14 Jul 2011

Don’t Look Out The Window

At the heart of feudalism is a basic idea common to any society with a warrior caste. Such men need to be provided for. In a simple economy this means that the produce of an appropriate number of peasants or serfs must underwrite the expenses of the fighting man. In

14 Jul 2011

There Is No Reason, and The Truth Is Plain To See

The truth is plain to see. It doesn’t happen quite so much here, but all across the blogosphere people sit in front of their computers all day and argue about which national political party is “better”. Which one is more likely to give the people what they want. On the

13 Jul 2011

Questioning Growth: “I Want You To Imagine A World”

Questioning growth is deemed to be the act of lunatics, idealists and revolutionaries. But question it we must.

“The only thing that has actually remotely slowed down the relentless rise of carbon emissions over the last two to three decades is recession.”

— Tim Jackson

British Economist Tim Jackson studies the links between lifestyle, societal values and the environment to question the primacy of economic growth.

He currently serves as the economics commissioner on the UK government’s Sustainable Development Commission and is director of RESOLVE – a Research group on Lifestyles, Values and Environment. After five years as Senior Researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute, Jackson became Professor of Sustainable Development at University of Surrey, and was the first person to hold that title at a UK university.

He founded RESOLVE in May 2006 as an inter-disciplinary collaboration across four areas – CES, psychology, sociology and economics – aiming to develop an understanding of the links between lifestyle, societal values and the environment.

In 2009 Jackson published “Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet”, a substantially revised and updated version of Jackson’s controversial study (.PDF, 136 pp.) for the Sustainable Development Commission, an advisory body to the UK Government. The study rapidly became the most downloaded report in the Commission’s nine year history when it was launched in 2009.

Filmed at TEDGlobal 2010, here is Tim Jackson’s economic reality check, a 20 minute talk he gave for the TEDGlobal audience…

I want you to imagine a world, in 2050, of around nine billion people, all aspiring to Western incomes, Western lifestyles. And I want to ask the question — and we’ll give them that two percent hike in income, in salary each years as well, because we believe in growth. And I want to ask the question: how far and how fast would be have to move? How clever would we have to be? How much technology would we need in this world to deliver our carbon targets? And here in my chart. On the left-hand side is where we are now. This is the carbon intensity of economic growth in the economy at the moment. It’s around about 770 grams of carbon. In the world I describe to you, we have to be right over here at the right-hand side at six grams of carbon. It’s a 130-fold improvement, and that is 10 times further and faster than anything we’ve ever achieved in industrial history. Maybe we can do it, maybe it’s possible — who knows? Maybe we can even go further and get an economy that pulls carbon out of the atmosphere, which is what we’re going to need to be doing by the end of the century. But shouldn’t we just check first that the economic system that we have is remotely capable of delivering this kind of improvement?


11 Jul 2011

US Gov. Spending Cuts: What’s On The Table?

Under the first U.S. income tax law that was passed in 1913, only 1 percent of Americans were required to file income tax returns, and to be liable to file you would have had to be earning an annual income of about $120,000 in todays dollars. It was passed during

08 Jul 2011

Plouffed: The Obama 2012 Re-Election Strategery

Do you ever get the impression that Obama is not only either utterly powerless to produce any positive progressive results, in which case he’s not worth voting for, or he’s got the power to produce progressive results and refuses to, in which case he’s not worth voting for – but

04 Jul 2011

Health Care Most Americans Only Dream Of

Perhaps apologists for the Democratic party and Obama can explain to readers why they and the Democratic party and Obama, as well as mainstream media, are not publicizing this and shouting from the rooftops that they too can do this… Kay Tillow in an article published at AlterNet in June

03 Jul 2011


Music to intervene by… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTFD1C4tVIg Watch the girl’s expression near the end of it (at 3:38) … . . . listen children all is not lost all is not lost, oh no Funny days in the park Every day’s the Fourth of July Funny days in the park Every day’s

30 Jun 2011

The Evolution of Greed, or How You Will Be Made To Pay, Again…

As described by his bio, Jeff Madrick is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and a former economics columnist for The New York Times. Editor of Challenge Magazine, visiting professor of humanities at The Cooper Union, and senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and the Schwartz

28 Jun 2011

Libya: ‘Humanitarian’ Snow Job

Lately there has been much written about the US/NATO attacks on Libya, with much ‘cheering’ over Obama looking as ‘strong’ as crazy republicans. The one thing that most overlook, or few seem to want to face, is what the US Governments intentions really are re Libya. Many of the comments

28 Jun 2011

Keep On Rockin’ In The Free World: Give Obama and the Dems Some Credit For A Change

In 2010, American voters foolishly aided and abetted the Republicans by giving them control of Congress.

We now enter a very dangerous period in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election.

If Obama is not re-elected, and people don’t work towards returning workable majorities in the House and the Senate to the Democrats, then the country only continues its decline, and all will be lost.

It may be the end of a two century great social experiment unequaled in human history.

Returning the Democratic Party to the glory days of house and senate control that it had until Obama and the party were unable to convince enough people that their batsh*t crazy drive for bipartisanship with batsh*t crazy republicans was the only way to go, is the only way to go. There is no other reasonable way to go.

There were huge socially progressive strides made towards thinking about gradually thinking about progressively moving forward by Obama and the Democratic Party during that time, and the only thing holding them back is that not enough people clapped loudly enough.

The voters predicament and the collapsing economy is all the fault of the voters.

Wall Street, the insurance industry, weapons manufacturers, and mortgage lenders turned into property owners all across the land are all beside themselves with joy and can barely contain their glee at their power to power the American economic powerhouse.

And all they get is bashed for it?

Come on, people. Get with the program. Jeeze.

Eventually you know it all has to trickle down to the peasants once the bottoms of their pockets split open from the weight of all that progress, and funding wars is a major part of that strategy. You know this.

Reagan promised that, and Obama is doing everything humanly possible to make it happen, so he deserves all the credit he deserves.