Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Israel-Palestine a conversation

Re: Is the NY Times Biased on Israel/Palestine?
JWC@igc.org [JWC@igc.org]

Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 10:55 AM
To: JWC@igc.org

On Tuesday, August 30, 2011, Hal Pepinsky wrote:

The answer is yes.

In my experience, it is because in the US (and Canada), media and mid-east politics are controlled by Jewish Zionists.

In the fall of 1945 when I was born, my mom and I would have been with my dad in Austin, Texas, except that the Texas Board of Regents rejected his appointment as the first Jew on the faculty there. I have similar stories of anti-Semitism on behalf of a brother, of my father, and on behalf of his father, both of whom were in academia in the US at major universities.

On the other hand my mother is gentile, and so -- according to conservative Judaism -- am I. I joined a de facto Jewish fraternity in college and went on dates with Jewish sorority members who grilled me and declared they couldn't get serious with anyone who wasn't Jewish.

I've lived on both sides. I know of ecumenical peace groups both in the US and in Israel/Palestine who transcend secularism. Unfortunately, my fellow Jews who have risen to the top in the media and in national politics are Zionist, including those who have been at the top of the New York Times.

In Germany, had I been a child of the 1930s, no doubt I would have been fodder for Hitler's gas chambers. But he played on a stereotype that we ought to talk about -- about prominent success by those among us who happen to be Jews.

In today's world, that success in the media and in politics in the US happens to equate, unfortunately, with Zionist bigotry against Palestinians. Here's hoping that sentiment relents.

John Woolman College of Active Peace [JWC]
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

News from Japan reminds me of a song

As I hear about Japan's fall and political confusion at its top, I'm reminded of the first two lines from a band whose concert I attended in 1970. The brass band began the karmic message of its signature song this way: What goes up must come down, spinning wheel, got to go round...catch a spotted wheel pony by the spinning wheel ride...love and peace hal

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Military Conversion: Bring the Troops Home

Another modest proposal
Hal Pepinsky, pepinsky@indiana.edu, pepinsky.blogspot.com
August 27, 2011
I know this is a political dream, but hear me out on how the US could save its own and spare the world greater pain.
Let Congress that henceforth all soldiers will become members of the national guard, subject to deployment by governors.
Reallocate all Pentagon and CIA/NSA tax revenues primarily by county population.
Use that tax money to employ veterans for local services, including maintaining infrastructure, and to offer veterans and their families subsidized living in currently foreclosed housing.
I know I’m dreaming, but oh if we could get our priorities straight. Love and peace--hal

Friday, August 26, 2011

fie on "growth"

Growth has had its time. The notion has become obsolete. Let's give it up. News that the Fed Reserve is promising "growth" out of Wyoming doesn't deserve broadcasting as it is now on national media.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

time for inefficiency

Hal Pepinsky, pepinsky@indiana.edu, pepinsky.blogspot.com
August 23, 2011
I’m listening to an NPR “Fresh Air” interview with Mark Levinson about his book: The Great A&P and the struggle for small business in America. As I begin this blog, Mr. Levinson is focuses my attention on the consequences of an cultural imperative for economic efficiency aka productivity aka real growth, in Levinson’s case learning lessons from the rise and fall of the first US national grocery market chain.
In Levinson’s and other current economic/political jargon, human labor is by definition inefficient. Levinson’s analysis of A&P’s rise and fall reminds me of E. F. Shumacher’s 1975 book Small is beautiful: economics as if people mattered, where he celebrated “appropriate technology,” since embraced as “intermediate technology” (see practicalaction.org). One of Schumacher’s principles was that the average machine should cost no more than three years the wages of the worker using it. He also celebrated an owner’s decision to bequeath his business to his workers with the condition that any time any of their businesses got to having 300 workers, they would in turn incubate another worker owned business so as to stay small enough to be democratically manageable. I have fond memories of this book. It has profoundly shaped my thinking. Today I’m left by Levinson thinking about how to create jobs.
Sustaining human labor is in liberal economic terms by definition non-competitive, inefficient, unproductive. Under the force of neo-liberalism, worldwide, joblessness of youth and pressure on elders to create and yield jobs (aka “fighting corruption”) drives political upheaval. The only path I see to creating jobs and relieving upheaval is inefficiency, where we support ourselves more locally to pay more among ourselves to enjoy the services of our own nearest, and by extension, potentially dearest. Perhaps one day in my country the national government will be relegated to collecting the most regressive taxes, as on property, sales, and tobacco taxes, and as in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, the primary income tax collector will be the municipality. One way or another, jobs will “recover” locally if at all. Global “recovery” will concentrate only wealth, not jobs. L&p hal

