Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Today's Post

[today's post is from some other blog. This guy says]:

I just read a great article that says just four states, California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona, account for 62 percent of foreclosure starts! This only represent 45 percent of total loans outstanding.
Then again, only 45% of total loans outstanding! Just four states!
While this is not a good thing, it could be a great opportunity to pick-up some good property at a great price! Foreclosure property is sometimes difficult to buy. I’ll blog again later to give you some tips!

[This blogger is now returned, or however I say that]:
To a certain class of person, making money is merely a game. These are persons of low quality who never feel any contradiction between their pursuit of easy money and their moral consciousness as living beings.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


First the financial sector profession made loans that might not get paid back. Why would they do that? Well because the economy was doing well.
But then later, the economy wasn't doing well anyomre.

Ok. Start over. The economy was doing well. So, more loans were made. On top of those already made. Why not make more? The economy is/was doing well.

Now, today, the economy is not doing well. But there are trillions out in loan dollars. One reason the loans were made was that the economy was doing well (there were other reasons of course, but none of them good ones) So, as for that reason, that reason was snatched out, like a rug from under our feet.

How many loans are there outstanding? Trillions and trillions of dollars' worth.

OK. Next question: What would the solution be?

OK, let;'s just go back to the first premise here. Why would the loaners or financiers make so many loans. Because the economy was doing well, remember?

Investigators have revealed that the lenders are manufacturing money, so that's another point. Themoney is not real. They make it up as loans on the supply end of the money chain. The Fed applies an old bakers' trick (or bankers. Bakers might use it too): they loan monies, prior to collecting money. They do not have the money; but they loan it anyhow. They overlap a bit, I think. The money -- loans -- is not really visible at this junction, is it? So I guess they assume it to be coming back. If I am a lender, I "own" the money I am lending. So, I also "own" the right to simply claim I have money -- if (as in fact the case) that money does not have to be physically represented. That will serve as a summary of this practice.

Now money "should" be pysical. But sometimes is not. Now let's look at the dollar bill, as it was created, and as it was discussed, in language --- historical experience. Why is a dollar bill called a "note"? Why does it say "note" on it? Actually: "Fed. Res. Note."

Again, as in the case of the massive loans, above, there are several reasons. There are several reasons, not simply one. One reason it says that is that it is the nature of language to be a social and cultural and communicative act, the language goes back aways, and at the time they started putting the word "note" on those dollar bills -- Well -- persons in the society were a bit more honest. Does a piece of gold require a word to be stamped in? Does a bar of gold say "note"? No. And neither does a Lady Godiva chocolate bar necessarily say "chocolate" on it. It's pretty obvious what the later two items are. But a dollar does say "note."

Well, this is not a perfectly finished post --- but, it is hard to get to the bottom of these things, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Let's Look At China Now

It is simply a matter of getting capitalism right. If the U.S.A. cannot do it, China (with no historical depth to their tradition of capitalism) will ---- this is so, because China merely has to peek over at what the U. S. does ---- and learn the lessons. And this they will do, because one is no more rational to do than the other. The right thing is as rational as the wrong thing --- they might as well do it right.

Somehow that made sense. Trust me. In other words, capitalism is hybrid (Bhabha). It is fungible. It can be modified, channeled and steered. It means the anti-regulatory position is completely incorrect. It does not mean we twist ourselves into pretzels and create weird social programs. I didn't say that. My position, for some six or seven years, is that it means we look at capitalism for what it is. This is my characteristic position and it means we should employ --indulge --neither in knee-jerk pro-capitalist quasi-lies --- nor in quaint liberal "anti-capitalist"" views. Is that hard for you?

Well, look. It's not gonna be hard for the China. Why? They have a cinemascope version of the real thing to watch and learn from. They have a large book open on their laps. All they have to do is look from page one to page two to page one and back again. But let's look back at the U. S. again.

What kind of person, exactly, is it that cannot see their own world nor themselves? Neurotics.

It is not a choice between neurosis (U. S.) and totalitarianism (not the Chinese version nor any version including our own home-grown fascists like Blackwater security guards). China can respresent the totalitarianism here. Right? They have repressed and imprisoned many. They support Burma and incarcerate Tibetans for protesting their oppression of that country. As for the U. S., we should not think that our option is that of being neurotic. OK? And neither can the world afford for us to do this. Neither can the world afford the neurotic mistakes the U. S. makes.

Capitalism must be regulated. Understand that I do not think this is a 'bad' thing to say. I say it: straightforwardly, as does James Galbraith and many others perhaps. Times are changing. They should change under our system --- and they do. Didn't Dylan say "the times they are a changin'? Yeah.
Well? Are they?

The idea that regulation is always wrong - and this is the dominant idea in the relevant debates, this courtesy the "Right" folks - or wrong folks - is suicidal.

"Dead Certain" --- that is the title of a book about the Bush regime. It you are "Dead Certain," what does it mean? That you are right or that you are totally, totally deluded and are going to drive the country to disaster? Which?

The public airwaves and someone named R. L.

Economics is no doubt an important subject.

Rush Limbaugh expounded on it, yesterday. I heard the man, in the car, "alive," you might say, through the intermediary of our public airwaves, on which R. L. is expounding on topics of an economic nature. It's true; there are tapes.

