You are browsing the archive for 2013 September 16.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Occupy's 2nd Anniversary: Let's Never Forget That We're the Majority, 99 to 1

September 16, 2013 in Blogs

By David DeGraw, Evolve Society

The famed 99% meme that the movement blazed into mainstream consciousness still lives on in the mass mind, like a festering infected thorn in the side of Goliath.


It’s been two years since years of hard work, dedication and frustration finally erupted into mass protests that swept across the globe on an unprecedented scale, and briefly awakened the propagandized masses. Our unjust economic system and the corrupt forces on Wall Street and in Washington were exposed in grand fashion. For once, the people became too powerful to ignore. We finally crashed through the corporate gates of the colossus mainstream media. We penetrated the very leviathan that had divided, isolated and enslaved us. Those robotic, teleprompter reading, paid off propagandist talking heads had no choice, they finally had to acknowledge us. A contagious sense of empowerment, legitimate community and true freedom rose up from the ashes. An inspiring people-powered uprising had begun. Then, all too quickly, the burst of life, freedom and reality that momentarily flashed in and out of people’s living rooms and throughout cities everywhere, was extinguished by brutal police state force.

The famed 99% meme that the movement blazed into mainstream consciousness still lives on in the mass mind, like a festering infected thorn in the side of Goliath. As that mysterious and mystical being once said, “You can’t kill an idea.” As for the movement, it is presently a chasm of unfulfilled potential, temporarily infiltrated and infested with saboteurs, tamed by the forces of centralization and co-option, fractured by factionalism and ego-driven agendas. Yet, it still glimmers on the periphery, just over the horizon. Beneath the calm surface, there is a vast ecosystem of latent energy ready to erupt once again.

You can slow down decentralized movements, but as long as repressive conditions persist, you cannot stop them. By their nature, decentralized movements toward freedom ebb and flow like waves, shape-shifting and growing increasingly effective in achieving their goals, while weeding out and exposing saboteurs, egos and shortsighted agendas along the way. Decentralized movements are forces much bigger than anyone can wrap their hands around and control; …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

E.O. Wilson and Chris Westley on Science and Mathematics

September 16, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

6528

In today’s Mises Daily:

…While this is not an issue for Austrian economists using a priori and deductive logic in the development of economic theory and concepts, mainstream economics remains wedded to the idea of using data as an end in itself, such that the availability of data alone often determines the extent of economic inquiry. As a result, concepts such as capital that do not lend themselves to mathematical analysis are often ignored by the mainstream or assumed to be constant (so as to simplify their use in modeling techniques). This shortcoming is one of the explanations for the mainstream’s infamous misdiagnosis of the housing bubble from a decade ago and is one of the primary reasons for the mainstream’s ignorance of malinvestments resulting from state money creation in general.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Ron Paul at DePauw University, September 10

September 16, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Here is a “best parts” version of Ron Paul’s talk at DePauw University.

The full 20-minute talk is here.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Do Markets “React” to Economic News?

September 16, 2013 in Economics

By Peter G. Klein

images

One doesn’t have to be a strict methodological individualist to appreciate that collectives don’t think, act, and choose. Yet one of the standard tropes of financial journalism is the idea that the stock market, like your broker or your Aunt Sally, “reacts” to this or that bit of economic news. “Stocks Soar on Summers Withdrawal,” screams this morning’s Reuters headline. This reporter has some serious powers of discernment: trading Friday “was subdued ahead of the Federal Reserve’s expected reduction of stimulus measures next week.” “In reaction to the withdrawal of Mr. Summers, the dollar slipped to a near four-week low against a basket of currencies.” And: “Further whetting risk appetite were signs of progress in Syria following a Russian-brokered deal aimed at averting United States military action.”

Of course, this is all pure invention on the part of the reporter. Nobody knows for certain why a stock-price average goes up or down. Think about it. The prices of individual stocks reflect expectations of future dividends and future price movements, and they go up and down as new information is revealed about the firm and its competitors. We can never know for certain what makes people buy and sell particular shares but, in the case of an individual firm, we can reasonably infer that shareholders as a group are reacting to new information about the firm. The firm announces quarterly earnings below analysts’ expectations, the share price tends to fall. A competitor announces bankruptcy, the share price tends to rise. Event studies are a popular technique for quantifying investor reactions to news and events related to particular firms.

But the stock market as a whole doesn’t work this way. Stock prices go up and down, and indexes like the S&P 500 and DJIA go up and down according to the performance of their member stocks. Sometimes the average rises, sometimes it falls. Duh. The idea that movements in the index necessarily embody the reaction of the market as a whole to some piece of aggregate economic news reflects a failure to grasp the concept of an average. Of course, it’s always possible that investors’ beliefs about the prospects for particular stocks reflect shared concerns about the economy as a whole. If the government announces an increase in the corporate income tax rate, the prices of many stocks will likely fall. But this applies only to the most obvious cases. Did lots of investors care …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Reforms: Clear the Clutter

September 16, 2013 in Economics

By Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar

Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar

Economic reforms should be clear and simple, not cluttered with endless terms and conditions. This has long been forgotten by the UPA government, which tries desperately to ensure that any change satisfies several vote banks simultaneously, supposedly to ensure inclusion. This approach clutters even the most desirable changes (like the land acquisition bill) with loads of conditions, delays and red tape. A refreshing contrast comes from the new banking reforms of Raghuram Rajan, the new RBI Governor. He has decreed that any bank can now open a new branch without RBI clearance. Earlier, the RBI viewed every new bank branch as a special dispensation, to be approved only after long scrutiny. Indeed, the RBI once wanted to approve even individual ATMs, viewing these as bank branches of a sort! Rajan has jettisoned the approach of everything being forbidden till approved. By freeing banks to expand as required, subject only to the usual rules, he has produced clean, uncluttered liberalization.

