Links 10/21/11

Earth is warming, study concludes BBC

Is Nuclear Power Really a Trump Card Against Global Warming? Counterpunch (hat tip reader Carol B)

Dancing the “Republican Two-Step” with Copyrights, Patents, and Corporations Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld and Mark Peterson Common Reader (hat tip Steve Mihm)

Almost All Americans Eat Too Much Salt: CDC Bloomberg. As someone with low blood pressure, this sort of headline annoys me. And how do they explain Japan, where there is even more salt in the diet than here, and life expectancy considerably exceeds ours?

Study of US popular music links luxury alcohol brands with degrading sex EurekaAlert. “Degrading” is not exactly a scientific term. The lack of specificity as to how the sex depicted was “degrading” as opposed to just, say, graphic, raises questions about the study.

Tennessee Becomes First State To Fight Terrorism Statewide NewsChannel5. This looks like the TSA expanding its mandate to the war on drugs. Aargh.

UK Committee Suggests Libel Rules For Websites eWeek

Irate News Corp. Shareholders to Take Murdoch to the Woodshed New York Times

Rivets Starting to Pop in Greece Credit Writedowns

1 vs. 99: Keystone XL seizes private US land for oil to China Food Freedom (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Americans for Greater Inequality New York Times (hat tip reader Robert M)

WSJ on Occupy: Up Is Down Common Dreams (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Semi-Random Notes on the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) Movement Charles Hugh Smith (hat tip reader René)

NPR: They are the 1%? LoveScientist, FireDogLake. More OWS censorship.

Unoccupying Melbourne MacroBusiness

Fed Is Poised for More Easing Wall Street Journal

Census Bureau Reports Public Pension Assets Decline Over $726 Billion for State and Local Public Employee Retirement Systems in 2009 US Census Bureau (hat tip reader Hugh)

Wal-Mart Cuts Some Health Care Benefits New York Times

Citigroup Deal to Go to Judge Critical of S.E.C. Practices New York Times

Antidote du jour. Elephants cleaning the neighborhood in Thailand (hat tip reader furzy mouse):

And a bonus, also courtesy furzy mouse:

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    1. rjs

      i also have low blood pressure, & use lots of salt on everything its appropriate on…there has to be other individual specific factors that should be considered other than blanket guidelines for a whole population…

      1. ambrit

        Dear rjs;
        Thaty’s a big part of the problem, the population is an amorphous beastie. So, suggestions must be ‘blanket.’ Absent some comprehensive National Health program here, it’s about the best we can do.
        Also, as far as salt is concerned; it can always be added to food, seldom if ever removed, at least at the consumer level.

        1. dearieme

          “All medical research is wrong” is a better approximation to the truth than almost all medical research.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s the Tyranny of One – the insistance that everything be reduced to one cause or one number – one number for inflation, one number for economic growth, one number for employment, one First Mover, one Supreme Being, one unified force, one salt-intake recommendation for all, etc.

      3. invient

        I know this is anecdotal, but my doctor has always told me if I plan on having a high salt diet, to do a strenuous workout for at least 45 minutes once a day… apparently it will lower blood pressure, that would have otherwise been elevated by the salt.

        Also, there are studies that show athletes who have a high salt diet tend not have any of the negative effects associated with it.

    2. Jim

      Or it’s possible that many generations ago, before blood pressure medications emerged, the Japanese who were genetically predisposed to high blood pressure simply died prematurely or manifested some quality that kept the opposite sex away. As a result, those who remained have a high salt tolerance.

    3. Jack Reilly

      You need to read “Time to End the War on Salt”; do a google
      search. An articule in Scientific American.

  1. ambrit

    The Wal Mart insurance story and the pension funds decline story point to the need for a National Health program for America. The Myth of Rugged Individualism understandably hides the myriads of folks who perish to enable that single ‘rugged individualist.’ Social Darwinism may sound good as a thoery, but in practice it destroys the very society it purports to strenghten.

