why did the projected explosion of technological growth everyone was expecting—the moon bases, the robot factories—fail to happen? There are two possibilities. Either our expectations about the pace of technological change were unrealistic (in which case, we need to know why so many intelligent people believed they were not) or our expectations were not unrealistic (in which case, we need to know what happened to derail so many credible ideas and prospects).

Most social analysts choose the first explanation and trace the problem to the Cold War space race. Why, these analysts wonder, did both the United States and the Soviet Union become so obsessed with the idea of manned space travel? It was never an efficient way to engage in scientific research. And it encouraged unrealistic ideas of what the human future would be like.

Could the answer be that both the United States and the Soviet Union had been, in the century before, societies of pioneers, one expanding across the Western frontier, the other across Siberia? Didn’t they share a commitment to the myth of a limitless, expansive future, of human colonization of vast empty spaces, that helped convince the leaders of both superpowers they had entered into a “space age” in which they were battling over control of the future itself? All sorts of myths were at play here, no doubt, but that proves nothing about the feasibility of the project.

Some of those science fiction fantasies (at this point we can’t know which ones) could have been brought into being. For earlier generations, many science fiction fantasies had been brought into being. Those who grew up at the turn of the century reading Jules Verne or H.G. Wells imagined the world of, say, 1960 with flying machines, rocket ships, submarines, radio, and television—and that was pretty much what they got. If it wasn’t unrealistic in 1900 to dream of men traveling to the moon, then why was it unrealistic in the sixties to dream of jet-packs and robot laundry-maids?

In fact, even as those dreams were being outlined, the material base for their achievement was beginning to be whittled away. There is reason to believe that even by the fifties and sixties, the pace of technological innovation was slowing down from the heady pace of the first half of the century. There was a last spate in the fifties when microwave ovens (1954), the Pill (1957), and lasers (1958) all appeared in rapid succession. But since then, technological advances have taken the form of clever new ways of combining existing technologies (as in the space race) and new ways of putting existing technologies to consumer use (the most famous example is television, invented in 1926, but mass produced only after the war.) Yet, in part because the space race gave everyone the impression that remarkable advances were happening, the popular impression during the sixties was that the pace of technological change was speeding up in terrifying, uncontrollable ways.

Alvin Toffler’s 1970 best seller Future Shock argued that almost all the social problems of the sixties could be traced back to the increasing pace of technological change. The endless outpouring of scientific breakthroughs transformed the grounds of daily existence, and left Americans without any clear idea of what normal life was. Just consider the family, where not just the Pill, but also the prospect of in vitro fertilization, test tube babies, and sperm and egg donation were about to make the idea of motherhood obsolete.

Humans were not psychologically prepared for the pace of change, Toffler wrote. He coined a term for the phenomenon: “accelerative thrust.” It had begun with the Industrial Revolution, but by roughly 1850, the effect had become unmistakable. Not only was everything around us changing, but most of it—human knowledge, the size of the population, industrial growth, energy use—was changing exponentially. The only solution, Toffler argued, was to begin some kind of control over the process, to create institutions that would assess emerging technologies and their likely effects, to ban technologies likely to be too socially disruptive, and to guide development in the direction of social harmony.

While many of the historical trends Toffler describes are accurate, the book appeared when most of these exponential trends halted. It was right around 1970 when the increase in the number of scientific papers published in the world—a figure that had doubled every fifteen years since, roughly, 1685—began leveling off. The same was true of books and patents.

Toffler’s use of acceleration was particularly unfortunate. For most of human history, the top speed at which human beings could travel had been around 25 miles per hour. By 1900 it had increased to 100 miles per hour, and for the next seventy years it did seem to be increasing exponentially. By the time Toffler was writing, in 1970, the record for the fastest speed at which any human had traveled stood at roughly 25,000 mph, achieved by the crew of Apollo 10 in 1969, just one year before. At such an exponential rate, it must have seemed reasonable to assume that within a matter of decades, humanity would be exploring other solar systems.

Since 1970, no further increase has occurred. The record for the fastest a human has ever traveled remains with the crew of Apollo 10. True, the commercial airliner Concorde, which first flew in 1969, reached a maximum speed of 1,400 mph. And the Soviet Tupolev Tu-144, which flew first, reached an even faster speed of 1,553 mph. But those speeds not only have failed to increase; they have decreased since the Tupolev Tu-144 was cancelled and the Concorde was abandoned.

None of this stopped Toffler’s own career. He kept retooling his analysis to come up with new spectacular pronouncements. In 1980, he produced The Third Wave, its argument lifted from Ernest Mandel’s “third technological revolution”—except that while Mandel thought these changes would spell the end of capitalism, Toffler assumed capitalism was eternal. By 1990, Toffler was the personal intellectual guru to Republican congressman Newt Gingrich, who claimed that his 1994 “Contract With America” was inspired, in part, by the understanding that the United States needed to move from an antiquated, materialist, industrial mind-set to a new, free-market, information age, Third Wave civilization.

There are all sorts of ironies in this connection. One of Toffler’s greatest achievements was inspiring the government to create an Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). One of Gingrich’s first acts on winning control of the House of Representatives in 1995 was defunding the OTA as an example of useless government extravagance. Still, there’s no contradiction here. By this time, Toffler had long since given up on influencing policy by appealing to the general public; he was making a living largely by giving seminars to CEOs and corporate think tanks. His insights had been privatized.

Gingrich liked to call himself a “conservative futurologist.” This, too, might seem oxymoronic; but, in fact, Toffler’s own conception of futurology was never progressive. Progress was always presented as a problem that needed to be solved.

Toffler might best be seen as a lightweight version of the nineteenth-century social theorist Auguste Comte, who believed that he was standing on the brink of a new age—in his case, the Industrial Age—driven by the inexorable progress of technology, and that the social cataclysms of his times were caused by the social system not adjusting. The older feudal order had developed Catholic theology, a way of thinking about man’s place in the cosmos perfectly suited to the social system of the time, as well as an institutional structure, the Church, that conveyed and enforced such ideas in a way that could give everyone a sense of meaning and belonging. The Industrial Age had developed its own system of ideas—science—but scientists had not succeeded in creating anything like the Catholic Church. Comte concluded that we needed to develop a new science, which he dubbed “sociology,” and said that sociologists should play the role of priests in a new Religion of Society that would inspire everyone with a love of order, community, work discipline, and family values. Toffler was less ambitious; his futurologists were not supposed to play the role of priests.

Gingrich had a second guru, a libertarian theologian named George Gilder, and Gilder, like Toffler, was obsessed with technology and social change. In an odd way, Gilder was more optimistic. Embracing a radical version of Mandel’s Third Wave argument, he insisted that what we were seeing with the rise of computers was an “overthrow of matter.” The old, materialist Industrial Society, where value came from physical labor, was giving way to an Information Age where value emerges directly from the minds of entrepreneurs, just as the world had originally appeared ex nihilo from the mind of God, just as money, in a proper supply-side economy, emerged ex nihilo from the Federal Reserve and into the hands of value-creating capitalists. Supply-side economic policies, Gilder concluded, would ensure that investment would continue to steer away from old government boondoggles like the space program and toward more productive information and medical technologies.

But if there was a conscious, or semi-conscious, move away from investment in research that might lead to better rockets and robots, and toward research that would lead to such things as laser printers and CAT scans, it had begun well before Toffler’s Future Shock (1970) and Gilder’s Wealth and Poverty (1981). What their success shows is that the issues they raised—that existing patterns of technological development would lead to social upheaval, and that we needed to guide technological development in directions that did not challenge existing structures of authority—echoed in the corridors of power. Statesmen and captains of industry had been thinking about such questions for some time.

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Industrial capitalism has fostered an extremely rapid rate of scientific advance and technological innovation—one with no parallel in previous human history. Even capitalism’s greatest detractors, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, celebrated its unleashing of the “productive forces.” Marx and Engels also believed that capitalism’s continual need to revolutionize the means of industrial production would be its undoing. Marx argued that, for certain technical reasons, value—and therefore profits—can be extracted only from human labor. Competition forces factory owners to mechanize production, to reduce labor costs, but while this is to the short-term advantage of the firm, mechanization’s effect is to drive down the general rate of profit.

For 150 years, economists have debated whether all this is true. But if it is true, then the decision by industrialists not to pour research funds into the invention of the robot factories that everyone was anticipating in the sixties, and instead to relocate their factories to labor-intensive, low-tech facilities in China or the Global South makes a great deal of sense.

As I’ve noted, there’s reason to believe the pace of technological innovation in productive processes—the factories themselves—began to slow in the fifties and sixties, but the side effects of America’s rivalry with the Soviet Union made innovation appear to accelerate. There was the awesome space race, alongside frenetic efforts by U.S. industrial planners to apply existing technologies to consumer purposes, to create an optimistic sense of burgeoning prosperity and guaranteed progress that would undercut the appeal of working-class politics.

These moves were reactions to initiatives from the Soviet Union. But this part of the history is difficult for Americans to remember, because at the end of the Cold War, the popular image of the Soviet Union switched from terrifyingly bold rival to pathetic basket case—the exemplar of a society that could not work. Back in the fifties, in fact, many United States planners suspected the Soviet system worked better. Certainly, they recalled the fact that in the thirties, while the United States had been mired in depression, the Soviet Union had maintained almost unprecedented economic growth rates of 10 percent to 12 percent a year—an achievement quickly followed by the production of tank armies that defeated Nazi Germany, then by the launching of Sputnik in 1957, then by the first manned spacecraft, the Vostok, in 1961.

It’s often said the Apollo moon landing was the greatest historical achievement of Soviet communism. Surely, the United States would never have contemplated such a feat had it not been for the cosmic ambitions of the Soviet Politburo. We are used to thinking of the Politburo as a group of unimaginative gray bureaucrats, but they were bureaucrats who dared to dream astounding dreams. The dream of world revolution was only the first. It’s also true that most of them—changing the course of mighty rivers, this sort of thing—either turned out to be ecologically and socially disastrous, or, like Joseph Stalin’s one-hundred-story Palace of the Soviets or a twenty-story statue of Vladimir Lenin, never got off the ground.

After the initial successes of the Soviet space program, few of these schemes were realized, but the leadership never ceased coming up with new ones. Even in the eighties, when the United States was attempting its own last, grandiose scheme, Star Wars, the Soviets were planning to transform the world through creative uses of technology. Few outside of Russia remember most of these projects, but great resources were devoted to them. It’s also worth noting that unlike the Star Wars project, which was designed to sink the Soviet Union, most were not military in nature: as, for instance, the attempt to solve the world hunger problem by harvesting lakes and oceans with an edible bacteria called spirulina, or to solve the world energy problem by launching hundreds of gigantic solar-power platforms into orbit and beaming the electricity back to earth.

The American victory in the space race meant that, after 1968, U.S. planners no longer took the competition seriously. As a result, the mythology of the final frontier was maintained, even as the direction of research and development shifted away from anything that might lead to the creation of Mars bases and robot factories.

The standard line is that all this was a result of the triumph of the market. The Apollo program was a Big Government project, Soviet-inspired in the sense that it required a national effort coordinated by government bureaucracies. As soon as the Soviet threat drew safely out of the picture, though, capitalism was free to revert to lines of technological development more in accord with its normal, decentralized, free-market imperatives—such as privately funded research into marketable products like personal computers. This is the line that men like Toffler and Gilder took in the late seventies and early eighties.

In fact, the United States never did abandon gigantic, government-controlled schemes of technological development. Mainly, they just shifted to military research—and not just to Soviet-scale schemes like Star Wars, but to weapons projects, research in communications and surveillance technologies, and similar security-related concerns. To some degree this had always been true: the billions poured into missile research had always dwarfed the sums allocated to the space program. Yet by the seventies, even basic research came to be conducted following military priorities. One reason we don’t have robot factories is because roughly 95 percent of robotics research funding has been channeled through the Pentagon, which is more interested in developing unmanned drones than in automating paper mills.

A case could be made that even the shift to research and development on information technologies and medicine was not so much a reorientation toward market-driven consumer imperatives, but part of an all-out effort to follow the technological humbling of the Soviet Union with total victory in the global class war—seen simultaneously as the imposition of absolute U.S. military dominance overseas, and, at home, the utter rout of social movements.

For the technologies that did emerge proved most conducive to surveillance, work discipline, and social control. Computers have opened up certain spaces of freedom, as we’re constantly reminded, but instead of leading to the workless utopia Abbie Hoffman imagined, they have been employed in such a way as to produce the opposite effect. They have enabled a financialization of capital that has driven workers desperately into debt, and, at the same time, provided the means by which employers have created “flexible” work regimes that have both destroyed traditional job security and increased working hours for almost everyone. Along with the export of factory jobs, the new work regime has routed the union movement and destroyed any possibility of effective working-class politics.

Meanwhile, despite unprecedented investment in research on medicine and life sciences, we await cures for cancer and the common cold, and the most dramatic medical breakthroughs we have seen have taken the form of drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, or Ritalin—tailor-made to ensure that the new work demands don’t drive us completely, dysfunctionally crazy.

With results like these, what will the epitaph for neoliberalism look like? I think historians will conclude it was a form of capitalism that systematically prioritized political imperatives over economic ones. Given a choice between a course of action that would make capitalism seem the only possible economic system, and one that would transform capitalism into a viable, long-term economic system, neoliberalism chooses the former every time. There is every reason to believe that destroying job security while increasing working hours does not create a more productive (let alone more innovative or loyal) workforce. Probably, in economic terms, the result is negative—an impression confirmed by lower growth rates in just about all parts of the world in the eighties and nineties.

But the neoliberal choice has been effective in depoliticizing labor and overdetermining the future. Economically, the growth of armies, police, and private security services amounts to dead weight. It’s possible, in fact, that the very dead weight of the apparatus created to ensure the ideological victory of capitalism will sink it. But it’s also easy to see how choking off any sense of an inevitable, redemptive future that could be different from our world is a crucial part of the neoliberal project.

At this point all the pieces would seem to be falling neatly into place. By the sixties, conservative political forces were growing skittish about the socially disruptive effects of technological progress, and employers were beginning to worry about the economic impact of mechanization. The fading Soviet threat allowed for a reallocation of resources in directions seen as less challenging to social and economic arrangements, or indeed directions that could support a campaign of reversing the gains of progressive social movements and achieving a decisive victory in what U.S. elites saw as a global class war. The change of priorities was introduced as a withdrawal of big-government projects and a return to the market, but in fact the change shifted government-directed research away from programs like NASA or alternative energy sources and toward military, information, and medical technologies.

Of course this doesn’t explain everything. Above all, it does not explain why, even in those areas that have become the focus of well-funded research projects, we have not seen anything like the kind of advances anticipated fifty years ago. If 95 percent of robotics research has been funded by the military, then where are the Klaatu-style killer robots shooting death rays from their eyes?

Obviously, there have been advances in military technology in recent decades. One of the reasons we all survived the Cold War is that while nuclear bombs might have worked as advertised, their delivery systems did not; intercontinental ballistic missiles weren’t capable of striking cities, let alone specific targets inside cities, and this fact meant there was little point in launching a nuclear first strike unless you intended to destroy the world.

Contemporary cruise missiles are accurate by comparison. Still, precision weapons never do seem capable of assassinating specific individuals (Saddam, Osama, Qaddafi), even when hundreds are dropped. And ray guns have not materialized—surely not for lack of trying. We can assume the Pentagon has spent billions on death ray research, but the closest they’ve come so far are lasers that might, if aimed correctly, blind an enemy gunner looking directly at the beam. Aside from being unsporting, this is pathetic: lasers are a fifties technology. Phasers that can be set to stun do not appear to be on the drawing boards; and when it comes to infantry combat, the preferred weapon almost everywhere remains the AK-47, a Soviet design named for the year it was introduced: 1947.

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The Internet is a remarkable innovation, but all we are talking about is a super-fast and globally accessible combination of library, post office, and mail-order catalogue. Had the Internet been described to a science fiction aficionado in the fifties and sixties and touted as the most dramatic technological achievement since his time, his reaction would have been disappointment. Fifty years and this is the best our scientists managed to come up with? We expected computers that would think!

Overall, levels of research funding have increased dramatically since the seventies. Admittedly, the proportion of that funding that comes from the corporate sector has increased most dramatically, to the point that private enterprise is now funding twice as much research as the government, but the increase is so large that the total amount of government research funding, in real-dollar terms, is much higher than it was in the sixties. “Basic,” “curiosity-driven,” or “blue skies” research—the kind that is not driven by the prospect of any immediate practical application, and that is most likely to lead to unexpected breakthroughs—occupies an ever smaller proportion of the total, though so much money is being thrown around nowadays that overall levels of basic research funding have increased.

Yet most observers agree that the results have been paltry. Certainly we no longer see anything like the continual stream of conceptual revolutions—genetic inheritance, relativity, psychoanalysis, quantum mechanics—that people had grown used to, and even expected, a hundred years before. Why?

Part of the answer has to do with the concentration of resources on a handful of gigantic projects: “big science,” as it has come to be called. The Human Genome Project is often held out as an example. After spending almost three billion dollars and employing thousands of scientists and staff in five different countries, it has mainly served to establish that there isn’t very much to be learned from sequencing genes that’s of much use to anyone else. Even more, the hype and political investment surrounding such projects demonstrate the degree to which even basic research now seems to be driven by political, administrative, and marketing imperatives that make it unlikely anything revolutionary will happen.

Here, our fascination with the mythic origins of Silicon Valley and the Internet has blinded us to what’s really going on. It has allowed us to imagine that research and development is now driven, primarily, by small teams of plucky entrepreneurs, or the sort of decentralized cooperation that creates open-source software. This is not so, even though such research teams are most likely to produce results. Research and development is still driven by giant bureaucratic projects.

What has changed is the bureaucratic culture. The increasing interpenetration of government, university, and private firms has led everyone to adopt the language, sensibilities, and organizational forms that originated in the corporate world. Although this might have helped in creating marketable products, since that is what corporate bureaucracies are designed to do, in terms of fostering original research, the results have been catastrophic.

My own knowledge comes from universities, both in the United States and Britain. In both countries, the last thirty years have seen a veritable explosion of the proportion of working hours spent on administrative tasks at the expense of pretty much everything else. In my own university, for instance, we have more administrators than faculty members, and the faculty members, too, are expected to spend at least as much time on administration as on teaching and research combined. The same is true, more or less, at universities worldwide.

The growth of administrative work has directly resulted from introducing corporate management techniques. Invariably, these are justified as ways of increasing efficiency and introducing competition at every level. What they end up meaning in practice is that everyone winds up spending most of their time trying to sell things: grant proposals; book proposals; assessments of students’ jobs and grant applications; assessments of our colleagues; prospectuses for new interdisciplinary majors; institutes; conference workshops; universities themselves (which have now become brands to be marketed to prospective students or contributors); and so on.

As marketing overwhelms university life, it generates documents about fostering imagination and creativity that might just as well have been designed to strangle imagination and creativity in the cradle. No major new works of social theory have emerged in the United States in the last thirty years. We have been reduced to the equivalent of medieval scholastics, writing endless annotations of French theory from the seventies, despite the guilty awareness that if new incarnations of Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, or Pierre Bourdieu were to appear in the academy today, we would deny them tenure.

There was a time when academia was society’s refuge for the eccentric, brilliant, and impractical. No longer. It is now the domain of professional self-marketers. As a result, in one of the most bizarre fits of social self-destructiveness in history, we seem to have decided we have no place for our eccentric, brilliant, and impractical citizens. Most languish in their mothers’ basements, at best making the occasional, acute intervention on the Internet.

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If all this is true in the social sciences, where research is still carried out with minimal overhead largely by individuals, one can imagine how much worse it is for astrophysicists. And, indeed, one astrophysicist, Jonathan Katz, has recently warned students pondering a career in the sciences. Even if you do emerge from the usual decade-long period languishing as someone else’s flunky, he says, you can expect your best ideas to be stymied at every point:

You will spend your time writing proposals rather than doing research. Worse, because your proposals are judged by your competitors, you cannot follow your curiosity, but must spend your effort and talents on anticipating and deflecting criticism rather than on solving the important scientific problems. . . . It is proverbial that original ideas are the kiss of death for a proposal, because they have not yet been proved to work.

That pretty much answers the question of why we don’t have teleportation devices or antigravity shoes. Common sense suggests that if you want to maximize scientific creativity, you find some bright people, give them the resources they need to pursue whatever idea comes into their heads, and then leave them alone. Most will turn up nothing, but one or two may well discover something. But if you want to minimize the possibility of unexpected breakthroughs, tell those same people they will receive no resources at all unless they spend the bulk of their time competing against each other to convince you they know in advance what they are going to discover.

In the natural sciences, to the tyranny of managerialism we can add the privatization of research results. As the British economist David Harvie has reminded us, “open source” research is not new. Scholarly research has always been open source, in the sense that scholars share materials and results. There is competition, certainly, but it is “convivial.” This is no longer true of scientists working in the corporate sector, where findings are jealously guarded, but the spread of the corporate ethos within the academy and research institutes themselves has caused even publicly funded scholars to treat their findings as personal property. Academic publishers ensure that findings that are published are increasingly difficult to access, further enclosing the intellectual commons. As a result, convivial, open-source competition turns into something much more like classic market competition.

There are many forms of privatization, up to and including the simple buying up and suppression of inconvenient discoveries by large corporations fearful of their economic effects. (We cannot know how many synthetic fuel formulae have been bought up and placed in the vaults of oil companies, but it’s hard to imagine nothing like this happens.) More subtle is the way the managerial ethos discourages everything adventurous or quirky, especially if there is no prospect of immediate results. Oddly, the Internet can be part of the problem here. As Neal Stephenson put it:

Most people who work in corporations or academia have witnessed something like the following: A number of engineers are sitting together in a room, bouncing ideas off each other. Out of the discussion emerges a new concept that seems promising. Then some laptop-wielding person in the corner, having performed a quick Google search, announces that this “new” idea is, in fact, an old one; it—or at least something vaguely similar—has already been tried. Either it failed, or it succeeded. If it failed, then no manager who wants to keep his or her job will approve spending money trying to revive it. If it succeeded, then it’s patented and entry to the market is presumed to be unattainable, since the first people who thought of it will have “first-mover advantage” and will have created “barriers to entry.” The number of seemingly promising ideas that have been crushed in this way must number in the millions.

And so a timid, bureaucratic spirit suffuses every aspect of cultural life. It comes festooned in a language of creativity, initiative, and entrepreneurialism. But the language is meaningless. Those thinkers most likely to make a conceptual breakthrough are the least likely to receive funding, and, if breakthroughs occur, they are not likely to find anyone willing to follow up on their most daring implications.

Giovanni Arrighi has noted that after the South Sea Bubble, British capitalism largely abandoned the corporate form. By the time of the Industrial Revolution, Britain had instead come to rely on a combination of high finance and small family firms—a pattern that held throughout the next century, the period of maximum scientific and technological innovation. (Britain at that time was also notorious for being just as generous to its oddballs and eccentrics as contemporary America is intolerant. A common expedient was to allow them to become rural vicars, who, predictably, became one of the main sources for amateur scientific discoveries.)

Contemporary, bureaucratic corporate capitalism was a creation not of Britain, but of the United States and Germany, the two rival powers that spent the first half of the twentieth century fighting two bloody wars over who would replace Britain as a dominant world power—wars that culminated, appropriately enough, in government-sponsored scientific programs to see who would be the first to discover the atom bomb. It is significant, then, that our current technological stagnation seems to have begun after 1945, when the United States replaced Britain as organizer of the world economy.

Americans do not like to think of themselves as a nation of bureaucrats—quite the opposite—but the moment we stop imagining bureaucracy as a phenomenon limited to government offices, it becomes obvious that this is precisely what we have become. The final victory over the Soviet Union did not lead to the domination of the market, but, in fact, cemented the dominance of conservative managerial elites, corporate bureaucrats who use the pretext of short-term, competitive, bottom-line thinking to squelch anything likely to have revolutionary implications of any kind.

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If we do not notice that we live in a bureaucratic society, that is because bureaucratic norms and practices have become so all-pervasive that we cannot see them, or, worse, cannot imagine doing things any other way.

Computers have played a crucial role in this narrowing of our social imaginations. Just as the invention of new forms of industrial automation in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had the paradoxical effect of turning more and more of the world’s population into full-time industrial workers, so has all the software designed to save us from administrative responsibilities turned us into part- or full-time administrators. In the same way that university professors seem to feel it is inevitable they will spend more of their time managing grants, so affluent housewives simply accept that they will spend weeks every year filling out forty-page online forms to get their children into grade schools. We all spend increasing amounts of time punching passwords into our phones to manage bank and credit accounts and learning how to perform jobs once performed by travel agents, brokers, and accountants.

Someone once figured out that the average American will spend a cumulative six months of life waiting for traffic lights to change. I don’t know if similar figures are available for how long it takes to fill out forms, but it must be at least as long. No population in the history of the world has spent nearly so much time engaged in paperwork.

In this final, stultifying stage of capitalism, we are moving from poetic technologies to bureaucratic technologies. By poetic technologies I refer to the use of rational and technical means to bring wild fantasies to reality. Poetic technologies, so understood, are as old as civilization. Lewis Mumford noted that the first complex machines were made of people. Egyptian pharaohs were able to build the pyramids only because of their mastery of administrative procedures, which allowed them to develop production-line techniques, dividing up complex tasks into dozens of simple operations and assigning each to one team of workmen—even though they lacked mechanical technology more complex than the inclined plane and lever. Administrative oversight turned armies of peasant farmers into the cogs of a vast machine. Much later, after cogs had been invented, the design of complex machinery elaborated principles originally developed to organize people.

Yet we have seen those machines—whether their moving parts are arms and torsos or pistons, wheels, and springs—being put to work to realize impossible fantasies: cathedrals, moon shots, transcontinental railways. Certainly, poetic technologies had something terrible about them; the poetry is likely to be as much of dark satanic mills as of grace or liberation. But the rational, administrative techniques were always in service to some fantastic end.

From this perspective, all those mad Soviet plans—even if never realized—marked the climax of poetic technologies. What we have now is the reverse. It’s not that vision, creativity, and mad fantasies are no longer encouraged, but that most remain free-floating; there’s no longer even the pretense that they could ever take form or flesh. The greatest and most powerful nation that has ever existed has spent the last decades telling its citizens they can no longer contemplate fantastic collective enterprises, even if—as the environmental crisis demands— the fate of the earth depends on it.

What are the political implications of all this? First of all, we need to rethink some of our most basic assumptions about the nature of capitalism. One is that capitalism is identical with the market, and that both therefore are inimical to bureaucracy, which is supposed to be a creature of the state.

The second assumption is that capitalism is in its nature technologically progressive. It would seem that Marx and Engels, in their giddy enthusiasm for the industrial revolutions of their day, were wrong about this. Or, to be more precise: they were right to insist that the mechanization of industrial production would destroy capitalism; they were wrong to predict that market competition would compel factory owners to mechanize anyway. If it didn’t happen, that is because market competition is not, in fact, as essential to the nature of capitalism as they had assumed. If nothing else, the current form of capitalism, where much of the competition seems to take the form of internal marketing within the bureaucratic structures of large semi-monopolistic enterprises, would come as a complete surprise to them.

Defenders of capitalism make three broad historical claims: first, that it has fostered rapid scientific and technological growth; second, that however much it may throw enormous wealth to a small minority, it does so in such a way as to increase overall prosperity; third, that in doing so, it creates a more secure and democratic world for everyone. It is clear that capitalism is not doing any of these things any longer. In fact, many of its defenders are retreating from claiming that it is a good system and instead falling back on the claim that it is the only possible system—or, at least, the only possible system for a complex, technologically sophisticated society such as our own.

But how could anyone argue that current economic arrangements are also the only ones that will ever be viable under any possible future technological society? The argument is absurd. How could anyone know?

Granted, there are people who take that position—on both ends of the political spectrum. As an anthropologist and anarchist, I encounter anticivilizational types who insist not only that current industrial technology leads only to capitalist-style oppression, but that this must necessarily be true of any future technology as well, and therefore that human liberation can be achieved only by returning to the Stone Age. Most of us are not technological determinists.

But claims for the inevitability of capitalism have to be based on a kind of technological determinism. And for that very reason, if the aim of neoliberal capitalism is to create a world in which no one believes any other economic system could work, then it needs to suppress not just any idea of an inevitable redemptive future, but any radically different technological future. Yet there’s a contradiction. Defenders of capitalism cannot mean to convince us that technological change has ended—since that would mean capitalism is not progressive. No, they mean to convince us that technological progress is indeed continuing, that we do live in a world of wonders, but that those wonders take the form of modest improvements (the latest iPhone!), rumors of inventions about to happen (“I hear they are going to have flying cars pretty soon”), complex ways of juggling information and imagery, and still more complex platforms for filling out of forms.

I do not mean to suggest that neoliberal capitalism—or any other system—can be successful in this regard. First, there’s the problem of trying to convince the world you are leading the way in technological progress when you are holding it back. The United States, with its decaying infrastructure, paralysis in the face of global warming, and symbolically devastating abandonment of its manned space program just as China accelerates its own, is doing a particularly bad public relations job. Second, the pace of change can’t be held back forever. Breakthroughs will happen; inconvenient discoveries cannot be permanently suppressed. Other, less bureaucratized parts of the world—or at least, parts of the world with bureaucracies that are not so hostile to creative thinking—will slowly but inevitably attain the resources required to pick up where the United States and its allies have left off. The Internet does provide opportunities for collaboration and dissemination that may help break us through the wall as well. Where will the breakthrough come? We can’t know. Maybe 3D printing will do what the robot factories were supposed to. Or maybe it will be something else. But it will happen.

About one conclusion we can feel especially confident: it will not happen within the framework of contemporary corporate capitalism—or any form of capitalism. To begin setting up domes on Mars, let alone to develop the means to figure out if there are alien civilizations to contact, we’re going to have to figure out a different economic system. Must the new system take the form of some massive new bureaucracy? Why do we assume it must? Only by breaking up existing bureaucratic structures can we begin. And if we’re going to invent robots that will do our laundry and tidy up the kitchen, then we’re going to have to make sure that whatever replaces capitalism is based on a far more egalitarian distribution of wealth and power—one that no longer contains either the super-rich or the desperately poor willing to do their housework. Only then will technology begin to be marshaled toward human needs. And this is the best reason to break free of the dead hand of the hedge fund managers and the CEOs—to free our fantasies from the screens in which such men have imprisoned them, to let our imaginations once again become a material force in human history.


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[Jul 29, 2021] What Happens to Stocks and Cryptocurrencies When the Fed Stops Raining Money

Inflation also might be coming via the devaluation of the dollar.
Notable quotes:
"... These articles are great at d ..."
"... There are no safe options. TIPS are indexed to the CPI. The CPI is "adjusted" by weighting, substitution, and hedonics to preserve the mirage of low inflation. We are being forced to either speculate in the market or watch our savings get swallowed by inflation. ..."
May 08, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Zeb Long
These articles are great at describing the problem, but not so great at suggesting what investors ought to do to protect themselves.

TIPS are sometimes suggested, but if the govt is manipulating the reporting of inflation then TIPS aren't going to be much help. Gold and blue chip stocks... "diversify"? how about some articles that will explore strategies.

J James Robertson
There are no safe options. TIPS are indexed to the CPI. The CPI is "adjusted" by weighting, substitution, and hedonics to preserve the mirage of low inflation. We are being forced to either speculate in the market or watch our savings get swallowed by inflation.

[Jul 24, 2021] Higher Inflation Is Here to Stay for Years, Economists Forecast by Gwynn Guilford and Anthony DeBarros

Jul 11, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Strong economic rebound and lingering pandemic disruptions fuel inflation forecasts above 2% through 2023, survey finds. The U.S. inflation rate reached a 13-year high recently, triggering a debate about whether the country is entering an inflationary period similar to the 1970s. WSJ's Jon Hilsenrath looks at what consumers can expect next.

Americans should brace themselves for several years of higher inflation than they've seen in decades, according to economists who expect the robust post-pandemic economic recovery to fuel brisk price increases for a while.

Economists surveyed this month by The Wall Street Journal raised their forecasts of how high inflation would go and for how long, compared with their previous expectations in April.

The respondents on average now expect a widely followed measure of inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy components, to be up 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2021 from a year before. They forecast the annual rise to recede to slightly less than 2.3% a year in 2022 and 2023.

That would mean an average annual increase of 2.58% from 2021 through 2023, putting inflation at levels last seen in 1993.

"We're in a transitional phase right now," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economics LLC. "We are transitioning to a higher period of inflation and interest rates than we've had over the last 20 years."

[Jul 24, 2021] U.S. inflation is still climbing and now higher labor costs are adding to the pressure

Cost of energy is climbing and that will increase the level of inflation.
The position of dollar is weakening too and that might contribution to inflation pressures.
Jul 24, 2021 | www.msn.com

The yearly rate of inflation leaped to a 13-year high of 3.6% in April, using the Fed's preferred PCE price gauge. By another measure inflation hit a 28-year peak .

Inflation likely rose sharply again in May. Economists polled by Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal predict the consumer price index rose 0.5% last month. The report comes out on Thursday. If so, that would push the yearly rate close to 5% from 4.2% in April.

Consumer prices have only risen that fast twice in the past 30 years, most recently in 2008 when the cost of a barrel of oil topped $150.

... ... ...

The central bank has stuck to its prediction that inflation will drop back toward 2% by next year. But many are beginning to wonder.

"The writing is on the wall: The Fed's temporary-inflation mantra is sounding more dated by the week," said senior economist Sal Guatieri of BMO Capital Markets.

[Jul 20, 2021] Problems with labor in oil sector are real

Jul 20, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

SHALLOW SAND IGNORED 07/19/2021 at 10:33 pm

Rasputin.

We have owned rigs. We could never keep an operator around long enough to make it worthwhile. We had a double drum and a single drum. Mud pump. Power swivel. Power tongs on both. Testing truck. The whole enchilada.

We sold them all to a man who had worked for someone else and then went out on his own. We gave him a good deal, and he did a lot of work for us. He still does work for us, but he can't find help that will stay.

We also owned a tank truck. Sold it also. It is currently parked, the man we sold it to cannot find a driver. He is a one horse tank truck driver. He turns down work all the time. We had to shut down a lease we haul water on for a few days when he got COVID. Thankfully he recovered.

All of us around here just cannot quite believe what is going on with the oilfield labor force. It is a perfect storm.

Meanwhile, most recently we paid $5.63 per foot for 2 3/8" steel tubing, which was under $3 a year ago. We priced a 115 fiberglass tank for $6,800, would have been $3,900 a year ago.

We had a couple wells down for a few weeks because we could neither get new nor rewound motors for them.

The man who owns the backhoes, trackhoes and cranes that does contract work for us is in his 70's and has great grandkids. He works in the field daily beside his son and grandson.

One of the last rig hands we had broke into our shop last winter. He got out of jail after a few weeks and immediately got a job in a local factory. Hope he stays clean. He was a good hand when he was, and had learned to operate a single drum also.

The prosecutor in our county announced the first six months of 2021 that 162 felony cases had been filed in our small county, that in 2019 the total for the year was 204 felonies, and that 33 of the 34 jail inmates were addicted to meth.

We do have one pumper now under 50. The rest are from 51 to 63. REPLY INGRAHAMMARK7 IGNORED 07/20/2021 at 1:34 am

How much land do you have left? At one well per section how many can you drill and how long it takes? That's when your business wraps up. REPLY RASPUTIN IGNORED 07/20/2021 at 2:40 am

Holy Moly SS

I guess the days of vertical doing things in house are gone. That labor mess is unreal. However, here in nowhere USA it is hard to find good help but you can usually find help. I was so surprised at some of the job turnover even during peak covid when some businesses were restricted and some essential. How are people living that have no jobs? Over the years I hired relatives that never got it, didn't stay sober and didn't see the long term upside. Maybe it's all about today for the younger generation.

Over the past year and a half I've been following your posts including labor issues. Were they so dreadful before covid and helicopter money? It might appear to the uninformed that training rig help. pumpers and the like is easy, but it's not. One small oops for man is one huge oops for you.

Perhaps, as we move away from the false narrative that you must have a college degree to get a good or high paying job, things will improve in the trades and the oilfield.

About 20 years ago I was visiting with a substantial independent stimulation company that was having labor issues. The head honcho lamented that they had already poached all of the young guys that grew up on farms and knew machinery, getting up early and how to work. Having known a few guys and what they earned they most likely didn't point their kids at basket weaving degrees.

Sure wish I had an answer for you. Personally, I'm shrinking down to a few wells close to the house/shop/yard, one of which I could walk to for daily exercise. However, I'll run my equipment myself as long as possible.

The best to you. REPLY SHALLOW SAND IGNORED 07/20/2021 at 5:53 am

Rasputin.

The number of basically "homeless" people living here in my part of very rural USA is startling. People aren't generally sleeping in the parks. They have duffle bags and backpacks and crash place to place.

We have the tremendous labor shortage, yet the public defender and conflicts public defender have over 400 clients combined. This in a county of a little less than 20K people. That right there is the labor force for a decent sized factory around here.

To qualify for the PD you must have income below 125% of federal poverty guidelines, which is very low. During the height of COVID, nothing got done with their cases because the PD's couldn't get ahold of them. Few have cell phones that are permanent (track phones) and few have permanent addresses. The jail is full so there aren't a lot of warrants being issued for the lower level crimes. So people haven't been showing up for their court cases for months/ over a year. Our county is going to send close to 100 people to prison this year, almost all for meth delivery. This is the situation all over rural USA. People who live here and aren't in the court system are oblivious to it until they get broken into or robbed (or have an addicted relative, which many do).

The primary reason for the labor shortage here is a combination of young people moving to larger towns/cities, a very large percentage of the working age population being addicted to meth (which is now being cut with heroin, fentanyl, etc) and the significant benefits that have been paid to not work. I hate to think of how many billions of borrowed money stimulus our future generations are now indebted with that went directly into the pockets of the foreign drug cartels.

As for the oilfield, add to that the hard work, not the greatest pay in the world at the bottom end (rig hands) the need to find people who can work unsupervised outdoors, and the young people being told the industry is dead and a job in that field will soon be gone. Finally, a ton of "old timers" simply retired during COVID.

Our country has no idea how dependent we are on labor from Mexico and Central America that keeps us alive. The only farm workers are Hispanic. However, most don't want to work in the oilfield either, it seems. We just harvested green beans, and all the crew were Hispanic. The same will be the case here shortly as we harvest watermelons and cabbage. If Trump were successful and closed the borders and sent everyone back, we would starve.

The largest oil company here shut in everything it owned when oil went negative. Unfortunately for them they laid off a lot of people. Many of their wells are still idle.

Maybe we are an outlier. But I doubt it. A decent amount people at the lower end of the labor force seem to have decided they aren't going to work, and offering a lot more $$ won't bring them back. Maybe they will come back when the government benefits end.

Even the prisons can't find employees. They pay $70K+ plus great benefits. Mentally difficult work though. Also, can't have a criminal record and cannot use drugs, even pot.

Keep in mind a large percentage of the USA population now smokes or ingests pot. That doesn't work well in a lot of industries where sobriety is mandatory.

The gas station I fill up at is offering a $300 signing bonus which is paid after 30 days of no unexcused absences. $13 and hour to start at the cash register. They can't find people to take that.

I'm rambling now, and I'll stop.

Surely there are some shale basin people reading this. Could any of you comment about whether there is a labor shortage in your shale basin? If there isn't, maybe we could persuade a few of them to come to our neck of the woods and work on the simple, shallow wells. Not a lot of traveling, no weekends unless you pump, and work is daytime only. KANSAS OIL IGNORED 07/20/2021 at 9:10 am

Shallow Sand –

I echo all of your sentiments. We are a small operator in Kansas, producing about 300 bbl/day in 13 various counties. We have approximately 50-60 bbl/day offline pushing 3 weeks. We're talking 8/8ths approximately $75,000 in revenue. Pre-Covid you could count on getting a pulling unit sometimes next day if you had a mechanical failure. Now it's 3-4 weeks. $20/hour for green rig hands evidently isn't enough to move the needle, whether it's because the work is too difficult, or it's easier to keep cashing the government checks. And by my count we are in a similar situation with oil field pumpers. We have 13 of them. 2 are 50s, and the rest are all over 60. I'm in my early 40s and my field superintendent is 56. He loves to work and will probably do so until he's 70-75. When he checks out will probably be when I check out. REPLY SHALLOW SAND IGNORED 07/20/2021 at 9:55 am

Kansas Oil.

Great to hear from you.

Thanks for confirming what we are experiencing.

The big question is whether this is also going on in the shale basins, primarily Permian. If it is, don't see how USA production grows much.

I drive across Kansas on both I 70 and the South Route through Wichita to the OK panhandle quite a bit. Always keep my eyes open for whether pumping units are moving or not.

I worry about whether the huge feed lots, hog facilities and packing plants out there can find enough help. People have no clue how much of the USA is fed from the TX, OK panhandles on up through Western KS and NE.

Hang in there!

[Jul 20, 2021] Higher Inflation Is Here to Stay for Years, Economists Forecast by Gwynn Guilford and Anthony DeBarros

Jul 11, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Strong economic rebound and lingering pandemic disruptions fuel inflation forecasts above 2% through 2023, survey finds. The U.S. inflation rate reached a 13-year high recently, triggering a debate about whether the country is entering an inflationary period similar to the 1970s. WSJ's Jon Hilsenrath looks at what consumers can expect next.

Americans should brace themselves for several years of higher inflation than they've seen in decades, according to economists who expect the robust post-pandemic economic recovery to fuel brisk price increases for a while.

Economists surveyed this month by The Wall Street Journal raised their forecasts of how high inflation would go and for how long, compared with their previous expectations in April.

The respondents on average now expect a widely followed measure of inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy components, to be up 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2021 from a year before. They forecast the annual rise to recede to slightly less than 2.3% a year in 2022 and 2023.

That would mean an average annual increase of 2.58% from 2021 through 2023, putting inflation at levels last seen in 1993.

"We're in a transitional phase right now," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economics LLC. "We are transitioning to a higher period of inflation and interest rates than we've had over the last 20 years."

[Jul 15, 2021] Many Jobs Lost During the Coronavirus Pandemic Just Aren't Coming Back by Lauren Weber

when the tax rates increase even more, it just encourages automation or DIY (bring your own sheets to avoid paying the cleaning fee), which just grinds down growth rather than accelerates it.
Notable quotes:
"... Applebee's is now using tablets to allow customers to pay at their tables without summoning a waiter. ..."
Jul 15, 2021 | www.wsj.com
Companies see automation and other labor-saving steps as a way to emerge from the health crisis with a permanently smaller workforce
PHOTO: JIM THOMPSON/ZUMA PRESS

... ... ...

Economic data show that companies have learned to do more with less over the last 16 months or so. Output nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2021 -- down just 0.5% from the end of 2019 -- even though U.S. workers put in 4.3% fewer hours than they did before the health crisis.

... ... ...

Raytheon Technologies Corp. RTX 0.08% , the biggest U.S. aerospace supplier by sales, laid off 21,000 employees and contractors in 2020 amid a drastic decline in air travel. Raytheon said in January that efforts to modernize its factories and back-office operations would boost profit margins and reduce the need to bring back all those jobs. The company said that most if not all of the 4,500 contract workers who were let go in 2020 wouldn't be called back.

... ... ..

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. HLT -0.78% said last week that most of its U.S. properties are adopting "a flexible housekeeping policy," with daily service available upon request. "Full deep cleanings will be conducted prior to check-in and on every fifth day for extended stays," it said.

Daily housekeeping will still be free for those who request it... Unite Here, a union that represents hotel workers, published a report in June estimating that the end of daily room cleaning could result in an industrywide loss of up to 180,000 jobs...

... ... ...

Restaurants have become rapid adopters of technology during the pandemic as two forces -- labor shortages that are pushing wages higher and a desire to reduce close contact between customers and employees -- raise the return on such investments. ... Applebee's is now using tablets to allow customers to pay at their tables without summoning a waiter. The hand-held screens provide a hedge against labor inflation, said John Peyton, CEO of Applebee's parent Dine Brands Global Inc.

... ... ...

The U.S. tax code encourages investments in automation, particularly after the Trump administration's tax cuts, said Daron Acemoglu, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies the impact of automation on workers. Firms pay around 25 cents in taxes for every dollar they pay workers, compared with 5 cents for every dollar spent on machines because companies can write off capital investments, he said.

... ... ...

-- Heather Haddon contributed to this article. D


DANIEL WEBER

A lot of employers were given Covid-aid to keep employees employed and paid in 2020. I assume somebody has addressed that obligation since it wasn't mentioned.

