Wednesday assorted links


1. So, Kerala has decided to give up communism with an Indian face?

Tiny little hammer and sickle in the center of the red bindi dot.

We must now turn our sights onto the biggest scourge of Marxism that exists today--China!

Maybe you're serious. Why wouldn't we want the Chinese to continue an inferior system? If ours is, indeed superior to that of the Chinese, won't we always be in advance of them? If that be so, there's no reason to lament the Chinese embrace of a managed economy designed by Marx. We should be more fearful that they will adopt the strategy that the US has employed to hold sway over the world. That would be a problem.

'the Chinese embrace of a managed economy designed by Marx'

Well, Marx never imagined this - 'The largest Foxconn factory is located in Longhua Town, Shenzhen, where hundreds of thousands of workers (varying counts include 230,000, 300,000, and 450,000) are employed at the Longhua Science & Technology Park, a walled campus[10] sometimes referred to as "Foxconn City". The park produces the bulk of Apple's iPhone line.' Well, considering the reporting on worker conditions, maybe Marx would say that what was the sort of ruthless capitalism that he was opposed to.

But as the cliche goes, history is written by the winners - and the Chinese are far from Marxist in any sense related to labor.

Probably because the Marxism of the 19th century and the ruthless totalitarian of the 20th century seem so easy to get confused in practice. Marxism only works as a threat - which is why workers in the West enjoy considerably better conditions in terms of wages, health care, vacation, and worker right than in any society that officially adopted Marxism, instead of compromising with the demands of labor for better conditions.

2) I love how the decline in start-ups always find that the height of US start-ups and arguably economic creative destruction is always the late 1970s during the Carter years.

And yet nobody thinks of that era as a great economic era in any form or fashion. Why is this true?

1) The issue of high growing labor supply forces either high inflation or lower wages.
2) High points of economic creative destruction does not always happen during economic good times. (Think 1930s as well.)

Honestly, I still think shrinking family size as just a reality of late capitalism and people will continue to have less children for the next generation or two.

Lol “late capitalism” said it!

High energy prices in the 1970s driving a search for technological solutions? Hence the emergence of the PC? I dunno.

Stagflation. Cities hemorrhaging blue collar jobs. High interest rates.

4. At this point, what variable can't explain the decline in the murder rate?

Just gonna throw this out there (and bear with me).. Maybe the amazing drop in the crime rate we saw in the 90's had MANY convergent causes.. *shrug*

That might be the craziest thing I have ever heard.

Did a lot of people really have mobile phones in the early '90's in, say, West Baltimore, North Philly, etc?

No, they did not.
But, drug dealers did because the phone was a business expense.

Presumably the trend may have started with the roll out of pagers, which were very popular in the early-mid 90s, when cell phone minutes were so expensive. Not that I would have personal experience *cough*, but paging a dealer in the 90s was common. Not sure they use the same tower network as cell phones, but I would assume they probably did.

So Chicago doesn't need strict gun control they simply need more phones.

1 - Not only India. Look at American, Australia, Israel, Italy, Greece, France, Poland, Hungary, Austria, U.K./Brexit and others . . . Brexit party now largest number seats of any party in Brit Parliament.

The left, which runs on global warming, wokeness, ruining the lives of ordinary people, is having a nervous breakdown.

Ergo, like a drowning man, grasp at Mueller's bull shit press conference.

Ex Malo Bonum. My short sales are going through the roof. Thanks, Robert Mueller!

Yes. But the question is : is the decline of the left temporary or definitive? Is it really death?

In France, for example, the communist party had electoral score around 20% from WW2 to about 1980, and then began to slowly decline to around 2% until 2000, and since then it says around 2%. Will the same
happen to the socialist party? From an average around 25% (with a lot of variance) it now has experienced two consecutive election with just 6%.
And nothing new seems to emerge in the socialist party that could be very attracting to voters. So I would agree with you that the Left in France is probably reaching its natural death.

I would also agree with you for Poland, Hungary, Austria, Israel.

But Greece is much less clear (a leftist party is in power now). In the UK, when Brexit is done, what will happen to the Brexit party ? Many of its voters could return to the left. As for America, I don't even see a clear decline of the left.

What appears to be happening is that historically social democratic parties are (here and there) withering away and their electoral base resorting itself between red haze militant, green squish-head, and social-liberal parites. The process appears to be so advanced in Israel that it's hard to imagine the Labor Party staging a recovery. Ditto certain East European countries. In Germany, there have been only two periods wherein the Social Democratic Party was electorally weaker than it is today: during the Bismarck ministries (when it was subject to legal harassment) and at the very but-end of the Weimar Republic (when the Catholic Centre Party and the Communist Party were the only non-Nazi parties holding their own).

Situation very up in the air in Britain and especially France. I'm wagering the political space the Socialists and the Communists once occupied will be divvied up between the Melanchon outfit, the Green lists, and the now inchoate social-liberal vote (after Macron is shuffled off the stage).

(BTW, the Communist Party does not have a stable floor. The PCF and sundry continue to experience a gradual but relentless decline, having lost 1/2 their base in the last 15 years; they won just over 7% in 2002 and 3.5% in 2017).

