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Trade Unionist Runs For Office. AFL-CIO Leadership Backs the Democrat.

Facts For Working People supports Cliff Willmeng in his run for Boulder County Commisioner. Below is a letter brother Willmeng sent to the leadership of the Colorado AFL-CIO. This state body has chosen to support a Democrat over a union member with a strong track record of fighting for trade union and workers' rights. Cliff has also been a leading figure in the efforts against fracking in that state and throughout the country.

Brother Willmeng is absolutely correct in his scathing criticism of the role of the leadership of the Colorado State AFL-CIO. The trade union leadership's disastrous dance of death with the Democratic Party is a major factor in the destruction of living standards not only of union members but the working class as a whole. It is this partnership that is a major factor in the rise of Trump. Had the union officialdom offered an alternative to the two capitalist parties the balance of class forces in the US would have shifted dramatically in our favor.

Facts For Working People has been making these same arguments with regards to the union leadership, stressing that a conflict with them over policy is inevitable if we want to reverse the present concessionary climate and elimination of gains made through a hundred years or more of heroic sacrifice.  A recent article on the left as well as Labor Notes approach in the unions is here and another on the recent strike of Crane Operators and other IUOE members is here. Check out the picket line rules the IUOE leadership demanded the strikers abide by - a recipe for defeat if there ever was one.

The recent teachers/educators strikes, led to a great extent by women, have changed the game as far as organized labor is concerned. Direct action, challenging the official leadership and violating anti-union/worker laws is what can win. Brother Willmeng's stand and calling for independent political party of the working class follows in this tradition.  Here are three short videos of three of the leading figures, from West Virginia, Kentucky and Arizona sharing their experiences in the strikes.


We congratulate Brother Willmeng for his willingness to openly call out the disgraceful role that the leadership of the AFL-CIO plays and offering the rank and file union member and the working class in general a genuine alternative. The leadership's actions in the present climate are criminal and a complete betrayal of the members who pay the dues and the (often obscene) salaries of the leadership. The leadership's actions are also a complete betrayal of the entire working class.   

Campaign Blog


An Open Letter to the Colorado AFL-CIO on Independent Rank and File Candidates

The following was sent to leaders of the Colorado AFL-CIO on September, 17th, 2018. The email responds to the body's rejection of myself as the only union member running for office in Boulder County in favor of the Democratic Party candidate, a professional politician with no union history whatsoever.  The maneuver demonstrates the political crisis in the union leadership today, and compelled UFCW Local 7 to withdraw form the body on the principled ground that unions are required to support union members as an immediate political priority
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After six months and many recent events in the Colorado labor movement, I wish to address a few issues related to the state of the AFL-CIO and my candidacy for Boulder County Commissioner as a rank and file union member. I will say upfront that the views expressed here are my own and not the official position of UFCW Local 7, although I am a job steward and an officer on the Local?s executive board. Thank you in advance for your time and for you efforts to build power and strength for working people everywhere.

I will start by saying that it?s quite clear that the working class of the United States and its leadership through organized labor are in an existential crisis and have been for the last 50 years. We can discuss the nature of the crisis, how industry and government have exploited it, how union leadership has responded to it, or any other details, but its existence is thoroughly documented. This prolonged retreat has severely affected the living conditions, ambitions, influence, and general consciousness of working class people, both nationally and internationally. We union members can?t underestimate its profound repercussions.

As a rank and file union member originally in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Local 1 of Chicago, Illinois, and now in UFCW Local 7 as a registered nurse, I?ve done what I can to help end the unions? retreat, including workplace organizing, unionization campaigns, actions, mobilizations, and ongoing outreach to the rank and file of all unions to strengthen our efforts collectively. Most recently this effort compelled me to run for local office as a rank and file union member.

I decided to run for Boulder County Commissioner to address the multiple issues facing working people from the perspective of a politically independent campaign. Like many other parts of the country, Boulder County is run by a political class of wealthy, connected individuals who exploit their positions for careers and influence to advance their own aims and those of their affiliates. The result: increased power and wealth for the few and increased economic hardship, racial disparity, and disenfranchisement for working class people. Community members across Boulder County asked that I run for Commissioner to address these issues, issues unaddressed by our current political leadership.