But, what happens to the unskilled workers whose jobs have been eliminated? Do Raytheon and Hilton just say "have a nice life on the streets"?

No, they will become our collective burdens.

I am all for technology and progress and better QA/QC and general performance. But the employers that benefit from this should use part of their gains in stock valuation to keep "our collective burdens" off our collective backs, rather than pay dividends and bonuses first.

Maybe reinvest in updated training for those laid off.

No great outcome comes free. BUT, as the article implies, the luxury of having already laid off the unskilled, likely leaves the employer holding all the cards.

And the wheel keeps turning...

Jeffery Allen
Question! Isn't this antithetical (reduction of employees) to the spirit and purpose of both monetary and fiscal programs, e.g., PPP loans (fiscal), capital markets funding facilities (monetary) established last year and current year? Employers are to retain employees. Gee, what a farce. Does anyone really care?
Philip Hilmes
Some of this makes sense and some would happen anyway without the pandemic. I don't need my room cleaned every day, but sometimes I want it. The wait staff in restaurants is another matter. Losing wait staff makes for a pretty bad experience. I hate having to order on my phone. I feel like I might as well be home ordering food through Grubhub or something. It's impersonal, more painful than telling someone, doesn't allow for you to be checked on if you need anything, doesn't provide information you don't get from a menu, etc. It really diminishes the value of going out to eat without wait staff.
al snow
OK I been reading all the comments I only have a WSJ access as the rate was a great deal.
Hotel/Motel started making the bed but not changing the sheets every day for many years I am fine as long as they offer trash take out and towel/paper every day
and do not forget to tip .
clive boulton
Recruiters re-post hard to fill job listings onto multiple job boards. I don't believe the reported job openings resemble are real. Divide by 3 at least.

[Jul 14, 2021] Cryptos are a collectors item just like fine art.

Jul 13, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

jsanprox , Jul 12 2021 1:59 utc | 103

Cryptos are a collectors item just like fine art. While money has value based on the military jack boot of empire which insures its value only with its domination of most countries and the violent destruction of any attempt to set up a transparent real money system exchangable for gold (Libya). A painting by a hot painter is worth 900k because there are a handful of people who will pay that for it, they're interest in it keeps the value at a certain level. Same with Bitcoin, but that interest is spread out to millions of people. If they all decide its worthless than it is, but why would they? I think a lot of these evidence free claims of hacking and ransom wear are made to devalue the currency that the ransom is paid in, it could have easily been paid in dollars via the internet, as cryptos is basiclly just that: a stand in for the dollar being moved to an account that is a number. Cryptos in this way provide a window to real capitalism. This to me is natural human evolution toward anarchism and a system of exchange that is transparent and based on people working together instead of militaristic violence. You can exchange cryptos for gold, rubles and yaun, so saying that it exist only based on the dollars supremacy is wrong.


Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 12 2021 3:36 utc | 104

What I know about computers and Bitcoin would get lost in a thimble. However, what I've learnt about the US Govt over the years tells me that this problem wouldn't be happening if the USG hadn't dedicated itself to micro-managing, and dominating the www - for Top Secret (i.e. bullshit) reasons.

I was appalled when I learnt that the USG had made strong encryption ILLEGAL, and dumbfounded when I first heard about the PRISM 'co-operative' USG-mandated www surveillance program. Edward Snowden's NSA revellations confirmed that the USG has KILLED computer security for crappy, feeble-minded reasons.

It's more or less par for the course that the USG blames other entities for its own prying and mischief-making. Were it not for the USG placing LOW limits on computer security, we would all have access to Pretty Good Privacy and pro-active, timely means of detecting and defending and/or evading malware.

Stonebird , Jul 12 2021 8:31 utc | 107

Jörgen Hassler | Jul 12 2021 5:32 utc | 105

"They mostly never see the piece, it's kept in climate controlled storage."

This is standard practice. Using "Ports Franches" as in several Swiss towns including Geneva. Perfectly legal as they are not IN the country (for Tax purposes).

However, this is not really for "drug" cartels but just a way of transferring assets from one rich person to another. Many ownership deals are made inside the Port Franche itself, without the need to transport the work outside. There is a limitation on the time a work can be left inside the building, but I believe all that they have to do is drive more or less "round the block" and re-enter it. I'm a bit hazy about that detail, as I do not have a spare Rembrandt to verify this personally.

****

jsanprox | Jul 12 2021 1:59 utc | 103

A painting by a hot painter is worth 900k because there are a handful of people who will pay that for it, they're interest in it keeps the value at a certain level.

The primary dealers agree on a common price level for a stated painter. These paintings can even be used as collateral when borrowing money.
Other painters do not have a "guaranteed" price level but one based on auction values (ie. What the customer is willing to pay.)
The Primary dealers are a very small group who control all the big art fairs and which other dealers are allowed to sell or deal there -.
There are "rules" about "participation" (not sure about the terminology here), that various dealers will have made between themseves. ie. There is a split-up of profits following certain agreed parts. Woe unto a dealer that doesn't pay his part. (OK; personal note here, I once accidently fell foul of the "cartel" because a gallery owner with my works, had not paid "out" on a large sum that he had made on another artist he was representing. They decided to "get" him.)

****

Ransomware ; Why are people getting all hot and bothered about Corporations paying money in Bitcoin? Happens all the time.

Another Personal anecdote ; About five years ago I started recieving emails from unknown "people", Real first names, with an attachement. As normal, these go into trash without being opened (or into a folder I have, called "dodgy spam?) About 20 + of them. Next I recieved one email saying (in French) " I know your little secret, and if you don't want everyone else to know, pay (about €30) a "Small" sum into the following bitcoin account xxxxx."

In France you can " porter plainte" , ie, denounce and start a legal process against an "unknown person, or persons". This is to protect yourself, and is run by the Government/police. In my case, never having opened any of the "attachments", I don't know what they were, probably porn of some sort. IF they had been opened there would have been a suspicion that I was a "willling" victim. (The first question asked by the Gov. Site was "Have you paid them/it, and by how much". in my case - none)

******

Haven't heard anything since. BUT, Bitcoin was already being used for criminal purposes.

Nobody had to find a super-secret backdoor into my computer. Just buy a data base with working emails - Corporations use them all the time to send publicity. By looking at the address, and other more or less freely available information, they can target people, by location, age, etc.


vk , Jul 12 2021 15:47 utc | 113

@ Posted by: jsanprox | Jul 12 2021 1:59 utc | 103

But you only know a Picasso is worth a lot because you can calculate it in USD terms (ultimately: you can also calculate in any other fiat currency, but, since we live in the USD Standard, we only know a certain amount of fiat currency is worth if we can convert it to USDs). The USD is still the unit of accountancy and the means of payment even in the art market.

You can never pay your taxes or fill the tank of your car with a Picasso - you would have to sell it for USDs, and use these USDs to pay for everything you need. Sure, two megarich persons could exchange art between them as some kind of permute, but that doesn't constitute a societal unity (because billionares don't exist in a vacuum). It is a particularity of society, not society itself.

The same is true with crypto. And with gold. And with platinum. And with whatever else you want. It is a myth crypto is "fake" just because it is purely digital: the material specification of the thing doesn't matter for its status of money. Being digital is the lesser of crypto's problems. Crypto's main problem is the very economic foundations of its existence, which ensure it will never be money.

And no: subdividing crypto wouldn't solve it - they tried it with gold when capitalism lived through the Gold Standard (when it was on its death throes) and there's a limit to this. Even if the digital era allowed it, you would then simply have fiat money system with extra steps and double the brutality, because then the power to issue money would rest with few private individual hoarders of the crypto with no legal accountability and responsibility; it would be a dystopian "Pirates of the Caribbean" meets "Mad Max" scenario.

[Jul 08, 2021] Tucker Carlson Responds To Unmasking In Blistering Monologue, Discusses With Glenn Greenwald

Jul 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Update (2130ET): Tucker Carlson responded to today's 'unmasking' - namely an Axios report which accuses him of trying to set up an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I'm an American citizen, I can interview whoever I want - and plan to," said the Fox News host.

Presented without further comment, along with Carlson's sit-down with journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the Edward Snowden revelations about domestic spying and other illicit activities conducted by the US government.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1412936005305475077

Last week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in a bombshell broadcast that an NSA whistleblower had approached him with evidence that the National Security Agency has been spying on his communications , with the intent to leak his emails to the press and 'take this show off the air.'

Today, Carlson told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo that the emails have in fact been leaked to journalists - at least one of whom has contacted him for what we presume is an upcoming article on their contents.

"I was in Washington for a funeral last week and ran into someone I know well, who said ' I have a message for you ,' and then proceeded to repeat back to me details from emails and texts that I sent, and had told no one else about. So it was verified. And the person said 'the NSA has this,' and that was proven by the person reading back the contents of the email, 'and they're going to use it against you.'

To be blunt with you, it was something I would have never said in public if it was wrong, or illegal, or immoral. They don't actually have anything on me, but they do have my emails. So I knew they were spying on me, and again, to be totally blunt with you - as a defensive move, I thought 'I better say this out loud.'"

"Then, yesterday, I learned that - and this is going to come out soon - that the NSA leaked the contents of my email to journalists in an effort to discredit me. I know, because I got a call from one of them who said 'this is what your email was about.'

So, it is not in any way a figment of my imagination. It's confirmed. It's true. They aren't allowed to spy on American citizens - they are. I think more ominously, they're using the information they gather to put leverage and to threaten opposition journalists, people who criticize the Biden administration. It's happening to me right now..."

" This is the stuff of banana republics and third-world countries ," replied Bartiromo.

[Jul 08, 2021] New Jobless Claims Hold Near Pandemic Low, as Number on Benefits Falls

Jul 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

What recovery ? What booming economy if they layoff people? Look like stagnation of the US economy continues unabated...

Initial unemployment claims, a proxy for layoffs, rose by 2,000 the week ended July 3, from a pandemic low the prior week, to a seasonally adjusted 373,000 , the Labor Department said Thursday.

... ... ...

...some unemployed workers say they are still struggling to find jobs. Marcellus Rowe of Dunwoody, Ga., said he has been unable to find a job that pays a salary near the roughly $50,000 he made working for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Mr. Rowe, 29 years old, lost that job in November 2019, before the pandemic, but was able to stay on unemployment benefits because of the federal extensions. Georgia cut off those benefits late last month.

Mr. Rowe said he has applied for more than 100 jobs, including security-guard and customer-service roles. He said the few employers who have responded to him said he doesn't have the experience needed for the positions. Mr. Rowe, a Black man, added that he thinks his race is a reason he has been passed over for some jobs.

me title=

He said he is reluctant to take a minimum-wage job because $7.25 an hour wouldn't be enough to pay his rent and other bills. He sought housing assistance from his county when benefits expired.

"The job market isn't looking so great," he said. "I'm looking for suitable jobs, but it's not happening here in Georgia."

[Jul 08, 2021] Grocery Stores Are Masking Price Hikes Via Shrinkflation

Jul 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The continued decline in Treasury yields has prompted many short-sighted arm-chair analysts to declare that the Fed was right about inflationary pressures being "transitory". Of course, as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen herself admitted, a little inflation is necessary for the economy to function long term - because without "controlled inflation," how else will policymakers inflate away the enormous debts of the US and other governments.

As policymakers prepare to explain to the investing public why inflation is a "good thing", a report published this week by left-leaning NPR highlighted a phenomenon that is manifesting in grocery stores and other retailers across the US: economists including Pippa Malmgren call it "shrinkflation". It happens when companies reduce the size or quantity of their products while charging the same price, or even more money.

As NPR points out, the preponderance of "shrinkflation" creates a problem for academics and purveyors of classical economic theory. "If consumers were the rational creatures depicted in classic economic theory, they would notice shrinkflation. They would keep their eyes on the price per Cocoa Puff and not fall for gimmicks in how companies package those Cocoa Puffs."

me title=

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However, research by behavioral economists has found that consumers are "much more gullible than classic theory predicts. They are more sensitive to changes in price than to changes in quantity." It's one of many well-documented ways that human reasoning differs from strict rationality (for a more comprehensive review of the limitations of human reasoning in the loosely defined world of behavioral economics, read Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking Fast and Slow").

Just a few months ago, we described shrinkflation as "the oldest trick in the retailer's book" with an explanation of how Costco was masking a 14% price hike by instead reducing the sheet count in its rolls of paper towels and toilet paper.

NPR's report started with the story of Edgar Dworsky, who monitors grocery store shelves for signs of "shrinkflation".

A couple of weeks ago, Edgar Dworsky walked into a Stop & Shop grocery store in Somerville, Mass., like a detective entering a murder scene.

He stepped into the cereal aisle, where he hoped to find the smoking gun. He scanned the shelves. Oh no, he thought. He was too late. The store had already replaced old General Mills cereal boxes -- such as Cheerios and Cocoa Puffs -- with newer ones. It was as though the suspect's fingerprints had been wiped clean.

Then Dworsky headed toward the back of the store. Sure enough, old boxes of Cocoa Puffs and Apple Cinnamon Cheerios were stacked at the end of one of the aisles. He grabbed an old box of Cocoa Puffs and put it side by side with the new one. Aha! The tip he had received was right on the money. General Mills had downsized the contents of its "family size" boxes from 19.3 ounces to 18.1 ounces.

Dworsky went to the checkout aisle, and both boxes -- gasp! -- were the same price. It was an open-and-shut case: General Mills is yet another perpetrator of "shrinkflation."

It's also being used for paper products, candy bars and other packaged goods.

Back in the day, Dworsky says, he remembers buying bigger candy bars and bigger rolls of toilet paper. The original Charmin roll of toilet paper, he says, had 650 sheets. Now you have to pay extra for "Mega Rolls" and "Super Mega Rolls" -- and even those have many fewer sheets than the original. To add insult to injury, Charmin recently shrank the size of their toilet sheets. Talk about a crappy deal.

Shrinkflation, or downsizing, is probably as old as mass consumerism. Over the years, Dworsky has documented the downsizing of everything from Doritos to baby shampoo to ranch dressing. "The downsizing tends to happen when manufacturers face some type of pricing pressure," he says. For example, if the price of gasoline or grain goes up.

The whole thing brings to mind a scene from the 2000s comedy classic "Zoolander".

[Jul 04, 2021] How Many Have Died From COVID Vaccines

As of July 2, 2021 out of 4456 total deaths attributed to vaccination (of them 1890 after vaccination with Pfizer), it looks like there were at least 36 death of people aged less then 30 years after vaccination with Pfizer vaccine (out of 61 total). Around 136 millions were fully vaccinated,.
Other sources list higher figure (6113) CDC- 6,113 DEAD Following COVID-19 Injections ("Besides the 6,113 deaths reported, there are 5,172 permanent disabilities, 6,435 life threatening events, and 51,558 emergency room visits." )so my method of extracting those data from VAERS database might be wrong or not all death are reported to VAERS.
Another 5 young people were crippled but survived (67 total).
Jul 03, 2021 | undercurrents723949620.wordpress.com

In a May 5, 2021, Fox News report, Tucker Carlson asked the question no one is really allowed to ask: "How many Americans have died after taking the COVID vaccine?" 1

Mefobills says: July 4, 2021 at 1:24 am GMT • 1.8 hours ago • 300 Words ↑ @RoatanBill

Then there's not selling Syria the latest S#00 system to help keep Israel out of Syrian skies. That tells me he's using Syria for personal / State gain and that is where he's wrong. That's what makes him just another politician.

I totally get it, there are things that are puzzling to those of us in the audience, watching the moves from afar.

An advanced S-300 or S-400 system could paint every F-16 as it took off from Israel. This would be a red line for Israel and would bring in Uncle Shmuel.

Syria (and by extension Russia) has been allowing Israel to overfly her territory and bomb Hezbollah installations.

It's puzzling – why would you allow a foreign power to bomb your territory, especially if you have S-300's. The answer must be that Syria and Russia are holding back on purpose for reasons only known to them. I can speculate, in that they don't want to give away military capability unless the war goes hot.

Think about the situation now, as opposed to the 90's. Russia's military has been modernized; Military physical fitness is up by 30% (better nutrition?); Foreign exchange is in good shape; the economy is modernizing; food production is up – so Russia is no longer food insecure; oil can be extracted at prices that Saudi cannot compete with; the Artic route is opening up; national economy is more diversified thanks to the western sanctions; Yamal LNG will be fueling Asia; Nordstream will be fueling Europe.

[Jul 03, 2021] Plato oil: Russia edition

Jun 30, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

POLLUX IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 5:46 am

Russia plans to cut oil exports from its Western ports by 22% in July vs June – schedule

"On a daily basis, loadings will decline by 22% in July compared to the current month, Reuters calculations showed." REPLY POLLUX IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 1:37 pm

Russia struggles to raise oil output despite price rally -sources

"Russian oil production has declined so far in June from average levels in May despite a price rally in oil market and OPEC+ output cuts easing, two sources familiar with the data told Reuters on Monday.

Russia's compliance with the OPEC+ oil output deal was at close to 100% in May, which means the state is about to exceed its target in June.

Two industry sources said that lower output levels may be due to technical issues some Russian oil producers are experiencing with output at older oilfields." RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 2:38 pm

Yes, they are definitely experiencing issues with their older oilfields, it's called depletion. But that decline is only 33,000 bpd or .3%. But your post above that one says exports in the third quarter will decline by 22%. What gives there?

Their decline in May was 23,000 bpd. OVI IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 3:25 pm

Ron

I just checked the Russia site and they have revised up their original May estimate. It is one week later than the original. Production is now down 9,000 b/d. RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 4:50 pm

Yeah, they revised it up by 14,000 pbd. A pittance. Now they are down only 9,000 bpd instead of 23,000. Nothing to get excited about. Basically, they were flat in May. JEAN-FRANÇOIS FLEURY IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 4:09 pm

"Russia plans to decrease oil loadings from its Western ports to 6.22 million tonnes for July compared to 7.75 million tonnes planned for loading in June, the preliminary schedule showed." 7,75 x 10^6 – 6,62 x 10^6 = 1130000 t. 1130000×7,3/30 = 274966 b/d. Therefore, these decrease of oil export suggests a decrease of production of 274966 b/d. Precedently, it was announced that oil exports of Russia would decrease of 7,2 % for the period July-September or a decrease of 308222 b/d. Therefore, it's coherent. https://www.zawya.com/mena/en/markets/story/Russias_quarterly_crude_oil_exports_to_drop_72_schedule-TR20210617nL5N2NY2IQX8/?fbclid=IwAR0ZjvwzjVS427CbUAzTL1vJfqog7R8CDwaJAvI3uUdaw_0z5S5l_57SGFY I notice that it concerns the "Western ports", therefore the exports toward EU and USA. Well, EU is also the main customer of Russia with 59% of the oil exports of Russia. RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 4:59 pm

Western Syberia is where all the very old supergiant fields are. They produce 60% of Russian crude oil. Or at least they used to. LIGHTSOUT IGNORED 06/29/2021 at 2:11 am

Ron
If one of the West Siberian giants is rolling over in the same way as Daquing did, things could get very interesting very quickly. RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/29/2021 at 7:24 am

Four of Russia's five giant fields are in Western Siberia. The fifth is in the Urals, on the European side. All five have been creamed with infill horizontal drilling for almost 20 years. All five are on the verge of a steep decline. Obviously, one and possibly more have already hit that point.

This linked article below is 18 months old but there is a chart here that shows where Russia's oil is coming from. Notice only a tiny part is coming from Eastern Siberia, the hope for Russia's oil future. Those hopes are fading fast.

The Worrying Truth About Russia's Oil Industry EULENSPIEGEL IGNORED 06/29/2021 at 6:32 am

As I have written a few months ago: When you reduce output voluntarily for a longer time, all the nickel nursers from accounting and controlling will cut you any investing in over capacity you can't use at the moment. That works like this in any industry.

So you have to drill these additional infills and extensions after the cut is liftet. And this will take time, while fighting against the ever lasting decline.

[Jul 03, 2021] Larry Summers Sees 5% Inflation At The End Of 2021

Notable quotes:
"... This is not the first time Summers has predicted that the firehose of fiscal and monetary stimulus will unleash soaring inflation. While career economists at the White House and Fed - who have peasants doing their purchases for them - urge Americans to ignore the current hyperinflation episode, saying that the recent inflation surge will soon pass, Summers has been unique among his fellow Democrats in predicting that massive monetary and fiscal stimulus alongside the reopening of the economy would spark considerable price pressures. ..."
"... Asked how financial markets may behave in the rest of 2021, Summers said "there will probably be more turbulence" as traders react to faster inflation by pushing up bond yields. "We've got a lot of processing ahead of us in markets," he said. ..."
Jul 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

It may not be quite hyperinflation - loosely defined as pricing rising at a double-digit clip or higher - but if former Treasury Secretary and erstwhile democrat Larry Summers is right, it will be halfway there in about six months.

One day after Bank of America warned that the coming "hyperinflation" will last at least 2 and as much as 4 years - whether or not one defines that as transitory depends on whether one has a Federal Reserve charge card to fund all purchases in the next 4 years - Larry Summers, who is this close from being excommunicated from the Democrat party, predicted inflation will be running "pretty close" to 5% at the end of this year and that bond yields will rise as a result over the rest of 2021.

Considering that consumer prices already jumped 5% in May from the previous year, his forecast is not much of a shock.

Speaking on Bloomberg TV, Summers said that "my guess is that at the end of the year inflation will, for this year, come out pretty close to 5%," adding that "it would surprise me if we had 5% inflation with no effect on inflation expectations." If he is right, the recent reversal in one-year inflation expectations which dipped from 4.6% to 4.2% according to the latest UMich consumer sentiment survey, is about to surge to new secular highs.

This is not the first time Summers has predicted that the firehose of fiscal and monetary stimulus will unleash soaring inflation. While career economists at the White House and Fed - who have peasants doing their purchases for them - urge Americans to ignore the current hyperinflation episode, saying that the recent inflation surge will soon pass, Summers has been unique among his fellow Democrats in predicting that massive monetary and fiscal stimulus alongside the reopening of the economy would spark considerable price pressures.

Asked how financial markets may behave in the rest of 2021, Summers said "there will probably be more turbulence" as traders react to faster inflation by pushing up bond yields. "We've got a lot of processing ahead of us in markets," he said.

Ironically, Summers - who now teaches at Harvard University whose president he was not too long ago when he hung out with his buddy Jeffrey Epstein...


Plus Size Model 5 hours ago (Edited)

Exactly!! Not only that, it's not just the FED that is contributing to inflation. We can also blame the SEC and the DOJ. I've never seen a Zero Hedge article blaming stock price appreciation or buybacks for causing inflation or increasing the money supply. The DOJ never enforces antitrust laws. The FBI never investigates money laundering from overseas that creates artificial real estate appreciation that inflates the money supply when people take out HELOC. There are other oversight bodies that, in a sane world, would not allow foreign investment in real estate. Bitcoin and others are a new tool that is being used to manipulate the money supply. It's comical how coins always go down when the little guys are holding the bag and go up when Coinbase executives want to cash out.

Another thing, this artificial chip shortage, punitive tariffs, and new tax laws are also adding to price increases.

Totally_Disillusioned 1 hour ago

Speculative investments have NEVER been included in the forumulation of CPI that determines inflation rate.

Revolution_starts_now 6 hours ago

Larry Summers is a tool.

gregga777 5 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Banksters in 2010's: We've got to revise how we calculate inflation again to conceal it from the Rubes.

Banksters in 2020: Ho Lee Fuk! Gun the QE engine! Pedal to the metal! Monetize all of the Federal government's debt! Keep those stonks zooming upwards!

Banksters in 2021: Ho Lee Fuk! The Rubes have caught onto our game! Gun the QE engine! Keep that pedal to the metal! Maybe the Rubes won't notice housing prices going up 20% per year?

Summer 2021: Ho Lee Fuk! They are noticing Inflation! We'd better revise how we calculate inflation again to conceal it from the Rubes.

[Jul 03, 2021] Plato oil, Abu Dabi edition

Jul 03, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

POLLUX IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 5:42 am

Adnoc imposes deeper cuts to September crude exports

"Abu Dhabi's state-owned Adnoc has informed customers that it will implement cuts of around 15pc to client nominations of all its crude exports loading in September, even as the Opec+ coalition considers further relaxing production quotas.

It was unclear why Adnoc is deepening reductions for its September-loading term crude exports, with the decision coming ahead of the next meeting of Opec+ ministers scheduled for 1 July when the group is expected to decide on its production strategy for at least one month"

[Jul 03, 2021] The Fed Faces The Greatest Risk In Its History- An Economic Crisis Accompanied By Inflation - ZeroHedge

Jul 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The Fed Faces The Greatest Risk In Its History: An Economic Crisis Accompanied By Inflation BY TYLER DURDEN SUNDAY, JUN 27, 2021 - 11:58 AM

From Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management

The fed funds rate was 9.75% when I arrived in the pit, Chicago 1989. US GDP that year was 3.7%, unemployment 5.4%, and inflation 4.6%. But the S&L crisis was widening, as they do. So the Fed cut rates 75bps. Back then, the Fed certainly didn't signal its intentions. In fact, the Fed neither confirmed nor denied what changes it made to interest rates even after it made them. Unimaginable, right? So we had to guess Fed policy changes by observing what happened in money markets. I obviously didn't understand any of it, after all, I was an economics major.

The S&P 500 loved that 75bp rate cut more than it feared the S&L crisis, so stocks took out the 1987 peak, making new highs in the autumn of '89. There was still tons of brain damage from '87, and traders are notorious for being superstitious, so the pit was nervy that October. When the S&P plunged -6% out of the blue on October 13th, the trading pit went utterly berserk. I was so happy in that market mayhem. Soon enough, the Fed cut rates another 75bps. The S&P 500 grinded back up through the end of my first year, but never made new highs.

me title=

Pause Unmute Duration 0:33 / Current Time 0:06 Loaded : 40.09% Fullscreen Up Next

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.469.0_en.html#goog_756093940 Wall Street Bounces, After Selloff Fed Boosts Liquidity NOW PLAYING SoftBank Said to Plan $14 Billion Sale of Alibaba Shares China's Companies Have Worst Quarter on Record, Beige Book Says U.S.-Saudi Oil Alliance Under Consideration, Brouillette Says ETF Volumes Surge in Current Market Environment Investors Have Given Up on a V-Shaped Recovery, BNY's Young Cautions

Despite the 150bps of rate cuts in 1989, and the record S&P highs, the economy soon entered a recession. The Fed kept cutting rates for a couple years, ending at an impossibly low rate of 3.00% in Feb 1992. US GDP was 3.5%, unemployment 7.4% and inflation was 2.9%. I had made my way to London that year as a prop trader, just in time for the Exchange Rate Mechanism collapse. The Europeans had created a system to ensure stability, certainty. And this naturally encouraged traders and investors to build massive leveraged investment positions.

When systems designed to ensure stability fail, which they inevitably do when applied to things as unstable as economies, the consequences are profound. As Europe worked through its ERM collapse, Greenspan held fed funds at 3.00% for what seemed an eternity. No one could understand anything he ever said, so you can't blame him for promising certainty, stability. But people see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear, believe what they want to believe. And soon, folks discovered how to make money by betting rates would never change, much as they had bet on stability and certainty ahead of the ERM collapse.

US GDP in 1994 was 4.0%, unemployment was 5.5% and inflation 2.7%. Greenspan hiked rates 25bps to 3.25% in Feb 1994. Employment gains had been on a tear, and yet, somehow no one expected that rate hike. Naturally, he hadn't pre-signaled a change. The bond market collapsed . Most people don't think bond markets can crash, but that's only because they haven't traded long enough to live through one. Like all crashes, that one happened for all sorts of complex reasons, but the biggest was that the system was highly leveraged to a certain future.

Each interest rate cycle has been different of course. Over the decades, the Fed became increasingly transparent. That transformation was surely well-intended, seeking to reduce the risk of creating crises like that '94 crash. But it is impossible to create certainty without also increasing fragility - that's how markets work . As the system became more fragile, it required increasingly aggressive Fed intervention with each downturn. The process has been reflexive. Now markets move based on what policy changes the Fed says it may make in 18-30 months.

* * *

Anecdote :

Congress mandated that the Federal Reserve promote maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates. That was in 1978. Unsurprisingly, the nation was reeling from years of high unemployment, rapidly inflating prices, and soaring long-term interest rates. In the decades since, the Fed has done a remarkably good job at meeting their specific mandate. But like all systems built to create certainty, stability, it has simultaneously produced profound fragility. This is most clearly seen in the need for ever more dramatic monetary interventions with each cyclical downturn.

Less obvious is the rising political fragility which is increasingly destabilizing the nation . Having tasked the Fed with producing economic prosperity by any monetary means necessary, our politicians then stepped away. They stopped governing effectively, fanned the flames of animosity, shielded from the adverse economic consequences of their dereliction of duty.

In each economic crisis, it was the Fed that provided leadership, forestalling collapse, but at a compounding cost. Now the nation approaches a point of peak economic and political fragility . And while it is easy to condemn the Fed for having enabled the decades of dysfunction, it is the political system that must bear the blame. But no matter, the Fed must soldier on, like a magnificent machine, attempting the impossible, delivering certainty without fragility, spinning ever faster to stand still.

And the greatest risk it now faces in meeting its mandate is an economic crisis accompanied by inflation. Such a crisis would force it to choose between a return to orthodox policy and the consequent defaults that would devastate asset prices, or a currency collapse and runaway inflation that rebalances the value of our assets and liabilities. Without a determined improvement in our politics, it is increasingly likely that we must endure the latter, followed by the former. And this drama will surely play out in the decade ahead.

[Jul 02, 2021] Mom details 12-year-old daughter's extreme reactions to COVID vaccine, says she's now in wheelchair

Notable quotes:
"... De Garay explained that after receiving the second coronavirus vaccine dose, her daughter started developing severe abdominal and chest pains. Maddie described the severity of the pain to her mother as "it feels like my heart is being ripped out through my neck." ..."
"... The Ohio mother added her daughter experienced additional symptoms that included gastroparesis, nausea, vomiting, erratic blood pressure, heart rate, and memory loss. "She still cannot digest food. She has a tube to get her nutrition," De Garay said to Carlson. "She also couldn't walk at one point, then she could I don't understand why and [physicians] are not looking into why...now she's back in a wheelchair and she can't hold her neck up. Her neck pulls back." ..."
"... De Garay said she had joined a Facebook support group to help people cope with the unexpected events happening from the coronavirus vaccine trial, and she said it was shut down. "It's just not right," she said. ..."
"... Sen. Ron Johnson , R-Wis., has sent letters to the CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna seeking answers about adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine following a June 28 press conference with affected individuals. The conference in Milwaukee included stories from five people, including De Garay ..."
"... The Wisconsin senator noted that some adverse reactions were detailed in Pfizer's and Moderna's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) memorandums following early clinical trials ..."
"... Those reactions included nervous system disorders and musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders for the Pfizer EUA memo. The Moderna EUA memo included reactions such as nervous system disorders, vascular disorders and musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders, according to Johnson's letter. ..."
"... You missed the whole point! The issue is that the government is not acknowledging and and not reporting these side effects of the vaccine. Instead they are lying about the safety. If you are young, you are much more likely to get sick and injured by the vaccine than COVID. ..."
"... anyone under 25 should not get the vaccine because the percentages are about the same or worse having a negative impact from the vaccine versus the actual virus. ..."
"... With the Covid19 mortality rate among the children why even vaccinate? As a Chemist / Biochemist I learned that there is always unintended consequences. ..."
"... Vaccines may have long term effects that are not known today. ..."
"... The CDC's generic guidelines for getting a vaccine for any reason are very restrictive, first being, the disease you're getting vaccinated against has to pose a real, immediate danger. CV-19 poses virtually no danger whatsoever to kids under 14. Of all the deaths of children 14 and under in the last 18 months only .8% of them had a case of CV-19. That's 367 deaths out of over 46,000. (Data from CDC website) Forcing them to take an experimental vaccine that they absolutely don't need is criminal. As a parent, allowing your child to take the vaccine without spending a few hours doing some research is criminally negligent. This is like some terribly warped Kafka novel but it's real. ..."
Jul 02, 2021 | www.foxnews.com

Mom details 12-year-old daughter's extreme reactions to COVID vaccine, says she's now in wheelchair Stephanie De Garay shares story with Tucker Carlson By Stephanie Giang-Paunon | Fox News Facebook Twitter Flipboard Comments Print Email

https://static.foxnews.com/static/orion/html/video/iframe/vod.html?v=20210701170943#uid=fnc-embed-1 Mom describes daughter's bad COVID vaccine reaction, says she's now in wheelchair

Mother Stephanie De Garay joins 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' to discuss how her 12-year-old daughter volunteered for the Pfizer vaccine trial and is now in a wheelchair.

An Ohio mother is speaking out about her 12-year-old daughter suffering extreme reactions and nearly dying after volunteering for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine trial.

Stephanie De Garay told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Thursday that after reaching out to multiple physicians they claimed her daughter, Maddie De Garay, couldn't have become gravely ill from the vaccine.

"The only diagnosis we've gotten for her is that it's conversion disorder or functional neurologic symptom disorder, and they are blaming it on anxiety," De Garay told Tucker Carlson. "Ironically, she did not have anxiety before the vaccine."

De Garay explained that after receiving the second coronavirus vaccine dose, her daughter started developing severe abdominal and chest pains. Maddie described the severity of the pain to her mother as "it feels like my heart is being ripped out through my neck."

Video

The Ohio mother added her daughter experienced additional symptoms that included gastroparesis, nausea, vomiting, erratic blood pressure, heart rate, and memory loss. "She still cannot digest food. She has a tube to get her nutrition," De Garay said to Carlson. "She also couldn't walk at one point, then she could I don't understand why and [physicians] are not looking into why...now she's back in a wheelchair and she can't hold her neck up. Her neck pulls back."

Carlson asked whether any officials from the Biden administration or representatives from Pfizer company have reached out to the family. "No, they have not," she answered.

"The response with the person that's leading the vaccine trial has been atrocious," she said. "We wanted to know what symptoms were reported and we couldn't even get an answer on that. It was just that 'we report to Pfizer and they report to the FDA.' That's all we got."

After her heartbreaking experience, the Ohio mother said she's still "pro-vaccine, but also pro-informed consent." De Garay mentioned she's speaking out because she feels like everyone should be fully aware of this tragic incident and added the situation is being "pushed down and hidden."

De Garay said she had joined a Facebook support group to help people cope with the unexpected events happening from the coronavirus vaccine trial, and she said it was shut down. "It's just not right," she said.

"They need to do research and figure out why this happened, especially to people in the trial. I thought that was the point of it," De Garay concluded. "They need to come up with something that's going to treat these people early because all they're going to do is keep getting worse."

Sen. Ron Johnson , R-Wis., has sent letters to the CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna seeking answers about adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine following a June 28 press conference with affected individuals. The conference in Milwaukee included stories from five people, including De Garay.

The Wisconsin senator noted that some adverse reactions were detailed in Pfizer's and Moderna's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) memorandums following early clinical trials.

Those reactions included nervous system disorders and musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders for the Pfizer EUA memo. The Moderna EUA memo included reactions such as nervous system disorders, vascular disorders and musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders, according to Johnson's letter.

Pfizer and Moderna did not immediately respond to inquiries from Fox News about Johnson's letters.

J jeff5150357 6 hours ago

My daughter had the same thing happen to her after getting a flu vaccine 9 years ago. Within days of getting it, she went from being as healthy as an ox to years of awful, unexplained illness. The short version is they concluded that she had a severe adverse reaction to the vaccine, but from the delivery chemicals, not the flu content itself. Formaldehyde was the likely major cause. Now she is getting ready to begin college and is being required to get the Covid vaccine by her university and the NCAA for athletics. It is causing her, my wife and I horrible anxiety and we feel like we are being railroaded into something that could be very dangerous for her. Any discussion or concern expressed on social media is immediately blocked. I know from years of working in the research grants office at Yale University that the big pharma industry is powerful and will go to great lengths to control the narrative. What I don't understand is why mainstream media and social media are so willing to help them these days!

jeff5150357 4 hours ago

While the college experience is great for a young adult. I would look at getting a degree online. Her future earnings will be based on her merit, not where she went to school. If someone was telling me what to do with my personal health, and I was uncomfortable with their prescription, I would follow my instincts.

LoraJane92649 jeff5150357 5 hours ago

If her flu vax is well documented she should be able to get a waiver. Hopefully you have an able bodied family physician or medical team to advocate on your behalf.

G gunvald 7 hours ago

You know when you take it that there can be adverse reactions. So, in that sense, you are informed. Any one of us could be the odd person. That said, I have a problem with any child getting these vaccines, especially when most people recover from the disease. It's one thing for me as an elderly person to make the decision to take it as covid affects the elderly person more and I wanted to avoid that ventilator. Most of my life has been lived and that's how I evaluated it. This will always come down to putting it in God's hands.

TheTruthAsItIs gunvald 6 hours ago

You missed the whole point! The issue is that the government is not acknowledging and and not reporting these side effects of the vaccine. Instead they are lying about the safety. If you are young, you are much more likely to get sick and injured by the vaccine than COVID.

D DontDestoryUSA gunvald 4 hours ago

It's not being informed when you are forced to take a vaccination that they clearly had trouble with past vaccination sounds like a lawsuit for the university is on the horizon. With a big pay day

Tony5SFG 7 hours ago

"Ohio mother said she's still "pro-vaccine, but also pro-informed consent." " And as a pediatrician for over 40 yrs (retired now) and a 10 year member of my medical school's Institutional Review Board (which had to approve all human research), THAT is a problem I have been bringing up As far as requiring all young people, such as entering or in college, to get the vaccine Children are a protected class and the informed consent for research on them is much more strenuous than for adults And, requiring young people to take these new vaccines is the equivalent of doing research on them. The issue of myocarditis is quite troubling. And while it has been seen in natural infections, I have not yet seen an adequate risk - benefit evaluation regarding risking natural infection versus vaccination And people say that the myocarditis is not severe, no one can be sure of the long term effects of a young person getting it. The vaccines that we give children have been used for decades and the risks/benefits have been well established

D DallasAmEmail Tony5SFG 6 hours ago

A friends daughter who just went through internship as Physicians assistant based on the percentages in age groups believes anyone under 25 should not get the vaccine because the percentages are about the same or worse having a negative impact from the vaccine versus the actual virus. Yes, older age groups the percent having negative impact from the virus is much greater than the vaccine, so yes older age groups should get the vaccine. What really is bothersome is when Youtube removes Dr. Robert Malone video who helped create the mrna vaccine express concern that normal testing has not happened and be cautious about taking it, especially for the young.

marinesfather601 Tony5SFG 5 hours ago

With the Covid19 mortality rate among the children why even vaccinate? As a Chemist / Biochemist I learned that there is always unintended consequences.

Hilltopper9 7 hours ago

Vaccines may have long term effects that are not known today. The same could be said of all the chemicals we apply to our body daily through shampoos, hair dyes, body lotions, and suntan lotions. Life's a gamble. It's up to each individual to make the best decisions possible given the facts available.

A akbushrat Hilltopper9 6 hours ago

The CDC's generic guidelines for getting a vaccine for any reason are very restrictive, first being, the disease you're getting vaccinated against has to pose a real, immediate danger. CV-19 poses virtually no danger whatsoever to kids under 14. Of all the deaths of children 14 and under in the last 18 months only .8% of them had a case of CV-19. That's 367 deaths out of over 46,000. (Data from CDC website) Forcing them to take an experimental vaccine that they absolutely don't need is criminal. As a parent, allowing your child to take the vaccine without spending a few hours doing some research is criminally negligent. This is like some terribly warped Kafka novel but it's real.

F Fauxguy930 Hilltopper9 5 hours ago

☢️ N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl)nitrosamine is a nitrosamine that has butyl and 4-hydroxybutyl substituents. In mice, it causes high-grade, invasive cancers in the urinary bladder, but not in any other tissues. It has a role as a carcinogenic agent. Ingredient in all shots. How did a carcinogen get FDA approved, oh it was an emergency.

R RussellRika 6 hours ago

I have a twelve year old, and not a chance I'd allow her to volunteer for any vaccine trial, and especially not this one. She very much wanted to get a vaccine, until she started reading about some of the adverse reactions. Sorry, but I'm a child, the benefit does not outweigh the risk.

MrEd50 6 hours ago

I took the vaccine because I'm 60 years old and work with special ed kids. My 18 year old child refuses to take it and I support him on this. COVID shouldn't be an issue for most of us.

[Jun 26, 2021] There Is No Labor Shortage, Only Labor Exploitation and burning desire not to spend money on training by Sonali Kolhatkar

Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, economists and analysts have gotten used to presenting facts from the perspective of private employers and their lobbyists. The American public is expected to sympathize more with the plight of wealthy business owners who can't find workers to fill their low-paid positions, instead of with unemployed workers who might be struggling to make ends meet. ..."
"... West Virginia's Republican Governor Jim Justice justified ending federal jobless benefits early in his state by lecturing his residents on how, "America is all about work. That's what has made this great country." Interestingly, Justice owns a resort that couldn't find enough low-wage workers to fill jobs. Notwithstanding a clear conflict of interest in cutting jobless benefits, the Republican politician is now enjoying the fruits of his own political actions as his resort reports greater ease in filling positions with desperate workers whose lifeline he cut off. ..."
Jun 12, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

For the past few months, Republicans have been waging a ferocious political battle to end federal unemployment benefits, based upon stated desires of saving the U.S. economy from a serious labor shortage. The logic, in the words of Republican politicians like Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, goes like this: "the government pays folks more to stay home than to go to work," and therefore, "[p]aying people not to work is not helpful." The conservative Wall Street Journal has been beating the drum for the same argument, saying recently that it was a " terrible blunder " to pay jobless benefits to unemployed workers.

If the hyperbolic claims are to be believed, one might imagine American workers are luxuriating in the largesse of taxpayer-funded payments, thumbing their noses at the earnest "job creators" who are taking far more seriously the importance of a post-pandemic economic growth spurt.

It is true that there are currently millions of jobs going unfilled. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics just released statistics showing that there were 9.3 million job openings in April and that the percentage of layoffs decreased while resignations increased. Taking these statistics at face value, one could conclude this means there is a labor shortage.

But, as economist Heidi Shierholz explained in a New York Times op-ed , there is only a labor shortage if employers raise wages to match worker demands and subsequently still face a shortage of workers. Shierholz wrote, "When those measures [of raising wages] don't result in a substantial increase in workers, that's a labor shortage. Absent that dynamic, you can rest easy."

Remember the subprime mortgage housing crisis of 2008 when economists and pundits blamed low-income homeowners for wanting to purchase homes they could not afford? Perhaps this is the labor market's way of saying, if you can't afford higher salaries, you shouldn't expect to fill jobs.

Or, to use the logic of another accepted capitalist argument, employers could liken the job market to the surge pricing practices of ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft. After consumers complained about hiked-up prices for rides during rush hour, Uber explained , "With surge pricing, Uber rates increase to get more cars on the road and ensure reliability during the busiest times. When enough cars are on the road, prices go back down to normal levels." Applying this logic to the labor market, workers might be saying to employers: "When enough dollars are being offered in wages, the number of job openings will go back down to normal levels." In other words, workers are surge-pricing the cost of their labor.

But corporate elites are loudly complaining that the sky is falling -- not because of a real labor shortage, but because workers are less likely now to accept low-wage jobs. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce insists that "[t]he worker shortage is real," and that it has risen to the level of a "national economic emergency" that "poses an imminent threat to our fragile recovery and America's great resurgence." In the Chamber's worldview, workers, not corporate employers who refuse to pay better, are the main obstacle to the U.S.'s economic recovery.

Longtime labor organizer and senior scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies Bill Fletcher Jr. explained to me in an email interview that claims of a labor shortage are an exaggeration and that, actually, "we suffered a minor depression and not another great recession," as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In Fletcher's view, "The so-called labor shortage needs to be understood as the result of tremendous employment reorganization, including the collapse of industries and companies."

Furthermore, according to Fletcher, the purveyors of the "labor shortage" myth are not accounting for "the collapse of daycare and the impact on women and families, and a continued fear associated with the pandemic."

He's right. As one analyst put it, "The rotten seed of America's disinvestment in child care has finally sprouted." Such factors have received little attention by the purveyors of the labor shortage myth -- perhaps because acknowledging real obstacles like care work requires thinking of workers as real human beings rather than cogs in a capitalist machine.

Indeed, economists and analysts have gotten used to presenting facts from the perspective of private employers and their lobbyists. The American public is expected to sympathize more with the plight of wealthy business owners who can't find workers to fill their low-paid positions, instead of with unemployed workers who might be struggling to make ends meet.

