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Ghost Dog

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 12:59 PM
Number of posts: 15,365

About Me

Brit gone native. Cooperative member. Ecology. Cartography. Programming. Music production.

Journal Archives

Jeremy Corbyn calls for new economics to tackle 'grotesque inequality'


Jeremy Corbyn said the UK needed a serious debate about wealth creation, as he called for a new style of economics to tackle Britain’s “grotesque inequality”.

Closing a Labour state of the economy conference in central London on Saturday, the party’s leader said: “Wealth creation is a good thing: we all want greater prosperity. But let us have a serious debate about how wealth is created, and how that wealth should be shared.” ...

... “We want to see a genuinely mixed economy of public and social enterprise, alongside a private sector with a long-term private business commitment, that will provide the decent pay, jobs, housing, schools, health and social care of the future. Labour will always seek to distribute the rewards of growth more fairly. But to deliver that growth demands real change in the way the economy is run,” Corbyn said...

... There was a need to change the way capitalism in Britain worked, he told the audience: “Previous Labour governments were content to only think about how to redistribute income. Today, technological change means we have to think more closely about ownership.

“I’ve spoken before of moving beyond the Tory right to buy and creating a Labour right to own. This can be at the centre of our offer to Britain – a radical decentralisation of economic power and authority back to working people and local communities.”


Two points. 1. Need to consider what is 'wealth'. More than just money. A wealthy society should be a healthy society, physically and mentally. 2. Economics must take into account environmental 'externalities' for long term sustainability.

The full speech at Labour's site:


.. An economy based on a new settlement with the corporate sector that, yes … involves both rights and responsibilities.
Labour will always seek to distribute the rewards of growth more fairly … But, to deliver that growth demands real change in the way the economy is run.
Change that puts the interests of the public, the workforce and the wider economy … ahead of short-term shareholder interest.
Wealth creation is a good thing: we all want greater prosperity.
But let us have a serious debate about how wealth is created … And how that wealth should be shared.
It is a co-operative process between workers, public investment and services, and, yes … often very innovative and creative individuals and businesses.
So if wealth creation is a shared process … then the proceeds must be shared too.
Technology is changing the way we work … Digital technology and robotics are transforming jobs and whole sectors of the economy.
Globalisation means that greater international trade is altering where jobs are based … and where workers are in demand.
Work for many has become insecure … and we want to change that because we believe that a happier, more secure workforce is a more productive workforce....

/... http://press.labour.org.uk/post/144706064579/leader-of-the-labour-party-jeremy-corbyn-mps

Some population dynamics data:

This at Zerohedge...

... Take a gander at the chart below, annual global population growth from 1950 to present and the OECD population growth estimations through 2050. You might notice a...HEAD AND SHOULDERS pattern!!! 1988 was the head of annual global population growth...1973 was the left shoulder and 2012 was the right shoulder.

But what if the OECD and their future estimates are wrong??? The chart below is annual population growth (in total) vs. the annual growth of the under 45yr/old global population. The base of population growth (young) has caved in and only been masked by the 45+yr/olds living a decade or two longer than their parents. However, this extension of lifespans vs. the previous generation is a one off. The current young are not likely to live decades longer again than the current generation. Simply put, we have significant population longevity among the wealth and rapidly waning population growth most everywhere except the very poorest. As you may have noticed, it's a night and day difference.

The chart below is the ultimate visual of stabilizing global population of young vs. globally swelling elderly populations. What was a 9-1 ratio of babies (0-4yrs/old) per 75+yr/olds in 1950 has become a 2.7-1 ratio in 2016...and estimated to be a 1-1 ratio by 2050. The global growth of young has essentially ceased but the growth of old is skyrocketing...

... Where the growth is coming from broken down. The chart below is global population growth split out among wealthy OECD, aspiring BRIICS (Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China, S. Africa), and the RoW (rest of the world). From an economic standpoint, the sources of quality growth are slowing and lesser sources unable to replace this loss. Simply put, those with income, savings, and access to credit are able to consume significantly more than those without.

A focus solely on the population growth of those under 45yrs/old removes the confusion of the older generations living far longer. Below, as of 2016 all net under 45yr/old net population growth is among the poor RoW as all growth has ceased among the OECD and BRIICS. Among the RoW, the majority of all younger population growth is Africa. The same Africa where 1/3 of the nations have average incomes below that of Haiti. Africa is not an engine of consumptive growth...

