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HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK - Moves forward to 2125 due to election of US President trump.

Estimate of the time that Humanity will go extinct or civilization will collapse. The HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK moves forward to 2125 due to US President trump's abandonment of climate change goals. Apologies to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for using the name.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Hey Barry:

It's late, but Happy Birthday. The 50th was a big one for me - it was the one where I realized that I was fully grown and was all I was going to be. So, you should be real proud at your 50th: you are on the brink of some very big things and millions of people love you.

It’s time for some more real talk about economic policy in this informal forum. Be happy to expand any or all of the themes at your request.

So, Barry, we gotta be real clear here: traditional economics will NOT help us. Even Goolsbee said in an interview that the profession has to undertake some serious examination of its theories and policies. We need to acknowledge that the problem is inadequate domestic demand. It's not taxes or monetary policy.

So, we have to follow policies which increase demand. The policies we have used for the last 100 years WILL NOT WORK.

Here are some things we can do which will create jobs by increasing domestic demand:

- Pass laws which make it easier for unions to organize workers, this will increase demand by raising wages.

- At the same time, we need to hire more Justice Department regulators so we can prosecute companies which break laws which encourage workers to form unions.

- Enforce all anti-monopoly laws and pass more. The goal is to break up big companies so that smaller companies can be formed and hire more people. Some economists will holler about losing 'efficiency' from some duplication, but the goal is more jobs and not cheaper stuff.

- Hire more regulators to enforce existing anti-monopoly laws.

- If there are some industries which are essential and which benefit from economies of scale and for which breaking up monopolies is too costly, then make those industries public utilities with a Public Utility Commission to oversee them. Industries like oil, electricity, natural gas, telephone companies and internet service providers will qualify. To those people who complain about socialism, this is not socialism since the businesses are owned by private capital; this model has worked well in our past and today as well.

- Free Trade agreements destroy American jobs; do not approve any more such agreements. And, leave the WTO, NAFTA and other agreements.

- Create a national industrial policy which identifies those industries we want in the future and then encourages those industries with tariffs, subsidies and government contracts.

- Tax away the great fortunes. Nobody needs more than $100 million and the great fortunes are bad for the country. Our system is based on the public deciding which priorities our wealth should pursue - not some billionaire pursuing a better name in the history books.

- Tax away the great incomes - we need the money for our citizens and those with huge incomes do not have any incentives to promote the common welfare.

- Restore Glass-Stegal so that commercial banks can NOT buy assets.

- Keep Social Security and Medicare as high as possible so that we do not reduce demand among the elderly and handicapped. Besides, it's the right thing to do.

- Manage our debt so that we borrow when we need stimulus and pay down when we don't need it. I am pretty sure this will require a serious political revolution, but the alternative is simply not acceptable.

Well, Barry, that's a start.

Now I know that all of these will be political dynamite.

But, ideas like these are our only alternative.

If we don't do all of these and more, the future is bleak.

Your pal,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Light, Shadow, Tea Party

Hey Barry:

It's time to think a bit about light and shadow, good and evil.

We are smack in the middle of a continuing struggle between two extremes of human society. It's been that way for a long time, but now it's becoming very pronounced.

Ever since before Rome, humans have organized into large groups to manage our lives. Roman civilization was based on violence and slavery - Roman legions scoured new territories for healthy slaves to sell and murdered many of the rest of the people they conquered. It's fair to say that Rome was a shadow society, regardless of how many incredible engineering feats they accomplished. Rome is a classic model of highly unequal, slave based society; it may have been preceded by Egyptian and earlier societies as well. However, there are some studies which show that some earlier societies used paid labor for large construction projects as opposed to slave labor.

Fast forward to today..............what do we see? We see a number of shadow societies where wealth and power accumulates toward the top and the rulers keep order with force and violence. Societies like Syria and Libya are models of shadow societies today.

Well, most of the people who live in shadow repressive societies are trying to change things so they can have a decent life free from fear and violence. We call it the Arab Spring, but it's a universal longing to be free from the shadows.

