Saturday, October 27, 2018

Economics Of Decline

Caught in History,

This is brief. We are caught in history, and not a steady part, but a point where narratives are about to rupture and be replaced with new narratives, which are hotly disputed at all levels. Societal narratives are what guide and control us. They can't be left to chance. they have to be put in place for the crisis, but they are not yet agreed. It looks like the narratives of reality may still be contested when the crisis hits. There might not be a clear scapegoat. Blame might fall on some of the ruling elites. They can't really let the crisis happen when they remain unprotected. How long can this can be kicked down the road?

I sent this out on 10/17/18, but now I see Nordhaus has some history, as below.
Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism looks at how not to get a "Nobel Prize in Economics" for evaluation of the relationships between business and environmental degradation. Specifically; do not do the rigorous science that proves what bankers don't want to hear. What will win the prize is a little softball work with wide margins of error that endorses a very modest carbon tax and waiting to see what happens after we die. (Wake up, yourself!)
The Nordhaus/Romer combo is so artificial and unconvincing it’s hard to avoid the impression that the prize not given to Weitzman is as important as the one given to Nordhaus.  This is a clear political statement about how to deal with climate change and how not to deal with it.  The Riksbank has spoken: it wants a gradual approach to carbon, one that makes as few economic demands as possible.  

Professor Ugo Bardi looks at the past and present of William Nordhaus, who can clearly not be made to understand what he gets paid well to not-understand, the complexities of the growth of human industrial society on planet Earth. Nordhaus has been getting big party favors for making unfounded accusations and arguments about the limits to growth and climate change since 1973. It's like his side-career. Good cash tips from his benefactors...

Eleni sends this background article on some of the reasons why we might be hearing so much about the Khashoggi murder, as opposed to the usual quiet about the crimes of the House of Saud. Some powerful neoliberal financial interests have just been stiffed.
Will MBS be replaced? It certainly remains to be seen, as strong public pressure and political threats may yet guide the crown prince back to the neoliberal fold. Yet, what is clear is that MBS’ rise to power was backed by the international elite and the Trump administration based on the promise of these neoliberal reforms and the mass sale of U.S. weapons to Saudi Arabia. However, in the months before Khashoggi’s disappearance, MBS gravely endangered both of these deals, angering those that had backed his consolidation of power. Such a cadre of powerful interests will not prove easy to placate.  While it may certainly seem ironic and perhaps amusing to some that a tyrant like MBS has come under such strong pressure from the international elite, there is reason for concern. Indeed, if Vision 2030 is fully implemented — whether by MBS or his successor — forcing neoliberalism on the Saudi population is likely to make the country very unstable, as nearly occurred when MBS tried to implement it early this year.

Peter Schiff says the US economy is about to collapse, bringing down the dollar and the American standard of living (But when, please? China and the EU are in that same line.)

Waiting Patiently


  1. Several years ago I wrote a piece called "Vision and Illusion". It can be accessed here: It addresses the difficulties of our predicament.

  2. Good thoughts, Ala. See this, which is directly related.

    1. Thanks for the response. I too wrote a piece on debt called "debt jubilee" in 2014. At that time, I liked the concept of jubilee but since I am owed money rather than am a debtor, it is not in MY best interest to be forgiving debts.