Already, jobless benefits were slashed to appallingly low levels after Republicans reduced a $600-a-week payment authorized by the CARES Act to a mere $300 a week , which works out to $7.50 an hour for full-time work. If companies cannot compete with this exceedingly paltry sum, their position is akin to a customer demanding to a car salesperson that they have the right to buy a vehicle for a below-market-value sticker price (again, capitalist logic is a worthwhile exercise to showcase the ludicrousness of how lawmakers and their corporate beneficiaries are responding to the state of the labor market).

Remarkably, although federal jobless benefits are funded through September 2021, more than two dozen Republican-run states are choosing to end them earlier. Not only will this impact the bottom line for millions of people struggling to make ends meet, but it will also undermine the stimulus impact that this federal aid has on the economies of states when jobless workers spend their federal dollars on necessities. Conservatives are essentially engaged in an ideological battle over government benefits, which, in their view, are always wrong unless they are going to the already privileged (remember the GOP's 2017 tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy?).

The GOP has thumbed its nose at federal benefits for residents before. In order to underscore their ideological opposition to the Affordable Care Act, recall how Republican governors eschewed billions of federal dollars to fund Medicaid expansion. These conservative ideologues chose to let their own voters suffer the consequences of turning down federal aid in service of their political opposition to Obamacare. And they're doing the same thing now.

At the same time as headlines are screaming about a catastrophic worker shortage that could undermine the economy, stories abound of how American billionaires paid peanuts in income taxes according to newly released documents, even as their wealth multiplied to extraordinary levels. The obscenely wealthy are spending their mountains of cash on luxury goods and fulfilling childish fantasies of space travel . The juxtaposition of such a phenomenon alongside the conservative claim that jobless benefits are too generous is evidence that we are indeed in a "national economic emergency" -- just not of the sort that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants us to believe.

West Virginia's Republican Governor Jim Justice justified ending federal jobless benefits early in his state by lecturing his residents on how, "America is all about work. That's what has made this great country." Interestingly, Justice owns a resort that couldn't find enough low-wage workers to fill jobs. Notwithstanding a clear conflict of interest in cutting jobless benefits, the Republican politician is now enjoying the fruits of his own political actions as his resort reports greater ease in filling positions with desperate workers whose lifeline he cut off.

When lawmakers earlier this year debated the Raise the Wage Act , which would have increased the federal minimum wage, Republicans wagged their fingers in warning, saying higher wages would put companies out of business. Opponents of that failed bill claimed that if forced to pay $15 an hour, employers would hire fewer people, close branches, or perhaps shut down altogether, which we were told would ultimately hurt workers.

Now, we are being told another story: that companies actually do need workers and won't simply reduce jobs, close branches, or shut down and that the government therefore needs to stop competing with their ultra-low wages to save the economy. The claim that businesses would no longer be profitable if they are forced to increase wages is undermined by one multibillion-dollar fact: corporations are raking in record-high profits and doling them out to shareholders and executives. They can indeed afford to offer greater pay, and when they do, it turns out there is no labor shortage .

American workers are at a critically important juncture at this moment. Corporate employers seem to be approaching a limit of how far they can push workers to accept poverty-level jobs. According to Fletcher, "This moment provides opportunities to raise wage demands, but it must be a moment where workers organize in order to sustain and pursue demands for improvements in their living and working conditions."

Sonali Kolhatkar is the founder, host and executive producer of "Rising Up With Sonali," a television and radio show that airs on Free Speech TV and Pacifica stations. She is a writing fellow for the Economy for All project at the Independent Media Institute. This article was produced by Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute.

[Jun 26, 2021] Paul Tudor Jones Says Inflation risk isn't transitory and that Economic Orthodoxy Has Turned Upside Down

Jun 14, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Paul Tudor Jones said economic orthodoxy has been turned upside down with the Federal Reserve focused on unemployment even as inflation and financial stability are growing concerns.

Inflation risk isn't transitory, the hedge fund manager said in an interview on CNBC.

If the Fed says the U.S. economy is on the right path, "then I would go all in on the inflation trade, buy commodities, crypto and gold," he said. "If they course correct, you will get a taper tantrum and a sell off in fixed income and a correction in stocks.

[Jun 26, 2021] The End of Faucism is Nigh as Democrats Ditch the Doctor by JD Rucker

"Objective judgement is our jugement about the people we do not like ;-)"
In view of the fact that Delta (Indian) variant can infect vaccinated with the first generation of vaccines people Fauci statement "when you get vaccinated, you not only protect your own health, that of the family, but also you contribute to the community health by preventing the spread of the virus throughout the community." i obviously wrong. Delta Covid-19 Variant Can Infect Vaccinated People
See also Delta variant infected two Orange County residents who were fully vaccinated - Orlando Sentinel and Just 26 fully vaccinated people have died from Delta variant
May 16, 2021 | freedomfirstnetwork.com

Those who don't get their news from mainstream media have been aware of Anthony Fauci's connection to "gain of function" research for months. Now, mainstream media is picking it up so the White House is scrambling.

For months, there wasn't a day that went by when Dr. Anthony Fauci wasn't doing multiple interviews spreading fear of Covid-19, demanding people take the various "vaccines," and changing his talking points from moment to moment on a slew of healthcare-related issues. We saw a clear change last week when the White House's chief doc seemed to fly under the radar for the first time since Joe Biden took office.

It all comes down to "gain of function" research that is almost certainly the cause of the Wuhan Flu. Developed in the Wuhan Virology Lab, Covid-19 either escaped or was intentionally released. While many in academia still hold onto the notion that the pandemic was started by bats, they do so simply because it hasn't -- and likely cannot -- be completely ruled out as long as the Chinese Communist Party has a say in the matter. But many are now accepting the likelihood that it came from the Wuhan Virology Lab as a result of "gain of function" research.

We also now know that Fauci has been a huge proponent of this research and he participated in funding it at the Wuhan Virology Lab. More evidence is emerging every day despite the bad doctor's protestations. And when I say "we also now know," that's to say more mainstream media watchers know. Those who turn to alternative media have known about Fauci's involvement with the Wuhan Virology Lab for a while.

They've been trying to cover their tracks. A bombshell revelation from The National Pulse yesterday showed they realized this was going to be a problem long before Rand Paul or Tucker Carlson started calling Fauci out.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology scrubbed the U.S. National Institutes of Health as one of its research partners from its website in early 2021. The revelation comes despite Dr. Anthony Fauci insisting no relationship existed between the institutions.

Archived versions of the Wuhan lab's site also reveal a research update – " Will SARS Come Back? " – appearing to describe gain-of-function research being conducted at the institute by entities funded by Dr. Anthony Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

On March 21st, 2021, the lab's website listed six U.S.-based research partners: University of Alabama, University of North Texas, EcoHealth Alliance, Harvard University, The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the United States, and the National Wildlife Federation.

One day later, the page was revised to contain just two research partners – EcoHealth Alliance and the University of Alabama. By March 23rd, EcoHealth Alliance was the sole partner remaining .

EcoHealth Alliance is run by long-standing Chinese Communist Party-partner Dr. Peter Daszak , who National Pulse Editor-in-Chief Raheem Kassam has repeatedly claimed will be the first "fall guy" of the Wuhan lab debacle.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology's decision to wipe the NIH from its website came amidst heightened scrutiny that the lab was the source of COVID-19 – and that U.S. taxpayer dollars from the NIH may have funded the research. The unearthing of the lab's attempted coverup also follows a heated exchange between Senator Rand Paul and Fauci, who attempted to distance his organization from the Wuhan lab.

Beyond establishing a working relationship between the NIH and the Wuhan Institue of Virology, now-deleted posts from the site also detail studies bearing the hallmarks of gain-of-function research conducted with the Wuhan-based lab. Fauci, however, asserted to Senator Paul that "the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology."

There is still a tremendous gap between those who know the truth about Fauci and those who still think he's just a smart little guy who tells Joe Biden what to do when it comes to Covid. As we've documented multiple times in the past, there seems to be a cult of personality surrounding Fauci, or as many have called it, Faucism. He is practically worshipped as a savior by millions who believe everything he says even if he contradicts something he had said in the past.

Today, he was interviewed on CBS News during "Face the Nation." It was a softball interview, as always, and at no point was "gain of function" research discussed. Instead, John Dickerson tried to sound smart and Fauci gave him kudos in an odd back-and-forth promoting vaccines.

JOHN DICKERSON : So, if- if a person is deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, they have to keep in mind whether it's going to keep them healthy. But based on these new findings, it would suggest they also have an opportunity, if vaccinated, to knock off or block their ability to transmit it to other people. So, does it increase the public health good of getting the vaccination or make that clearer based on these new findings?

DR. FAUCI : And you know, JOHN, you said it very well. I could have said it better. It's absolutely the case. And that's the reason why we say when you get vaccinated, you not only protect your own health, that of the family, but also you contribute to the community health by preventing the spread of the virus throughout the community. And in other words, you become a dead end to the virus. And when there are a lot of dead ends around, the virus is not going to go anywhere. And that's when you get a point that you have a markedly diminished rate of infection in the community. And that's exactly the reason, and you said it very well, of why we encourage people and want people to get vaccinated. The more people you get vaccinated, the safer the entire community is.

JOHN DICKERSON : And do you think now that this guidance has come out on relaxing the mass mandates if you've been vaccinated, that people who might have been hesitant before will start to get vaccinated in greater numbers?

DR. FAUCI : You know, I hope so, JOHN. The underlying reason for the CDC doing this was just based on the evolution of the science that I mentioned a moment ago. But if, in fact, this serves as an incentive for people to get vaccinated, all the better. I hope it does, actually.

Don't let the presence of this interview fool you. It was almost certainly scheduled before the "gain of function" research discussion hit the mainstream. But as Revolver News reported today, we should start seeing less and less of Fauci going forward.

What happened to the almighty Dr. Fauci? Last week he was on TV telling all of us that life wouldn't get back to normal for at least another year or so, and this week he's pretty much gone. So what happened?

Well, a lot, actually. The biggest turn for Fauci involves 3 little words: Gain of Function. It was this past week when the "gain of function" dots were publicly connected to the good doctor. This is nothing new for those of us on the right. Here on Revolver, we've covered Fauci's gain of function research extensively and the evidence against him is very damning.

A couple of months ago Fox News Host Steve Hilton blew the lid off of Fauci's macabre obsession (and funding) of research involving the manipulation of highly contagious viruses. Hilton laid the groundwork, but it was Senator Rand Paul who called out Fauci and his ghoulish research face to face during a Senate hearing.

But even more notable, is that the CDC just updated their guidelines on mask-wearing and essentially ended the pandemic -- a pandemic that Fauci has been the proud face of for over a year now -- and when that announcement hit, he was nowhere to be found. And his absence didn't go unnoticed.

Yes indeed, you'd think that Fauci would have been front and center to discuss the CDC's new guidelines the moment the news hit. The "Golden Boy" taking yet another victory lap. After all, Fauci never misses a moment in the spotlight. But he was not hitting the airwaves with the typical fanfare.

It is still very possible that Fauci can make a resurgence. His fan-base is up there with Meghan Markle and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, though even more devoted than the divas'. Unlike other useful idiots, the White House will not be able to detach easily from Fauci, nor do they want to. At this point, they're telling him to lay low and avoid any interviews in which they do not have complete control over the "journalist" involved. John Dickerson has been a Democrat Party pawn for decades.

Behind the scenes, they're already planning on ditching him. It will be done with all the pomp one would expect for one of their heroes and will be used to mark the end of the "emergency" in the United States. He'll still be promoting vaccines and will try to stay in his precious limelight, but Democrats are ready to move on and open up the country. It has just been too politically suicidal to persist with their lockdown mentality.

The key to seeing Fauci's narcissistic reign end is for patriots to continue to hammer him on his involvement with developing Covid-19. His beloved "gain of function research" needs to be explained to any who will listen. Then, maybe, Fauci will go away.

... ... ...

[Jun 26, 2021] The Racism Of Low Expectations

Sounds like a great book for Tucker to recommend to that Army Chief of Staff!
Notable quotes:
"... I call it ROLE -- The Racism Of Low Expectations. This phenomenon has done ten times more to damage Black lives than can be attributed to CRT or institutionalized racism. ..."
"... A subset of ROLE is MVT. This is Manufactured Victimhood Theory. This comes about from influential Black "leaders" who, instead of teaching Blacks the truth about how to live good lives (work hard, develop skills, etc.), they told them to apply as their life strategy "say you are a victim." ..."
Jun 26, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Cindy Fryman 4 hours ago

Recently the Joint Chiefs of Staff remarked that the US military should teach CTR to our military essentially because they shoild teach all theories.

That doesn't make sense to me but I would like to put another theory into the public sphere. I call it ROLE -- The Racism Of Low Expectations. This phenomenon has done ten times more to damage Black lives than can be attributed to CRT or institutionalized racism.

A subset of ROLE is MVT. This is Manufactured Victimhood Theory. This comes about from influential Black "leaders" who, instead of teaching Blacks the truth about how to live good lives (work hard, develop skills, etc.), they told them to apply as their life strategy "say you are a victim."

I am hoping that ROLE and MVT will become part of all aspects of American life -- all levels of education, the military, businesses, the media, etc.

If the goal really is to improve Black lives, ROLE and MVT should be the rage over the next few years.

Tom F

John Callahan 4 hours ago
Corporate America 'makes money critiquing itself.' The rest of us pay the price in diminished freedom.
Wokeism is fascism dressed up in new clothes- the censorship, demonization of groups and individuals and the physical violence against people and property remain the same. Corporate America has one overriding interest- making money. Paying the left (and yes, fascism is of the left) through critiquing itself and token monetary donations is a get out of jail free card for Corporate America.

"Capitalism knows only one color: that color is green; all else is necessarily subservient to it, hence, race, gender and ethnicity cannot be considered within it."
- Thomas Sowell

Dom Fried 4 hours ago
It will end the same. Almost, because there will be nobody to stop it.
Ed Baron 3 hours ago
Very well said, John. Fascism is a fundamental element or subset of Leftist or Marxist thought. It demands conformity of the individual to the new "woke" state and it punishes any who dissent. It's not incidental that American Leftists, including FDR, loved Mussolini prior to WWII. That bromance has been washed clean, and attributed instead to the Right. Such a typical transference technique used by Marxist.
Alex Guiness
I interpret your supposition 'White male global warming', as meaning White Males are particularly flatulent hence are producing Green House Gases with their diets of greasy meats (some on sticks), carnival funnel cakes, corn dogs, Philly cheese-steaks, Popeyes fried chicken, all washed down with Bud Light. Would it kill them to have a salad now and then? How can their spouses stand to be around them unless they are also consuming the same foods. Imagine what it must be like at a sermon in a Lutheran Church, the whitest church of all. They leave the doors open else a spark could set the whole place ablaze.
carol Perry
Thanks for today's chuckle Alex.
Alex Guiness
read my smurfs comment. i just posted it
Lynn Silton
Mr. Ramaswamy is right in every way! I don't belong to the Woke Church. I'll never join. America is an inspirational country as is all it's written declarations. We, the people rule. No religion can overrule it. We will not allow religious 'honor killings.' They are murder here. We will not allow Wokism here it is the murder of our hopes and dreams which belong to everybody regardless of appearance. I don't even know how appearance (of all things) became a religion. The whole thing is so sick, people of all shades are speaking out and we will put this crazy idea down. Here, we marry across all appearances. New people are often different in appearance than parents. Woke will die of that alone. That's why we have an immigration 'problem' . People love our constitution and Declaration of Independence. People love that they rule here, not the government. That's our creed and promise. Help protect it!!

[Jun 26, 2021] VAERS data

Jun 23, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

boyplunger7777 13 hours ago remove link

VAERS data: "5,888 deaths", "19,597 hospitalizations", "43,891 urgent care", "58,800 office visits", "1,459 anaphylaxis", "1,737 Bell's palsy", "2,190 heart attacks" and "652 miscarriages". CDC says data is "unreliable". You choose who to believe.

WarrenLiz 16 hours ago

Over 15,472 dead from Jab in 27 EU countries, about half of Europe's 50 countries.

The EudraVigilance database reports that through June 19, 2021 there are 15,472 deaths and 1,509,266 injuries reported following injections of four experimental COVID-19 shots:

From the total of injuries recorded, half of them (753,657) are serious injuries.

ALL UNNECESSARY...

https://vaccineimpact.com/2021/15472-dead-1-5-million-injured-50-serious-reported-in-european-unions-database-of-adverse-drug-reactions-for-covid-19-shots/

Globalist Overlord 14 hours ago remove link

So between the EU and US there are a confirmed MINIMUM of 21,000 MURDERED by BigPharma and their highly-paid apparatchiks like Fauci and Walensky.

And the public does nothing.

pods 16 hours ago

Graphing VAERS numbers alongside the shot numbers should show abnormalities.

They probably saw the numbers and put the brakes on putting them in the database. So a slope change will be seen in the VAERS data.

They run it so they can do what they want. Public can submit a case, but that doesn't mean it goes into the database. Crooks.

pmc 17 hours ago (Edited)

Tucker Carlson: How many Americans have died after taking the COVID vaccine?

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-how-many-americans-have-died-after-taking-the-covid-vaccine

The answer to Carlson's question is because.. it's a money grabbing death cult!.

Natural immun system is destroyed... just wait till next flu season or the next virus they relase and see what death numbers we see!

racing_flowers 17 hours ago

Isn't it curious that the 3 big pharma Corps (think Vacc pushers) and the big 2 MSM Corps are BOTH controlled by Blackrock Partners Hedge Fund...

Nona Yobiznes 18 hours ago remove link

Them going after the children makes me deeply suspicious. Nobody under 50, unless they're made of blubber, dies from this. In 2020, there was practically zero excess death for people younger than 70 years old in Sweden. These are their official statistics. For the vast majority of people it's basically a flu you get for a couple days and you're over it. What the **** is all this about? If the vaccine is only really good for preventing hospitalizations, and doesn't stop you from spreading or from catching variants, what in the hell are we giving kids vaccines when they are more likely to die from the regular flu? It's freaky, and it stinks.

[Jun 26, 2021] I think we are heading for the confirmation of peak oil sometime between mid 2022 and late 2023

Jun 23, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

OVI IGNORED 06/19/2021 at 8:01 pm

Ron

Enjoy a fourth. I wonder how much production will drop due to Claudette.

I think we are heading for the confirmation of peak oil sometime between mid 2022 and late 2023. REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/19/2021 at 8:16 pm

What do you mean by confirmation? Do you mean they will confirm that the peak was 2018-2019? If so, I cannot agree. No, there will be deniers all the way down. There is something about the human psyche that just cannot accept reality... MATT MUSHALIK IGNORED 06/19/2021 at 8:57 pm

Thanks for continuing to monitor crude oil production. As of now, we are back to 2005 levels!

I have been looking at BP

17/6/2021
BP peak oil (UK decline, asset sales and decommissioning part 2)
https://crudeoilpeak.info/bp-peak-oil-uk-decline-asset-sales-and-decommissioning-part-2

30/4/2021
BP peak oil (UK decline, asset sales and decommissioning part 1)
https://crudeoilpeak.info/bp-peak-oil-uk-decline-asset-sales-and-decommissioning-part-1

Many problems we see are now worse than in any peak oil scenario, especially in the airline industry. So I have been looking at the numbers and found:

22/5/2021
China-Australia passenger traffic has peaked 2018-19 before Covid
https://crudeoilpeak.info/china-australia-passenger-traffic-has-peaked-2018-19-before-covid

It is also generally assumed that electric vehicles will take over.

But in Australia power generation is insufficient to support any number of EVs which would be relevant to reduce oil demand:

14/6/2021
NSW power spot price spikes May 2021 become regular (part 2)
https://crudeoilpeak.info/nsw-power-spot-price-spikes-may-2021-become-regular-part-2

7/6/2021
NSW power spot price spikes May 2021 become regular (part 1)
https://crudeoilpeak.info/nsw-power-spot-price-spikes-may-2021-become-regular-part-1

[Jun 26, 2021] So Much Of What The CIA Used To Do Covertly It Now Does Overtly - ZeroHedge

Jun 22, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

In the later years of an abusive relationship I was in, my abuser had become so confident in how mentally caged he had me that he'd start overtly telling me what he is and what he was doing. He flat-out told me he was a sociopath and a manipulator, trusting that I was so submitted to his will by that point that I'd gaslight myself into reframing those statements in a sympathetic light. Toward the end one time he told me "I am going to rape you," and then he did, and then he talked about it to some friends trusting that I'd run perception management on it for him.

The better he got at psychologically twisting me up in knots and the more submitted I became, the more open he'd be about it. He seemed to enjoy doing this, taking a kind of exhibitionistic delight in showing off his accomplishments at crushing me as a person, both to others and to me. Like it was his art, and he wanted it to have an audience to appreciate it.

me title=

Close 168.1K Pfizer CEO on mRNA Vaccine Creation, R&D, Drug Costs

me scrolling=

I was reminded of this while watching a recent Fox News appearance by Glenn Greenwald where he made an observation we've discussed here previously about the way the CIA used to have to infiltrate the media, but now just openly has US intelligence veterans in mainstream media punditry positions managing public perception.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/jU58mrEpPvU

"If you go and Google, and I hope your viewers do, Operation Mockingbird, what you will find is that during the Cold War these agencies used to plot how to clandestinely manipulate the news media to disseminate propaganda to the American population," Greenwald said .

"They used to try to do it secretly. They don't even do it secretly anymore. They don't need Operation Mockingbird. They literally put John Brennan who works for NBC and James Clapper who works for CNN and tons of FBI agents right on the payroll of these news organizations. They now shape the news openly to manipulate and to deceive the American population."

In 1977 Carl Bernstein published an article titled " The CIA and the Media " reporting that the CIA had covertly infiltrated America's most influential news outlets and had over 400 reporters who it considered assets in a program known as Operation Mockingbird . It was a major scandal, and rightly so. The news media are meant to report truthfully about what happens in the world, not manipulate public perception to suit the agendas of spooks and warmongers.

Nowadays the CIA collaboration happens right out in the open, and the public is too brainwashed and gaslit to even recognize this as scandalous. Immensely influential outlets like The New York Times uncritically pass on CIA disinfo which is then spun as fact by cable news pundits . The sole owner of The Washington Post is a CIA contractor , and WaPo has never once disclosed this conflict of interest when reporting on US intelligence agencies per standard journalistic protocol. Mass media outlets now openly employ intelligence agency veterans like John Brennan, James Clapper, Chuck Rosenberg, Michael Hayden, Frank Figliuzzi, Fran Townsend, Stephen Hall, Samantha Vinograd, Andrew McCabe, Josh Campbell, Asha Rangappa, Phil Mudd, James Gagliano, Jeremy Bash, Susan Hennessey, Ned Price and Rick Francona, as are known CIA assets like NBC's Ken Dilanian, as are CIA interns like Anderson Cooper and CIA applicants like Tucker Carlson.

They're just rubbing it in our faces now. Like they're showing off.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=879036821954539520&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fso-much-what-cia-used-do-covertly-it-now-does-overtly&sessionId=f90acd7ceb3bc7675f43696376e59f5ebdc79571&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

And that's just the media. We also see this flaunting behavior exhibited in the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a propaganda operation geared at sabotaging foreign governments not aligned with the US which according to its own founding officials was set up to do overtly what the CIA used to do covertly. The late author and commentator William Blum makes this clear :

[I]n 1983, the National Endowment for Democracy was set up to "support democratic institutions throughout the world through private, nongovernmental efforts". Notice the "nongovernmental"" part of the image, part of the myth. In actuality, virtually every penny of its funding comes from the federal government, as is clearly indicated in the financial statement in each issue of its annual report. NED likes to refer to itself as an NGO (Non-governmental organization) because this helps to maintain a certain credibility abroad that an official US government agency might not have. But NGO is the wrong category. NED is a GO.

"We should not have to do this kind of work covertly," said Carl Gershman in 1986, while he was president of the Endowment. "It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the C.I.A. We saw that in the 60's, and that's why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that's why the endowment was created."

And Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, declared in 1991: "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA."

In effect, the CIA has been laundering money through NED.

We see NED's fingerprints all over pretty much any situation where the western power alliance needs to manage public perception about a CIA-targeted government, from Russia to Hong Kong to Xinjiang to the imperial propaganda operation known as Bellingcat.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1278456656305643521&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fso-much-what-cia-used-do-covertly-it-now-does-overtly&sessionId=f90acd7ceb3bc7675f43696376e59f5ebdc79571&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1337063301113581568&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fso-much-what-cia-used-do-covertly-it-now-does-overtly&sessionId=f90acd7ceb3bc7675f43696376e59f5ebdc79571&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Hell, intelligence insiders are just openly running for office now. In an article titled " The CIA Democrats in the 2020 elections ", World Socialist Website documented the many veterans of the US intelligence cartel who ran in elections across America in 2018 and 2020:

"In the course of the 2018 elections, a large group of former military-intelligence operatives entered capitalist politics as candidates seeking the Democratic Party nomination in 50 congressional seats" nearly half the seats where the Democrats were targeting Republican incumbents or open seats created by Republican retirements. Some 30 of these candidates won primary contests and became the Democratic candidates in the November 2018 election, and 11 of them won the general election, more than one quarter of the 40 previously Republican-held seats captured by the Democrats as they took control of the House of Representatives. In 2020, the intervention of the CIA Democrats continues on what is arguably an equally significant scale."

So they're just getting more and more brazen the more confident they feel about how propaganda-addled and submissive the population has become. They're laying more and more of their cards on the table. Soon the CIA will just be openly selling narcotics door to door like Girl Scout cookies.

Or maybe not. I said my ex got more and more overt about his abuses in the later years of our relationship because those were the later years. I did eventually expand my own consciousness of my own inner workings enough to clear the fears and unexamined beliefs I had that he was using as hooks to manipulate me. Maybe, as humanity's consciousness continues to expand , the same will happen for the people and their abusive relationship with the CIA.

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook , Twitter , Soundcloud or YouTube , or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi , Patreon or Paypal . If you want to read more you can buy my books . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here .

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[Jun 25, 2021] U.S. inflation likely to remain elevated for up to four years - BofA

Jun 25, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

BofA expects U.S. inflation to remain elevated for two to four years, against a rising perception of it being transitory, and said that only a financial market crash would prevent central banks from tightening policy in the next six months.

It was "fascinating so many deem inflation as transitory when stimulus, economic growth, asset/commodity/housing inflations (are) deemed permanent", the investment bank's top strategist Michael Hartnett said in a note on Friday.

Thyagaraju Adinarayan
Fri, June 25, 2021, 5:24 AM
By Thyagaraju Adinarayan

LONDON (Reuters) - BofA expects U.S. inflation to remain elevated for two to four years, against a rising perception of it being transitory, and said that only a financial market crash would prevent central banks from tightening policy in the next six months.

It was "fascinating so many deem inflation as transitory when stimulus, economic growth, asset/commodity/housing inflations (are) deemed permanent", the investment bank's top strategist Michael Hartnett said in a note on Friday.

Hartnett thinks inflation will remain in the 2%-4% range over the next 2-4 years. U.S. inflation has averaged 3% in the past 100 years, 2% in the 2010s, and 1% in 2020, but it has been annualising at 8% so far in 2021, Bofa said in the note.

Global stocks were holding near record highs hours ahead of the reading of May core personal consumption expenditures index, an inflation gauge tracked closely by the Fed. The gauge is estimated to rise 3.4% year-on-year.

... In the week to Wednesday, investors pumped $7 billion into equities and $9.9 billion into bond funds, while pulling $53.5 billion from cash funds, BofA calculated, using EPFR data.

[Jun 22, 2021] Possibility of Seneca cliff are increasing

Jun 22, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

OVI IGNORED 06/17/2021 at 10:03 am

Ron

The chart is old and was published in 2016 by Wood Mackenzie and there is no data for 2016. It also leaves out the discovery of Ghawar in 1948, first bar/spike. I have not seen any updates since then. Not sure if Guyana had been discovered in 2016. The original is attached.

REPLY SCHINZY IGNORED 06/18/2021 at 5:57 am

Here is Rystad's discovery graph 2013-2019 including gas. 2019 was better than 2016-2018 in terms of BOE, but it was a bit gassy:

REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/17/2021 at 6:00 am

Is the energy transition just a fad??? Irina Slav at Oil Price.com says it is.

Energy Transition Fad Will Send Oil Sky High

Ironically, the wave of ESG investing in global energy markets may lead to much higher oil prices as a serious lack of capital expenditure on new fossil fuels dries up just as demand for crude continues to grow

Pressure from investors, tighter emissions regulation from governments, and public protests against their business have become more or less the new normal for oil companies. What the world -- or at least the most affluent parts of it -- seem to want from the oil industry is to stop being the oil industry.

Many investors are buying into this pressure. ESG investing is all the rage, and sustainable ETFs are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. But some investors are taking a different approach. They are betting on oil. Because what many in the pressure camp seem to underestimate is the fact that the supply of oil is not the only element of the oil equation.

"Imagine Shell decided to stop selling petrol and diesel today," the supermajor's CEO Ben van Beurden wrote in a LinkedIn post earlier this month. "This would certainly cut Shell's carbon emissions. But it would not help the world one bit. Demand for fuel would not change. People would fill up their cars and delivery trucks at other service stations."

Van Beurden was commenting on a Dutch court's ruling that environmentalists hailed as a landmark decision, ordering Shell to reduce its emissions footprint by 45 percent from 2019 levels by 2030.

[Jun 18, 2021] Corporate elites are loudly complaining that the sky is falling -- not because of a real labor shortage, but because workers are less likely now to accept low-wage jobs

In IT corporate honchos shamelessly put more then a dozen of very specific skills into the position rescription and want a cog that hit that exactly. they are not interested in IQ, ability to learn and such things. that want already train person for the position to fill, so that have zero need to train this persn and they expect that he will work productively from the day one.
Jun 14, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Hayek's Heelbiter , June 12, 2021 at 7:50 am

But corporate elites are loudly complaining that the sky is falling -- not because of a real labor shortage, but because workers are less likely now to accept low-wage jobs.

Duh. This is so blindingly obvious, but NC is the only place that seems to mention this fact.

Here in the UK, the outmigration of marginally paid workers from Eastern Europe and the resultant "labour shortage" triggered by Brexit has made it abundantly clear that Blair's change to open borders was not from any idealistic considerations but as a way of importing easily exploited labor.

Business leaders quoted in the the tsunami of hand-wringing MSM articles about the current catastrophe are offering such helpful solutions as allowing housekeepers to use pools and gyms in off hours, free meals to waiters, etc. Anything but a living wage.

Dr. R.k. Barkhi , June 12, 2021 at 5:57 pm

" I don't actually see any untruths to the GOP talking points. "
"" Workers are less likely to accept a job while receiving Gov't benefits" and "workers are less likely to accept low wage crappy jobs ".

Well,if u can survive on a $300/week program that ends after several weeks pass,bless u. No one else in America can. That's a $7.50 hr full time "summer job" with no pension or medical benefits that teenagers with no dependents,few bills n maintenance issues might be interested in; adults with adult responsibilities,no way. That so called RepubliCons, the "economics experts", can make such a fraudulent claim n anyone out of elementary school believes it has a quantum particle of reality or value is . well I'll just say a sad n unbelievable situation.

Now the rest of your comments are laudable.

Objective Ace , June 13, 2021 at 11:57 am

They get 300 dollars plus regular UI. They can also get Medicaid and CHIP, or if they are still making too much they are eligible for Obamacare exchange. Plus they're eligible for SNAP and housing vouchers

Equitable > Equal , June 13, 2021 at 4:38 am

There is one significant fallacy in this article: The author conflates Republican opposition to enhanced benefits with opposition to unemployment benefits overall.

I very much stand with labour over business on most (probably all) points, but the Republican argument is to end the enhanced benefits in most cases – Not to abolish unemployment assistance. They believe the role of government is to step in to help pay basic bills in the event of unemployment, but oppose the current higher level of benefit due to the market distortions it causes (Hence the appearance of the term 'labour shortage'.)

I agree that it basically forces mcdonalds et al to up their wages if they want to do business, which should be a positive for society, but I find it unlikely that the author could have unintentionally mistunderstood the argument on such a fundamental level, and all it does is try to drive a wedge further between each side of the argument.

Sierra , June 12, 2021 at 3:46 pm

Hayek,

Sonali Kohatkar is pro open borders and has the nerve to complain about wage arbitrage?
https://freespeech.org/stories/prop-287-immigration-ca/

Anyone that believes that workers supported their jobs being sent overseas is either demented or delusional or suffers from a mental hernia. The same goes for the common working stiffs supporting massive immigration to help drive down their ability to demand a livable wage.

American labor has been sold down the river by the International Labor Leaders, politicians and the oligarchy of US corporate CEO's.
======

Got a new hip recently. Do your P.T., take it easy, follow the warnings of what not to do until you heal and you should discover that decades feel like they are lifted off your shoulders.

Hayek's Heelbiter , June 13, 2021 at 12:16 pm

Sierra,
You've made a very interesting point that actually never occurred to me and one in which I never seen fully examined.
Exploiting labour and outsourcing it are two sides of the same coin with the same goal in mind, diverting revenue streams into the C-suite and rentier class.
Obviously you cannot outsource most of the workers in the hospitality industry or the non-virtual aspects of world's oldest profession, but a lot of the tech industry and the virtual aspects of the latter are very amenable to being shipped overseas.
Immigrants are extremely visible and an easy target, while outsourcing is essentially an impossible to contain concept that creates real world hardship.
Dear NC readers, do you know of any studies comparing and contrasting the economic impact of immigration and/or limiting it and outsourcing?

sierra , June 12, 2021 at 3:51 pm

Those hip words were meant for Yves of course

Fazal Majid , June 12, 2021 at 8:46 am

Indeed, economists and analysts have gotten used to presenting facts from the perspective of private employers and their lobbyists.

You are acting if economists and lobbyists are separate groups, as opposed to largely a subset thereof. Funny how a field entirely based on the study of incentives claims incentives don't distort their policy prescriptions, isn't it?

As for low-paid jobs, they are traditionally the last resort of immigrants and other marginalized populations, but the anti-immigration push that began under Obama, and enthusiastically continued by Trump and Biden, has perfectly predictable consequences.

One factor not mentioned is many free-riding businesses refuse to pay for training, then wonder why there are no trained workers to hire.

Now, there are definitely fields where there is a genuine and deliberate labor shortage. Usually white-collar credentialed professions like medical doctors and the AMA cartel.

Yves Smith , June 12, 2021 at 8:51 am

Economics is not based on incentives. That's behavioral economics. I hate to quote Larry Summers, but this is Summers on financial economics:

Ketchup economists reject out of hand much of this research on the ketchup market. They believe that the data used is based on almost meaningless accounting information and are quick to point out that concepts such as costs of production vary across firms and are not accurately measurable in any event. they believe that ketchup transactions prices are the only hard data worth studying. Nonetheless ketchup economists have an impressive research program, focusing on the scope for excess opportunities in the ketchup market. They have shown that two quart bottles of ketchup invariably sell for twice as much as one quart bottles of ketchup except for deviations traceable to transaction costs, and that one cannot get a bargain on ketchup by buying and combining ingredients once one takes account of transaction costs. Nor are there gains to be had from storing ketchup, or mixing together different quality ketchups and selling the resulting product. Indeed, most ketchup economists regard the efficiency of the ketchup market as the best established fact in empirical economics.

Howard Beale IV , June 12, 2021 at 9:22 am

Happy to see you back at a keyboard, and hoping your recovery is progressing well. I had the misfortune of spending two days in the hospitals while they got my blood chemistry strightened out. Here's the kicker; the hospitalist, who I saw 3 times, submitted a bill for a whopping $17,000. Just yesterday, the practice she works for submitted a bill that was one-tenth her charges for the work she did, yet her bill is still sitting waiting to be processed.

Yves Smith , June 12, 2021 at 9:53 am

OMG, how horrible. HSS is a small hospital for a big city like NYC, only 205 beds and 25 operating rooms. No emergency room. They are not owned by PE and so I don't think play outsourcing/markup games (they are very big on controlling quality, which you can't do if you have to go through middlemen for staffing). Some of the MDs do that their own practices within HSS but they are solo practitioners or small teams, which is not a model that you see much of anywhere outside NYC

Howard Beale IV , June 12, 2021 at 12:05 pm

The last time I was hospitalized, all the hospitalists were in the employ of the hospital, now they are in the employ of a nationwide hospitalist practice, which has all the smell of private equity around it. I'm really beginning to think that a third party focusted on healthcare might have a real shot at upsetting the political order – maybe it's time to drag out your skunk party for 2024.

Arizona Slim , June 12, 2021 at 1:22 pm

How are you feeling? We miss you around here.

tegnost , June 12, 2021 at 10:25 am

As for low-paid jobs, they are traditionally the last resort of immigrants and other marginalized populations, but the anti-immigration push that began under Obama, and enthusiastically continued by Trump and Biden, has perfectly predictable consequences.

Well I'm sorry you can't find easily exploitable labor, except I'm not immigrants face the same ridiculous costs, and weren't hispanic workers more heavily impacted by covid due to those marginal jobs (I'll switch your dynamic to low wage workers , and marginal jobs, thanks), so by your logic more should have been let in to die from these marginal jobs? but yeah we need more PMC except we don't
Now, there are definitely fields where there is a genuine and deliberate labor shortage. Usually white-collar credentialed professions like medical doctors and the AMA cartel."
Last I checked it was private equity, wall st and pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists that drive up costs so labor needs to charge more.
Wake up and smell the coffee.

Bill Smith , June 12, 2021 at 9:24 am

How much of this is over specification on the part of employers in the ad for the job? We want the perfect candidate who can do the job better than we can with no training .

Yves Smith , June 12, 2021 at 9:48 am

OMG this is such a long-standing pet peeve! We've commented on this nonsense regularly. Companies took the position that they don't have to train and now they are eating their cooking.

Bill Smith , June 12, 2021 at 10:30 am

Exactly.

The mismatch between job openings and job applicants is not just about wages.

In fact, if companies were willing to take a chance on people who didn't exactly match the job requirements, the likely effect would be to raise the wages some of those that did not qualify under the over exacting job requirements. [And likely paying these new employees less than they had contemplated paying the perfect candidate.]

But that seems like someone making the hiring decision might, just possibly, be seen as taking a risk.

Howard Beale IV , June 12, 2021 at 2:55 pm

At my empolyer we know we can't find any colleges that teach mainframe skills, so we bring in graduates who are willing to learn those skills – we submit them to a 3-month bootcamp and then there's a long period of mentorship under a senior person to their group that has an opening. Since everybody and their dog are now moving headfirst into DevOps, where all the tooling is in somewhat less ancient software, they get exposed using those Eclipse/VScode-based tools and are able to come up to speed somewhat quicker. Still, no one in corporate America dares to bite the bullet and re-platform their core systems with few exceptions (SABRE) for fear of losing all the institutional knowledge that's in software, rather than wetware (humans).

Howard Beale IV , June 12, 2021 at 3:03 pm

Just think what is happening right now with everyone holding an Indian outsourcing contract. You don't have individual's cellphone numbers over in India, which would cost you an arm and a leg to call, never mind what's going on in their facilities.

Mike Elwin , June 13, 2021 at 2:27 pm

On the other hand, there's something to be said for employers not training their staffs. In the SF Bay Area computer industry, employees and independent contractors alike continually race to train themselves in the new technologies that seem to crop up like mushrooms after a rain. Many companies train their customers–and charge them for it–before they'll train their staffs. This is a principal reason there's a market for contractors. Training oneself in new technologies lays a base for opportunities that don't appear if you spend a decade in the same job (unless, like mainframe programming, your job is so old it's new). I suppose this is a beneficial side of capitalism?

Lambert Strether , June 13, 2021 at 2:37 pm

> continually race to train themselves in the new technologies that seem to crop up like mushrooms after a rain

And what, one might ask, do mushrooms grow best in .

Louis , June 12, 2021 at 10:38 am

I get that you want experience for mid to senior level jobs but the experience requirements for what are ostsensibly entry-level jobs have gotten absurd. The education requirements have also gotten out of hand in some cases.

That being said, a lot of the shortages are in low-wage, part-time jobs so the issue isn't necessarily ridiculous requirements, like you sometimes see for entry level white collar jobs, but wages that are too low and awful working conditions.

How many people want to be treated like dirt–be it by customers, management, or both–for not much more than minimum wage if they have other options?

A wage increase will help fill these jobs but there also needs to be a paradigm shift in how employees are treated–the customer is not always right and allowing them to treat employees in ways that would not be tolerated in other businesses, and certainly not in many white-collar workplaces is a huge part of the problem and why these jobs have long had high-turnover.

TomDority , June 12, 2021 at 9:51 am

It never ends – when it was about immigrant labor under George B junior – I think – the call was
-- - They do jobs that Americans won't -- or something to that effect.
It always bothered me that the sentence was never, in my mind, completed. It should have been said
-- They do jobs that Americans won't do at that pay level. --
The tax system, economic system and higher education departments have been perverted by the continuous bribery and endowments by the rentier class to our elected law makers and dept heads for decades –
The creditor, debtor relationships distorted for eons.
The toll takers have never, in history, been in any higher level of mastery than they are now.
It is not to throw out the constitution but, to throw out those who have perverted it.

Oh , June 12, 2021 at 12:23 pm

The construction industry knows how to exploit immigrant labor, documented as well as undocumented. I'm sure most peole born here refuse to work for the same wages.

chris , June 12, 2021 at 6:14 pm

The exploitation occurs on many levels. For small residential jobs, a lot of wage theft occurs. For larger jobs, a lot of safety regs get ignored. When you have a population that won't use the legal avenues available to other citizens to push back against abuse you can get a lot done :/

King , June 12, 2021 at 10:04 am

When I go looking for a job if a degree isn't required I am very unlikely to pursue it further. Same if the list of 'required' is overly detailed. I'm making assumptions in both of these cases (that might not be correct) about pay, benefits, work environment, etc. and what is actually going on with a job listing. Why? Chiefly my likelihood of actually getting a reasonable offer. I expect either being seen as overqualified in the first case or the job only being listed because of some requirement in the second.

I have to wonder if many places know how to hire. This is made much more difficult by years of poorly written (maybe deceptive) job postings. You probably know many of the phrases; flexible schedule, family ___, reliable transportation required, and so on. Its no surprise if puffery doesn't bring back the drones.

Noone from Nowheresville , June 12, 2021 at 10:07 am

If we're playing with statistics. How many of these posted job openings, how many interviews did the companies offer v. how many offers were made until the position was filled? If position remains open, has the company increased the base pay offer? guaranteed an increased min. number of weekly hours? offered bonuses or increased benefits? How many times has this same job opening using the original posting criteria been re-posted? Is this a real single job opening that the company plans to fill in real time or just a posting that they keep opening because they have high turnover? etc., etc., etc.

The real problem with this workers are lazy meme is that it is repeated and repeated all year long on the local news from the viewpoint of business. It has filtered down to local people. I hear them repeating what the local news said without giving it any critical thought. Even those who say that we need unions and believe themselves to be on the side of workers.

Ear wigs are good for businesses. Insidious for workers.

synoia , June 12, 2021 at 12:03 pm

In the UK, in the days of Labor Strive, before Neo-liberalism , there was always newspaper reports about "Labor Strife" and "bolshy workers." Never once did the press examine Management had behaved and caused the workers to become "bolshy" – a direct reaction to Management's attitudes and behavior, probably based on the worst attributes of the UK's class system.

Definition: A bolshy person often argues and makes difficulties.
Management get the workers (Their Attitudes) it deserves.
I recommend reading "The Toyota Way" to explore a very successful management style.

tegnost , June 12, 2021 at 10:40 am

This song is getting a probably getting more hits these days
Take this job and Shove It
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIjEauGiRLo
But I hear lots of businesses will close to to no labor, so when they close they can go work for 7.25 an hour for one of their competitors who also needs laborors Solidarinosc!

tegnost , June 12, 2021 at 11:40 am

Geez this song is probably getting more hits these days due to no laborors? hmmm.it must mean something, like proof read your posts .,

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , June 12, 2021 at 10:43 am

If businesses are suffering, it's restaurants and small scale enterprise. The Covid response was tailored to the needs of economy of scale mega biz. They likely knew multitides of mom-n-pops would go away- and they have. But that's fine.

