Panic Over Biden

I have taken positions on every side of this issue. That will likely continue.

I understand everyone on every side of this. Trump is literally an existential threat, when you figure in climate and nukes. And if you’re in a group that will be executed or rounded up. So to me every argument is understandable because so much depends on winning this.

People are terrified, so if Biden’s age makes it look like he could lose there is panic. And people are terrified so if it looks like replacing Biden could cost the election there is panic. And people are terrified so if it looks like replacing Biden with Harris could cost the election there is panic. And people are terrified so if it looks like running someone besides Harris could cost the election there is panic.

PS It also depends on planning for what happens after the election if Trump does not get the votes because their plan is obviously to have a Republican House or Republican Supreme Court put him in anyway. That’s why there was so much detailed planning for a next administration, and meetings with autocrats around the world, even when it seriously looked like he would not “win.”

My Prescription For The UK Economy

This post first appeared at Imagine Democracy.

Building on Public Investment Is The Way Forward For The UK:

The first task of the new government is get people back on their feet. (And get them fed.) Fast. Send “stimulus” checks ASAP. Then inject funds into the economy through public investment, rebuilding infrastructure (including potholes). Seriously invest in rebuilding the NHS and in a big hurry. Get things moving. Fast. Big.

That will bring the return that “funds” it.

The alternative is to fail, and usher in fascism, which is happening in so many countries that refuse to “spend” on making people’s lives better.

I have spoken.

Public Investment Is The Way Forward For The UK

This post originally appeared at Imagine Democracy.

The UK has ended an experiment in “conservative” governance. Backed by private investors, the government withdrew support for public services, public investment, public everything. They pretended “private” investment would pick up the slack. Instead and of course the wealthy staged a “bust-out” of the country. “A fraud tactic, commonly used in the organized crime world, wherein a business’ assets and lines of credit are exploited and exhausted to the point of insolvency.”

The privatized water companies are a good example of how the country was managed under conservative governance. Public assets were turned over the private “investors.” The “investors” borrowed heavily with those assets and their income stream as collateral. They paid themselves handsomely with minimal investment in maintenance and capacity. Eventually there was insufficient water supply to support increasing housing stock and raw sewage was being dumped into the country’s rivers. Of course there was no government enforcement of rules that would have prevented this – or prevented the resulting pollution. That would be labeled “interference” in the private sector.

Private investment does not provide public returns. The only interests of private investors is private return.

The Only Way Forward For UK Governance Is Public Investment

The way forward for UK governance is public investment in infrastructure, education, healthcare, services, law enforcement, addressing inequality. Investment.

Over time public investment will result in a booming economy and a prosperous public. It always does, everywhere. Look at the countries that follow this formula. The infrastructure is maintained and modern; education and healthcare are first-class, the economies prosper. The people are more equal, happier and prosperous.

Take all the propaganda labels (socialism, capitalism, neoliberalism, etc) out of this equation and look at it for what it is. PUBLIC investment pays off for the PUBLIC. Private investment only pays the already-wealthy private investors.

For The Many, Not The Few

Investment pays dividends down the road. Let the public collect those dividends.

The Debate And The Election

This post first appeared at Government Cheese (Chronicling the collapse of democracy)

The way I look at the election and in particular this debate is, “how the fuck is Trump even or ahead in the polls, and how does the voting public see things?” Not, “how do I see things?” How in the world does the voting public see their lives under Dems and Biden as worse than Trump?

So you look at the information environment that regular people are in. And you try to see what they see.

I know what the public saw in the first 15 minutes of the debate – which is all that matters. Impressions are set and no one cares after that.

I am of the belief that you have to vote for Biden anyway because of the existential threat of Trump or at this point any Republican. (I wavered because of Gaza but am still there.) And I was shaken by what I saw, wondering even if Biden can even stay alive until November, never mind another 4 years. And the brain was not functioning. I see no future in a Biden vote. No hope for more of what we saw that last four years, only a Harris ascension quite soon. But I still will vote Biden – only because of Trump.

Will the debate change things? The right-wing-dominated information environment regular people live in already had Biden as old and demented, so all that happened is that was confirmed. For people outside of that information environment, Trump is clearly understood as extremely dangerous, and that was confirmed if you could stomach even watching him which I could not and did not except for a bit.

Anyway what matters now is are the polls going to change? I think maybe not. I think enough people already had it in their mind that Biden is too old but Trump is too dangerous.

If we can change the information environment America could come back. At this point that means overcoming Murdoch, Sinclair, private equity, billionaires etc. Musk and his cohorts did not buy Twitter to make a profit.

