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posts tagged "economy"

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The first stage of the economy’s domination of social life brought about an evident degradation of being into having — human fulfillment was no longer equated with what one was, but with what one possessed. The present stage, in which social life has become completely dominated by the accumulated productions of the economy, is bringing about a general shift from having to appearing — all “having” must now derive its immediate prestige and its ultimate purpose from appearances. At the same time all individual reality has become social, in the sense that it is shaped by social forces and is directly dependent on them. Individual reality is allowed to appear only if it is not actually real.

Guy Debord - The Society of Spectacle

Reading Debord is like reading my own diary or writing. It is amazing how EVERYTHING he posits has been haunting my mind, and he put it in words with so much brilliance.

What I do not like about the society of consumption is not the abundance or even the opulence that I see as beneficial.

My main grief is the fact that material comfort comes at the cost of psychological comfort and physical safety. In such society, the ultimate way ‘to be' is 'to have' and material things are closely tied up to human's worth. While on one side of the consumerist machine, people are having their self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence relentlessly attacked through propaganda to propel their consumerist addiction, on the other, millions of brown lives are destroyed and exploited to power the production machine. It is not only the safety of the little hands of capitalism which is at stake, it is the safety of us on the planet that is being threatened by this unsustainable way of living. 

It brings about an absolute form of alienation that separates people from themselves - which is source of intense pain and a host of mental disorders in modern societies - and separate them form others, in the same pathological society. 

I just watched some bits of a documentary on Pol Pot and I needed to remind this to myself.

Mitt Romney wants an economic policy à la Reagan with important tax reductions. Can someone please pass a note to this guy letting him know how fucking disastrous Reaganeconomics was for the US budget and that the US can REALLY REALLY NOT afford such policy right now?? 

Oh boy!!

Watch them once again fuck up the global economy, I can’t!!

What happens to poor countries when they embrace free trade? In Haiti in 1986 we imported just 7000 tons of rice, the main staple food of the country. The vast majority was grown in Haiti. In the late 1980s Haiti complied with free trade policies advocated by the international lending agencies and lifted tariffs on rice imports.

Cheaper rice immediately flooded in from the United States where the rice industry is subsidized. In fact the liberalization of Haiti’s market coincided with the 1985 Farm Bill in the United States which increased subsidies to the rice industry so that 40% of U.S. rice growers’ profits came from the government by 1987. Haiti’s peasant farmers could not possibly compete. By 1996 Haiti was importing 196,000 tons of foreign rice at the cost of $100 million a year. Haitian rice production became negligible. Once the dependence on foreign rice was complete, import prices began to rise, leaving Haiti’s population, particularly the urban poor, completely at the whim of rising world grain prices. And the prices continue to rise.

What lessons do we learn? For poor countries free trade is not so free, or so fair. Haiti, under intense pressure from the international lending institutions, stopped protecting its domestic agriculture while subsidies to the U.S. rice industry increased. A hungry nation became hungrier.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Eyes of the Heart; Seeking a Path for the Poor in the Age of Globalization, (Common Courage Press, 2000), pp. 11-12

^ just a small example of how World Bank, IMF, and Western “international” agencies continue to fuck over the global south.

(via deafmuslimpunx)

The World Bank, the IMF and the rest are seemingly neutral agencies created to support a western imperialist agenda. There is nothing new here, they have been doing this forever really. They are vultures surrounding dying countries, whose death and misery they are responsible for.

However what is new is the fact that since the 2007 crisis, vultures have been migrating up north. They are now doing to Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and even France what they have been doing to us for ages. And this is a very interesting development. Because it is the proof that the west has created a monster over which they have lost control and the system now is eating itself up. I grew up in a country, which like Haiti, has been destroyed by these unfair policies they are now imposing on Southern Europe. These policies are not only unfair, they are absolutely brutal and lead to absolute hopelessness and despair. I mean everyday I read reports about the disastrous situation they have brought in Southern Europe; Skyrocketing suicide rate in Greece, booming of organ trafficking, mass migration, more and more children taken out of school by their parents to go and work on the mafia-infested streets of Italy, rise of populism, lingering, unbearable poverty etc. My people has endured all of this for ages and still is. I was born and grew amid this, I faced it everyday and know the anxiety that comes with living in country where poverty is nothing but death at the slow pace. Words like IMF and wold Bank, crisis, restructuration plan, where already part of my vocabulary and shaping my reality when I was still a tiny kid. And all of this is the making of the west, which is why I have no fucking compassion for all the misery spreading all over Europe right now. They did and are still profiting from our exploitation. I just hope that right now that karma is biting them hard in the ass, the wake up to the monstrosity they have created and realise that IT IS NOT THE WAY TO GO!! 

Seriously on what do the world bank and IMF base their legitimacy?? On an amoral, deregulated banking system that has and will keep on driving us to the ground!! On top of that their policies HAVE ALWAYS FAILED THE PEOPLE!!! A system where figures and numbers prime over the lived experience of individuals is doomed to be inhumane. 

