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Hometown: Xenia, OH
Member since: Tue Sep 19, 2006, 03:46 PM
Number of posts: 24,691

Journal Archives

"The paper gratifyingly says that both austerity and highly mobile capital increase inequality, and

inequality is a negative for growth. And it firmly says Something Must Be Done:

The evidence of the economic damage from inequality suggests that policymakers should be more open to redistribution than they are. Of course, apart from redistribution, policies could be designed to mitigate some of the impacts in advance—for instance, through increased spending on education and training, which expands equality of opportunity (so-called predistribution policies). And fiscal consolidation strategies—when they are needed—could be designed to minimize the adverse impact on low-income groups. But in some cases, the untoward distributional consequences will have to be remedied after they occur by using taxes and government spending to redistribute income. Fortunately, the fear that such policies will themselves necessarily hurt growth is unfounded.

In some ways, the fact that this article was written at all, and that it is apparently fomenting debate in policy circles is more important than the details of its argument, since it does not break new ground. Instead, it takes some of the findings and analysis of heterodox and forward-thinking development economists and distills them nicely.

The publication of this IMF paper is a sign that the zeitgeist is, years after the crisis, finally shifting. It is becoming too hard to maintain the pretense that the policies that produced the global financial crisis, which are almost entirely still intact, are working. And the elites and their economic alchemists may also recognize that if they don’t change course pretty soon, they risk the loss of not just legitimacy but control. With Trump and Le Pen at the barricades, the IMF wake-up call may be too late.

Weird to see right wingers like Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen showcased as reasons for economic elites to change course on their prevailing policies of austerity and inequality.

It is gratifying to see the IMF itself recognize that hyper capital mobility and austerity aggravate inequality which is bad, even from an elites' perspective, for growth itself. Perhaps Christine Legarde's past experience as an anti-trust and labor lawyer is causing the IMF to take a different view.

"Bernie Sanders to Clinton: people 'are sick of hearing about your damn emails'.


Indeed. Fascists were fascists but they took advantage of conditions that were not

their doing.

Hitler wasn’t Hitler—until he was. At each step of the way, the shock was tempered by acceptance. It depended on conservatives pretending he wasn’t so bad, compared with the Communists, while at the same time the militant left decided that their real enemies were the moderate leftists, who were really indistinguishable from the Nazis. The radical progressives decided that there was no difference between the democratic left and the totalitarian right and that an explosion of institutions was exactly the most thrilling thing imaginable.


" ...the Environment chapter is fully subject to TPP’s dispute settlement process ..."

although some observers have expressed concerns about whether the U.S. government would effectively enforce the chapter’s provisions.

Most observers agree that TPP goes further than any other major trade agreement to address environmental concerns. Other provisions new to the TPP Environment chapter, compared with existing U.S. FTAs, cover transitioning to a low-emissions environment, removing barriers to environmental goods and services, and linking the Environment chapter to the SPS chapter in an effort to combat invasive alien species.

The TPP includes several labor provisions not contained in any previous U.S. trade agreement. These include requirements that all parties maintain laws that govern health and safety at the
workplace, regulate work hours, and provide for a minimum wage. TPP also extends the existing prohibition on weakening worker protections so that it would cover export processing zones and other trade zones, as well as a measure discouraging imports produced using forced labor, among others. In addition, TPP includes three separate bilateral side agreements on labor which require Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam to undertake certain labor reforms before the agreement can take effect between the United States and those countries."


The US already has 'free trade' agreements with 6 of the 11 TPP countries. The new ones would be Japan, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei. For now WTO rules govern trade with those 5. The question is whether the TPP improves on the 'free trade' agreements that already exist with Canada, Mexico, Australia, Chile, Peru and Singapore and the WTO rules that currently apply to the other 5.

Trump "waffles, flip-flops and obfuscates, sometimes changing positions from one press appearance to


Donald Trump is a serial liar. Okay, to be a bit less Trumpian about it, he has trouble with the truth. If you look at Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning site that examines candidates’ pronouncements for accuracy, 76 percent of Trump’s statements are rated either “mostly false,” “false,” or “pants on fire,” which is to say off-the-charts false. By comparison, Hillary Clinton’s total is 29 percent.

In an ordinary political season, perhaps Trump would be under fire for his habitual untruths, like the one that Ted Cruz’s father might have been involved with Lee Harvey Oswald. This time around, though, neither the media nor the public — least of all his supporters — seem to care. Which leads to the inescapable conclusion that these days, as far as our political discourse goes, truth, logic, reason and consistency don’t seem to count for very much.

Another explanation is that long before Trump, social scientists observed that truth matters less to people than reinforcement, and that most of us have the ability to reformulate misstatements into truth so long as they conform to our own biases. We believe what we believe, and we are not changing even in the face of opposing facts (without this capacity for self-deception there would be no Fox News).

The media have been bored with policy for a long time ... . And when they do discuss policy ... they are likely to prefer the windy, absurd generalities of a Trump to the wonky policies of a Clinton. It makes better copy, and it has the added benefit that it doesn’t require any fact-checking.

Obama's defense of facts and science and his disdain for leaders and commentators who embrace "a culture of willful ignorance", which he expressed the other day at Rutgers, certainly stands in stark contrast to the Trump and many others.

Trump breaks with Obama (Hillary and Bernie too) on Brexit (the UK leaving the EU)

Britain wouldn't be hurt "at all" in terms of trade negotiations with the United States if it exited the European Union, Donald Trump says.

President Barack Obama had warned in an April visit to London that Britain would move to "the back of the queue" in negotiating trade deals with the United States should it exit the European Union.

