Feb 16

February 17, 2009 § Leave a comment

A neat way to learn some easy chinese.

http://chinesepod.com

And

The origin on the word is intrigiuung, showing the hold of old values on newer ones.

gen⋅er⋅ous

  [jen-er-uhs] Show IPA Pronunciation

–adjective

1.

liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish: a generous patron of the arts; a generous gift.

2.

free from meanness or smallness of mind or character; magnanimous.

 

3.

large; abundant; ample: a generous portion of pie.

4.

rich or strong in flavor: a generous wine.

 

5.

fertile; prolific: generous soil.

Origin: 

1580–90; < MF généreux < L generōsus of noble birth, equiv. togener- (see gender 2 ) + -ōsus -ous 

 

Pasted from <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/generous>

And

the following from Yale describes a program of meaning in culture. My view is that meaning is one axis, one path, from the object. Another is appreciation. The nuanced interplay between these is crucial.

The Center for Cultural Sociology provides a focus for meaning-centered analysis in the social science tradition, with openings to normative themes such as democracy, justice, tolerance and civility. Drawing on classical and contemporary social and cultural theory, CCS students and researchers develop concepts and methods that illuminate the cultural texture of social life at both individual and collective levels. They apply these to understanding the full range of activities and processes from local to global levels. Because culture is always closely intertwined with the patterning of social organization, the CCS is centrally concerned with institutional life and the intersection of culture with social structure. Its own institutional life is carried on through the ongoing Workshop, seminars and courses offered by CCS faculty and students, guest lectures from distinguished visiting scholars, and occasional conferences. Through activities such as these, CCS also provides a meeting point for the humanities and social sciences, both at Yale and beyond.
The Strong Program in Cultural Sociology
By Jeffrey C. Alexander and 
Philip Smith

This essay has appeared in The Handbook of Sociological Theory, edited by Jonathan Turner (New York: Kluwer, 2001), and in Alexander’s The Meanings of Social Life (New York: Oxford, 2004).

And

From economists view

But this is a transfer of resources within a generation, not across generations. A whole bunch of people in the future will have to pay higher taxes, and the taxes they pay will go to a smaller number of individuals holding the debt. But across the population the assets and liabilities cancel exactly, there is no net aggregate burden. Liabilities have passed to future generations, but so have the corresponding assets.

And

From a fasciantaing dialog at Brad Delong’s where he is tajen to task for harsh criticism of David Harvey.

Defenders of the “Treasury View”, Part CXIV: David Harvey Speaks! And Claims to Know More About Keynesian Economics than Joan Robinson

Some guy once said that Hegel said somewhere that the World-Spirit leads all things to happen, as it were, twice–but that Hegel forgot to add that the first time it happens is tragedy, the second time farce.

When Rudolf Hilferding endorsed the “Treasury View” and vetoed Wladimir Woytinsky’s plans for the German Socialist Party to propose a deficit spending-based “New Deal” in 1931 that was tragedy.

When David Harvey adopts the “Treasury View” and gives it as a reason that the Obama fiscal boost cannot work, that is farce.

Mr. Harvey, you will remember, claims like the other devotees of the “Treasury View” that the Obama fiscal boost plan cannot work if financed through domestic savings because government deficits then crowd out domestically-financed investment to such an extent that they do not boost employment or production, and further claims that the Obama fiscal boost cannot be financed via foreign sources:

David Harvey: In the United States… Keynesian solution[s are]… doomed at the start…. [T]he United States… starts from a position of chronic indebtedness… [that] poses an economic limitation upon the size of the extra deficit that can now be incurred…. [T]he funding of any extra deficit is contingent upon the willingness of other powers (principally from East Asia and the Gulf States) to lend…

I, you will remember, suggested that Mr. Harvey read (and understand) Hicks’s “Mr. Keynes and the Classics.” He reacted very badly to my plea, calling it “the usual technocratic hubris deployed by economists when they have nothing to say…” Harvey went on: “I don’t see why I should go back to… Hicks rather than Joan Robinson,” and “I don’t see why… [DeLong] presumes… neoclassical economics is a God-given truth beyond contestation…”

