03/18 Open Thread: Radical Far Left Communism

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Soviet belt

The other day I heard some otherwise normal middle class people approvingly discurring the fact that California's declaration of emergency outlaws and hence prevents price gouging. I was appalled that the socialist-communist brain rot had penetrated so far into our culture. So called "Price Gouging" is the very heart and soul of "free market capitalism". People seem to forget that our system of economic behavior, like our government is predicated on the idea that sellers will always charge whatever the market will bear, and that this is, in fact, the price that will obtain in free market negotiations between a willing buyer and a willing seller. Accordingly, in a free society, especially an overtly capitalist one, buyers must be permitted to charge whatever the market will bear under any and all circumstances. Government interference in this process, by restricting so-called "gouging" is nothing short of communism. Even the far left liberal Democratic Party is staunchly capitalist, and should abhor this deviant behavior, ask Nancy Pelosi. That said, I was going to rhetorically ask what is next, questioning the utility, nay primacy, of GDP as a measure of national well-being, when I discovered that some far left clown had already done so.

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Robert Hunziker in an article that was originally published on January 2, 2020, in Counterpunch titled Kill GDP to Help Save the Planet( https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/02/kill-gdp-to-help-save-the-planet/ ) which relies heavily on the far out opinions of far left liberal Joseph Stiglitz, attacks GDP on various fronts. To review: GDP is the monetary value of all of the goods and services produced in the country. (As an aside, so-called "price gouging", in and of itself, all else being held equal, would increase GDP, and ergo benefit the country as a whole and, derivatively, the citizenry as a whole and as individuals.) We've used it for ever so long as a measure of our nation's economic well being and the glorious prosperity we currently enjoy. Yet, this Hunziker fellow has the gall to assert that:

GDP distorts reality by giving an appearance of real economic growth even as living standards stagnate for lower/middling classes. Additionally, GDP totally misses ecosystem collapse by abuse/misuse/overuse, which is only noticed by the general public after it’s way too late when it’s easily noticeable, even by those of low self-esteem that blindly follow tyrannical maniacs. Hmm.

According to Stiglitz: “The world is facing three existential crises: (1) a climate crisis, (2) an inequality crisis and (3) a crisis in democracy… Yet the accepted ways by which we measure economic performance gives absolutely no hint that we might be facing a problem.”

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The author points to irrelevant statistics such as the fact that about 13% of the population is on food stamps, and between 2/45 and 1/2 of us don't have $400 in cash reserves for emergencies in the midst of the "longest economic expansion in memory" as somehow implying that GDP is somehow a defective measure, blithely ignoring the possibility that said economic expansion is simply yet another bubble. I mean, really.

The author, nevertheless, asserts that:

GDP numbers do not hint at trouble with (1) sustainability of resources, (2) climate crises, or (3) the well-being of the people. Yet, all three are crucial issues under stress like never before.

Whatever.

I mean, didn't this guy ever hear about not making the perfect the enemy of the good? And Pony! Nobody deserves a pony unless they play polo, so just stop whining about poverty and ecosystem collapse and the climate emergency and stuff like that. Buck up kid.

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Tune In next week for a serious look at "Free Market Capitalism" as a sure fire generator of Oligarchy.

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have a good one

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Title Image is Soviet Belt

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It's an open thread, so have at it. The floor is yours
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Raggedy Ann's picture

Well, here we go. OTC says that we are about to go on a two week lock down. Let's see what that does to GDP. I used to teach it to my students and then would compare it to Bhutan's GNP - Gross National Happiness, which is what we all should be living by.

Bought some chickens yesterday. I had a few, but was down to two and no eggs. These young pullets are already producing and there is NOTHING I love more than fresh eggs! At least we'll eat when the collapse happens. Wiping my ass - that's a whole other problem. Time to grow lamb's ear for that!

Well, enjoy your day the best way you can. It's not all bad staying home - at least for us.

Have a great hump day, folks! Pleasantry

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"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

enhydra lutris's picture

@Raggedy Ann
hadn't previously realized that it had any useful applications. Thank you for that insight.

