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Cake day: Jan 23, 2021

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So how would such a law be enforced? Would it be enforced? Really curious in case someone can add details.

At face value I fail to see how you could mandate such things by law and can’t think of many reasons why you would even try…

If parents do indeed put too much pressure on kids, I think other societal levers would be needed, not a law…


Most policymakers fear being mocked by economists as not understanding what’s going on, as economists cloak their lobbying efforts in math and their sloppy thinking in boring tones. You can even see it in the way these economists frame their arguments to politicians, explaining away the anger that normal people feel about these commercial systems. “It is reasonable to ask why the beef cattle industry should be plagued with so many contentious issues that have persisted for so long,” wrote one economists in the opening chapter of the book on beef supply. “Much of the reason is attributable to the fact that the U.S. cattle and beef industry may well be the most complex set of markets in existence.” It’s all just so complex and ranchers can be so emotional.

Really feels like economics at this stage is the continuation of politics by different means. Pure lobbyism…


I think for practical reasons it also depends on how much we are talking about. If you are thinking about something in the millions, then yes, I feel it would be utterly important to be very considerate regarding how you can invest ethically.

However, if we are just talking about 90% of the population trying to put money aside, then frankly I don’t think we should put an ethical burden on the investment decision. These amounts won’t change anything in terms of how ethical the economy is and I believe it is unfair to make it harder for people for no reason, when these people are already struggling in ways.

So I would say that 90% of people should invest where it makes the most sense for them in terms of time available to research and return on investment.

The economy is not a democracy. We can’t vote ourselves out of this with our wallet.




We are printing large amounts of money since 2008 with more of less zero impact on CPI. I’m fairly certain that the recent CPI increases can be fully attributed to supply chain issues. If so, then it will likely drop back to previous CPI rates, once the supply chains are up and running again.

I don’t think the “helicopter” money ever inflated anything else other than real estate and stocks.


My understanding is that the large amounts of money that were created ended up inflating the prices for real estate and stocks. This would mean that large parts of the population would never have seen any of this money. However would be good to see if there are studies supporting this.


Inflation is the increase of prices. Most economies define a sort of basket to monitor the increase of prices of common goods, which is important for most people who buy them.

The problem I see with inflation personally is that it is effectively used for political goals. The baskets economies monitor are generally geared towards some basic goods, however do notably exclude things like real estate prices or stock prices.

During the last decades the goal or at least effect of policies was to keep price increases, i.e. inflation, of these defined baskets low, while letting real estate and stock prices go to the moon. Through this, labour costs were “stabilised”, i.e. stagnated, while the price for assets that the rich and well-off have skyrocketed.

In summary that means that it is really difficult to use your labour power alone (manifested by your wage) to gain access to those assets whose price increases (real estate, stocks) and therefore you will struggle to “get ahead” unless you had a head start.

It also means that it will be more difficult in the future to get ahead, because the inflation of labour cost is so much less that the inflation of things like real estate and stocks. In the current way of things, in each generation compared to the previous generation, those who have to rely on their labour will be worse of than those who own / inherit.


In an essay penned shortly before his death, David Graeber argued that post-pandemic, we can’t slip back into a reality where the way our society is organized — to serve every whim of a small handful of rich people while debasing and degrading the vast majority of us — is seen as sensible or reasona…


What a great piece!

How about this: Why don’t we stop treating it as entirely normal that the more obviously one’s work benefits others, the less one is likely to be paid for it; or insisting that financial markets are the best way to direct long-term investment even as they are propelling us to destroy most life on Earth?

I do feel that this is entirely the right angle. Capitalism will be able to wind itself out of most of its contradictions in order to keep the engine humming away. The one thing it can’t wind itself out of is that it is deeply immoral.

The physical damage, to people and the rest, will always be somehow justified, whether by common sense, racism or necessities unless we really start to refuse the logic that profit, distributed or not, justifies most means. I think that is a very long journey, but I believe the right one.


Thanks for CGNT. Anything else? The world is big, surely there is more … :)



What are some good non-US/UK magazines, website, people, resource to read / watch / listen to?

As per title, I’m looking for some good regular resources outside of the US/UK sphere. Can cover a really broad spectrum on the left. Thanks!..


Those debts would be held in USD or EUR and the countries in question cannot print that. If they would start printing their own currency to pay it off, their currency would get devalued, meaning that they likewise wouldn’t be able to serve the debt.



This week, Grace speaks to researcher and author Phil Jones about when ‘automation’ is actually just poorly-paid microwork – and how those workers can organise to resist exploitation…


Sorry for the late reply.

I just wanted to highlight where I believe we disagree, which is that climate change is caused by the decision of “societies” at large. According to this article, climate change is largely the result of the operations of 100 companies. The article is from 2017, and so perhaps is my argument.

According to this, the companies that cause climate change are basically the largest coal, oil and gas conglomerates, which makes sense. No level of individual behavioral change will cause these companies to stop operating. They are way too embedded in the overall economic system.

The solution to climate change is to wind down the operations of these companies. This will be impactful and the negotiations around it would be utterly complicated. However, as a goal this would be about as well defined as it gets.

