The Pentagong Show

The Pentagong Show
United State of Terror: Is Drone War Fair?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Summers Set the Tables Trump's Turned On Us.

Neo Conway, same as the old con way.

Back in '91, one Larry Summers, then working at the World Bank made an astute observation that set the table for the continued Neoliberal dismantling of American industry and moving it to the shores of LDC's (Less Developed Countries, a club the neoliberal/neoconservative nexus would have us join).  Summers championed US hegemonic dollar policy, using its veto power at the IMF and World Bank to ensnare nascent industrialized nations in intractable dollar-denominated loans, only to use currency war maneuvering to then con away all the profits from what were then called the Asian Tigers, and fill the vaults of western banks with their casino-style rigged gaming proceeds.

He did this by labeling highly polluting Corporate enterprises as 'Dirty' Industries':

"Just between you and me, shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [Less Developed Countries]? I can think of three reasons:

1) The measurements of the costs of health impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality. From this point of view a given amount of health impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.

2) I've always though that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted, their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City. Only the lamentable facts that so much pollution is generated by non-tradable industries (transport, electrical generation) and that the unit transport costs of solid waste are so high prevent world welfare enhancing trade in air pollution and waste (what's now called carbon-trading. Remember, this is only a year before 1992 when the Kyoto protocols were introduced. The larry, Summers, knew exactly what the costs were, and that they had nothing to do with "aesthetics").

3) The demand for a clean environment for aesthetic and health reasons is likely to have very high  income elasticity. The concern over an agent that causes a one in a million change in the odds of prostrate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostrate cancer than in a country where under 5 mortality is is 200 per thousand. Also, much of the concern over industrial atmosphere discharge is about visibility impairing particulates. These discharges may have very little direct health impact (Obvious LIE. VW and other car manufacturers deliberately colluded with their governments to develop software to hide the dangerous diesel particulates that are now choking the City of London). Clearly trade in goods that embody aesthetic pollution concerns could be welfare enhancing. While production is mobile the consumption of pretty air is a non-tradable.

Thus can we see not only the reason behind the Trump machine's unseemly rush to deprive US citizens of healthcare insurance, but the complete blackout from the Mainstream Medea of any pundits who dare to connect these cannonball-sized dots, even though they hover right there in front of our collective eyes.

 The ACA must go before we can rebuild the unregulated, pollution-spewing, smokestack economy Trump has promised his deplorables. He must first rid the Federal government and its supporting citizens, the Corporations to whom it answers, of any liability for the deaths and illness they will knowingly cause in their mindless pursuit of greatness. And hand-in-hand with that goes the emasculation of the EPA, enabling sickness, even as it denies people the means to insure against the ravages caused by the poisoning of the air they breath and the water they drink, since even working citizens can't afford to pay for medical insurance (It is not Health Insurance, and shouldn't be called that), never mind for the health care it gives only the insured access to.

And these costs, whether you have insurance or not, whether ACA stays in force or not, will now begin to escalate in a dramatically logarithmic fashion instead of linearly (which was bad enough). The only way the insurance industry has thus far been able to stay in business is by denying care, not offering it to more people. Starting with so-called HMO's that supposedly reduced insurance costs via Wellness and other logical sounding programs that put the onus for your health on your own shoulders (even while increasing your premiums, co-pay, and deductible), or the Bluecross/Blueshield plans whereby they would pay but 80% of your claims, even as actual costs were increasing at such a rapid rate (at least 10%/year, which is just the admitted increase, at a time when even the best jobs were granting but 2.5% compensation increases) that that 20% liability quickly became large enough to bankrupt even an insured population that had no co-insurance Plan B such as is offered Medicare patients. People who are uninsured in some ways have an advantage in that they look at the costs they are being burdened with, whereas, the insured just shrug their shoulders and let their outrageous bills pile up, wrongly assuming their insurance will pay.

Trump must destroy these agencies while he pumps up the Military to even more calamitous proportions, levying a tax on the underlying economy so onerous that there will by nothing left for such niceties as Healthcare: we are, after all, at War, a War that we have been promised will never end, as it is necessary to maintain the peace, so the piece of the budget pie that goes to maintaining the civilian population must get smaller and smaller, as War spending, always referred to as "Defense" spending (although it's anything but, the AMG, American Military Government), doesn't decrease danger of attack, it knowingly INcreases it, then blithely demands more money as needed for "defense" against the very dangers it has multiplied, hydra-like, by its own Corporate sponsors' actions) glides seamlessly into the same trajectory as health, education and housing: always increasing at a faster pace than the underlying economy that supports it, by providing a river of cheap credit, a torrent of which will lead to what all Trump Enterprises always lead to: debt renunciation and bankruptcy, leaving the rest of us to pay for his recklessness. Only this time it's on a country-wide, and since the country is the indispensable, US of A, on a Global scale; ending in yet another of an unending cascade of credit crunch/financial panic/Bank failure. That is to say, collapse.   Which is, after all, when the finer points of Trump campaign rhetoric is teased out, all he ever really promised.