He said a trade deal between the two countries could still happen, "but it's not going to happen any time soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc, the European Union, to get a trade agreement done."

"Britain's such a great ally that they went into things that they shouldn't have gone into -- like, as an example, going into Iraq, OK? With me, they'll always been treated fantastically," he said.


I don't imagine there is much that Trump has not broken with Obama on. Not surprisingly Trump has broken with Bernie ("wants the United Kingdom to remain a member of the European Union" and Hillary ("urges Britain to remain in the European Union" as well as with Obama.

Our imports from China are 2.6% of our economy. In Germany it is 2.4% so they probably

have lost jobs to China, too. Germany belongs to the same WTO that everyone else belongs to. It has trade agreements with 48 non-EU countries in addition to the 27 other EU countries compared to the 20 countries with which we have trade agreements.

And in the past 30 years their manufacturing employment has declined by about the same percentage that it has declined in the US.

Yet somehow their unions remain strong, their wages are higher than ours, their safety net much stronger than ours and their income equality is among the best in the world.

I too would like to know how they do it.

Here is the Texas GOP Proposed Platform. Should be voted on this weekend. It's a duzy so far.

Texas Protecting Texans- We support Federal legislation remanding all authority over abortion back to the individual States and removing all standing on this issue from the federal judiciary as given by Article III in the US Constitution.

United States Senators- We support the repeal of the 17th Amendment of the United States Constitution and the appointment of United States Senators by the state legislatures.

We oppose socialism in any form. We support the Texas Legislature and the United States Congress in enacting legislation that prohibits any judicial jurisdiction from allowing any substitute or parallel system of law, specifically foreign law (including Sharia Law).

“Climate Change” is a political agenda promoted to control every aspect of our lives. We support the defunding of “climate justice” initiatives and the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency and repeal of the Endangered Species Act.

We urge that the Voter Rights Act of 1965, codified and updated in 1973, be repealed and not reauthorized.

We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between one natural man and one natural woman.

Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that has been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nations founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples.

We are resolute in our support of the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

We unequivocally oppose the United States Senate’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the 1st Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state.

The Export-Import Bank should not be re-authorized after expiration on June 30th.

We support the immediate repeal of Dodd-Frank legislation and replace with the Glass-Steagall Act.

We also encourage the adoption of a National Right to Work Act.

We believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed.

We oppose all efforts to classify carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

We oppose the implementation of any cap and trade (aka “Cap and Tax”) system through legislation or regulation.

We call upon the United States House of Representatives to continue the select committee and appoint a special prosecutor in order to subpoena testimony to fully investigate all aspects of the Benghazi debacle.

International Trade- We strongly oppose the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). We demand the immediate withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). We demand the repeal of the current Fast Track Authority/TPA.

International Organizations- We support United States withdrawal from the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the World Bank.


It seems the Texas GOP is opposed to all things good and in favor of all things bad. That is pretty amazing.

Best article in a long time. A global "New Deal" for labor to fight global corporations.

"Too many politicians in the U.S. and Europe are exploiting our differences and inciting hate and division," ...

... to strategize about how best to counter the appeal of far-right rhetoric to voters frustrated by years of gross inequality and, instead, harness that energy to advance workers' rights and values.

"Income inequality is a global problem that should unite all leaders; it should not give rise to right wing extremism and building walls," Trumka continued. "We must come together to focus on common issues like raising wages and creating good jobs. Political tactics that scapegoat hardworking immigrants and refugees only serve to pit workers against one another, while ignoring the corporate excess that created these problems."

The forum—which was convened as a reaction to the ascendancy of Donald Trump in the U.S., the National Democratic Party (NDP) in Germany, the National Front in France, Greece's Golden Dawn Party, and others—"illustrates the extent to which progressive movements across the developed world have begun to view the far right as a common, and urgent, threat," ...

Thanks for finding and posting this, eridani.

Trump is simply a 'new and improved' version of Buchanan but a better demagogue than Pat was.

He also opposes the Kyoto Protocol. Buchanan proposes economic nationalism based on the principles of the American School. He says that "the country comes before the economy; and the economy exists for the people." A critic of free trade, he supports repealing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and raising tariffs on imported goods to provide tax relief to domestic industry. Arguing that "you need imports to pay the taxes," he sees tariffs as a vehicle for allowing for tax relief for domestically made products, making them more competitive.

Buchanan argues that the United States' ability to control its own affairs is under siege due to free trade ideology, globalism, globalization and other issues, discussed below. He once remarked, "we love the old republic, and when we hear phrases like 'new world order,' we release the safety catches on our revolvers."

Buchanan once suggested that the U.S. remove the United Nations headquarters from New York City and send in the Marines to "help pack." He supports withdrawal from the Rome Treaty and most of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He also suggests that foreign aid be rolled back and that all US troops pull out of Europe.

He is in favor of ending treaties that he believes do not protect the interests of the United States, such as one-way defense treaties where the US must militarily come to the defense of another country, but not vice versa. For example, he believes that the U.S. no longer has any legitimate reason to be a member of NATO ever since the fall of the Soviet Union and he strongly opposed American intervention in the Yugoslav Wars.

Buchanan is also a Euroskeptic and opposed the 2005 EU “New Europe” constitution ... He complains of an “atheist-socialist superstate rising in Europe”,[113] which is "the prototype of the World Government to come." He also states that the "Mother Continent" is endangered by falling birthrates, so that it risks becoming “Islamicized” by immigrants.


As far as I can tell there is little of Pat Buchanan's economic and foreign policy views that Trump does not share. It is not too surprising that Pat would endorse Trump.
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