Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Polls Are All Wrong

First of all, AP is a hard rightwing organization run by millionaire fundamentalist Christian Texans, some of whom are Christian Reconstructionists, with deep ties to corporate America. AP has a deep Republican bias, and based on their articles, especially by Liz Sidotti, they are pulling out all the stops for the Republicans with their biased reporting.

Much is being made of a New York Times – CBS TV poll on October 27. It showed Republicans with a 6 point lead in the generic Congress race. Other recent polls come up with similar numbers.

However, as I noted earlier, all of these polls leave out “cell phone only” voters. Many of these are young people. So far, the two polls that included cell phone only voters gave Democrats a 6 point lead in the generic Congress poll. That means that the recent NYT-CBS poll is wrong by a margin of 12 points. I’d like some more information on the cell phone only voters polls. Did they poll registered voters or likely voters?

All projections of huge Republican gains in the House and Senate are based on these flawed polls, which are off by a full 12 points.

Now, it’s possible that even with a 6 point lead in the generic poll, Democrats will lose the House. I don’t understand the polling well enough to comment on that. But they won’t lose the Senate. At the very least, I am quite certain this is not going to be the wipeout everyone says it will be.

Many races are very close:

Democrat Barbara Boxer is beating Republican zillionaire Carly Fiorina by 5 points. Boxer will win in a close race.

Democrat Harry Reid is tied with Republican Sharron Angle. Toss up!

Democrat Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey are tied in Pennsylvania. Toomey should have been walking away with this one. Toss up!

Democrat Patty Murphy is up by 2 points over Republican Dino Rossi in Washington. She’s going to win, but it will be very close.

In early voting, more Democrats have voted than Republicans in North Carolina! This means super-nut Republican Richard Burr may lose to Democrat Elaine Marshall!

Republican Ron Johnson is up by 2 points over Democrat Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. He may well win a cliffhanger race.

Democrat Scott McAdams is now leading the crazy 3-way race in Alaska with Republican Joe Miller and Libertarian Lisa Murkowski! The Democrat may win, but it will be close and crazy!

Republican Rob Portman will probably defeat Democrat Lee Fisher in Ohio but it will be a close race.

In a 3-way race in crazy Florida, Republican mental patient Marco Rubio will defeat both closet gay Independent Charlie Christ and Democrat Kendrick Meek.

Republican Mike Lee will surely defeat Democrat Sam Granato in Utah.

Republican Don Hoeven faces Democrat Tracy Potter in North Dakota. I haven’t the faintest idea who will win.

Team Crazy Republican Ken Buck ought to be walking away with the race in Colorado. Instead, he’s tied with Democrat Micheal Bennet!

Republican lunatic Cristine O’Donnell will lose badly to Democrat Chris Coons in Delaware.

Democrat Ron Wyden will easily defeat Republican Jim Huffman in Oregon.

Democrat Barbara Mikulski will easily defeat zillionarie Republican Eric Wargotz in Maryland.

Republican Tom Coburn will handily beat Democrat Jim Rogers in Oklahoma.

Democrats Kristin Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer will destroy the Republicans in New York.

Democrat Daniel Inouye will destroy Republican Cam Cavasso in Hawaii.

Republican Johnny Isakson will defeat Democrat Mike Thurmond in Georgia.

Democrat Pat Leahy will easily defeat Republican Len Britton in Vermont.

Republican Jim DeMint, lunatic, will handily defeat Democrat Alvin Greene in South Carolina.

Republican Jerry Moran will easily beat Democrat Lisa Johnston in Kansas.

Republican nut Rand Paul is tied with Democrat Jack Conway in Kentucky. Toss-up!

Democrat Richard Blumenthal will beat wrestling mogul Republican Linda McMahon in Connecticut.

Republican kook Roy Blunt will defeat Democrat Robin Carnahan in Missouri, but it will be a close race.

Democrat Blanche Lincoln will lose to Republican John Boozman in Arkansas in a close race.