Those organisations must be stopped and the west must own up to its shit!

(via darkjez)

le-kif-kif:

nixonplumbingco:

basedlenin:

the problem with republicans when they target pornography their whole goal is to shame consumption rather than production, because if they did that they might actually be running into criticisms of capitalism

Rule one of neoliberal ideology. The productive forces of society are mysterious things that just sort of happen without deliberate action (Unless you decide to take credit for it as a leader). Consumption is the only conscious thing you do in economics

this reminds me of when we covered how processes of production and consumption led consumers and producers to be alienated from the processes themselves; there is a phrase here i keep forgetting, its like production fetishism or something.

this is how we get into things like ‘ethical consumption’ as a legitimate form of social change, we are alienated from the processes of consumption and production to the point where we imagine a lot more efficacy in our buying power then actually exists

Brilliant exchange. I just now need to go and find out more about production fetishism.

(via praxis-makesperfect-deactivated)

"Crime Of The Century"

liberalsarecool:

Robert Sheer of TruthDig:

“Forget Bernie Madoff and Enron’s Ken Lay—they were mere amateurs in financial crime. The current LIBOR interest rate scandal, involving hundreds of trillions in international derivatives trade, shows how the really big boys play. And these guys will most likely not do the time because their kind rewrites the law before committing the crime.

Modern international bankers form a class of thieves the likes of which the world has never before seen. Or, indeed, imagined. The scandal over LIBOR — short for London interbank offered rate — has resulted in a huge fine for Barclays Bank and threatens to ensnare some of the world’s top financers. It reveals that behind the world’s financial edifice lies a reeking cesspool of unprecedented corruption. The modern-day robber barons pillage with a destructive abandon totally unfettered by law or conscience and on a scale that is almost impossible to comprehend.”

Writ large: bankers = thieves

Shit like this makes me even more suicidal. seriously what’s the point? This world belongs to scums like them, it is not for me  

*soupir*

(via silas216)

[Capitalism’s] concept of competitive man who seeks only to maximize wealth and power, who subjects himself to market relationships, to exploitation and external authority, is anti-human and intolerable in the deepest sense

Noam Chomsky (via noam-chomsky)

(via theaetherealmeadow)

readnfight:

Your unemployment crisis is breaking news when it hits 8.2%? Tell me what that level of economic security is like.
The chart to the right is one that I made a while back about the whitewashing of the “wage gap” as it is commonly talked about in the u.s. The stats used are:
1980:
White women 6.5%
Black women 14.0%
Latina women 10.7%
White men 6.1%
Black men 14.5%
Latino men 9.7%
Overall 7.1%
1990:
White women 4.7%
Black women 10.9%
Latina women 8.4%
White men 4.9%
Black men 11.9%
Latino men 8.0%
Overall 5.6%
2000:
White women 3.6%
Black women 7.1%
Latina women 6.8%
White men 3.4%
Black men 8.0%
Latino men 5.0%
Overall 4.0%
2010:
White women 7.7%
Black women 13.8%
Latina women 12.3%
White men 9.6%
Black men 18.4%
Latino men 12.7%
Overall 9.6%
Note that these are conservative counts by the u.s. Dept. of Labor.
So this is breaking news to whom?

In definitely sucks being a black man looking for a job in America *sigh*

readnfight:

Your unemployment crisis is breaking news when it hits 8.2%? Tell me what that level of economic security is like.

The chart to the right is one that I made a while back about the whitewashing of the “wage gap” as it is commonly talked about in the u.s. The stats used are:

1980:

  • White women 6.5%
  • Black women 14.0%
  • Latina women 10.7%
  • White men 6.1%
  • Black men 14.5%
  • Latino men 9.7%
  • Overall 7.1%

1990:

  • White women 4.7%
  • Black women 10.9%
  • Latina women 8.4%
  • White men 4.9%
  • Black men 11.9%
  • Latino men 8.0%
  • Overall 5.6%

2000:

  • White women 3.6%
  • Black women 7.1%
  • Latina women 6.8%
  • White men 3.4%
  • Black men 8.0%
  • Latino men 5.0%
  • Overall 4.0%

2010:

  • White women 7.7%
  • Black women 13.8%
  • Latina women 12.3%
  • White men 9.6%
  • Black men 18.4%
  • Latino men 12.7%
  • Overall 9.6%

Note that these are conservative counts by the u.s. Dept. of Labor.

So this is breaking news to whom?