"Ergo, like a drowning man, grasp at Mueller's bull shit press conference."

What a splendid little sentence. It isn't "the left" that introduces Mueller's press conference to this forum. And Dick can't constrain himself to the mention. He needs to make it clear that Mueller's statement is "bull shit." Somebody worried?

For what it's worth, I think that Mueller is one of those people you have to take in an extremely literal, non-Straussian, way. He said what he said. You can read it unfiltered here.

This is where he wants us to look:

"I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments—that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election.

That allegation deserves the attention of every American."

To the extent that impacts President Trump, well we might wonder why his was talking about "the Russia hoax" with President Putin in private phone calls even *after* the Mueller Report. At that point denial and obstruction might loop back around to collusion again.

Yes, well Hillary Hillary, Hillary Obama Hillary. Hillary Hillary? Hillary Obama Obama Hillary Pelosi! Hillary Hillary Pelosi, Obama Obama Hillary, Pelosi AOC AOC. Hillary Hillary, Hillary!


I remember taking a life saving course at a Boy Scout camp back in the day. One of the first lessons emphasized the danger of a drowning victim who, in a state of panic, will drown their rescuer unintentionally.

The left is in a panic - Hillary lost, shock of shocks! Then they hoped they could nullify the election through all manner of machinations. That failed. The mighty Mueller steps up to the plate and whiffs. They are panicking, grasping wildly at any floating object. They are dangerous.

Today, Mueller proved his entire investigation was a political hit job that trampled the rule of law. His procedures and rules of evidence were those of the Spanish Inquisition, sans instruments of torture, not the US Constitution.

Re: The left's decline permanent or temporary. Who knows? Maybe it will move the turds toward the so-called right, less woke and counter-productive positions. For instance, reportedly, “The Danish Social Democratic Party has adopted a new and more restrictive immigration policy. It has already gained much attention in international media and it has been the basis of several meetings among social-democratic parties across Europe.”

Anyway, I hope the left pulls out the impeachment theater. It will ensure they lose in 2020. Then, they will impeach Trump for not reporting as in-kind campaign contributions their impeachment theatrics which led to his reelection.

The God Emperor Trump is doing everything he can to bait the traitors into trying to impeach him, because he knows that insures his re-election. Expect even crazier behavior as the year goes on.


The alien invaders are sending secret signals to Trump's radio suppository to help him win in 2020.

This is not a joke.

Who was president during 2016? If there is any dereliction of duty, it's the previous president who failed to take adequate measures in response to those "multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election." (Fortunately for him and us, he left office.)

To the extent that impacts President Trump, well we might wonder why his was talking about "the Russia hoax" with President Putin in private phone calls even *after* the Mueller Report. At that point denial and obstruction might loop back around to collusion again.

To the extent that you're a crackhead, we might wonder how high you are right now.

Look at these guys. Hissing like a bunch of wet cats. And just because I asked you to read Mueller, straight up

Hi mouse!

the whole idea of black comedy is against liberation.

The Australian right wing -- pro-gun control, pro-free fertility treatment for lesbian couples, and more anti-market than the opposition. When they stand next to Trump I can hardly tell them apart!

#1 Having travelled extensively in India and China I often wonder if true 'laissez-faire', true 'liberlism' (in the old definition of the world) isn't pretty much in force de facto. Much of what I've seen in those countries actually ends up striking me as pretty much 'ungovernable' except through roughly draconian means...which incidentally is what you usually see when big changes take place (India's recent currency crack down and China in XinJiang, etc.). I would argue that 'left' style politics in these countries is always inevitably doomed. You start with a 'great leap forward' and end with Tiananmen. You start with Patel and end with Modi.

#2 "The Goddess is angry..." Understatement!

#4 Hey Joe, where you going with that phone in your hand?

For small scale enterprise, Indians are allowed to be as entrepreneurial as they like. It is when they get bigger that the rent seekers arrive (aka the bureaucratic raj). Only the really big firms have the muscle to see them off, and of course they if they can become rent seekers as well rather than seeking profits from the free market.

5. Demographic changes coincided with shifting of production overseas, the combination of the two likely the cause of the decline in startups. For those too young to remember industrial America, lots and lots of startups were in businesses that catered to the large industrial firms, which outsourced many tasks to the startups. Contrary to popular belief, entrepreneurship didn't begin with the boy wonders in tech.

What decline in startups?

Every Uber/Lyft provider is a startup, a capitalist working under contract to rent seeker brokers.

Ditto taskrabbit, etc. Millions of small businesses working on contract providing their own capital, whether cleaning tools, tool kits, lawn mowers and rakes.

And airbnb has created millions of startups, people with capital to rent, paying a rent seeker a fee to act as broker.

These startups have been created for ages. As a kid in the 50s and 60s, I knew lots of capitalists that offered room and optionally board. My grandmother had a house near a railroad yard and rented to railroad engineers and conductors without airbnb, but she had connections to the railroad others would not have. I rented from capitalists with homes near the college as a student during summer when tthe dorms were closed. As a kid I did odd jobs without taskrabbit to find them, and I knew people who did and earned ten times as much by going door to door or getting referrals or putting up fliers in stores.