Harvey doesn’t want to study John Hicks. Fine. He would rather go study Joan Robinson. Fine. Let him go study Joan Robinson. Let him go study Joan Robinson by all means, for Robinson had no doubt that the “Treasury View” that Harvey espouses was an erroneous humbug of finance:

Amit Bhaduri: [A]gainst the Treasury view, Richard Kahn had argued in… 1931… that an increase in the fiscal deficit… generated… a larger output and employment in the economy, such that private savings at this larger output exceeds private investment by an amount exactly equal to the fiscal deficit…. [I]n a demand constrained system a larger fiscal deficit causes neither any inflation nor any “crowding out.”… To perpetuate poverty and unemployment in this situation in deference to an absurd and erroneous theory (which Joan Robinson had called the “humbug of finance”) is totally unacceptable…

Indeed, Joan Robinson had true and now very timely things to say about objectively-reactionary Marxist theologians–like David Harvey–who say that Keynesian policies must not work because if they did work they would delay the Revolution.

What Joan Robinson wrote then of Paul Baran (on page 95 of her Economic Philosophy) is true now of David Harvey:

[Keynesian success provides] the strongest argument against socialist critics. “You used to complain… with… justification, that a capitalist system that permits heavy and chronic unemployment is indefensible. Now we offer you capitalism with a high and stable level of employment.”… Marxist critics have understood that Keynes’ theory leads to conclusions which from their point of view are reactionary. They therefore deny the logic of [Keynes’s] analysis… [make] alliance with the protagonists of the humbug of finance…. Professor Baran… bring[s] in the quantity theory to show that [Keynesian fiscal polices] cannot work because government expenditure causes inflation. This is another example of confusion between logic and ideology. Because Keynes has shown a way for the capitalist system to remove its most obvious defect, he is a reactionary and therefore his theory is false. But if [Keynes’s] theory were false it would be quite harmless…. [It is that] the diagnosis was correct, the treatment… work[s], and the life of the patient is being prolonged [that is so] disconcerting [to the Marxist] would-be heirs…

Here’s Harvey, hoisted from comments:

Grasping Reality with Both Hands: Department of “Huh?”: In Praise of Neoclassical Economics: The real mystery here is the arrogance of the economists in the face of a catastrophic situation. I would have thought that in a profession dominated by neoclassical and increasingly neoliberal theory these last thirty years, that there might have appeared at least some sliver of humility. They have collectively provided us with no guidance on how to avoid the current mess and now, when faced with a crisis, they can only say, as Marx long ago presciently noted, that things would not be so if the economy only performed according to their textbooks. Maybe it is time to revise if not change the textbooks.

The charge that I have neither read nor understood DeLong’s canonical writings is the usual technocratic hubris deployed by economists when they have nothing to say. I might as well reply that DeLong has neither read nor understood his Marx (I have a remedial course on line) and in any case I don’t see why I should go back to Friedman rather than to Galbraith, Hicks rather than Joan Robinson and why it is that he presumes that Dobb, Sweezy, Glyn, Itoh and Morishima have nothing to say of relevance to our current difficulties because neoclassical economics is a God-given truth beyond contestation?

I did once upon a time make the mistake of studying Sraffa somewhat carefully. His sophisticated mathematical proof (as yet never refuted, in spite of the best efforts of people like Peter Newman) that all of neoclassical theory is based on a tautology I found all too persuasive. Why bother with a theory that proves what it assumes to be true? At the heart of the controversy lies the question of how to value capital assets independently of market prices and since our contemporary difficulties rest on the problem of how to value paper claims to capital assets held by banks in the absence of a market, I would have thought some re-visitation of the so-called “capital controversy” of the 1970s is in order. At the time I concluded (possibly erroneously) that Joan Robinson had the better of the argument against Samuelson but that the Cambridge (Mass) neoclassicals then merely decided to ignore the problem and go on with their theorizing as if nothing had happened. But now look at the mess!

