tonywikrent commented on the blog post FDL Book Salon Welcomes Scott Paul, Harold Meyerson, Carl Pope, ReMaking America
I rather disliked Dave Johnson’s introduction because manufacturing is just not about a “country ‘make[ing] a living’ in the larger world economy.” When the UK was the world’s leading manufacturing economy, it was the world’s largest creditor. When the US was the world’s leading manufacturing economy, it was the world’s largest creditor. Now that China is the world’s leading manufacturing economy, China has become a creditor to the world. Why it so hard to draw conclusions about correlations in all this is beyond my comprehension. To me, it’s just plain common sense, which appears to be a rare commodity among neo-liberal economists. You manufacture things, you are creating wealth. Simple. Selling and trading credit default swaps does NOT create wealth.
Back in the 1800s, American System economists led by Henry Carey, rejected free trade and argued against the British free trade economists by noting that the ability to import is based on the ability to pay. The ability to pay is based on the earning power of your population. If you force your population to compete with countries being pauperized by British free trade, you can only maintain imports by increasing borrowing. The past half century has proven Carey was absolutely correct.
A question for anyone: why do we see so little public discussion about these actual policies that built the U.S.? Why do we see so little public discussion about what used to be called the American System of political economy?
Does anyone else see an inherent contradiction in the neo-liberals’ infatuation with “the market”? On one hand, the Market is “… an information processor more powerful than any human brain, but essentially patterned upon brain/computation metaphors.” On the other hand, individuals (and households – see the third chapter of John Kenneth Galbraith’s 1973 book Economics and the Public Purpose for an excellent expose of what a sham the neoclassical conception of the “household” is) are supposed to be “Homo Economicus, the self-centered perfectly rational utility maximizer.” If The Market is unknowable in all its wondrous complexity, how can anyone be “perfectly rational” within the context of The Market?
In September 1776, the Continental Army was pinned down on Manhattan, and its commander, George Washington, desperately needed to determine exactly where the British army was going to land. He simply did not have enough troops to guard every possible landing point and avenue of approach. Washington gathered his officers, and asked for a volunteer [...]
tonywikrent commented on the diary post Matt Stoller vs. Peter Coyote and the Case Against the Case for Obama by cassiodorus.
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. In this case, it is useless to focus on the race for the White House. With the possible exceptions of Washington (there was no one else even close in stature for the job), Lincoln (his nomination was a national surprise resulting from very astute and aggressive [...]