I don’t believe that Meat free Mondays, Green Buildings and focusing on your individual climate footprint will do anything to curb global heating (even if those might still be good ideas for other reasons). The problem is way too intrinsic and the first step would be to engage directly with these companies to wind down their operations.

I don’t think that you as an individual can do anything to prevent climate change, unless you have the opportunity to negotiate the shut down of the operations of those companies. The way to wind them down is to mandate it and negotiate the associated interests. We are not doing that.

I feel that telling people (bottom 90%) that they are consuming too much or the wrong thing is like telling them they are sinners and must repent for virtually zero benefits. We should focus on people’s suffering and show compassion, not blame them for participating in a system they haven’t voted for, have limited insights in and from which they generally don’t reap any benefits.




I think that is a very generous summary and much more coherent than the article itself :)

While what you are saying makes some sense, the article really didn’t present any detail on this, which would have been important. The energy angle, as said, was presented in contradicting ways.

Further, I do think that any critique of the impacts of climate change should focus on the impact of people most affected by it, rather than abstract impacts on supply chains and production.

Capitalism has shown to have enormous resilience and a capacity to adapt to all sorts of situations. It does so often by making life worse for many people. And the latter part is where I believe the focus should be if you want to be convincing. Saying “capitalism will burn in its contradictions” and then having to explain rising stock prices and GDP increases simply isn’t a way to win hearts or minds.

I do believe that showing, repeatedly, the current impact of climate change on people across the globe would paint a much more impactful picture. Climate change is already causing significant impact on how people live, be it due to slow and persistent weather change or due to natural disasters or other ways.

A factory that is damaged by a storm will be rebuild. If need be relocated. Production can occur in any part of the world where business conditions are suitable. The impact will show up once in the quarterly statement, followed by continued stock growth because you “capitalise” on the next “emerging economy”.

On the other hand, you won’t relocate your family on a whim. You may not get funding tomorrow if you have to rebuild your local school that was damaged in a disaster. You won’t be able to get a quick fix to a broken water supply that might be poisonous until it is fixed.

Sorry, I think I did get carried away. In any case, I think calling doomsday has been tried for centuries and simply hasn’t worked ever. I feel the article falls in that trap.


Yes of course, externalised cost are still paid by someone else. That’s exactly what the term means.

However the point of the article was that deteriorating environmental conditions will increase energy prices, which in turn will drive inflation everywhere else. But the way the argument is presented is contradictory in my opinion (for the reasons shown above).

I got some general concerns with doomsday prediction like that. Irrespectively of whether they have factual grounding or not, I feel the doomsday angle prevents the development of counter strategies and has a tendency to polarise. It doesn’t foster alliances that can create change.


The argument for why energy prices should rise is totally incoherent to me:

Why? Because right about now, energy is vastly underpriced, like it has been since the beginning of the industrial age. When you buy a gallon of gas, who pays for the pollution, the carbon it emits, which heats the planet? Right about now, nobody does. But over the next few decades, someone’s going to have to. Because we are going to need to use that money to rebuild all the cities and towns and systems and factories wrecked by flood and fire and drought and plague.

Who’s that somebody going to be? Well, it’s probably not going to be energy companies. It’s probably going to be you, since they’re powerful, and you’re powerless.

So if the pollution has always been externalised and wasn’t paid for by the energy companies, and he expects the energy companies to continue to externalise the costs, why would the price of energy go up? They are externalising their costs, so they won’t materialise in the price of energy. That’s the point of externalising costs.

Am I missing something? And given that he hinges most of the rest of the article on increasing energy prices it sort of doesn’t really work out, from my perspective.

To me the whole thing reads more like a rant. I sympathise with some of it, but it doesn’t make much sense as an argument to me.


I think you still want people to have some freedom for non-essential activities that they can access through their own means.


Not an expert in the topic at all, but I believe that in the UBI trials that were run (in Europe?) still had the public healthcare and education system available.

I think UBI can support and make easier some form of social welfare. For instance, in the country I’m living in at the moment, it has been made really difficult for people who have to rely on social welfare to access it. A variety of gates have been created in order to ensure that an applicant “really needs” access.

I believe that UBI would be a much more dignified way of delivering social welfare. However I’m thinking about it really as a progressive tax that starts in the negative and then increases with income, which might be different to what others mean by this.

Don’t disagree with your comment regarding the incentives in the current economic setup… however I believe that at the current stage the regulators rather aim to protect the excesses rather than trying to curb them.


I think a UBI can sit in parallel with other initiatives. For instance you can have universal healthcare and education, while still having UBI.

I also think that just because an idea can be perverted, it doesn’t mean that it has to be that way or that there are no positive sides to it.

I’m critical of UBI as a single, silver bullet. However, I do think that there is potential for it to play a role in creating more just societies.


I like universal service too. Is there a good read that discusses how it would work with food and housing? Both sectors are currently very much profit looking, so I’d be curious to learn how they would be transformed.



"Woodlands Early Education Centre, in Logan south of Brisbane, as well as nine others in the chain have recently overhauled their yards to increase children’s exposure to risk. …



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Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show

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“”" Ingraham said to her guest, reality TV host Jon Taffer. “If we are not causing people to be hungry to work, then we’re providing them with all the meals they need sitting at home,” Taffer agreed. “These benefits make absolutely no sense to us.” “”" …


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