Republican Mike Crapo will easily defeat Democrat Tom Sullivan in Idaho.

Republican Chuck Grassley will defeat Democrat Roxanne Conlin in Iowa.

Democrat Alexi Giannoulias is beating Republican Mark Kirk in Illinois. He will win, but it will be close.

Republican Kelly Ayotte will defeat Democrat Paul Hode in New Hampshire in a close race.

Democrat Joe Manchin is starting to pull away from Republican John Raese in West Virginia.

Republican Dan Coats will easily defeat Democrat Brad Ellsworth in Indiana.

Republican John McCain will easily defeat Democrat Rodney Glassman in Arizona.

Republican David Vitter will defeat Democrat Charlie Melancon in Louisiana, but incredibly enough, it will be very close.

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Filed under Americas, Christianity, Conservatism, Democrats, Government, Journalism, North America, Political Science, Politics, Regional, Religion, Republicans, Texas, US Politics, USA, West

Ireland and Latvia

Uncle Milton engages in his usual sophistry as he shills for neoliberalism again. He’s been shilling for neoliberalism since almost the very day he showed up on this site, but he always denies it. Whatever.

…It was US government directed policy and willful neglect of fraud which help create the property bubble…As the Soviet Union and Latvia…why did they shift away from command economies in the first place…?

Here you call Ireland a social welfare state:

but now you blame their property bubble and implosion on neoclassical economics…?

Ireland was affected by the global financial crisis set off by neoliberalism in the US. UM continues to deny the obvious fact that neoliberalism caused the financial crisis, when it’s clear that it did.

Anyway, the neglect of “fraud” as you put it is part and parcel of the neoliberal project.

Yet it’s unclear whether the sale of mortgages to unqualified buyers and then repackaging the toxic loans to suckers as mortgage based derivatives was even illegal. Apparently it was completely legal! So there was no fraud at all, though there should have been.

There was fraud in the foreclosing of homes after the crisis hit, but this is not what caused the crisis. It now appears that up to 75% of recent foreclosures were deliberately fraudulent. The logical thing to do would be to wipe out the foreclosures and give these folks back their homes from the banks. However, the neoliberals are screaming that this will “destroy the US housing industry.”

Neoliberals always shill for fraudulent businesses, because businesses love to commit fraud. Fraud is pretty much what business eats for breakfast every day. Did you know the Chamber of Commerce opposes every attempt to write new business fraud laws and go after fraudulent businesses? Clearly the CoC loves fraud. Did you know that District Attorneys who aggressively pursue business fraud are almost always liberals and that rightwing district attorneys typically let businesses get away with murder? Did you know that in the US, rightwing administrations typically have by far the worst instances of fraud and corruption? The Reagan and Bush Administrations set new records for corruption and fraud in the Executive Branch.

Yes, Ireland is a social democracy. However, Ireland instituted neoliberal economics in order to deal with their deficit problems after the crash. Yes, social democracies are practicing neoliberalism. Sad, no?

The problem with Latvia was not merely “shifting away from command economies;” all of the Baltic states went totally overboard and embraced radical neoliberalism, possibly as a reaction to Communism. After the financial crisis hit Europe, many countries reacted with stimulus spending to cushion the blow (Keynesianism). All of these countries did well.

However, the Baltics and Ireland followed neoclassical economics and engaged in massive austerity cuts in the face of a major recession. They were rewarded with recessions and depressions, wage losses of up to 30%, 20% unemployment, capital and worker flight, and other horrors.

It doesn’t work. Neoclassical economics is the philosophy of economic destruction.

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Filed under Capitalists, Conservatism, Economics, Europe, Government, Ireland, Left, Liberalism, Marxism, Neoliberalism, Political Science, Politics, Regional, Republicans, Scum, US Politics

Capitalism is Bad for Your Health

Libertarian Chuck pontificates (incorrectly) about Cuban health care:

RL:The health care is so great that the rich of Latin America, usually very rightwing people, fly to Cuba from all over the continent to have specialty work done that’s not available in their country.