/more... http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-20/mother-all-head-shoulder-patterns-just-completed-right-shoulder

Austria election: Far-right contender and rival to hold rallies

Source: BBC

Austria's far-right Freedom Party presidential candidate Norbert Hofer and his rival, Green-backed Alexander Van der Bellen, are to hold final rallies ahead of a run-off vote.

Mr Hofer, 45, won last month's first round, but failed to avoid the run-off. If he wins on Sunday, Mr Hofer could become the EU's first far-right head of state, although Austria's president plays a largely ceremonial role... In the first round of voting, Mr Hofer secured 35% of the votes, while Mr Van der Bellen, polled 21%.

For the first time since World War Two, the candidates from Austria's two main parties - the Social Democrats and the People's Party - did not make it to the run-off. Both parties have governed Austria for decades - either alone or in coalition.

This is a big shake-up in Austrian politics, as the country has had a president from the centre-left or centre-right since 1945...

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36339063

Let me tell you. I know a lot about flying. I'm probably the greatest guy

alive with his own nice big (wink wink) plane with my name in big letters down the side.A lot of my friends have enjoyed rides on my plane.

This is a tragedy, at least for the non-Muslims, and if I can do anything about it once I am President, I will. But let me tell you, I think, and I know that my thinking is some of the best in the world, I think Muslims shouldn't be allowed to fly in planes at all. And I would ban carpets too. I will be a great, the greatest American President while running a great business empire at the same time and I will fix this, If I can, I will.

(With my apologies to the bereaved and others shocked, grieving).

Clapper: Campaigns are being hacked

The United States sees evidence that hackers, possibly working for foreign governments, are snooping on the presidential candidates, the nation’s intelligence chief said on Wednesday. Government officials are working with the campaigns to tighten security as the race for the White House intensifies.

The activity follows a pattern set in the last two presidential elections. Hacking was rampant in 2008, according to US intelligence officials, and both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were targets of Chinese cyber-attacks four years later. Despite that history, cyber experts say neither Donald Trump’s nor Hillary Clinton’s campaign networks are secure enough to eliminate the risk.

“We’ve already had some indications” of hacking, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said Wednesday at a cybersecurity event at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. He said the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were helping educate the campaigns...

... Brian P Hale, Clapper’s director of public affairs, later attempted to clarify the remarks, saying: “We’re aware that campaigns and related organizations and individuals are targeted by actors with a variety of motivations – from philosophical differences to espionage – and capabilities – from defacements to intrusions. We defer to FBI for specific incidents.” ...


Superblocks to the rescue: Barcelona’s plan to give streets back to residents

... Barcelona’s new plan consists of creating big superilles through a series of gradual interventions that will repurpose existing infrastructure, starting with traffic management through to changing road signs and bus routes. Superblocks will be smaller than neighbourhoods, but bigger than actual blocks. This will first be applied to Eixample neighbourhood and others like Sant Martí, which largely follows the same grid pattern.

In Eixample, a superblock will consist of nine existing blocks of the grid. Car, scooter, lorry and bus traffic will then be restricted to just the roads in the superblock perimeters, and they will only be allowed in the streets in between if they are residents or providing local businesses, and at a greatly reduced speed of 10km/h (typically the speed limit across the city is 50km/h, and 30km/h in specific areas).

The objectives are ambitious; by implementing these strategies at once, the city wants to reduce car use by 21% over the next two years and increase mobility by foot, bike and public transport. Superblocks will be complemented by the introduction of 300km of new cycling lanes (there are currently around 100km), as well as an orthogonal bus network that has already been put in place, whereby buses only navigate a series of main thoroughfares. This will ensure, says Salvador Rueda, director of the city’s urban ecology agency and one of the drivers of the superblocks idea, that “anyone will be less than 300 metres from a bus stop at any time – and average waiting times will be of five minutes anywhere in the city ”. In addition, “it would be an equitable network in which one could go from any point A to point B with just one transfer in 95% of the cases. Like in a game of Battleship”...

... Private vehicles account for just 20% of total movements in the city today and yet they occupy 60% of roads. “We need to win the street back,” says Janet Sanz, city councillor for ecology, urbanism and mobility, who emphasised the need to encourage social cohesion, coexistence and human exchanges. Recently, she remembered the spirit of Jane Jacobs and her activism for the right to the city on the 100th anniversary of the writer and urbanist’s birth: “She proposed giving the street back to the neighbours. Today we work for that objective.”...