Remember, what put the US of A on top of the world, making it "Great", was the bloodiest orgy of man-made destruction humanity had ever conjured: the second World War and the consequent manufacture and dropping of the atomic bombs on civilian populations. Trump's promise to make America great again is therefore merely a promise to set the world on fire yet again, as did his Republican predecessor, GW Bush and his father before him, leaving the sole Superpower to hold sway over a world again reduced to smoldering rubble with American industry ready to profit from its rebuilding. Trump is Bush III, his Royal prerogative no less arrogant, just his brazenness and open disdain for Democratic forms of government that put him where he is. And just as Bush-enabled Have Mores throttled the very economy that gives them their ascendancy, gaming it and undermining it, even to collapse, for their own aggrandizement, Trump has no compunctions about doing the same to Democracy, using the Military and the militarized Police the way the Bushes used the Banks, Wall ST., and mortgage brokeers: to further his own agenda with the blessings from those who benefit and the crushing of those who don't.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Trump, Trump, Trump,The Planet's Burning.

London Fog: Another cover up.

As the fight continues over the North Dakota pipeline, we've yet to see an analyst who asks what, while a pipeline is being built to bring the dirtiest and most expensively produced oil to Texas, is happening to the large amount of oil already produced there? One would think that, being so close to the source of oil, refineries would be using excess capacity to refine the Canadian product when Texas oil is slack. But they would be wrong. The refineries in Texas were retooled to refine the sluggish Orinoco belt oil of Venezuela, and cannot be used to refine the fracked output of the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin. They can, however, be used for the Tar sands output. That is as long as the corporations that control the US economy can have their way (and they will ... any law that stands in their way can be mowed down as easily as the natives standing in their snowed-in tepees, it just takes a little longer).

We are consequently awash in gasoline, a record level of which is sitting in storage as consumers are more and more realizing that burning gasoline up in their vehicles in order to get to the job that they slave away at in order to burn up more money in their incineration modules, does not a happy citizen make. The vast infrastructure, not only physical, but monetary, including loans, insurance, title deed, registration, tickets, parking, and fuel costs is simply too expensive for a population no longer assured of its capacity to survive beyond the next paycheck, And for What? To be able to drive to the Quickie Mart?

As the spring "driving season" approaches, a new source of fuel also is mandated, the boondoggled fuel from food that gets added to the mix in order to drive down the mileage per gallon delivered by the fuel burnt. As the ratio of bang for the buck goes down, the same amount of miles driven requires a larger amount of fuel be burned to get there, but since the additive comes from a different source, the increase in demand (which is never, in any publication you'll read, attributed to the very real drop in fuel potency) won't draw down those gasoline inventories as much as the increased miles driven would suggest.

As modern life is pretty much defined by the auto, why don't we ask what is the price we pay? What is this nonsense of sitting in traffic burning fuel, day after day, by the millions, to go exactly where you just came from and then back again to sit in a cubicle, much of the time, or in a telesales make calls you could make from a home office.

As we scour the globe for new sources of concentrated CO2 to release from their chemical bonds and replace the oxygen in the air with, the question as to what we are doing his Alice in Wonderland caucus race for is never asked. We need more and more energy to bring economic growth so that we can sit on our asses and fly for awhile at sixty miles an hour: in other words, for cheap thrills that cost dearly, but whose cost we blandly dismiss, as they are paid by others (the successful use of the word "free" in advertisement and public services is testament to that fact: Healthcare, education, "free" products; every one knows none of these ever come free, they are merely free for me, someone else always gets stuck with the bill).

But we are not only driving ourselves crazy, we are driving the climate system into an ersatz state as well, and for what?

                                            Trump, Trump, Trump, The Planet's Burning.

In my cell-on-wheels I sit,
Thinking Mother earth, fuck you,
Gone are bright and happy homes, so yesterday,
And the tears they fill my eyes
Tho' I try to cheer my comrades and be gay.

Trump, Trump, Trump, the wheel's are turning,
Steer on drivers, it's a race
At a deadly frantic pace 
We befoul the air we breathe
as we poison and destroy our only home.