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Showing posts from September, 2012

All Downhill

This graph, based on one printed in Stewart Lansley's excellent book "The Cost of Inequality: Three Decades of the Super-Rich and the Economy" (Gibson Square 2011), tells you almost everything you need to know about the roots of our current crisis.

It depicts the percentage of UK GDP paid out as wages from 1955 to 2008. It starts around the ~59% level that prevailed almost from the end of WWII until the 1973 oil crisis, then shows the sharp spike up above 65% during the union militancy of the mid-70s (whose impact on prices and profits drove the country into the arms of Thatcher). In effect it's a graph of the British class struggle over that crucial half century.

A steady downward trend following 1979 as labour lost out more and more has taken it below 54%, a level at which demand in the economy is severely curtailed. The answer is not more QE to put cash into the banks, but to put cash in people's pockets, restore this measure to around 59% and restart the ec…

Elders of Zion >> Zinoviev Letter >> Innocence of Muslims

Given the current febrile state of the world the temptation to succumb to conspiracy theories is very strong indeed. Nevertheless I can't restrain myself from saying this: doesn't this Arab rioting, and killing of the US ambassador to Libya, just two months before the US presidential election, smell of a provocation to anyone else? In the grand old tradition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Zinoviev Letter? Remembering what happened to unpopular Democratic president Jimmy Carter after the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1980? All the usual suspects are involved: petty criminals with pseudonyms, bogus consultants, mad evangelical pastors. But no connection to the Republican Party (yet).