Tag Archives | Economy

Context For the Ongoing Apocalypse

P.s. I <3 Ü

As the world feverishly decodes clues the Illuminated Ones left us on Superbowl Sunday, one cannot help but think there is a bit of context missing from the conversation. Certainly duality was a major theme. And when you think of duality in the context of one of the WORLD’S most indulgent capitalist pageants you can’t help but think of porn! Clearly the Illuminati are sexual creatures as evident in pop culture and their rituals. But what is their end game? World domination cannot sustain itself—too many variables to contend with. If the Illuminati are half as smart as they’re made out to be they would already know this.

Clearly a major paradigm shift is coming where the roles of society are turned inside out, “flipped”, as it were. We look behind the curtain and find not an old white guy but a mirror. Some would rather smash the mirror than go inside, but like a liquid metal terminator, the mirror i always reverts back to its original form and we are faced with only ourselves when we confront authority.… Read the rest

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Homeowners Foreclose On Negligent Banks

Via CNN, in areas of the United States hit hardest by foreclosure, turning the tables on banks who turn deadbeat after repossessing homes:

Since the housing bubble burst in Florida five years ago, more than 400,000 borrowers have had their homes foreclosed on by their lenders. But for some, it’s payback time.

Hundreds of homeowners and condo associations are foreclosing on banks that have failed to pay dues and other expenses on the properties they’ve repossessed. When banks foreclose on a home they become responsible for paying fees to the homeowners association — both any unpaid fees going back as far as 12 months and all expenses going forward. In many cases, however, banks are failing to pay, leaving these associations short on cash, according to Miami-based attorney Ben Solomon. Now, homeowners groups are putting liens on the properties until banks pay up and foreclosing on them if they don’t.

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Want Less Inequality? Tax It

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British economist Arthur C. Pigou, friend and contemporary of beloved John Maynard Keynes, eventually not only came around to the Keynesian logic, but also expanded on the common-sense philosophy to promote social balance and checks with the gentle, invisible hand of the Public. By incentivizing what benefits the downtrodden (perhaps with subsidies) and disincentivizing poor practices (by taxing rampant, unregulated profits), a more reasonable parity between the classes could be reached, stimulating economic growth and benefiting everyone.

This doesn’t have to be a ‘redistributive’ scheme that pits neoconservatives against progressives. Indeed, such a rational, gradated, and bracketed system makes sense to anyone who believes in the American traditions of pragmatism, equality, openness, innovation and opportunity.

Via the American Prospect by Liam C. Malloy and John Case

But the conventional strategy for fighting inequality—far higher taxes on the rich—usually rests on a foundation of fairness, and the question of what’s fair and what’s unfair turns out to cut different ways, depending on your point of view.

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Precedent Set: $5 a Gallon Gasoline Leads to Easing of Environmental Regulations for Refineries in California

via chycho

Gasoline closing in on a record $5 a gallon prompted Governor Jerry Brown to direct California regulators to relax smog controls so oil refineries could increase supplies of cheaper fuel… [granting] refineries permission to make an early shift to winter-blend gasoline, typically not sold until after Oct. 31.”

Some have cited problems at refineries for the spike in fuel costs, some have put the blame on a short squeeze, some have suggested that policies and regulations that “insist refiners produce a specific blend of gas to meet tough state air quality standards” are the culprit, while others have been warning us for years of pending higher fuel costs due to peak oil.

Speculation, however, as to the causes of the price spike are a moot point. What matters is the admission by our representatives in government that our current economic system cannot support high oil prices, and that the environment and our health will be sacrificed to keep the machine churning.

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The Free Market: Means or End?

Picture: Elembis (PD)

Jason Bernard Claxton writes at Counterpunch:

Free market advocates sometimes champion the free market as a means to an end, sometimes as an end in itself.  Sometimes the free market is better at achieving certain goals than any alternative, sometimes there is no alternative.  Sometimes the free market is the best way of achieving prosperity, security, and a good life for a people, sometimes the free market is “the only moral system.”  If it were clear at any given moment which justification were being offered, a lot of confusion might be avoided.  But free market advocates often take both positions within the same argument – a strategy that is rhetorically effective, but logically dubious.

When an owner’s right to dispose of property exactly as that owner desires is considered morally ultimate, then the free market becomes an end in itself.  And if individual property rights are so sacred that no state of affairs that market intervention could possibly bring about would justify the rights violations that market intervention implies, then it simply wouldn’t matter whether more market regulated economies are more productive than free market economies.

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Two Million Dollars a Month in Bitcoin Drug Sales

Photo: Satoshi (PD)

Via Ars Technica:

A recent Carnegie Mellon study sheds light on the Bitcoin-fueled economy of the internet’s underground drug bazaar Silk Road.

Silk Road is an online marketplace that uses Tor and Bitcoin to preserve the anonymity of all involved. The site itself is set up as a Tor hidden service, which makes it practically impossible to locate the site’s servers. And the use of Bitcoins prevents the authorities from identifying market participants by following the money.

Most of the items listed for sale are illegal drugs. To place an order, the buyer transmits the appropriate number of Bitcoins to the site operators, who hold the funds in escrow while the goods are shipped. Once the buyer confirms the product has arrived, the escrowed funds are released to the seller.

Christin began crawling Silk Road in November 2011. From February to July of this year, he attempted to crawl the site on a daily basis, yielding a wealth of data about activity on the site.

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‘We Are Drowning’ On A Road To Nowhere

240px-Frederick_Douglass_portraitFrom Military Resistance: “At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke.” —Frederick Douglass, 1852 Oil prices are rocketing. Iranian warships are moving into the Mediterranean to shadow the US warships already there. Propaganda news is growing with rumors of Al Qaeda links with Iran, and, then, less speculative news about real links between the terror groups and the armed opposition in Syria. As Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi puts it, the smell of war is in the air and on the air,
“You can just feel it: many of the same newspapers and TV stations we saw leading the charge in the Bush years have gone back to the attic and are dusting off their war pom-poms.”
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A World In Denial

Donald Rumsfeld

Donald Rumsfeld

Geoffrey Wheatcroft writes in the New York Times:

Could there be a single phrase that explains the woes of our time, this dismal age of political miscalculations and deceptions, of reckless and disastrous wars, of financial boom and bust and downright criminality? Maybe there is, and we owe it to Fintan O’Toole. That trenchant Irish commentator is a biographer and theater critic, and a critic also of his country’s crimes and follies, as in his gripping if horrifying book, Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger.

He reminds us of the famous if gnomic saying by Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the United States secretary of defense, that “There are known knowns… there are known unknowns … there are also unknown unknowns.” But the Irish problem, says Mr. O’Toole, was none of the above. It was “unknown knowns.”

What he means is something different from denial, or evasion, irrational exuberance or excess optimism.

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