Chuck: That’s a facade. Cuba saves their best medical resources for foreigners who pay good money to receive health care. They reserve the shit health care for their own citizens.

For instance, here is a story of 26 Cubans freezing to death in a Cuban mental hospital. The government vowed to prosecute those responsible even though the responsibility lies with the nationalized health care system and the totalitarian regime. But Castro can’t flog himself I guess.

1. Cuba has the lowest or almost the lowest infant mortality in Latin America. Cuba’s infant mortality is below the US.

2. Cuba has the highest or nearly the highest life expectancy in Latin America. Americans live only 8 months longer than Cubans, and the US is 4.7 times richer.

Given the above, the notion that Cubans get “shit health care” is seriously dubious. Even if they do get shit health care, it’s better than what anyone else in the region gets, and it’s better than our capitalist health care here in the US.

4. Cuban exiles and other gusano types like neoclassicals love to parrot the notion that Cuba lies about her figures. There is zero, I mean zero, evidence for this. The UN has investigated Cuba and found that their figures were accurate. This is the worms’ worst rejoinder of all to Cuba’s great figures: they are lying.

The story of the deaths of 26 people in a Cuban hospital is most unfortunate, but we have to look at the overall figures. They live longer than we do and they have lower infant mortality, end of story. Cubans get better health care than we do. That’s all there is to it.

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Filed under Americas, Capitalism, Caribbean, Cuba, Death, Economics, Health, Latin America, Public Health, Regional, Socialism

Some Recent Failures of Neoclassical Economics

Have you noticed that practically all these neoclassical types do is lie? There’s a reason for that. Their theory is good for the rich and the upper middle class only, and it’s crap for everyone else. They can’t come out and say that, so they have to lie to the 80% of the population who is going to get screwed by their rentier and banker class philosophy and tell them that it’s good for them.

This is similar to the modus operandi of conservatism. As conservatism is always and everywhere a philosophy of the plutocrats that benefits them and some upper middle class folks and hurts everyone else, they can’t very well be honest about the nature of their class war project. This is why conservatives, everywhere and Earth and all down through the past, have always lied. Conservatism is dishonest because it must be. A philosophy that benefits the top 20% while harming the bottom 80% is going to be difficult to sell to the masses if you are honest about, although Americans may well just go for it, as they are just that stupid.

Analyses of neoliberalism in the past few decades around the world showed that it tended to benefit about the top 20% of society and harm about the bottom 80% of society. That is, there is a huge wealth transfer from the bottom 80% to the top 20%. It resulted in damage or collapse of health and education figures in most places where it was tried, and the resulting death toll is surely in the many millions. This is why so many nations have been trying to chuck it lately.

Even major ruling class organs like Time Magazine admitted that decades of neoliberalism in recent years in Latin America had largely failed.

Neoclassical economics killed 15 million people in Russia alone in the 1990’s.

Neoclassical economics has failed to lift people out of poverty. Peru and India have implemented neoliberal policies in recent years. After years of high growth in Peru, the poverty rate remained flat at 51%. In India, after 16 years of high economic growth, the malnutrition rate was flat at 51%. Neoclassical economics is trickle down supply side economics, and we all know that doesn’t work.

The neoclassicals caused the recent financial crisis that took out the US economy and nearly took down the world’s economy with it.

Neoclassical economics destroyed Latvia, leading to a 20% loss of GDP, 2/3 as great as the Great Depression in the US. Housing values collapsed, losing 70% of their value. Wages were deliberately collapsed by the neoclassical government. They deliberately reduced public sector wages 30% and are now trying to spread it to the private sector. So it appears that one of the goals of neoclassicalism in Latvia is the destruction of wages.

Hoover’s neoclassical economics only deepened and worsened the Great Depression in the US.

Neoclassical economics caused a depression in Ireland with 10% loss of GDP.

The top neoclassical economists, including Hayek and Friedman, went down to Chile and advised Pinochet on how to run his economy. They implemented the most radical experiment in neoclassical economics that has ever been tried. The result was one of the worst economic depressions in modern history. However, at the end of Pinochet’s term, workers had lost 1/3 of their wages, and there was a massive wealth transfer from the bottom 2/3 to the top 1/3. Hayek and Friedman both said that neoclassical economics was so bad for workers and ordinary people that the only way to put it in was via a dictatorship. This is why both Hayek and Friedman were huge cheerleaders for the murderous Pinochet.

The countries that got creamed worst in the financial crisis were those that had followed neoclassical theories in their financial system.

Iceland underwent possibly one of the most radical experiments in neoclassical restructuring of its financial sector. The result was that when the crash hit, Iceland was ruined. Its three largest banks went bankrupt, and there was a run on banks. Iceland itself was effectively bankrupt. The banking collapse was the worst suffered by any state in recent history.

The Icelandic stock exchange collapsed and lost 90% of its value. Sure, let’s privatize social security! If Iceland had privatized social security, your social security check would have lost 90% of its value. Instead of getting $1000/month, you would get $100/month.

The cost of the crisis exceeded 75% of the nation’s GDP. Since then, Iceland has been in recession, with a 5.5% loss in GDP, but it is expected to fall by 10%, meaning that Iceland will go into a depression. 500,000 depositors outside of Iceland could not access their money for some time. A giant German bank, BayernLB, nearly collapsed and had to be bailed out by taxpayers. Pensions collapsed and lost 20% of their value. Inflation is expected to run up to 75% this year.

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Filed under Americas, Asia, Capitalism, Chile, Conservatism, Economics, Education, Eurasia, Europe, Health, History, India, Ireland, Latin America, Modern, Neoliberalism, North America, Peru, Political Science, Public Health, Regional, Russia, South America, South Asia, The Americas, US, USA

White People Can’t Dance

White people can’t dance LOL.

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Filed under Culture, Europeans, Humor, Race/Ethnicity, Whites

Tea Party Assholes

The usual crap. This isn’t a very good video about their assholery, since it’s made by liberal idiots (Color of Change), but it’s OK.

Barack Obama does not hate White people, White culture, White America or any of that. He’s as White as a Black man gets. This is the language of White nationalism that Beck is using.

When Fat Man Rush calls Obama a “magic Negro,” this is racist language. Among White racists, the phrase “magic nigger” is common. What it means is that most niggers are at worst evil and at best useless. However, they agree that there are a few niggers who are pretty much like White people, but they are so rare, it’s ridiculous. Maybe 5%. White racist forums argue a lot about “magic niggers” and whether or not you should hate them too. They usually say that you should hate the magic niggers too.

Oh yeah. I would like to say one more thing about Rush Limbaugh. He’s fat. LOL!

I can’t believe this Jew John Stossel is arguing for getting rid of anti-discrimination laws. I hope he gets his wish and half the stores he tries to walk into throw him out for being a slimy kike, which frankly he is anyway. This guy’s really gone insane. Remember back when he was one of the most famous talking heads on US TV on 48 Hours. He was always shilling for corporations back then. Now he’s come out as a full-blown Libertarian radical. Wow.

All this shit about Obama being a Muslim and not being an American is racist too. Blacks  aren’t really Americans according to White nationalism. WN says that only Whites can be Americans. Not Amerindians? WTF. And to be a real American, you have to be not only White but also Christian. Saying that Obama is a Muslim from Kenya is just another way of saying that niggers are not Americans and can never be Americans. It’s the language of White nationalism.

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Filed under Anti-Racism, Blacks, Christianity, Civil Rights, Conservatism, Democrats, Discrimination, Europeans, Islam, Libertarianism, Obama, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Religion, Republicans, US Politics, White Nationalism, White Racism, Whites

Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan

AJ asks:

Neoliberalism works in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. They are rated as the freest economies by the Heritage Foundation. No starvation or shantytowns there. 

First of all, I would never read anything that the Heritage Foundation says about anything, nor would I trust any of their scales, which are probably rigged so that rich countries mysteriously end up with the “freest economies” and poor countries somehow end up with the “least free” economies.

Anyway, capitalism can definitely create wealth. Anyone knows that.

The post asked why it can’t do stuff like feed people, educate them, give them medical care, give them decent clothes and housing, transportation and full unemployment. Obviously, neoclassical economics is a complete disaster as far as all that goes.

Hong Kong is full of the most horrible shantytowns that lack even the most basic services. It’s truly awful.

Singapore is a social democracy. Plus it has very heavy state involvement in the economy (corporatist), unless I am mistaken.

Taiwan is another state in which the state is heavily involved in working with industry to plan the development of the capitalist economy. This is the corporatist model that is typical in that region. South Korea and Japan area also corporatist states. Taiwan appears to be a social democracy. They also did a huge land reform in the early days. In addition, their economic growth was predicated on decades of protectionism as they used trade barriers to protect their nascent industry from foreign competition.

Neoliberalism is opposed to land reform, social democracy in any and all forms, protectionism and trade barriers, and in particular to corporatism.

Even if those countries were running according to the neoliberal model (and it’s not clear if they are), one must ask why it is succeeding there and failing everywhere else.

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Filed under Asia, Capitalism, Economics, Japan, NE Asia, Neoliberalism, Regional, Singapore, Socialism, South Korea, Taiwan

The Place of Horners Among the Major Races

A commenter asks:

…I was wondering, is it true that Ethiopians, Somalis, Eritreans, Djiboutis, and some Kenyans (people from the Horn of Africa) are mixed Caucasoid-Negroid? What is “Hornoid”? I’ve seen it in a map on the origin of races. Are “Hornoids” different from Negroids? Are modern day Horn Africans descended from Hornoids and Caucasoids, and not Negroids or a combination of three? 

No one really knows what those Horners are. You can make a good case that they are a separate race entirely from Black Africans, sort of midway between Black Africans and Caucasians.

This excellent chart shows Ethiopids, or Horners, as a completely separate race from African Blacks and Caucasians

They seem to be a mix between some sort of ancient Caucasoid and some interesting form of Black African. On some gene charts, they plot midway between Africans and Caucasians.

This interesting map shows both Ethiopids and the San as separate races. I agree that the San are also probably a separate race from Black Africans.

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Filed under Africa, Anthropology, Blacks, East Africa, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ethiopians, Europeans, Kenya, Mixed Race, Physical, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Somalia, Somalis

The Failure of Neoclassical Economics in Latin America

Chuck the Libertarian continues:

For all your railing against capitalism and in favor of socialism/Communism, the best controlled experiment we’ve had for that is East versus West Germany. Remember, it was the East German government who had to build a wall to keep their people from spilling out of the country. The only difference was the communist totalitarian regime and the lack of economic and personal freedom that entails.

That Berlin Wall was put up due to brain drain. The East Germans were fleeing a Communist East Germany for a socialist West Germany. It was mostly the smartest who were leaving, mostly to make more money. People like money. And many West German Leftists moved to East Germany in the early days.

I’m not so big on Communism. It’s got a ton of problems, but it was able to do some things well. For instance, in Latin America, Cuba has provided electricity, plumbing, decent housing, access to transportation, good clothing, plenty of food, work for everyone.

Cuban medical care is better than the medical care in capitalist Latin America. Cubans live longer and have lower infant mortality rates than other Latin Americans. The health care is so great that the rich of Latin America, usually very rightwing people, fly to Cuba from all over the continent to have specialty work done that’s not available in their country.

Cuban education beats education in the rest of Latin America. With 2% of the population, Cuba has 10% of the scientists. The have more agronomists per capita than anywhere else in Latin America.

Capitalism in Latin America in general has utterly failed to do any of these things.