Because of the nature of Boulder County politics and the dominance of the Democratic Party, I chose to run as a Green Party candidate. This was a simple decision for me based on my personal and political experiences with the deeply compromised nature of the Democratic Party both in Chicago and Colorado. In my 30 years of community and workplace activism, I?ve seen that any genuine advances for working people require a fight against the Democratic Party. I can elaborate, but for brevity I will simply say that here in Boulder County, it is abundantly clear that the Democratic Party not only offers no answers to the multiple crises of the working class, it, along with the Republicans, the second Wall Street Party, is in fact the origin of those crises. Overcoming the negotiated surrender of workers, communities and the environment will have to come through independent political actions of everyday people. My campaign is one effort to build that power, develop ideas, and confront the escalating challenges everyday people now face.

As a lifelong union member and advocate, I intended to bring the wider union movement into this pivotal effort. Because of my years of community organizing, my campaign allows the banner of union labor to be hoisted into county political life, opening the door to a new fight for working people.

The current AFL-CIO leadership thwarted my efforts immediately. Weeks after I submitted the AFL-CIO questionnaire, Geof Cahoon, President of the Boulder Area Labor Council (BALC), advised me not to proceed with an endorsement interview. When I questioned him, he told me that, although he personally wished me to win the race because of his familiarity with my union activism, the other two members of the committee would take deep issue with my not running as a Democrat, thereby making the interview predetermined and unnecessary as the results were already mathematically concluded. I rejected this advice as a matter of principle and proceeded to schedule the interview.

The endorsement process lasted six months and was punctuated by ongoing maneuvering from brother Cahoon. He originally claimed he supported my candidacy only to abstain from voting because he ?had to remain neutral? as a result of his being President of the Boulder Area Labor Council and also an officer of the Democratic Party. When I informed him that his position as a union leader leaves no question about his role as a promoter of working people, he evaded further discussion. The original vote was 3 in favor of endorsement and 2 opposed, which fell short of the 2/3 majority. Only after questioning did I learn that Geof Cahoon abstained from voting altogether, ensuring the 2/3 majority could not be met.


The whole process was embarrassingly confused and evasive. When confronted about the vote by UFCW Local 7 President Kim Cordova, the executive board then informed us that it hadn?t been an official vote but rather a ?straw poll? requiring a new vote. Then a phone vote was supposed to take place but never happened because of apparent bylaw issues. A final vote took place in July; Cahoon did apparently vote that time. The result was 5 ? 2 in favor of endorsing State Senator Matt Jones, a professional politician, over a union member and activist with one of the strongest labor platforms and histories in the state of Colorado.

The entire process was clearly bent on producing just one outcome. Now, absurdly, the Boulder Area Labor Council is campaigning against the only union member in the county race. This demonstrates the deep crisis and rudderless leadership union membership suffers under today, not only in Boulder County but throughout Colorado and nationwide. The Democratic Party?s politicized use of our union bodies created 50 years of decline in union power.

My position hasn?t changed. After eight months of campaigning, it?s even more clear to me that major shifts in the current union political patterns are desperately needed. Every day that we reject or evade the hard work of building independent political power for our members and the working class is another day that Wall Street strengthens its hold on the country. We?re in a permanent state of retreat only punctuated by some audacious strike actions by rank and file teachers. Nothing has changed at the top at all.

This pattern has to be broken, and it will take real leadership to do so. People are demanding change like no time in history. Labor can and should lead the charge. We have the power to build a new political party for the 99%, to lead waves of strikes and mass mobilizations, and to turn from the current passive and ingratiating forms of political strategy to build an actual labor movement prepared to defeat the offensive of Wall Street.

I would advise the following three steps to be implemented immediately following the midterm elections of 2018:

1. An ending of union funding and aid to both the Republican and Democratic Parties and moving these funds aside for eventual use in community and political organizing.

2. A convening of a national conference of workers and union leaders for the purpose of building an independent political party of the working class as a whole.