      1. ambrit

        Dear Moopheus;
        Yes if you like the idea of society forcing its ‘marginal’ population into extinction so the survivors can forge ahead into a brave new world. The underlying philosophy of social darwinism has always semed to me to be elitist. The ‘Best and Brightest’ thrive while the ‘lower orders’ go off to die for them in far off jungles, or deserts, or mountains.

    1. wunsacon

      I wonder: what is “rugged individualism” even supposed to refer to or what was its origin? From Columbus to 1900, people moved out west, killed the natives, and took their land and lived rural agrarian lives. Weren’t those the “rugged” individualists?

      1. wunsacon

        And, per a study Yves linked to a couple of weeks ago, brutish societies spread faster by forcing their more desperate members to try to start over somewhere. Those “rugged individualists” are the byproduct of a system that can’t take of its own, can’t maintain itself in a steady state, and can’t “sustain” itself without expanding territory.

    1. optimader

      re the elephants “cleaning” the neighborhood. A good metaphor for the phenom of Unintended Cosequences

  2. Jim Haygood

    Re B of A deathwatch — Christopher Whalen of Reuters quotes yesterday’s NC post about B of A moving derivatives to its depositary bank:

    Yves Smith on Naked Capitalism, commented on the motives behind and timing of the change:

    You can argue that this is just normal business, the other big banks have their derivatives operations largely in the depositary. But BofA has owned Merrill for over a year and a half, and didn’t undertake this move until it was downgraded. Goldman and Morgan Stanley remaining big players in this business and don’t have a large depositary. If this was all normal business, BofA would have done this a while ago, and not in response to market pressure, and they would have gotten the FDIC on board. The way this was done says something is amiss.

    Correct. To my earlier post regarding the need for a restructuring at BAC, “Housing, debt ceilings & zombie banks,” the move to put the derivatives exposures of Merrill Lynch under the lead bank could be preparatory to a Chapter 11 filing by the parent company. The move by Fannie Mae to take a large junk of loans out of BAC, the efforts to integrate parts of Merrill Lynch into the bank units earlier this year, and now the wholesale shift of derivatives exposure all suggest a larger agenda.

    I don’t have any access to inside skinny, but what I see suggests to this investment banker that a restructuring may impend at Bank of America. In the event, that is good news in a sense that this continuing distraction to the financial markets will be headed for a final resolution.

    1. JennJohnson

      The survey was for the FISCAL YEAR ending June 30, 2009. S&P returned -26.21% and the Barclays Universal returned 4.93% during that time period.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Thanks for clarification. Drilling down further into the report (not mentioned in the summary page):

        ‘The 2009 survey covered fiscal years that ended between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009 and does not reflect data for the entire calendar year of 2009.’

        Thus no comparison of these aggregated results to benchmarks is possible, as the individual results aren’t for consistent periods.

  3. Jim Haygood

    From the Census Bureau article:

    Losses on [pension fund] investments totaled $633.4 billion in 2009; nearly $600 billion more than in 2008 when losses totaled $38.9 billion. Retirement systems have substantial investments in financial markets and consequently earnings are dependent on changes in market performance.

    Excuse me, but WTF? How is this possible?

    Retirement systems indeed depend on financial market performance. For calendar 2009, the S&P 500 delivered a total return of 27.11%. In fixed income, the Lehman Aggregate (as represented by the ETF symbol AGG) produced a total return of 2.97% in 2009.

    Thus, a 50/50 blend of equities and fixed income returned a healthy 15% in 2009. Yet the Census Bureau claims that pension funds lost $633 billion in up year 2009, versus losing only $39 billion in disastrous down year 2008.

    I’m calling bullshit on these numbers. Probably reporting lag has caused the Census Bureau to assign 2008 figures to 2009. Close enough for government work, hey??