Susan the other , June 12, 2021 at 11:24 am

So if state governments can turn down federal unemployment supplements because they want labor to go back to work for unlivable wages this means the federal government can do nothing about it. When push comes to shove the question that must be settled is, Is it a human right to receive employment assistance until a job is found that pays a livable wage? (Not even a republican will actually say No). So then that puts all the stingy states on notice that there is a human rights issue here. States will have the choice to either let businesses shut down for lack of workers, or states can subsidize minimum wages and benefits. If states choose, in desperation, to subsidize minimum wages, then the states can apply to the feds to be compensated. The thing that is needed in the interim, between when the real standoff starts and ends, is a safety net for workers who are being blocked by the state from receiving unemployment benefits. I say call in the national guard. This is a human rights issue.

Dr. R.k. Barkhi , June 12, 2021 at 6:08 pm

Great point. Im appalled at the RepubliCon governers responses. And they call themselves Christians?

Imo Profitism (or Crapitalism if u pref2) is a Rights issue.

jim truti , June 12, 2021 at 11:45 am

The real exploitation happened when we allowed companies to delocalize, manufacture product in China and sell it here with no strings attached.
James Goldsmith seems like a prophet now, he was so absolutely right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwmOkaKh3-s

eg , June 12, 2021 at 11:45 pm

He sure does

Tom , June 13, 2021 at 5:34 pm

Wow. The Clinton flack was insufferable. AND WRONG about pretty much everything. Goldsmith was brilliant. I wasn't paying enough attention at he time, but how many high profile people were making the arguments he was making?

Michael Hudson , June 12, 2021 at 12:23 pm

I'm surprised that nobody has taken the opportunity to comment on how this discussion shows how hypocritical Biden and the democrats were not to press for raising the minimum wage.
The pretense (which they must have coached the "Senate scholar" on) was that raising the minimum wage was not related to revenue (i.e., a revenue bill). But of course it is! Right now, paying below-poverty wages enabled Walmart and other employers to make the government pay part of their wage bill. Higher minimum wages would raise these government aid recipients out of the poverty range, saving public revenue.
That is so obvious that the failure of the Democrats to make the point shows that they really didn't want to raise wages after all.

Nikkikat , June 12, 2021 at 1:40 pm

I didn't expect much from Biden but he's even worse than I thought. Along with those bought senators hiding behind Joe Manchin. Depressing to think how much worse everything will become for working people here.

Lambert Strether , June 12, 2021 at 1:48 pm

> the Democrats to make the point shows that they really didn't want to raise wages after all.

Come on, man. They're "fighting for" it.

chris , June 12, 2021 at 6:41 pm

This all day long and twice on Sunday

When I think about how they're complaining about Manchin now when there was a serious primary challenge against him last year, and how the Democrat organization rallied around Manchin and not his challenger, it is disgusting to see Slate/The Guardian/NYT/other "Blue no matter who" mouth breathers write articles asking what can be done to salvage a progressive agenda from the curse of bipartisanship.

I had given up on national politics long before the 2020 election circus but this latest has confirmed my resolve. The destruction of the Democrat party can't come soon enough.

Noone from Nowheresville , June 12, 2021 at 5:25 pm

If I call them Hypocritics, when I never believed them in the first place, will they feel any shame at all? Or must I be part of their class for them to feel even the tiniest of niggles?

Perhaps they'll feel ashamed once they cut the check for the $600 they shorted us this winter. Or maybe that they are reneging on the extended unemployment benefits early or

One side makes you sleep on a bed of nails and swear allegiance.The other side generously offers to help you out, no strings attached, but you might bleed out from the thousands of tiny means-testing cuts. Each side want the lower tiers to face the gauntlet and prove one's worthiness, hoping to convince us that a black box algorithm is the same thing as a jury of peers.

Telee , June 12, 2021 at 9:30 pm

Exactly right! And keep in mind deluge of op-eds telling us that Biden is a transformational president! The same authors presented a deluge of op-eds telling us how Senator Sanders was to radical for the American people after he did well in early primaries. That the reforms he supported like Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage, lowering drug costs, help with daycare, doing something about climate change etc. were reforms that the people would never accept because the people value their freedom and don't want to live in a socialistic country.
It looks like none of the promises Biden made during the campaign will be implemented by President Biden. That why he is in the White House.

rowlf , June 12, 2021 at 12:38 pm

Would a lot of these positions be filled if the US had single payer healthcare or similar? Would workers accept low paying positions if they didn't have to lose so much of their pay to crappy health insurance?

Nikkikat , June 12, 2021 at 1:31 pm

At our local Petsmart they cut staff during the pandemic. They laid off all full time workers
And are only hiring back part time. I knew several of the laid off people and they are not coming back. Two of the people that worked full time have found other jobs one with slightly better pay the other with slightly better benefits. We are in California where rent is very high so another person we know decided to use this as a chance to relocate to another state where housing is less expensive. Our older neighbor retired, although vaccinated now, he decided it just wasn't safe and after the CDC told everyone to take off their mask off. He is glad he just decided to live on a little less money. I suspect there are a lot of reasons as Yves stated above for a lack of workers, but this "they are lazy" trope is capitalistic nonsense.

Petter , June 12, 2021 at 4:53 pm

This "they are lazy" trope has a long history. Yasha Levine wrote about it for the Exiled and it was reposted here at NC.
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/04/yasha-levine-recovered-economic-history-everyone-but-an-idiot-knows-that-the-lower-classes-must-be-kept-poor-or-they-will-never-be-industrious.html

Some highlights:
>> everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.
-- Arthur Young; 1771
>>Even David Hume, that great humanist, hailed poverty and hunger as positive experiences for the lower classes, and even blamed the "poverty" of France on its good weather and fertile soil:
'Tis always observed, in years of scarcity, if it be not extreme, that the poor labour more, and really live better.

>>Poverty is therefore a most necessary and indispensable ingredient in society It is the source of wealth, since without poverty, there could be no labour; there could be no riches, no refinement, no comfort, and no benefit to those who may be possessed of wealth.

athingtoconsider , June 12, 2021 at 1:38 pm

I'll just point out, per the Old Testament, that wage, debt and rent slavery were the exception, not the norm (as they are in the US) for citizens (Hebrews) in ancient Israel/Judah.

That's because the assets in ancient Israel/Judah were roughly equally owned by all citizens with provisions in the OT Law (eg. Leviticus 25, eg. Deuteronomy 15, eg. Deuteronomy 23:19-20) to keep it that way in the long run (but less than 50 years).

Contrast that to US where we have privileges for a private credit cartel, aka "the banks", and no limits to the concentration of land ownership and the roots of our problems are evident.

So begging for better jobs for citizens is, in the Biblical context, pathetically weak tea indeed.

Amateur Socialist , June 12, 2021 at 1:53 pm

On a personal note I had a great job interview Thursday at the local food co-op. This is my first in person interview since I was terminated without cause by IBM (after almost 24 years there in a server development job) almost a year ago. Despite applying for over 100 positions. I'm over 60 and haven't worked in a year so I admit I'm grateful to even get the chance.

I have another interview with them next week and hoping to start soon as a produce clerk making $13.50 an hour. If I can get on full time they offer a decent insurance plan including dental. The HR person acknowledged that I was "wildly overqualified" but encouraging. The possibility of getting health care is key; my IBM Cobra benefits will start costing me almost $1400/monthly for myself and my husband in September after the ARA subsidy expires.

I've adjusted my expectations to reinvent myself as a manual laborer after decades in fairly cushy corporate life. I've managed to keep my health and physical capacity so somewhat optimistic I can meet the job requirements that include lifting 50 lb boxes of produce. But we'll see.

athingtoconsider , June 12, 2021 at 2:52 pm

and haven't worked in a year Amateur Socialist

You mean you haven't had a job in a year since it's highly doubtful that you have not done any work in a year; eg. cooking, cleaning, shopping, car maintenance, gardening, chauffeuring, mowing the lawn, home maintenance and caring for others count as work.

We need to stop conflating work (good) with wage slavery as if the former necessarily requires the latter.

Amateur Socialist , June 12, 2021 at 3:57 pm

Okay sure. I haven't earned in a year. But it's still a problem I'm trying to sort out best as I can.

Since I still live in the US where earning is highly correlated with insurance coverage, and I still have about 5 years until we're both qualified for Medicare this may turn out to be a great thing that has happened.

And since I don't see a path out of wage slavery today I'll be happy to accept almost any offer from the food co-op. It's a union job with decent pay and benefits and may offer other opportunities in the future. They mostly buy and sell products that are locally made so that makes it easier too. The money we are all enslaving each other over is staying around here as much as possible. Okay.

Arizona Slim , June 12, 2021 at 4:32 pm

A former neighbor worked in our local food co-op and loved her job. At the co-op, she was a cashier. She also was a retired attorney.

Dr. R.k. Barkhi , June 12, 2021 at 6:25 pm

Good luck! Fyi i strongly suggest u look into taking your IBM pension asap as 1. It will minimally impact your taxes as u r now earning less n 2. How many more years do u think it will be there? ( I usually recommend most people take their social security at 62 for similar reasons but in your case I'd do your research b4 making any move like that. ) Take a blank state n Fed tax form n pencil in the new income n see what the results are.
Btw truly wonderful people are involved in food co-ops,enjoy!

Eudora Welty , June 12, 2021 at 3:17 pm

Good luck! I will be thinking of you next week.

Sound of the Suburbs , June 12, 2021 at 2:52 pm

No one really questions the idea of maximising profit.
How do you maximise profit?
You minimise costs, including labour costs, i.e. wages.

Where did the idea of maximising profit comes from?
It certainly wasn't from Adam Smith.

"But the rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity and fall with the declension of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin." Adam Smith
Exactly the opposite of today's thinking, what does he mean?
When rates of profit are high, capitalism is cannibalising itself by:
1) Not engaging in long term investment for the future
2) Paying insufficient wages to maintain demand for its products and services
Today's problems with growth and demand.
Amazon didn't suck its profits out as dividends and look how big it's grown (not so good on the wages).

The benefits of the system can be passed upwards in dividends or downwards in wages.
Both actually detract from the money available for re-investment as Jeff Bezos knows only too well.
He didn't pay dividends, and paid really low wages, to maximise the amount that he could re-invest in Amazon and look how big it's grown.
The shareholders gains are made through the value of the shares.
Jeff Bezos hopes other people are paying high enough wages to buy lots of stuff from Amazon; his own workers don't have much purchasing power.

Where do the benefits of the system go?
Today, we pass as much as possible upwards in dividends.
In the Keynesian era they passed a lot more down in wages.

cnchal , June 12, 2021 at 10:34 pm

> Jeff Bezos hopes other people are paying high enough wages to buy lots of stuff from Amazon; his own workers don't have much purchasing power.

You are missing the tree in the forest. Jeff hopes other people will pay a high enough price for Amazon stawk. We already know Jeff doesn't give a shit about the stuff he sells, or the inhumane working conditions that go along with the low pay and short "career". I mean, not even the nastiest farmer would treat his mules like that, even if mules were easy and cheap to come by.

So far, Mr Market says beating workers, good.

Sound of the Suburbs , June 12, 2021 at 2:55 pm

We don't think people should get money when they are not working.
Are you sure?

What's the point in working?
Why bother?
It's just not worth all the effort when you can make money doing nothing.
In 1984, for the first time in American history, "unearned" income exceeded "earned" income.
They love easy money.

With a BTL portfolio, I can get the capital gains on a number of properties and extract the hard earned income of generation rent at the same time.
That sounds good.
What is there not to like?

We love easy money.

You've just got to sniff out the easy money.
All that hard work involved in setting up a company yourself, and building it up.
Why bother?
Asset strip firms other people have built up, that's easy money.

People do love easy money.

Sound of the Suburbs , June 12, 2021 at 3:45 pm

"West Virginia's Republican Governor Jim Justice justified ending federal jobless benefits early in his state by lecturing his residents on how, "America is all about work. That's what has made this great country."
Have you had a look around recently?

In 1984, for the first time in American history, "unearned" income exceeded "earned" income.
America is not about work at all.

athingtoconsider , June 12, 2021 at 5:44 pm

America is not about work at all. SoS

The US is largely about exploiting or being exploited with most of US doing both.

We should resent an economic system that requires we exploit others or be a pure victim ourselves.

That said and to face some truths we'd rather not, the Bible offers some comfort, eg:

Ecclesiastes 7:16
Do not be excessively righteous, and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself?

Ecclesiastes 5:8-9
If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them. After all, a king who cultivates the field is beneficial to the land.

Nonetheless, we should support economic justice and recognize that most of us are net losers to an unjust economic system even though it offers some corrupt compensation* to divide and confuse us.

*eg positive yields and interest on the inherently risk-free debt of a monetary sovereign.

KLG , June 12, 2021 at 6:54 pm

Jim Justice made his money the old fashioned way, he inherited it:

From Wiki: James Conley Justice II (born April 27, 1951) is an American businessman and politician who has been serving as the 36th governor of West Virginia since 2017. With a net worth of around $1.2 billion, he is the wealthiest person in West Virginia. He inherited a coal mining business from his father and built a business empire with over 94 companies, including the Greenbrier, a luxury resort.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Justice

chris , June 12, 2021 at 6:31 pm

I wonder how much of this is also related to a change in the churn we assume existed pre-pandemic? For example, the most recent JOLTS survey results from April 2021 show the total number of separations hasn't really changed but the number of quits has increased.

So, one possible interpretation of that would be employers are less likely to fire people and those who think they have skills in demand are more interested in leaving for better opportunities now. That makes intuitive sense given what we've been through. If you had a good gig and it was stable through 2020 you had very little reason to leave it even if an offer was better with another company. That goes double if you were a caregiver or had children. Which of course is why many women who were affected by the challenges of balancing daycare and a career gave up.

This is also my experience lately. While it's only anecdotal evidence, we're having a hard time hiring mid career engineers. Doesn't seem like pay is the issue. We offer a ton of vacation, a separate pool of sick time, decent benefits, and wages in the six figures with a good bonus program. We're looking to hire 3 engineers. We can't even get people to apply. In 2019 we could be sure to see a steady supply of experienced candidates looking for new opportunities. Now? If you have an engineering position and your company is letting you work from home it seems you don't have a good reason to jump.

Buckeye , June 12, 2021 at 10:47 pm

Look no further than Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. They had only half the staff they normally need at $10 an hour. So they double the wage to $20 an hour and filled every job in less than a week. The Conservaturds will never admit they are lying.

DWoolley , June 13, 2021 at 3:24 pm

As a small business owner providing professional services I am grateful for the comment section here.

I have called professional peers to get a behind the corporate PR perspective of their businesses. Although anecdotal, the overall trend in our industry is to accept the labor shortage and downsize. Most firms have a reliable backlog of work and will benefit from an infrastructure bill. Our firm has chosen to downsize and close vacant positions.

Remote work, although feasible, has employees thinking they are LeBron James, regardless of their skill set. Desperate employers are feeding their belief. Two years from now it will be interesting to see if these employees they fail forward. Company culture minimized employee turnover pre-covid. This culture has little meaning to an employee working in his daughter's playroom.

For context, in California, I believe the median income for licensees is approximately $110,000 with lower level technicians easily at $75k in the urban areas.

Lastly, the "paltry" $300 per week is in additional to the state unemployment checks and is not subject to taxes. As stated previously, $300 is equal to $7.50 per hour. Federal minimum wage is $7.25 and is adopted by many states minimum, for what it's worth.

Thanks again for the forum.

JBird4049 , June 13, 2021 at 6:32 pm

With respect, I do not see any there there in the comment. Adjusted for inflation the minimum wage at its height in 1968 at 1.60, would be just under $13 per hour today. However, even at $15 in California, it is inadequate.

Anyone making anything like the minimum wage would not be working from home, but would be working in some kind of customer service job, and would find paying for adequate food, clothing, and shelter very difficult. Not in getting any extras, but only in getting enough to survive. People, and their families, do need to eat.

If the response of not paying enough, and therefore not getting new hires, is to downsize, perhaps that is good. After all no business deserves to remain in business, especially if the business model depends on its workers being unable to survive.

Sue inSoCal , June 13, 2021 at 4:13 pm

I am also fed up with the "lazy worker" meme. Or rather, propaganda. People are literally exhausted working 2 or 3 lousy jobs and no real healthcare. Equally irritating to me is a misguided notion that we have some magically accessible generous safety net in the US. As though there aren't thousands and thousands on waiting lists for government subsidized housing. Section 8 vouchers? Good luck.

https://homesnow.org/short-history-of-public-housing-in-the-us-1930s-present/

We've ended "welfare as we [knew] it" (AFDC) thanks to Bill Clinton and then the screw was turned tightly by Junior Bush (no child care, but go to work.) The upshot was bad news for kids.

https://www.economist.com/democracy-in-america/2019/02/25/how-welfare-reform-has-had-a-negative-effect-on-the-children-of-single-mothers

Seems to me one of the few things left is the food stamp program, and I can't imagine how that's been reconfigured. Whomever gave that fantastic list of goodies people can get in the US with a mere snap of the fingers isn't in the real world, imho.

Ok! Yves, lovely to see you again, my friend! (Cue the Moody Blues ) Get well!

10 legged shadow , June 13, 2021 at 4:54 pm

Here is my story.
I am 56 years old, on dialysis and I was collecting SSI of 529 a month.
I was living with and taking care of my mother in her home because she had dementia.
She died in December and I had to start paying the bills. In March I inherited her IRA which I reported to SS. I was able to roll it over into my own IRA because I am disabled, due to the Trump tax law changes.
I reported the changes in a timely manner and because I couldn't afford to live here without a job, I took a part time job for 9 an hour.
So now, because I inherited my mother's IRA and have too much resources I no longer qualify for SSI and have been overpaid to the tune of almost 2 grand, which I am assuming I will have to pay back. I have no idea how that works either. Do they just grab money out of your account? Anyone who knows please tell me.

JBird4049 , June 13, 2021 at 11:35 pm

I would run, run, run to the nearest public assistance counselor or lawyer. In the San Francisco Bay Area, it is should not be too hard to find one. They saved me. There are also in California several state websites. There was a useful to me benefits planning site (It only covers nine states though).

The rules for SSI (Supplemental Security Income), SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), Social Security, Medi-Cal or Medicaid, and Medicare are each different. Each state has its own modifications as well, so that is fifty additional sets of modified rules especially for the medical benefits. If they are determined to claw back the money, how it is done might depend on the individual state. It is truly a maze of flycatchers and trapdoors out for you and your money.

The overworked benefits clerks often do not have the knowledge to deal with anything even slightly unusual and are not encourage or at least discouraged from finding out due to the never shrinking pile, not from anyone's malice. This means you could lose benefits because they did not know what they were doing or just by mistake. So, it is up to you to find those nonprofit counselors or the for profit lawyer to help you through the laws, rules, and whatever local regulations there are. Hopefully, you will not have to read through some of the official printed regulations like I did. If wasn't an experience paper pusher.. The average person would have been lost. Intelligence and competence has nothing to do with. Hell, neither does logic, I think.

In my case, when I inherited a retirement account, SSDI was not affected, because of how the original account was set up. However, SSDI is different from SSI although both have interesting and Byzantine requirements. I guess to make sure we are all "deserving" of any help.

So don't ask anonymous bozos like me on the internet and find those local counselors. If it is nonprofit, they will probably do it completely free. If needed, many lawyers, including tax lawyers, and CPAs will offer discounted help or will know where you can go.

Sound of the Suburbs , June 14, 2021 at 12:03 pm

What is the floor on wages?
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
Set disposable income to zero.
Minimum wages = taxes + the cost of living
So, as we increase housing costs, we drive up wages.

The neoliberal solution.
Try and paper over the cracks with Payday loans.
This what we call a short term solution.

Someone has been tinkering with the economics and that's why we can't see the problem.
The early neoclassical economists hid the problems of rentier activity in the economy by removing the difference between "earned" and "unearned" income and they conflated "land" with "capital".
They took the focus off the cost of living that had been so important to the Classical Economists as this is where rentier activity in the economy shows up.
It's so well hidden no one even knows it's there and everyone trips up over the cost of living, even the Chinese.

Angus Deaton rediscovers the wheel that was lost by the early neoclassical economists.
"Income inequality is not killing capitalism in the United States, but rent-seekers like the banking and the health-care sectors just might" Angus Deaton, Nobel prize winner.
Employees get their money from wages and the employers pay the cost of living through wages, reducing profit.
This raises the costs of doing anything in the US, and drives off-shoring.

The Chinese learn the hard way.
Davos 2019 – The Chinese have now realised high housing costs eat into consumer spending and they wanted to increase internal consumption.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNBcIFu-_V0
They let real estate rip and have now realised why that wasn't a good idea.

The equation makes it so easy.
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
The cost of living term goes up with increased housing costs.
The disposable income term goes down.
They didn't have the equation, they used neoclassical economics.
The Chinese had to learn the hard way and it took years, but they got there in the end.

They have let the cost of living rise and they want to increase internal consumption.
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
It's a double whammy on wages.
China isn't as competitive as it used to be.
China has become more expensive and developed Eastern economies are off-shoring to places like Vietnam, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

[Jun 18, 2021] You Can't Create Permanent Inflation From Artificial Growth

Inflation for common people level means devaluation of the dollar. It can happen for reasons completely detached from money supply issues. For example shortage of commodities (especially oil) or diminishing of the world reserve currency status of the dollar (refusal of some countries to hold their currency reserves in dollars and switch to other currencies in mutual trade). Increase of military expenses (Pentagon budget is over trillion dollars now) also does not help (guns instead of butter policy)
Jun 18, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The reason that rates are discounting the current "economic growth" story is that artificial stimulus does not create sustainable organic economic activity.

"This is because bubble activities cannot stand on their own feet; they require support from increases in money supply that divert to them real savings from wealth generators. Also, note again that a major cause behind the possible decline in the pool of real savings is unprecedented increases in money supply and massive government spending. While the pool of real savings is still growing, the massive money supply increase is likely to be followed by an upward trend in the growth rate of the prices of goods and services. This could start early next year. Once the pool of real savings starts to decline, however -- because of massive monetary pumping and reckless fiscal policies -- various bubble activities are will plunge. This, in turn, is likely to result in a large decline in economic activity and in the money supply." – Mises Institute

As stimulus fades from the system, that decline in money supply is only one of several reasons that "deflation" will resurface.

Monetary & Fiscal Policy Is Deflationary

The Federal Reserve and the Government have failed to grasp that monetary and fiscal policy is "deflationary" when "debt" is required to fund it.

How do we know this? Monetary velocity tells the story.

What is "monetary velocity?"

"The velocity of money is important for measuring the rate at which money in circulation is used for purchasing goods and services. Velocity is useful in gauging the health and vitality of the economy. High money velocity is usually associated with a healthy, expanding economy. Low money velocity is usually associated with recessions and contractions. " – Investopedia

With each monetary policy intervention, the velocity of money has slowed along with the breadth and strength of economic activity.

While in theory, "printing money" should lead to increased economic activity and inflation, such has not been the case.

A better way to look at this is through the " veil of money" theory.

If money is a commodity, more of it should lead to less purchasing power, resulting in inflation. However, this theory began to fail as Governments attempted to adjust interest rates rather than maintain a gold standard.

Crossing The Rubicon

As shown, beginning in 2000, the "money supply" as a percentage of GDP has exploded higher. The "surge" in economic activity is due to "reopening" from an artificial "shutdown." Therefore, the growth is only returning to the long-term downtrend. As shown by the attendant trendlines, increasing the money supply has not led to either more sustainable economic growth rates or inflation. It has been quite the opposite.

However, it isn't just the expansion of the Fed's balance sheet that undermines the strength of the economy. For instance, it is also the ongoing suppression of interest rates to try and stimulate economic activity. In 2000, the Fed "crossed the Rubicon," whereby lowering interest rates did not stimulate economic activity. Therefore, the continued increase in the "debt burden" detracted from it.

Similarly, we can illustrate the last point by comparing monetary velocity to the deficit.

As a result, monetary velocity increases when the deficit reverses to a surplus. Such allows revenues to move into productive investments rather than debt service.

The problem for the Fed is the misunderstanding of the derivation of organic economic inflation

6-More Reasons Deflation Is A Bigger Threat

Previously, Mish Shedlock discussed Dr. Lacy Hunt's views on inflation, or rather why deflation remains a more significant threat.

To summarize, the long-term risk to current outlooks remains the "3-Ds:"

Conclusion

With this in mind, the debt problem remains a massive risk. If rates rise, the negative impact on an indebted economy quickly depresses activity. More importantly, the decline in monetary velocity shows deflation is a persistent threat.

Treasury&Risk clearly explained the reasoning :

"It is hard to overstate the degree to which psychology drives an economy's shift to deflation. When the prevailing economic mood in a nation changes from optimism to pessimism, participants change. Creditors, debtors, investors, producers, and consumers all change their primary orientation from expansion to conservation.

These behaviors reduce the velocity of money, which puts downward pressure on prices. Money velocity has already been slowing for years, a classic warning sign that deflation is impending. Now, thanks to the virus-related lockdowns, money velocity has begun to collapse. As widespread pessimism takes hold, expect it to fall even further."

There are no real options for the Federal Reserve unless they are willing to allow the system to reset painfully.

Unfortunately, we now have a decade of experience of watching monetary experiments only succeed in creating a massive "wealth gap."

Most telling is the current economists' inability to realize the problem is trying to "cure a debt problem with more debt."

In conclusion, the Keynesian view that "more money in people's pockets" will drive up consumer spending, with a boost to GDP being the result, has been wrong. It hasn't happened in 40 years.

Unfortunately, deflation remains the most significant threat as permanent growth doesn't come from an artificial stimulus.


bikepath999 2 hours ago

Title is 100% wrong! It's artificial growth (money printing) that is the inflation! Organic growth thru increased production can actually lead to deflation!

OldNewB 2 hours ago

Exactly. Inflation can be the reduction in the rate of deflation due to productivity increases.

bikepath999 2 hours ago

Transitory is just the new little catch phrase to have you chasing after your own tail rather than skinning alive a central banker or politician

dead hobo 2 hours ago (Edited)

Transitory was Janet Yellen's favorite word for years. It was her catch phrase like Bernanke's was 'The benefits outweigh the costs'. Total blather in both cases.

In both cases, it was muppet-speak for 'p*ss off'. But it sounded oh so intelligent and the media lapped it up.

About the above article ... Economics, as commonly applied by sales folk, teachers, experts, and pundits is theology, not science. One credibility trick is to quote an expert who quoted another expert. Like above. How can you argue against this depth?

Misesmissesme 2 hours ago (Edited)

They are somewhat correct on the technical definition of inflation. However, hyper-inflation does not care about any of that. It only needs a government willing to print and a populace that has lost faith in the currency. We know the gov and the Fed are game. It's just a matter of time until the masses lose faith in the dollar.

OldNewB 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Devaluing the fiat by printing to infinity has nothing to do with growth.

Printing IS inflation. Where it shows up is another matter.

Whether it results in higher prices is a function of behavior between buyers and sellers of assets, products and services.

-- ALIEN -- 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

International Energy Agency said GLOBAL PEAK OIL PRODUCTION for all liquids happened in 2018.

NO economic growth is possible without growing the energy supply, so 2% predicted growth is BS,

unless other countries contract by 2+%.

Quia Possum 2 hours ago

We're beyond the point of pulling the rip cord.

Some ZH writer had an excellent analogy to a hot air balloon on fire. Up to a height X, you can jump off safely. Up to a height Y you can jump off and survive with some broken bones, but you're going to have to muster some courage to do that. But once you pass that height you're dead whether you jump or stay in the balloon all the way.

[Jun 16, 2021] FBI Operatives Likely 'Unindicted Co-Conspirators', Organizers Of Capitol Riot- Report

Comments for this article are pretty instructive about the particular strata of US population mindset right now. Reminds the mood of dissidents in the USSR.
Jun 16, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Tucker Carlson dropped several bombshells on his show Tuesday night, chief among them was from a Revolver News report that the FBI was likely involved in organizing the Jan. 6 Capitol 'insurrection,' and were similarly involved in the kidnapping plot against Michigan Governor Gretchin Whitmer .

" Why are there so many factual matters that we don't understand about that day? " asked Carlson.

" Why is the Biden administration preventing us from knowing? Why is the administration still hiding more than 10,000 hours of surveillance tape from the US capitol on January 6th? What could possibly be the reason for that - even as they call for more openness... they could release those tapes today, but they're not. Why?"

Carlson notes that Revolver News has dissected court filings surrounding the Capitol riot, suggests that unindicted co-conspirators in the case are likely to have been federal operatives.

We at Revolver News have noticed a pattern from our now months-long investigation into 1/6 -- and in particular from our meticulous study of the charging documents related to those indicted. In many cases the unindicted co-conspirators appear to be much more aggressive and egregious participants in the very so-called "conspiracy" serving as the basis for charging those indicted.

The question immediately arises as to why this is the case, and forces us to consider whether certain individuals are being protected from indictment because they were involved in 1/6 as undercover operatives or confidential informants for a federal agency.

Key segment from Tucker:

"We know that the government is hiding the identity of many law enforcement officers that were present at the Capitol on January 6th, not just the one that killed Ashli Babbitt. According to the government's own court filing, those law enforcement officers participated in the riot - sometimes in violent ways . We know that because without fail, the government has thrown the book at most people who were present at the Capitol on Jan. 6. There was a nationwide dragnet to find them - and many are still in solitary confinement tonight. But s trangely, some of the key people who participated on Jan. 6 have not been charged ."

Look at the documents , the government calls those people 'unindicted co-conspirators.' What does that mean? Well it means that in potentially every case they were FBI operatives ... in the Capitol, on January 6th."

"For example, one of those unindicted co-conspirators is someone government documents identify only as "person two." According to those documents, person two stayed in the same hotel room as a man called Thomas Caldwell - an 'insurrectionist.' A man alleged to be a member of the group "The Oathkeepers." Person two also "stormed the barricades" at the Capitol on January 6th alongside Thomas Caldwell. The government's indictments further indicate that Caldwell - who by the way is a 65-year-old man... was led to believe there would be a "quick reaction force" also participating on January 6th. That quick reaction force Caldwell was told, would be led by someone called "Person 3," who had a hotel room and an accomplice with them . But wait. Here's the interesting thing. Person 2 and person 3 were organizers of the riot . The government knows who they are, but the government has not charged them. Why is that? You know why. They were almost certainly working for the FBI. So FBI operatives were organizing the attack on the Capitol on January 6th according to government documents. And those two are not alone. In all, Revolver news reported there are "upwards of 20 unindicted co-conspirators in the Oath Keeper indictments, all playing various roles in the conspiracy, who have not been charged for virtually the exact same activities and in some cases much, much more severe activities - as those named alongside them in the indictments."

Watch:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1404985019420987398&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Ffbi-operatives-were-unindicted-co-conspirators-organizers-capitol-riot-report&sessionId=ebe7b0399e890bf12ec9d97d458e9766a17255c1&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Revolver , meanwhile, has important questions about January 6th

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has demanded an explanation from FBI Director Christopher Wray:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1405186330284412934&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Ffbi-operatives-were-unindicted-co-conspirators-organizers-capitol-riot-report&sessionId=ebe7b0399e890bf12ec9d97d458e9766a17255c1&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

More:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1404987282273181696&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Ffbi-operatives-were-unindicted-co-conspirators-organizers-capitol-riot-report&sessionId=ebe7b0399e890bf12ec9d97d458e9766a17255c1&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

We recommend you read the entire Revolver piece, which includes the fact that at least five individuals involved int he "Whitmer Kidnapping Plot" were undercover agents and federal informants .


_Rorschach 7 hours ago

Just remember folks

a Klan meeting is always 33 FBI agents

and 2 ACTUAL white supremacists

Dragonlord 7 hours ago

No CIA? I am disappointed.

_Rorschach 7 hours ago (Edited)

Glowies are never at the meetings

theyre busy planting bombs for the false flag afterwards

Misesmissesme 6 hours ago

90% of "terrorists" would never commit acts of terror if the US Guv wasn't coercing them to commit said acts. The wrong people are in jail.

Wonder who in government started the ball rolling on 9/11 before it got away from them?

Sedaeng PREMIUM 6 hours ago

it never got away from them! They directed through and afterwards... Patriot act just 'happened' to be on standby just in case? ha!

Not Your Father's ZH 6 hours ago (Edited)

Amid this chronic Machiavellian conniving, here are creatures who know how to act right:

Goldendoodle Harley saved fawn in lake and then loved on her keeping her safe

"Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing things historians usually record; while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks. Historians are pessimists because they ignore the banks of the river." ~ Will Durant, "The Story of Civilization"

"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss , the abyss also gazes into you." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor itself is not joy, but sorrow. There is no humor in Heaven." ― Mark Twain

thomas sewell 6 hours ago

everything in the USA is bull sheet. its all polluted with mind fook.

the last 1+ year has gone beyond any psycho drama i could ever imagine.

krda 5 hours ago

Didn't Brennan issue the 9/11 hijackers' visas?

zedwork 1 hour ago

Yes, but no planes. That would have been way too risky when you can just add them into the live feed later using CGI.

Bob Lidd 1 hour ago

You mean like what happen in the 1993 WTC bombing.....??

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1993-10-28-1993301015-story.html

Misesmissesme 59 minutes ago

How there hasn't been a day of reckoning yet is beyond me.

SexyJulian 6 hours ago

And stacks of bricks.

E5 5 hours ago

The FBI does not have the right to commit a crime. They chose to run an operation they should disavow all agents involved and they know it. Arrest them.

Not Your Father's ZH 4 hours ago

Breaking: Court Documents Confirm FBI Planned & Executed Jan. 6th 'Insurrection'

vova_3.2018 3 hours ago remove link

The FBI does not have the right to commit a crime. ...

Like 9/11, the "Capitol Hill Riot", was a false-flag operation staged by the Deep-State and falsely attributed to a group the DS sought to target.

BaNNeD oN THe RuN 7 hours ago

DoD also has a domestic undercover army of 60,000... so they may have been more involved than the FBI...

https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-inside-militarys-secret-undercover-army-1591881

There is strong evidence that Ashli Babbit's shooting was also fake...

https://www.bitchute.com/video/gb5nZYoFLuar/

DinduNuffin 6 hours ago

that video destroys the whole narrative ... EVERYTHING IS FAKE

Not Your Father's ZH 5 hours ago

The Pentagon Uses the World's Largest 'Secret Army' of 60,000 Undercover Operatives To Carry Out 'Domestic & Foreign' Operations

Feck Weed 6 hours ago

With Wray out there spreading fear about the Great White Supremacy Threat, you can bet the FBI is working overtime to make something newsworthy happen. Remember folks: 3 "militia" = 2 FBI informants + 1 patsy

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eatapeach 7 hours ago

https://mises.org/library/conspiracy-theory-history-revisited

Until the JFK murder/coup is brought to light, you can bet it's all hoax, including Trump being an 'outsider'. He's not. He did everything Israel told him to do.

GhostOLaz 3 hours ago

America's perception of the FBI comes from TV "programs", not history or reality.

Joiningupthedots 1 hour ago

"Why is the administration still hiding more than 10,000 hours of surveillance tape from the US capitol on January 6th?"

For the same reason the UK government wont release the Skripal Tapes from Salisbury, UK.......LMAO.

Its an inside job........OBVIOUSLY!

Faeriedust 2 hours ago

So. Incidents are being staged and then used as excuses for more draconian State security powers. How is this different from the behavior of known historical groups such as the SS and the KGB? How can this be interpreted except as the actions of a totalitarian State?

Sizzurp PREMIUM 6 hours ago

Scary stuff. They manufacture their own crimes to suit their political narrative and agenda. This is straight out of the Nazi playbook.

Garciathinksso 6 hours ago

this is SOP for FBI, long rich history of manufacturing crimes and low, mid and high level corruption . Prior to that the BOI was even worse.

JaxPavan 7 hours ago remove link

The chickens coming home to roost.

This was a "color revolution" by us, against us. And, it was designed to fail. Like a freakish side show.

Why? Let off political steam. Keep all the people in their respective aisle of the democan and republicrat uniparty bus. Distract political attention away from the full ****** plandemic lockdowns. Keep the rest of the world agape for a few more years thinking things will fall apart on their own, while their resources are extracted. . .

Jam 47 minutes ago

This scam getting some press now is better late than never, but not by much. Some of these media types being all surprised by this must have lived pretty sheltered lives and are lacking any street smarts. This set up was obvious since day one, this is the same bunch that won't call out these crooks for rigged elections.

Oxygen Likes Carbon 48 minutes ago

It should be painfully clear that with the level of surveillance in 2021, nobody can walk into high security governmental building, without being arrested. Let alone organize a mass demonstration then go into Capitol Building during the day, while the politicians being there, to take ... selfies.

... without some help, or coordination from some governmental services.

anti-bolshevik 7 hours ago (Edited)

Replace 'unindicted co-conspirators.' with Agent Provocateurs.

The entire chain-of-command that authorized / planned / executed / gave material support to this Operation should be indicted and prosecuted.

Reminder, Fordham Law's findings

In this course of its investigation, researchers at Fordham discovered that EVERY SINGLE ONE of the 138 terrorist incidents recorded in the USA between 2001-2012 involved FBI informants who played leading roles in planning out, supplying weapons, instructions and even recruiting Islamic terrorists to carry out terrorist acts on U.S. soil.

Enraged 56 minutes ago

With FBI Director Comey, Assistant Director McCabe, and FBI agent/covert CIA agent Strzok acting against President Trump, this should be considered treasonous, and hopefully they will be prosecuted.

The question is who authorized the latest actions on January 6 since Comey, McCabe, and Strzok were fired.

Conductor "Corn Pop" Angelo 38 minutes ago

I can think of two to start with. Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi. Both refused additional security even after being told that the latest intel suggested there was going to be a protest at the capital building on Jan 6th. The two were offered National Guard troops, in addition to Capital Police, to help out, but refused. IIRC, both the Senate and House Sgt at Arms lost their jobs over this, too

Make it three, Mayor Bowser had the same intel and did nothing

Andro1345 7 hours ago

These are old tricks by the FBI. They have been just as bad as the CIA for years.

So many instances going back so far. They plan things, set it up, help to encourage and supply sheep to do these things. If I had someone trying to encourage me to get on board something similar my first guess would be a government operative, seriously.

WeNamedTheDogIndiana 1 hour ago

I attended protests after the election, and it was obvious to be that the rallies at our state capitol were infiltrated by FBI/deep state stooges. A number of them were talking civil war, and said it too boldly in my opinion, and then many of them were carrying AKs, when that was not necessary.

The only rally that I attended that seemed uncorrupted was the first protest in DC a few weeks after the election.

taketheredpill 7 hours ago

Don't be shocked if the FBI funded some of the trips, hotels etc.

And for sure the FBI operatives "wound up" the participants...

But you won't find out for 10 years.

Alfred 7 hours ago

Not just infiltrated.

The FBI actually creates the organizations they then infiltrate.

Someone goes on a good rant here or there, can expect to be befriended by someone of like mind. Thereafter that someone undergoes radicalization and then organization via FBI sting ops. They get funding, they get resources, they get ready, they get busted.

Ha! It's all shake-n-bake, baby!

ProudZion 6 hours ago

...The proud boys was led by a FBI agent....

Mad Muppet PREMIUM 1 hour ago

They're called Agents Provacateurs and it's nothing new. The Government always initiates the violence they say they want to prevent.

Ms No PREMIUM 1 hour ago remove link

"Informants" is a very misleading title. They aren't out there ferretting info of people up to no good. It's more an infiltration and steering game and always has been.

They are basically agents without the boundaries of law. Good front guys too. They will keep them out of trouble and protect them if they can but if it gets too hot they are expendable and even easily patsied. It's all actually actually technically illegal because even when they do real informant work it's actually entrapment.

We used to be protected from these things and now you see the reason behind that. Nothing is new it just has different names and since it's always avoided by media, some of it doesn't even have proper names, at least for the public.

It's basically false flag color revolution operations.

QuiteShocking 6 hours ago (Edited) remove link

The USA's standing in the world is vastly diminished by the continue lies and mischaracterizations of what happened on Jan 6th by the democrats. The police officer died from a stroke and not from the rioters. The unarmed white woman was executed by capital police and no one was held responsible. The democrats have continued to blatantly lie and mislead on what really happened on Jan 6th for political gain...

Max21c 7 hours ago

We recommend you read the entire Revolver piece, which includes the fact that at least five individuals involved int he "Whitmer Kidnapping Plot" were undercover agents and federal informants .

People were already aware that the FBI kidnapping plot against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was an FBI thing from the start and all throughout. Just as many if not most of these things are as they involve the secret police creating the plots and then unraveling the plots they've created and managed and orchestrated all along the way.

Angular Momentum 7 hours ago

The states need to outlaw entrapment in cases like that. The FBI moles need to be punished as severely as the dupes.

junction 7 hours ago

The FBI and the CIA apparently fund the so-call White Supremacist organizations. Your tax dollars at work. Meanwhile, total silence for a decade from the FBI as Jeffrey Epstein ran a transnational white slavery operation out of his Manhattan mansion, aided by the Israeli Mossad.

Max21c 7 hours ago

The intelligence community and secret police community were well aware of what was going on with the Epstein operation. It's not just the US side either as the UK and Israelis were aware of it also.

Uncle Sugar PREMIUM 7 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Trump is better than Xiden, but

He left Chris Wray running the FIB

He didn't prosecute Comey, Brennan, anyone

He pushed the "Vax"

He spent worse than a drunken sailor

Conclusion - He's not the answer

OldNewB 6 hours ago

He should have pardoned Snowden.

otschelnik 7 hours ago

Well looks like the DOJ is bringing back the Obummer spygate team. John P. Carlin who was head of DOJ/National Security Division is now deputy AG. He let the FBI give 4 civilian contractors access to the NSA database for 702 inquiries, which Admiral Rogers stopped. Also back is Lisa Monoco who oversaw the FISA warrants for Carter Page, and now she's going to be heading up Garland's domestic terror task force.

That's all very ominous.

Farmer Tink 4 hours ago

I didn't realize that Carlin was back. He tried to defend his actions in the annual report to the FISA court but Adm. Mike Rogers, on whose watch the NSA found out what the DOJ was doing, carried the day. I also didn't realize that Lisa Monaco was the one in charge of those illegal Page warrants. It's just sickening that they are being rewarded. Thanks for the info.

glenlloyd 2 hours ago (Edited)

With such a high percentage of those 'involved' in the "insurrection" (said loosely here) and the so called Whitmer kidnapping being from FBI / CIA / other intelligence agencies AND those same people end up apparently being in leadership roles in these groups that are supposedly going to be doing the kidnapping and insurrecting, then it's really hard not to come to the conclusion that the fault was with the FBI et al.

It just seems like the FBI et al were way more involved in this than they should have been, if you're going to suggest that it was the others that are to blame. The tough pill to swallow is the claim that it was the people the FBI et al infiltrated and coerced into do these things, that are to blame.

Things really do stink with this.

newworldorder 5 hours ago

How are these actions are not "entrapment."

InfiniteIntellRules 5 hours ago

I will stop, just too many tales of FBI corruption. Last 1

From the book " The United States of Paranoia " by Jesse Walker:

Under COINTELPRO, FBI agents infiltrated political groups and spread rumors that loyal members were the real infiltrators. They tried to get targets fired from their jobs, and they tried to break up the targets' marriages. They published deliberately inflammatory literature in the names of the organizations they wanted to discredit, and they drove wedges between groups that might otherwise be allied. In Baltimore, the FBI's operatives in the Black Panther Party were instructed to denounce Students for a Democratic Society as "a cowardly, honky group" who wanted to exploit the Panthers by giving them all the violent, dangerous "dirty work." The operation was apparently successful: In August 1969, just five months after the initial instructions went out, the Baltimore FBI reported that the local Panther branch had ordered its members not to associate with SDS members or attend any SDS events.

EVERY MAJOR EVENT. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

heehaw2 6 hours ago

All happened under Trumps watch. He said he was going to lead the March to Capital building, then totally disappeared.

MrNoItAll 7 hours ago

Got to hand it to them. Those Fed guys sure know how to stage a riot to get media attention and shape public opinion. How else could they explain why all the guard troops were needed in D C. When getting them there could have been the primary goal of this staged event.

lightwork 7 hours ago

In the early 70's it seemed that a government informant/ mole was instrumental in the activities of virtually every left wing group in the country. It became common knowledge that whomever was most vocal and advocated the most activist positions was usually "that guy". It was effective since paranoia caused most groups to disintegrate.

otschelnik 8 hours ago remove link

Probably more snitches than that.