3. Statewide committees formed to build local political organizational structure for strike support, electoral campaigns for rank and file workers, legislative actions, and assistance to community struggles of working class and repressed communities

4. Resolutions advanced in union locals nationally to support the process of building a mass organization of the working class to coordinate all these efforts.

These are the ideas that form the basis of my campaign and which I hope will assist more independent worker candidates to run for office. I hope these developments can find the leadership and support necessary to break free of our current downward spiral, and I hope we can come together on that basis as soon as possible.

Thank you again for your time and know that I am available for any amount of discussion and conversation as necessary to honor the ideas and developments described here. Please feel encouraged to contact me as often and in whatever manner necessary.


In Solidarity,
Cliff Willmeng, RN
303 478 6613 


Source: Trade Unionist Runs For Office. AFL-CIO Leadership Backs the Democrat.
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GOP Senator Callously Dismisses Brett Kavanaugh Sexual Assault Allegation as a 'Hiccup'



 
 
 



Dean Heller only considers attempted rape a mild inconvenience in his quest to plant a right-wing majority on the federal courts


The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are a grave matter that the Senate should handle with sensitivity and consideration.

But according to a report from the Nevada Independent, Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) is not overly concerned about it. In fact, he considers it only a "hiccup" in the confirmation process:

In a ?VIP? conference call arranged by the Nevada Republican Party on Wednesday ahead of President Donald Trump?s visit to the state, Heller ? who is running for re-election against Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen ? said the Senate would still likely confirm Kavanaugh to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy despite the sexual harassment allegations.

?I?m really grateful for the White House, for the effort of President Trump and what he has done, and the excitement that we have,? he said. ?We got a little hiccup here with the Kavanaugh nomination, we?ll get through this and we?ll get off to the races,? he said.

This is an incredibly glib response to the accusation by California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh, at age 17, forced her into a room, groped her, tried to strip off her clothing, and covered her mouth to muffle her screams, while his friend looked on and laughed. Especially considering that Ford has not yet even had any chance to testify to the Senate or to the FBI, and none of the witnesses of the alleged incident are being compelled to give any information.

But Heller has always been one of President Donald Trump's most enthusiastic cheerleaders for a far-right reshaping of the judiciary. In March, Heller predicted that if Justice Anthony Kennedy retired, it could save his struggling re-election effort

Heller's opponent Jacky Rosen, who is running on a broad platform of health care expansion, immigration reform, and protecting veterans and retirement benefits, is running roughly even in polls.






 

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Source: GOP Senator Callously Dismisses Brett Kavanaugh Sexual Assault Allegation as a 'Hiccup'
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Infoshop News / Hurricane Florence Relief, Solidarity and Mutual Aid Guide
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:00:18 AM »
Hurricane Florence Relief, Solidarity and Mutual Aid Guide

Hurricane Florence devastated the coastal areas of North Carolina and South Carolina in September 2018. This guide is for people interested in organizing assistance for those affected and for those interested in supporting people and groups engaged in assistance.


The post Hurricane Florence Relief, Solidarity and Mutual Aid Guide appeared first on Infoshop News.


Source: Hurricane Florence Relief, Solidarity and Mutual Aid Guide
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Infoshop News / Facebook Job Ads That Let Employers Exclude Women Are Clear Civil Rights Violation, Says ACLU
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:00:18 AM »
Facebook Job Ads That Let Employers Exclude Women Are Clear Civil Rights Violation, Says ACLU

"Facebook is violating federal civil rights law. Period." So declared the ACLU on Tuesday after announcing it has filed charges against the social media giant and ten other employers for illegally "excluding all women and non-binary" Facebook users from job advertisements.


The post Facebook Job Ads That Let Employers Exclude Women Are Clear Civil Rights Violation, Says ACLU appeared first on Infoshop News.


Source: Facebook Job Ads That Let Employers Exclude Women Are Clear Civil Rights Violation, Says ACLU
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Infoshop News / The Mythology of Work
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:00:18 AM »
The Mythology of Work

Eight Myths that Keep Your Eyes on the Clock and Your Nose to the Grindstone


The post The Mythology of Work appeared first on Infoshop News.