Of course, when theory is not invoked then a bit of casual empiricism about the current low and seemingly stable rate of return on long-term treasuries is thrown into the hopper as proof of my economic ignorance. I did tacitly address the problem of what happens down the road if the Chinese and other Asian countries turn inwards and find better things to do with their money than lend to the United States. A run on the dollar would indeed imply some of the dire consequences that DeLong outlines and the question then arises as to the likelihood of that.

The United States has the power of seigneurage over the world’s reserve currency and is using that power up to the hilt right now and the rest of the world has little choice except to go along. The last time the US did this in the late 1960s, to fund a war and to deal with domestic unrest, this led to collapse of the Bretton Woods system and the grand stagflation of the 1970s. I am not saying this history will be repeated but I do want to emphasize that short-run moves have longer-term consequences (well before that long term in which “we are all dead” as Keynes famously remarked).

What I was concerned about, a topic which DeLong totally ignores, is the likely uneven geographical impacts and responses to the crisis conditions and the degree to which this accelerates the scenario depicted in the NIC report. The export oriented development model that has dominated in East Asia is in deep trouble. Exports are falling dramatically and unemployment rates are soaring in South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and China and the likelihood of massive movements of class struggle (a category that neoclassicals will have nothing to do with but which has been demonstrably and empirically of huge historical importance even in the United States) is very much on the cards. Maoist movements are rife in India, the unrest throughout Latin America is promoting all manner of political adjustments and reports of widespread unrest in China are proliferating.

If the Chinese and other East Asian powers find themselves forced to abandon the Export-Industrialization model (which is now failing catastrophically) and to go to something like an Import-Substitution strategy (which was by no means as unsuccessful as it is usually depicted when practiced in the 1960s in Latin America) and a development of their internal markets (almost certainly coupled with internal repression of dissidence), then they will not have the money to lend to the US. The track of long-term treasury interest rates may go the way of the housing market data in just a couple of years (if not months).

My main point about the current US stimulus package is that it is too small to do the job (I am surely not alone in saying that) and that it is poorly targeted towards tax cuts rather than real stimuli for political and ideological reasons. The distinction between white elephants and real stimuli is also important and unless coupled with a real strategy (e.g. a radical transformation in urbanization patterns and ways of life) the stimuli will merely cover deferred maintenance on infrastructures rather than point to anything new. The result is a policy blockage that prevents the US from taking advantage of what may be a brief window of continued financial hegemony to bring its own economy around. I am not the only one to say our situation is all too reminiscent of Japan in the 1990s. But in our case we cannot afford a lost decade precisely because the rest of the world is bound to adjust rapidly in ways that are unlikely to be advantageous to the United States. An internal Keynesian project is far more feasible in China but this then entails a radical re-orientation of the Chinese economy towards the rest of the world.

To this must be added that a turn to protectionism is politically very much on the cards. Even some economists now recognize that the Ricardian doctrine of comparative advantage does not work and that gains from free trade are inevitably asymmetrical. Theoretically and politically the attempt of states to protect themselves at the expense of others becomes more likely. The break up of global capitalism into competing and warring factions is entirely possible and while the horrible history of the 1930s won’t necessarily be repeated either, we should at least be cognizant of the dangers. I may not be an expert neoclassical economist but I am a first rate student of geopolitics and geoeconomics, fields of study totally foreign, apparently to DeLong.

