With a profound sustainability crisis facing humanity, it may be useful to try and glimpse what a sustainable relationship between people and planet might actually look like. This essay explores how cultures and their host environments mesh together in pre-industrial societies. It seeks to show how cultural beliefs and practices reflect and reinforce the environmental adaptations of seven different community settings – the Mbuti forest people in central Africa, the Kayapó people in the Brazilian Amazon, the Nuer cattle herders in South Sudan, the Chagga agro-foresters on Mount Kilimanjaro, Asian peasant farmers, and European small-scale urban systems.
Today we are continuing our discussion of de-dollarization. As many of you know we have structured our discussion around some ten questions, and last time we dealt with the first five. What is money? What is the relation between money and debt? Is money a commodity? What is the theory of how the dollar serves as world money? And then because this theory so much relies on the sterling system we discussed the sterling system. What is it? What was this real basis not gold but actually empire etcetera. And then we decided that in this show we will discuss the next five questions which are, how did the sterling system end? What really happened between the world wars?
Great thinkers, down through the ages, have regularly had to watch the movers and shakers of their epochs shrug off their core insights. One of our contemporary great thinkers who suffered that fate — the 84-year-old economist Herman Daly — died just last week. Daly did not, to be sure, go totally unrecognized during his lifetime. In 1996, he won the “alternate Nobel Prize,” Sweden’s annual Right Livelihood Award. “Herman Daly redefined economics, forging a way forward that does not include the destruction of our environment for economic gain,” Ole von Uexkull, Right Livelihood’s executive director, noted after Daly passed. But Daly’s death has, by and large, gone unnoticed. No obit has so far appeared in the New York Times or Washington Post or any other major mass publication.
Corporations account for 78 of the world’s 100 largest economies, yet they remain cloaked in mystery. TNI’s State of Power 2020 report takes a deep dive into capitalism’s preeminent institution. On November 5, 2015 a failure at the Germano iron ore mine’s tailings dam in Mariana, Minas Gerai state, Brazil caused hundreds of tons of toxic mud to sweep downstream, killing 19 people and contaminating the Doce River for many hundreds of kilometers.
A five-alarm fire has broken out in a little known, but critically important area of the financial system where high-quality bonds are swapped for cash. The “repo” market, which is short for repurchase agreements, is part of the nondeposit, shadow banking system that remains largely unregulated despite the fact that it was ground zero in the 2008 financial crisis.
Things aren't working out the way many of us hoped. But we could learn something from this small entrepreneurial nation. The 21st Century is not working out the way many of us hoped: we witness the failure of nations and politicians to address the climate crisis, as well as social unrest in many countries over the failure of a neoliberal economic model that has neglected social equity and environmental sustainability. The Financial Times has even called for “a more sustainable and inclusive form of capitalism.”
We’re in the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, but the top line numbers don’t tell the whole truth. Low unemployment is finally starting to produce some wage gains, but it is going to take much more to raise living standards for wide swaths of the workforce. Black unemployment and underemployment is still too high, black college graduates have seen their wages fall, inaction from federal policymakers on the minimum wage has dropped the wage floor from under workers at the low end of the wage ladder, and workers are still thwarted in their efforts to bargain collectively for better wages from their employers.
Eisenhower surly must be spinning in grave given how much influence the military industrial complex wields today. In 1960, the military budget stood at $344 billion; today, the military complex, including the ever-growing intelligence apparatus, cost taxpayers over $1 trillion. Military spending for the period October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020, is at $989 billion and covers the Dept. of Defense, veterans’ benefits, international military assistance, nuclear weapons spending and military intelligence.
Why do so many Americans deeply distrust government? One part of the reason, two top economists suggested to a key congressional committee this week, just might be the most basic — and familiar — of the economic statistics the federal government produces. That stat — gross domestic product, or GDP — “measures the market value of the goods, services, and structures produced by the nation’s economy,” as calculated by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Bureau generates new GDP figures for every quarter of the year, and the release of these figures regularly makes headlines.
As every year, mainstream economists lined up to laud the choice. Dani Rodrik declared it “a richly deserved recognition.” Richard Thaler, who won the award in 2017 (here’s a link to my analysis), extended his congratulations to the Banerjee, Duflo, and Kremer and to the committee “for making a prize that seemed inevitable happen sooner rather than later.” While Paul Krugman, the 2008 Nobel laureate, refers to it as “a very heartening prize—evidence-based economics with a real social purpose.”
Over this weekend, China’s Yuan currency broke out of its band and devalued to more than 7 to $1. At the same time China announced it would not purchase more US agricultural goods. The Trump-US Neocon trade strategy has just imploded. As this writer has been predicting, the threshold has now been passed, from a tariff-trade war to a broader economic war between the US and China where other tactics and measures are now being implemented.Trump will no doubt declare that China is manipulating its currency. A devaluation of the Yuan has the effect of...
For many, the economic recovery being touted by the mainstream media has not yet affected them. About 25% of Americans say that a decade after the housing bust that caused the Great Recession, they are doing worse. Almost half of Americans are not doing any better at all too. If you believe the mainstream media, the economy is robust and the unemployment rateis at a 49-year-low. But not all Americans have recovered from the Great Recession. According to a new survey from Bankrate of about 3,000 Americans, 23% of people who were adults when the recession started in December 2007 say they are now financially worse off than they were before the recession hit.
U.S. Stocks Have Fallen For 5 Weeks In A Row – That Is The Worst Stock Market Streak In Almost 8 Years
We haven’t seen stock prices slide like this in a long time, and if this keeps up we could soon be looking at an avalanche. Our rapidly escalating trade war with China and more bad U.S. economic numbers pushed stocks down once again this week, and at this point the Dow Industrial Average has now fallen for five weeks in a row. We haven’t seen a losing streak this long since June 2011, and it is yet another indication that we have reached a major turning point. Some positive comments about China from President Trump on Friday helped to lift stocks a little...
On a “mission to save my neighborhood,” Burnell Cotlon, an Army veteran, built his Lower 9th Ward Market literally by hand, shingle by shingle. Today, his counter wall features cameo shots with Mark Zuckerberg. The launderette out back was donated by Ellen DeGeneres. There are shiny apples and $4.50 pork chop plates. His grocery store is seen as an oasis. But Mr. Cotlon’s gambit to help revive a stagnant Lower 9th Ward faces a new challenge: the Dollar General down the street. A boom in dollar stores across the United States since the Great Recession – three open every day on average – has provided both hope and despair in communities struggling for economic footholds.