Category Archives: Economy

How it’s done!

This title applies to both continued bank-directed racial and ethnic discrimination and an effective governmental response. Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York, is to be commended. Even if the press release is somewhat self-serving, it is worth repeating in whole. That people who purchase modestly priced houses should be excluded from borrowing from banks is unconscionable.

I do want to note that our currency is a public utility. That banks are able to access currency at will places them in an agency position. That is, they are mere agents of the U.S. Treasury and, as such, are obligated to insure that their behavior is consistent with Constitutional requirements. Access to currency is a civil right.
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“Killing Beavers is not Management”

That was the subject line of one of my missives in response to the Glynn County Director of Public Works entering into a contract with a trapper to deal with beavers that might presume to clog his culverts with sticks and debris. I was wrong. “Management,” it turns out is the catch-all bureaucrats’ euphemism for destroying and disposing of whatever inconvenience might impede their enterprise. “Waste management” wasn’t just an effort to enhance the social status of garbage men. It had functional relevance because where the latter was originally engaged in a recycling enterprise based on feeding garbage to hogs, waste management focused on incineration and/or burying stuff underground like some dead body.
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LCP White-Wash

It has been known for several decades that various industrial enterprises on the coast of Georgia had left a residue of contaminated soils and wetlands. But, that the residues continue to be absorbed by the human population, as well, is not readily apparent because some people just get overlooked.
The income stream from remediation gets more attention because that keeps a small army of “experts” in a job. At present, their focus is on extracting some more dollars from the Honeywell corporation, whose executives made an unfortunate decision to acquire some waste lands on the cheap. A pro-forma public hearing to review the most recent “plans” left all the attendees largely unsatisfied.
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“Disaster Capitalism” is too genteel

At worst, “disaster capitalism” suggests that capitalists profit from other people’s misfortunes, disasters, as if those events were mere happenstance. It doesn’t suggest that capitalism, as it has evolved, depends on and engineers disasters to sustain/satisfy itself. Disaster is of the capitalist essence.

In fact, since the disasters afflict their own kind, the more accurate designation of contemporary capitalism would be virtual cannibalism–virtual because bloodless, but nevertheless ultimately destructive. Capitalists neither de-capitate nor sever any other body part. The violence that destroys is all indirect, carried out virtually and even by surrogates. Which is fine. The longer it takes, the more power it demonstrates. A victim’s struggles are a power play, affecting both the spectators and the perps. Sudden death does not have the same effect.

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Function and Frill

In listening to Warren Mosler expound on MMT (Modern Monetary Theory), I was reminded that he is, of course, a financier in the sense that he’s got extra money which he lends to other people and expects them to return with interest (a sweetener). So, while he lectures about our currency (dollars) needing to be spent before they can be collected, a practical and functional process, I’m led to wonder what finance should actually be called. And the word I came up with is “frill.”
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Segregation for commercial purposes

4454---6-19-14 Beach Club DunesHere’s the commercial activity Sea Island Acquisitions is looking to conduct in the dunes, if the Coastal Resources Division issues them the permit noticed in today’s Brunswick News.

Will it bring in a flock of tourists? Not likely.
‘Tis a shame that Mother Nature is shrinking Sea Island beaches, while St. Simon’s East Beach and dune field keep growing, but perhaps that’s because St. Simons beach goers respect her assets while Sea Island Acquisitions is charging $30 per person just to leave footprints in the sand and renting the toys or even resting in a chair costs a lot more.
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Hiding behind LLCs

The Gospels tell us not to hide our talents under a bushel. That’s probably because LLCs (Limited Liability Companies) hadn’t been invented yet–only the all too human habit of disguising one’s intent. Hidden intent or underhanded purpose is perhaps what’s most irritating about our growing class of exploiters. That’s true of individuals, as well as the great variety of eleemosynary institutions that pretend to help the (unnecessarily) deprived.
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