The set-up is that his antipodal "other" the "Left" has a view and he, Limbaugh, has a view. This former thing-a-madjig or "idea" is rather poor (not culturally rich and complex like Limbaugh is) and R. L. happens, you see, to possess the other. In this view, as expounded, things under capitalism are valued not on their per se or material value but rather on how much they are worth to someone else. What he says he rejects is the view that the item or product is worth the labor imbedded in it, which is supposedly the view of the Left. What it is is actually Limbaugh's view of the Left, that's all. But hey folks, this one's reel gud.
Once he has gotten rid of the evil Leftist view, which was as far as I am able to understand, with my limited knowledge, a version of Marx's "labor theory of value" that overlooked the function of abstraction (which is a difficult topic perhaps, but it's there) he then proceeds -- clumsily and provisionally -- to float an incredible (but interesting because Limbaugh is relatively genuine, or honest) apparition of things -- an incredible version of reality.

Value now becomes valorized as trade value rather than real value, or rather, Marx's labor-oriented value, this because he applies on his own side the Marxist function of abstraction which is something he'd left out in his haste to get rid of the Marxists. The Limbaugh sort of kosher value now consists in "whatever someone will pay you for it." But it is infinitely stretchable, basically. This seems to be where Limbaugh landed. Because he then says that he might hire someone, which, he explains, is for something he does not have time for himself (since he is busy mis-quoting Marx and making gobs of dough) and he will pay this other partner, which is to say trader or trade partner or the other partner in trade relationships "say, $100,000." But the imprecision or stretchability of this concept is exactly the element of Marx that he'd just left out from Marx, that of abstraction. I think it is probably waht they call "alientated" labor. So Limbaugh re-iterates exactly what Marx said; but on his side.

Any product, in this world of Limbaugh's, can be valued at any level; that same task that he just paid $100,000 for might be worth, say, minimum wage to somebody else in some other position. "Or less!" That's what he said. That, he says, is why persons with the "salary" type of job cannot make more than say $50,000 generally speaking (probably not more than $250,000). Anything higher is going to be paid out by the "entrepreneurial" part of the world, which I would think is more or less like the idea world or creative world. The one Limbaugh occupies. I won't say "abstraction" again. It is all too obvious and easy. The slightly more abstract world is going to be "ideas." What is the creative world of ideas? I don't know, but this too, is right there in the evil Left. Marx always obsessed on Hegel as too much with the "Idea" and not enough with the "material." So, as said, the Limbaugh world is a new, supposedly better one, where value is infinitely expandable or indefinite. This is now acceptable, but as Mr. Limbaugh's idea. And to go to the "other" side, what the worth of things is not is that "other," enemy idea that value is based on the labor it takes to make the product --- or something. Something. Something those silly "Left" people believe.

No, value is infinitely expansive. Like a dirgible. Like R. L.'s belly. Like a Led Zeppelin. (And that, as we have shown already, is simply what Marx didsay.) So: a big Thank You to Rush, I guess.

But this creates quite an interesting universe, one in which slave labor on the African cacao plantations is fairly valued at, or "worth" the harming of the little slave children...because Hershy's or Godiva bars are "worth" 60 cents each (or whatever!) because, I reckin, that is what buyers are, Um, "willing" to pay. And so forth. How else do you value all those hundreds, and thousands, and hundreds of thousands (and millions) of sweatshop workers and plantation workers are not "worth" any price other than the parsimonious wages set on the international market because.... that's capitalism. But this is not capitalism, not at all. It unregulated and insane capitalism. That's the point, here.

Because..."that's capitalism"? "That's life," maybe? In this lovely, cigar-puffin' drug-addicted pot-bellied world, where 30,000 babies die every day. Tanks, Rush. Baby, you were great the other day, really.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Be Nice

Things can help that dont help ........ and this works in the same surprising way that "markets" sometimes turn out to be helpful,

even if they are swimming in shit and evil themselves! In other words lobbyists are from most points of view just extremely and intuitively horrid and objectionable: the lowest members of the human race, really. They are opportunistic; they disrespect democracy; they look for the quickest path to a dollar bill. And yet --- after doing all kinds of harm they could also do you some good. It is, at any rate, possible. If you were drowning, would you accept a life preserver thrown by a lobbyist? Yet he is no less a lobbyist, isn't he? Which behavior can be described as ghastly? The selling out of democracy for politics is ghastly; let's make no bones about it: let us just say it and get it over with. The second from the top at Countrywide (which seems to be a phenomenon of same kind, although who am I to say...) is now making more - yet more - dough; this time doing good (and well) by taking advantage of this crash that we have supposedly had.

But what I want to ask is: Was it a "crash" for him? No. I guess not. Just like
it was not a market crash if you were, as they say, "short." (This is when one supposedly sells a parcel of stock on behalf of someone else without telling the person you are going to do it and then plays the stock as if one had not sold it) That doesn't make reality right, but it arguably does make you right. Where does that leave us. It leaves us with this...

One may express one's social existence in terms of using and exploring capitalism ---this view is an alternative to 'mere' anti-capitalism.

There's something to be learned there; and I'll just leave it at that.

A Personal Story

It seems like the world now likes little personal things,
and that's what blogs are "really" for --- if there's anything
real about this. So I will post a personal story myself, without
being egotistical. Let's try to do a short personal entry. Yeah
Right. Just like the Pros.
I brought my work to a "real" legitimate publisher: not
exactly free-market stuff but a scholarly university press
type environment and I met a nice guy who offered to read
my prototype "book" which he called "proposal."
Of course there's always a lag but even if it took him quite
a while he did get back to me about it. It was actually very
helpful, perhaps surprisingly. So, in this way, I am trying to
reach out. Reaching out is not so easy. I do see the
reams of economics books that come out, but I do not have a "real"
understanding of the way the whole "business" fits together.
I do my work at the state universities. I see all this stuff.
In other words, I am trying to become more professional.
(although I hate the sentence I just wrote).