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A beginners guide to Central Planning aka communism


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#41 On the Level

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 06:52 PM

^ Good article.   

 

 

Neoliberal policies, he says, shifted focus away from the goal of full employment in favour reducing inflation.

 

I think there is a real risk that the Bank of Canada will eventually be viewed as working against the populations interest.  I understand the need to prevent runaway inflation, but that is not what we are faced with here.  Wages have been stagnant for decades so when we see the the BOC immediately attack increases with interest rate hikes, one needs to be suspect.  

 

Who benefits when interest rates increase?  It's like a reverse Robin Hood.  Steal from the poor to give to the rich.



#42 AllseeingEye

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 07:08 PM

IMO the best 'system' that would benefit humankind - to steal and modify slightly a page out of Alexander Dubcek's book - is "capitalism with a human face".

 

Dubcek of course was the ill-fated Czech Party Chairman during the "Czech Spring" of 1968 which the Soviets crushed with brutal efficiency. He of course was pushing for "Socialism with a human face". Nice thought but it died a quick death beneath the treads of Soviet Army tanks.....

 

IMO communism never really had a chance since as envisioned by Marx his expectation was that the proletarian revolution would occur not in feudal, medieval and utterly backward Russia, but in a modern industrial society, namely Germany.

 

Once Lenin and especially Stalin got hold of it the ideal was perverted, brutalized and subverted beyond all recognition and really - especially in the face of a rising US post WWI - it was stillborn at birth. It was a matter of time before it would collapse beneath the weight of its own oppressive and inefficient State bureaucratic apparatus. Gorbachev of course finally figured it out but by the mid-80's it was far too late.

 

And today in spite of the fact China remains nominally communist I'm pretty certain the glass and glitz bank and corporate HQ towers of Hong Kong, Shanghai and a hundred other Chinese cities - not to mention an increasingly wealthy Chinese middle class - and too many million and billionaires to count, would have both Marx and Engels rolling in their graves. "Communism" as envisioned by both those gentlemen is now deader than a dodo.

 

"Rampant" Capitalism of course, as we are seeing today, really isn't the answer either; leave the bankers et al to their own devices and we are left with things like the 2008 economic meltdown. Somehow an overbearing "profit motive" - greed for lack of a better term - doesn't seem very complementary to the idea of a global collective good. Whatever system we do come up with we better do so pretty quickly before we reach an environmental and planetary tipping point, if in fact we're not already there....


Edited by AllseeingEye, 11 December 2018 - 07:09 PM.

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#43 tjv

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:39 PM

^ Good article.   

 

 

I think there is a real risk that the Bank of Canada will eventually be viewed as working against the populations interest.  I understand the need to prevent runaway inflation, but that is not what we are faced with here.  Wages have been stagnant for decades so when we see the the BOC immediately attack increases with interest rate hikes, one needs to be suspect.  

 

Who benefits when interest rates increase?  It's like a reverse Robin Hood.  Steal from the poor to give to the rich.

I can't speak for every business, but in mine salaries are up significantly across the board

 

To raise interest rates is the easiest way to control inflation and right now that is what we have.  The main reason we have had run away house price increases over the last 15+ years is record low interest rates. 

 

Interest rates are rising yes, but they are returning to a normal range.  Anyone who thought you were going to have these mortgage/interest rates forever was a fool.  I would expect rates in 2019 to rise between 0.75 to 1% and we will likely see another 1 or 2 hikes in 2020 which will bring us into neutral rates.  I would say the poor have been blessed to have had such low rates for these many years

 

Also these low interest rates in Canada compared to the US are part of the reason why we have such a pathetic exchange rate


Edited by tjv, 11 December 2018 - 08:41 PM.


#44 amor de cosmos

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 02:06 PM

^ Good article.   
 

Neoliberal policies, he says, shifted focus away from the goal of full employment in favour reducing inflation.

 
I think there is a real risk that the Bank of Canada will eventually be viewed as working against the populations interest.  I understand the need to prevent runaway inflation, but that is not what we are faced with here.  Wages have been stagnant for decades so when we see the the BOC immediately attack increases with interest rate hikes, one needs to be suspect.  
 
