economic news and information
President Obama is mobilizing a last-ditch effort to overcome opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and get it passed before leaving office. Read more about Obama has Plans for the TPP during the Lame Duck—Here's what you Need to Know
I think we first became aware that something was horribly wrong with our country during the great penis hunt. People were appalled by the Kenneth Starr's abuse of power. After the Monica Lewinsky story broke Clinton's numbers went up to 71% percent approval rating. Trent Lott joked that just a few more scandals and it would be 100% approval. Somehow the significance of that was lost on the Read more about How America became radicalized
Yesterday, and the day before, I interacted with librarians in Avon, NJ, regarding my anti-TPP-Ignorance flyer. Today I added 2 librarians in Belmar, NJ, 2 in Bradley Beach, NJ, and 3 in Wall, NJ to the list.
I didn't bring my tablet, so there's no video evidence of what I found out. If you don't want to take my word for it, that'd be a good thing if you grabbed your own tablet or cell phone, and did your own video survey where you live, and then posted the video and summarized your findings. Read more about 9 / 9 (100%) of NJ Librarians Never heard of "TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership"
There are 246 Republicans and 188 Democrats in the House. Republicans, led by John Boehner and Paul Ryan, say they are confident about having enough votes to hold a successful floor vote on Friday, June 12th.. However, Politico reports that Republican sources are saying they will get anywhere from 180 – 200 votes for fast-track, which doesn't sound very different from their at least 190 vote estimate as of June 3rd.
So, that leaves anywhere from 46 – 66 Republican opponents of the legislation. The top of this range is very near the maximum of 57 Republicans that TPP opponents have previously estimated could vote against it, except that on the high side it acknowledges the possibility that Republicans may have lost ground compared to a week ago.
Last week, also, supporters of the bill reportedly could not count on more than 17 Democrats to vote for it, and no more than 20 after all the maneuvering and politicking has occurred. Today, the number of committed TPP Democrats seems to be 20, with the recent addition of Don Beyer (D-VA), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), and Jim Himes (D-CT). So, it appears not much progress has been made toward the 218 votes required to carry the fast-track authority in spite of all the activity and much posturing from the pro-TPP forces. Read more about Fast -Track: It Looks Like It's In Pelosi's Lap or Maybe Not!
I've created a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TPPIgnorance, to have a central place for posting about the appalling level of ignorance regarding TPP. Read more about "TPP Ignorance" merits its own Facebook Page
For those of you who don't know her, Pluto is a writer I met through our interaction at the place so nice they banned me twice (sure I'd love to tell you about it, but it's not relevant to this piece).
She's a ForEx trader and we don't necessarily see eye to eye on economics since she still seems to think there is some connection between money and actual goods and services (particularly in terms of investor confidence) while I'm with the MMT types that find it totally fictional except for its use as a medium of exchange (which could be replaced in a pinch) and to pay taxes (in lieu of feudal servitude), and think confidence is a scam entirely unjustified by reality.
She is whip smart and has much more practical experience than I do, so it's probably better to listen to her.
And while I would argue that gold is simply another commodity that is useful industrially for its ductility, conductivity, and inertness, and that has a certain aesthetic appeal, it is psychologically true that many people attribute special economic value to it however unjustified by facts that attitude is.
Thus I think her bottom line conclusion, that China is preparing itself to take over as the world's reserve currency is probably true. China's reluctance to do so, according to MMT, stems from the fact that the reserve currency is condemmed by account balancing to run pretty serious trade deficits, otherwise nobody else has any money.
Money is a lubricant for transactions. It has no magical, mystical inherent value (of which it is a poor store and this is a good thing because it forces productive investment rather than unproductive hoarding). But feel free to disagree, never let it be said that at TMC's and my sites (The Stars Hollow Gazette and DocuDharma) we don't entertain ideas we don't completely endorse.- ek
Reprinted with permission from The Stars Hollow Gazette
All week I've been seeing references to this headline:
"China could announce that it holds 30,000 tons of gold to back the Yuan/Renminbi."
As a Forex trader, the story took me by surprise, even though China has been stockpiling for years, and is the world's largest gold producer. Also, it's not like China to pull this trigger so fast. However, in the South China Sea last week, the US started militarily terrorizing China with war ships and fighter jets — and China warned (in so many polite words) that the US planted the seeds of its own doom.
So, maybe that's what this is all about.
I was intending to write about my "poll" of Princeton, NJ residents that I conducted yesterday, under a decidedly different title, but when I got home, last night, stumbled across the following: Read more about Why I’m Sure the Pew Research Poll re: TPP Approval in the US is a Fraudulent POS
Cannonfire has an excellent post on eating on food stamps. I agree with him, it was nice that Gwennyth Paltrow at least tried to imagine what it would be like to live on food stamps. It is nice to see rich people with an agenda that goes beyond more tax breaks for me, so kudos to Paltrow for at least trying. However, I disagree with his solution. Read more about Rice and beans
An email today from the Green Shadow Cabinet contains a link to Fast Track Is Not A Done Deal, The People Will Stop It
The byline says, "There is bi-partisan opposition in Congress to Fast Track and a large movement of movements mobilized to stop it."
When you read the article, however, you find:
roughly 30 House Republicans are already on record opposing the trade legislation.
President Obama's remarks to the Business Roundtable on Trade raise alarm bells for us all, and suggest that he is still pushing his pro- 1% agenda for all it is worth. Perhaps it would be better if Congress just treated him as a lame duck from here on in. Here are a number of statements from his talk and answers to questions, and my comments on them. Read more about A Credibility Problem?
Let's get this out of the way. I agree with Piketty's overall conclusion in Capital about inequality, that: the distribution of wealth in many industrial nations is highly unequal, wealth concentration has been increasing; and there is a high likelihood that the extent of wealth inequality will continue to grow unless appropriate fiscal policy is used to reverse current trends. However, I don't agree with:
-- the framework he uses to define and specify “capital”;
-- the way he looks at Government finance and net worth; and
-- the fiscal policy proposals he offers to reduce Inequality and put a stop to current trends of growth in the capital to income ratio. Read more about Piketty's Neoliberal Capital