The UPA government shows no interest in raising productivity or competition, and focuses instead on a clutter of conditions, quotas and permits to woo sundry vote banks.”

Contrast this with the cluttered approach of Anand Sharma, supposedly one of the most market-friendly ministers in the Cabinet. He championed, and won Parliament’s approval, for 51% foreign direct investment in multibrand retail. He also got Cabinet approval for 100% FDI in single brand retail. He thought this should impress all foreign investors. In fact, one year after the supposedly revolutionary new multibrand policy, not a single dollar of FDI has yet come in (though Ikea and some others will hopefully come in soon).

The distinction the government makes between single brand retail and multi-brand retail does not exist in other countries. It has no business logic, and simply tries to buy off the vote bank of small shopkeepers. If FDI in retail is a good thing, it should be allowed without clutter. If it is a bad thing, it should be banned. Sharma justified the cluttering of FDI as an India-specific model. That’s precisely the problem: India specialises in clutter that more sensible countries avoid.

Sharma obliged foreign investors in multi-brand retail to source at least 30% of their products from small companies with less than $2million of fixed investment, and to invest at least half their initial investment in back-end infrastructure. This raised so many possible complications …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Mises Weekend: Mercantilism vs. Free Trade

September 16, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

6535

Featured from our new eBook, Chi-Yuen Wu’s An Outline of International Price Theory features some solid analysis of mercantilism and its early debates. When it comes to special interest groups arguing against free trade, little has changed in 200 years:

The protection versus “free trade” controversy at the end of the seventeenth century was connected with the East India trade. In the latter half of that century the imports of Indian textiles into England were increasing, especially in the last two decades. Owing to the high costs of production, the English textile industries could not withstand the competition of the Indian imports. The result was that in the last decade of the century the English woolen and silk industries faced a grave crisis. Those industries were experiencing depression and unemployment, and complaints were made by the weavers and the public in general against the East India trade.

Read the full article.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Money, Markets, and Government: The Next 30 Years

September 16, 2013 in Economics

By studying the past, one can learn how to avoid future crises. The financial crises in the United States and Europe, and the problems that face China as it internationalizes the renminbi, deserve close attention. The new issue of Cato Journal specifically addresses the links between money, markets, and government, and how those links might evolve in the future. “The choice of monetary and fiscal policy regimes,” says editor James A. Dorn, “will determine whether economic and social harmony will spontaneously emerge or government power will continue to grow.”

…read more

Source: CATO HEADLINES

Avatar of admin

by admin

America Can Aid Syrians without Military Intervention

September 16, 2013 in Economics

By Alex Nowrasteh

Alex Nowrasteh

The Syrian civil war has killed over 100,000 people and displaced as many as seven million — about one-third of Syria’s population. Russia’s offer to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control may stop American military involvement, but the humanitarian crisis remains. The good news is military involvement isn’t necessary to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis. Instead, we can allow Syrian emigration to the U.S.

The number of refugees grows daily. Non-Muslim Syrians, who make up 13-to-15 percent of the population, are at particular risk. Christians, Druzes, and the non-religious face attacks from many rebel groups who are motivated by a violent interpretation of Sunni Islam. For instance, rebels from the extremist Jabhat al-Nusra rebel group recently conquered the Aramaic speaking Christian town of Maaloula — forcing most of the population to flee with only a handful of nuns and orphans left behind.

Military involvement isn’t necessary to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis. Instead, we can allow Syrian emigration to the U.S.”

But Muslim Syrians are in grave danger as well. A mere 13 percent of Syrians — including President Bashar Assad and his government — are Shiites, compared to 74 percent who are Sunnis. Sunnis form the core of the rebellion, while Shiites generally support the government. Warring factions drawn along sectarian lines will extend and deepen the violence, killing non-combatants of all faiths in the cross-fire.

These conditions prompted a mass exodus from Syria, and it’s likely to continue. As the director-general of Sweden’s Migration Board, Anders Danielsson, has said: “The conflict in Syria has heated up, to put it mildly… we can assume that it’s not going to be resolved in the foreseeable future.”

Of the seven million displaced Syrians, two million have left the country altogether. So far, neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey have taken in more than 1.7 million of the refugees. Sweden has announced that it will grant permanent residency to the 14,700 Syrian refugees already there, as well as some subsequent arrivals. Germany has also decided to take in 5,000 Syrian refugees.

In contrast, in 2011 and 2012, the U.S. allowed just 374 Syrians to gain asylum status, while only 60 refugees were approved. The Obama Administration has announced plans to let in 2,000 refugees — but those are only promises. Syrians already in the U.S. are allowed to stay and work under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) — as are many Haitians, …read more

Source: OP-EDS