Source: The Mythology of Work
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'Her Worst Fears Are Coming True': Christine Blasey Ford Receiving Death Threats And Abuse from Kavanaugh Supporters



 
 
 



?In the 36 hours since her name became public Dr. Ford has received a stunning amount of support from her community and from fellow citizens across our country. "


When Christine Blasey Ford sent a confidential letter to Rep. Anna Eshoo alleging that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had attempted to rape her when they were teenagers back in 1982, the 51-year-old psychology professor requested anonymity. And since changing her mind and deciding to reveal her identity, it has become painfully clear why she initially chose to remain anonymous: Ford has become the target of extreme harassment and death threats from wingnut supporters of Kavanaugh?s confirmation. And the situation is so bad that Ford (who works at Palo Alto University) has left her home in Northern California and hired private security, fearing for the safety of herself and her two teenage children.

An anonymous source told the New York Times that ?90% of people think she?s a hero and are extremely supportive of her, and 10 percent want her to die immediately. Her worst fears are coming true.?

In a September 18 letter to Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley (chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee), Ford?s attorneys, Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, described everything Ford is being subjected to. In addition to Ford being the target of death threats and what Katz and Banks described as ?vicious harassment,? the attorneys noted, her e-mail has been hacked?and she has been impersonated online

?In the 36 hours since her name became public,? Katz and Banks told Grassley in the letter, ?Dr. Ford has received a stunning amount of support from her community and from fellow citizens across our country. At the same time, however, her worst fears have materialized.? 

Georgetown University law professor Heidi Feldman, knowing what Ford is being subjected to, has launched a GoFundMe page to cover her security needs?and as of early Wednesday morning, September 19, the page had raised over $53,000 on her behalf. 

On the page, Feldman states, ?Due to death threats, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (who uses ?Dr. Blasey? professionally) and her family have had to leave their residence and arrange for private security. Let?s create a fund to cover her security expenses, to do just a bit to make it easier for women in her position to come forward despite great risks. If we raise more than Dr. Blasey needs,  extra funds will go to women?s organizations and/or into an account to cover similar costs incurred in comparable situations.? 


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Source: 'Her Worst Fears Are Coming True': Christine Blasey Ford Receiving Death Threats And Abuse from Kavanaugh Supporters
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Infoshop News / When Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Hits Home
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on September 19, 2018, 06:00:43 PM »
When Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Hits Home

?As far as missing Native women and girls [goes] ? we have a sick level of permissiveness when it comes to missing relatives.?


The post When Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Hits Home appeared first on Infoshop News.


Source: When Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Hits Home
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AlterNet / Conservatives Aren?t Afraid of Anita Hill Redux: They Know That Power Matters More Than Truth
« Last post by AlterNet on September 19, 2018, 06:00:41 PM »
Conservatives Aren?t Afraid of Anita Hill Redux: They Know That Power Matters More Than Truth


Republicans aren?t worried the Kavanaugh hearing will backfire, because in 2018 the facts almost don?t matter


It was genuinely surprising, at least to most on the left, when the Republicans who run the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed to hold another hearing next week to assess the accusation of attempted rape made by psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford against Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

There's no way, of course, that Republicans are legitimately interested in getting to the truth of what happened between these two people 30-odd years ago. As Democrats have pointed out, if the committee majority really wanted to do that, it would authorize a thorough investigation rather than rush through a hearing. So the only plausible conclusion is that Senate Republicans believe this course of action will somehow be politically beneficial to them.

At first blush, that calculation seems ridiculous. The Republicans on the Judiciary Committee come off as a bunch of smug white men, and they've already started to say ugly things about Ford.  The likelihood that this hearing will become a spectacle of sexist condescension toward Ford is sky-high. Comparisons to the case of Anita Hill, who came forward during the 1991 confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas, are flying fast and furious.