    1. Hugh

      Th 2008 data would cover the period after the 2007 housing bubble bust and the 2009 data the meltdown to the beginning of the 2009 rally. The Census data would be more useful if the data were more current and if a more standard financial year was used. But even so, the report shows that state and local pension funds were heavily exposed and suffered heavy losses in the downturn. Even with the rally it is unlikely they recovered to pre-bust levels and they likely remain exposed to another downturn. So the take home here is that these funds are both damaged and vulnerable.

  4. rjs

    that nuclear power generates warming isnt a surprise; coal generating plants also waste a lot of heat; i’ve always suspected that heating incidental to human activity was a greater contributor to AGW than the greenhouse effect, but i’ve never seen it quantified before…

    1. aet

      “heat incidental to human activity’?

      Now where does that heat come from, that is, before it goes through or is processed by the humanity “into” its activities?

      CO2 retains heat. From the sun.
      We, that is, our bodies, process energy, from plants and animal foods, which get their energy in turn…from the sun.

      Or we burn goal and gas and oil, which in turn, originally derived, or gained, their latent energy from…the sun.

      The problem is “constipation”…the increased concentration CO2 inhibits the elimination of energy from the system (that is, the biosphere) – reduces that rate of dissipation and elimination of heat or energy – from what it otherwise would, or has, been.

      The absolute “energy size” or throughput of energy through the biosphere is irrelevant, really…that is, it is not the amount of “human activity” itself, but only that “human activity which increases CO2 concentration in the atmosphere”, which is the problem.

      And note well, that the USA generates a large chunk (30%) , even if not most, of that “CO2 activity”; even with only 5% of global population.

      1. Procopius

        “CO2 retains heat…” I’m sorry, but no. CO2 doesn’t retain heat any more than any other material does. What happens is that CO2 blocks electromagnetic radiation of a longer wavelength from passing easily through the atmosphere easily. During the day when the sun is high in the sky the solar radiation passes through the shortest distance through the atmosphere and both infra-red and ultraviolet radiation heat the Earth. At night some of that heat is re-radiated as infra-red. CO2 in the atmosphere (and water vapor and probably some other gasses) hinder the free passage of the infra-red electromagnetic radiation and scatter it, causing it to warm the atmosphere instead of just escaping into empty space.

    2. Punchnrun

      Every erg of energy released from nuclear fission, fusion, combustion of fossil or renewable fuels etc. ends up as heat released into the surroundings. Consult your local thermodynamic lawyer for details.

      All we do is redirect some of the energy through our machines to do what we call useful work.

    3. JimS

      Raw heat from power production is a negligible contributor to global warming for the same reason solar power advocates give to push solar: there’s so much more of it than anything else. Carbon dioxide traps the biggest source of heat there is on earth, sunlight from the sky, untold terawatts more of it than we would ever generate ourselves.

      But it’s true nuclear power is no help against global warming caused by fossil carbon extraction, for the same reason wind, solar, or any other “clean” technology is no help. They’re all merely carbon neutral sources of megawatts. Megawatts are nice, we all like megawatts, but we like them so much that we never cap an oil well or close down a coal mine no matter how many non-coal or oil sources we bring on line. We just use those sources in addition to, rather than instead of, carbon from the ground.

  5. taunger

    The nuke article is terrible. The lack of quantification of the heat effects from cooling water is laughable, and simalarly with the cost comparison of nukes v. nat. gas. I’m no nuke fanboy, but links to articles like that don’t help the cause. Off the top of my head, physicians for social responsibility actually has a very good and thorough look at costs, including explicit and hidden subsidies. try this instead

    1. Sock Puppet

      Agree. Would like to see the same standards applied to links on scientific topics as are applied to those on finance.

  6. rjs

    on the keystone XL threats of eminent domain; thats the typical modus operandi for US gas & electric utility companies; they make their installations fait accompli before they get regulatory approval…

  7. Abelenkpe

    I also have always had low blood pressure and actually crave salt. Everyone is different.
    Love the elephant pic!

