Politics, Economics, and Religion

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Politics, Economics, and Religion

Religion has so many connections to political and economic beliefs, there needs to be a place to identify linkages, problems, goals, options, action plans and evaluation criteria.  

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What is the purpose of life?

An eternal question, what is the purpose of life?, occupied philosophers’ thoughts throughout history. Stone pictographs reveal even primitive peoples reflected on this query. Each one has the capacity to define his or her personal thinking about politics, economics and religion.

Discussion Forum

Putin critic says he's one of the lucky ones: "I'm still here" (CBS News "60 Minutes")

Started by Loren Miller Jun 4. 0 Replies

If anyone should doubt the toxic nature of the Russian government of Vladimir Putin, they need look no further than the case of anti-Putin activist, Vladimir Kara-Murza. On two separate occasions in the past four years, Kara-Murza has been subjected…Continue

Tags: poison, Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Kara-Murza, 60 Minutes, CBS News

Why Nestle is one of the most hated companies in the world

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Jun 2. 4 Replies

Why Nestle is one of the most hated companies in the world"Child labor, unethical promotion, manipulating uneducated mothers, pollution, price fixing…Continue

Tags: of, Stuff, Story, the, crunchnestle

Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

Started by Joan Denoo May 28. 0 Replies

Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealthIt's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.""sub-Saharan…Continue

Tags: corporations, tax-havens, repatriate, climate, change

Retaking State Legislation May Be Our Only Hope

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo May 28. 1 Reply

Andrew O’Hehir makes the point that,... the extreme and ingenious gerrymandering of congressional districts locked in by Republican state legislators after the 2010 census virtually guarantees a GOP House majority until the next census and at least…Continue

Tags: gerrymandering, symbolic thinking

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Comment by Darin Cowan on December 30, 2011 at 6:36pm

For most of my adult life, I have been of the opinion that there is no "purpose" of life.  Life just is.

Seeking a "purpose" for life, I think, detracts from the experience.  A person can waste their life looking for that purpose, and will never find it, and in looking will miss out on so much.

I am happy my life has no purpose.  With no purpose, I am not a tool, but a free-willed being.  If there was a purpose, I would merely be fulfilling some ordained destiny... something I find dissatisfying.

Comment by suzanne Buzz on December 28, 2011 at 9:46pm

I want to say I love george Carlin he is funny and awesome:)

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 28, 2011 at 1:34am

Non-neoclassical economist Steve Keen converts the verbal model of neoclassical economics to a mathematical one to demonstrate Neoclassical Economic Theory is “fundamentally wrong”. 

"Keen Debunking Economics" Oxford 2011 Monbiot Seminar 

http://youtu.be/YoaUTpr2SNo

See:

0:45:25         Explicitly Monetary Minsky Model

0:49:55         Evidence based models instead of faith base 

Just as belief in faith based religion fails, so does economic faith based economics fails.  The remedy is evidence based models of economic theory. 


Comment by Daniel on December 23, 2011 at 10:29pm

I like Stiglitz, his book Freefall was reasonably good at describing some of the the fundamental flaws behind the faulty ground that neoliberalism "lies" upon.

I notice the parties never like to talk economic theory because they both agree on neoliberalism economic policies. Both parties have kept Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan and their ilk around without so much as a peep. 

The latest example of this system is the Panama free trade agreement that recently passed with bi-partisan support. It really is quite obvious that the purpose of this agreement is to extend political power and add tax loopholes for companies to exploit. Even if Panama spent every dollar of generated GDP on US products this would account for less than 0.2% of the US's GDP. The US GDP is over 500 times bigger than Panama's. 

Also, some of the history of neoliberalism is quite interesting and is worth knowing. The US was uniquely primed for neoliberalism due to our economic status following WWII. The US controlled over half of all the economic power following the war thanks to the competition being bombed out, and military action was not a viable solution to attack the USSR due to the threat of nuclear warfare. So then economic warfare was declared as one of the premises of communism was that political power was useless if you couldn't afford the necessities. Otherwise, we are all aware of how the red scare went and we "won" when their economic system collapsed.

But less known is how this warfare transformed colonialism into a new form of economics established through puppet states. Using these controlled states we could drive economies into debt then use the IMF and World Bank to loan these countries money at high interest rates and/or funnel natural resources out via lucrative international corporate contracts. This strategy succeeded so well in increasing profit that companies became international and adopted the same tactics not just in small countries but the US, Europe, and Russia. China claims that they are not engaged in this hegemony but  based on their actions of leveraging technological, oil and natural resources, I don't believe them.

It also should be noted that capitalism is nice as a system because it has the advantage of not only being able to motivate people but to also tolerate large economic inequality. If you didn't succeed then it is your own fault, ignore that the number one indication on how well you do financially is how well your parents did.

