Posts Tagged ‘Depression’

Don’t know if you’ve all been following the increasing tension between China and Japan on the territorial front and China and the U.S. on the currency manipulation front… or the fact that Sovereign debt troubles are mounting once again in Ireland, Spain and Greece. Meanwhile back in America the poor continue to get poorer as the mega-wealthy get wealthier while the Republicans and Tea-Party get closer to their goal of paralyzing Washington and creating the perfect conditions for a fascist take-over that would enshrine Wall Street, Multinational U.S. firms and the U.S. Military as the direct benefactors of state power while American citizens who are not involved in the latter are left to rot as human waste.

The article referenced below is definitely worth a read if you need a bit more convincing that America is rapidly sliding towards somewhere our German friends ended up half-century ago. The point is also driven home in yesterday’s interview with Noam Chomsky (81 and still kicking!) on NPR where he reminds us that it only took a little more than a decade for the Weimar Republic to degenerate from being the pinnacle of Western democracy, science, arts and culture in the 1920s to becoming one of the most feared and depraved regimes in contemporary history.


Excerpt from: Memories of Hope in the Age of Disposability

The new culture of cruelty combines with the arrogance of the rich as morally bankrupt politicians such as Mike Huckabee tell his fellow Republican extremists that the provision in Obama’s health care bill that requires insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions should be repealed because people who have these conditions are like houses that have already burned down. The metaphor is apt in a country that no longer has a language for compassion, justice and social responsibility. Huckabee at least is honest about one thing. He makes clear that the right-wing fringe leading the Republican Party is on a death march and has no trouble endorsing policies in which millions of people – in this case those afflicted by illness – can simply “dig their own graves and lie down in them.”(7) The politics of disposability ruthlessly puts money and profits ahead of human needs. Under the rubric of austerity, the new barbarians such as Huckabee now advocate eugenicist policies in which people who are considered weak, sick, disabled or suffering from debilitating health conditions are targeted to be weeded out, removed from the body politic and social safety nets that any decent society puts into place to ensure that everyone, but especially the most disadvantaged, can access decent health care and lead a life with dignity. Consequently, politics loses its democratic character along with any sense of responsibility and becomes part of a machinery of violence that mimics the fascistic policies of past authoritarian political parties that eagerly attempted to purify their societies by getting rid of those human beings considered weak and inferior and whom they ultimately viewed as human waste. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that a lunatic fringe of a major political party is shamelessly mimicking and nourishing the barbaric roots of one of the most evil periods in human history. By arguing that individuals with pre-existing health conditions are like burned-down houses who do not deserve health insurance, Huckabee puts into place those forces and ideologies that allow the country to move closer to the end point of such logic by suggesting that such disposable populations do not deserve to live at all.

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An excellent review of how Canada is positioned to withstand the brewing economic shit storm. Prognosis…Better than most..but not without significant economic pain. A must read for smug Canadians!

The US Economy: A Canadian Leading Indicator

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A tasty excerpt from an illuminating analysis of


Peak Oil and Peak “Cheap Oil”  by Erik Townsend that I found at www.chrismartenson.com. A very credible argument that explains why oil might very well make it back to $200 a barrel but is not likely to go much higher as that is the price point where governments of oil producing nations are likely to begin nationalizing oil producing assets and controlling energy markets as a matter of national security…  It seems bad enough for oil… Haven’t seen anything yet about the coming water shortage crisis… And lets not forget that California is due to sink into the Pacific any day now… Do you believe now in the deadliness of the future?

The Excerpt:

Market force vs. Military force

One of the strongest arguments made by Peak Oil speculators is that prices will rise in large part because emerging economies (particularly China) are industrializing, radically growing their vehicle fleets, and generally likely to create enormous new demand for decades to come. On its face, this is a sound and well-reasoned argument and the fundamentals in those countries strongly support this conclusion. But this argument assumes that oil prices will continue to be set by a free-market supply and demand system. I think that a dangerous assumption.

I’m convinced that as Peak Cheap Oil arrives, a series of peak oil price shocks will cripple developed economies, including the United States. (more…)

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I’ve read in a number of places that nothing should be done to break up mega banks and to expose the fraud that has become the cornerstone of the American political and economic systems because it is too risky. Which is to say it’s too difficult to put the genie (i.e. “Fraud”) back in the bottle.
Should BP give up on trying to fix the hole in the bottom of the sea that’s spewing black death into the Ocean because it’s extremely difficult and expensive to pull off?

This Financial Crisis is one of the greatest man made disaster ever unleashed. The Collapse of Lehman was the Deep Horizon toppling into the sea and the obstructionism on Capitol Hill is equivalent to just sitting on the shore and sipping mohitos while waiting for the slick to devastate the shore.

It would seem that the oligarchy has no qualms whatsoever about hanging Civilization as we know it over the Abyss of financial ruin by its ankles, I’m starting to think that sky’s the limit on what these people are willing and capable of doing. (more…)

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Today at Naked Capitalism, Yves Smith compares the news that Greece is broke and needs a 45 billion euros bailout (60 billion U.S.) with the collapse of Creditanstalt, an Autsrian bank that collapsed in 1931 when markets thought a sustainable recovery was underway..

“The news about Greece’s bailout has me thinking a lot about Creditanstalt, the Austrian bank which collapsed in 1931. This account bears remembering because we should see the 1929-1933 descent as a two-part episode, with the second part starting in the Spring of 1931 with Creditanstalt.It should be noted that there were a lot of positive economic signs before the Creditanstalt ruined this. The key difference to today is the monetary liquidity and fiscal stimulus, which has buoyed both asset markets and the real economy. But, the situation in Greece makes me think a lot about Creditanstalt.”

She then points to a website that chronicles news from the 1930s to highlight the similarities with that era…

“First, there is the blog site News from 1930 which provides verbatim news from the Wall Street Journal exactly 79 years ago because the September 2008 Lehman bankruptcy roughly corresponds to the October 1929 crash . They have an entry from yesterday with a lot of good data points. The ones I want to highlight are bulleted below. By and large, they are very bullish. Everything is upbeat.”

In a nutshell we’re back to a situtation where just when things seem to be on the mend two years after a critical financial shock a systemically important financial player goes insolvent bringing down Europe and subsequently the U.S. along for the ride.

Check it out. Very interesting, if not unsettling, demonstration of Mark Twain’s insight into the rhymes of the times…

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I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about the democritization of art brought about by the internet…even as it gives me an outlet that 15 years ago was barely imaginable. And I mean barely as my bandmates and I, having just seen Netscape Navigator for the first time in 1994 on an Intel 486i with 500 MB of storage, could only DREAM of the day that one could transfer a whole album to a computer without taking up the entirehard drive.

Google and Blogs have slaughtered traditional media. Everyone is a journalist now, or a critic, a filmmaker, a musician…this can all too easily be interpreted as a 21st Century cultural Renaissance but there are inherit dangers to this digital emancipation. (more…)

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