World economy

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John McKenna
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Re: World economy

Post by John McKenna » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:25 pm

There are pockets (usually cash-rich) of optimism here and there but on a global economic scale it is in short supply.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: World economy

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:47 am

Arshad Ali wrote:The days of "growth" are over -- these lasted from roughly 1945 to 1973.
Are you quite sure about that? After all in 1973 a small pocket consumer device would have been the Sinclair and other brands of calculator. Compare that to a present day smart phone. For about the same price in inflation adjusted terms, you get a device with the computing power that in 1973 would have required an entire air conditioned room even if the applications had existed.

John McKenna
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Re: World economy

Post by John McKenna » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:37 pm

Depends in what sense 'growth' is used.
If it's in the sense of economic growth then we are talking about the growth of all goods and services in an economy - usually measured in percentage change in GDP per annum. It's regarded as an indicator of in/de-crease in standard of living.
If it's development and fall in price of technology - as with computers - that's growth in another sense.
Economic growth is falling in developed counties but rising in BRICS countries.
Technology grows, i.e develops. (Period)
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Arshad Ali
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Re: World economy

Post by Arshad Ali » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:45 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Arshad Ali wrote:The days of "growth" are over -- these lasted from roughly 1945 to 1973.
Are you quite sure about that? After all in 1973 a small pocket consumer device would have been the Sinclair and other brands of calculator. Compare that to a present day smart phone. For about the same price in inflation adjusted terms, you get a device with the computing power that in 1973 would have required an entire air conditioned room even if the applications had existed.
Computers of today are maybe 10,000,000 times more powerful than those of 1980 (I could be underestimating by an order of magnitude). But computing and electronics are possibly the only exceptions. And for some reason innovation in other areas of technology has been getting slower and slower. In any case, growth in any real sense is constrained by fossil fuel and resource depletion.

George Szaszvari
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Re: World economy

Post by George Szaszvari » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:59 am

Arshad Ali wrote:[
There's no "recovery" in the USA. It's political rhetoric backed by statistical sleight-of-hand...
I've said more than enough about the political why and wherefore on this subject in this forum and other places, and there is a growing sense that one needs to be careful what one says on the record out here, but at my age it bears one more comment. You are completely correct, and thank you for pointing it out. The USA is currently like a runaway train.... heading for catastrophic bankruptcy. It is so obvious that I find it hard to believe that so many are prepared to re-elect the guy who has the country set on this course (and he knows what he's doing.) There seems to be absolutely no sense of history with younger generations here. :cry:

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Sebastian Stone
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Re: World economy

Post by Sebastian Stone » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:13 am

George Szaszvari wrote:
Arshad Ali wrote:[
There's no "recovery" in the USA. It's political rhetoric backed by statistical sleight-of-hand...
I've said more than enough about the political why and wherefore on this subject in this forum and other places, and there is a growing sense that one needs to be careful what one says on the record out here, but at my age it bears one more comment. You are completely correct, and thank you for pointing it out. The USA is currently like a runaway train.... heading for catastrophic bankruptcy. It is so obvious that I find it hard to believe that so many are prepared to re-elect the guy who has the country set on this course (and he knows what he's doing.) There seems to be absolutely no sense of history with younger generations here. :cry:
One only has to look at who is running to be the Republican Nominee to see why.
AKA Scott Stone

"Give a man fire and he's warm for a day, set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life."

That's Mr Stone to you, f**kface.

Arshad Ali
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Re: World economy

Post by Arshad Ali » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:29 pm

George Szaszvari wrote:The USA is currently like a runaway train.... heading for catastrophic bankruptcy.
1/7th of the country is now on food stamps -- this is "recovery?" The foreign media -- such as Russia Today -- gives a more honest description of what's happening in the USA than the mendacious happy-smile attention-deficit US media. For example, watch this BBC Panorama coverage of malnutrition among Nevadan school children:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front ... 695217.stm

The real unemployment rate -- not the doctored official figure --is probably around 22%. This is reminiscent of the Great Depression. And it's not counting those who don't make enough to make ends meet.

I suspect the Archdruid's prognosis is spot on:

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/ ... mpkin.html
From any other perspective, plenty will have changed. Official US statistics will no doubt insist that the unemployment rate has gone down—do you ever get the feeling that when the Soviet Union collapsed, the people who used to churn out all those preposterous propaganda claims for their government got hired by ours? I do—but the number of people out of work in the United States will likely set another all-time record; the number of people in severe economic trouble will have gone up another good-sized notch, and public health clinics will probably be seeing the first wave of malnutrition-caused illness in children.
If you're into this sort of thing, you might also like the interview of Dmitry Orlov by Max Keiser last week:

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2012/02/o ... eiser.html

John McKenna
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Re: World economy

Post by John McKenna » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:30 pm

Christopher Kreuzer >... Any optimism anywhere?<

Roger de Coverly > ...in 1973 a small pocket consumer device would have been the... calculator. Compare that to a present day smart phone...<

That could be cause for optimism. I say could because - "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." (Richard Feynmann in the Rogers' Commission Report into the Challenger Disaster)
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

George Szaszvari
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Re: World economy

Post by George Szaszvari » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:48 pm

John McKenna wrote:Christopher Kreuzer >... Any optimism anywhere?<

Roger de Coverly > ...in 1973 a small pocket consumer device would have been the... calculator. Compare that to a present day smart phone...<