Oath Keeper Thomas Caldwell who is one of the lucky few released but still charged is a former FBI contractor who had top secret security clearance according to his lawyer.

https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/538018-man-charged-in-capitol-riot-says-he-worked-for-fbi-and-holds-top

Proud Boy Enrique Tarrio who was arrested 2 days before the riot for vandalism (burning a BLM banner), had been an informer to the FBI and law inforcement in Florida, according to his lawyer.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/27/proud-boys-leader-enrique-tarrio-fbi-informant

Max21c 6 hours ago remove link

They forgot Antifa and BLM in their list of groups.

State sponsored terrorist groups favored by Liberal Elites and their secret police are generally omitted and immune.

heehaw2 6 hours ago

George Bush Senior, then head of CIA was in Dallas when JFK was assinated. Ol George announced as President the New World order

QE49er 6 hours ago

Reichstag Fire style false flag.

Ruff_Roll 6 hours ago

It makes perfect sense that FBI or government supported operatives were acting as agents provocateurs on 1/6, organizing and instigating the riot, and subsequently let off as "unindicted co-conspirators." Pelosi was probably in on it, too.

TheySayIAmOkay 7 hours ago

This is the biggest "duh" ever. Of course the government is involved. Just like they were in 9/11. Just like they were stealing the election. Just like they are in at least some of these mass shootings (the FBI was warned about the Parkland shooter multiple times). Just like they will be in the next big incident that massively strips rights from the people.

The Deep State is real. And it is the upper echelons of the FBI, DHS, CIA, ATF, etc. They are the shadow government that wags the tail. They can do whatever they want and nobody can do anything about it. Do you think if Ted Cruz or Nancy Pelosi killed someone they'd get away with it? No. They are figures. The limits of their power can be stripped with a single, stupid, scandal. How about John Brennan? I have absolutely no doubt in my mind he could. Because who will hold him accountable? Nobody in the CIA or FBI went down for not listening to the FBI agent about the 20th hijacker. Mueller got PROMOTED! He's deep state. Brennan was regional chief of the CIA in Riyadh leading up to 9/11. He got... PROMOTED! Deep state.

3-fingered_chemist 7 hours ago

The fact the Capitol had essentially zero security the day all members were present to tally the EC votes and people still think this wasn't faked?

Jim in MN 7 hours ago

Speaking as someone who actually attended the earlier 'Stop the Steal' rally in DC, I said at the time that the Jan. 6th event didn't smell right and felt like a setup. Recommended that folks stay away, expect trouble and stay frosty at that time.

Note that the FBI was/is also deeply involved in the BLM riots. AKA a criminal conspiracy to destabilize US civil order. Of course a lot of mayors and police chiefs are also involved in that criminal conspiracy.

The more you know.....

jammyjo 7 hours ago

FBI is making contact with unstable people, and do nothing but keep them on a list of "assets" to be activated when needed.

Patmos 7 hours ago

Gives new meaning to false narrative. More than just spin, they actually create the events themselves. Not quite a false flag, because nothing really happened.

Is anyone involved going to stand up and say no? Or have they all just decided to reserve themselves to being corrupt little b!tches?

Feck Weed 7 hours ago

FBI is the US domestic secret police force for the Globalist Empire. Nationalism is the enemy of the globalists...

[Jun 14, 2021] Economist David Rosenberg says the Bond Market might have inflation right

The price of energy is growing. and that means inflation is accelerating, but it will probably take the form of stagflation...
Stagflation is characterized by slow economic growth and relatively high unemployment -- or economic stagnation -- which is at the same time accompanied by rising prices (i.e. inflation). Stagflation can also be alternatively defined as a period of inflation combined with a decline in gross domestic product (GDP). See also Stagflation - Wikipedia
Stagflation led to the emergence of the Misery index . This index, which is the simple sum of the inflation rate and unemployment rate, served as a tool to show just how badly people were feeling when stagflation hit the economy.
Under neoclassic economic doctrine stagflation was long believed to be impossible. This pseudoscience demonstrated in the Phillips Curve portrayed macroeconomic policy as a trade-off between unemployment and inflation.
Jun 14, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

I commented above on direction. I believe the bond market has the direction in June correct (falling yields).

That said, the "real yield" is nearly -5% (CPI minus the 3-Month Treasury Yield). This fosters speculation in assets.

We are in the midst of the third big bubble in just over 20 years.

Extrapolating Conditions

It's usually a big mistake to extrapolate current conditions far into the future. And that includes now.

Sure, there are huge wage pressures and the price of some commodities, especially lumber, went through the roof.

But where to from here is what's important.

Despite Wage Increases, Real Hourly Pay Is Losing to Inflation

On June 11, I commented Despite Wage Increases, Real Hourly Pay Is Losing to Inflation

I also noted Huge Upward Wage Pressures for Both Skilled and Unskilled Labor

But Lacy Hunt is holding pat as well.

He pinged me in response to Explaining the Shortage of Skilled Workers and Why It Will Get Worse with these thoughts.

Mish,

Excellent analysis. I would add one point as a result of your conclusion. Older populations with declining birth rates and slower population, depress household, business and public investment. The contracting effect on investment is highly deflationary and overwhelms the impact of inflation due to the smaller labor force. This condition is plainly evident in Japan and Europe. Moreover, this pattern will be increasingly apparent in the US .

The Transitory Boat

The transitory boat is a small one. Powell and Yellen have to say that no matter what they believe.

Rosenberg, Hunt, and I are in the small boat.

And if you want another reason to be in that boat with us, then think about what happens when asset bubbles burst. It won't be inflationary, that's for sure.

Meanwhile, "I just say buy the gold," Rosenberg said. "Gold has 1/5 of the volatility that bitcoin has."

For more on gold and real interest rates, please see my June 11 post Real Interest Rates Suggest It's a Good Time to Buy and Hold Gold

[Jun 14, 2021] World War II Was Transitory- - Putting Inflation In Context

Jun 14, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Global Macro Monitor,

Let us preface our inflation note with one of our favorite quotes:

"World War II was transitory"

– GMM

Inflation has eroded my purchasing power in my transitory life. Bring back the $.35 Big Mac, which was only about 20% of the minimum wage. Now? About 40-50%... Enough to spark a revolution?

[Jun 13, 2021] Another scenario doe Seneca cliff is that some exporting nations realize they will need this oil as the world stares into a scarcity of oil. They might say: "Shit, why are we selling this stuff when we will desperately need it for ourselves in a few years?"

Jun 13, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/13/2021 at 2:44 pm

Another scenario is that some exporting nations realize they will need this oil as the world stares into a scarcity of oil. They might say: "Shit, why are we selling this stuff when we will desperately need it for ourselves in a few years?" And as they cut back, or stop exporting altogether, the problem gets a lot worse, and prices spike even higher. REPLY DOUG LEIGHTON IGNORED 06/13/2021 at 3:34 pm

L.O.L. The decision concerning the proportion of a domestic resource that should be preserved for domestic needs, and how much to export, is interesting. China's REE deposits come to mind. Also, the impact of the immediate use of a resource versus a lower level of exploitation over time might come into play in some (perhaps unrealistic) scenarios as well. Not many examples of countries that have exhaustible natural resources saving some for future generations I'm aware of; probably would result in an unwelcome war or another ugly result!

[Jun 12, 2021] Stockman Warns -Buckle Up!-, May's Soaring CPI Print Was No 'Transitory' Blip

All factors that Stokman sites does not exclude bond rate remaining withing this yea max-min band for the rest of the year. You never know how long Fed will continue to buy bonds to suppress the yield.
The last "dead chicken bounce" of 10 year bond caught many people unprepared and surprised.
Jun 12, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by David Stockman via Contra Corner blog,

The Fed's destructive money-pumping has many victims, but chief among these is the Wall Street financial narrative itself.

It emits not a whiff about the patent absurdity of the Fed's monthly purchase of $120 billion of treasury and GSE debt under current circumstances; and treats with complete respect and seriousness the juvenile word game known as "thinking about thinking about tapering" by which the clowns in the Eccles Building fearfully attempt to placate the liquidity-intoxicated speculators on Wall Street.

So it's not surprising that today's 5.0% CPI reading was made inoperative within minutes after the BLS release by a chorus of financial pundits gumming about "base effects" and ridiculing outliers like soaring used car prices (up 29.7% YoY), which, of course, Bloomberg reporters never see the inside of anyway.

Then again, that's why we look at the two-year stacked CAGRs, which smooth the ups and downs of the worst lockdown months last spring; and also why we use the 16% trimmed mean CPI, which eliminates the highest 8% and lowest 8% of items in the overall CPI each month (both sets of deleted outliers are different each month).

In the present instance, therefore, off-setting the used car prices in the highest 8% of items during May is the -5.0% YoY drop in health insurance costs (if you believe that BLS whopper) and the -5.3% drop in sporting event prices, which, of course, have been largely zero since last April.

In any event, the 16% trimmed mean CPI for May was up by 4.7% annualized versus the April number and was higher by 2.62% on YoY basis.

Still, the more salient point is that on a two-year stacked basis the plain old CPI -- used car prices and all -- leaves not a scintilla of doubt: Consumer inflation is accelerating and rapidly.

During the last eight months the growth rate for the two year stack has risen from 1.48% to 2.55% per annum. And we don't recall a word in May 2019 about that year's reading being particularly deflationary. It was actually up 1.83% from May 2018.

Per Annum CPI Increase, Two-Year Stack:

Still, according to the Fed apologists there's nothing troubling about the above because the Fed is now only trying to hit its 2.00% inflation target "averaged over time".

Let's see. Here are the CPI growth rates going back to May 2014. It turns out you have to average back seven years before you have a shortfall from the 2.00% target!

CPI Increase per Annum To May 2021 From:

You get the scam. These mendacious fools will just keep averaging back in time until the get a number that's a tad under 2.00%, smack their lips loudly and then pronounce the current inflation to be "transitory".

And they will also toss out any inflation index that undercuts their MOAAR inflation mantra -- like all of the data reported above!

So we will say it again : The CPI is a highly imperfect general price measure owing to its one-sided treatment of quality (hedonic) improvements, wherein some reported prices are adjusted downward for improved product features like airbags and more powerful PCs, put few prices are adjusted upward for the junkie toys, towels, kitchenware, appliances and furniture that comes out of China.

But with the 8% highest and 8% lowest prices dropped out monthly to filter out the short-run noise, the 16% trimmed mean version of the CPI at least purports to be a fixed basket price index, not a variable weight deflator like the Fed's beloved PCE deflator.

In short, the 16% trimmed mean CPI puts paid to the "transitory" scam. Come hell or high water, this serviceable inflation measure has been rising at 2.00% per annum since the year 2000, and even more than that during the 1990s.

Thus, during the 112 months since the Fed formally adopted inflation targeting in January 2012, it has risen by 2.03% per annum and by 2.15% per annum since January 2000.

Equally significantly, there have been only a handful of times during the 256 monthly readings since January 2000 when the year-over-year measure dropped materially below 2.00%.

YoY Change, 16% Trimmed Mean CPI, 2000-2021

For want of doubt, here is the Fed's preferred short-ruler -- -the core PCE (personal consumption expenditure deflator less food and energy). And the Fed's case for its insane money-pumping essentially boils down to the dueling information covered by the red bars above and the purple bars below.

As it happens, the one-year change in the core PCE deflator is 3.1% and the stacked two-year gain is 1.99% per annum. That latter is apparently not close enough to 2.00% for government work, meaning that the Fed needs to get more years into its average.

Even then, you have to be trained in the medieval theology of counting angels on the head of a pin to ascertain the purported earth-shaking "shortfall" from target. Compared to April 2021, here are the multi-year CAGRs on an April-to-April basis:

That's right. For the five year-pairs shown above, the average CAGR for the core PCE deflator was 1.90%. It seems that "lowflation" amounts to that which you need a magnifying glass to ascertain -- 10 basis points of shortfall.

Of course, our monetary bean counters are not done "averaging", either. If you go back to January 2012 when the Fed officially adopted inflation targeting, the core PCE deflator is up by 1.69% per annum, and since January 2000 it has risen by 1.75% per annum.

So there you have it. For want of 25-31 basis points of annual inflation -- -averaging back to the beginning of the current century -- you have a camarilla of central bankers giving deer in the headlights an altogether new meaning. That is to say, they are apparently not even thinking about thinking about tapering their massive bond-buying fraud owing to the barely detectable differences between purple and red bars of these dueling charts.

As we said a few days back, would that they had applied the 25th Amendment to the Federal Reserve Board.

These sick puppies are in urgent need of palliative care.

YoY Change In Core PCE Deflator, 2000-2021

They are also in need of a dose of realism, and on that score there are three figures in the May CPI report which tell you all you need to know. To wit, compared to May 2020, durable goods prices were up by 10.3%, nondurables were higher by 7.4% and services less energy gained 2.9%.

In fact, in the recent history of these three figures lays a stinging refutation of the entire "lowflation" scam promulgated by the Fed money printers and their acolytes and shills on Wall Street and in Washington, too.

On this matter, the Donald was right, even if by accident or for the wrong reasons. What we are referring to, of course, is the "Shina" factor.

Beijing's form of state-controlled printing press capitalism has systematically drivendown the cost of manufactured goods and especially durables by, in effect, draining the rice paddies of China's great interior and herding its latent industrial work force into spanking new factories which paid wages less than meager. And CapEx costs were rock bottom, too, owing to $50 trillion of central bank-fueled domestic debt and the greatest cheap capital-driven malinvestment spree in human history.

The result was an intense, multi-decade long deflation of manufactured goods as the high labor costs embodied in US and European manufacturers were steadily squeezed out of global prices levels as production shifted to China and its East Asian supply chain.

That impact is patently obvious in the composition of the CPI among the three components which were flashing warning lights in today's inflation report.

Composition of CPI By Major Components, 2000-2021

In the first place, the core of domestic inflation lies in the 58.8% weight of the CPI consisting of mainly domestically supplied services. The 2.9% YoY gain reported for May for CPI services less energy was essentially par for the course.

That is, during the last 21 years (since January 2000) this component (black line) has risen by 2.71% per annum, and since January 2012 it has gained a similar 2.63% per annum.

Needless to say, if there is any part of the inflation rate that the Fed can most powerfully impact, it is domestically supplied services like health care, education, housing, entertainment, travel and foods services. So where's the "lowflation" in that part of the CPI basket?

Alas, we don't have lowflation in services at all, but a stubborn 2.6%-3.0% upward price drift in domestic service components which account for nearly three-fifths of the household budget.

By contrast, the durable goods component (brown line) accounts for 11.1% of the CPI, and it's been an anchor to the windward for more than two decades. As of May 2021, prices were still 8% below their January 2000 level.

The truth is, the alleged lowflation on the top line CPI has been heavily attributable to the deflationary durable goods sector, but, alas, that era is apparently over. The Chinese rice paddies have been drained on a one-time basis and its labor force is now actually shrinking, while the Donald's ill-timed tariff barriers have forced production to move to higher cost venues, albeit not necessary the USA of A.

Either way, the anchor to the windward is largely gone , meaning that rising durable goods prices going forward will no-longer weigh as heavily on the CPI.

It should be further noted that during the past two-decades nondurable prices have also held-down the CPI top line -- again in large part owing to the "Shina" factor and downward pressures from cheap apparel, footwear, home furnishings and the like.

During the past 21 years, the nondurables component (yellow line) of the CPI rose by 1.99% per annum, which is as close as you please to the target, but was also on anchor on the overall CPI top-line ( purple line) which increased by 2.19% per annum.

Alas, during the period since January 2012, nondurables rose by just 0.63% per annum owing to flat-lining energy and commodity prices, thereby pulling the overall CPI down to 1.80% per annum, where it too fell awry of the Fed's sacred 2.00% target.

But here's the thing. A smattering of surging nondurable goods prices in the May 2021 report are a stark reminder that the times they are a changin'.

On a YoY basis, these components suggest that "lowflation" in durables may have passed its sell-by date and that the 7.4% YoY gain in nondurables overall may be lifting, not suppressing, the CPI top-line going forward.

YoY Change In Major Nondurables Components:

In sum, the chart above captures the one-time history of the Fed's phony "lowflation" narrative -- an aberrant condition that is now fading fast. Sooner or latter they will run out of excuses and back inflation reports to average down. And that, in turn, means tapering of the Fed's great bond-buying fraud -- the lynch pin of the greatest bond and stock bubble in recorded history.

Do we think that will trigger the greatest financial asset value collapse in modern times?

Why, yes, we do! play_arrow


wareco 4 hours ago remove link

Seriously? David Stockman? This guy has been perpetually wrong for the last 4 years, at least. In June, 2017, he was calling for the S&P to fall to 1600. Never happened. In October 2019, he loudly proclaimed that everyone should get out of the "casino". S&P up 40% since then. He has as much credibility as that self-promoter, Harry Dent, who has been calling for gold to drop to $700 since 2012.

Sound of the Suburbs 8 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Stage one – The markets are rising.

Look at all that wealth we are creating.

Stage two – It's a bubble.

That wealth is going to disappear.

Stage three – Oh cor blimey! I remember now, this is what happened last time

At the end of the 1920s, the US was a ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices.

The use of neoclassical economics, and the belief in free markets, made them think that inflated asset prices represented real wealth.

1929 – Wakey, wakey time

The use of neoclassical economics, and the belief in free markets, made them think that inflated asset prices represented real wealth, but it didn't.

It didn't then, and it doesn't now.

Putting a new wrapper around old economics did fool global elites.

You'd have to get up pretty early in the morning to catch me out.

E5 9 hours ago

Not going to happen.

No one is buying.

No one is raising salaries.

Inflation is a stalled plane.

Everyone is waiting.

Self fulfilling prophecy. Mainstreet is waiting on their inheritance from dead Boomers. The only thing that will save America. Money being spent and Cuban Missile Crisis not happening under Boomers.

[Jun 12, 2021] Jet Fuel Demand Poised For A 30% Surge During Summer

Jun 12, 2021 | oilprice.com

John Kilduff of Again Capital has predicted Brent to hit $80 a barrel and WTI to trade between $75 and $80 in the summer, thanks to robust gasoline demand. Brent is currently trading at $71.63 per barrel, while WTI is changing hands at $69.13.

[Jun 12, 2021] Annual Reserve Revisions Part III- Larger Independents Peak Oil Barrel

Jun 11, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

HHH IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 4:57 am

On 05/07/21 the US 10year chart formed a hammer candlestick on daily chart within a consolidation pattern. Which suggested higher yields coming. Well little over a month later price broke below the bottom of that candlestick which suggest that the bond market doesn't believe the inflation we have seen is here to stay. Yield headed lower.

The inflation we have had seems to be supply side due to covid. If inflation is at peak which bond market is suggesting. Oil price might not have much more room to run higher. And I'd take it a step further and say price inflation due to a weaker dollar is starting to real hurt places like China and they are going to act by tightening monetary policy. You think this would be positive for the yuan and push the dollar even lower. But when you tightening monetary policy credit contracts and economic activity contracts.

I do expect oil price to rollover and head back to $50-$55 might happen from a slightly higher price from here because of lag time between when bond market signals rollover in inflation back into deflation and when prices start reacting to this. REPLY EULENSPIEGEL IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 10:07 am

This isn't your history bond market.

Inflation doesn't really matters, what only matters is the one big question: "How much bonds does the one market member with unlimited funds buy?".

And the time the FED was able to rise more than .25% is in the rear mirror "" when they hike now, inflation or not, all these zombie companies and zombie banks will fail and no lawyer in the world will be able to clean up the chaos after all these insolvency filings.

They have to talk the way out of this inflation. They have to talk until it stops, or longer. They can't hike. They can perhaps hike again when most of the debt is inflated away "" a period with 10+% inflation and 1% bond interrest.

And yes, they can buy litterally any bond dumped onto the market "" shown this in March last year when they stopped the corona crash in an action of one week.

I think most non-investment-banks are zombies at the moment, and more than 20% of all companies. They all will fail in less than 1 year when we would have realistic interrest rates. On the dirty end, this would mean 10%+ for all this junk out there "" even mighty EXXON will be downgraded to B fast.

In old times the FED rates would be more than 5% now with these inflation numbers. Nobody can pay this these days.

And now in the USA "" look for how much social justice and social security laws you'll get. The FED has to provide cover for all of them.

We in Europe will do this, too. New green deal, new CO2 taxes, better social security "" the ECB already has said they will swallow everything dumped on the market.

So, oil 100$ the next years "" but some kind of strange dollars buying less then they used to.

Just my 2 cents. REPLY D COYNE IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 7:58 am

From

https://longforecast.com/oil-price-today-forecast-2017-2018-2019-2020-2021-brent-wti

better resolution at link above, a very different oil price forecast from HHH. Over $100/bo for Brent by the end of 2021.

REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 8:28 am

This is nonsense. They have Brent crude oil prices peaking, so far, in March 2025 at $164.11. And they have WTI peaking the same month at $132.55, $32.56 lower. There is no way the spread could be that large. Also, they have natural gas prices dropping over the same period. Just who the hell are these "Longforcast.com" people?

REPLY KLEIBER IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 11:35 am

Disregard anything with "forecast" in the title. They don't have a time machine, and extrapolation is a horrible metric with dynamic markets as complex as the energy ones.

Might as well show me the tea leaves or goat entrails and tell me the price on 11 June 2027. REPLY SHALLOW SAND IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 3:58 pm

Dennis Gartman is still considered a commodities expert.

He infamously said in 2016 that WTI would never be above $44 again in his lifetime. He is still alive last I knew.

Since I have owned working interests in oil wells (1997) I have sold oil for a low of $8 and a high of $140 per barrel. 6/14 oil sold for $99.25 per barrel. 4/20 oil sold for $15.40 per barrel.

Predicting oil prices is impossible.

About the only oil price prediction I have had right so far is that if Biden won, oil prices would rebound. Of course, we can argue about why that is, and if there is even any connection.

There are still no drilling rigs running in the field we operate in. There are still hundreds of production wells shut in. There are still less than 10 workover rigs running in our field. The largest operator still has a help wanted sign up in front of its office. We finally found one summer worker, he is still in high school, but thankfully covered by our workers comp. He cannot drive our trucks, and is limited to painting, mowing, weed control, digging with a shovel, cleaning the shops and pump houses and other tasks like those. That's ok, because we need that, but not being able to drive is a pain. But auto ins won't allow anyone under 21 to be covered. REPLY IRON MIKE IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 11:53 am

Yea Ron i agree with Kleiber, I wouldn't take anything on that site too seriously. REPLY OVI IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 1:34 pm

The IEA is now starting to sound warnings about supply. Last week they were telling the oil companies to stop exploring and to move toward a renewable energy future.

IEA: OPEC needs to increase supply to keep global oil markets adequately supplied

In its monthly oil report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that global oil demand is set to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, rising by 5.4 million bpd in 2021 and by a further 3.1 million bpd next year. The OECD accounts for 1.3 million bpd of 2022 growth while non-OECD countries contribute 1.8 million bpd. Jet and kerosene demand will see the largest increase ( 1.5 million bpd year-on-year), followed by gasoline ( 660 000 bpd year-on-year) and gasoil/diesel ( 520 000 bpd year-on-year).

World oil supply is expected to grow at a faster rate in 2022, with the US driving gains of 1.6 million bpd from producers outside the OPEC alliance. That leaves room for OPEC to boost crude oil production by 1.4 million bpd above its July 2021-March 2022 target to meet demand growth. In 2021, oil output from non-OPEC is set to rise 710 000 bpd, while total oil supply from OPEC could increase by 800 000 bpd if the bloc sticks with its existing policy.

https://www.iea.org/reports/oil-market-report-june-2021

https://www.oilfieldtechnology.com/special-reports/11062021/iea-opec-needs-to-increase-supply-to-keep-global-oil-markets-adequately-supplied/ REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 2:09 pm

(IEA) has said that global oil demand is set to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, rising by 5.4 million bpd in 2021 and by a further 3.1 million bpd next year.

That comes to about 500,000 barrels per day monthly increase, every month until the end of 2022. I really don't believe that is going to happen. No doubt most nations can increase production somewhat, but returning to pre-pandemic levels will be a herculean task for most of them.

[Jun 12, 2021] Headline CPI is expected to jump 4.7% year-over-year

May CPI is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday. It is unclear to me why the 10-year Treasury yield fell below the key 1.5% Wednesday. Was it short-covering? if so what triggered it? If predictions are true it might jump up on Jun 10, 2021 because you can't have Headline CPI 4.7% and the 10-year Treasury yield 1.5%. That's the theatre of absurd.
Rent, owners' equivalent rent and medical care services collectively are 50% of the core CPI basket.
Notable quotes:
"... Headline CPI is expected to jump 4.7% year-over-year, the highest rate since sky high energy prices spiked inflation readings in the fall of 2008. ..."
"... "I am worried about rent and owners' equivalent rent because it should go up. It had decelerated," she said. Shelter is more than 30% of CPI , and rent costs have bottomed in some cities, Swonk added. "The issue is it could have longer legs and keep overall inflation measures buoyed more than people expect." ..."
Jun 09, 2021 | www.msn.com

...The consensus forecast for the core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy, is 3.5% on a year-over-year basis, according to Dow Jones. That's the fastest annual pace in 28 years.

Economists expect both core and headline CPI rose by 0.5% in May. Headline CPI is expected to jump 4.7% year-over-year, the highest rate since sky high energy prices spiked inflation readings in the fall of 2008.

... ... ...

"I am worried about rent and owners' equivalent rent because it should go up. It had decelerated," she said. Shelter is more than 30% of CPI , and rent costs have bottomed in some cities, Swonk added. "The issue is it could have longer legs and keep overall inflation measures buoyed more than people expect."

[Jun 12, 2021] How Fanatics Took Over The World

Jun 12, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via DailyReckoning.com,

Early in the pandemic, I had been furiously writing articles about lockdowns. My phone rang with a call from a man named Dr. Rajeev Venkayya. He is the head of a vaccine company but introduced himself as former head of pandemic policy for the Gates Foundation.

Now I was listening.

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I did not know it then, but I've since learned from Michael Lewis's (mostly terrible) book The Premonition that Venkayya was, in fact, the founding father of lockdowns. While working for George W. Bush's White House in 2005, he headed a bioterrorism study group. From his perch of influence "" serving an apocalyptic president" he was the driving force for a dramatic change in U.S. policy during pandemics.

He literally unleashed hell.

That was 15 years ago. At the time, I wrote about the changes I was witnessing, worrying that new White House guidelines (never voted on by Congress) allowed the government to put Americans in quarantine while closing their schools, businesses, and churches shuttered, all in the name of disease containment.

I never believed it would happen in real life; surely there would be public revolt. Little did I know, we were in for a wild ride"¦

The Man Who Lit the Match

Last year, Venkayya and I had a 30-minute conversation; actually, it was mostly an argument. He was convinced that lockdown was the only way to deal with a virus. I countered that it was wrecking rights, destroying businesses, and disturbing public health. He said it was our only choice because we had to wait for a vaccine. I spoke about natural immunity, which he called brutal. So on it went.

The more interesting question I had at the time was why this certified Big Shot was wasting his time trying to convince a poor scribbler like me. What possible reason could there be?

The answer, I now realized, is that from February to April 2020, I was one of the few people (along with a team of researchers) who openly and aggressively opposed what was happening.

There was a hint of insecurity and even fear in Venkayya's voice. He saw the awesome thing he had unleashed all over the world and was anxious to tamp down any hint of opposition. He was trying to silence me. He and others were determined to crush all dissent.

This is how it has been for the better part of the last 15 months, with social media and YouTube deleting videos that dissent from lockdowns. It's been censorship from the beginning.

For all the problems with Lewis's book, and there are plenty, he gets this whole backstory right. Bush came to his bioterrorism people and demanded some huge plan to deal with some imagined calamity. When Bush saw the conventional plan" make a threat assessment, distribute therapeutics, work toward a vaccine" he was furious.

"This is bulls**t," the president yelled.

"We need a whole-of-society plan. What are you going to do about foreign borders? And travel? And commerce?"

Hey, if the president wants a plan, he'll get a plan.

"We want to use all instruments of national power to confront this threat," Venkayya reports having told colleagues.

"We were going to invent pandemic planning."

This was October 2005, the birth of the lockdown idea.

Dr. Venkayya began to fish around for people who could come up with the domestic equivalent of Operation Desert Storm to deal with a new virus. He found no serious epidemiologists to help. They were too smart to buy into it. He eventually bumped into the real lockdown innovator working at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.

Cranks, Computers, and Cooties

His name was Robert Glass, a computer scientist with no medical training, much less knowledge, about viruses. Glass, in turn, was inspired by a science fair project that his 14-year-old daughter was working on.

She theorized (like the cooties game from grade school) that if school kids could space themselves out more or even not be at school at all, they would stop making each other sick. Glass ran with the idea and banged out a model of disease control based on stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, business closures, and forced human separation.

Crazy right? No one in public health agreed with him but like any classic crank, this convinced Glass even more. I asked myself, "Why didn't these epidemiologists figure it out?" They didn't figure it out because they didn't have tools that were focused on the problem. They had tools to understand the movement of infectious diseases without the purpose of trying to stop them.

Genius, right? Glass imagined himself to be smarter than 100 years of experience in public health. One guy with a fancy computer would solve everything! Well, he managed to convince some people, including another person hanging around the White House named Carter Mecher, who became Glass's apostle.

Please consider the following quotation from Dr. Mecher in Lewis's book: "If you got everyone and locked each of them in their own room and didn't let them talk to anyone, you would not have any disease."

At last, an intellectual has a plan to abolish disease" and human life as we know it too! As preposterous and terrifying as this is "" a whole society not only in jail but solitary confinement" it sums up the whole of Mecher's view of disease. It's also completely wrong.

Pathogens are part of our world; they are generated by human contact. We pass them onto each other as the price for civilization, but we also evolved immune systems to deal with them. That's 9th-grade biology, but Mecher didn't have a clue.

Fanatics Win the Day

Jump forward to March 12, 2020. Who exercised the major influence over the decision to close schools, even though it was known at that time that SARS-CoV-2 posed almost risk to people under the age of 20? There was even evidence that they did not spread COVID-19 to adults in any serious way.

Didn't matter. Mecher's models" developed with Glass and others" kept spitting out a conclusion that shutting down schools would drop virus transmission by 80%. I've read his memos from this period" some of them still not public" and what you observe is not science but ideological fanaticism in play.

Based on the timestamp and length of the emails, he was clearly not sleeping much. Essentially he was Lenin on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution. How did he get his way?

There were three key elements: public fear, media and expert acquiescence, and the baked-in reality that school closures had been part of "pandemic planning" for the better part of 15 years. Essentially, the lockdowners, over the course of 15 years, had worn out the opposition. Lavish funding, attrition of wisdom within public health, and ideological fanaticism prevailed.

Figuring out how our expectations for normal life were so violently foiled, how our happy lives were brutally crushed, will consume serious intellectuals for many years. But at least we now have a first draft of history.

As with almost every revolution in history, a small minority of crazy people with a cause prevailed over the humane rationality of multitudes. When people catch on, the fires of vengeance will burn very hot.

The task now is to rebuild a civilized life that is no longer so fragile as to allow insane people to lay waste to all that humanity has worked so hard to build.

[Jun 12, 2021] China Notes That the Same Journalist Pushing Wuhan Lab Hoax Pushed Iraq WMD Hoax by Andrew Anglin

Jun 09, 2021 | www.unz.com
China Notes That the Same Journalist Pushing Wuhan Lab Hoax Pushed Iraq WMD Hoax ANDREW ANGLIN "¢ JUNE 5, 2021 "¢ 1,100 WORDS "¢ 150 COMMENTS REPLY Tweet Reddit Share Share Email Print More RSS Share to Gab

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Previously: There is Nothing Interesting in the Fauci Emails

China is inching dangerously close to dangerous anti-Semitism.

RT :

China's Foreign Ministry blasted the resurgent interest in the Covid-19 lab-origin theory, noting that the journalist behind a report about Wuhan scientists falling ill is the same one who peddled lies that led to the Iraq War.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin took aim at Michael R. Gordon, a national security correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and one of the authors of the report that added fuel to speculation about Covid-19's lab origin.

"Not long ago, Michael R. Gordon, an American journalist, by quoting a so-called "˜previously undisclosed US intelligence report,' hinted [at] a far-fetched connection between the "˜three sick staff' at the Wuhan lab and the Covid-19 outbreak," Wang said at a briefing on Friday.

"Nineteen years ago, it was this very reporter who concocted false information by citing unsubstantiated sources about Iraq's "˜attempt to acquire nuclear weapons,' which directly led to the Iraq War," he charged, referring to the 2003 US invasion.

The WSJ piece , published on May 23, cites "a previously undisclosed US intelligence report" as saying that three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell seriously ill in November 2019 with symptoms "consistent" with Covid-19 as well as a seasonal flu.

The report got picked up by other mainstream media, which recently began shifting their coverage on Covid-19's origins from outright dismissing theories that the virus was man-made to admitting that a lab leak remains a possibility.

Gordon is supposedly not Jewish, but he co-wrote the New York Times pieces with the Jew Judith Miller.

Furthermore, I wouldn't personally point to Gordon as the source for the "Wuhan Lab Leak Hypothesis" "" I would point to the Jewish neocon Josh Rogin.

Rogin, like Gordon, spent years promoting various atrocity hoaxes in the Middle East and pushing wars for Israel, and is the original source for the version of the "Wuhan Lab theory," that is currently circulating, writing a Washington Post column promoting the hoax on April 14, 2020.

The point of course is that everywhere you look, there are neocons "" most of them Jewish "" promoting this Wuhan Lab stuff. They are the absolute source of the claim "" they and a Falun Gong Hong Kong CIA feminist woman, Li-Meng Yan.

She is claiming to be a "whistleblower," despite the fact that she in no way meets the definition of that term. The term necessarily implies insider knowledge "" usually, a whistleblower is an employee or former employee of the organization they are blowing the whistle on.

Though none of the media promoting her says it outright, there is an implication that she worked at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. She did not. She worked at a university in Hong Kong when she was funded by Steve Bannon to write a paper making the claim that the supposed coronavirus is a Chinese bioweapon.

Bannon has recently been associated with Guo Wengui, a billionaire who was exiled from China for fraud and various crimes. In June of last year, Bannon declared that Guo is now the real ruler of China in a bizarre video on a boat.

While they were on the boat in front of the Statue of Liberty saying they were going to "overthrow the government of China," they flew planes around with signs announcing their new government.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1268317112524775431&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.unz.com%2Faanglin%2Fchina-notes-that-the-same-journalist-pushing-wuhan-lab-hoax-pushed-iraq-wmd-hoax%2F&sessionId=de5a6d92152ac92d71b73e567a6ff0bf88e406ff&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=500px

No one understood what was going on, and even Fox News reported on "confusion" regarding the banners and the livestream on the boat. The livestream has since been deleted, and there is no news from the Federal State of New China. But there is a Wikipedia page documenting this incredibly strange event.

Guo also runs a fake news website (I use that term in the most literal sense) where he published the Hunter Biden footjob videos.

The point is: this is a very weird operation, and it is absurd to take a person funded by these people seriously, as Tucker Carlson shamefully has.

(I'm not attacking Tucker over this, he's overall great and is sometimes just really slow on the uptake, unfortunately "" but it is shameful to get involved with a Hong Kong woman who was literally given money by Steve Bannon and his "Federation of New China" group to write a fake science paper.)

To pretend that she is a whistleblower, to pretend that political organizations funding papers with a predetermined outcome is serious science, is non-serious behavior.

The first time I heard the Wuhan lab leak theory it was being promoted by neocon extremist Tom Cotton. It was then promoted by neocon extremist Mike Pompeo, who was then in the process of trying to start a war with China. Now, it is being promoted by the Jews of CNN.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/WVTZBh83RWk?feature=oembed

There is no one involved in claiming that the supposed coronavirus came from a Chinese lab who doesn't have vested interests in starting a war with the Chinese. This goes for all of these Jews, as well as Steve Bannon, who has actually declared "overthrowing the government of China" (his words) to be his goal.

It's very obvious to see how people who want a war with China would use this hoax, and it is great that China is making the link to the Iraqi WMD hoax. It truly is the same thing.

The United States is a country with a lot of problems. None of those problems are the fault of China. China is not promoting gay sex to children, they are not flooding us with millions of brown people, they did not steal our election, they did not take all of our freedoms and collapse the economy.

Our enemies are domestic and they are Jewish. Any attempt to fear-monger and attack China is intended as a distraction from what is going on in this country, and intended to stoke a war.

Furthermore, this "lab leak" nonsense is designed to get people to continue to believe in this coronavirus hoax.


Rahan , says: June 6, 2021 at 6:33 am GMT "¢ 3.8 days ago

Though none of the media promoting her says it outright, there is an implication that she worked at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. She did not. She worked at a university in Hong Kong when she was funded by Steve Bannon to write a paper making the claim that the supposed coronavirus is a Chinese bioweapon.

Bannon has recently been associated with Guo Wengui, a billionaire who was exiled from China for fraud and various crimes. In June of last year, Bannon declared that Guo is now the real ruler of China in a bizarre video on a boat.

This style of presentation is updated "internet culture" gonzo that stands on the shoulders of Hunter Thompson, Tom Wolfe, and in a sense Mark Twain.

That fact that today's Anglospheric system no longer has a place within itself for this type of "dominant narrative-jamming" creativity, and to write like this means one has chosen to become a hunted outcast, means this culture is in a death spiral. It's no longer a self-renewing organism, but simply a collection of isolated biomass units used and thrown away by the masters.

Andreas , says: June 6, 2021 at 8:18 am GMT "¢ 3.7 days ago

"Nineteen years ago, it was this very reporter who concocted false information by citing unsubstantiated sources about Iraq's "˜attempt to acquire nuclear weapons,' which directly led to the Iraq War," he charged, referring to the 2003 US invasion.

Either the neo-cons thought no one would notice or the noe-cons didn't notice themselves.

I'm leaning towards the latter, especially with sloppy drunk Steve Bannon and a "Falun Gong Hong Kong CIA feminist woman" in the mix. Is this really the best they can do?

... ... ...

Ber , says: June 6, 2021 at 8:48 am GMT "¢ 3.7 days ago

"Coronavirus Has Been Found in Sewage Samples From 2019 in Spain, Italy and Brazil Samples as old as March 2019"

https://anti-empire.com/coronavirus-has-been-found-in-sewage-samples-from-2019-in-spain-italy-and-brazil/

BluEidDvl , says: June 6, 2021 at 9:46 am GMT "¢ 3.6 days ago

These times we're living in are absolutely surreal. Not surprised though, we've been doing this for a long time now. Alas, a great many of my fellow White Americans will fall for it completely & be all in for a war with China. None of them ever even contemplating what that would mean for us & the world. But, these are the same people who boast "we're number one" when we rank at or near the bottom in positive stats for all developed nations, beset with crippling societal ills. The same people who think we can vote ourselves out of this mess & Trump will win in "˜24 & somehow save the day. The same people who think our best days are ahead when our productivity base has been utterly gutted, our infrastructure is collapsing & our ability to maintain it & the skill set needed to sustain that productivity/infrastructure is slipping away. The same people who boast of "muh freedoms" when their freedoms & their children's future is being pulled from right under their feet. The same people who think we'll always be on top even when every example of history shows that every empire in history has collapsed. We're racing toward a cliff but they still think "god" is on their side & won't let it happen or we'll stay on top because, well, "we're America"..

Utter denial & abject delusion seem to be a central aspect of our people..

Joe Levantine , says: June 6, 2021 at 10:24 am GMT "¢ 3.6 days ago

" There is no one involved in claiming that the supposed coronavirus came from a Chinese lab who doesn't have vested interests in starting a war with the Chinese. This goes for all of these Jews, as well as Steve Bannon, who has actually declared "overthrowing the government of China" (his words) to be his goal."

" History often repeats itself, first as a tragedy and second as a farce"

Karl Marx.

The tragedy of the WMD of Iraq follows many other tragedies that got young Americans to spill their blood for the sake of special interests making a killing as war profiteers. The farce of " China spread the Corona virus will the biggest tragedy to hit America if the waning bald eagle tries to poke the rising dragon.

Andrew Anglin, is one of the few American journalists who stand boldly for the truth. Not bad for someone labelled a Neo Nazi by Wikipedia.

VICB3 , says: June 6, 2021 at 11:18 am GMT "¢ 3.6 days ago
@Andreas the similarly rotten United States Empire.

We'll all get to see what happens, I guess.

I like reading history, but I don't want to live it.

Just a thought.

VicB3

*That website can offer up a number of interesting links, including this interview with Putin: https://tass.com/economy/1299287

And here's a quote from him:

"The problem of empires is that they think they are so powerful that they can afford small inaccuracies and mistakes. "But problems keep piling up. And, at some point, they are no longer able to cope with them. And the United States is now walking the Soviet Union's path, and its gait is confident and steady."

Dutch Boy , says: June 6, 2021 at 8:13 pm GMT "¢ 3.2 days ago

The current consensus that Covid was likely a Wuhan lab leak was triggered by an article by Nicholas Wade, a former science writer for the NY Times and an impeccably establishmentarian journalist. Previous attempts by right wingers or maverick scientists to advance this hypothesis were ignored or scorned by the establishment press. Wade could not be so easily dismissed. His article, plus the release of emails by Fauci acknowledging the possibility of a lab-created virus (which he publicly ridiculed) and the revelation that Fauci had funded bat research at Wuhan, have changed the game entirely. My own suspicion is that the Biden administration is preparing to throw Fauci under the bus and has signaled the press that he is now fair game. He has served his purpose and can now be used as a scapegoat. It is unlikely that the Wuhan release will ever be definitively proven. It is more important to realize that this research is not restricted to Wuhan or China and that steps should be taken to shut down all such research world-wide, including the USA, lest we have a succession of these disasters.

Mulga Mumblebrain , says: June 7, 2021 at 6:51 am GMT "¢ 2.8 days ago
@Dutch Boy

The USA has been using bio-warfare for 200 years plus and can NEVER be trusted not to carry on such research. It controls c.200 labs, worldwide, where research into pathogens and vectors, particularly arthropods, and the collection of pathogens, is carried out. It used biological agents in Korea in the early 50s, and against Cuba (African Swine Fever and dengue) in the 70s, and God knows where else, and against its own people, most infamously the Tuskegee syphilis abomination. And it is responsible for SARS CoV2, you can be sure.

Commentator Mike , says: June 7, 2021 at 12:37 pm GMT "¢ 2.5 days ago
@Mulga Mumblebrain

The West has been trying to bring down China since they tried to turn them all into opium addicts. Americans were complicit with the British in this and many of the so-called deep state players made their money from the opium trade. Apparently the same families control the present day drugs trade and the laundering of the profits from it; the so-called drug cartels are mostly minor actors well below those who run the operation at the top. Members of the cartels are often sacrificed but those at the top remain the same.

Trial by Wombat , says: June 7, 2021 at 11:02 pm GMT "¢ 2.1 days ago
@Ber t we have is the Josh Hawley demand to declassify everything related to Covid from day-1, and since he made that proposal, it has been crickets from everyone else, which is again indicative that no one in the power elite has any incentive or goal to do more than batter their usual targets.

All that said "" the best practices at this stage of overwhelming deception is to start with what we can in fact establish and prove as actual plain fact, and proceed from there. If you start from what you suspect or theorize, you will soon be enmeshed in fevered propositions ("missiles hit the pentagon on 9/11") that crap all over the genuine facts and do nothing but hand-craft a made-to-order, wild goose chase. This is very welcome by those who want to control the entire denouement, to serve their own agenda.

Arthur MacBride , says: June 9, 2021 at 8:24 am GMT "¢ 16.8 hours ago
@Joe Levantine

"¦ many other tragedies that got young Americans to spill their blood for the sake of special interests making a killing as war profiteers.

Agree the main thrust of your post, Joe.

It is also worth remembering that very many innocent souls in countries across the world have been going about their daily lives when they were attacked, maimed and killed, their houses destroyed, infrastructure wrecked etc by those same young Americans. Some countries at this very hour are occupied and are being looted by the same.

Perhaps not a comfortable thought for Americans to add in as they see their country now descending into certifiable lunacy.
But what goes around does have a habit of coming around, sooner or later.

anonym25 , says: June 9, 2021 at 11:02 am GMT "¢ 14.2 hours ago
@Anon t Ron Unz has been saying from the beginning. If you look at it geostrategically, this is most plausible conclusion. They released the virus in China but those who created it suffered a massive blowback and even worse China came out of it even stronger than ever before. They were hoping China would crumble but instead got stronger while they weakened. That's why they are fanning out a major Anti-China propaganda campaign to contain her now openly with an overwhelming support of western citizens. This frenziness displayed by western politicians is the reflection that China is on the verge an unstoppable economic powerhouse within a few years and they need to put the brakes right now. It is an implicit admission of desperation. The tussle between China and the US is going to dramatically intensify.
Abbybwood , says: June 9, 2021 at 8:52 pm GMT "¢ 4.4 hours ago
@Mulga Mumblebrain

A country can't bring another country down by giving it "Most Favored Nation Trading Status".