  8. Moopheus

    Separately, on the Berkley warming study: that’s been out for a while now, but hasn’t been getting much play. GW denialist groups funded the study to prove that the UEA guys were hiding evidence. When Muller came back and said his work confirmed the previous studies, they tried to bury it.

  9. Jeff

    How to explain Japan? Perhaps because the Japanese eat lots of seaweed, vegetables, fish, whole grains and other
    varieties of nourishing food compared to say the
    average American that feeds of packing house waste
    like hot dogs and eats inordinate amounts of beef along with pesticides, cattle hormones and all the other goodies
    that come with the cow. Of course, post Fukashima that may all change.

    Another factor might be racial and societal homogeneity. That is the stress level for the poorest Japanese compared to say the poorest American. The Japanese is in a place where societal rules are established and known and
    there is a hierarchy to which they belong.

    Compare that to the poorest Americans. A babel of language, customs, familial expectations, street shootings, chaos,
    uncertainty and finally, the ever present junk food diet at whatever fast food stand is available.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They do eat a lot of fish, though the sushi that we eat today, or more specifically, Edo-style sushi, in contrast to Kansai sushi, is only one or two hundred years old.

      I also notice they have a lot of fried (‘a-ge’) stuff and they use widely artificial preservatives and food colors.

  10. Brett

    That Wal-Mart story on cutting health benefits is sickening. Wal-Mart is a highly profitable company, but they are cutting benefits to gain an extra cent or two per share in profit to report back to Wall Street. This is a fundamental flaw in capitalism today — the demands by Wall Street to cut costs and report as high a profit as possible (miss earnings targets by 1 cent per share and see your stock tank by 10% or more in a day) are moving us in the wrong direction. The economy isn’t improving and becoming more equitable and just, it’s actually doing the reverse.

    This is why the government should be paying for everyone’s health care in this country. Stop relying on businesses, who will cut benefits whenever they need a few extra cents of profit.

  11. b.

    The Counterpunch article is useless. There are many good reasons to question nuclear energy as it is, and quite a few to question nuclear energy as it could be, but waste heat is not one of it. Contemporary reactor designs are essentially steam engines, which means any waste heat produced is interchangeable with that of other steam engines including CSP. Possibly (depending on temperature differentials), nuclear power could be producing less waste heat. Finally, once you argue waste heat instead of CO2, not only are you orders of magnitude off in impact, and switched from global to local impact, you are also effectively arguing for less power consumption, and quite possibly fewer people, either will get you only so far. Yes, there is a point at which the mere presence of N breathing human beings, or their accessing the Google and Facebook website, would raise the temperature of the planet by a degree, but N is orders of magnitude larger than “billion”.

    You can argue over lifetime EROI for nuclear energy (fuel processing is not cheap, neither are the plants, waste disposal is kept off the books). You can argue whether an industry that cannot be insured or run at a quarterly profit should be handled by corporate entities at all. You can argue that given safety requirements, the plants are utilities that should be run by the government and the Army Corps of Engineers (and, pace levees, whether that would be any better than have it run by CEOs and accountants). You can make a principled case that the joined-at-the-hip proliferation issue alone puts the lie to “civilian” use of nuclear energy. You can argue that a fuel cycle requiring hundreds of tons of highly radioactive waste moved across the country, stored and handled, is a “dirty bomb” for civil liberties and fundamentally incompatible with an open society and any democracy. You can point out that large-scale gigawatt power complexes reinforce centralization vulnerability, point of failure, and monopoly structures, while, unlike small, local powerplants, preventing effective use of waste heat for heating nearby houses and facilities. You can decry the amount of water wasted for cooling this (or any similar) powerplant, and its local ecological impact. You can argue that, in 50+ years, the industry has yet to deliver an inherently safe commercial reactor anywhere in the world (never mind whether the engineering is sound, is it politically and economically feasible). That you can do.