Deregulation Is Just Another Word For Corruption

Remember,On Facebook and Google, you’re the product. The advertiser is the customer. The companies sell you to them. Advertisers pay Google and Facebook to show their ads to you.

When you see the same ad over and over and over that’s Google or Facebook telling the customer they are buying several products – “impressions,” when actually they are paying for the same product several times. That’s fraud.

And when you see no one doing anything about the fraud, that’s deregulation.

Deregulation is just another word for corruption.

There Is Enough Money To Fight The Climate Crisis

More than 1000 people have already died from the heat in the hajj pilgrimage.

The climate crisis is real. If you think it’s hot now, just wait. 1000 people dead from heat is nothing compared to what is coming. But politicians say it would “cost too much” to do what is necessary to transform to a green economy that doesn’t put carbon into the air.

Show Me The Money

There is no such thing as “costs too much” for a government. The money is right there.

The US government does not “borrow.” Taxes are not “revenue.” This is misinformation spread on purpose by people who know better, and who benefit from the way things are. We are not on the gold standard. The government does not round up gold to pay its bills, it “prints money.”

Scarcity-of-money ideology holds us back from making people’s lives better. It keeps the holders of money in power. When it comes to fighting the climate crisis it is the oil companies telling you there isn’t enough money to transform the economy away from oil.

It’s Not “Debt”

The “national debt” measures how much money has been spent into the economy but not taxed out – they money that runs the economy. Proof: what would happen if the US “paid off its national debt?” It would take $34 trillion out of the economy.

Watch the documentary on this, Finding The Money.

Easier Than Governing

This post originally appeared at Government Cheese: Chronicling the collapse of democracy

Modern society is complex, vast, complicated. Governing modern society is hard. Getting it right requires a lot of hard work doing the managing, measuring, forecasting, planning, consulting, regulating, making & enforcing rules and all that boring hippie crap. Getting the details right is difficult. All of it means attending endless meetings. The skills needed take decades to master. And it all requires dedication and commitment.

Instead Of Doing The Actual Work

US Republicans and UK Tories have found a way around doing the actual, difficult work: Just don’t do it! Problem solved!

“Conservatives” espouse “The magic of the market.” Instead of governing, why not simply “unleash” the “market” to do everything.

Kill off the rules and regulations. Fire the enforcers. Skip the planning. Cancel the meetings. Demonize the “experts.” Turn it all over to “the magic of the market.”

Above all else, nurture the “market.” Allow any entity calling itself a “corporation” to engage in any scheme that can be imagined.

So Many Good Things

Protect people from disease? The market will do that.
Protect people from fraud? The market will do that.
Make sure the food is safe? The market will do that.
Maintain and improve the standard of living? The market will do that.
Provide shelter? The market will do that.

The Invisible Hand Will Do The Work

After you have dismantled the entire governing process (“the Deep State”) you can just sit back and party while everything is taken care of by an invisible hand engaging in creative destruction. The Lord will work in mysterious ways. Disruption is the key.

It’s magic!

Cash Bonus

This approach comes with a huge bonus. “The Market” rewards those who “unleash” it.

And Here We Are

And here we are. Infrastructure falling apart. Health care systems in shambles. Education systems not educating. Etc. Etc. Etc. Everywhere you look everything in society is falling apart.

Don’t forget the big one: The planet’s climate is disintegrating and could very well wipe out society itself.

The Magic of the Market at work!

Capitalism And Privatization

On the benefits of privatization – turning public assets over to the “private sector”:

Capitalism – “the private sector” – does not invest in the pubic interest. That is not what it is for. It exists to enrich the few “owners,” and even that only in the short term.

Everything else is propaganda to convince the public to let them get away with that.

Why I Don’t Have Time For Republicans – Any Of Them

This morning Ann Coulter circulated a piece saying that the Britt fiasco was the result of Republicans using “DEI” to find a SOTU spokesperson, and this is what happens when you put a female there for quota reasons instead of a white male. Because OF COURSE no one would ever put anyone other than a white make anywhere important.

I’m just so sick of this vile stuff.

I have studied the “conservative movement” long enough to understand what it is about, and their goals. I have documented the backgrounds, training, methods and funding of right-wing operatives and how they develop their propaganda and for what purposes.

I do listen to them and read their stuff, to see what they’re up to. I used to have a gig with Media Matters where I’d do a roundup of what their outlets were saying, every morning, with an analysis of the reasons they were saying it, and how that furthered their objectives. That newsletter was circulated to progressive groups and elsewhere. I had to look at things like pictures of decapitated black kids, or drawings of big-nosed greedy Jews. That was a cesspit of the worst of humanity and it left me scarred.

So excuse me for avoiding them and not approving of giving them even wider platforms and bestowing legitimacy.