Then sending all it's major corporations there to make big deals.

And how has it served the United States where practically every item, pill in the US is "Made in China"?

The American people were sold out decades ago in order for the 1% and their Congressional lackeys to make major bucks. We were even working with them to create a deadly virus!

[Jun 12, 2021] Sidewalk Robots are Now Delivering Food in Miami

Notable quotes:
"... Florida Sun-Sentinel ..."
"... [A spokesperson says later in the article "there is always a remote and in-field team looking for the robot."] ..."
"... the Sun-Sentinel reports that "In about six months, at least 16 restaurants came on board making nearly 70,000 deliveries... ..."
Jun 06, 2021 | hardware.slashdot.org

18-inch tall robots on four wheels zipping across city sidewalks "stopped people in their tracks as they whipped out their camera phones," reports the Florida Sun-Sentinel .

"The bots' mission: To deliver restaurant meals cheaply and efficiently, another leap in the way food comes to our doors and our tables." The semiautonomous vehicles were engineered by Kiwibot, a company started in 2017 to game-change the food delivery landscape...

In May, Kiwibot sent a 10-robot fleet to Miami as part of a nationwide pilot program funded by the Knight Foundation. The program is driven to understand how residents and consumers will interact with this type of technology, especially as the trend of robot servers grows around the country.

And though Broward County is of interest to Kiwibot, Miami-Dade County officials jumped on board, agreeing to launch robots around neighborhoods such as Brickell, downtown Miami and several others, in the next couple of weeks...

"Our program is completely focused on the residents of Miami-Dade County and the way they interact with this new technology. Whether it's interacting directly or just sharing the space with the delivery bots,"

said Carlos Cruz-Casas, with the county's Department of Transportation...

Remote supervisors use real-time GPS tracking to monitor the robots. Four cameras are placed on the front, back and sides of the vehicle, which the supervisors can view on a computer screen. [A spokesperson says later in the article "there is always a remote and in-field team looking for the robot."] If crossing the street is necessary, the robot will need a person nearby to ensure there is no harm to cars or pedestrians. The plan is to allow deliveries up to a mile and a half away so robots can make it to their destinations in 30 minutes or less.

Earlier Kiwi tested its sidewalk-travelling robots around the University of California at Berkeley, where at least one of its robots burst into flames . But the Sun-Sentinel reports that "In about six months, at least 16 restaurants came on board making nearly 70,000 deliveries...

"Kiwibot now offers their robotic delivery services in other markets such as Los Angeles and Santa Monica by working with the Shopify app to connect businesses that want to employ their robots." But while delivery fees are normally $3, this new Knight Foundation grant "is making it possible for Miami-Dade County restaurants to sign on for free."

A video shows the reactions the sidewalk robots are getting from pedestrians on a sidewalk, a dog on a leash, and at least one potential restaurant customer looking forward to no longer having to tip human food-delivery workers.

... ... ...

[Jun 10, 2021] Mcjobs increases in May. Good jobs no so much. Labor-force participation dropped

Jun 10, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Job gains in May were led by leisure and hospitality, with the sector adding 292,000 jobs. Payrolls grew by 559,000 last month, the Labor Department reported Friday, up from a revised 278,000 in April, which marked a sharp drop from March's figure.

The labor recovery has slowed from earlier in the year -- in March, the economy added 785,000 jobs

... The labor-force participation rate, the share of adults working or looking for work, edged slightly lower in May to 61.6%, down from 63.3% in February 2020.

M

Michael Quick

Republicans, always eager to snatch the bread from the mouths of the poor, are blaming unemployment benefits for the reluctance of workers to return to jobs. In some red states, they already are snatching it.

But more men are returning to work than are women. Doesn't that prove that unemployment benefits are not holding back former workers?

I'll bet more women will return to work in September, after schools start up in-person classes.

William Lamb
Republican turn a blind on helping people, except themselves. They would rather have one being a slave and get pay less then nothing with little perks in making less then high quality item that will still have defects, even if we pride our workmanship that is suppose to equal to none. It would like being in 1950s, when there was not much world competition, when world economy was still recovering from WW2.

I guessed Republican want American to continue working by low paying wages so they can enrich themselves, and show that America can still produce things with slave wages.

johm moore
Most of the jobs are insufficient to support a reasonable quality of life. A job today is about like a half a job pre-NAFTA and the job export process in terms of the quality of life that it supports.
Bryson Marsh
If UI was holding back employment, then why are we adding so many low wage jobs? The missing jobs are in *middle income* sectors.
David Chait
I wouldn't call people returning to work "new" jobs, that just seems disingenuous.
rich ullsmith
Asset prices rise when the jobs report is lukewarm. Thank you, Federal Reserve. May I have another.
Sam Trotter
It should be made mandatory to publish the offered wage/rate. I see so many fake jobs posted on LinkedIn with no description of bill rate for contract positions or Base+Bonus for Full-Time roles. Too many mass scam messages.

[Jun 10, 2021] U.S. 10-Year Treasury Yield Slips Below 1.5%

In view of rising energy prices what those "other factors" might be? Does it mean that the USA are still in secular stagnation started in 2008?
The unemployment rate fell to 5.8% in May from 6.1% the prior month. U6 is still over 10% -- the depression level. See Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization
Jun 10, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Analysts said other factors are driving lower yields, including a weaker dollar, which has lifted demand for Treasurys from foreign investors. Foreign investors tend to hold more Treasurys when the dollar declines and reduces the costs of protecting against swings in currencies.

[Jun 10, 2021] Inflation Remains Hot, but Treasury Yields Still Aren't Moving. Here's Why

Jun 10, 2021 | financialgazette.co.uk

That is a counterintuitive response , because rising inflation erodes the value of Treasuries' payouts. And the data did indicate stronger inflation: Excluding volatile food and energy costs, prices rose 0.7% in May. That was the second-highest monthly increase in consumer prices since the early 1980s, behind April's 0.8% rise. Compared with last year, when the global economy was mired in a pandemic-driven slowdown, headline consumer prices rose at a 5% pace . (Excluding food and energy, they rose 3.8%.)

The market's moves could be muted because investors are betting that central bankers are going to stick with their view that most of the strength in consumer prices will pass after a potentially bumpy reopening period and keep policy easy.

... ... ...

... Most Fed watchers expect the central bank to start discussing a reduction of its bond purchases this summer or early fall.

That doesn't mean Treasuries have much room to rally more from here.

The Fed's meeting next week may be the first test. If central-bank officials talk about starting to remove accommodation earlier than expected, that could send yields higher. In fact, strategists from TD Securities decided to take a bearish view on the 10-year note on Thursday, after yields fell below 1.5% earlier this week. They argued that continued economic momentum and stronger inflation could lead central-bank officials to take a more upbeat tone on the economy than investors expect at their meeting on June 15 and 16.

[Jun 09, 2021] Nearly 4 million people quit their jobs in April

Jun 09, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

The percentage of people quitting their jobs, meanwhile, also rose to a record 2.8% among private-sector workers. That's a full percentage point higher than a year ago, when the so-called quits rate fell to a seven-year low.

...A recent study by Bank of America, for example, found that job switchers earned an extra 13% in wages from their new positions. That's a big chunk of money.

...Normally people who quit their jobs are ineligible for unemployment benefits, but they can get an exemption in many states for health, safety or child-care reasons.

About half of the states, all led by Republican governors, plan to stop giving out the federal benefit by early July to push people back into the labor force. Economists will be watching closely to see how many people go back to work.

[Jun 09, 2021] If the pandemic hasn't called into question the application of JIT logistics for all industries, then the loss of cheap diesel certainly will.

Jun 09, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

KLEIBER IGNORED 06/09/2021 at 1:57 pm

If nothing else, this scenario will lead to a radical reshaping of how we as a species go about doing logistics. If the pandemic hasn't called into question the application of JIT logistics for all industries, then the loss of cheap diesel certainly will. Even if long haul electric trucks become a thing, it will require a different approach to matters.

Cars are otherwise a solved issue with EVs. There's nothing that an ICE can really offer over an EV. Trucking and heavy industry is another matter, and that's where problems will be. Frankly, I welcome this uprooting of a paradigm that has no resilience built in whatsoever.

[Jun 09, 2021] No inflation fears here -- ARK's Wood says portfolio should triple in five years

Jun 09, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Wood, who became the face of the outsized rally in technology stocks such as Zoom Video Communications Inc and electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc during the coronavirus pandemic last year, said that falling lumber and copper prices signal that the market is "beginning to see signs that the risks are overblown" from inflation.

...Wood, whose ARK Innovation ETF was the top-performing actively managed U.S. equity fund tracked by Morningstar last year, has seen her performance stagnate along with the slowdown in growth stocks. Her flagship fund is down nearly 28% from its early February high.

[Jun 07, 2021] How Inflation Eats Away at Your Retirement Income

A short-term period of slightly higher inflation wouldn't be memorable, but an extended run of inflation above 3% can be problematic. Social Security Is Your Best Inflation Hedge; you need to maximize it.
Social Security checks represent about a third of income for all retirees. Among elderly recipients, those checks represent half of their retirement income for married couples and 70% for singles.
A primary residence, if you own a house and it is fully paid off, also gave some minimal inflation protection.
Another factor is that once people actually get into retirement, , their spending generally decreases so much that they're spending less overall, even accounting for inflation.
Jun 07, 2021 | www.investopedia.com
​ While seniors can't directly affect the inflation rate, there are ways to minimize the shadow it casts over their retirement.

Reducing housing costs, for instance, is a step in the right direction. Trading in a larger home for a smaller one, even if the mortgage is paid off, reduces the monthly outflow for property taxes, utilities, homeowners insurance, and maintenance.

Another smart move is adding investments to your portfolio that are likely to increase in value as inflation rises.

A real estate investment trust (REIT) or energy sector stocks, for example, are better positioned to see their value grow in tandem with the inflation rate.

[Jun 07, 2021] Yes, inflation is rising but no individual equity sector, including the energy sector, offers significant protection against high and rising inflation

Jun 07, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Yes, inflation is rising, and retirees must now consider repositioning not just their short-term safe-haven investments (we'll talk more about that in part two) but their entire portfolio as well (which we'll focus on here). Well that, conveniently enough, is the subject (and title) of a paper soon to be published in the Journal of Portfolio Management that was co-authored by Campbell Harvey, a professor at Duke University, and several of his colleagues affiliated with Man Group. What more, Harvey and his co-authors found that no individual equity sector, including the energy sector, offers significant protection against high and rising inflation.

... here's what Harvey and his co-authors discovered after researching eight periods of inflation dating back to 1925: Neither equities nor bonds performed well in real terms during the inflationary periods studied. Real being the nominal rate of return minus the rate of inflation.

... ... ...

TIPS

"Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) are robust when inflation rises, giving them the benefit of generating similar real returns in inflationary and noninflationary regimes, both of which are positive," the authors wrote.

In fact, TIPS had a 2% annualized real return during the most recent five periods of inflation.

But what looks promising in a research paper might not work in reality given the current yield on TIPS (0.872% as of June 2, 2021). The low yield means that TIPS are a "really super expensive" inflation hedge going forward, said Harvey.

"It means that you're going to get a negative return in noninflationary periods," he said. "So yes, they provide the protection, but they're an expensive way to get that protection."

Commodities

"Traded commodities" have historically performed best during high and rising inflation. In fact, traded commodities have a "perfect track record" of generating positive real returns during the eight U.S. periods studied, averaging an annualized 14% real return.

Now investors might not be able to trade commodities in the same manner as institutional investors using futures, but they can invest in ETFs that invest in a broad basket of commodities, said Harvey.

Other assets

Residential real estate on average holds its value during inflationary times, though not nearly as well as commodities. Collectibles such as art (7%), wine (5%) and stamps (9%) have strong real returns during inflationary periods, as well.

And while some suggest adding bitcoin to a diversified portfolio as an inflation protection asset, caution is warranted given that bitcoin is untested with only eight years of quality data -- over a period that lacks a single inflationary period, the authors wrote. "It's not just untested," said Harvey. "It's too volatile."

Gold is also too volatile as a reliable hedge against inflation. Harvey noted, for instance, that the performance of gold since 1975 is largely driven by a single year, 1979, when gold dramatically appreciated in value. "And that makes the average look really good," he said.

Read: Gold- it's not just for crazies

Dynamic strategies

Harvey also said his number one dynamic strategy for inflationary times is changing the sector exposures in your portfolio. With this strategy, you would allocate a greater portion of your assets to sectors that have historically performed well during inflationary periods, such as medical equipment, and less if anything at all to sectors that have performed poorly during inflationary periods, such as consumer durables and retail. "You can naturally rebalance your portfolio to be a little more defensive," he said. "And that can be done by any investor."

Harvey and his co-authors also found active equity factors generally hold their own during inflation surges with "quality stocks" having a small positive real return and "value stocks" having a small negative return.

Dynamic strategies are "active" strategies that involve monthly rebalancing of portfolios, according to Harvey. In contrast, passive strategies require minimal or no rebalancing; for example, holding an S&P 500 index fund.

Active equity factor investing uses frequent rebalancing to take bets that deviate from the investment weights implied by a passive market portfolio. These bets seek to produce returns over and above the passive market portfolio, said Harvey.

In Harvey's study, quality is defined as a combination of profitability, growth and safety and value is defined with traditional metrics such as the book-to-price ratio.

Is now the time to reposition your portfolio?

According to Harvey, inflation surging from 2% to more than 5% is bad for stocks and bonds. We're not there yet; the current rate of inflation is 4.2%. But we are getting close to the "red zone" and now would be a good time to "rethink the posturing of your portfolio," Harvey said. "So even if it doesn't occur, it doesn't matter. If the risk is high enough, you take some actions, you're basically buying some insurance."

And being proactive is the key. "So, at least right now, it's better to have the discussion now than when it's too late; when we're already in the surge and the asset prices have already dropped," said Harvey.

Remember too that what you hedge is "unexpected" inflation, Harvey said. "What you really are concerned with is unexpected inflation or a surprise in inflation. We call it an economic shock."

But not a transitory shock. That won't have any effect on asset prices. "You need to consider long-term inflation," he said.

And that place to look for that is in the break-even inflation (BEI) rate reflected in TIPS and nominal Treasurys. The BEI is the weighted average of inflation expectations over the life of the bond. And changes in the BEI have the advantage of reflecting changes in long-term or permanent inflation expectations. Presently the BEI is 2.44%. "Anything that is a long-term measure of inflation is going to have the maximum reflection in the asset prices," he said.

As for the current inflationary environment, Harvey said it's a mix of transitory and not-so transitory elements. Lumber prices are up but likely not permanently. The rising prices of other goods and services, however, may not be transitory. "It's obviously difficult to dissect this," he said. "But it's really important for people that are running a portfolio draw that distinction."

[Jun 07, 2021] Will hot US inflation data unsettle markets-

Jun 05, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

FT reporters

US government bonds rallied on Friday following a weaker-than-expected reading on American job growth for the month of May. But a key report on consumer price inflation will provide a fresh test for investors. Consumer prices rose at its fastest pace in more a decade in the 12 months to April, but analysts project that it has picked up even more since then, raising fears that the economy is overheating. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the year on year inflation rate to have jumped to 4.7 per cent in May in figures to be released by the Department of Labor on Thursday, compared with 4.2 per cent in April.

[Jun 07, 2021] Commodity Price Surges Add to Inflation Fears

Jun 07, 2021 | www.wsj.com

It looks like this surge is suitable, especially in energy... That spells troubles for the US economy which is based on cheap energy.

Higher prices for commodities are flowing through to more companies and consumers, making it harder for central bankers to ignore them

...The world hasn't seen such across-the-board commodity-price increases since the beginning of the global financial crisis, and before that, the 1970s. Lumber, iron ore and copper have hit records . Corn, soybeans and wheat have jumped to their highest levels in eight years . Oil recently reached a two-year high .

At current metal prices, Rio Tinto PLC, BHP Group Ltd. , Anglo American PLC and Glencore PLC could this year generate a combined $140 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to Royal Bank of Canada. That compares with $44 billion in 2015, when metals prices were at or near lows.

However, in Russia, a commodity exporter, surging commodity prices also are driving up inflation. While Russia's international reserves hit $600.9 billion in May, the highest ever, its central bank increased its benchmark interest rate by 0.5 percentage point to 5% in April. It said it would consider further increases, citing "pro-inflationary risks generated by price movements in global commodity markets."

"We think that the inflation pressure in Russia is not transitory, not temporary," Russia's central-bank governor Elvira Nabiullina told CNBC in a recent interview.

...Nicolas Peter, chief financial officer of BMW AG , said in May that it expects an impact of 500 million euros, equivalent to about $608 million, from prices for raw materials. Increased steel prices have added about $515 to the cost of an average U.S. light vehicle, according to Calum MacRae, an auto analyst at GlobalData.

[Jun 07, 2021] When it comes to inflation, the Fed must consider inequality

Jun 07, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Like most central banks, the US Federal Reserve has been forced to ask why more than a decade of ultra-loose monetary policy has had such lacklustre economic results.

The Fed's data are misleading because they assume the US is the middle-class nation it has ceased to be.

Until it uses data that reflect the nation as it is, the Fed will no more get America back to shared prosperity than someone using a map of New Amsterdam will find the pond in Central Park.

[Jun 07, 2021] Yellen says higher interest rates would be 'a plus' for policy makers

Only if they can control it... And that is not given.
Jun 07, 2021 | www.msn.com

Speaking with Bloomberg News following a G-7 finance ministers' meeting in London, Yellen said it's OK if President Joe Biden's $4 trillion spending plans trigger inflation and higher rates.

"If we ended up with a slightly higher interest-rate environment it would actually be a plus for society's point of view and the Fed's point of view," she told Bloomberg.

"We've been fighting inflation that's too low and interest rates that are too low now for a decade," she said. "We want them to go back to" a normal environment, "and if this helps a little bit to alleviate things then that's not a bad thing -- that's a good thing."

The Fed has said it won't start to scale back its $120 billion-a-month asset purchases until the economy had made "substantial further progress" toward the Fed's goals of full employment and stable long-run 2% inflation.

While indicators of inflation have been rising , bond yields have been subdued, leaving many experts skeptical that a "taper tantrum" in in the cards whenever the Fed starts paring back its purchases.

[Jun 07, 2021] Rossneft CEO Sechin said that the world was facing an acute oil shortage in the long-term due to underinvestment amid a drive for alternative energy, while demand for oil continued to rise

Jun 07, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

OVI IGNORED 06/06/2021 at 8:40 pm

WTI Punched a $70 ticket sometime after 6:00 PM EST, June 6, 2021. The last time this happened was Oct 16, 2018, $71.92 before falling below $70 the next day.

HICKORY IGNORED 06/06/2021 at 10:59 pm

"Igor Sechin, the head of Russian oil major Rosneft (ROSN.MM), said on Saturday the world was facing an acute oil shortage in the long-term due to underinvestment amid a drive for alternative energy, while demand for oil continued to rise."

Indeed.

[Jun 07, 2021] Exxon Exits Oil Exploration Prospect in Ghana After Seismic Work - Bloomberg

Jun 07, 2021 | www.bloomberg.com

Exxon Mobil Corp. is pulling out of a deep-water oil prospect in Ghana just two years after the west African nation ratified an exploration and production agreement with the U.S. oil titan.

The company relinquished the entirety of its stake in the Deepwater Cape Three Points block and resigned as its operator after fulfilling its contractual obligations during the initial exploration period, according to a letter to Ghana's government seen by Bloomberg and people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information isn't public.

[Jun 07, 2021] BP Sees Global Crude Oil Demand to Last, CEO Bernard Looney Says - Bloomberg

Jun 07, 2021 | www.bloomberg.com

Energy giant BP Plc sees a strong recovery in global crude demand and expects it to last for some time, with U.S. shale production being kept in check, according to Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney.

"There is a lot of evidence that suggests that demand will be strong, and the shale seems to be remaining disciplined," Looney told Bloomberg News in St. Petersburg, Russia. "I think that the situation we're in at the moment could last like this for a while."

[Jun 07, 2021] Sidewalk Robots are Now Delivering Food in Miami

Notable quotes:
"... Florida Sun-Sentinel ..."
"... [A spokesperson says later in the article "there is always a remote and in-field team looking for the robot."] ..."
"... the Sun-Sentinel reports that "In about six months, at least 16 restaurants came on board making nearly 70,000 deliveries... ..."
Jun 07, 2021 | hardware.slashdot.org

18-inch tall robots on four wheels zipping across city sidewalks "stopped people in their tracks as they whipped out their camera phones," reports the Florida Sun-Sentinel .

"The bots' mission: To deliver restaurant meals cheaply and efficiently, another leap in the way food comes to our doors and our tables." The semiautonomous vehicles were engineered by Kiwibot, a company started in 2017 to game-change the food delivery landscape...

In May, Kiwibot sent a 10-robot fleet to Miami as part of a nationwide pilot program funded by the Knight Foundation. The program is driven to understand how residents and consumers will interact with this type of technology, especially as the trend of robot servers grows around the country.

And though Broward County is of interest to Kiwibot, Miami-Dade County officials jumped on board, agreeing to launch robots around neighborhoods such as Brickell, downtown Miami and several others, in the next couple of weeks...

"Our program is completely focused on the residents of Miami-Dade County and the way they interact with this new technology. Whether it's interacting directly or just sharing the space with the delivery bots,"

said Carlos Cruz-Casas, with the county's Department of Transportation...

Remote supervisors use real-time GPS tracking to monitor the robots. Four cameras are placed on the front, back and sides of the vehicle, which the supervisors can view on a computer screen. [A spokesperson says later in the article "there is always a remote and in-field team looking for the robot."] If crossing the street is necessary, the robot will need a person nearby to ensure there is no harm to cars or pedestrians. The plan is to allow deliveries up to a mile and a half away so robots can make it to their destinations in 30 minutes or less.

Earlier Kiwi tested its sidewalk-travelling robots around the University of California at Berkeley, where at least one of its robots burst into flames . But the Sun-Sentinel reports that "In about six months, at least 16 restaurants came on board making nearly 70,000 deliveries...

"Kiwibot now offers their robotic delivery services in other markets such as Los Angeles and Santa Monica by working with the Shopify app to connect businesses that want to employ their robots." But while delivery fees are normally $3, this new Knight Foundation grant "is making it possible for Miami-Dade County restaurants to sign on for free."

A video shows the reactions the sidewalk robots are getting from pedestrians on a sidewalk, a dog on a leash, and at least one potential restaurant customer looking forward to no longer having to tip human food-delivery workers.

... ... ...

[Jun 06, 2021] Rethinking Unemployment- From Adam Smith to Marx -Reserve Army of the Unemployed- to the Neoliberal War on Full Employment -

Jun 06, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Rethinking Unemployment: From Adam Smith to Marx "Reserve Army of the Unemployed" to the Neoliberal War on Full Employment Posted on June 5, 2021 by Yves Smith

Yves here. This post gives a useful, high level view of how the basis for unemployment has changed over time, including under Covid.

By Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst, Institute for New Economic Thinking. Originally published at t he Institute for New Economic Thinking website

Canadian economist Mario Seccareccia, recipient of this year's John Kenneth Galbraith Prize in Economics, says it's time to reconsider the idea of full employment. He spoke to Lynn Parramore of the Institute for New Economic Thinking about why 2021 offers a rare opportunity to rebalance the economy in favor of Main Street.

Once upon a time – not so long ago, really – unemployment was not a thing.

In agricultural societies, even capitalistic ones, most people worked on the land. A smaller number worked in villages and towns – shoemakers and carpenters and so on. Some might go back and forth from the countryside to the town, depending on the availability of work. If your work in town building houses dried up, you might come back to the country for the harvest.

Economist Mario Seccareccia, who loves history, notes that before the Industrial Revolution, it was unthinkable that someone ready and able to work had no job to do.

Questions: If unemployment was once unknown, why do we accept it now?

Where did unemployment come from?

In those pre-Industrial Revolution times, there were paupers, mostly people who could not work for some reason such as a disability. These were deemed deserving of charity. A small number of paupers were considered deviants and treated harshly, perhaps made to labor in public work-houses under vile conditions.

Seccareccia notes that early classical economists like Adam Smith and David Ricardo recognized that able-bodied people could experience temporary joblessness, but not the long-term variety. The word "unemployment" only became widely used in the nineteenth century. As cities grew and manufacturing took off, people living in cities and towns grew apart. Movement between the two places grew less fluid. The agricultural sector of the economy was shrinking.

At first, if you lost your factory job, you could still probably pick up something in the countryside to tide you over. But if you had grown up in the city, as more and more people did, you might not know how to do rural work. By the late nineteenth century, most city dwellers could no longer count on falling back on agricultural work during hard times.

Karl Marx noted that England's enclosure movement, which gained momentum as early as the seventeenth century, had made things hard for agricultural workers as wealthy landowners grabbed up the rights to common lands that workers had traditionally been allowed to use and were a vital part of their sustenance. Uprooting peasants from the land and traditional ways of life, Marx observed, created an "industrial reserve army" – basically a whole bunch of people wanting to work but unable to find a job during times when industrialists held back investment or when machines took over certain jobs.

Marx saw that this new kind of unemployment was a feature of capitalism, not a bug. Still, a lot of mainstream bourgeois economists thought that the market would somehow sort things out and eventually provide enough job openings to prevent mass unemployment.

It didn't turn out that way. Exhibit A: The Great Depression.

Especially after World War I, many later economists, most notably John Maynard Keynes, warned that high rates of unemployment were getting to be the norm in the twentieth century. Keynes predicted that a lot of people would go on being jobless unless the government did something. This was very bad for society.

Keynes emphasized that full employment was never going to just happen on its own. Mainstream economists thought that if wages fell enough, full employment would eventually prevail. Keynes disputed that. As wages fell, demand contracted even further, leading to even less business investment and so forth in a never-ending cycle. No, capitalism, with its business cycles led to involuntary unemployment, according to Keynes.

Seccareccia observes that economist Michał Kalecki agreed that the government could make policies to help more people stay employed at a decent wage, but there was just one problem: wealthy capitalists weren't going to have it. They would oppose state-supported systems to hold demand up so that fear of unemployment checked workers' demands for better pay and improved work conditions.

For a while, after World War II, the capitalists were on the defense. The Great Depression and the Communist threat got western countries spooked enough to go along with Keynes's argument that governments should try to encourage employment by doing things like creating big projects for people to work on. Safety nets were created to keep folks from falling into poverty. The goal of full employment gained popularity and many more workers joined unions.

Capitalists v. Full Employment

Economists have bandied about various definitions of what full employment ought to look like, explains Seccareccia: "A well-known definition came from William Beveridge, who said that what you wanted was as many jobs open as people looking for them – or even more jobs because every person can't take every type of job."

In the mid-twentieth century, with the economy doing well, neoclassical economists like Milton Friedman started to push back against the idea of full employment. He discouraged the use of fiscal and monetary policy to support employment, arguing that attempts to push down unemployment beyond what he insisted was its "natural" rate in the economy would simply lead to inflation.

In the 1960s, some of what Friedman warned about did actually happen. Employment was low and prices started to go up mildly, particularly during the Vietnam War era. However, the biggest boost to the credibility of Milton Friedman came with the OPEC cartel oil-price hikes of the 1970s that pushed the inflation rate to double-digit levels while simultaneously pushing up unemployment. So, in the '70s, western countries started backing off from encouraging full employment and maintaining strong safety nets. Proponents of the new neoliberal framework were in favor of cutting safety nets, shedding government jobs, and leaving it to the market to decide how much unemployment there would be. They said that it had to be this way to keep inflation from rising, even though the cause of that high inflation of the '70s had nothing to do with high public spending and excessive money creation that Friedman and his friends talked about.

Seccareccia points to proof that the neoclassical logic didn't hold up. In the two decades before the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-8, the rate of unemployment went down, but inflation didn't go up. That proved that the neoclassical economists were wrong. But unfortunately, policymakers didn't really digest this before the Great Recession hit. So, they bungled the response badly by putting the brake on public spending too quickly because of fears of excessive budget deficits and potentially higher future inflation that never materialized. They kept insisting that the employment level would return to that "natural" state Friedman had talked about if they just left things to the market.

"But it didn't work out that way," says Seccareccia. "Unemployment skyrocketed and it took a decade to return to pre-crisis levels.

Which brings us to the COVID-19 crisis.

A Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Seccareccia says that we have to understand the difference between the current situation and the Global Financial Crisis. This time, it really is different.

"The earlier crisis started in the financial sector and spread to the real economy," he explains. "But in 2020, when the Coronavirus emerged, the financial and industrial sectors got hammered at the same time." This meant that people in both sectors stopped spending. Households couldn't spend even if they wanted to because traveling, dining out, and other activities were off-limits. Businesses cut investment as uncertainty loomed and exports declined due to restrictions at borders. Unless you were Home Depot or an e-commerce company, you couldn't sell anything.

The COVID-19 crisis also saw workers pulled out of activities thought to be too high risk for spreading the virus. Across the country, non-essential workers were sent home and told to stay there. Most, especially in sectors like leisure and hospitality, can't do their work from home . A lot of these people lost their wages, and because most of them were low-wage to begin with, they could least afford the hit. Many were only able to maintain their incomes through government unemployment insurance. Businesses, meanwhile, were kept afloat with subsidies.

Seccareccia notes that unemployment had an interesting twist in the pandemic because it was both the problem and the initial cure for the health crisis. Unemployment kept the virus from circulating. It saved lives.

Fast-forward to late spring, 2021. As America and other western countries seek to put the pandemic behind them, the economy is opening back up. Employers are wanting to hire, and they are even competing with each other for workers. But many job seekers are waiting to go back to work. There are a lot of reasons why: caregiving for kids is still a huge burden, and people are still worried about getting sick. Transit routes have been disrupted making it harder for people to get to work. It's also possible that some workers may be resisting jobs on offer which come with low pay and inadequate benefits.

Employers have started complaining they can't find workers and blame the social safety net as the problem. Some employers, like those in the hospitality industry, are offering higher pay to lure workers back.

Just as Kalecki predicted, the wealthy capitalists are getting uneasy. The Chamber of Commerce, for example, has pushed the U.S. to stop expanded unemployment insurance benefits so that people will be forced to return to low-wage jobs. Some Republican-dominated states have jumped on board with this idea. Economist Larry Summers, for his part, is warning about inflation and telling the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates so that wages don't go up. He complains that when he walks outside, all he sees are people eager to fill job vacancies . It's unclear where he was living when he said that, or which people he is talking about.

Others argue that expanded unemployment insurance isn't the problem, but the crappy jobs on offer. Seccareccia believes that it's a good thing if employers raise their wages, even if that means a little bit of inflation.

Rising inequality, he emphasizes, is unsustainable in a healthy society, and it's about time ordinary people had a little power to improve their lot. "When employers are worried about people quitting," he says, "that's when you know you're getting close to full employment. And in a capitalist society, it's an extremely rare situation when the number of quits begins to exceed the number of new hires as an economy nears the peak of a business cycle."

In Seccareccia's view, "there's a balancing act between workers 'fearing the sack' and employers 'fearing the quit.'" He observes that capitalists are very good at making sure that the former situation is more common, and they've been spectacularly successful in the last 40 years. "This is why you have flat wages and runaway inequality," says Seccareccia. "Productivity goes up but the workers don't share in it." Profits pile up at the top.

Right now, inflation has been creeping up in some areas. In a couple of sectors, like used cars, it's rising a lot. The question is, beyond a couple of unique cases, what will happen to inflation overall? And will be temporary? A lot of economists think that inflation will be short-lived and will not get very high, so it's nothing to get excited about. Some economists, like Antonella Palumbo, think the worry about inflation is overdone . She notes that with unemployment still high and vast numbers of people who formerly worked but are still out of the labor force, the ranks of the famous reserve army of unemployed are still huge. As the economy restarts, all kinds of short-run bottlenecks are cropping up, but that reserve army is not going anywhere fast and will continue to limit wage increases.

Seccareccia points out that wealthy capitalists trying to stop workers from getting paid better and conservatives complaining about laziness fail to mention that meanwhile, the stock market is soaring, making the rich richer. Plus, the housing market is booming because the more affluent people lucky enough to have kept their jobs over the pandemic now have extra money saved to spend on big-ticket items. "Is it really fair," he asks, "to complain about a few hundred dollars a week received by those at the bottom of the economic ladder? Especially how much the economy is already titled in favor of the haves?"

So, what exactly should the government do about unemployment? Should it do anything at all? For Seccareccia's part, he thinks this is a perfect time to reconsider the idea of full employment, which has been so long abandoned by policymakers in favor of some "natural" unemployment rate. "Policymakers need to understand why COVID may offer a chance not seen since the end of WWII," he says. "We could actually make the economy fairer for ordinary people."


Alice X , June 5, 2021 at 6:02 am

The 1943 Michal Kalecki piece can be found here:

https://mronline.org/2010/05/22/political-aspects-of-full-employment/

EarlyGray , June 5, 2021 at 6:07 am

> So, what exactly should the government do about unemployment?

My favoured solution, and that of other readers of this blog, I suspect, is the Job Guarantee as promoted by MMT.
Because a well designed job guarantee would provide a floor on wages and benefits, the private sector would be forced to match it at the very least. But as has been pointed out on this blog many times before, Kalecki's point that full employment would remove employers ability to effectively threaten workers with the sack, means that it will be very difficult politically to see it implemented.

Mikel , June 5, 2021 at 9:47 am

Still building "houses" with floors only?

I think a definition of "enough" is needed.

Amateur Socialist , June 5, 2021 at 8:07 am

Next week I start my 2nd year of pandemic triggered unemployment after I was terminated without cause. On June 26th my extended UI benefits will be halted by TX Governor Greg Abbot. Okay.

In a year of applying for new positions I have managed to get exactly 1 phone interview after a 40 year career in technology development, ending up with almost 24 years at IBM. In my last year with them I received both a performance bonus and a salary hike. But I'm now over 60 and have been unemployed longer than 3 months so that's probably fairly typical experience. Okay.

The path to full employment is probably going to require the creation of new opportunities in a still contracting economic system. It's not impossible if you're focused on the goal. Here's my shortlist of policy initiatives that could dramatically and quickly grow the number of available jobs, particularly for the under employed younger people who are paying off student loans.

Dramatically increase social security and medicare eligibility/benefits to convince older workers to leave the workforce.
Expand paid family leave and vacation policies to align with other industrialized nations in order to require businesses to hire to cover needed absences.
Drop the number of hours that define full time work to allow more workers to get full benefits.

Yeah, I'd like to be considered for another good paying job in a still viable industry. I spent decades developing skills that are still relevant and valuable. But I'm old and I'm expensive because I have expectations based on my own employment history that 40 years of neoliberal policies have rendered obsolete. Okay.

I'm close enough to retirement and lucky enough in my ability to save and plan that this won't wreck us. I try to imagine my pandemic inspired involuntary retirement as an opportunity to become a labor rights activist. It helps.

Rolf , June 5, 2021 at 9:23 am

My situation is virtually the same, although in academia as research scientist at major US university, with last 6 years as invited scientist at German research institute. Returned to US to the nightmare of Trump at 63, but fully (and naively) intending to continue working. I've lost count of how many job applications I've tendered, with only one interview in two years, then COVID. Now resigned to the fact that work for me from here on out will be different. I continue to write papers with colleagues at university to maintain a reputation in my field. Now recognize that people take one look at my CV, and think: "Old! Expensive!" -- but the truth is I would be willing to work for little just to stay active in a field applying expertise I've spent decades acquiring. I've since met many, many seniors in the same boat: trained professionals with lots of experience who still want to work (and, in my case, need at least some income).

But at least I had a career. I can't imagine the hopelessness of people 35-40 years my junior, with huge debt from college, grad school, and unable to find a decent job.

Something must change. The situation as it exists is unsustainable. One bright light seems to be increasing recognition of the way the economy actually functions, the role of public spending, and the real limits to growth, prosperity.

Amateur Socialist , June 5, 2021 at 9:40 am

Appreciate your commiseration Rolf. I expect there is an army of people like us who are in this situation or about to be.

Fwiw (maybe not much), I'm actively trying to get hired full time at the food coop near my house. The workers there are represented by a union and get full insurance benefits including dental with a 40 hour work week. The Vt minimum wage of $11.75/hr doesn't matter as much as those insurance benefits do; we're still in that 5 year gap between age 60 and age 65 where you are on your own if you need healthcare.

And I've pretty much decided to laugh off Beaux Jivin's campaign promise to drop the medicare eligibility age to 60 etc. It's abandoned along with many other campaign promises. Okay.

Rolf , June 5, 2021 at 12:18 pm

Thanks, A/S, for your kind words. Yes, benefits are key. I really am increasingly worried that Biden, and the Democratic Party in general, don't seem the grasp the fact that the GOP is absolutely committed to recovering control of Congress and the White House by *any* means necessary. Biden in particular seems to entertain the notion that he can bring the right wing to his way of thinking by conciliation, negotiation, compromise, and good performance. But the GOP is not interested in Dem's performance or compromise -- McConnell has made this quite clear. So Dems have an opportunity to make significant history, a true course correction, but only this once. To pursue "bipartisanship" with a party that has no interest in compromise is hugely naïve -- I can't imagine Biden is that foolish, except that he did begin his campaign with the promise that "nothing would fundamentally change".

The food coop gig sounds like a good, sound shot -- all the best to you.

Left in Wisconsin , June 5, 2021 at 1:32 pm

Fellow army member, age 61. Lucky to have health care via spouse but definitely not enough wealth to retire. Two interviews in last two years, both in retrospect clearly designed to fill out an interview field when preferred (much younger) hire had already been identified. The canard about atrophied skills might apply in the occasional instance but IMO is just more bullsh1t in defense of existing social order.

Dem obliviousness to the reality all around us is truly horrifying. I used to argue that the big sort would result in fenced "progressive" enclaves in which all parties – those inside and those outside – would be thrilled to not have to interact with each other. But it's clear to me now that progressives don't need physical separation to avoid seeing what they don't want to; they are completely able to not see the world right in front of them.

Rod , June 5, 2021 at 10:52 am

I spent decades developing skills that are still relevant and valuable .

Well, you agree. And I agree with you, though I don't know you.
But Obviously the 'Market' does not.
Whose right here, and why?? is the issue.

Amateur Socialist , June 5, 2021 at 12:29 pm

I guess I should include this post script regarding my IBM termination:

After I'd been unemployed for about 90 days I was contacted by a recruiter working on behalf of IBM and my former managers. They were looking for people with exactly my skills and experience to come back to work at IBM as temporary contractors. I agreed to a short phone interview to learn more about the opportunity.

Once the recruiter verified my experience and contacts at IBM, I managed to confirm that they expected to bring me back on at about 80% of my former salary. With no benefits and zero job security. I laughed out loud at this acknowledgment of their duplicity but agreed to let myself be considered and provided a resume. Never heard back which is probably okay.

Carla , June 5, 2021 at 8:29 pm

Amateur Socialist, Rolf and Left in Wisconsin -- I take my hat off to all of you. Work left both my partner and me a number of years ago, and we quickly learned that we had aged out of the market and were useless to society as we thought of it. Fortunately, we relatively quickly became eligible for Medicare, which even in its steadily diminishing state was (and is) a significant help.

Good luck to all of you, and A/S, please let us know the outcome of your pursuit of the job with benefits at your local Food Co-op.

Objective Ace , June 5, 2021 at 5:39 pm

I think your experience demonstrates the problem with defining full Employment as, "anyone who wants a job has one". Using this definition, the simple way to get the economy to FE then is to just make all the jobs so terrible and low paying that no one wants them. You dont need a job, and you dont want just any old crappy job. You want one similiar to your old one, If that doesnt exist anymore, one would reasonably say you dont want a job, since what you want doesn't exist, hence we're at full employment

All of this is to say, we shouldnt necessarily just encourage the government to get us to FE. Capitalists by themselves are quite capable of getting us there, as I'd argue they did in the 19th century. Its government interventions like minimum wage and basic safety protocols that keep us from reaching FE since that's what makes people actually want a job

Rod , June 5, 2021 at 9:08 am

Interesting overview.

it was unthinkable that someone ready and able to work had no job to do.

I think there is a conflation of the language terms bandied about–work-v-jobs-v-employment are all couched in the concept of a Consumption Based Economy. I am tired of this.

weeding the garden is work–unless I'm paying you then it becomes a job. In both instances, however, you are employed in the endeavor. This is grooming behavior using language, imo, and needs to stop.

I think this muddle is a componant of the current 'Jobs Discussion".

Covid has rattled generations coming out of Displacements following the very unequal GFC, and an undefined(maybe) examination of Meaning and Place within the current state of the world and the Economy that has been chosen to fulfill the needs of that Economy (Societal and Personal). More Intuitive than cognitive to many.

Selling Plastic bric-a-brac for the Man, to make the rent in an endless cycle, may have lost its cache' subconsciously, to the 'common man' in this time of apparent Climate Crises et al.

There is still plenty to do, and little time for Idleness( itself a "reward' promoted as a 'something' by the Consumptive Economy).

Rod , June 5, 2021 at 9:19 am

There is still plenty to do , like this(and all it encompasses)

Hero rat that sniffed out over 70 landmines retires The Hill

Mikel , June 5, 2021 at 9:41 am

"Proponents of the new neoliberal framework were in favor of cutting safety nets, shedding government jobs, and leaving it to the market to decide how much unemployment there would be. They said that it had to be this way to keep inflation from rising,"

"The market" – that's the first con people have to get over. There is.no "the market" like there it is something like nature.
It's system of intentional, changeable human decisions backed by beliefs and emotions of all kinds now matter how many theories or quantifications occur. And a corporate beuracracy is still a beuracracy.

And actually this neoliberal thinking of letting some imaginary entity "the market" "decide" (we should be lughing at this silliness!) to keep people unemployed to avoid "inflation" only makes sense if it actually meant to signify "avoid inflation of the population."

Phil in KC , June 5, 2021 at 9:44 am

The modern police force is a consequence of idle and unemployed city dwellers. Idled workers don't just sit down and die from malnutrition. Instead, they roam around looking for food, or opportunities that would lead to procuring food. Hungry, impoverished mobs are never a good idea: Ask Czar Nicholas, Kaiser Wilhelm, or the French aristocrats of the 1780's (rather, interrogate their ghosts) how idle, hungry crowds furthered their reigns. For all that, look to the unrest of the 1930's in the US.

Given this reality–that unemployed and starving people refuse to sit down and die peacefully–what will happen as automation starts to rob routine jobs? Already we are seeing robots prowling the Walmart aisles, driverless vehicles delivering pizzas, and self-checkout lines in big box stores. We who work are losing the war on unemployment, which leads to a question: Who is the winner?

Almost as an afterthought, one wonders how much in contributions to Social Security and Medicare have been lost because of automation. Robots don't pay taxes.

Jesper , June 5, 2021 at 10:21 am

Maybe Keynes had an idea what to do?
https://www.openculture.com/2020/06/when-john-maynard-keynes-predicted-a-15-hour-workweek-in-a-hundred-years-time-1930.html

After the achievement of the 40-hour workweek, paid vacations, and other labor concessions, many influential figures believed that egalitarian access to leisure would only increase in the 20th century. Among them was economist John Maynard Keynes, who forecast in 1930 that labor-saving technologies might lead to a 15-hour workweek when his grandchildren came of age. Indeed, he titles his essay, "Economic Possibility for our Grandchildren."

The benefits of labour-saving technologies have mostly been taken as money instead of time and by doing so the capitalist class kept power thereby leading to them getting the lions-share of the benefits of the labour-saving techologies.
The political class could, and still can, side with people and decide that labour-saving technologies is to be taken out as reduced amount of hours spent working for someone else. As is the politcal class have bought the 'lump of labour'-fallacy-fallcy hook, line and sinker so what we see is increased pension-age etc

Vicotria H , June 5, 2021 at 10:31 am

I tried out retirement for a few months. I'm 62 and got SS and a very small pension. It's not enough so I went back – temping. The jobs I can get as a paralegal/admin person don't pay a lot but there seem to be quite a few of them based on companies that are merging or have merged and have a huge mess to clean up. So they hire you for a few months to slog through chaos and fix it. Then on to the next one. I'll keep doing this until I can move to a cheaper part of the U.S. Remote helps in that if I don't have a Zoom interview they can't tell how old I am. I feel for everyone who can't even get tedious work. If my SS was higher I would stop working. If my salary had matched that of the male co-workers that had the exact same job as me, my pension would be higher. Retiring in America for many people is part nomadic as you have to move out of your area to survive after you leave your regular job, or it gets rid of you and the other part is being extremely frugal. Woohoo what a life after over 40 years of helping companies make money.

