Posted by: quiscus | March 6, 2011

March 6, 2010

1.  “Everything the Communists Said About Their System was False … Unfortunately, Some of What They Said About Capitalism Was True

The Russians proved that communism is a joke.

And when China moved towards a mixed capitalist-socialist system, it was the nail in the coffin for communism worldwide. Whose left? North Korea?

So more or less everything the Russians and Chinese said about communism was wrong. It failed.

Unfortunately, a lot of what they said about capitalism was right.

Specifically, while I know next to nothing about Marx, Engels or other communist thinkers, it seems pretty obvious that the U.S. is in a phase of “late stage capitalism” where financial speculation by huge companies has replaced productive investment, capital improvements, innovation, and job creation, and the financial sector has grown so big – and inequality has grown so large – that it has destroyed democracy like a malignant cancer.

When Mahatma Gandhi was asked what he thought about Western civilization, he answered:

I think it would be a good idea.

I feel the same way about free market capitalism.

It would be a good idea, but it is not what we have now. Instead, we have either socialism, fascism or a type of looting.

If people want to criticize capitalism and propose an alternative, that is fine . . . but only if they understand what free market capitalism is and acknowledge that America has not practiced free market capitalism for some time.

Of course, even Adam Smith didn’t believe in unrestrained free market capitalism. And a free market is not possible without strong laws against fraud.

So the bottom line is really that the communist philosophers accurately predicted that capitalism would become corrupted … just as communism became corrupted by rulers who lived in the lap of luxury and gave themselves all the perks while they imposed poverty and extreme oppression on their people.

Indeed, anyone who assumes that any system – communism, capitalism or any other “ism” – is infallible and that its leaders don’t have to be held accountable is just a useful idiot.

I think a large part of the problem with both communism and late stage capitalism is too much power in too few hands – whether in the hands of the “Party” or of the oligarchy of big banks (made enormous by the government, not by free market capitalism), the outcome is the same … the little guy gets shafted.”

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/03/everything-communists-said-about.html

2.  “More Jobs Mirage

The announcement on March 4 that 192,000 new jobs were created in February was greeted with a sigh of relief. But the number is just more smoke and mirrors, as I will show shortly.

ow can Americans, who have had no growth in their real incomes and who are foreclosed from their homes and maxed out on credit card debt, car payments, and student loans, spend more every month in bars and restaurants?  How can a few service areas of the economy grow when nothing else is?

The answer is that there were not 192,000 new jobs.  Statistician John Williams estimates the reported gain was overstated by about 230,000 jobs.  In other words, about 38,000 jobs were lost in February.

There are various reasons that job gains are overstated and losses understated.  One is the BLS’s “birth-death model.”  This is a way of estimating the net of non-reported new jobs from business start-ups and  job losses from business shut-downs. During recessions this model doesn’t work, because the model is based on good times when new jobs always exceed lost jobs. On the “death” side, if a company goes out of business because of recession and, therefore, doesn’t report its payroll, the BLS assumes the previously reported employees are still in place. On the “birth” side, the BLS adds 30,000 jobs to the monthly numbers as an estimate of new start-ups.

Williams estimates the “death” side is really reducing employment by about 200,000 per month, and the “birth” side is stillborn. Therefore, “the BLS continues regularly to overestimate monthly growth in payroll employment by roughly 230,000 jobs.” The benchmark revisions of payroll jobs bear out Williams. The last two benchmark revisions  resulted in a reduction of previously reported employment gains of about 2 million jobs.

Another indication is that despite 10 years of population growth, there are 8 to 9 million fewer Americans employed today than a decade ago.

Some “New Economy” we have. If only we could have the old one back.”

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23541

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