Congrats on your chickens, btw.

have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Raggedy Ann's picture

@enhydra lutris
that will work as effectively as lamb's ear. Grape leaves were another one. I watched a film on it this past weekend. Very informative!

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"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

enhydra lutris's picture

@Raggedy Ann
much that I forgot to greet you, sorry. @Raggedy Ann

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@Raggedy Ann

That's what those old mismatched socks are for! Lol!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

@Anja Geitz
latest greatest thing, shows what I know. I use them for rags, of which I use plenty.

have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

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1 user has voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Lookout's picture

Airlines used 93% of free cash for stock buy backs and now want a bail out.

This is an excellent description of what's coming. Payroll tax cuts creates the excuse to kill social security. About 20 min well worth the time IMO

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

and push the losses downward, sharing the burden among the poor. That's next week's lesson. And, you can hook the more gullible poors into exploiting each other by calling rentier economic transaction patters a "sharing economy". Ah well.

Have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

smiley7's picture

Were my magic wand capable of materializing John Kenneth Galbraith, i would will it to do so as we need a thinker like him to lead this world, again.

How strange it felt to be socially distanced from my ski buddies who helped me carry my gear to the car yesterday, we all wanted to hug each other.

And a shout out to the lovely business office worker at Mom's facility who stepped out of the building to take mother's checks for the month. She said that she was giving mother special attention. Very understanding of her to do and say so.

My favorite girl friend, the person i refer to as my daughter, called last evening; she's working at the hospital as she finishes her NP degree and she said i was right to not go near the hospitals or clinics, "it's madness," her words.

She voiced that there were no discernible triage protocols and they are severely limited in special supplies/equipment.

Positively, she did share that her team of doctors and staff had round-table discussions of drugs and their potential impact on covid19 and they had an ongoing thread-like collection of new knowledge as it comes in from across the world.

And good news, we have a new member of smiley's extended family, Baby-girl-Teagan.

Looking forward to tuning to next episode.

Have a good one.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@smiley7
mountain over at Joe's Saloon yesterday. Good to hear again this morning all the same. Good to hear that things are all right with you and yours and that your tribe is growing. Let's hope she has a world left to grow up in. Just doddering along here playing catch up on the tons of to do and make do that I have in process and trying to figure out what to do in, with and about the garden. With no spring road trip in the offing all perspectives change. heh.

have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

are housebound by law or by choice:Internet Archive

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

earthling1's picture

@enhydra lutris
You had to go and mention spam. Thats what I'm missing. Gotta go to the store now.
Thanks for the OT and memory jolt, EL!
s/

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4 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

enhydra lutris's picture

@earthling1
a case at costco, which lasts me quite a while since I'm supposed to be "low salt" Wink

have a good one

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1 user has voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

earthling1's picture

@enhydra lutris @enhydra lutris
But while I'm here, we're told today that anyone over 60 is limited at grocery stores from 8 to 12 noon.
Washington state is getting urgent.

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4 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Lily O Lady's picture

that the 99% are expected to decrease the surplus by dying off, so what would we need with money?

I can’t help but wonder if robocalls will echo in the homes of the dead.

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7 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady

Shoes for the dead.

Firesign Theater jokes about capitalization and etc.

longer version...

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May we be united and strong -- laurel

Lily O Lady's picture

@QMS

Gonna put on my shoes
I’m gonna walk all over god’s heaven.”

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS
theirs that I've been meaning to listen to. This might be a good time..

have a good one.

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3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lily O Lady
to have the right fraction of the 99% kick so as to maintain a base of consumers and of cheap labor while eliminating non-productive insufficiently consumptive types.

have a good one

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3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Raggedy Ann's picture

Were you affected by that 5.4 earthquake? Lots of aftershocks. Are you okay?

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"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

snoopydawg's picture

@Raggedy Ann

Yeah this morning was pretty exciting. At first I thought it was a powerful gust of wind or a train coming by or something loud happening and then everything started shaking and I heard lots of clicks and clacks as pictures fell over or off the walls and I knew it was an earthquake. I think we shook for 20-30 seconds and then got a few aftershocks and then another quake at 4.4 or so. My guess at the time was it was a 5.8 and I was close. 5.7.