These are dangerous times and I would have thought the definition of fair and unbiased to which DeLong subscribes might go somewhat further than that given by Bill O’Reilly. What is needed is generous critique, the taking of whatever is positive in competing accounts and a real struggle to come to terms with ways we might better proceed. It will be hard enough to save capitalism from the capitalists but the real tragedy here is that the real message from DeLong’s commentary is that we need also to save capitalism from the economists.

http://davidharvey.org/2009/02/exhibit-a-the-arrogance-of-the-neoclassical-economists/

Posted at 03:03 PM in EconomicsEconomics: EconomistsEconomics: Fiscal PolicyEconomics: HistoryHistory,Sorting: Front PageSorting: Pieces of the OccasionUtter Stupidity | Permalink

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Comments

It is striking how critics of the stimulus don’t have an alternative answer to the question, “What are we to do?” Maybe stimulus won’t work, maybe we won’t be able to prevent Great Depression II–but if that happens, nobody will care about a couple of trillion dollars more or less of national debt. Only Marxists, Republicans, and others who seek revolutionary change could wish for such a catastophe . . .

Posted by: rea | February 15, 2009 at 05:08 PM

I actually think that Harvey is raising some interesting and important points, and don’t think that he’s saying that the stimulus won’t work, but that it might not…

[Ummm…

What part of: “In the United States, any attempt to find an adequate Keynesian solution has been doomed at the start…. The problem for the United States in 2008-9 is that it starts from a position of chronic indebtedness… this poses an economic limitation upon the size of the extra deficit…. There is also a geo-political limitation since the funding of any extra deficit is contingent upon the willingness of other powers (principally from East Asia and the Gulf States) to lend…” don’t you understand?

If he wants to say that the stimulus might not work, let him say that the stimulus might not work. If he wants to say that the stimulus is doomed, let’s take him at his word.]

Posted by: PeonInChief | February 15, 2009 at 06:07 PM

I am skeptical about this whole exchange because it is predicated on the “reconstruction” of Harvey’s argument — and the anointing of it as the Treasury View — but I’ll go read Harvey’s original post and see what I can make of it.

Posted by: Lee | February 15, 2009 at 06:07 PM

Harvey writes that “My main point about the current US stimulus package is that it is too small to do the job (I am surely not alone in saying that) and that it is poorly targeted towards tax cuts rather than real stimuli for political and ideological reasons.” This seems to presume that there is a stimulus that could have been constructed such that it could “do the job”–Harvey therefore must believe, unless he is being incoherent, that stimulus as a policy could theoretically work; do you agree with Harvey that the current stimulus is poorly targeted toward tax cuts?

[Poorly targeted, yes. Too small to do the *full* job, probably–but adequate to do 2/3 of the job, probably also.

It’s nice to which Harvey backpeddle to “the current US stimulus package is that it is too small to do the job (I am surely not alone in saying that)…” when he started out at “any attempt to find an adequate Keynesian solution has been doomed…”]

Posted by: Lee | February 15, 2009 at 06:18 PM

Before we assess this debate, there are a few things that need to be cleared up. I want to make just a couple of initial points.

1. To what extent is the US government vulnerable to the exodus of Japanese and Chinese money? To the extent that there is a preference for short-term US Treasury bills instead of long term securities–and I don’t know the break-down here–the US balance of payments on capital accounts is indeed highly vulnerable to changes in market conditions abroad, relative interest rates and exchange rate expectations (as Susan Strange would have argued). I don’t think Harvey should be pilloried for raising the question of just how vulnerable the US may prove to be to a not-so-distant exodus of capital. 

2. While a government note is not fictitious to its holder, it is fictitious capital in the Marxian sense since it has no counterpart in M-C-P circuit. Its repayment depends on future taxation or further credit operations. What the impact of those two will be on business confidence today cannot be anticipated in advance. I don’t think a Keynesian should oversell the case for a debt-financed government stimulus. I am looking forward to reading Akerlof and Schiller’s new book, but just thumbing through the section on the Great Depression, I am getting the feeling that business will have its confidence shattered by expectations of future taxes, inflation and President Obama’s accommodation of labor via the Employee Free Choice Act. 