More: http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/may/17/superblocks-rescue-barcelona-spain-plan-give-streets-back-residents

Also: http://www.bcnecologia.net/

Does Donald Trump represent a step forward for climate change action?

... "My advice would be, while I’m a skeptic as well”, Trump energy honcho Kevin Cramer told ClimateWire last week, “he is a product of political populism, and political populism believes that there needs some addressing of climate change”.

Cramer, a North Dakota congressman, is as unlikely an advocate for the planet as Trump. Representing the heart of America’s shale boom – and now bust – he doesn’t stray far from the Republican line on global warming. He also rakes in handsome checks from the oil and gas industry, returning the favor by backing offshore drilling and tens of billions of dollars of investments in coal mining.

Cramer has not had a climate epiphany. He probably just looked at the data.

Nearly half of Republicans – and 72% of independents – say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who thinks climate change is a hoax. A Monmouth University poll found that two-thirds of Americans want to see their government take action on emissions. Today’s populism, it seems, includes a concern for the planet...

/... http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/16/donald-trump-energy-policy-climate-change

Crony Capitalism

... The essence of a corrupt state is “crony-capitalism”. It is the deployment of covert influence to subvert the disciplines of the market and revenue. It is bribery, tender-fixing, lobbying, tax-evading and otherwise abusing political power to secure individual or corporate gain... - http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/12/crony-capitalist-corruption-david-cameron-british-tax-havens-avoidance

Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state interventionism. Crony capitalism is believed to arise when business cronyism and related self-serving behavior by businesses or businesspeople spills over into politics and government, or when self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals... - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crony_capitalism

UK: Fantastically crony-capitalist (Simon Jenkins)


... The essence of a corrupt state is “crony-capitalism”. It is the deployment of covert influence to subvert the disciplines of the market and revenue. It is bribery, tender-fixing, lobbying, tax-evading and otherwise abusing political power to secure individual or corporate gain. This week’s Economist carries a survey of the state of play in world crony-capitalism. It publishes a league table showing Britain’s record as appalling. It is the worst country in Europe, and 14th worst in the world – worse than France, Germany, America and Japan.

Nor does the index cover Britain’s role in oiling the wheels of crony-capitalism, through its supply of homes and tax havens to the global rich. It appears that the British establishment, Labour and Conservative, has sincerely believed that Britain is squeaky clean, as if in the same camp as Scandinavia, Germany and North America, rather than down with Switzerland, Luxembourg and Brazil.

Since the 1987 big bang, when Margaret Thatcher and Nigel Lawson boldly smashed the old City cartels, London’s bankers, lawyers, accountants and consultants simply booked the same comfy seats on the gravy train. They gained privileged access to Westminster and Whitehall. Privatised utilities and transport oligopolies ran rings round regulators – as did BHS round the pensions police. Party financiers bought seats in the House of Lords, making Britain the only assembly anywhere whose membership is auctioned annually. There is no need to bribe the British establishment, as was once said of its press, “seeing what unbribed (it) will do”.

As with crony-capitalism so with tax avoidance and tax havens. For decades British governments have maintained offshore vehicles for rich people and corporations to evade their obligations to whatever they call society... Some $20-30 trillion is now estimated to be lurking in tax havens round the world, of which £9 trillion is from poor countries.... The loss of money from the world’s welfare states is astounding. Offshore finance is way beyond a minimal blip on the world economy. According to an Economist survey, 30% of global foreign investment is now channelled through havens, mostly British...


Drone killings: Legal case 'needs clarifying' (UK)


... Committee chairman and Labour MP Harriet Harman ... called for the UK government to lead the way internationally by defining a clear legal basis for action, and to make sure those who made decisions were held accountable.

"As the world faces the grey area between terrorism and war, there needs to be a new international consensus on when it is acceptable for a state to take a life outside of armed conflict," she said.

"Our government has said they're going to be targeting people in other parts of the world, but there's no independent scrutiny afterwards," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme...

... Clarification on drones was needed because the UK should abide by the rule of law, said Ms Harman, adding that those who killed people in strikes could later be open to a murder charge...

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