The good news is that my brother called to check on me. Aw I thought how sweet. The bad news is that I sleep best in the morning and I couldn't get back to sleep. Any Stargate SG-1 fans here? It was kinda like that. O'Neill: In the middle of my back swing?!?!?!

More bad news:

The trumpet on the Angel Moroni statue fell off.

27776864.png

The quake hit west of Salt Lake City close to the lake and people have been sending in pictures of their cupboards and fridges emptied and TV's on the ground. But no reports of injuries. 80,000 around the event are without power though. Yay that mine is on.

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"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

Daenerys's picture

@snoopydawg My in-laws are all fine as well. Just a bit shaken up, pardon the expression. (*dodges thrown tomatoes*)

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3 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

snoopydawg's picture

@Daenerys

It was loud. I said that already, but I was surprised by the noise. That is what woke me up or it was Charlie since she was standing when I woke. I looked at my window and the branches were moving and then everything shook. I was in CA for the Loma Prieta quake in '89 and before we started shaking I got nauseated, heard some clicks and looked in my darkroom and my film strips were dancing on the line.

Do your in laws have power? KSL is off the line last I heard. Not sure of other channels since I don't have a TV antenna that works.

The gas guy was just here, but he said it was a routine inspection for the area. But great timing. Glad I spent the $$$$ to anchor my water tank to the wall. Reports are that there are a lot of aftershocks happening, but I only felt the other earthquake while I was still wide awake.

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"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

enhydra lutris's picture

@Daenerys
with your in laws. No tomatoes needed, humor is the traditional response to disasters, it's a universal coping mechanism

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

@snoopydawg
and all. 5.7 is what they're saying now, pretty hefty shake, that.

Have a good one.

Hope you're ready for come California Style Humor --

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3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Raggedy Ann's picture

@snoopydawg
It must have been something to experience!

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4 users have voted.

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

snoopydawg's picture

@Raggedy Ann

The second one in Utah. I remember the one from 40 years ago and thought man does this make me old.

I spoke to people on my walk today and they said it was noisy too. I wonder what that was? Anyone from earthquake country know if this is usual?

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"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

enhydra lutris's picture

@snoopydawg
an earthquake like a roar or a train. Sometimes (often?) they say these sllightly preceded the actual shaking. Personally, I have heard this once that I know of, and recall thinking "Ah that's what those people were talking about". That one was early morning and I was awake, roar followed by wham.

My thinking is that of course "sound waves" are always being created by any irregular motion but they must be audible and above background. Morning rush hour road noise, etc., etc. will reduce the odds of hearing anything, especially since the sounds reported (and what I heard) generally are low frequency but not repetitively rhythmic in the way a thumping bass is. Anything lower than 20 hz, or course, you might sense, but not hear, and who knows if maybe there is stuff above 20 khz too. Mainly early morning or late night (or remote area) when you are already/still awake will be ideal time for hearing one. Obviously, magnitude of quake should arguably determine magnitude of noise, perhaps (probably) in a logarithmic fashion. Senses also work on a log scale, so there definitely should be a threshold cut-off.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

@Raggedy Ann
but at least one source said 47,000 without power, and their brand new corona virus hotline is down, so maybe they lost some landlines too.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

Et al

We really need to ramp up space and resources for The Virus. Beds will be short soon here in CA. Daughter, a nurse in TX, said that “some Bay Area hospitals are already at peak vent capacity”.

In the meantime lots o’ cash to bail out the stock market and friends. All the better for re-election.

Apparently Cuomo is doing a good job in NY so far. No federal resources as of yesterday, just State. What a surprise. The federal government is going to do next to nothing to prepare. It rests on the state and local governments to step up. Now, today.

Moving fast. Stay safe everyone. Have a good one.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma
all have to go full prevention mode a much a we can to lighten the load. This is where those silly valley big shots need to fund some care packages like ventilators, but probably won't.

have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --