Friday, November 21, 2014

Existing in New York City: Calling the US Population STUPID as a Whole

From Objectivist Sociologist, William Ogden: "My worship of statistics has a somewhat religious nature, " he noted in his journal at a time when his enthusiasm was fading. Statistics had been his God. "But God only meets an emotional need which has little to do with reason." 

Calling the American People Stupid
I just read a piece by Dean Baker (he calls himself the following: "macroeconomist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University.") in which he condemns a fellow MIT Economist, Johnathan Gruber, for calling the American people stupid, in Gruber's sense having to do with the Affordable Care Act.

Baker starts out defending the American people as not being stupid but rather simply just  "ill-informed."  I was immediately hollering bullshit as I read the article, which in a way turned into a defense of Economists. As I have written for six years on this blog, Economics is not a science; it was once studied under Sociology departments as a tool for measuring wealth and poverty in a society using "fact"-gathering observations and statistical conclusions based on "guesstimations."

[What is an Macroeconomist?  Well, here's the Wikipedia definition: "Macroeconomists study aggregated indicators such as GDP, unemployment rates, and price indexes to understand how the whole economy functions. Macroeconomists develop models that explain the relationship between such factors as national income, output, consumption, unemployment, inflation, savings, investment, international trade and international finance. In contrast, microeconomics is primarily focused on the actions of individual agents, such as firms and consumers, and how their behavior determines prices and quantities in specific markets."]

Do you understand the role of statistics in this profession?  The first course I took in Economics, before 101, was a course in Statistics.  The first book I was given to read in Statistics was entitled, How to Lie With Statistics.  In those days before Economics broke away from Sociology to become a part of the Schools of Business, all Sociology and Economics majors depended on calculators (the old fashion kind) to crunch numbers in their statistical studies.  For my first statistical problem, I did a paper on "The Infant Death Rate in Texas." My conclusions in this paper were based on guesstimations as to what was behind the infant death rate and what was the solution to lowering the infant death rate neither of which I supplied in my "rigged" paper.

My point: I have called the American people "stupid" for many years now.  And they are stupid, I don't care if they have 6 degrees from Harvard and 3 from MIT.  Most Americans are stupid not because they aren't smart--there's a difference to me--but because they are full of bullshit reasoning based on their believing in the American Dream (nothing comes from a dream but confusion), believing in gods that don't exist (except in fables, myths, Holy Bibles, and fairy tales), believing we are an exceptional nation, believing that we are a democracy, believing that rich people are the smartest people on earth because they are know, dumb thinking like that.  I call a person stupid who believes in lies over truth (reality is the only truth). Intelligence unused leaves the intelligent one stupid, doesn't it?
The following is an excerpt from a current Counterpunch article by Ismael Hossein-zadeh  explaining how classical economic theories are "old-fashioned" (out of date) in terms of what modern economists are calling FIRE (Financial Investing and Real Estate), where investors are investing in financial markets and real estate rather than reinvesting their profits in capital improvements, borrowing to invest in the real economy, the economy of the classical economists. In classical economics, money is considered merely a means of exchange.  It was in the late 80s with the advent of desktop computing, that money became a commodity.

"The following are a few additional examples of the astronomical growth of the FIRE sector during the past three decades or so: Between 1980 and 2005, profits in the financial sector increased by 800%, more than three times the growth in non-financial sectors. In the early 1990s there existed only a couple of hedge funds; by 2007, their number had grown to 10,000. The number of mortgage brokers, replacing old-style Savings & Loans and regional banks, has likewise mushroomed in recent years/decades: 50,000 thousand of them, employing nearly 400,000 brokers, more than the whole U.S. textile industry [emphasis is mine]. As the (unusually candid) manager of the hedge fund Raymond Dalio of Bridgewater Associates bluntly put it: “The money that’s made from manufacturing stuff is a pittance in comparison to the amount of money made from shuffling money around. Forty-four percent of all corporate profits in the U.S. come from the financial sector compared with only 10 percent from the manufacturing sector."

"As noted earlier, the neoclassical “circular flow” and/or “general equilibrium” model/theory is built on the basis of a near-barter economic paradigm, that is, an economy where money is implicitly treated as largely a means of exchange or circulation, not as an ideal or ultimate repository of the accumulated or concentrated wealth. In this model, financial cycles neatly follow real cycles: they expand when real cycles expand, and contract when they contract. As such, there is hardly any possibility for financial bubbles to emerge and expand independent of the real sector of the economy—the financial sector is treated essentially as a service or subsidiary sector to the real sector.
The circular flow model (like most other models) can, of course, serve as a useful tool or concept for analytical purposes. It is designed to show what happens when/if the circuit, or circular flow, breaks down, and what to do about it. The problem is that mainstream economists seem to have been stuck in the abstract model, in the earlier stages of capitalism, unable to see how in the era of giant banks and other colossal financial institutions finance capital can (and does) grow independent of industrial capital, thereby leading to financial inflations, followed by implosions.

"It might be argued: who cares whether a financial bubble follows a real sector expansion or whether it is formed ab-ovo, i.e., in the absence of such an expansion. Such a distinction, however, is critically important to an understanding of how in the age of advanced financial markets finance capital has become largely independent of industrial capital, and how it has therefore undermined the neoclassical concepts of general equilibrium, of circular flow mechanism and of national savings as the main source of supply of money—in short, how it has rendered the neoclassical economists’ theory of credit creation, of investment financing and of money supply obsolete. Sucking financial resources from the rest of the economy, as well as generating fictitious capital out of thin air through speculation/gambling, parasitic finance capital feeds on itself—just like a real parasite. Neoclassical economists have not, so far, been able to reconcile the financial sector with their circular flow and/or general equilibrium model. Sadly, instead of trying to incorporate the financial sector into their real sector model, they have chosen to ignore it lest it should disturb their shipshape, convenient model."
Ismael Hossein-zadeh is Professor Emeritus of Economics (Drake University).
Have You Noticed?
My old friend and colleague Barabbas Munn-Dayne noted this to me about how since the Republican sweep of the midterm elections, Koch Industries (yes, that's the evil Koch Brothers) ads are appearing on teevee by the droves.  These ads glorify Koch Industries as a great job source, as fueling the rebirth of the American economy, and as providing research and scholarship in promoting new ideas and industries.  I happened to catch one the other day during a college football game.  It was sickening.  What a bunch of self-promoting bullshit.  Of course, the autocratic Koch brothers don't write these commercials, a bunch of silly souls like I once was (in advertising for over 30 years in NYC) brain-storming away in the war rooms of the biggest advertising agencies in the country.  "How can we make these aristocrat assholes look benevolent?" the account exec swoons.  "How 'bout a pack of lies emphasizing the wonders these benevolent brothers do?"

I say, "Fuck the Koch Brothers," but then they are filthy rich so they must be righteous priests in the Money Theology game, the worship of the great god Moolah.  Money is the Koch Brothers' GOD; hell, MONEY is the GOD of us all.

for The Daily Growler   

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Existing in New York City Out of Sinc With the Rest of the World