Rod , June 5, 2021 at 11:00 am

If my SS was higher I would stop working

Is this a complete and true statement, or a shortcut to meaning something else?
No criticism, just looking for the clarity.

Victoria H , June 5, 2021 at 11:20 am

Yes a totally true statement. For it to be higher I would have had to wait until almost 67 to take it. It will go up a tad from my additional employment – maybe. Anyway it's a mostly a set amount. I make as a temp in 2 weeks (take home) what I get in SS once per month. If I make over about $19k annually while taking the SS, the US gov will begin to reduce the SS payment.

John Zelnicker , June 5, 2021 at 1:22 pm

@Victoria H
June 5, 2021 at 11:20 am
-- -- -

Social Security takes the highest 40 quarters (10 years) of your earnings to calculate your benefit. If your current work results in higher numbers than are being used currently, the higher numbers will be used and your benefit will increase.

Victoria H , June 5, 2021 at 11:40 am

I tried to reply to your question – yes it is a true statement. What I wrote additionally may have been moderated out for some reason so I won't repeat it. It only mentioned dollar amounts and the US gov so maybe that was bad – not sure!

Rod , June 5, 2021 at 2:06 pm

Victoria H
and I thank you for that.
But I think you, and I will 'work' until we die–

What does work mean?
noun. exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil. productive or operative activity. employment, as in some form of industry, especially as a means of earning one's livelihood: to look for work. the result of exertion, labor, or activity; a deed or performance.

Work | Definition of Work at Dictionary.comhttps://www.dictionary.com › browse › work

I am personally familiar with what you are going through and My wife is there right now.

I waited till full retirement at 66 to collect–not being able to leave 2k on the table(diff btwn 62 and 66 for me). I cannot describe the amount of effort and gyration I needed to extend to achieve that– which may explain why I am the only one in my 'Friend Circle' to actually accomplish it.

Trigger Warning

I thought the coup de grace was when I had to sign up for–and Pay For, with cash, Quarterly–Medicare without a SS check to have it automatically deducted from. Because of my birthday I needed to pony up about 5 months worth of premiums(but i had 3 months to save up for the next Q pymt). I doubt you've ever been curbed at the end of a physical altercation, but that is what it felt like to me. Best think about all that.
Good news–do your own taxes for your enlightenment and you will see that the SS Income Worksheet provides a path to structuring your Income to counter-balance additional Income.
Discalimer–I am in no way an Acc'tant or Tax Man or even giving Advice. I am a Carpenter–but Written Instructions are Written Instructions and Numbers are Numbers and I made a paid living following both–so it's understandable enough to give you some options to ponder.

And to Rolf/AmSoc and all the others -- IMNSHO(the first ever time I have used this phrase) the most dispiriting element about 'Retirement' in America is the Stranding of So Many Valuable Assets embodied in the Retired when the world desperatly needs "All Hands On Deck" to resist the Man Made Extinction looming.

Rolf , June 5, 2021 at 3:22 pm

the most dispiriting element about 'Retirement' in America is the Stranding of So Many Valuable Assets embodied in the Retired when the world desperately needs "All Hands On Deck" to resist the Man Made Extinction looming.

These are true words, Rod. I think catastrophic changes (no hyperbole) lie ahead, for which there is little precedent. Many make absurdly blithe assumptions, thinking they won't be affected, or that wealth will insulate them. This is arrogant folly, and we will need everyone to row in the same direction.

Carla , June 5, 2021 at 9:32 pm

The man who owns the Heating and Air Conditioning company I have been using for the last decade lives in the neighborhood and is 88 years old. After his brother had health problems, and the young nephew he employed left for greener pastures,he now does pretty much all the work himself, and let me tell you, he knows his stuff. I know I should have a back-up in mind, just in case, but so far, haven't found anyone else I can trust.

Dr. R.k. Barkhi , June 5, 2021 at 5:49 pm

Well said. I took retirement at 62 for several reasons,number 1 being i didn't believe it would be around long enough to pay me back.

"All hands on deck" is imo exactly what is needed,but the mostly planned divisiveness (fake right vs fake left aka RepubliCons vs Dumbocrats) will help ensure that never occurs,to someone's benefit.

redleg , June 5, 2021 at 12:20 pm

Just think how many people would quit working, or enter self-employment, if they weren't dependent on employer providedmedical insurance. I don't know the answer/estimate; it would have to be a large number, enough to significantly raise wages across the board.

Amateur Socialist , June 5, 2021 at 11:29 am

Retiring in America for many people is part nomadic

This observation made me remember a critical scene from the excellent oscar winner last year, Nomadland . Frances McDormand's character meets a friend who explains why she took to the road: "Five hundred forty dollars a month from Social Security. After working non stop for over 40 years. How am I supposed to live on that".

I'm paraphrasing possibly badly from memory; it's a very short scene that isn't really pursued farther in the script. But I do remember thinking "Aha! This is the root cause of all this misery and despair "

We moved to southern Vermont from Texas just prior to the pandemic believing we had relocated to a cheaper part of the US as you also mentioned. But Vermont's strong public health track record during the pandemic has unleashed a huge real estate boom here so who knows We may end up priced out of Vermont eventually too.

Rolf , June 5, 2021 at 12:29 pm

Real estate is still relatively cheap in Texas (at least around Houston), with the caveat that Republicans don't always keep the power on or the water pressure up in the middle of winter.

Amateur Socialist , June 5, 2021 at 12:34 pm

Unfortunately our place was in the Austin exurb of Bastrop. Which is now part of the Austin insane real estate boom. And yes Houston can be cheap but only if you don't mind living near a refinery. Or in the path of many future hurricanes. Hard pass.

Pelham , June 5, 2021 at 11:11 am

I keep seeing references to "flat wages." While it's technically true, I suspect it's enormously deceptive.

Yes, we have flat wages. But the cost of necessities that add little or no value to people's lives but which they're FORCED to pay for have shot up far, far beyond the pace of inflation. Think medical care, housing and education, to name just three, all of which are somehow ignored or slighted in official inflation stats.

Susan the other , June 5, 2021 at 11:54 am

Right now the best transition is for the government to regulate capitalism in the direction the future (sustainability) dictates. The problem with regulating capitalism is that most capitalists think it is already too regulated; taxes are too high, etc. They are on the edge of revolution themselves. And regulated capitalism is almost an oxymoron to most Americans. It's just business as usual to a European because they have better social spending and blablablah. The statistic I remember is that the EU spends about 45% of its revenue on social stuff; the US spends a little less than 35%. The problem, as I see it, is this: If we in the US do not achieve adequate social spending we create the perfect breeding ground for exploitation of the environment. People will be desperate for a job – any job. Which will not only cause worse CO2 problems, it will poison off, or starve off, many many species now living on the edge. We will further pollute the oceans and waterways. And we will not only stick with our sick and poisonous agricultural practices, we will exponentiate them – precluding all efforts to fix these unsustainable things. Capitalism as we have known it must change. So, even the great idea of capitalism must adapt to reality. Somebody please tell Larry. At this point "inflation" is an absolutely meaningless word. It would be a very good thing if we followed Eisenhower's advice to LBJ and began to create social structures that are fair to all of society – to the capitalists whose current mandate of voracious profiteering is clearly unsustainable, as well as to "labor" – as we see it evolving – and now, most importantly, we must include the rights of the planet itself and all of our fellow travelers. We won't last very long if we kill them all off and trash the Earth. The race to the bottom that all privateering capitalism eventually creates is the most absurd thing in the history of civilization.

Rod , June 5, 2021 at 2:12 pm

Always with the Big Picture and the Clear Eyes.
Thanks

Carla , June 5, 2021 at 9:35 pm

Indeed.

redleg , June 5, 2021 at 12:13 pm

A good start would be breaking up all of the ubiquitous monopolies/monopsonies/cartels, that have taken over every sector of the economy, from food processing to entertainment to banking to manufacturing to politics to (ad infinitum/nauseum).

John Zelnicker , June 5, 2021 at 1:27 pm

I went to Firehouse Subs yesterday there was a whiteboard inside on a table, facing into the restaurant, that said they were hiring and offered starting pay of $9.00 for crew members and $12.00 for shift managers.

Just inside the door, facing out, was a whiteboard offering starting pay of $11.00 for crew members and $14.00 for shift managers. Seems like they're getting the message.

As an aside, I'd like to give props to Firehouse Subs for using pressed paper clam boxes and paper bags.

LawnDart , June 5, 2021 at 6:47 pm

The average mortgage payment in USA is $1158mo.

Using the 28/36 rule, how much should employers be paying hourly if their employees are valued enough to be able to afford a home?

[Jun 06, 2021] Eurozone Inflation Above Target Sooner Than The ECB Expected

The USA is not immune. Energy price will drive inflation here too. So the decline of 10 years bond rate might a trap.
Jun 02, 2021 | www.wsj.com

The annual rate of inflation in the eurozone rose in May to hit the European Central Bank's target for the first time since late 2018, as energy prices surged in response to a strengthening recovery in the global economy.


[Jun 06, 2021] Watch- A Vindicated Rand Paul Decimates Fauci Over Emails

If we take ZH commentariat opinions as a representative sample of the US conservatives opinion, Fauci days are now numbered. And not only because he over 80.
Jun 05, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Speaking to Laura Ingraham, Paul asserted that "The emails paint a disturbing picture, a disturbing picture of Dr. Fauci, from the very beginning, worrying that he had been funding gain-of-function research. He knows it to this day, but hasn't admitted it."

The Senator also urged that Fauci's involvement has not been adequately investigated because in the eyes of Democrats "he could do no wrong".

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1400317216143380482&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fwatch-vindicated-rand-paul-decimates-fauci-over-emails&sessionId=1c907408994e2f21116e1007779680c9a749f689&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Paul pointed out that Fauci was denying that there was even any funding for gain of function research at the Wuhan lab just a few weeks back, a claim which is totally contradicted by his own emails in which he discusses it.

"In his e-mail, within the topic line, he says "˜acquire of perform research.' He was admitting it to his non-public underlings seven to eight months in the past," Paul emphasised.

The Senator also pointed to the email from Dr. Peter Daszak , President of the EcoHealth Alliance, a group that directly funded the Wuhan lab gain of function research, thanking Fauci for not giving credence to the lab leak theory.

Ingraham asked Paul if Fauci could face felony culpability, to which the Senator replied "At the very least, there is ethical culpability," and Fauci should be fired from his government roles.

Earlier Paul had reacted to Amazon pulling Fauci's upcoming book from pre-sale:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1400488919771369474&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fwatch-vindicated-rand-paul-decimates-fauci-over-emails&sessionId=1c907408994e2f21116e1007779680c9a749f689&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

In softball interviews with MSNBC and CNN Thursday, Fauci dismissed the notion that his emails show any conflicts of interest, and claimed that it is in China's "best interest" to be honest about the pandemic origins, adding that the US should not act "accusatory" toward the communist state.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1400417592624431105&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fwatch-vindicated-rand-paul-decimates-fauci-over-emails&sessionId=1c907408994e2f21116e1007779680c9a749f689&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Fauci also said it is "far fetched that the Chinese deliberately engineered something so that they could kill themselves, as well as other people."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-3&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1400445767530078215&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fwatch-vindicated-rand-paul-decimates-fauci-over-emails&sessionId=1c907408994e2f21116e1007779680c9a749f689&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

* * *


Dotard PRO 17 hours ago

Roger Stone was given 9 years for lying to Congress. Fauci should be on the same hook.

truth or go home 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Looks like Fauci is going the way of Gates, but he won't be arrested, because he is doing the bidding of the overlords.

What could he be arrested for? Let's see: Misappropriation of government funds, lying to a senator under oath, covering up a criminal operation, operating a conspiracy to deceive the people of the United States.

Seems like Rand is willing to nail Fauci to the wall, but he is not willing to go after the big kahuna - the entire hoax - the fake vaxxes, the fake lockdowns, the fake "cases", the fake death count, the elimination of flu...

Lucky Guesst 10 hours ago

Fauci is owned by big pharma. All the major news channels have at least one big pharma rat on the board. MSM continues to push the vaccines. They are all in bed together and need busted up if not taken out.

SummerSausage PREMIUM 15 hours ago

2012- Fauci says weaponized virus research may produce a pandemic but it would be worth it.

Jan 9, 2017 NIAD memo recommends lifting ban on funding weaponized virus research. Fauci controls the funds.

Jan 4, 2017 - CIA/FBI/DNC - under Obama's direction are told, essentially, to get Trump.

Obama is behind release of this virus, creating pandemic panic and lockdown to facilitate stealing the 2020 election.

OBAMA must be investigated.

play_arrow
CheapBastard 10 hours ago

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it."

~ Anonymous

serotonindumptruck 17 hours ago remove link

Call me a pessimist, but I predict no accountability, no malfeasance, no criminal charges will be filed against Fauci.

We've all witnessed similar criminal behavior being perpetrated by the wealthy elite which result in no consequences.

Why should this be any different?

(((They))) now know that (((they))) can lie to us with impunity, and get away with it.

alexcojones 16 hours ago

New Nuremberg Needed Now.

Fauci in the witness chair.

"So, Dr. Fauci, your decisions, your outright lies, led to thousands, perhaps millions of unnecessary deaths."

Kobe Beef 10 hours ago

Does the fluzilla exist?

It could be this thing...

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26552008/

Baric & Batwoman published their chimeric coronavirus with ACE2 receptor access in 2015. Funded by Fauci, of course.

Kevin 3 hours ago (Edited)

That document only shows that Gain Of Function research exists - not that the deaths, falsely attributed to covid are due to the product of that research.

What self-respecting, lab-created, killer virus, supposedly so deadly that it warrants the shutting down of the entire planet, is incapable of doing any more damage than the flu does every year?

In the case of the UK, and according to its own official figures, it hasn't even been able to do that compared to its history of seasonal flu.

See: https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/deceptive-construction-why-we-must-question-covid-19-mortality-statistics

So, 2020 was just a blip compared to the past and most of that blip in increased deaths was due to the insane policies imposed rather than any lab-created Fluzilla. If you subtract the deaths that occurred due to:

1. Kicking seniors out of hospital and dumping them into nursing homes where they died because they no longer got the treatment they needed but where they could infect the other, previously healthy residents.

2. The many tens of thousands of people who had life-saving surgeries and procedures cancelled.

3. The huge increase in suicides.

..... I doubt there would even be that blip.

If those historically, insignificant 2020 death figures are due to a lab-created, chimeric coronavirus then that's an epic fail of the scientists and an enormous waste of money for their education and the G.o.F. research.

However, it has conned enough idiots into believing that there was a Fluzilla in 2020 and got them to beg for jabs that might be how a lab created, chimeric coronavirus with ACE2 receptor access gets into their bodies and kills them.

The new con that it was a leaked GoF bio-weapon that caused the 2020 'pandemic' is just a lie upon a lie.

But it will persuade many of the gullible and fence-sitters to get jabbed because they will have accepted (subconsciously), that the Fluzilla must have existed last year and that the only way to combat such a bio-weapon is to jab themselves with poison. Ironically, that will create in their bodies what they fear most.

Befits 9 hours ago remove link

No, you are not thinking clearly. The Covid death numbers were clearly and horrifically inflated

1) The CDC changed how death certificates were recorded. Co-morbidities ( cancer, congestive heart failure, COPD for example) that co- morbidity was listed as cause of death in part one of the death certificate for 2 decades until the CDC changed death certificates. If that person had for example a flu At that time ( cough, stuffy nose etc) it might be listed as a contributing factor ( part 2 of death certificate) person died of co- morbidity but flu was a contributing factor. The CDC reversed these to make sure Covid was the cause of death- but truth was people died with Covid not from Covid.

2) 95% of Covid listed deaths actually died of co- morbidities- with Covid not from Covid. The CDC published that only 5% of " Covid " deaths had only Covid- the other 95% had on average 4 co- morbidities. In other words their cause of death was co- morbidity not Covid.

3) personal experience. I was a nurse. A close friend's brother had cancer for 7 years- in and out of remission. He was " diagnosed with Covid via PCR, almost no symptoms but for a slight cough and runny nose in March 2020. In April his cancer came back his liver shut down and he was dead by May 2020. He died from liver cancer but his death was recorded as Covid 19 simply because he had tested positive 60 days before on a Covid PCR test. This is the fraud the CDC perpetrated.

4) Hospitals received greatly enhanced financial renumeration if a patient was " diagnosed" with Covid. Compare hospital reimbursement ( Medicare) for a hospitalized Covid patient v influenza patient - similar symptoms- on or off respirator. Bottom line the medical system was financially rewarded for diagnosing " Covid" v influenza. Indeed the hospital did not even have to confirm a " Covid diagnosis with the fraudulent PCR test to diagnose Covid- just " symptom" based.

5) The PCR test can not diagnose any viral illness- simply by amplification cycles (30 plus) you can " find" Covid from a dead, partial RNA fragment. As Kary Mullis, Nobel prize inventor of PCR testing said PCR testing is NOT a diagnostic tool. Hospitals and docs, universities and public health departments, corporations, the CDC, FDA, used false PCR testing to financially enrich themselves while destroying the lives and livelihoods of millions inc careers of medical truth- tellers.

Fauci, the CDC, and the FDA knows all of this. Crimes v humanity trials must be undertaken v every medical person- from Big Pharma, CDC, FDA, Doctor, nurse, hospital administrator, public health official, corporate leader etc who used this Covid plandemic for personal benefit or whom through their actions harmed another.

SoDamnMad 17 hours ago

Watch Tucker Carlson's expose on "Why they lied for so long" At 3:29 he goes into Peter Danzak getting 27 "scientists" to write in the Lancet that the Covid virus didn't come from the Wuhan Lab but rather from nature (with the HIV spliced into the genome). But he also tells individuals at UNC NOT to sign the letter so that their gain-of-function research isn't tied into this. His e-mail goes to Ralph Baric, Antoinette Baric, as well as Andre Alison and Alexsei Chmura at EcoHealthAlliance who Fauci got the money to for funding GOF Chinese research.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32V-e7saq60

SummerSausage PREMIUM 15 hours ago

Fauci is 80. Why was he allowed to stay on so long?

He controls $32 billion in annual grants that all US scientists and researchers depend on.

There's a whole lot more corruption to explore.

CatInTheHat 8 hours ago remove link

This whole thing feels CONTRIVED

Why does this even matter anymore?

China is NOT the problem here and focusing on CHINA DISTRACTS from a few things here.

1 FORT DETRIK. A nefarious US BIOWEAPONS lab that Fraudci worked at for 20 years. FD also works in conjunction with DARPA

2. Whenever it's WAPO or Buzzfeed (FFS!) who breaks a story related to the Rona, I am convinced that the elite have called them up to DISTRACT the public from something more important. Maybe that Fort Detrik was the source of the virus transferred to China via the US MIC/CIA and the Wuhan military games in China in Nov of 2019. 2 weeks later the first cases showed up at Wuhan.

3. This VACCINE has now killed over 5000 people and since the rollout for children between 12-16, several hundred have now been hospitalized with MYOCARDITIS OR PERICARDITIS.. In Israel a study conducted as the vax rolled out in YOUNG MEN, it was revealed that one in 3,000 was suffering from MYOCARDITIS within 4 days of the jab.

MSM is now reporting on adolescents in several states hospitalized with INFLAMMATION. ... Which they blame on RONA. FUNNY how every one of those states have rolled out the jab for CHILDREN

WE are being massively LIED too.

Also, Biden's press secretary PSAKI LIED when she said, today, that 63% of the population has had the jab.

Wrong. Only 41% of the US population has had BOTH jabs. Anti gun Biden is now offering guns in exchange for a vax in Virginia. And anti marijuana Biden offering MJ in AZ for those who take the jab. Why the desperation?

For more perspective on the massive deaths piling up due to this jab, in 1976, when 50 people were killed after the Swine flu jab IT WAS PULLED FROM THE MARKET.

Many thousands who have not had the jab are reporting illness after being in close contact with those who are vaxxed.

Lots and lots to DISTRACT from

WAKE UP PEOPLE!!

ableman28 10 hours ago

True story....one of my VC firms investments was approached by the defense department to create a wearable lapel style detector for chemical and biological weapons that would work in very low concentrations giving people time to put on their CBW gear. Our investee said sure, we'll take a crack at it, but where are we going to get all the biological and chemical agents to test it with. The DOD response was don't worry, we have everything you'll need. And they did.

The US bio weapons program was supposedly terminated by Nixon in 1969. And our official policy is that we don't research or stockpile such things. ********.

Armed Resistance 15 hours ago (Edited) remove link

This virus was engineered at Ft. Detrick. It's the same place that made the military-grade Anthrax the deep state sent to Tom Daschle and others in government post 9/11 to gin up more fear.

This was a Fauci-coordinated deep state bio weapon they released in Wuhan to kick off the scamdemic and the "great reset". Releasing it China gave some cover to the deep state and the people there are under total control of the state. The rest is just filler. Always about more control.....

BeePee 15 hours ago

The virus was not engineered at Ft. Detrick.

You are a CCP troll.

Sorry you have such a low pay grade job.

Armed Resistance 15 hours ago (Edited)

Anybody who Questions the deep state is a CCP troll? Look in the mirror. You're the one running cover for these satanists! You rack up downvotes like Jordan did points! ZH'ers can spot a troll a mile away son.

louie1 PREMIUM 14 hours ago (Edited)

The US way is to put the perpetrators in charge of the inuiry to control the outcome. Dulles, Zellick, Fauci

Mighty Turban of Gooch 11 hours ago

Our government is corrupt. As long as the Democrats and the MSM have Fauci's back, he has nothing to worry about no matter what he's done.

He's just a typical lying bureaucrat and lying to the public thru the media outlets, as we have seen countless times now by countless government 'officials', is not a crime. Lying under oath however is. But now days we see these guys get away with that too without consequence.

So don't hold your breath. There is absolutely nothing that can take these guys out. Even if they throw one of their own under the bus, the best you can ever hope for is a resignation as criminal charges would never happen.

dustinthewind 16 hours ago (Edited)

"The CDC Foundation operates independently from CDC as a private , nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the State of Georgia."

"Because CDC is a federal agency , all scientific findings resulting from CDC research are available to the public and open to the broader scientific community for review."

"The Board of Directors of the CDC Foundation today named Judith A. Monroe, MD, FAAFP, as the new president and CEO of the CDC Foundation . Monroe joins the CDC Foundation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ), where she leads the agency's Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support."

Gates is the largest private donor of the CDC and WHO. Gates is part of the World Economic Forum who controls Fauci which using US taxpayers funds did gain of function studies first in the US and caught moved to China where it was intentionally leaked to blame the Chinese. John Kerry is also part of the WEF and is their man in Washington calling the war mongering narrative against both China and Russia. Gates funded Imperial College and Ferguson to write the code that was fake and used by many countries to justify lockdowns. Gates is the largest ag landowner and wants to ban meat. Who just got hacked and now it is blamed on Russia? Boris is destroying the UK and after a call from Gates gave 500 million pounds to vaccinate third world countries and lockdowns. Both fathers were tied to Rockefeller Institute. Rand, connect the dots!

" Fauci under Global Attack"

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/corruption/fauci-under-global-attack/

Fauci is under attack globally and has shown himself to be unreliable and should be fired "" PERIOD! All the emails that have come out from an FOIA request are interesting, and it shows he has information that was credible concerning a leak from the lab in Wuhan. Let me make this PERFECTLY clear! This was NOT a DELIBERATE leak by the Chinese government. If China wanted to really hurt the West, the technology is there where a virus can be used as a delivery system, and as such, it can be designed to attack specific genetic sequences meaning that it could target just Italian, Greeks, English, Germans, or whoever.

COVID-19, based upon everything I see from our model and reliable sources, was created in a lab and was DELIBERATELY unleashed to further this Great Reset. I BELIEVE someone from this agenda bribed a lab technician to release it in the local community. China did NOT benefit from this pandemic. The only ones who benefitted were the World Economic Forum (WEF) consortium, which I know sold stocks and bonds ahead of the crash. They are also in league with the World Health Organization (WHO), and the head of the WHO is a politician and not even a doctor. That is like putting me in charge of surgery at a hospital. How can Tedros Adhanom be in such a position with no background in the subject matter? Tedros appears at the World Economic Forum and has participated in its agenda. The WHO should be compelled to turn over ALL emails and communication ASAP. My bet is they pull a Hillary"¦Oh sorry. They were hacked by Russians who destroyed everything.


The World Economic Forum is at the center of everything. When will someone investigate all of these connections right down to creating the slogan, Build Back Better? Of course, they will call this a conspiracy theory so they can avoid having to actually investigate anything. My point is simple: produce the evidence and prove this is just a conspiracy theory.

'John Kerry's Think Tank Calls for War With Russia Over Climate Change'

https://www.sgtreport.com/2020/12/john-kerrys-think-tank-calls-for-war-with-russia-over-climate-change/

" America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is."" John Kerry

Recently-appointed Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry has announced his intention of dealing with the pressing issue of global warming as a national security concern. "America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is," the 76-year-old former Secretary of State wrote. "I am proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis." Kerry is a founding member of the Washington think tank, the American Security Project (ASP) , whose board is a who's who of retired generals, admirals and senators.

For the ASP, the primary objectives were:

  1. A huge rebuilding of the United States' military bases,

  2. Countering China in the Pacific,

  3. Preparing for a war with Russia in the newly-melted Arctic.

The ASP recommends "prioritizing the measures that can protect readiness" of the military to strike at any time, also warning that rising sea levels will hurt the combat readiness of the Marine Expeditionary Force. Thus, a rebuilding of the U.S.' worldwide network of military bases is in order.

Nelbev 17 hours ago

... and what kind of kickbacks does Fauci get when he doles out $ millions in grant money?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK6gAbZdhDc

CatInTheHat 9 hours ago (Edited)

Fort Detrik a US BIOWEAPONS lab working in tandem with the Wuhan lab. The US is the leader in BIOWEAPONS research and has 100's of labs across the US and in other countries.

FRAUDCI having worked at FD for 20 years.

MommickedDingbatter 12 hours ago

Without Nuremberg trials 2.0, this is all meaningless.

Nycmia37 16 hours ago remove link

Follow the science, lol. Just ask yourself who controls the science?? Big drug pharmas, people is so stupid they believe in everything doctors tell them. The vast majority are on the field to get rich and enjoy from the big bonuses and trips they get paid in order to promote a drug. If they speak out they get called a conspiracy person. Nobody cant go against this mafia because they have the total control, media, politicians, government. We the people have to self educate about health and finance otherwise we will become zombies like the majority of people.

SoDamnMad 7 hours ago remove link

Here are the 27 starting with Peter Daszak who signed THE LANCET letter saying ," We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. "

  1. Peter Daszak, EcoHealth Alliance, New York
  2. Charles Calisher, Colorado State University
  3. Dennis Carroll, Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs, Texas
  4. Rita Colwell, University of Maryland
  5. Ronald Corley, NEIDL Institute, Boston
  6. Christian Drosten, Charité "" Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Germany
  7. Luis Enjuanes, National Center of Biotechnology, Madrid
  8. Jeremy Farrar, The Wellcome Trust, London
  9. Hume Field, EcoHealth Alliance, New York
  10. Josie Golding, The Wellcome Trust, London
  11. Alexander Gorbalenya, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands
  12. Bart Haagmans, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  13. James Hughes, Emory University, Atlanta
  14. William Karesh, EcoHealth Alliance, New York
  15. Gerald Keusch, Boston University
  16. Sai Kit Lam, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  17. Juan Lubroth, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy
  18. John Mackenzie, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  19. Larry Madoff, Massachusetts Medical School
  20. Jonna Mazet, University of California at Davis
  21. Peter Palese, Icahn School of Medicine, New York
  22. Stanley Perlman, University of Iowa
  23. Leo Poon, The University of Hong Kong
  24. Bernard Roizman, University of Chicago
  25. Linda Saif, The Ohio State University
  26. Kanta Subbarao, The University of Melbourne, Australia
  27. Mike Turner, The Wellcome Trust, London
gaaasp 6 hours ago

Pangolins indeed.

Moribundus 12 hours ago remove link

Daszak is just cover up for Pentagon. In this case Daszak = Pentagon.

https://www.independentsciencenews.org/news/peter-daszaks-ecohealth-alliance-has-hidden-almost-40-million-in-pentagon-funding/

DesertEagle 12 hours ago

Fauci is protected at the very highest levels of the oligarchy. So regardless of these revelations nothing serious will ever happen to him. At worst, he will step down and retire to his villa in the south of France. Then the controlled MSM will refuse to mention him again.

Clearing 17 hours ago

Gee, while you're at it, sue Fauci in his individual capacity. He doesn't get immunity for lying. See below:

In the United States, qualified immunity is a legal principle that grants government officials performing discretionary (optional) functions immunity from civil suits unless the plaintiff shows that the official violated "clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known". It is a form of sovereign immunity less strict than absolute immunity that is intended to protect officials who "make reasonable but mistaken judgments about open legal questions" extending to "all [officials] but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law " Qualified immunity applies only to government officials in civil litigation, and does not protect the government itself from suits arising from officials' actions.

DemandSider 3 hours ago (Edited)

"PCR is separate from that, it's just a process that's used to make a whole lot of something out of something. That's what it is. It doesn't tell you that you're sick and it doesn't tell you that the thing you ended up with really was going to hurt you or anything like that," Mullis said.

-Nobel Prize winning inventor of PCR being used as a "test" to perpetuate the scamdemic. Mr. "small government" Rand Paul is only making it worse.

Almachius 2 hours ago

Never mind Fauci. White Supremacists are the greatest threat to America.

Obiden said so.

And Obiden is an honourable man.

Fiscal Reality 14 hours ago

Fauci doesn't give a crap what happens. He got his book deal payoff. He's praying to get fired so he can cash in on his taxpayer funded pension and get a $10 million contract with CNN.

2types PREMIUM 13 hours ago

Amazon pulled his book from presale so says the article. Probably in his best interest to keep his mouth shut right now. Anything he says can and will be used against him. On second thought.... maybe that's why water carrier Bezos suspended sales?

[Jun 03, 2021] Climate activists scored a major victory with a Dutch court ruling requiring Shell to drastically cut emissions, which in effect means cutting oil and gas output

Jun 03, 2021 | www.reuters.com

Defeats in the courtroom and boardroom mean Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) , ExxonMobil (XOM.N) and Chevron (CVX.N) are all under pressure to cut carbon emissions faster. That's good news for the likes of Saudi Arabia's national oil company Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) , Abu Dhabi National Oil Co, and Russia's Gazprom (GAZP.MM) and Rosneft (ROSN.MM) .

It means more business for them and the Saudi-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

"Oil and gas demand is far from peaking and supplies will be needed, but international oil companies will not be allowed to invest in this environment, meaning national oil companies have to step in," said Amrita Sen from consultancy Energy Aspects.

... ... ...

Climate activists scored a major victory with a Dutch court ruling requiring Shell to drastically cut emissions, which in effect means cutting oil and gas output. The company will appeal.

The same day, the top two U.S. oil companies, Exxon Mobil and Chevron, both lost battles with shareholders who accused them of dragging their feet on climate change.

...Western oil majors control around 15% of global output, while OPEC and Russia have a share of around 40 percent. That share has been relatively stable in recent decades as rising demand was met with new producers like smaller private U.S. shale firms, which face similar climate-related pressures.

...Despite pressure from activists, investors and banks to cut emissions, Western oil majors are also tasked with maintaining high dividends amid heavy debts. Dividends from oil companies represent significant contributions to pension funds.

[Jun 03, 2021] The Lab-Leak Theory: Investigating Fauci's COVID Can Of Worms

Abridged version. See the original for full version.
Notable quotes:
"... In October 2014, the Obama administration imposed a moratorium on new funding for gain-of-function research projects that could make influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses more virulent or transmissible. But a footnote to the statement announcing the moratorium carved out an exception for cases deemed "urgently necessary to protect the public health or national security." ..."
"... the review process shrouded in secrecy. "The names of reviewers are not released, and the details of the experiments to be considered are largely secret," said the Harvard epidemiologist Dr. Marc Lipsitch, whose advocacy against gain-of-function research helped prompt the moratorium. ..."
"... In May 2014, five months before the moratorium on gain-of-function research was announced, EcoHealth secured a NIAID grant of roughly $3.7 million, which it allocated in part to various entities engaged in collecting bat samples, building models, and performing gain-of-function experiments to see which animal viruses were able to jump to humans. The grant was not halted under the moratorium or the P3CO framework. ..."
"... Shi Zhengli herself listed U.S. government grant support of more than $1.2 million on her curriculum vitae: $665,000 from the NIH between 2014 and 2019; and $559,500 over the same period from USAID. At least some of those funds were routed through EcoHealth Alliance. ..."
"... EcoHealth Alliance's practice of divvying up large government grants into smaller sub-grants for individual labs and institutions gave it enormous sway within the field of virology. The sums at stake allow it to "purchase a lot of omertà" from the labs it supports, said Richard Ebright of Rutgers. ..."
"... now the spin doctors come around pointing the finger at china. Sure, china may have done the experimentation and research, but where did the funding, research resources, training, and direction come from? ..."
"... The US banned bioweapon development (in the US) and moved it to China with Fraudci in charge so that they could do human experiments and make lots of money on GMO "vaccines" And now the US is trying to spin the story and put the blame on China ..."
Jun 03, 2021 | ZeroHedge

As the NSC tracked these disparate clues, U.S. government virologists advising them flagged one study first submitted in April 2020. Eleven of its 23 coauthors worked for the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, the Chinese army's medical research institute. Using the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR, the researchers had engineered mice with humanized lungs, then studied their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. As the NSC officials worked backward from the date of publication to establish a timeline for the study, it became clear that the mice had been engineered sometime in the summer of 2019, before the pandemic even started. The NSC officials were left wondering: Had the Chinese military been running viruses through humanized mouse models, to see which might be infectious to humans?

In October 2014, the Obama administration imposed a moratorium on new funding for gain-of-function research projects that could make influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses more virulent or transmissible. But a footnote to the statement announcing the moratorium carved out an exception for cases deemed "urgently necessary to protect the public health or national security."

In the first year of the Trump administration, the moratorium was lifted and replaced with a review system called the HHS P3CO Framework (for Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight). It put the onus for ensuring the safety of any such research on the federal department or agency funding it. This left the review process shrouded in secrecy. "The names of reviewers are not released, and the details of the experiments to be considered are largely secret," said the Harvard epidemiologist Dr. Marc Lipsitch, whose advocacy against gain-of-function research helped prompt the moratorium. (An NIH spokesperson told Vanity Fair that "information about individual unfunded applications is not public to preserve confidentiality and protect sensitive information, preliminary data, and intellectual property.")

Inside the NIH, which funded such research, the P3CO framework was largely met with shrugs and eye rolls, said a longtime agency official: "If you ban gain-of-function research, you ban all of virology." He added, "Ever since the moratorium, everyone's gone wink-wink and just done gain-of-function research anyway."

British-born Peter Daszak, 55, is the president of EcoHealth Alliance, a New York City–based nonprofit with the laudable goal of preventing the outbreak of emerging diseases by safeguarding ecosystems. In May 2014, five months before the moratorium on gain-of-function research was announced, EcoHealth secured a NIAID grant of roughly $3.7 million, which it allocated in part to various entities engaged in collecting bat samples, building models, and performing gain-of-function experiments to see which animal viruses were able to jump to humans. The grant was not halted under the moratorium or the P3CO framework.

By 2018, EcoHealth Alliance was pulling in up to $15 million a year in grant money from an array of federal agencies, including the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, according to 990 tax exemption forms it filed with the New York State Attorney General's Charities Bureau. Shi Zhengli herself listed U.S. government grant support of more than $1.2 million on her curriculum vitae: $665,000 from the NIH between 2014 and 2019; and $559,500 over the same period from USAID. At least some of those funds were routed through EcoHealth Alliance.

EcoHealth Alliance's practice of divvying up large government grants into smaller sub-grants for individual labs and institutions gave it enormous sway within the field of virology. The sums at stake allow it to "purchase a lot of omertà" from the labs it supports, said Richard Ebright of Rutgers. (In response to detailed questions, an EcoHealth Alliance spokesperson said on behalf of the organization and Daszak, "We have no comment.")

In July, the NIH attempted to backtrack. It reinstated the grant but suspended its research activities until EcoHealth Alliance fulfilled seven conditions, some of which went beyond the nonprofit's purview and seemed to stray into tinfoil-hat territory. They included: providing information on the "apparent disappearance" of a Wuhan Institute of Virology researcher, who was rumored on social media to be patient zero, and explaining diminished cell phone traffic and roadblocks around the WIV in October 2019.

Ebright likened Daszak's model of research -- bringing samples from a remote area to an urban one, then sequencing and growing viruses and attempting to genetically modify them to make them more virulent -- to "looking for a gas leak with a lighted match." Moreover, Ebright believed that Daszak's research had failed in its stated purpose of predicting and preventing pandemics through its global collaborations.

It soon emerged, based on emails obtained by a Freedom of Information group called U.S. Right to Know, that Daszak had not only signed but organized the influential Lancet statement, with the intention of concealing his role and creating the impression of scientific unanimity.

Under the subject line, "No need for you to sign the "Statement" Ralph!!," he wrote to two scientists, including UNC's Dr. Ralph Baric, who had collaborated with Shi Zhengli on the gain-of-function study that created a coronavirus capable of infecting human cells: "you, me and him should not sign this statement, so it has some distance from us and therefore doesn't work in a counterproductive way." Daszak added, "We'll then put it out in a way that doesn't link it back to our collaboration so we maximize an independent voice."

Baric agreed, writing back, "Otherwise it looks self-serving and we lose impact."

Baric did not sign the statement. In the end, Daszak did. At least six other signers had either worked at, or had been funded by, EcoHealth Alliance. The statement ended with a declaration of objectivity: "We declare no competing interests."

Daszak mobilized so quickly for a reason, said Jamie Metzl: "If zoonosis was the origin, it was a validation of his life work . But if the pandemic started as part of a lab leak, it had the potential to do to virology what Three Mile Island and Chernobyl did to nuclear science." It could mire the field indefinitely in moratoriums and funding restrictions.

In a CNN interview on March 26, Dr. Redfield, the former CDC director under Trump, made a candid admission: "I am of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, you know, escaped." Redfield added that he believed the release was an accident, not an intentional act. In his view, nothing that happened since his first calls with Dr. Gao changed a simple fact: The WIV needed to be ruled out as a source, and it hadn't been.

After the interview aired, death threats flooded his inbox. The vitriol came not just from strangers who thought he was being racially insensitive but also from prominent scientists, some of whom used to be his friends. One said he should just "wither and die."

Peter Daszak was getting death threats too, some from QAnon conspirators.

Inside the U.S. government, meanwhile, the lab-leak hypothesis had survived the transition from Trump to Biden. On April 15, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told the House Intelligence Committee that two "plausible theories" were being weighed: a lab accident or natural emergence.

Even so, lab-leak talk was mostly confined to right-wing news outlets through April, gleefully flogged by Tucker Carlson and studiously avoided by most of the mainstream media. In Congress, the Energy and Commerce Committee's Republican minority had launched its own inquiry, but there was little buy-in from Democrats and the NIH didn't provide responses to its lengthy list of demands for information.

The ground began to shift on May 2, when Nicholas Wade, a former New York Times science writer known in part for writing a controversial book about how genes shape the social behavior of different races, published a lengthy essay on Medium. In it, he analyzed the scientific clues both for and against a lab leak, and excoriated the media for its failure to report on the dueling hypotheses. Wade devoted a full section to the "furin cleavage site," a distinctive segment of SARS-CoV-2's genetic code that makes the virus more infectious by allowing it to efficiently enter human cells.

Within the scientific community, one thing leapt off the page. Wade quoted one of the world's most famous microbiologists, Dr. David Baltimore, saying that he believed the furin cleavage site "was the smoking gun for the origin of the virus." Baltimore, a Nobel Laureate and pioneer in molecular biology, was about as far from Steve Bannon and the conspiracy theorists as it was possible to get. His judgment, that the furin cleavage site raised the prospect of gene manipulation, had to be taken seriously.

Weedlord Bonerhitler, 1 hour ago

Gain of function research is weaponization. We are under attack by a biological weapon designed in a laboratory to kill people. We are, in effect, at war.

KickIce, 1 hour ago, (Edited)

With who, Washington DC? FWIW, that would be my pick.

ted41776, 1 hour ago

Yes, except "we" moved this "research" to china many years ago to speed up the weaponization of bioweapons. the original researchers came to the us from nazi Germany after WW2 (Project Paperclip). it wasn't moving fast enough here because of that whole experimenting on humans thing was looked down upon here in the US (at least in the past). so "we" hired china what "we" couldn't do domestically on "our" own.

And now the spin doctors come around pointing the finger at china. Sure, china may have done the experimentation and research, but where did the funding, research resources, training, and direction come from?

gregga777, 1 hour ago

Gain of function research is weaponization

It's also insane. Hey, look at what we did! We made smallpox* in our gene sequencing laboratory. Oops! It's release into the 'wild' was an unfortunate accident.

Anyone engaged in the research & development of making viruses or bacteria more lethal or the resurrection of presumably extinct pathogens (e.g., smallpox*) are International War Criminals. They should be arrested and placed on trial in a suitable jurisdiction. At the very least they should be barred forever from working in any kind of even remotely related laboratory research.

*The complete gene sequence of smallpox is apparently freely available over the Internet.

tion, PREMIUM, 51 minutes ago, (Edited)

This study https://journals.asm.org/doi/full/10.1128/JVI.01085-07

is an example of GOF engineering that bat lady Shi Zhengli participated in, engineering chimeras of SARS and SARS like coronaviruses and splicing with HIV to make it more transmissible to humans.

Pax Romana, 1 hour ago

10 page article could have been condensed into one sentence: Fort Detrick -> Canadian Lab -> Wuhan -> Spooks -> Election Fraud -> Vax -> State Control

ted41776, 1 hour ago

The US banned bioweapon development (in the US) and moved it to China with Fraudci in charge so that they could do human experiments and make lots of money on GMO "vaccines" And now the US is trying to spin the story and put the blame on China

no, this covaids was MADE IN THE USA even if it was produced and manufactured in China under US funding, direction, and supervision

brian91145, 1 hour ago

100% right that is the truth that everyone will know very soon

ted41776, 1 hour ago, (Edited)

not sure if it will make any difference

911: US training and funding bin laden for over a decade? WMDs, they got WMDs! pools of molten metal caused by... kerosene (jet fuel)? building 7...

we gotta get that f||cker bin laden though

bammy arming cartels (fast and furious) and guns they got from him used to kill americans (including cops and border patrol)? crickets

there is no election fraud, after seeing them spend 4 years trying to overthrow a president who allegedly used fraud and russian collusion to get elected?

and on and on and on, the neverending 24/7 stream of lies and distortion

unfortunately, truth has become pretty worthless in this sick reality most people live in

konputa, 1 hour ago

Designed in the US, manufactured in China. We've known this since early 2020.

CheapBastard, 1 hour ago

(((Vanity Fair))) has the same editorial weight that Teen Vogue has.

Handful of Dust, 22 minutes ago

The Lab-Leak Theory- Investigating Fauci's COVID -Can Of Worms-

The article is meant to obfuscate the truth, not clarify it.

CheapBastard, 51 minutes ago, (Edited)

The author carefully avoids inconvenient but important truths including::

Fauci funded the Wuhan bioweapons lab thru NIH (proven by emails) Fauci lied repeatedly from day#1 about the characteristics and origin of the deadly virus (also proven by emails) the WHO lied repeatedly about the origin the involvement of Gates in this entire fiasco

S.Parker, · 1 hour ago

Fort Detrick, USA

Handful of Dust, · 4 minutes ago

· Bumbler-in-Chief Biden in the White House Backs 'Incredible' Dr. Anthony Fauci; Refuses Comment on Explosive Emails Exposing the Lies & Deceit

· https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/06/03/white-house-backs-incredible-dr-anthony-fauci-refuses-comment-on-explosive-emails/

LarryC, 1 hour ago

Its a book! Damn Tylers it will take me days to read. · The Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 states:

"Whoever knowingly develops, produces, stockpiles, transfers, acquires, retains, or possesses any biological agent, toxin, or delivery system for use as a weapon, or knowingly assists a foreign state or any organization to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both."