3. Professor DeLong’s citation of Joan Robinson is especially inapt. She exudes the confidence, shared by Paul Samuelson, that Keynesian policies had conquered the business cycle. But this passage was written in the early 60s, if I remember correctly. And the Keynesian hubris would go up in stagflationary ashes a decade later. Also note that where Paul Baran (and Maurice Dobb) thought that monopoly power would turn government deficit spending into inflation rather than employment generation–and that does not seem to be a prima facie crazy explanation of what did happen in the 1970s– it’s possible today that the deleveraging of the financial system will dwarf the effects of the what may prove to be a puny stimulus. 

4. But then why is the stimulus package too small? Don’t we return then to the constraint of preventing an exodus of foreign savings from the US? So again should Harvey be treated so dismissively?

Now I am an enthusiastic supporter of President Obama’s stimulus plan, but Professor DeLong seemed quite respectful of Gary Becker’s criticism of it. Perhaps David Harvey and other Marxists (as well as Austrians and institutionalists) can be brought into serious dialogue

Posted by: hartal | February 15, 2009 at 06:30 PM

I am not at all qualified to talk about the “Treasury View” vs. other economic models upon which one might build (or not) a stimulus. That said, it seems like Harvey does say, as one commenter above notes, that the package is not big enough. That implies, I think, that he does not see (foreign) debt as a limiter in theory, but, rather, as a element to be taken into consideration when thinking about the implications and implementations of the stimulus.

I have read Harvey in some detail, and as a critic, he is without a doubt insightful. His appreciation of wall street several years ago (“A Brief History of Neoliberalism” 2005) remains a propos: 

“Previous phases of capitalist history-one thinks of 1873 or the 1920s-when a similarly stark choice arose, 

do not augur well. The upper classes, insisting on the sacrosanct nature of their property rights, preferred to crash the system rather than surrender any of their privileges and power. In so doing they were not oblivious of their own interest, for if they position themselves aright they can, like good bankruptcy lawyers, profit from a collapse while the rest of us are caught most horribly in the deluge.” (Harvey 152-53)

So, while I cannot speak about the solutions offered by Harvey, I think his 2005 critique speaks clearly of (and perhaps predicts) both the dire economic situation in the early 21st century AND to the power of SOCIAL networks, which are over-determinant (compared to facts, figures, theories, etc) in how “solutions” come into being. Indeed, what have we seen over the last few weeks and months except a confrontation between those who would rather crash the system and those who wish to change and repair it.

Posted by: andrethegiant | February 15, 2009 at 07:00 PM

I am not at all qualified to talk about the “Treasury View” vs. other economic models upon which one might build (or not) a stimulus. That said, it seems like Harvey does say, as one commenter above notes, that the package is not big enough. That implies, I think, that he does not see (foreign) debt as a limiter in theory, but, rather, as a element to be taken into consideration when thinking about the implications and implementations of the stimulus.

I have read Harvey in some detail, and as a critic, he is without a doubt insightful. His appreciation of wall street several years ago (“A Brief History of Neoliberalism” 2005) remains a propos:

“Previous phases of capitalist history-one thinks of 1873 or the 1920s-when a similarly stark choice arose,

do not augur well. The upper classes, insisting on the sacrosanct nature of their property rights, preferred to crash the system rather than surrender any of their privileges and power. In so doing they were not oblivious of their own interest, for if they position themselves aright they can, like good bankruptcy lawyers, profit from a collapse while the rest of us are caught most horribly in the deluge.” (Harvey 152-53)

So, while I cannot speak about the solutions offered by Harvey, I think his 2005 critique speaks clearly of (and perhaps predicts) both the dire economic situation in the early 21st century AND to the power of SOCIAL networks, which are over-determinant (compared to facts, figures, theories, etc) in how “solutions” come into being. Indeed, what have we seen over the last few weeks and months except a confrontation between those who would rather crash the system and those who wish to change and repair it?

Posted by: andrethegiant | February 15, 2009 at 07:03 PM

I’m not an economist, so I may be completely wrong about this, but I think your original post mischaracterized aspects of Harvey’s position:

Harvey’s original post argued:

“In the United States, any attempt to find an adequate Keynesian solution has been doomed at the start by a number of economic and political barriers that are almost impossible to overcome.”

Harvey is arguing here that “economic and political” barriers doom an “adequate Keynesian solution”; given that you agree that the current stimulus does only 2/3s of the job — i.e., it is inadequate — isn’t Harvey’s prediction basically correct, at least regarding the politics of the situation?

You may disagree about the details of the economic barriers — the crux of your accusation that Harvey adopts the “Treasury View” — but you both seem to agree that this “solution” is not “adequate.” And Harvey’s claim that an “adequately Keynesian solution” is going to be hard to achieve is logically predicated on its theoretical possibility, no?

You seem primarily to be disagreeing with Harvey’s claim that the current indebtedness of the U.S. is a barrier to running up adequate levels of deficit spending to overcome the recession. You both agree that the current stimulus plan is not an “adequate Keynesian solution.”

“the long prior history of deindustrialization in the United States and the intense ideological opposition to state planning …. and the obvious preference for tax cuts rather than infrastructural transformations makes the pursuit of a full-fledged Keynesian solution all but impossible in the United States.”

How can this be read as anything other than a provisinal endorsement of the “Keynesian solution”? I.e., it would work if it were political feasible, but given political constraints it’s “all but impossible.”

I.e. what is “doomed” is not the properly-constructed Keynesian solution itself (assuming it were a textbook-perfect stimulus) but the possibility of *implementing* a textbook-perfect Keynesian solution because of political barriers and international economic barriers to its implementation in the U.S. (he thinks it could be implemented properly in China).

It seems to me then that Harvey is completely consistent across both posts, and does not backtrack, though you have some disagreements about the question of whether the U.S.’s indebtedness matters.

Posted by: Lee | February 15, 2009 at 07:24 PM

A way of paraphrasing my previous comment more succinctly: Chicago Schoolers think that were a textbook-perfect Keynesian stimulus passed in the U.S. (or China or anywhere) it would necessarily fail because the theory justifying the stimulus is wrong; Harvey thinks that were a textbook-perfect stimulus passed, it would do what it is designed to do (accepting the theory as basically correct), but that the effort to pass such a textbook-perfect stimulus is doomed to fail for “economic and political” reasons in the U.S. (but not in China).

Posted by: Lee | February 15, 2009 at 07:36 PM

I think that you are misreading Harvey’s statement of “doom” here. Let’s consider the first objectionable sentence as a whole, rather than chopped up, as you have done several times above:

“In the United States, any attempt to find an adequate Keynesian solution has been doomed at the start by a number of economic and political barriers that are almost impossible to overcome.”

Note a few things. First, the phrase “adequate Keynesian solution” – it implies that Harvey believes that a satisfactory Keynesian solution is possible.

Second, note that there are “economic and political barriers” to overcome. You have focused solely on Harvey’s analysis of the economic barriers, and missed his concerns about the political barriers (i.e. the Republicans). If an “adequate Keynesian solution” cannot be found in the US, both Delong and Harvey note, the “political barriers” share in the blame.

On a more general note, there is the question of time-scales. As a comment on the previous thread noted, increased US borrowing may be sustainable for a year, but not for a century. Think of Britain in 1929 – the hegemonic power and a debtor to the rest of the world. It was able to continue borrowing and pursue Keynesian stimulus to escape from depression – but, over the longer term, they’ve fallen away from their previous glory. Now, unlike the US, they may not be able to borrow indefinitely. (Harvey’s reference to Arrighi should clue you in to this comparison.)

Finally, I find it notable – and objectionable – that while you were respectful with Becker’s incoherent criticism, you were derisive when dealing with Harvey’s critique. One is an economist – one is a geographer. It smacks of closed ranks within the economics priesthood.