    What you can’t do anymore is off-the-cuff BS. These ain’t the hearings depicted in “China Syndrome”. A frank and honest debate over the pros and cons of large-scale nuclear power generation in the context of climate change – by necessity a debate that requires informed citizens – can trivially be sabotaged by vested interests as long as the arguments of opponents border on idiocy, especially if we find ourselves in a corner in which “lesser carbon evil” has nukes win by default. That way, you wind up with the TEPCOs of the past, present and future, and their “fallout”. Right now, nuclear power is the “trump card” because nobody on the opposing side seems to know how to play this game.

    1. bmeisen

      Agree that waste heat is a strange approach to refuting big energy’s claims that nukes are a clean alternative to fossil fuels. Cockburn is a global warming skeptic who has grumbled about it being a scare engineered by big energy to spike public support for cleaner fuels, first of all nuclear power. Cockburn refuses for some reason to argue the nuclear filth side, perhaps because he sees such an argument as a tacit endorsement of big energy’s claim that CO2 is a problem.

  12. Dan Katzman

    A full third of adult Americans have high blood pressure and for most of us, salt is an important contributing factor.
    The Japanese have the highest stroke rate in the world (driven by high blood pressure) even though the rest of their diet is very healthy (primarily fish and veggies).
    Be glad you don’t have high blood pressure. Please don’t put those of us who have it at risk. It is very hard to maintain a low salt diet in America.

    1. optimader

      why?? Prepare your own food and that doesnt mean eating out of a box, can or pouch.. And w/ all the money you save you can buy a great bike.
      problem solved, next please?

      1. Punchnrun

        Preparing your own food incurs a time penalty that has considerable economic/quality of life impact. There is also cost in terms of social interaction. Sharing food, such as at social events, is a fundamental of human society. Eliminate the food and you impact the social interaction.

        1. Lidia

          “Time penalty”??

          All you born on this earth with is time.

          It’s the only resource you have that you can arguably control autonomously.

        2. Moopheus

          I think of the time I spend in the kitchen as a bonus. Eating processed crappy food incurs a taste/health penalty.

  13. ep3

    yves, loved the Tennessee TSA terrorism article.

    “if you see something, anything, suspicious, let us know. be good active citizens reporting suspicious activity.”
    gee, could that be any more broad or nondescript. So at what point do we become so scared of each other we start reporting sneezes (could be a terrorist carrying or recently using harmful chemicals that agitate allergies) or anything?

      1. ambrit

        Dear Herr Eggs;
        Sorry, but yer behind the times there. Schools are already indoctrinating children to inform on thier parents for drugs use, “so we can help them stop the bad habit.” That and ‘inappropriate touching’ are big concerns for the “Furher State” crowd. The controversy over the reality or falsity of memories of abuse dredged up through ‘regression therapy’ shows the extent to which ‘authorities’ can pervert the course of justice.

  14. Schofield

    Brett says:

    “This is why the government should be paying for everyone’s health care in this country. Stop relying on businesses, who will cut benefits whenever they need a few extra cents of profit.”

    Sorry Brett but as Charles Hugh Smith tells us with a few honorable exceptions the “1% Congress” is made up of Rent-Boy and Girl Politicians who are as you can guess rented out by big business.

  15. meddler

    suggested addition to style.css:

    li.comment {
    list-style: none;
    margin: 2em 0;
    background-color: #ECF5FF;
    padding: 1em;

  16. Susan the other

    I don’t want to take advantage of the links but I’m going to. Because I’m so disgusted with Huffpo and NPR. I just surfed out to Huffpo thinking they might have a human headline. No. And NPR has of course been nauseating for at least 5 years if not longer. For NPR it was an insidious, sinister and deliberate change; for huffpo it was blatant, obnoxious and horrifying.