But there's good reason to believe that Republicans don't care if they come across as villains. This gulf between how conservatives and liberals view both the situation today and the Hill-Thomas hearings of  27 years ago is highly revealing.  For liberals, empirical truth matters quite a bit. But for the right, the truth is irrelevant, or nearly so; the only thing that really matters is power.

The Hill-Thomas hearings illustrate this divide. Over the past couple of decades, a historical narrative about that event has hardened not just on the political left, but also in the mainstream media: That the treatment of Hill and the confirmation of Thomas was a travesty, and one that caused women to revolt and reinvigorated the feminist movement. Nowadays, Hill is largely received as a hero, and has recently been interviewed by John Oliver, profiled by Rachel Maddow and published as an expert in the New York Times.

But Republicans don't view that event as a stain on their party. They see it as a victory. In their eyes, it's irrelevant that Hill was almost certainly telling the truth. They got Thomas seated on the Supreme Court, building a conservative majority against unions, human rights and corporate regulations. The verdict of history and the truth itself don't matter. All that matters is the conquest and consolidation of power.

What conservatives understand -- and liberals continue to struggle with -- is that power often matters more than the truth. Given enough power, truth can be stifled, denied, ignored or stigmatized. Republicans know that with a five-seat majority on the Supreme Court, they can rule that up is down and black is white. Truth withers in the face of power like that.

In 2004, Ron Suskind of the New York Times wrote a piece about the George W. Bush administration that quickly became legendary in political circles for an infamous quote from an anonymous administration official. The aide sneeringly told Suskind he belonged to "the reality-based community," made up of people who foolishly "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality."

"That's not the way the world really works anymore," the aide added. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality."

At the time, this quote was viewed as preposterous by many on the left, including myself. The utter failure of the Bush administration to will itself to victory in Iraq seemed to vindicate the belief that Republicans were drunk on hubris. Obviously, liberals are correct to say there are hard limits on how much reality can be denied. We generally don't see those who reject reality-based thinking declaring that they can fly and flinging themselves off buildings.

But on the whole, the conservative certainty that power will triumph over truth has a disturbing amount of, dare I say, empirical evidence to back it up. Donald Trump lies all day, every day, but he is powerful, so his opponents stand around, helpless to defeat him. Telling the truth and telling it again doesn't change the equation. Republicans control the reins of power. Republicans don't care about lies. Therefore lies win.

So liberals are right to perceive a strong chance that in the forthcoming Judiciary Committee hearing, Republican senators come across as a bunch of nasty misogynists, Ford reads as a sympathetic character and Kavanaugh comes across as a liar. Conservatives are right to think that it won't matter, because unless one or more Republican senators get cold feet, they have the power to seat Kavanaugh no matter what.

The hearing is there to provide cover. Even if Ford provides a compelling case or Kavanaugh is caught in a lie, it likely won't matter. Republicans will simply claim to believe that Ford is being untruthful or misremembering long-ago events, and the Trump base will claim to believe them.  All that really matters is creating short-term political cover to get Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. Even if Kavanaugh is guilty, even if he perjures himself and even if Trump is later found to be guilty of crimes, conservatives won't much care. Even if history eventually settles on the liberal side, as it did with Anita Hill, it won't matter. As long as they hold that Supreme Court seat, Republicans won't care how they got it.

Remember, Republicans didn't turn on Trump, despite more than a dozen accusers and at least two tapes of Trump confessing to the very behavior women say he subjected them to. Trump's power matters more than the truth about his behavior. That's why conservatives are so incurious about the truth of Brett Kavanaugh's behavior. It simply doesn't matter to them. All that matters is power.

 


Source: Conservatives Aren?t Afraid of Anita Hill Redux: They Know That Power Matters More Than Truth
9
Richard Mellor / Capitalist Economic Crises. It's Just a Frasier Moment.
« Last post by Richard Mellor on September 19, 2018, 06:26:00 AM »
Capitalist Economic Crises. It's Just a Frasier Moment.

It?s greed and fear

by Michael Roberts


Larry Summers is one of the world?s leading Keynesian economists,  a former Treasury Secretary under President Clinton, a candidate  previously for the Chair of the US Fed, and a regular speaker at the  massive ASSA annual conference of the American Economics Association,  where he promotes the old neo-Keynesian view that the global economy  tends to a form of ?secular stagnation?.