Unfolded 1956 Pacific Jazz Records Catalog showing the early LP releases that introduced the world to West Coast Jazz, which led to "Cool" Jazz, which was the partial invention of Gerry Mulligan (along with Miles Davis), the Pacific Jazz label's biggest star.  Other stars on Pacific included Chet Baker, Chico Hamilton, Cy Touff, Richie Kamuca, Russ Freeman, and Pacific introduced us to the great pianist Dick Twardzik, who died at age 29 of a heroin overdose in Paris while on a European tour with Chet Baker's Quartet.  Chet later said he became a heroin addict because of his depression over Twardzik's death though critics say Chet was already doing heroin when he met Twardzik.  (from the tgw collection) "Trying to Keep Jazz Alive"
Say Goodbye to: Ray Sadecki, first I remember Ray he was on the 1964 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, the team he started his career with as a "bonus baby" (remember them?) and was rookie pitcher of the year when at 19 he went 9-9.  Ray was prominent along with Bob Gibson in '64 in the Cards WS victory that year.  Then next I remember Ray when he turned up as a Met in 1974 as a reliever on a Mets team that had Tom Seaver as their main man on the mound that great Met year. Ray Sadecki, 73, American baseball player (St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets), blood cancer.
Say Goodbye to: Alvin Dark, baseball player and manager extraordinaire; originally played for the Boston Braves and the NY Giants and later the SF Giants.  Alvin also managed the SF Giants and the Cleveland Indians.  Alvin Dark, 92, American baseball player (Boston Braves, New York Giants) and manager (San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians), Alzheimer's disease.
"Sittin' Here Thinkin'"
In my way of laughingly reasoning about the Republican's taking over Congress, I stumbled across something from the back of the attic of my brain I've known a long time, since my college days and my acquaintance with James Fraser's The Golden Bough, a book I think should be required reading for growing minds.  That something that I stumbled across while reasoning on that Repug takeover was how totally ruled we are, and I include the world in this, by MYTHS, from whence come mysteries and God-almighty how human beings love mysteries.  I mean most of the whole damn world believes in ghosts.  I've got good friends, one a writer whose work I admire very much, who swear they've seen ghosts. With me, to believe in ghosts is nonsense.  Comical stuff.  OOOOOH, a for your life! (And, F. Scott, I use that exclamation point to actually laugh at my own joke.) [And I wonder how many Americans know who F. Scott Fitzgerald is?  "Isn't he a Kentucky whiskey distiller?"]

Mitch McConnell, who is going to be our supreme ruler for the next Zeus-knows how many horrid years, is a Southern Baptist, the worst kind of Old South Christian 'cause they're tricky slick.  They dance and drink and make sleazy backroom business deals with divine impunity because among Old South Christians, and Mitch was born in Alabama don't forget, the Southern Baptists are stuck up and holier-than-thou or as my dad used to say, "All Baptists are going to Hell, but they don't give a damn 'cause they'll air condition it and turn it into a First Baptist Church." [The First Baptists, by the way, were the holiest of the holiest Baptist.  Why?  Because they were the first Baptist church in town meant they were then the richest (old wealth) Baptist in town.]

So Old Mitch, and he is an old fool, can swindle us and gas us and spoil our waters and give our public lands away and impose the Ryan Budget on We the People Who Elected Them Into Power, a budget that is inhumane and backwards in terms of the ideals that should be governing this right-now being-destroyed nation.  Check out that great old tome, Gibbons' The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.  It's all in there, except we haven't yet been taken over by a military coup, but that's certainly a possibility in these coming tragic years.  And, by the way, I want to say, I'm just as scared of the weakkneed, asskissing, all-embracing Dumbocrats, and don't forget, a lot of those Hillbilly and low-populated-states Dumbos voted in lock-step with the stupid Republicans on a lot of issues.

First of all, the majority of us live under the myth that we are not animals.  That we are not the results of natural evolution but rather are creatures created from a supernatural being from up in the clouds or under the seas or down in Hell.  We live among ruins (and preserve them with love) of temples to Zeus, Jupiter, Mars, Dianna the Huntress, Pluto, Jehovah, Hera, Mary, Mary Magdalen, St. Paul, St. Sebastian, etc. all the Saints, and etc. to all the gods I've left out of my Pantheon.  But think of how these mythical creatures have been since the beginning of human reasoning believed faithfully to be real, to be actual beings while being spirits at the same time.  Would I want to have sex with a swan?  Maybe that's why I never wanted to believe in any god or mythical creature.

We live lies.  We have faith in our fabulous gods (and all our gods and Messiahs are fabulous) and we deeply study the writings that have accumulated over centuries that are supposedly sacred writings, interpretations of the various cultural gods' messages, messages on how and what to sacrifice in order to get favors from these gods.  The Jews sacrificed lambs and goats to their god; the Aztecs and Mayans sacrificed young maidens to their gods or they cut out the hearts of their enemies and ate them.  Hey, the gods demand sacrifices.