They have not been able to:

  1. Provide electricity for all of their people. Even Argentina has not wired up the whole country. The Indian areas of the northeast lack electricity.
  2. Provide plumbing and sewage treatment for all their people. Even Mexico does not provide it for 27% of the population.
  3. Provide decent housing for all their people. Horrible shantytowns are everywhere.
  4. Provide access to transportation for everyone. For many, the only transportation is on foot.
  5. Provide good clothing for their people. Many people are barefoot or practically dressed in rags. In videos of Cuba, one thing you notice is that everyone is dressed in nice, modern clothing.
  6. Provide food for all their people. Cuba has a malnutrition rate of 2%, the lowest in Latin America. Even in Argentina, recently 50 children a day were dying of malnutrition. Even Costa Rica has 7% malnutrition. Capitalism in Latin America has failed in the worst possible way – it can’t even feed it’s own people.
  7. Provide jobs for everyone. Cuba has full employment. Mass unemployment is typical in Latin America.

If neoclassical economics works so great, why can’t it provide food, jobs, electricity, plumbing, decent clothing and housing and transportation for the people of this land? Why has neoclassical economics failed so badly compared to Cuba in terms of health care and education?

If you go to the rural areas of Cuba, you will see an interesting thing. Everywhere you go, you will see happy, healthy, well-fed, well-clothed children. In general, you will not see this in the rural areas of most other Latin American countries. Why can’t neoclassical economics provide for children the way the Cubans do?

In Latin America, it looks like neoliberalism is nothing but a massive fail.

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Filed under Americas, Capitalism, Caribbean, Cuba, Economics, Education, Europe, European, Fascism, Germany, Health, History, Latin America, Latin American Right, Left, Marxism, Modern, Neoliberalism, Political Science, Public Health, Regional, Socialism

Neoclassical Silliness on the Minimum Wage Again

Chuck is the latest proponent of neoclassical nonsense to grace our blog:

How much worse off would people in those countries be if their children couldn’t work? You can’t apply U.S. ideals to countries that aren’t as far along the economic life cycle as the U.S.

His first paragraph attempts to justify the total failure of the lack of minimum wage laws in the 3rd World to deal with the problems of unemployment or poor pay. He deals with this by not answering the question.

Meanwhile, Cuba has a minimum wage law and has full employment. In the US, there are indeed states in the US South that have no minimum wage laws. I’m not sure what the means in terms of what employers can do, but those states have the worst pay and working conditions in the US.

In fact, you will see an excellent correlation in the US and around the world: Everywhere there is no minimum wage law, you have terrible pay and working conditions, and in many places, you also have mass unemployment. The working man is getting fucked. Countries that have minimum wage laws, on average, tend to have better treatment of workers and better pay.

Lack of minimum wage laws is bad for workers!

Once again, we see the enemies of the workers, the neoclassicals, claiming that they are out to help their worker buddies. It’s a lie. Why would our enemies want to help us? The neoclassicals are the agents of Capital and the rich. They want to get rid of minimum wage laws because that’s good for capitalists. It’s good for capitalists and bad for workers. Workers in the developed world won’t work at a shit job that doesn’t even pay enough to survive. Indeed, the minimum wage itself is barely even enough to survive on. Some say it’s low that you can’t survive on it. I’m not sure if that’s true, but if you can barely survive on a minimum wage, how could you survive on a sub-minimum wage?

Thomas Sowell, a Black neoclassical economist, says that we should get rid of minimum wage laws so ghetto Blacks could have jobs. But the jobs did not leave the ghettos because of minimum wage laws! They left because the ghetto Blacks destroyed the neighborhood, mostly through crime, and all of the businesses fled. There are jobs in those areas, but many young Blacks do not want to work for them. They barely want to work for minimum wage. They consider that chump change. They make a Hell of a lot more money selling dope, which is why they do it.

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Filed under Americas, Blacks, Capitalism, Caribbean, Cuba, Economics, Labor, Latin America, North America, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Socialism, Sociology, South, Urban Decay, Urban Studies, USA