Posted by: Peter Nunns | February 15, 2009 at 07:39 PM

Well, at least it’s nice to see that Joan Robinson is still being quoted, correctly or not. As for the comment above about Keynesian hubris going up in “ashes” during the 1970s — well, I don’t think so. In fact, my favorite Keynesian (and former professor), Sidney Weintraub, believed that there were other ways to dampen the inflation without going to a monetary policy that was so restrictive it drove unemployment up to double digits, inflicting needless pain on millions of people.

The more I hear the arguments of those against the stimulus, the more I am convinced they have never read nor understood Keynes.

Well, time for me to get back to my copy of The General Theory on my Kindle. And for some humorous relief I’ll read the op-ed page of the WSJ.

Pasted from <http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2009/02/defenders-of-the-treasury-view-part-cxiv-david-harvey-speaks-and-claims-to-know-more-about-keynesian-economics-than-joan.html>

Wall Street is to lobby the Obama administration to relax its plans for stringent reviews of banks’ financial health and capital injections that could leave the government as a large shareholder in many of those institutions

Pasted from <http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/18ac49ac-fb8d-11dd-bcad-000077b07658.html>

I don’t think Harvey should be pilloried for raising the question of just how vulnerable the US may prove to be to a not-so-distant exodus of capital. 

And the Keynesian hubris would go up in stagflationary ashes a decade later. Also note that where Paul Baran (and Maurice Dobb) thought that monopoly power would turn government deficit spending into inflation rather than employment generation–and that does not seem to be a prima facie crazy explanation of what did happen in the 1970s– it’s possible today that the deleveraging of the financial system will dwarf the effects of the what may prove to be a puny stimulus. 

4. But then why is the stimulus package too small? Don’t we return then to the constraint of preventing an exodus of foreign savings from the US? So again should Harvey be treated so dismissively?

(“A Brief History of Neoliberalism” 2005) remains a propos: 

“Previous phases of capitalist history-one thinks of 1873 or the 1920s-when a similarly stark choice arose, 

do not augur well. The upper classes, insisting on the sacrosanct nature of their property rights, preferred to crash the system rather than surrender any of their privileges and power. In so doing they were not oblivious of their own interest, for if they position themselves aright they can, like good bankruptcy lawyers, profit from a collapse while the rest of us are caught most horribly in the deluge.

Indeed, what have we seen over the last few weeks and months except a confrontation between those who would rather crash the system and those who wish to change and repair it.

Harvey is arguing here that “economic and political” barriers doom an “adequate Keynesian solution”;

“the long prior history of deindustrialization in the United States and the intense ideological opposition to state planning …. and the obvious preference for tax cuts rather than infrastructural transformations makes the pursuit of a full-fledged Keynesian solution all but impossible in the United States.”


The world will never be able to produce more than 89m barrels a day of oil, the head of Europe’s third largest energy group has warned, citing high costs in areas such as Canada and political restrictions in countries like Iran and Iraq

Oil prices have fallen from a record $147 a barrel in July to about $35 a barrel on Monday, with the world consuming 84m barrels of oil a day. This year oil consumption is expected to fall from 2008 levels.

Meanwhile, Mr de Margerie now expects a faster decline in production at older fields, such as those in the North Sea. At lower price levels, companies will find it harder to justify the greater cost of keeping such fields pumping.

And

tragic

Day Laborers Are Easy Prey in New Orleans

By ADAM NOSSITER

In an under-the-radar crime epidemic, Hispanic laborers, vulnerable because they carry large amounts of cash, are regularly mugged, beaten, stabbed or shot in the street

And

This is a complex local process. I encourage you to get involved with understanding local stuff. In many ways it is worse than you can imagine, as te local economy is controlled by let’s say, corporations dealing with criminal justice.

States and Cities in Scramble for Stimulus Cash

By MONICA DAVEY

Local officials facing budget deficits are jockeying for the upper hand in deciding how money from the federal stimulus package will be spent in their regions.

And

To take a look at

Craig Childs is the author, most recently, of “The Animal Dialogues:

Uncommon Encounters in the Wild.” – ordered

And

Quip media, rather interesting way to comment on a file.

And

Those responsible for the financials

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