Weedlord Bonerhitler, 1 hour ago

Don't need a next leak. Just need time for the leaky vaccines to do their work. A vaccine that doesn't stop transmission and merely reduces symptoms, is not a vaccine, but an evolutionary pressure upon the virus.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marek's_disease

This is Marek's disease, found in chickens. A few decades ago, it was fairly benign, but then it was treated with a vaccine that merely reduced symptoms to a minimum without stopping the virus. Now, after evolving over a few decades while butting heads with that leaky vaccine, it's so deadly to chickens that any unvaccinated flocks tend to be wiped out by it, making vaccinating every chicken on Earth a necessity.

This is our future. They want people completely dependent on their vaccines to survive.

[Jun 01, 2021] Tesla is dying, and this is how it will end by Adam Kaslikowski

www.amazon.com
May 28, 2019

Tesla completely transformed the automotive landscape when it introduced the Roadster, pioneering the mass-market electric car and reinventing the car as we know . It sold the first widely-available EV, and it did it with a product that you could easily live with every day. The company has done more to further the electric game than anyone else and deserves total credit for making EVs a part of the discussion when it comes to the future of the automobile. Tesla has changed the world. It's also doomed.

The last mainstream automaker to be launched from scratch in the United States was Saturn, a heavily subsidized child of the GM family. Even with those deep pockets, it failed. History is littered with dead automotive brands. The list of deceased automakers is also replete with visionary leaders who pioneered new tech and aimed to dominate the luxury market.

The automobile game is tough. The dirty secret is that the big brands only make around 6% margin on every car they sell

This is all to say: we've been here before. Hudson, Tucker, DeLorean ( twice! ), Packard, and more. The stories here are all different in their specifics, with some succumbing to shady government dealing, others losing to price wars. While the immediate causes of their failures might be unique, the fact that they failed certainly is not.

The consumer automobile game is devilishly tough. The dirty secret of the car making world is that the big brands only make around 6% margin on every car they sell. That's a pathetic amount of profit when compared to other well-known brands like Nike, Apple, or Disney. Shoes, upscale electronics, and entertainment (as well as scores of other industries) all offer double the profit margins, faster production times, less regulation, and fewer unionized workforces. Building cars is dumb. Car companies make billions of dollars in profits because they sell so many cars, not because each car is so profitable. And therein lies the rub for Tesla.

Why Tesla is doomed

The only way to be successful at car manufacturing is to do it at a very large scale. You have to sell hundreds of thousands, if not millions of cars per year to be stable. In 2018, Tesla shifted a total of 245,240 cars . The Tesla Model 3 also became the best-selling luxury automobile in United States; last year was fantastic for Tesla. It also took the company to the very brink of imploding.

Scaling up production lines and capacity is the activity that is killing Tesla, but scaling up further is the only thing that can save it. The company is at the low point of a "production valley" where becoming capable of building 300,000 cars has made them wildly unprofitable, but the only way to get to profit is to build even more capacity to enable it to make 700,000 – 1,000,000 cars. Tesla could potentially have, or raise, the billions needed to do this. It could, that is, if the company could concentrate on doing one thing at a time.

Tesla's worst enemy is Elon Musk. The serial entrepreneur has an affliction that many serial entrepreneurs have: Shiny Thing Syndrome. Mr. Musk loves to chase after new challenges and novel projects. Tesla is currently producing 3 different cars, wall chargers, charging stations, electric semi-trucks, photovoltaic roofs, and spearheading autonomous technology. Throw in the odd flamethrower , underground tunnels , and a new insurance product (not to mention Space X ), and you see a leader not focused on doing the hard work of pushing his company through a crisis of scale, but a man obsessed with moon-shots and new projects.

Scaling up production is the activity that is killing Tesla, but scaling up further is the only thing that can save it

It should be noted that Musk has never operated any business at this scale before. Running a nimble online service such as Paypal is a very different thing than running a multinational car manufacturer -- especially one that is exclusively pursuing new technologies. Quite frankly, Musk is not qualified to be CEO of Tesla any longer, and the mismatch of his skills to the company's needs could not be worse timed for Tesla.

In the next 12 months, practically all other major global auto manufacturers have plans to release their own electric cars. Tesla ate their lunch last year when it became the best-selling luxury car, but at that time, it was the only EV game in town. More worryingly, the most common Tesla owner complaints happen to be the areas that traditional car companies excel at: Fit and finish , service infrastructure , and execution on timelines. When Porsche announced its Taycan electric sedan , its #1 source of reservations was from current Tesla owners. This is a surefire sign that the Tesla customer base is eager to upgrade to something better.

China, the world's largest car market, and the savior of many global brands, cannot save Tesla. Indeed, the current trade war between the U.S. and China is hurting Tesla more than any other car company. The current price for a Tesla Model 3 in China is approximately $73,000, with roughly $30,000 of that price being the result of China's import tariffs. In January, Elon Musk broke ground on a Gigafactory in China, and the total investment in the project is expected to exceed $4 billion, according to Goldman Sachs . That is an amount of money Tesla, quite frankly, doesn't have to spend. After a disastrous first quarter 2019, the company quickly raised $2.35 billion in stock and debt. Even with this recent cash infusion, Musk told employees the company would be out of cash in 10 months if spending continued at current levels.

The end of Tesla

Tesla will not go bankrupt. It cannot go bankrupt. At the moment, the company is still well-placed to raise another funding round and could likely even do as many as three more funding events before investors stop lining up. Failure for Tesla won't happen tomorrow, but it is coming. More and more evangelists are changing their tunes as competition in EVs gets fiercer. Wall street is losing patience with broken promises and erratic CEO behavior. And the everyday consumer is finding more electric car options that tempt their dollar now that Tesla is not the only game in town. No, Tesla's end will not happen tomorrow, nor will it be a dramatic collapse.

Telsa is too valuable a brand to disappear in a cloud of Chapter 11 smoke. Again, history bears this out. The vast majority of automotive brands from years past were acquired or absorbed into larger brands, where some succeeded brilliantly (Dodge) and others slowly morphed into something unrecognizable (Hudson). Arguably, the Tesla brand is the most valuable piece of Tesla's balance sheet as other manufacturers have caught up with their hard technology (batteries, chargers), and are rapidly chasing down their soft technology ( Autopilot ). The Tesla brand is global in reach, and still viewed favorably overall by the public.

The endgame for Tesla is an acquisition. It is the way of the automotive jungle -- the circle of corporate life, as it were. The unknowable part at the moment is exactly who will acquire Tesla, as the list is quite long. Another car company is the reflexive bet, but Silicon Valley and Chinese auto manufacturers are all likely bidders as well. Apple already offered to buy Tesla back in 2013 for more than the company is worth at the time of this story. The field of suitors is wide open, and the eventual winner could well come as a surprise to the everyday public.

Regardless of who steps up to the plate, it will be very surprising if the transaction is labelled as an acquisition. No -- this will be a "merger" or "partnership" to protect egos and that all-important Tesla brand (again, the most valuable asset on their books). Any upcoming news of a partnership with a Toyota or a Mercedes should not be seen as a life preserver thrown out in good faith, but a wholesale pirate sacking of the company. Musk will quietly slip away to chase his shiny things, popping in for product launches and tweetstorms, but the adults will be put in charge and set a profitable course. What happens after that, no one can know.

Before the pitchforks come out, make no mistake: The world is a better place for Tesla having existed. Electric cars are no longer made out of old Porsche 914s by a guy in a shed. We are moving toward an electric future, all thanks to underdog Tesla. The world, and Americans especially, are enamored with an underdog story. But more often than not, the underdog loses. That's why they are underdogs. In the best of worlds, Tesla can influence Mercedes or a Chinese company from the inside to really nail electric cars and make them the most affordable option for consumers. I hope that comes to pass for all our sakes.

Tesla is dead. Long live Tesla.

[May 31, 2021] For the first four months of this year, the seasonally-adjusted consumer-price index is rising at an annualized rate of 6.2%. Without the seasonal adjustments, it is rising at 7.8%.

May 31, 2021 | www.wsj.com

"The consumer-price index rose at a remarkable 4.2%," says your editorial, "Powell Gets His Inflation Wish" (May 13). Remarkable, yes, but our current inflation problem is far worse than that 4.2%, which is bad enough. The real issue is what is happening in 2021. We need to realize that for the first four months of this year, the seasonally-adjusted consumer-price index is rising at an annual rate of 6.2%. Without the seasonal adjustments, it is rising at 7.8%. Meanwhile, house prices are inflating at 12%.

We are paying the inevitable price for the Federal Reserve's monetization of government debt and mortgages. As for whether this is "transitory," we may paraphrase J.M. Keynes: In the long run, everything is transitory. But now it is high time for the Fed to begin reducing its debt purchases, and to stop buying mortgages.

[May 31, 2021] How to Know When Inflation Is Here to Stay

Skill shortages, wage pressures and "hawseholes flash with cash" is is a pretty questionable consideration (mostly neoliberal mythology). It is typical for WSJ not to touch controversial topics connected with the deterioration of global neoliberal empire centered in Washington and rampant money printing by Fed, which increases the level of debt to Japanese's level. They also are buying bonds to keep rate under check which is kind of counterfeiting money.
So we should expect US stock market to emulate Japanese's stock market. Under neoliberalism there can be no wage pressures as war of labor was won by financial oligarchy which institutes neo-feudal regime of wage slavery. One of the key methods is import of foreign workers to undermine wages in the USA. And neoliberalism is a trap, creating "Welcome to the hotel California" situation.
Automation and robotization puts further pressure on workers in the USA, especially low skill jobs (in some restaurants waiters are replaced by robots). In many large grocery shots, Wall Mart, etc automatic cashiers machines now are common. That increase theft but saving on casheer job partially compensate for that. In back office cash and check counting is also automated using machines.
The key issue here might be the status of dollar as world reserve currency... That allows the USA to export inflation. If dollar dominance will be shaken inflation chickens will come to roost.
May 31, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Inflation is here already, and in the long run there is a lot of upward pressure on prices. But between now and then lies a big question for investors and the economy: Is the Federal Reserve right to think that the price rises we're seeing now are temporary and will abate by next year?

Some at the Fed are already having vague doubts, starting to talk about when to discuss removing some of their extraordinary stimulus even as they continue to push the idea that inflation is likely to fall back of its own accord.

... ... ..

Inflation expectations can become self-fulfilling, and are watched closely by the Fed. One-year consumer inflation expectations reached 4.6% in May, according to the University of Michigan survey, the highest since the China commodity boom of 2011.


Jeffrey P

It is important to not underestimate market sentiment and expectations in such matters because sometimes in economics, the expectation can be strong enough to become a self-fulfilling prediction even when other indicators recede or normally wouldn't be a driver.
Jeffrey Whyatt
I wonder how COLAs in wages, pensions, social security, etc. will impact inflation when these kick in. Think most occur automatically on a given contractual date. Might add fuel to the fire.
BRANDON JAMES
Just look at the prices for all the things they exclude from the CPI and other indices of inflation.
stephen rollins
How do you tell when the Treasury Sec. and Fed Chair are lying about inflation? When you open your eyes in the morning and the Sun rises in the East.
RICHARD TANKSLEY
It seems wise not to overlook the upcoming problems that we might have with China which which have the potential to create even more inflation. Lots of tensions are still around and frankly we should seriously dent US imports from there over the Wuhan virus.
BRUCE MONTGOMERY
Economists are good at dissecting the past, but terrible at forecasting the future.
ROBERT BAILEY
They predicted 12 out of the last 3 recessions
stephen rollins
Yes, and non economists do even worse. Look at the Japanese stock market. About 37K in 1990, cratered, and still only at 28 today. Thats over 30 years, folks.
RODNEY EVERSON
Definition of a "Positive Carry Trade": Borrowing money at an interest rate and investing it at a higher rate to earn the difference.

Banks do this with deposits, for example, borrowing money from savers and investing it in higher-yielding loans.

Bond traders typically do it by purchasing longer maturities at, say, three percent and financing them in the repo market at a rate now close to zero.

The main risk to such a trade is that the higher-yielding investment loses value while holding it. The bank loan goes bad, or the long bond falls in value while holding it.

Today the Federal Reserve is running the largest positive carry trade in history, borrowing trillions of dollars from the banking system and paying them 1/10 of one percent on the loans while using the money to buy trillions of bonds and mortgages for its portfolio.

If they raise short rates today, the banks will want more than 1/10 of a percent while, simultaneously, bond prices will crater. Anyone see a conflict here?

RODNEY EVERSON
There seems to be universal agreement that inflation is underway today. The disagreement is three-part: 1) It will be transitory and we will return to low levels; 2) It will not be transitory and we are facing steadily rising prices for the foreseeable future; 3) Not only will it not be transitory, but it will begin to escalate rapidly with the Fed proving unable or even unwilling to control it, resulting in a hyperinflation.

The bond market is clearly betting on scenario #1, as is the Fed.

And yet the government is spending like the proverbial drunken sailor and the Fed has now abandoned the banking system's fractional reserve mechanism that Volcker employed to bring the 1970's inflation back under control. The result, to my mind, is that the U.S. Government's finances now closely approximate those of Venezuela and Zimbabwe in the recent past while the Fed has relinquished the tools that would ordinarily be used to yield a different result than those countries experienced.

C Cook
Economics and politics.

The story describes reality well. Economics is just fuzzy theory now, neither I nor 99% of America can sort it out. MMT... Print money forever and it doesn't matter?

Politics is clear. History has shown that new administrations lose the House at the first mid-term. If that happens next year, the entire woke/green/leftist agenda goes down in flames. Pelosi is back to being a pedestrian member of the House.

To avoid history, DNC will attempt to spend our grandchildren's future to buy every vote available. Free everything, all the time. No need to work, study, or even get out of bed before noon. Infrastructure is code for pay off Unions to get workers to vote, shake down companies who want construction contracts to donate to DNC.

Equity market is watching. Bond market is watching. Likely, they realize that the only reality is the massive damage to the US which will result from the DNC wanting to keep Nancy happy.

James Cornelio
Unexplored in this article is the issue of what CAN the Fed do if there is unacceptable inflationary pressures. To think that it could reduce its $100+ billion monthly purchases in debt let alone raise interest rates by any serious amount is to forget that we are a nation awash in debt and that any move by the Fed to do either would result in a 'taper tantrum' the likes of which will cause all previous tantrums to look like nothing more than naughty child's play.
William Mackey
The poster child for inflation has to be in the retail housing market. Fixer Uppers that went begging for a buyer two years ago are the subject of bidding wars today. Biden is pouring trillions into an emergency that is not there.
DANIEL PETROSINI
The Fed is now just another political entity. They are justifying the ridiculous increase in money supply with the 'temporary' argument. It is critical to note, they have always been late. This will not end well.
jennifer raineri
So right. And everyone is just whistling through the graveyard.
Ivaylo Ivanov
One possibility is that households spend some of their savings but continue to save more than before in case of future trouble, while higher prices make people think twice about splashing out.
When people see prices rising across the board they spend and hoard, they don't save, especially when savings accounts interest rates are 0%.
CHING CHANG TSAI
In my opinion, anyone with common sense knows that inflation is here. Everything is more expensive than before with a significant difference that draws buyer's attention. Even my home value appreciates about 20% more than the value in 2020, estimated by the local government. Thanks to my senior age that helped me to limit the raise to 10%. I protested in vain due to local taxing authority had hard data on hand to dispute my protest.

I accept the reality except that FED said this inflation is "transitory." I can hardly wait till next year to see my home value will depreciate back to my 2020 property value. I hope FED will not "lie" on this subject.

David Weisz
I accept the reality except that FED said this inflation is "transitory."

The Fed description is accurate... it's just whether the transition is to lower inflation or to runaway inflation.

[May 31, 2021] Yes inflation is transitionary. Thos only question is transitionary to what level?

Highly recommended!
As for whether this is "transitory," we may paraphrase J.M. Keynes: In the long run, everything is transitory.
May 31, 2021 | www.wsj.com
D

David Weisz

I accept the reality except that FED said this inflation is "transitory."

The Fed description is accurate... it's just whether the transition is to lower inflation or to runaway inflation.

Jim McCreary
The biggest single factor that will drive long-term inflation is the absence of downward price pressure from new Chinese market entrants. Cutthroat pricing from China is the ONLY reason the West has been able to get away with Money-Printing Gone Wild for the past 20 years without triggering runaway inflation.

There are no new Chinese entrants because the Chinese are now all in in the world economy. The existing Chinese competitors are seeing their costs go UP, not down, because they have fully employed the Chinese population, and have to pay up in order to get and keep workers.

So, without any more downward price pressure from China, this latest round of Money-Printing Gone Wild is showing up as price inflation, and will continue to do so.

Batten down the hatches! Stagflation and then runaway inflation are coming!

[May 30, 2021] US March Oil Production Rebounds Strongly From Winter Storm Low

May 30, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

RON PATTERSON IGNORED OVI IGNORED 05/30/2021 at 9:16 am

Ron

Great find.

For me that article was behind a paywall. Yahoo has it here.

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/time-different-outside-opec-oil-040000053.html

05/30/2021 at 7:49 am

Well, I'm not one to say "I told you so", but I did, didn't I. 🙂 Bold mine.

This Time Is Different: Outside OPEC+, Oil Growth Stalls

"This time is different" may be the most dangerous words in business: billions of dollars have been lost betting that history won't repeat itself. And yet now, in the oil world, it looks like this time really will be.

For the first time in decades, oil companies aren't rushing to increase production to chase rising oil prices as Brent crude approaches $70. Even in the Permian, the prolific shale basin at the center of the U.S. energy boom, drillers are resisting their traditional boom-and-bust cycle of spending.

The oil industry is on the ropes, constrained by Wall Street investors demanding that companies spend less on drilling and instead return more money to shareholders, and climate change activists pushing against fossil fuels. Exxon Mobil Corp. is paradigmatic of the trend, after its humiliating defeat at the hands of a tiny activist elbowing itself onto the board.

And what they don't realize is that the two largest producers in OPEC+, Russia and Saudi Arabia, are on the ropes also. Russia has admitted it but Saudi is still trying to deny the fact.

[May 30, 2021] This Time Is Different- Outside OPEC+, Oil Growth Stalls by Javier Blas

May 30, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

"This time is different" may be the most dangerous words in business: billions of dollars have been lost betting that history won't repeat itself. And yet now, in the oil world, it looks like this time really will be.

For the first time in decades, oil companies aren't rushing to increase production to chase rising oil prices as Brent crude approaches $70. Even in the Permian, the prolific shale basin at the center of the U.S. energy boom, drillers are resisting their traditional boom-and-bust cycle of spending.

The oil industry is on the ropes, constrained by Wall Street investors demanding that companies spend less on drilling and instead return more money to shareholders, and climate change activists pushing against fossil fuels. Exxon Mobil Corp. is paradigmatic of the trend, after its humiliating defeat at the hands of a tiny activist elbowing itself onto the board.

The dramatic events in the industry last week only add to what is emerging as an opportunity for the producers of OPEC+, giving the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and Russia more room for maneuver to bring back their own production. As non-OPEC output fails to rebound as fast as many expected -- or feared based on past experience -- the cartel is likely to continue adding more supply when it meets on June 1.

'Criminalization'

Shareholders are asking Exxon to drill less and focus on returning money to investors. "They have been throwing money down the drill hole like crazy," Christopher Ailman, chief investment officer for CalSTRS. "We really saw that company just heading down the hole, not surviving into the future, unless they change and adapt. And now they have to."

Exxon is unlikely to be alone. Royal Dutch Shell Plc lost a landmark legal battle last week when a Dutch court told it to cut emissions significantly by 2030 -- something that would require less oil production. Many in the industry fear a wave of lawsuits elsewhere, with western oil majors more immediate targets than the state-owned oil companies that make up much of OPEC production.

"We see a shift from stigmatization toward criminalization of investing in higher oil production," said Bob McNally, president of consultant Rapidan Energy Group and a former White House official.

While it's true that non-OPEC+ output is creeping back from the crash of 2020 -- and the ultra-depressed levels of April and May last year -- it's far from a full recovery. Overall, non-OPEC+ output will grow this year by 620,000 barrels a day, less than half the 1.3 million barrels a day it fell in 2020. The supply growth forecast through the rest of this year "comes nowhere close to matching" the expected increase in demand, according to the International Energy Agency.

Beyond 2021, oil output is likely to rise in a handful of nations, including the U.S., Brazil, Canada and new oil-producer Guyana. But production will decline elsewhere, from the U.K. to Colombia, Malaysia and Argentina.

As non-OPEC+ production increases less than global oil demand, the cartel will be in control of the market, executives and traders said. It's a major break with the past, when oil companies responded to higher prices by rushing to invest again, boosting non-OPEC output and leaving the ministers led by Saudi Arabia's Abdulaziz bin Salman with a much more difficult balancing act.

Drilling Down

So far, the lack of non-OPEC+ oil production growth isn't registering much in the market. After all, the coronavirus pandemic continues to constrain global oil demand. It may be more noticeable later this year and into 2022 . By then, vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 are likely to be bearing fruit, and the world will need more oil. The expected return of Iran into the market will provide some of that, but there will likely be a need for more.

When that happens, it will be largely up to OPEC to plug the gap. One signal of how the recovery will be different this time is the U.S. drilling count: It is gradually increasing, but the recovery is slower than it was after the last big oil price crash in 2008-09. Shale companies are sticking to their commitment to return more money to shareholders via dividends. While before the pandemic shale companies re-used 70-90% of their cash flow into further drilling, they are now keeping that metric at around 50%.

The result is that U.S. crude production has flat-lined at around 11 million barrels a day since July 2020. Outside the U.S. and Canada, the outlook is even more somber: at the end of April, the ex-North America oil rig count stood at 523, lower than it was a year ago, and nearly 40% below the same month two years earlier, according to data from Baker Hughes Co.

When Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz predicted earlier this year that "'drill, baby, drill' is gone for ever," it sounded like a bold call. As ministers meet this week, they may dare to hope he's right.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

[May 30, 2021] Andrew Yang: The War on Normal People The Truth About America s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future

Looks like this guys somewhat understands the problems with neoliberalism, but still is captured by neoliberal ideology.
Notable quotes:
"... That all seems awfully quaint today. Pensions disappeared for private-sector employees years ago. Most community banks were gobbled up by one of the mega-banks in the 1990s -- today five banks control 50 percent of the commercial banking industry, which itself mushroomed to the point where finance enjoys about 25 percent of all corporate profits. Union membership fell by 50 percent. ..."
"... Ninety-four percent of the jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were temp or contractor jobs without benefits; people working multiple gigs to make ends meet is increasingly the norm. Real wages have been flat or even declining. The chances that an American born in 1990 will earn more than their parents are down to 50 percent; for Americans born in 1940 the same figure was 92 percent. ..."
"... Thanks to Milton Friedman, Jack Welch, and other corporate titans, the goals of large companies began to change in the 1970s and early 1980s. The notion they espoused -- that a company exists only to maximize its share price -- became gospel in business schools and boardrooms around the country. Companies were pushed to adopt shareholder value as their sole measuring stick. ..."
"... Simultaneously, the major banks grew and evolved as Depression-era regulations separating consumer lending and investment banking were abolished. Financial deregulation started under Ronald Reagan in 1980 and culminated in the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 under Bill Clinton that really set the banks loose. The securities industry grew 500 percent as a share of GDP between 1980 and the 2000s while ordinary bank deposits shrank from 70 percent to 50 percent. Financial products multiplied as even Main Street companies were driven to pursue financial engineering to manage their affairs. GE, my dad's old company and once a beacon of manufacturing, became the fifth biggest financial institution in the country by 2007. ..."
Apr 27, 2019 | www.amazon.com

The logic of the meritocracy is leading us to ruin, because we arc collectively primed to ignore the voices of the millions getting pushed into economic distress by the grinding wheels of automation and innovation. We figure they're complaining or suffering because they're losers.

We need to break free of this logic of the marketplace before it's too late.

[Neoliberalism] had decimated the economies and cultures of these regions and were set to do the same to many others.

In response, American lives and families are falling apart. Ram- pant financial stress is the new normal. We are in the third or fourth inning of the greatest economic shift in the history of mankind, and no one seems to be talking about it or doing anything in response.

The Great Displacement didn't arrive overnight. It has been building for decades as the economy and labor market changed in response to improving technology, financialization, changing corporate norms, and globalization. In the 1970s, when my parents worked at GE and Blue Cross Blue Shield in upstate New York, their companies provided generous pensions and expected them to stay for decades. Community banks were boring businesses that lent money to local companies for a modest return. Over 20 percent of workers were unionized. Some economic problems existed -- growth was uneven and infla- tion periodically high. But income inequality was low, jobs provided benefits, and Main Street businesses were the drivers of the economy. There were only three television networks, and in my house we watched them on a TV with an antenna that we fiddled with to make the picture clearer.

That all seems awfully quaint today. Pensions disappeared for private-sector employees years ago. Most community banks were gobbled up by one of the mega-banks in the 1990s -- today five banks control 50 percent of the commercial banking industry, which itself mushroomed to the point where finance enjoys about 25 percent of all corporate profits. Union membership fell by 50 percent.

Ninety-four percent of the jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were temp or contractor jobs without benefits; people working multiple gigs to make ends meet is increasingly the norm. Real wages have been flat or even declining. The chances that an American born in 1990 will earn more than their parents are down to 50 percent; for Americans born in 1940 the same figure was 92 percent.

Thanks to Milton Friedman, Jack Welch, and other corporate titans, the goals of large companies began to change in the 1970s and early 1980s. The notion they espoused -- that a company exists only to maximize its share price -- became gospel in business schools and boardrooms around the country. Companies were pushed to adopt shareholder value as their sole measuring stick.

Hostile takeovers, shareholder lawsuits, and later activist hedge funds served as prompts to ensure that managers were committed to profitability at all costs. On the flip side, CF.Os were granted stock options for the first time that wedded their individual gain to the company's share price. The ratio of CF.O to worker pay rose from 20 to 1 in 1965 to 271 to 1 in 2016. Benefits were streamlined and reduced and the relationship between company and employee weakened to become more transactional.

Simultaneously, the major banks grew and evolved as Depression-era regulations separating consumer lending and investment banking were abolished. Financial deregulation started under Ronald Reagan in 1980 and culminated in the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 under Bill Clinton that really set the banks loose. The securities industry grew 500 percent as a share of GDP between 1980 and the 2000s while ordinary bank deposits shrank from 70 percent to 50 percent. Financial products multiplied as even Main Street companies were driven to pursue financial engineering to manage their affairs. GE, my dad's old company and once a beacon of manufacturing, became the fifth biggest financial institution in the country by 2007.

Nolia Nessa , April 5, 2018

profound and urgent work of social criticism

It's hard to be in the year 2018 and not hear about the endless studies alarming the general public about coming labor automation. But what Yang provides in this book is two key things: automation has already been ravaging the country which has led to the great political polarization of today, and second, an actual vision into what happens when people lose jobs, and it definitely is a lightning strike of "oh crap"

I found this book relatively impressive and frightening. Yang, a former lawyer, entrepreneur, and non-profit leader, writes showing with inarguable data that when companies automate work and use new software, communities die, drug use increases, suicide increases, and crime skyrockets. The new jobs created go to big cities, the surviving talent leaves, and the remaining people lose hope and descend into madness. (as a student of psychology, this is not surprising)

He starts by painting the picture of the average American and how fragile they are economically. He deconstructs the labor predictions and how technology is going to ravage it. He discusses the future of work. He explains what has happened in technology and why it's suddenly a huge threat. He shows what this means: economic inequality rises, the people have less power, the voice of democracy is diminished, no one owns stocks, people get poorer etc. He shows that talent is leaving small towns, money is concentrating to big cities faster. He shows what happens when those other cities die (bad things), and then how the people react when they have no income (really bad things). He shows how retraining doesn't work and college is failing us. We don't invest in vocational skills, and our youth is underemployed pushed into freelance work making minimal pay. He shows how no one trusts the institutions anymore.

Then he discusses solutions with a focus on Universal Basic Income. I was a skeptic of the idea until I read this book. You literally walk away with this burning desire to prevent a Mad Max esque civil war, and its hard to argue with him. We don't have much time and our bloated micromanaged welfare programs cannot sustain.

[May 29, 2021] Peter Schiff -- Inflation Crashes The Party

The read question is when this will happen. So far this year the yield of 10 year bond fluctuate in a rather narrow band. It does not steadily increases...
May 28, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The latest clue that trouble is brewing has come from the sudden and dramatic arrival of inflation. On May 12, it was revealed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) had risen 4.2% year-over-year , the fastest pace since 2008.

Some tried to downplay concern by pointing out that the gains resulted from the "base effect" of comparing current prices with the artificially depressed "Covid lockdown" prices of March and April of last year. But that ignores the more alarming trend of near-term price acceleration.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in every month this year, the month-over-month change in prices has been greater than the change in the previous month.

In April prices jumped .8% from March, versus an expected gain of just .2%. Clearly, if this trend continues, or even fails to dramatically reverse, we could be looking at inflation well north of 5 or 6 percent for the calendar year. That would create a big problem.

Despite Federal Reserve officials' recent assurances that the inflation problem is "transitory," many investors are concluding that the central bank will have to deal with this problem by tightening monetary policy far sooner than had been expected. This would make sense if the Fed cared about restraining inflation or, more importantly, had the power to do anything to stop it. In truth, we are sailing into these waters with little ability to alter speed or course, and we will be wholly at the mercy of the waves we have spent a generation creating.

[May 29, 2021] Inflation Takes Its Cut - WSJ

May 28, 2021 | www.wsj.com

The Commerce Department on Friday reported that consumer spending rose 0.5% in April from a month earlier, which, coming after March's government stimulus-check-fueled surge, was impressive. The gain was driven by a 1.1% increase in spending on services""an indication of how, with Covid-19 cases dropping and vaccination rates rising , consumers are shifting their behavior. Spending on goods actually declined, with the weakness concentrated in spending on nondurable goods such as groceries and cleaning products.

But a closer look at April's overall gain indicates it was mainly driven by price increases. By the Commerce Department's measure, which is the Federal Reserve's preferred gauge of inflation, consumer prices rose 0.6% in April from March, putting them 3.6% above their year-earlier level. As a result, real, or inflation-adjusted spending declined. Core prices, which exclude the often volatile food and energy categories to better capture inflation's underlying trend, were up 0.7% from March, and 3.1% on the year. The Fed's inflation goal is 2%, though it has said it will tolerate higher readings than that for some time.

[May 29, 2021] Peter Schiff- Inflation Crashes The Party - ZeroHedge

May 28, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The latest clue that trouble is brewing has come from the sudden and dramatic arrival of inflation. On May 12, it was revealed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) had risen 4.2% year-over-year , the fastest pace since 2008.

Some tried to downplay concern by pointing out that the gains resulted from the "base effect" of comparing current prices with the artificially depressed "Covid lockdown" prices of March and April of last year. But that ignores the more alarming trend of near-term price acceleration.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in every month this year, the month-over-month change in prices has been greater than the change in the previous month.

In April prices jumped .8% from March, versus an expected gain of just .2%. Clearly, if this trend continues, or even fails to dramatically reverse, we could be looking at inflation well north of 5 or 6 percent for the calendar year. That would create a big problem.

Despite Federal Reserve officials' recent assurances that the inflation problem is "transitory," many investors are concluding that the central bank will have to deal with this problem by tightening monetary policy far sooner than had been expected. This would make sense if the Fed cared about restraining inflation or, more importantly, had the power to do anything to stop it. In truth, we are sailing into these waters with little ability to alter speed or course, and we will be wholly at the mercy of the waves we have spent a generation creating.

[May 28, 2021] What Commodities Prices Are Saying About Inflation by Ryan Dezember, Joe Wallace and Andrew Barnett

May 20, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Prices for the building blocks of the economy have surged over the past year. Oil, copper, corn and gasoline futures all cost about twice what they did a year ago, when much of the world was locked down to fight the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Lumber has more than tripled.

... ... ...

N

Nidge M

Not sure its adding anything which hasn't been said already but to look at the same thing in a different way:
2, or if you look at it 'sideways' 3, main interwoven factors drive inflation:
Access to money to spend - That can be wage/earnings increases or access to cheap debt. That ups demand & prices follow.
Devaluation of the currency - Pushes up raw material imports & prices follow.

What curbs inflation?:
High taxation
High interest rates
High unemployment

And if anyone can point to any Western Democracy currently willing to implement any one, never mind all three, of those controls a lot of folk will probably be pretty surprised.

Michael Matus
Commodities prices are not the problem. They are high now because of a short-term surge in demand and supply chain issues. All should be worked out by this time next year.

The long-term structural problem could be wages. If inflation shows up in wages through wage increases through a multitude of industries then there will be a problem,....... a major one.

Having all these people on the Dole from the government didn't help things Joe!

But like all Presidents that came after HW Bush all you care about is getting re-elected. Doling out is a great way even if its at the cost of the country.

The FED as been intervening in the markets for so long that they have no tools left for the next crisis.

The FED painted themselves into a corner and the Stimulus that was not needed left them no Escape.

Michael Brown
"Having all these people on the Dole from the government didn't help things Joe!"

What about raising the minimum wage, and Joe commanding that all workers for federal contractors be paid $15 per hour or more? You think that could be inflationary?

Michael Matus
I would have to agree with yoiu Michael. I should have mentioned that, thank you for reminding me. However, the main problem with all the sources trhat I have out on the street and their are mnay. Is WAGE growth. As far as a national mimum wage there is none. Altough there probably will be now. Most states pay as high or higher than what the Federal Government was proposing.

90% of government contractors make at least $15.00 an hour anyway. The VAST majority of the problem is enhanced unemployment insurance. The 3 month averge of wage groth ending in March was 3.4%. If it hits > 4.0% that will be bad.

Michael Brown
Excellent points, Michael. The list of government actions instigating inflation would be long indeed.
Michael Matus
Unfortunately, Michael, I would have to Wholeheartedly agree with you, Have a Good Weekend!
JOSEPH MICHAEL
Serious, severe inflationary problems are here, they are just starting, and they are going to get much worse.
Brian Kearns
eh.
best to give corporations a large tax cut

so the can buy back stock

Bill Hestir
I will interested to see if new car prices, lumber prices, new home prices, gasoline prices, and food prices will ever go back down to pre-pandemic levels.

If not, with all the new anti-business taxes and reluctance of out-of-work laborers to go back to work, how will businesses not be forced to raise their wages and increase the price of their products even higher than they are today?

At what point, therefore, will the Fed end their "inflation is transitory" farce and raise interest rates?

Deirdre Hood
Food prices, regardless of when inflation ends, will not go down/return to 'normal'.

Supply lines are squeezed (NO ONE can hire reliable transport drivers), low supply of workers, plus factor in a bad year for wheat, and it turns into the perfect storm for commercial bakers.

Judy Neuwirth
Inflation is just getting started. Cho Bi-Den's hyper-regulated economy is only three months old and already it's 1976 all over again!
Jim Chapman
Now Judy, it's just "transitory" inflation as per Yellen, Powell and Buyden. You really must stick with the narrative, and remember, Adam Smith's scurrilous "Invisible Hand" is a ultra-right wing conservative myth. So we are not supposed to believe our lying eyes.

[May 28, 2021] Inflation Forces Investors to Scramble for Solutions - WSJ

May 24, 2021 | www.wsj.com

The price of the benchmark 10-year Treasury inflation-protected security logged its biggest one-day decline in a month. Shares of real-estate investment trusts slid the most since January. Commodities were generally flat but dropped the following day.

The three asset classes have vacillated since, but their initial moves showed the unexpected ways that markets can behave when inflation is rising, especially when many are already expensive by historical measures.

This week, investors will gain greater insight into the inflation picture when the Commerce Department updates the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge, the personal-consumption-expenditures price index. They will also track earnings from the likes of Dollar General Corp. , Costco Wholesale Corp. and Salesforce.com Inc.

The stakes are high for investors. Inflation dents the value of traditional government and corporate bonds because it reduces the purchasing power of their fixed interest payments. But it can also hurt stocks, analysts say, by pushing up interest rates and increasing input costs for companies.

From early 1973 through last December, stocks have delivered positive inflation-adjusted returns in 90% of rolling 12-month periods that occurred when inflation""as measured by the consumer-price index""was below 3% and rising, according to research by Sean Markowicz, a strategist at Schroders, the U.K. asset-management firm. But that fell to only 48% of the periods when inflation was above 3% and rising.

A recent report from the Labor Department showed that the consumer-price index jumped 4.2% in April from a year earlier, up from 2.6% in March. Even excluding volatile food and energy prices, it was up 3% from a year earlier, blowing past analysts' expectations for a 2.3% gain.

Analysts say that there are plenty of reasons why inflation won't be able to maintain that pace for long. The latest year-over-year numbers were inflated by comparisons to deeply depressed prices from the early days of the pandemic. They were also supported by supply bottlenecks that many view as fixable and robust consumer demand that could dissipate once households have spent government stimulus checks.

... ... ...

By comparison, the S&P GSCI Commodity Total Return Index delivered positive inflation-adjusted returns in 83% of the high and rising inflation periods. "Commodities are a source of input costs for companies and they're also a key component of the inflation index, which by definition you're trying to hedge," said Mr. Markowicz.

At the same time, commodities are among the most volatile of all asset classes and can be influenced by an array of idiosyncratic factors.

T

Tracy Harris

Charles Goodhart, the economist from the Bank of England, has just written an important book arguing that worldwide demographic changes are going to result in a couple of decades of high inflation. See Charles Goodhart, The Great Democratic Reversal: Ageing Societies, Waning Inequality, and an Inflation Revival. Maybe the Journal could find someone to review it. Maybe Ms. Yellen should read it.

(Douglas Levene)

Bruce Fegley
This article is naive, if not ridiculous, for several reasons. I name a few.

1st - the stock market is the best hedge against inflation over a long time period - years, not daily, weekly, or quarterly. Especially with dividend reinvesting and with an automatic buying plan like the DRIP plans offered by many companies at no or very low cost.

2nd - Individuals can buy US government I-series savings bonds at NO COST directly from the US Treasury, and while they do not completely hedge against inflation, they offer good interest rates that beat bank interest and are completely insured.

3rd - Toyota and perhaps other car companies offer notes with higher interest than banks but not FDIC insured. About 1.5% now.

One does not have to blow money away on bitcoin or hold gold, which is taxed as a collectible and has assay fees on the front and back ends of any buy/sell transaction unless one is buying coins which have a markup to begin with.

Theo Walker
Started buying I-bonds this month. The rates are great! Easily the best safe investment right now.
Bryson Marsh
... why would you buy TIPS? The spread is a farce after all.
PHILIP NICHOLAS
Inflation is always sticky . In other words all the prices do not go down . Wages that are increased , usually stay . Companies sense a new level they can pass on to consumers . And the Government damage to energy prices will influence prices .
Bryson Marsh
Memory costs, data plans, and televisions are all examples that clearly demonstrate secular price declines despite periodic increases.
Charles D
"Inflation Forces Investors to Scramble for Solutions"
Hundreds of millions of Americans are going to suffer as the Federal Government inflates the national debt away over the next 10 to 15 years. Investors will figure it out, but the little guy will get crushed once again. Oh well, we get the government we deserve.
A Eichler
CME futures contracts ...

OIL - NAT GAS - PROPYLENE - COPPER - LUMBER - STEEL - SOYBEAN - 2 yr. and 5 yr. T-Note

They are all substantially down, one year from now; except Copper and financials which are flat.

What does that say about the economy & inflation in one year?

Paul Smith
I am under the impression that the Social Security COLA is based on a September to September comparison of the CPI-U. That is to say, for example, September 2020 CPI-U vs. September 2021 CPI-U. Is this not correct?

We have had inflation over over the past decade or so. As measured by the CPI-U, it has hovered around 2 percent. Not a big deal to the Fed's economists. Cumulatively, however, it adds up.

I have been retired for 16 years. Inflation has eroded the purchasing power of my fixed pension by 25.5. Mercifully, I have other resources to make up the loss, but for people on a fixed pension, so-called mild inflation can wreck it over time.

James Webb
Paul, one of the lower estimates for 2022:

"The Kiplinger Letter is forecasting that the annual cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits for 2022 will be 4.5%, the biggest jump since 2008, when benefits rose 5.8%. That would also be higher than the 3% adjustment The Kiplinger Letter predicted earlier this year."

From SocialSecurity dot gov:

"To determine the COLA, the average CPI-W for the third calendar quarter of the most recent year a COLA was determined is compared to the average CPI-W for the third calendar quarter of the current year. The resulting percentage increase, if any, represents the percentage that will be used to increase Social Security benefits beginning for December of the current year. "

So the predicted 4.5-4.7% increase for 2022 will take effect December 31 this year.

Of course the calculation is not completed yet....

James Robertson
The Fed's inflation calculations have become increasingly "fuzzy" since the Boskin Commission in 1995. The CPI ignores housing, food, and energy. Healthcare gets weighted at 3 percent, though it accounts for 18 percent of expenditures. "Hedonic quality adjustment" is another knob the Fed turns to "control" inflation. Inflation calculated by comparing the price of a basket of goods this year to a basket of goods last year runs quite a bit higher than the CPI; even higher if you include food, shelter, and energy in that basket.
James Webb
What's in the CPI?

-Food and Beverages (breakfast cereal, milk, coffee, chicken, wine, full service meals, snacks)
-Housing (rent of primary residence, owners' equivalent rent, fuel oil, bedroom furniture)
-Clothes (men's shirts and sweaters, women's dresses, jewelry)
-Transportation (new vehicles, airline fares, gasoline, motor vehicle insurance)
-Medical Care (prescription drugs and medical supplies, physicians' services, eyeglasses and eye care, hospital services)
-Recreation (televisions, toys, pets and pet products, sports equipment, admissions)
-Education and Communication (college tuition, postage, telephone services, computer software and accessories)
-Other Goods and Services (tobacco and smoking products, haircuts and other personal services, funeral expenses)

Tim Adams
The core CPI which the Fed uses excludes food and energy. The Consumer price index which is used for things like social security adjustments does not. These very similar but different uses of the same acronym just adds to the confusion.

[May 28, 2021] Liz Cheney Faces Chopping Block As GOP Braces For Chaotic Week

It is always good when neocons are demoted. Warmongering neocon pigs should be removed.
May 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

"She's done as a member of leadership. I don't understand what she's doing," one former House GOP lawmaker told The Hill of Cheney's ongoing attacks on former President Trump. " It's like political self-immolation. You can't cancel Trump from the Republican Party; all she's done is cancel herself. "

Cheney has repeatedly attacked Trump for 'inciting' the Jan. 6 'insurrection' despite telling supporters to protest peacefully and then go home following the breach of the Capitol.

GOP leaders hope that purging Cheney from the leadership ranks will move Republicans beyond their civil war over Trump" one that's raged publicly since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol" and allow the party to unite behind a midterm campaign message that President Biden and the Democrats are too liberal for the country. - The Hill

"There are still a few members that are talking about things that happened in the past, not really focused on what we need to do to move forward and win the majority back next year," according to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the minority whip. "We're going to have to be unified if we defeat the socialist agenda you're seeing in Washington."

A victory by Stefanik would mark a symbolic shift back towards Trump by leading Republicans - as the former president remains highly engaged this election cycle and has threatened to politically obliterate any remaining GOP opposition.

"By ousting her, what we're saying is: We are repudiating your repudiation of the Trump policies and the Trump agenda and her attacks on the president," according to Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), adding " President Trump is the leader of the Republican Party. And when she's out there attacking him, she's attacking the leader of the Republican Party ."

Cheney has already survived one challenge to her leadership post, in February, after she infuriated conservatives by voting to impeach Trump for inciting the Capitol rampage on Jan. 6. With the backing of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), she easily kept her seat as conference chair, 145 to 61 by secret ballot.

With McCarthy and Scalise fed up with Cheney and now backing Stefanik, the 36-year-old New Yorker is expected to prevail in Wednesday's contest" a would-be victory for leaders who have failed to unite the conference behind a post-Trump strategy in the early months of the Biden administration. - The Hill

... ... ...

Cheney isn't the only House Republican facing backlash for taking on Trump. Earlier in the week, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), one of seven Republican senators who voted this year to convict Trump, was booed and called a traitor at the Utah GOP state convention, where he narrowly beat back an effort to censure him.

On Friday, the Ohio Republican Party Central Committee voted to censure Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), Cheney and the eight other House Republicans who backed Trump's impeachment in January. The Ohio GOP also formally called for Gonzalez's resignation.

... ... ...


Catullus 51 minutes ago

I don't care if Trump runs again just as long as these gross establishment Republicans are thrown out on their asses

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