Summers has in the past attacked (correctly in my view) the decline of Keynesian economics into just doing sterile Dynamic  Stochastic General Equilibrium models (DSGE), where it is assumed that  the economy is stable and growing, but then is subject to some ?shock?  like a change in consumer or investor behaviour.  The model then  supposedly tells us any changes in outcomes.  Summers particularly  objects to the demand by neoclassical and other Keynesian economists  that any DSGE model must start from ?microeconomic foundations? ie the  initial assumptions must be logical, according to marginalist  neoclassical supply and demand theory, and the individual agents must  act ?rationally? according to those ?foundations?.

As Summers puts it: ?the principle of building macroeconomics on  microeconomic foundations, as applied by economists, contributed next to  nothing to predicting, explaining or resolving the Great Recession.?  Instead, says Summers, we should think in terms of ?broad aggregates?, ie empirical evidence of what is happening in the economy, not what the  logic of neoclassical economic theory might claim ought to happen.

Not all Keynesians agree with Summers on this.  Simon Wren-Lewis, the  leading British Keynesian economist claims that the best DSGE models  did try to incorporate money and imperfections in an economy: ?respected macroeconomists (would) argue that because of these problematic microfoundations, it is best to ignore something like sticky prices (wages) (a key Keynesian argument for an economy stuck in a recession ? MR) when doing policy work: an argument that would be laughed out of court  in any other science. In no other discipline could you have a debate about  whether it was better to model what you can microfound rather than  model what you can see. Other economists understand this, but many  macroeconomists still think this is all quite normal.? In other  words, you cannot just do empirical work without some theory or model to  analyse it; or in Marxist terms, you need the connection between the  concrete and the abstract.

There is confusion here in mainstream economics ? one side want to  condemn ?models? for being unrealistic and not recognising the power of  the aggregate.  The other side condemns statistics without a theory of  behaviour or laws of motion.

Summers  reckons that the reason mainstream economics failed to predict the  Great Recession is that it does not want to recognise ?irrationality? on  the part of consumers and investors. 
You see, crises are probably  the result of ?irrational? or bad decisions arising from herd-like  behaviour.  Markets are first gripped by ?greed? and then suddenly  ?animal spirits? disappear and markets are engulfed by ?fear?.  This is a  psychological explanation of crises.

Summers recommends a new book by behavioural economists Andrei Shleifer?s and Nicola Gennaioli, ?A Crisis of Beliefs: Investor Psychology and Financial Fragility.?  Summers proclaims that ?the  book puts expectations at the center of thinking about economic  fluctuations and financial crises ? but these expectations are not  rational. In fact, as all the evidence suggests, they are subject to  systematic errors of extrapolation. The book suggests that these errors  in expectations are best understood as arising out of cognitive biases  to which humans are prone.? Using the latest research in psychology  and behavioural economics, they present a new theory of belief  formation.  So it?s all down to irrational behaviour, not even a sudden  ?lack of demand? (the usual Keynesian reason) or banking excesses.  The  ?shocks? to the general equilibrium models are to be found in wrong  decisions, greed and fear by investors.

Behavioural economics always seems to me ?desperate macroeconomics?.   We don?t know why slumps occur in production, investment and employment  at regular and recurring intervals.  We don?t have a convincing  theoretical model that can be tested with empirical evidence; just  saying slumps occur because there is a ?lack of demand? sounds  inadequate.  So let?s turn to psychology to save economics.

Actually, the great behavourial economists that Summers refers to  also have no idea what causes crises.  Robert Thaler reckons that stock  market prices are so volatile that there is no rational explanation of  their movements.  Thaler argues that there are ?bubbles?, which he  considers are ?irrational? movements in prices not related to  fundamentals like profits or interest rates.  Top neoclassical economist  Eugene Fama criticised Thaler.  Fama argued that a ?bubble? in stock  market prices may merely express a change in view of investors about  prospective investment returns; it?s not ?irrational?.  On this point, Fama is right and Thaler is wrong.