Who benefits when interest rates increase?  It's like a reverse Robin Hood.  Steal from the poor to give to the rich.


in some parts of that he sounds like dorothy gale, but I guess the worst thing I can say about him is that he usually has interesting things to say. anyway another benefit of abandoning full employment is that you can let the unemployment rate go up, making people more desperate. if someone doesn't like how they're not getting paid for their increased productivity they have to accept it since they have no other options. they can't join a union &/or agitate for higher wages if there are 10 other people who would gladly take their job, and if they would have a hard time getting another job for the same pay. so high unemployment is great for people in the money-&-power business. i think it's a bit of a misconception to say that central planning only occurs in soviet-style communist countries since this system was most certainly centrally planned, in places like mont pelerin or the university of chicago. the US prison system is also a very powerful & highly interventionist labour-market regulator, by removing employable people from the labour market. unemployment numbers should probably factor that in also in addition to the people who have given up looking for work. see, for example:
http://www.nyu.edu/g...ars/western.pdf

#45 RFS

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 02:10 PM

 the US prison system is also a very powerful & highly interventionist labour-market regulator, by removing employable people from the labour market. unemployment numbers should probably factor that in also in addition to the people who have given up looking for work. see, for example:
http://www.nyu.edu/g...ars/western.pdf

 

Likely offset by the people who do crimes for a living who are not counted as employed 



#46 tjv

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 03:18 PM

^plus they work in prison for 15 cents per hour.  I say bring back the chain gangs and put them to work



#47 rjag

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 03:49 PM

https://www.bloomber...ears-after-rise

 

 

Hugo Chavez’s Failed Socialist Experiment Is Deadlier Than Ever

Twenty years ago, the ex-rebel rose to power in Venezuela and laid the foundation for today’s humanitarian crisis

I remember our local MLA Rob Fleming adored Chavez and used to post about all the great things he accomplished....I wonder if he and Ben still think the same now...?


Edited by rjag, 12 December 2018 - 03:49 PM.


#48 RFS

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 01:18 PM

https://theweek.com/...ver-free-market

 

Interesting read on Tucker's recent monologues which are critical of unbridled capitalism and the US economy.  

 

some of the monologues: 

 

https://youtu.be/mSuQ-AyiicA

 

https://youtu.be/mgvpxE_WKxw


Edited by RFS, 09 January 2019 - 01:19 PM.


#49 Sparky

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 02:45 PM

^^ I missed that link in December. Good read!



#50 amor de cosmos

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 03:04 PM

curious timing
 

WASHINGTON/CARACAS (Reuters) - The United States imposed sanctions that target a Venezuelan currency exchange network scheme that siphoned off billions of dollars to corrupt insiders of the Venezuelan government, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Tuesday.

The seven individuals involved include a former treasurer of Venezuela, Claudia Diaz, and television mogul Raul Gorrin, who bribed the Venezuelan Treasury in order to conduct illegal foreign exchange operations, according to the U.S. Treasury.

“Venezuelan regime insiders have plundered billions of dollars from Venezuela while the Venezuelan people suffer. Treasury is targeting this currency exchange network which was another illicit scheme that the Venezuelan regime had long used to steal from its people,” Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The U.S. Treasury said the individuals used favourable foreign exchange transactions through brokerage firms controlled by Gorrin and were among the very few deals that were approved by Venezuela’s treasury. The individuals concealed their profits in U.S. and European bank accounts and investments, it said.

Reuters was unable to obtain comment from Diaz or Gorrin. Diaz is under house arrest in Spain and Gorrin could not be immediately located.

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez described the measures as illegal and abusive during a news conference in Caracas.

“They are not sanctions, because only the (U.N.) Security Council can impose international sanctions. We’re talking about arbitrary measures because they are not backed by any international law,” said Rodriguez.

Tuesday’s measures were Washington’s latest move against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, which is widely criticized for crippling the economy and undermining democracy.

The United States imposed sanctions on Maduro’s wife, Cilia Flores, in September as President Donald Trump urged members of the United Nations to support a “restoration of democracy” in the once-booming country, a member of OPEC.

https://www.reuters....e-idUSKCN1P21YC
 

GENEVA, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Venezuela has launched a complaint at the World Trade Organization to challenge U.S. sanctions, saying that a ban on travel by blacklisted individuals and trade restrictions break WTO rules, a WTO filing showed on Tuesday.

In its second-ever WTO complaint, filed on Dec. 28, Venezuela also cited U.S. rules on sales of gold and discriminatory treatment of Venezuela’s debt and transactions in digital currency as breaches of the international rules.

There was no immediate reaction from the United States, which has been tightening sanctions against the government of President Nicolas Maduro in recent months, targeting senior officials and Maduro’s wife and allies, as well as banning sales of Venezuelan gold.

On Tuesday it imposed sanctions on a Venezuelan currency exchange network that the U.S. Treasury said siphoned billions of dollars to corrupt government insiders.

*snip*

The United States has 60 days to answer Venezuela’s WTO complaint, after which time Maduro’s government could ask the WTO to adjudicate.

But Washington is unlikely to fear any such legal escalation, partly because the WTO allows exceptions to its rules if there are “essential security interests”.

Citing national security at the WTO used to be unthinkable, but the taboo has been broken in disputes between Russia and Ukraine and between Qatar and several of its neighbours, and last year the United States also used national security to justify its steel and aluminium tariffs.

https://www.reuters....s-idUSL8N1Z84EH

 



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