09/19/2018
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Third Way Economics

There have been a lot of posts about the end of the empire lately. This one is dedicated to the memory of Chalmers Johnson. "PEAK EMPIRE" Predicting Collapse In February, 2009 Dmitry Orlov said the following about predicting the collapse of the US empire: “I have learned from experience – luckily, from other people’s experience – that being a superpower collapse predictor is not a good career choice. I learned that by observing what happened to the people who successfully predicted the collapse of the USSR. Do you know who Andrei Amalrik is? See, my point exactly. He successfully predicted the collapse of the USSR. He was off by just half a decade. That was another valuable lesson for me, which is why I will not give you an exact date...
Dear Friends, Be careful of what you have become. "Words have consequences". A hate group is an organized group or movement that advocates and practices hate, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other designated sector of society. (Wikipedia) John Odum, John Ryan, and their fictitious friend Thomas Rowley have formed a hate group that has waged a three year campaign of hatred against anyone advocating Vermont Independence, and a personal smear campaign against Thomas Naylor, Kirkpatrick Sale, Rob Williams, and more recently added gubernatorial candidate Dennis Steele to their list. According to the FBI’s seven stage hate model, hate groups progress through 7 stages: 1....
The current efforts of the federal government to "restart growth" and "get the economy moving again", and "avoid a double dip recession", are all reminiscent of Ptolmaic epicycles during the Copernican Revolution in astronomy. Epicycles were used to explain the apparent motion of the planets in a geocentric universe, where the earth was assumed to be the center of the universe. It is fairly accurate as far as it goes until you realize that the entire assumption is wrong, and a Galileo or Copernicus comes along and proves that the sun, not the earth is the center of the solar system, and we live in a heliocentric system. (Side note: the catholic church reviewed Galileo's heresy conviction about this a few years ago and decided that the...
Lately supporters of Vermont Yankee have brought up the issue of job loss in Vernon to gain sympathy for their cause. They are right. Jobs will be lost, at least eventually after the mess is cleaned up. Meanwhile they will be kept busy decommissioning. But let's accept the 1300 job losses they claim in Vernon. The creative destruction of the free enterprise system can be disruptive, no doubt about it. It's evolutionary; new organisms replace old ones which go extinct. Whenever an obsolete technology is replaced there are massive job losses. When cars replaced horses think of all the blacksmiths, saddle-makers, buggy whip makers, horse-trainers, etc. that went out of business. Did we say ban cars and bring back horses? Of course...
Agenda for a New Economy's subtitle is "From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth" This is the essence of the book, and a key phrase to remember. It summarizes the difference between Wall St. and Main St. in a simple phrase. Phantom wealth is the creation of money from money "unrelated to the creation of anything of real value or utility": through accounting entries, inflation of asset bubbles, speculation, corporate asset stripping, predatory lending, risk shifting, leveraging, and creating debt pyramids. Real Wealth has intrinsic value such as healthy food, fertile land, pure air and water, caring relationships and loving parents, education, health care, fulfilling opportunities for service, and time for reflection. "Main St. is the...
Dear Governor Kunin, I am writing to urge you to speak out against further deployments of Vermont troops to Afghanistan and withdrawal of VT troops from Iraq, as Obama promised in his campaign. Obama has betrayed the people who elected him on that basis, and will bring ruin to the US and Vermont if these illegal, immoral wars continue. You have the moral authority to do so as the only governor since 1812 to refuse to send the Vermont national guard on federal orders. (It is my understanding that the governor of Vermont ordered a Vermont unit out of combat in New York during the War of 1812.) Perhaps it is difficult to oppose your party's supposed leader, but you may recall that some democrats opposed President Johnson's escalation of...
From Firedog lake today at: http://news.firedoglake.com/2009/11/14/the-california-territory/ Buried down in comment #38 "There is an alternative that will work fiscally although I am loath to suggest it. We could leave the union. This would end the vast annual tax transfer – our huge transfer of business and income tax to shore up lesser developed and inevitably red regions of the US (CA is, even in it’s crisis, a net donor state). Of course this would threaten their fiscal stability, but, to be blunt, I no longer care. We’ll lease back our land if the US still wants their military bases and stuff, on our territory. We’ll have a dynamic, technology-focused economy, we’ll be able to commit to a green and renewable energy transformation...
Hearing all the attacks on Obama recently for being a socialist got me thinking. I wonder if any of the attackers ever drive to work on a public road or went to public school? I recently spent time in Belize where few of the city services work very well. The garbage piles up, the roads are full of potholes, the city water is questionable, and sewage flows straight into the river. We take our excellent municipal services for granted. We have socialist roads, socialist schools, socialist water supply, socialist sewage treatment, socialist parks, socialist libraries, socialist trash pickup, socialist solid waste management, and here in Burlington we even have socialist electricity and socialist telecom. Yes, government runs all of them...
I got a big shock today when I changed my Fidelity Account from one account to another. Knowing the dollar is going down the tubes, I jumped on the gold bandwagon and enrolled in the Fidelity Select gold mutual fund. A little note popped up saying, "A short term trading fee of .75% will be assessed on any shares of FID SEL GOLD you have owned 29 days or less." What is going on here? Why are they trying to discourage speculation in this gold fund? Speculation taxes The concept of a tax on currency speculation was popularized by nobel economist James Tobin as a way to stabilize currencies around the world, by cushioning exchange rate fluctuations. Financial speculation now comprises 95% of all financial flows worldwide. It could be...
Vermont Yankee: The Bailout in Advance It should now be painfully obvious to everyone that when Wall Street and American Corporations talk about the “free market”, what they mean is free them from any responsibility, liability, or oversight, and when they get in trouble bail them out with taxpayer money. But there is one industry that has taken this idea of bailout to an even greater extreme, the nuclear power industry, including Vermont Yankee. They get a bailout in advance. The bailout in advance means that if Vermont Yankee or any of the other 104 nuclear power plants in the US has an accident, the operators are not liable and the taxpayers will pay the damages and consequences. It’s called the Price-Anderson Act and it was a “...

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