That could be cause for optimism. I say could because - "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." (Richard Feynmann in the Rogers' Commission Report into the Challenger Disaster)
Thanks for cheering up Christopher... not to be a killjoy, or anything, this is another interesting insight...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/bob-janju ... ghts-offer

but even if not into politics, economics or markets, it is obvious to anyone who can keep their own household books in the black that the amount of guv'ment spending is absurd, creating yet more bureaucracies, giving them big salary increases, sliding large stimulus grants (i.e., millions of $$$) to "certain" business ventures, several of which declared bankruptcy soon after, monies unaccounted for, and bailing out yet more inefficient companies incapable of running their own businesses without changing anything, giving huge guv'ment contracts to Chinese companies instead of US ones, worsening a national debt that is soaring beyond any realistic possibility of redemption within our grand children's lifetime, while the private sector (majority of taxpayers) suffers pay cuts and lay-offs. All this goes on while prezzie publicly croons about how taxes need to increase and congress needs to "work with him to reduce the deficit". An object lesson in how to manufacture a crisis, and the above is only scratching the surface of a few issues. You can investigate for yourself why an unaccountable cabal of federal reserve banks was allowed to set up and run things, and still does, why the dollar is just paper since Nixon took it off the gold standard... etc, etc... nobody is expected to be expert in all this stuff, but various TV interviewers get out on to the streets and randomly ask passers-by simple general knowledge questions, exposing how sad the situation really is. It seems that most Americans don't know anything about their own Constitution, or the Bill of Rights, or who most of the former presidents were, or who the vice president currently is, or any of the current candidates, or the issues, in the political arena... but they do know who Lindsay Lohan and similar celebrities are [hysterical maniacal laughter... tears rolling down cheeks...]

John McKenna
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Re: World economy

Post by John McKenna » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:14 am

Thanks for the above.

UK and Japan have asked the US to rewrite the 'Volcker rule' restricting US bank trading, as they say it will hit the sovereign debt market at a bad time, making it more difficult to issue and distribute debt.

In 1916 HG Wells wrote - waste of resources in war, combined with accumulation of debts, will leave the world bankrupt... and the creditor class in a position to strangle it... only (option is)... scale down all debts, impartially, by reducing amount of gold in all currencies!!

Wells was saying that an egalitarian devaluation of all the world's currencies with respect to a shared (gold) standard would be the only fair way to scale down the debts of all.

Instead we have an uncoordinated race-to-the-bottom for most developed countries' currencies (apart from the Swiss franc and a couple of others) in order to inflate away their own debt and enhance their chances to increase exports. Greece and others in the Eurozone cannot reduce their debts even with the utmost austerity so are being doomed to be pushed out into the wilderness with just a threadbare, rented, IMF blanket for protection.

Now there is no gold standard and the paper tiger of the US dollar is the international standard by which we all live. The rise of the euro was threatening to undermine that so it should be no surprise that the Eurozone is under, direct and indirect, economic attack from American-based institutions.

So the Eurozone becomes a debt trap that is on fire and the US not only reduces its water supply (cash in dollars) but asks to be given back the water it lent earlier. They started the fire and now are putting theirs out using all the water they can lay their hands on and pulling the escape ladder up behind them.

In 1816, Thomas Jefferson (who warned against allowing bankers a free hand to create debt, instead of keeping debt under democratic control) said, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."

Do not put your trust in America.
Last edited by John McKenna on Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

George Szaszvari
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Re: World economy

Post by George Szaszvari » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:23 pm

John McKenna wrote: Do not put your trust in America.
Huh? It might be more relevant to say: "don't put your trust in worldly values", which applies to any human society, or systems dreamed up by people in (or out of) those societies. Of course, we all have preferences about what we think would serve our societies better, but it seems to be more and more a case of what would serve our greedy little selves better. Nowadays, if a label-name is needed, I'd call myself something of a Libertarian. The Constitution of the freshly liberated New World, that paid tribute to Christian values, looks pretty good me, even if not perfect, but it appears to be slipping away.... when asked what had they gained from the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."

John McKenna
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Re: World economy

Post by John McKenna » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:24 pm

Not being there I do not share your original optimism.
Prior to 1776 the British colonies in N. America were built on the bodies of the native Americans and the backs of slaves. After 1776 that continued apace...
In God we trust?
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

George Szaszvari
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Re: World economy

Post by George Szaszvari » Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:21 pm

John McKenna wrote:Not being there I do not share your original optimism.
Prior to 1776 the British colonies in N. America were built on the bodies of the native Americans and the backs of slaves. After 1776 that continued apace...
In God we trust?
I'm not sure what you mean by "original optimism"; wasn't I was being clearly pessimistic?

Note "...that continued apace..." did so with many misgivings, some outspoken, eventually culminating in a bloody civil war. I'm still learning a lot about American history, and now shy away from the routine knocking of the USA that is so popular (having been guilty of it myself) which is typically based on a lot superficial versions of that history. Those Founding Fathers created something I find rather extraordinary, warts and all, and it has been a struggle to keep it afloat...

I used to be a lefty idealist criticizing everything and anything, joining in LSE political conventions and demos, enthusiastically going on strike, etc, because it made me feel part of a popular rebellion, and underdogs always like to knock the overdogs, and probably fed naive notions of self-importance, etc, but strangely enough it was Bob Wade back in the 80s who cooled my holier-than-thou ardor by quietly telling me (among other things): "it is easy to criticize." Since Bob was someone I listened to rather attentively, pondering that along with some life experience helped me to look at things a bit less categorically.

John McKenna
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Re: World economy

Post by John McKenna » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:31 pm

Appreciate your reasoned and informative post above, George. It is always good to hear from someone who has gone from the 'old world' to the 'new'. (Or from any 'world' to another as it keeps us thinking more widely.)
Must say, though, I seemed to detect a hint of nostalgic optimism (or hope) in "The Constitution of the freshly liberated New World, that paid tribute to Christian values... "
I'd be an idiot if I thought you or any living person in America responsible for past history.
www.nebraskastudies.org
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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