We sacrifice our people in this country and the people seem to love it.  I mean by electing these Republican goons to rule us, We the People of the USA have given up for good our Bill of Rights; we've approved of Corporations becoming citizens of privilege (the Supreme Court in the late 1800s made corporations citizens--especially Rockefeller's monopolistic Standard Oil); we have OK'd a perpetual war economy; we have given up most of our civil rights and our voting rights will be purposely rigged to make Black, Latino, Asians, and senior voters inconsequential; we have agreed that Corporations and rich people will have their taxes reduced to a nil status (why should they pay any taxes at all?); we've approved a rise in the use of coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power, and uncontrolled fracking in every state; we have approved of a privatization of our public schools and most government services--remember, our government is supposed to be "for the people and by the people," though not according to the wealthy Republicans.  To them, our government is a regulatory monster who have their hippy/Communist/Socialist boots on the necks of our heroic Power Elite as they try and swindle us out of ALL our taxes, savings accounts, bank accounts, pensions, homes, cars (the latest bank scam includes selling cars with no money down and no proof of being able to pay for these overpriced foreign automobiles (does that sound like the home mortgage scams that went south on our crooked financial industry?); we've approved of selling our public lands off to billionaire cattle herders, hunters, gold miners (how about privatizing our National Parks?); we've approved raising interest rates on student loans; we've perhaps approved of debtors' prisons; and worst of all, we've approved of the very people whose wildass backward-thinking schemes got us into this mess in the first place.  Reagan's administration put us into perpetual debt; Pappy Bush then put us into deeper debt that Reagan; then came Pappy's dumbest son (which doesn't really mean the rest of the boys and the girl aren't dumbasses) and this little phony bastard put us into the worst debt ever.  But, hey, folks, that's who We the People of the USA want as our rulers.

We live as though our myths are actuality.  We believe God's laws are more important than humanitarian laws (the righteous Republicans calls such laws promote "Secular Humanism," a tag that riles Republican's up worst than Socialists and Communists.  After all, Communist China owns us.  So how did you like the way Obama (who left the country after he fucked up the Dumbocrats chances of winning) kissed Chinese Communist ass in Beijing before he went on down to rightwing Australia to another of those bullshit G20 sessions in Melbourne. [Get ready for the Ten Commandments to suddenly appear in all our courts.]

We're doomed, but, hey, the White People of the USA had rather see the country sink into Third World status (the whole trickbag in the Neo-Con Manifesto) than see equality and democracy work, especially as this country begins to turn brown and put the White man in the minority (NEVER, the White Man screams!).  White people in this country hate Native Americans, Blacks, Latinos (especially Messkins), Asians, any foreigners who aren't White...IN FACT, White people in this country hate themselves.

for The Daily Growler 

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Existing in New York City: The American Idiots Have Spoken

Well, get used to this sociopathic rich man's dumbass look.  He's going to be dictating policy over the next 2 years and this asshole (he was a champion of Money as a Citizen with First Amendment Rights) will set us back a hundred years with his totally backward thinking.  He's a lying dog.  A lie to him is truth.  He's one of the richest men in Congress thanks to his wife's daddy's money (he's married to his second wife (his first marriage ended in divorce), Elaine Chao, G.W. Bush's Labor sec'y. Mitch, however, is definitely a stone racist when it comes to POOR Asians, Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans.   Also he's a stone hypocrite because though he claims to be a Kentucky coal revitalizer, his wife's father, who owns a fleet of ships and is fabulously rich, ships cheap Colombian coal to the U.S. (one load of coal he was shipping contained a large shipment of cocaine, a matter that is still under investigation) thus undercutting the value of Kentucky coal.  Fuck Kentucky, is his father-in-law's attitude about this subject.  And Fuck Kentucky as well as the USA is Mitch the Bitch's attitude, too.  There's only one person in Kentucky and the USA he cares about and that's Mitch McConnell.