In definitely sucks being a black man looking for a job in America *sigh*

(via polerin)

Republican math:

think-progress:

Affordable: $1 TRILLION per year in tax cuts for the rich

Unaffordable: $6 BILLION per year to help millions of students

matthewdgold:

in case you weren’t aware.

matthewdgold:

in case you weren’t aware.

erosum:

The Corporation (Documentary)

(via guerrillatech)

Don’t Help me, Trust me – Your African Coffee Producer

At a recent speech at DRI, Andrew Rugasira described what happened as Good African Coffee, the business he founded in Uganda’s Rwenzori mountains, began to take off. As farmers began to produce higher quality coffee and see higher prices for their crops:

Something really extraordinary began to happen. The values that we don’t really hear about in a lot of these development reports began to manifest: entrepreneurship, business exposure, dignity, esteem, the pride in producing a product that they knew was going into a market…

While the role of beliefs and values as catalysts for economic growth may still be “underrated and underdebated,” development economists have recently begun taking a closer look. As a new working paper by Chris Coyne and Claudia Williamson explains, higher levels of self-determination, mutual respect and trust allow impersonal market transactions to happen efficiently, and more market transactions improve economic specialization and productivity.

Since every pound of African coffee we buy in the US relies upon dozens of formal and informal contracts between farmers, packagers, exporters and retailers, the “culture of contracting” matters. And contracts rely on interpersonal trust between strangers each pursuing his or her own self-interest.

Trade sets off a positive feedback loop: In Uganda, the more local producers sell their coffee to strangers, the more they will trust new buyers. The more buyers receive good quality the more they will trust, and look for, coffee from Uganda. Trade induces more trade.

But does aid induce more trade? For Coyne and Williamson, aid flows tend to create dependency and weaken the incentives for people to engage in business and trade, economic activities that rely upon contracts. Where aid triggers rent-seeking activities like corruption or fraud, it is also likely to reduce trust among strangers.

(via dynamicafrica)

socialsociety:

The “Good” Consumer

Thank you for reminding me this

Merci bcp

(via thatblckgrl)

Gerald Friedman: “Medicare for All” would save billions, and could be redistributive.

sarahlee310:

In Dollars & Sense, economist Gerald Friedman makes the case for single-payer:

The Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act” (HR 676) would establish a single authority responsible for paying for health care for all Americans. Providing universal coverage with a “single-payer” system would change many aspects of American health care. While it would raise some costs by providing access to care for those currently uninsured or under-insured, it would save much larger sums by eliminating insurance middlemen and radically simplifying payment
to doctors and hospitals. While providing superior health care, a single-payer system would save as much as $570 billion now wasted on administrative overhead and monopoly profits. A single-payer system would also make health-care financing dramatically more progressive by replacing fixed, income-invariant health-care expenditures with progressive taxes. This series of charts and graphs shows why we need a single-payer system and how it could be funded.

Here are a few of the charts:

You can see all the charts and read more in this PDF of the article.

(via socialuprooting)

About Iceland and it’s democracy..

anoncentral:

No news from Iceland… why?

How come we hear everything that happens in Egypt but no news about what’s happening in Iceland:



In Iceland, the people has made the government resign, the primary banks have been nationalized, it was decided to not pay the debt that these created with Great Britain and Holland due to their bad financial politics and a public assembly has been created to rewrite the constitution.

And all of this in a peaceful way.

A whole revolution against the powers that have created the current crisis. This is why there hasn’t been any publicity during the last two years: What would happen if the rest of the EU citizens took this as an example? What would happen if the US citizens took this as an example.

This is a summary of the facts:

  • 2008, The main bank of the country is nationalized.
  • The Krona, the currency of Iceland devaluates and the stock market stops.
  • The country is in bankruptcy 2008.
  • The citizens protest in front of parliament and manage to get new elections that make the resignation of the prime minister and his whole government.
  • The country is in bad economic situation.
  • A law proposes paying back the debt to Great Britain and Holland through the payment of 3,500 million euros, which will be paid by the people of Iceland monthly during the next 15 years, with a 5.5% interest.
  • 2010, the people go out in the streets and demand a referendum. In January 2010, the president denies the approval and announces a popular meeting.
  • In March the referendum and the denial of payment is voted in by 93%.
  • Meanwhile the government has initiated an investigation to bring to justice those responsible for the crisis, and many high level executives and bankers are arrested. The Interpol dictates an order that make all the implicated parties leave the country.
  • In this crisis an assembly is elected to rewrite a new Constitution which can include the lessons learned from this, and which will substitute the current one (a copy of the Danish Constitution).
  • 25 citizens are chosen, with no political affiliation, out of the 522 candidates. For candidacy all that was needed was to be an adult and have the support of 30 people. The constitutional assembly starts in February of 2011 to present the ‘carta magna’ from the recommendations given by the different assemblies happening throughout the country. It must be approved by the current Parliament and by the one constituted through the next legislative elections.


So in summary of the Icelandic revolution:

  • resignation of the whole government
  • nationalization of the bank
  • referendum so that the people can decide over the economic decisions
  • incarcerating the responsible parties
  • rewriting of the constitution by its people


Have we been informed of this through the media?
Has any political program in radio or TV commented on this?

- No!

The Icelandic people have been able to show that there is a way to beat the system and has given a democracy lesson to the world.

This looks too good to be true

(via basedinternet)