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gross Growth

Hal Pepinsky, pepinsky@indiana.edu, pepinsky.blogspot.com
August 17, 2011
When I hear that my economy is growing or shrinking, I wonder how that is measured. It is by gross domestic product, gdp. Here is how gdp is introduced on Wikipedia, demystified. I begin with copying wikipedia’s first entry on the subject. Note how heavily gdp depends on private consumption and corporate investment:

Gross domestic product
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"GDP" redirects here. For other uses, see GDP (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Gross national product or Gross domestic income.

CIA World Factbook 2005 figures of total nominal GDP (bottom) compared to PPP-adjusted GDP (top)

Countries by 2008 GDP (nominal) per capita (IMF, October 2008 estimate)

GDP (PPP) per capita
Gross domestic product (GDP) refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living.[1][2]
Gross domestic product is related to national accounts, a subject in macroeconomics.
• 1 History
• 2 Determining GDP
o 2.1 Income approach
o 2.2 Expenditure approach
 2.2.1 Components of GDP by expenditure
 2.2.2 Examples of GDP component variables
o 2.3 Income approach
• 3 GDP vs GNP
o 3.1 International standards
o 3.2 National measurement
o 3.3 Interest rates
• 4 Adjustments to GDP
• 5 Cross-border comparison
• 6 Per unit GDP
• 7 Standard of living and GDP
• 8 Externalities
• 9 Lists of countries by their GDP
o 9.1 List of Newer Approaches to the Measurement of (Economic) Progress
• 10 See also
• 11 Bibliography
• 12 References
• 13 External links
o 13.1 Global
o 13.2 Data
o 13.3 Articles and books

[edit] History
This section requires expansion.

GDP was first developed by Simon Kuznets for a US Congress report in 1934,[3] who immediately said not to use it as a measure for welfare (see below under limitations).
[edit] Determining GDP

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GDP can be determined in three ways, all of which should, in principle, give the same result. They are the product (or output) approach, the income approach, and the expenditure approach.
The most direct of the three is the product approach, which sums the outputs of every class of enterprise to arrive at the total. The expenditure approach works on the principle that all of the product must be bought by somebody, therefore the value of the total product must be equal to people's total expenditures in buying things. The income approach works on the principle that the incomes of the productive factors ("producers," colloquially) must be equal to the value of their product, and determines GDP by finding the sum of all producers' incomes.[4]
Example: the expenditure method:
GDP = private consumption + gross investment + government spending + (exports − imports), or

Note: "Gross" means that GDP measures production regardless of the various uses to which that production can be put. Production can be used for immediate consumption, for investment in new fixed assets or inventories, or for replacing depreciated fixed assets. "Domestic" means that GDP measures production that takes place within the country's borders. In the expenditure-method equation given above, the exports-minus-imports term is necessary in order to null out expenditures on things not produced in the country (imports) and add in things produced but not sold in the country (exports).
Economists (since Keynes) have preferred to split the general consumption term into two parts; private consumption, and public sector (or government) spending.[citation needed] Two advantages of dividing total consumption this way in theoretical macroeconomics are:
• Private consumption is a central concern of welfare economics. The private investment and trade portions of the economy are ultimately directed (in mainstream economic models) to increases in long-term private consumption.
• If separated from endogenous private consumption, government consumption can be treated as exogenous,[citation needed] so that different government spending levels can be considered within a meaningful macroeconomic framework.

` The major Ingredient in gdp is private consumption. In this paradigm, reducing joblessness depends primarily on increasing private consumption, indebtedness rather than saving. Seems to me like a pretty sick way to build our livelihoods. Reducing unemployment depends primarily on private indebtedness? It doesn’t compute. How do we construct economies based on human conservation rather than on spending? ‘Tis a puzzlement. L&p hal

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Navy Seals

What is it in the US that so elevates news that 9 US-trained assassins called Navy Seals have died in combat? Love and peace--hal