The American Idiots Have Spoken
Americans obviously love Chaos even more than I do.  They voted in in both state and national offices the most backward-thinking Chaotic sociopaths in the game.  If you thought the moderate Republicans were going to control the Teabaggers, think again.  Teabaggers won big in the backward dipstick states like Gawjah, Lawsbanana, the Confederate States of South and North Carolina, Rightwing Illinois, backward-thinking Arkansas, ignorant Colorado, truly dumbass South Dakota (Native Americans should own and run South Dakota), and, of course, poor little Wendy got her ass clipped by a Texas what's new in the Confederate State of Texas?  How about Massachusetts going Teabagger! And the Confederate State of Virginia and its Hillbilly relatives in West Virginia.  And the voting idiots elected these creeps in landslide ways.  Mitch McConnell conned his way into power with a victory over a very weak and Obama-ashamed woman.  And Obama was the reason the Republicans took over the House in 2010 and now for the first time in a long time the Senate in 2014.  Obama who has turned out to be the shuckin' and jivinist president since we thought G.W. Bush's dumbass lying and deceiving was our worst president ever.  Obama beats the little phony Texas prick hands down. 

The last time the Republicans had this much power was during the Hoover administration and you know how that turned out.  THE STOCK MARKET CRASH OF 1929.  And, yes, this is the scenario We the Dumb People of the USA have locked ourselves into by putting the Republicans back in power.  There will definitely be economic chaos, especially if the Republicans win the 2016 Presidential election with Jeb Bush (wanna bet me?).

Obama could have stopped all of this if he had of stood up firm against this ongoing Republican agenda (an agenda that goes back to Hoover's embarrassing loss to FDR in 1932, a loss the Republicans have never gotten over).  But, no, and Obama admitted in his book that he was a fan of Ronald Reagan's, especially Reagan's free trade bullshit and his trickle-down economic theories (the theories of Milton Friedman) and the beginning of tax-breaks for the rich, who by the bye have always ruled this country.  So Obama was the Republican-Democrat and his agenda was to bring the two parties together.  "Yes, we can," he shouted in his best Black preacher imitation, copycatting Martin Luther King and his Black preacher method of repeating taglines over and over...three times at least..."Yes, we can...Yes, we can...Yes, we can."  Of course, yes, we can meant, yes we can keep this Bush Imperial ball rolling.

The dumbest voters in the world voted in the rich bastards because from childhood in this White man's land, we're all told with the right breaks and following the Capitalist rules of the game, we can all be RICH as Rockefeller.  That's the true American Dream.  We the Dumb People of the USA worship the rich man.  We envy the rich man; we may even hate the rich man; but we will always idolize the fact that he is rich so he must be doing something right.

Again The Daily Growler Advises
Now is really the time to take all your savings and whatever other monies you can scrape up...sell your house, sell your car, you dog, your wife or husband if you have to...and invest in the stock market (it will go to absurd heights until it crashes)...invest in Exxon-Mobil...invest in fracking because the Republicans will empower fracking all across the US; they will also approve of more and more pipelines (the Keystone XL will be quickly approved).  You see, with the rage for natural gas in Asia, the price of natural gas will go up and the fracking boys will make more fortunes and if you ride along with them, you'll get gas rich, too.

Also, invest in the Military Industrial Complex since the Republicans will increase military spending and keep all our current wars burning at full flame.

I would invest, too, in security stocks.  You think we spy on each other now, wait'll the fraidy cat Republicans get through with us.

[WARNING: If you're looking forward to retiring at 65, FORGET IT.  The Republicans will rip the heart out of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.  These assholes will raise the retirement age to 70, so you'll be working for the Yankee dollar for the rest of your miserable lives.] 

So HOT DAMN, folks, here we go.  We're in for a wild ride over the next decade.  I'm lucky I'll be leaving the mortal coil hopefully before the next stock market crash (it's inevitable) and another Bush becomes president.

As George Carlin said, who's responsible for these clowns getting into office?  And surely you can answer that question just like George did.

for The Daily Growler