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Posts in Category: economics

Capital Eugenics

Are we near a point where the rich have no further need of the poor?

Thanks to Hitler we tend to forget that until he made the concept unfashionable by the systematic murder of a whole spectrum of ethnic minorities, that eugenics was a highly and widely respected social philosophy for many years.

Following on from Darwin's theory of evolution, his cousin Francis Galton first championed the cause and giving the name eugenics to his work. His central premise was that the survival of the fittest should apply to humans as well as animals, and perhaps give a a prod to speed it up a bit. His baton was carried by many governments in the twentieth century who avidly sought to cull numbers by enforce programmes of birth control, genocide, and programmes of ethnic cleansing.

Of course the error here is clear to any reasonable person. The 'prod' is a judgementalism - one human making the decision to end anothers life is always subjective so is wrong. People must have equal opportunity to succeed or fail by their own efforts, and any measures to interfere with that, any human intervention that favours one group against another creates an unlevel playing field which is morally repugnant.

I believe eugenics is still going on, and capitilism is it's weapon. The increasing gap between rich and poor that has taken place over the last thirty years or so is neither an accident, or a natural consequence of greed, but a deliberately orchestrated plan that has a goal.

Our overlords know that automation has a single and inevitable outcome. No more jobs - at least none for the masses. We're seeing at the moment a program by google to do away with car drivers. What is the logical conclusion of that - how many millions of people all over the world will that deprive of work.

Elswhere, the building trade is soon to be overhauled with machines that 3D print directly from architects plans. This will effect millions more. Most manufacturing will be decimated by 3D printing, even fast moving consumer goods when food printing is cracked.

The thing that worries me most about this issue is that the capitalists who have made their money from the labours of the poor no longer have a use for them. They are unlikely to wish to fund vast social programmes so I see only two ways the situation will pan out. Billions of people will get increasingly poor and quietly allowed to die, or as we're seeing with Syria at the moment, an almost deliberate effort will be made to trigger a world war that will eliminate vast numbers of people unneeded by the ruling elite.

What we need to do urgently then is to add capitalism to the dustbin of history where it belongs and make a new start where the efficiencies of automation are shared by all and not the top one percent. I think it will be a much better place to live.

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Spain Announces Easing Of Austerity

Marino Rajoy To Announce Changes on Friday.

Pic 23/04/2013The austerity news is coming thick and fast. Barely two week after the Reinhart/Rogoff paper was discredited, politicians have been making noises that the end of austerity is near. Now the FT has reported that Spain will be the first government to announce an easing of the measures currently in place. 

In an article that follows the pattern of many other announcements by Rajoy, the idea is 'mooted' by government sources before the official announcement to test the water.

The article says plans will be unveiled to reform to the pensions system, labour market, service sector and fiscal management.

Of particular interest are measures the liberalise the protected professions of which Spain has 174 that have barriers to entry due to specialist entry qualifications. These professions are backed by powerful lobby groups and it will be a battle to get such measures through.

I'll blog more on Friday when the official anouncement comes out but this sounds like the first good news for Spain in a very long time.

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The game is up for austerity

Worlds largest Bond fund manager attacks austerity

18 hours ago another revealing story appeared in the Finacial Times. Bill Gross, the manager of PIMCO, the worlds largest bond fund has rounded on the austerity measures being pursued by the US and Europe. 

In a quote that I think will become famous, Mr Gross said:

The UK and almost all of Europe have erred in terms of believing that austerity, fiscal austerity in the short term, is the way to produce real growth. It is not.

Now the thing is you have to consider who this guy is. He's not a left wing trade-union activist. He is a mega-capitalist who makes money trading bonds - big bonds issued by governments. Also consider that this is a complete u-turn as in 2010 he was criticising the UK for carrying too much debt. At a guess he has changed his view after the Reinhart Rogoff fiasco came to light earlier in the week.

This story sheds light on how quickly the support for austerity is waning, and probably hints at a forthcoming about turn in government policy in Europe and the US, so lets get ready for the boom we've been waiting for for so long.

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Austerity Rubbished

Economists behind it got sums wrong

I love this story that appeared in the Financial Times today. It's motto is something I've always suspected, that far from being run by evil geniuses, the control of the planet is in the hands of people who are just as stupid the rest of us. Laughing

Harvard professors Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart wrote an influential paper in 2010 called "Growth in a Time of Debt," which found that economies with ratios of public debt to gross domestic product above 90% tend to contract about 0.1% annually.

This paper scared the pants off many governments which at the time were struggling to get back on track after the financial crisis, often by taking on more debt. The paper was used to justify the austerity policies which are now in place in most Western economies, and was citied by many famous politicians including congressman Paul Ryan and Britain's George Osbourne.

Well to cut a long story short, these Harvard guys got their sums wrong. The paper was 'riddlled with errors'. For example, the spreadsheet used to prepare the stats in the paper had an incorrect formula so the magic figures on which they based their conclusions were just plain wrong.

The errors were identified in a new paper, by University of Massachusetts Amherst economics doctoral student Thomas Herndon and professors Michael Ash and Robert Pollin. They claim Reinhart and Rogoff were wrong in concluding that a high level of public debt dooms an economy to a long period of slow growth.

So that's just great. We're all under the economic cosh, government spending slashed, everyone's out of work and all because a couple of college boys are crap at Excel!

Link to the full FT article



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