The other behaviourist cited by Summers is Daniel Kahneman.  He has  developed what he called ?prospect theory?. Kahneman?s research has  shown that people do not behave as mainstream marginal utility theory  suggests. Instead Kahneman argues that there is ?pervasive optimistic  bias? in individuals.  They have irrational or unwarranted optimism.   This leads people to take on risky projects without considering the  ultimate costs ? against rational choice assumed by mainstream theory.

Kahneman?s work certainly exposes the unrealistic assumptions of  marginal utility theory, the bedrock of mainstream economics.  But it  offers as an alternative, a theory of chaos, that we can know nothing  and predict nothing.  You see, the inherent flaw in a modern economy is  uncertainty and psychology.  It?s not the drive for profit versus social  need, but the psychological perceptions of individuals. Thus the US  home price collapse and the global financial crash came about because  consumers have irrational swings from greed to fear.  This leaves  mainstream (including Keynesian) economics in a psychological purgatory,  with no scientific analysis and predictive power. 

Also, it leads to a  utopian view of how to fix crises.  The answer is to change people?s  behaviour; in particular, big multinational companies and banks need to  have ?social purpose? and not be greedy!
Turning to psychology is not necessary for economics. 

At the level  of aggregate, the macro, we can draw out the patterns of motion in  capitalism that can be tested and could deliver predictive power.  For  example, Marx made the key observation that what drives stock market  prices is the difference between interest rates and the overall rate of  profit. What has kept stock market prices rising now has been the  very low level of long-term interest rates, deliberately engendered by  central banks like the Federal Reserve around the world.



Of course, every day, investors make ?irrational? decisions but, over  time and, in the aggregate, investor decisions to buy or to sell stocks  or bonds will be based on the return they have received (in interest or  dividends) and the prices of bonds and stocks will move accordingly.  And those returns ultimately depend on the difference between the  profitability of capital invested in the economy and the costs of  providing finance.  The change in objective conditions will alter the  behaviour of ?economic agents?.

Right now, interest rates are rising globally while profits are stagnating.


The scissor is closing between the return on capital and the cost of borrowing.  When it closes, greed will turn into fear.
Source: Capitalist Economic Crises. It's Just a Frasier Moment.
10
Conservative Writer Slams Trump as a 'Small Man' ? and Says His Botched Presidency Makes the US Look 'Weak'



 
 
 



"A great country shouldn?t behave this way."


President Donald Trump's White House has been hit with a torrent of bad news in recent weeks and months, circumstances that, according to conservative writer Jennifer Rubin, have led him to try to "distract the country, recast the headlines and, most of all, incite his xenophobic base."

But instead of successfully changing the topic, Rubin argued in a new Washington Post column, these efforts make Trump ? and the entire country ? look weak.

 "A small man makes America look small," she wrote.

One of the most consequential steps Trump has taken in this regard is his effort to stifle American programs to receive immigrants. The State Department announced this week that the United States will accept no more than 30,000 refugees this year, a dramatic cut from previous years even as displacement continues to be a massive global issue.

"If evangelical Christians were sincerely focused on the plight of Christians in communist and Muslim countries, they would not be so quiet about how Trump?s lack of empathy harms their fellow Christians," Rubin noted.

She continued: "At present, it is left primarily to Democrats to argue that the Trump administration?s move is counterproductive, damages to our image abroad and weakens our ability to urge allies to take in refugees that are closer to their borders than to the United States. When we deny entry to refugees, we give comfort to their persecutors and dissuade them from giving us assistance (e.g., as spies or guides) for fear they will be abandoned after they are no longer useful."

Trump's attitude, Rubin argued, diminishes the country's view of itself as a moral leader in the world.

"A great country shouldn?t behave this way," she wrote. "Thanks to Trump, the message to the world is that the United States is too weak, afraid and poor to take in those fleeing persecution."






 

Related Stories


Source: Conservative Writer Slams Trump as a 'Small Man' ? and Says His Botched Presidency Makes the US Look 'Weak'
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