The revolution of the past decade has been making creating startups almost frictionless, with little paperwork, initially no interaction with government for the person starting a business.

3 - You're sucker if you don't believe that that the system is rigged.

You need to use the past tense.

Thanks to the glorious 2016 election, that regulatory/deep state travesty was terminated.

You think you live in a free country.

Yep, now you can be a rent seeker with other peoles money majking very bad loans and high profits in good conscious because you know the savers will be automatically bailed out by the Federal government when you have reached the limit of bad loans so you decllare bankruptcy!

Why don't payday lenders offer uninsured savings accounts in the communities they make short term personal loans to people with no assets? By being uninsured, they can promise 100% annual interest of savings used to make loans at 500% that are unlikely to be repaid.

Why would payday lenders need access to FDIC savings at less than 1% rates paid to savers? Seems like corporate welfare.

My beef was with the FDIC attacks on gun stores.

FDIC-insured banks lend to payday lenders and have heightened credit and reputational risks. From what I saw, the OCC, which charters and supervises national banks, was more supportive of payday lending. Go figure.

One, since the FDIC was established in 1933, the state or national bank chartering authorities have closed (maybe tens of) thousands of banks, and in all cases (by law) appointed the FDIC as receiver. Maybe you can cite names and dates. I know of no national or state chartered bank that declared voluntary "bankruptcy." In 99.9% of the bank-failure cases, the equity owners of the banks lost their investments. OTOH, 100% of the FDIC-insured depositors in failed banks did not lose a penny.

In most US states, it is illegal for a wannabe bank, which deposits are not covered under FDIC deposit insurance, to accept consumer deposits off the street, as it were. But, good point, if payday lenders collect their payday loans, they could finance them at really-high rates and not need cheap, insured deposits, or bank loans. Aye, there's the rub! FYI - credit card loans have APR's, even in today's near-zero rates environment, about 15%. Still, after the higher credit losses, administrative and servicing expenses, they provide only slightly higher net yields than other loan types.

PS: I hate payday lenders more than you.

1. I wonder if a half-century of failure has anything to do with it.

6. Does Cowen have much contact with El-Erian, Cowen's colleague at Bloomberg? If so, what can Cowen share with us. Something that impresses me about El-Erian is that he doesn't seem to have an ax to grind.

Traders are generally more agnostic than economists.

I used to know a Fellow of Queens'. When they needed a new Master they divided up Who's Who, one Fellow studying each batch of pages for inspiration. Presumably they'd also look at their old graduation lists.

I suppose that now they google. Or pay a recruitment firm to google for them.

P.S. At Queens' the Master is entitled President: one can't have a master of Queens', can one? Strangely, one can have a Master of Trinity and a Master of Jesus. Blasphemy!

I think I've seen El-Arian on FoxBusiness.

I thought that would disqualify him.

As an investment "plan sponsor" (representative of asset owners), I've had very positive contact with El-Erian (not Arian). I think he's completely honest and forthright, very smart, and a good choice to run a college at Cambridge. Of course I don't always agree with him, but that's a good thing.

Let's be blunt. Western political categories such as Left and Right are foreign to the Indian thought. Indian demon-worshipping teaches there is no objective truth. It also teaches one must prey on the weak.

Western political thought is based on objective categories: God, Nation, Proletariat, markets, etc. Read Saint Augustine, Marx, Milton Friedman or Comte. Westerns believe policies must favor the common good. Indians are taught to think only about themselves and their "tribe".

So the 'categorical imperatives' are limited to the tribe/group think.

Exactly. The commom good.

3. This is who they are, that's what they do.

Absolutely, business as usual. Businesses can always go to shadow bankers.

O/t but relevant.

On the usefullness of consumer protections and alphabet regulatory agencies:

Venezuela is not a vacuum:

No batches down there. Caveat emptor!

Yeah it's a regular libertarian paradise. I bet those swindled people will withhold their business from that bank in the future alright, believe you me mister.

1. The death of the left?
Coming from someone definitely not on the left, before we celebrate it’s decline, let’s not forget that a lot of the left wing platform has already been baked into the mainstream politics cake....

Social security, some form of welfare, paid Maternity leave, public schools, free college in some countries, “free” health care or completely nationalized health care is already a function of the mainstream center left and possibly center right parties in most of Western Europe, the US and I bet in India.

A lot of the very least disastrous left wing policy ideas are already here to stay.....

Take heart. I think the pendulum swings back and forth not too far from the center.

Though lately the swings have been pretty wild.

Yup, and proved that deficits dont matter, allowed gays to marry, and ended human slavery.

Our work here is done.

McMike, proving that he as to be right, that there's someone to blame, no matter what.

1. Full Marx to Shrikanth for looking at the issue from many Engels but before we believe that the Left is left behind, lets be right by what we mean by the "Left". may be there are more worl vuiews than Kapital vs Capitalism.

Comments for this post are closed