  17. Westcoastliberal

    Yves, the story on the TSA in TN makes me think this is a trial-run for the rest of the states. Coming soon, we’ll see “checkpoints” on interstate highways as the Feds attempt to tighten our free movements within the country. In this prelude to martial law, you’ll be arrested if you possess what the TSA considers a “large quantity” of cash, and of course any drugs or contraband will also get you arrested and your vehicle confiscated (I’ve heard they go so far as to run your plates to check if there is a lien against your title before pulling you over or singling you out).
    Meantime, they’re letting Mexican trucks with dubious safety use our highways, and 1,000’s of containers pass into the country with no scrutiny whatsoever.

  18. Anonymous Comment

    As far as the Japanese people eating more salt than Americans… perhaps they eat more salt per calorie, being that much of Japanese food is calatonic. Eating fewer calories per day is much easier on the body overall and maybe that makes it easier for the body to deal with the high levels of salt in the Japanese diet, because their bodies are not larded down with unexpended calories.

    For example, a splash of soy sauce on a 200 calorie sushi roll, vs 1000 calories of french fries smothered in salt… which is harder on the body, do ya think?

  19. JimS

    In the Americans for Greater Inequality link, two professors are quoted with a stupid explanation for poor people opposing redistribution: “People exhibit a fundamental loathing for being near or in last place — what we call “last place aversion.” This fear can lead people near the bottom of the income distribution to oppose redistribution because it might allow people at the very bottom to catch up with them or even leapfrog past them.”

    It’s stupid because what’s their explanation for rich people opposing redistribution? I don’t doubt they’ve got one, but now they’ve got an explanation for anybody opposing redistribution, and probably for anybody supporting it too. A set of explanations that can always explain anything is really not explaining anything at all.

    1. aletheia33

      having checked out this link, i recommend this story as a fairly good capture of the geist of the occupation at zuccotti park. (though any single account must be partial, and this one is too.)

      i returned from my 24 hours there (including overnight stay) with a physical and psychological sense of well-being, vitalization, and inner balance that has surprised me, and that i feel can only have come from the effect of being in that place. (i can find no other way to account for it.) that was last weekend, and it’s still with me.

      years of despair and the sense that our society is locked in a death grip of the vampire squid and we can’t get out, the sense of doom and collective helplessness, the impotent, suppressed rage and sense that one’s living has always been and always will be somehow tamped down in a society becoming more repressive and conformist by the day–there is an antidote to be imbibed at zuccotti park. i swear it’s true!

      go down, and you won’t be disappointed. you can just sit and breathe, meditate and listen, take a break and be at peace for an hour. you’ll witness some extraordinary small or large human event. you’ll leave a changed person. you’ll have tasted a special something that has not been available, i don’t believe, anywhere in this society before zuccotti park was occupied by the army of the heart.

      1. Skippy

        Happiness as a buy product of social affinity[?], who could have thought is was so simple….eh.

        Skippy…yet some chase fiat electrons like an addict trying to replicate its early highs, increasing dosage and variety, yet always falling short of the desires need, all awhile the best high is the most accessible and in their parlance the cheapest, embracing ones own humanity and sharing it with others.

          1. ambrit

            Dear skippy;
            My computer tells me that “the uploader has not made this file available in your country,” and then shifts me to some other Radiohead stills gallery. Oh well.

  20. Aquifer

    Re the article on salt – note

    “About half of Americans — those with high blood pressure or other risk factors — should consume less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium, and 99 percent of these people don’t, according to a report from the Atlanta-based CDC in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The other 52 percent should consume less than 2,300 mg, the recommended daily limit, and 88 percent exceeded that.”

    Na (sodium) increases fluid retention – so, if you have HBP, you probably should avoid that, if you have low BP, you may not have a problem with it, and if you have CHF (congestive heart failure), one too many hot dogs can be a killer. There is salt and there is salt – by and large we take in too much Na salt and not enough K (potassium) salt.

    I think the point is that there should be some rules as to how much Na salt can be added to prepared food that we buy. As someone pointed out, one can always add it if one prefers, but one cannot take it out. If you have ever paid attention to the Na content on food labels, you would be amazed …. It is a cheap and “dirty” way to add flavor, which is why there is so much of it added ….

