Friday, June 29, 2012

Still Expensive and Inaccesible

Thanks to so-called Obamacare, it's become almost impossible to get low cost medicine from Canada. We are now trapped without recourse into accepting the outrageous prices that U.S. drug companies put on their recently patented medications. One example of how medicine in the U.S. will continue to be the most expensive in the world, with the worst results.

And Congress now has the precedent to force you to buy anything they want.

Overall, it's worth remembering for the Left that this was a law written by the Heritage Foundation in the 90's. Exemplifying how far Right the country has swung in just a few years.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Genocide of The Uninsured

Some 26,100 working age Americans died prematurely in 2010 as a consequence of being uninsured, a new study from liberal think tank Families USA estimates.

Using methodology established by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Families USA calculated that between 2005 and 2010, the number of uninsured people aged 25-64 who died prematurely rose from 20,350 to 26,100. The total number of deaths due to lack of health coverage over this period was estimated at 134,120.(1)

The 'genius' of capitalism is that premature death is regarded not as systemic failure but as a matter of personal choice.

1'Tens of thousands die in the US due to lack of health insurance' - wsws

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Just in Case You Forgot

It's not often that prominent leaders of superpowers warn of nuclear war:

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on May 17,during a legal forum ahead of his participation to the G8 summit at Camp David, warned Western powers ,stating that a military intervention in the affairs of sovereign states could lead to war, even nuclear war.

Russian Prime Minister clearly referred to his country's position, contrary to the Western powers,on issues such as Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

"The introduction of all sorts of collective sanctions bypassing international institutions does not improve the situation in the world while reckless military operations in foreign states usually end up with radicals coming to power," Medvedev said.

“At some point such actions, which undermine state sovereignty, may well end in a full-blown regional war and even - I’m not trying to spook anyone - the use of nuclear weapons,” he told a legal forum in St. Petersburg.(91)

The breakdown of the global capitalist system really is leading us into a 1930's type of situation.

1'Medvedev warns of nuclear war'

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Capitalism : What is it Good For ?

Capitalism doesn't have much to offer if it can't provide an increasing standard of living. Even at it's best it is highly unstable, prone to crisis, deeply unequal and in general, alienating.

With 30 years + of wage stagnation in the U.S., neo-liberal economists increasingly have had to point to China and other emerging economies as proof that capitalism still works in its fulfilling its main promise. Even if those countries achieved success by ignoring almost all neo-liberal advice.

And I would argue that the rise of some of the developing world has merely exacerbated the structural issues in the global capitalist system. Basically, a world economy reliant on a U.S. consumer to soak up excess capacity, a consumer now broke and underemployed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Another Impeachment and Failed Presidency

America continues on its path towards kleptocratic, '3rd world' status.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Opposing Currents in Capitalism

The good thing for Syriza in losing this election is it won't be blamed when the Euro edifice collapses, as it surely will. Spanish bond yields hit a Euro-era record high today.

What is going on is classic Marxian dialectic, the historical rooting of capitalism in a national bourgeoisie versus the need of Capital for international integration as a component of efficiency.

And there has never been a case when the former lost out to the latter, the roots are too strong. The U.S., the supposed model for the E.U., was never a collection of separate countries.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Greeks Work More Than Germans

The average German worker posted 1,419 hours annually in 2012, while the Greek worker put in 2,109 hours.

The issue isn't who is lazy, it is the technological capabilities of their respective businesses. Greece, as with all under developed countries, has a weak bourgeoisie with weak levels of capital and educational investment.

OECD Stats

The Best Rejoinder is Reality

So, how's that capitalism working out for you ?

A good piece of evidence that capitalism is in crisis are the increasingly loud exclamations to return to a 'real' capitalism. Reminds one of the cries that the USSR was not a 'real' communism.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Declaring War on Declaring War

Tsipras and SYRIZA

I'm no expert, but it seems to me much of what is driving SYRIZA's popularity is a simple anti-corruption and anti-elite message. This is also the type of thing most people latch onto, even if the fact a legislator drives around in a Rolls is mathematically inconsequential in the context of a major economy.

Greece is up against a wall, regardless of the political affiliation of whoever wins power Sunday. Which I expect to be SYRIZA.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Clarity of Marxist Analysis

A lot to take from this post: 'Euro End Game ?' - Michael Roberts

The Generous NFL

Cause anyone with a pension is fortunate/blessed:

Overall, the NFL, in partnership with the NFLPA, has spent more than a billion dollars on pensions, medical and disability benefits for retired players.

No mention of collective bargaining or the enormous sums of money players generate for a group of parasitic owners.

---- 1'Lawsuit: NFL hid brain injury links' - NFL

What is Democracy ?

In democracy the best idea and the best application wins. There is no doubt that as our society becomes more anti-democratic we will become poorer in all respects, materially, spiritual and culturally.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Land of the Meek and Cowed

Perhaps the debacle last night in Wisconsin will refocus people's attention on just how reactionary the U.S. political landscape is. Things continue to get worse, not better. In California, several large cities slashed pensions for their public service employees.

The basic attitude here is one of resentment and selfishness, not of lifting people up, but of driving other people down.

We can blame the ruling class all we want, but this is all happening with the acquiescence of the people.

I always tell young people unambiguously to leave the U.S. if at all feasible. The future here is not going to be pleasant. Better even to live in a country where there is more poverty, but more humanity; and, of course, there are many other countries with more robust middle classes if that is what one desires.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Going Down in Flames in Wisconsin

Unions look headed to an epic defeat in Wisconsin. Their strategy will be in tatters along with their legitimacy in what should be a very friendly state. Not sure where they go from here.

P.S. Dixie will really win, in the end. It's more and more clear with each year.
P.P.S. The union leadership responsible for this political disaster should resign or be fired.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Because the United States is the Only Place Where One Can Be Happy

A smarter, more open immigration policy can do much to create jobs and boost growth. The U.S. annually issues just 65,000 H-1B visas for highly skilled immigrants, with 20,000 more going to foreign professionals who graduate from a U.S. university with a master’s or doctoral degree. Yet in 2011, more than 150,000 students from China alone were studying in the U.S. Roughly 40 percent of international students receive U.S.-based grants or scholarships. In effect, the U.S. invests heavily in the education of foreigners -- most of whom are enrolled in the science-related fields that fuel high-wage employment -- and then prohibits them from pursuing job opportunities, allowing other nations to reap the benefits. (1)

The U.S. isn't the only place in the world to be happy, and increasingly there is little reason to be here. Probably a majority of skilled labor immigrants don't even want to stay here, they want to go home to be with their friends, family and culture. They only come for the schools and cache of an American university education.

If you are professionally educated in much of the developing world you can, if you want, have an entire fleet of servants, nannies, and attendants. You will live in place where everything is cheaper, you can save, and buy things with cash. Health care is cheap.

If you live in the U.S. you will have none of that, plus you're in an economy with almost no wage growth.

The inability to retain foreign talent has almost nothing to do with visa difficulties.

1'Help U.S. Economy With Visas for the Best and Brightest' - Bloomberg

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Limited Prospects for Reversing American Economic and Political Decline

A long title, based on the poll numbers for Guantanamo and Obama's "Kill List". They have almost unanimous support across the political spectrum of this country, except for a tiny sliver of the libertarian right and the radical and liberal left. Or about 10%.

We aren't afraid anymore, we are just (mostly) a nasty group of people. And like anyone with a nasty personality, there is a lot of self-inflicted punishment.

Also, we aren't Exceptional, and it is going to very hard for most Americans to realize this over the coming years.