Showing posts from February 10, 2017

Exposing the Myths of Neoliberal Capitalism: An Interview With Ha-Joon Chang

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[Ha-Joon Chang is not a major extrovert or self-publicist, but he continues to write good books that deserve to have a wider audience. He also has quite a few interviews/lectures on YouTube. *RON*]

C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout, 8 February 2017

For the part 40 years or so, neoliberalism has reigned supreme over much of the western capitalist world, producing unparalleled wealth accumulation levels for a handful of individuals and global corporations while the rest of society has been asked to swallow austerity, stagnating incomes and a shrinking welfare state. But just when we all thought that the contradictions of neoliberal capitalism had reached their penultimate point, culminating in mass discontent and opposition to global neoliberalism, the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election brought to power a megalomaniac individual who subscribes to neoliberal capitalist economics while opposing much of its global dimension.

The man who declared the ‘end of history’ fears for democracy’s future

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["'Twenty five years ago, I didn't have a sense or a theory about how democracies can go backward', said Fukuyama in a phone interview. 'And I think they clearly can.'" *RON*]

Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 9 February 2017

Francis Fukuyama, an acclaimed American political philosopher, entered the global imagination at the end of the Cold War when he prophesied the "end of history" — a belief that, after the fall of communism, free-market liberal democracy had won out and would become the world's "final form of human government." Now, at a moment when liberal democracy seems to be in crisis across the West, Fukuyama, too, wonders about its future.

"Twenty five years ago, I didn't have a sense or a theory about how democracies can go backward," said Fukuyama in a phone interview. "And I think they clearly can."

A look at trade growth in Canada, U.S. under North American Free Trade Agreement

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[Our Good Old Media. The issue is not simply whether the GDP grows under trade agreements, but how the proceeds of that growth are allocated across the population. *RON*]

Canadian Press, CTV News, 9 February 2017

OTTAWA -- Amid word that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet Monday with U.S. President Donald Trump, Finance Minister Bill Morneau was in Washington on Wednesday singing the praises of Canada-U.S. trade, part of the federal government's charm offensive in the U.S. capital.

Morneau says nine million U.S. jobs are tied to trade with Canada, which buys more from the U.S. than all members of the European Union combined. Below are some numbers reflecting average annual growth in trade flows in goods and services among Canada, the United States and Mexico between 1993 and 2016 under NAFTA.

Why we should all have a basic income

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["It’s like a game of Monopoly where the winning teams have rewritten the rules so players no longer collect money for passing Go. The rule change functions to exclude people from markets. Basic income corrects this." *RON*]
Scott Santens, World Economic Forum, 15 January 2017
This article is part of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017

Consider for a moment that from this day forward, on the first day of every month, around $1,000 is deposited into your bank account – because you are a citizen. This income is independent of every other source of income and guarantees you a monthly starting salary above the poverty line for the rest of your life.

What do you do? Possibly of more importance, what don’t you do? How does this firm foundation of economic security and positive freedom affect your present and future decisions, from the work you choose to the relationships you maintain, to the risks you take?

What Effective Protest Could Look Like

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[A pretty good article, kind of along the lines of Jonathan Haidt's research; using the language and values of the right to persuade the right of what's wrong with Trump. *RON*]

David Frum, The Atlantic, 6 February 2017
Fourteen years ago, I found myself an unexpected micro-target of a left-liberal protest demonstration. I had visited London to watch the debate and subsequent vote in the House of Commons over the Iraq war resolution. A huge demonstration against the war snaked down Whitehall toward Parliament. I wandered into Trafalgar Square for a view. Somebody recognized me as a recent alumnus of the Bush administration; arguably its least important member, but undeniably the closest at hand. A small throng surrounded me, and there followed what the diplomats would describe as a candid exchange of views.

Today's Trumpery