The good ol U S of A came from the same desire. We rebelled from England to throw off the repressive society and create a world where ordinary folks are free from state sponsored theft, fear and violence. We are an imperfect society, but we have made some progress from our beginnings.

It has taken - and will continue to take - extraordinarily gifted people to illuminate the shadows. The Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, FDR are some of the people we thank for our American experiment. We hope that you, Barry Obama, will join that illustrious group. If you do, then we will be safer.

Shadow powers in the USA have been working diligently to reduce the average person's freedom from want and fear for hundreds of years. Those powers were upset by FDR's creation of Social Security and the other protections from want he installed in the 1930's. They scored a big victory with the repeal of Glass-Stegall in 1999. Now, they are looking for even more such victories.

See the report on ALEC - a group of state legislators and corporate executives which approves laws that are then presented to state legislatures: http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2011/08/05/the_alec_wars_escalate.html

I am ashamed to say that my discipline of economics is used regularly by some economists to provide a justification for national policies that reduce the levels of protection from want and fear for the general population. The economists who practice that version of the discipline should be ashamed. Not only is it destructive of society, it is bad economics. That's a discussion for another day, but there are some implications for today.

People of wealth and power will always have sycophants near them who will further their accumulations of both. It has always been that way and it always will be. Even studying apes shows social interactions reminiscent of some Shakespeare plays.

Perhaps well-intentioned, the Tea Party has been usurped by shadow forces. Tea Partiers are not terrorists; they are worse, for they seek to impose state sponsored fear and want on all of us.

It is charitable to think that they are not aware of the implications of their policies, but rather blinded by economic gobboldy gook.

Tea Partiers may be abusers - at least they are behaving that way. Here's Julie Driscoll explaining how to combat the personality type: "It's interesting, but the one thing abusers respond to is the prospect of being harmed themselves. When faced with a threat, they back down."

See it here: http://www.examiner.com/liberal-in-chicago/republicans-fit-the-profile-of-a-classic-abuser

So, Barry, here's the deal: We gotta threaten and fight them and we gotta threaten big and fight hard. Today we are fighting with politics. It's better than fighting with violence.

Make no mistake, it is a fight and the shadow are well armed.

We are with you Barry, stand up for us.

Your pal,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gut Check Time

Hey Barry:

Well, times are tough.

It was a hard time negotiating and we got what we could.

You saved the country from a real crisis.

But, now y'all gotta do some more.

It aint enough to just get through.

You sellin us to the Big Money when you do that. Then we is cooked big time.

Here's how to get out of the trap:

Find something Big Money really wants, then repeat this phrase:

"I will veto any spending bill that does not raise tax revenue by four times the amount spent."

"I will veto any spending bill that does not raise tax revenue by four times the amount spent."

"I will veto any spending bill that does not raise tax revenue by four times the amount spent."

"I will veto any spending bill that does not raise tax revenue by four times the amount spent."

"I will veto any spending bill that does not raise tax revenue by four times the amount spent."


And, by the way, you gotta veto about three laws because they won't believe you.

You can't negotiate with hostage takers, you gotta terminate their game. Sometimes you'll lose a hostage. Caint be helped.

It's like they say - 'You can't make an omlet without breaking a few eggs.'

So Barry, break some eggs. It's time.

It's like Harry Truman said: 'If you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog.'

Reps aint gonna cooperate, you gotta force them to do the right thing. The only way to do that is to make any other action they can take more painful to them than doing the right thing for the country. Think about it, y'all gotta make every other course of action more painful to them than what you want them to do.

They have demonstrated that they will not do the right thing for the country. They have not and they will not, unless you, Barry Obama, force them to do it.

We with you, be tough.

Your pal,

Mugged by Big Money

Hey Barry:

Well, it's different, all right.

I mean when you're mugged, it's usually from some poor soul who's desparate and down and out. You can be afraid and sympatehtic at the same time.

But, Barry, we been mugged by Big Money and their dupes - the Tea Party.

It's just the latest mugging. It's a class war just like Syria, Libya and the rest. Different methods, same result: power in a few hands and theft and violence to keep it that way.

So, I'm really p----d.

Whatta we gonna do, Barry?

Whatta we gonna do?

Your pal,