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 22, 2011 at 2:27am

Daniel, the George Carlin videos are priceless, thanks. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 22, 2011 at 2:25am

Daniel, your are a treasure!  Great references and I shall get the documentaries from the library when I return from my daughter's home. I don't own a TV so I haven't seen the documentaries

Oh! My yes!  The Real News, Democracy Now and The Young Turks pop up every morning on my computer for my breakfast viewing and I experience them as being thorough with excellent guests.  I like the longer interview times and focus on one subject for 15 or 20 minutes.  

I am so glad you brought up about the linkage between Obama and Goldman Sachs and the many people who went from G.S. to Obama's administration and advisors.  Not only were they all neoclassical economists or under its influence, but the assumptions upon which they formed policies are fallacious: money neutrality, rational expectations, level playing field. I started making a list of people under the influence of Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand and Rahm Emanuel and I knew we were in for trouble.  When Obama continued to capitulate without a fight I had my proof that I had been hoodwinked.  

Stiglitz wrote, "THE Obama administration’s $500 billion or more proposal to deal with America’s ailing banks has been described by some in the financial markets as a win-win-win proposal. Actually, it is a win-win-lose proposal: the banks win, investors win — and taxpayers lose."

Obamas Ersatz Capitalism, April 1, 2009, The New York Times, by Joseph E. Stiglitz

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/01/opinion/01stiglitz.html?pagewante...

Comment by Daniel on December 22, 2011 at 12:25am

By the way, if you like The Real News network (it is pretty good). You might also be interested in Democracy Now! and The Young Turks.

Comment by Daniel on December 22, 2011 at 12:22am

If you are interested in the modern history of debt there is an amazing documentary called "Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders" (Netflix). Elizabeth Warren is amazing in this. If you have the time I would also recommend "Manufacturing Consent" (Hulu) and "The Corporation" (Hulu). These are likely my top three documentaries closely followed by "The Inside Job" (DVD).

Also, I would like to comment on your line about the president and austerity. If you think the president works for us, think again. His number 2 contributer in the 08' election was Goldman Sachs with $1,035,095. There is also a very, very extensive list of Goldman Sachs employees working in the Obama administration.

Here is 3 minutes of the most concise and accurate political analysis I've ever heard:

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 21, 2011 at 6:45pm

David Graeber, “Debt: The first 5,000 years.”

Have you noticed how the people with credit cards, mortgages and car loans seem to be scrambling for enough to make monthly payments and conduct a huge celebration when an account is paid off?

When I was a little girl, during the Great Depression, members of my family lost their businesses, homes, jobs, and there was no flow of money to buy houses, no one had cars, we all grew vegetables, fruits, cows, pigs, turkeys and chickens.

There was no credit at the grocery store and if we didn’t have the money we didn’t buy.  Several families lost their homes and moved into my grandparent’s tiny two-bedroom house.  We kids slept on the floor, wall to wall, my grandparents had one bedroom, their oldest son and his wife had the other bedroom, and the other married couples slept on sofas or make-shift bunks.  We made quilts out of worn out clothes or from the rag barrel at the mayor’s office.  We cut cardboard boxes to slip into our shoes when they were worn through.  All clothing was hand-me-down.  We didn’t have meat every day, ate lard on our toast and potatoes and we canned enough food on a wood stove in the hottest part of the summer to last for the whole winter. We each had one bath a week and the kids got in when all the grownups had taken their baths … I mean the water was not changed between individuals. 

Jump ahead a few years and remember how credit cards came into being.  Most recently a week hardly went by without an application for a credit card came trying to out compete all the other banks sending applications.  My teenagers were sent applications and none of them had jobs.  All three got into credit problems early in their marriages in spite of my instructions and warnings.  My stories of irresponsible charging did not sink in until they got swept away by all the things to buy and so little money to pay them off. 

Here is an author who describes what happened, when workers became debtors and capitalists became creditors and how, and what it means in the current debt crisis.

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 21, 2011 at 10:47am

PERI reports banks hold 1.4 Trillion that is $1,400,000,000,000 in excess liquid assets. Who benefits? Who pays?
Corporations use this cash to buy back shares instead of investing in new production.
Don’t forget, our money is printed, which is fiat money, not adding to the productivity of our nation, which puts more money into circulation while jobs disappear and wages fall. The costs of this fiat money comes out of the pockets of men and women who flip hamburgers, dig ditches, fight fires, teach school, maintain public safety.
To add to this absurd situation, the president calls for “austerity”! WHAT?! Somebody needs to persuade the president those banks, financial institutions and corporations have brainwashed him, put words in his mouth and kept sound fiscal policy philosophy away from him.
Have you ever noticed the eyes of Geithner? He looks to me as though he is knowingly instigating a scam. I wonder? Or is he just blinded by the likes of neoclassical economics?
Does he not realize markets are not free and the playing field is not flat? Do he and his cohorts realize USA means opportunity and that is why our country has been so great. We are not great because we print fiat money.

 
 
 

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