  21. abprosper

    The lack of support for redistribution is part and parcel of high immigration, legal and illegal.

    A soon to be non majority White (mostly) population is not going to be interested in paying more taxes or giving their money principally to people of another ethnicity who aren’t blended in or to people with mutual racial animosity (the Black issue mostly)

    If you’ll note the closest the US ever came to being a social democracy was when immigration as low and the population was growing to be more homogeneous at a rapid clip.

    1. citalopram

      It has nothing to do with race. It has more to do with them seeing themselves as having earned it, as well being the selfish bastards they are; it’s just plain greed.

      1. abprosper

        Much of top 10% are basically greedy so year you are correct there.

        However for the lower classes,, e yes greed has some to do with it, do you really expect economically stressed people (everyone but that top 10%) to support more redistribution for people not like them?

        Tolerance, open mindedness and curiosity are part of the experience the human experience but they are only a small part of it.People by and large are tribal and incurious and can barely treat other people like them as human, much less different people. Google Dunbar’s Number

        Administrative schemes like wealth redistribution to fix this can work if the society has high social comity. Periods of high immigration destroy that and make such schemes unpalatable.

        You might find Bowling Alone to be of value here.

  22. Hugh

    I may have missed it but I have seen no discussion of the OWS related call for a national assembly in Philadelphia. The declaration contains 20 demands.

    My impression is that the writers’ understanding of the economy is incomplete although they certainly do get important parts of it. For example, they understand that both the economy and the political system need major overhauls.

    But take their point 8:

    8. Adoption of an immediate plan to reduce the national debt to a sustainable percentage of GDP by 2020. Reduction of the national debt to be achieved by BOTH a cut in spending to corporations engaged in perpetual war for profit, the “healthcare” industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the communications industry, the oil and gas industry, and all other sectors that use the federal budget as their income stream. We agree that spending cuts are necessary but those cuts must be made to facilitate what is best for the People of the United States of America, not multinational and domestic corporations who currently have a stranglehold on all politicians in Washington, D.C. in both parties.

    I don’t have a problem with the redirecting of funds and, although as I always say I am not an MMTer, the intellectual framework behind this point seems not to take into account that we went off the gold standard in 1971 and it seems not to understand what a fiat currency is or how government debt is related to gold standard thinking.

    Then there is how point 9 begins: “9. Passage of a comprehensive job and job-training act like the American Jobs Act”. I suppose the writers wanted to sound inclusive but the American Jobs Act is bogus, is not structured to create jobs effectively, and was nothing more than a White House election year gimmick.

    Anyway I thought it might be nice to analyze and discuss this declaration at some point.

    1. ambrit

      Dear Hugh;
      Seeing as how the original OWS crowd made it a point not to make a list of demands from philosophical as well as tactical considerations, I would be more than a bit leery about this “Philadelphia Experiment.” This looks like another attempt to co-opt and discredit the OWS movement.

  23. Freude Bud

    The article on China and Keystone is just dumb. You cannot export crude oil from the United States, with the exception of small volumes of heavy oil from California and Alaska–it is against the law, specifically the Export Administration Act, which was just reaffirmed a month ago. The alternative to Keystone, from the Chinese perspective, is a pipeline to the Canadian West Coast which would then ship the syncrude to China. Trust me, they would much rather that than the expensive alternative of importing refined products from the US … especially unlikely given that it would be produced in the Gulf Coast … even the expanded Panama Canal would not make products exports to China especially attractive. What it would do is increase the total amount of product available globally, which would help China … and the US.

    Keystone, by the way, would enhance energy security for all Americans, not just the 1%. Pretty much everyone in the US uses gasoline, diesel, or heating oil, and when the cost of that goes up due to disruptions, it hurts consumption generally, which translates to jobs generally.

    Just nonsense.

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