Monday Message Board

Back again with another Monday Message Board.

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

56 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Pravda:
    All new housing construction really needs to stop. Renovation work is acceptable. Of course those projects that have already been started can be finished. The Chinese government appeases to have over built housing. I have read that a large number of new appartment in China are empty. Could it be that these units were built with the intention of rehousing internal refugees displaced by rising sea levels? I would not be surprised if that is the defence strategy of the Chinese leadership. I do not buy it though as the timming does not fit. Those units will have stood empty for ten to twenty years before they are needed. Will the Chinese leadership then say. Yes we thought of that. But if we had waited until the need was upon us then there would have been a shortage of raw materials.
    OK I do not have a comeback for that.

    No Pravda is not the source of the statement that new housing construction needs to stop. I am the source. I am implying that I am as good a source as Pravda.

  2. I am sure Sth, Korea are better then most but Carbon neutrality by 2050? That’s 20 years too late. Actually, it’s about 40 years too late but we don’t have a time machine to correct our past terrible mistakes. Funny how saving the planet is always on the never-never. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of feed-back correction have begun. The biosphere will enforce on us what we would not do ourselves.

  3. Agreed that 2050 is too slow. But look at the dynamics. The Paris Agreement merely speaks if “the second half of this century” for net zero; but it got the idea accepted. Now several countries, and soon the EU, have committed to 2050. That is already affecting long-term investments, cf. Shell. As industries start to move, they find costs come down. We all have to keep up the pressure, but things are at last going in the right direction. BTW, Moon’s platform cited both the American and European models of GND. There are a lot of linkages in play.

  4. I am am sympathy with your thoughts and goals, I just think people do not understand the radical urgency of our times. I am looking at the dynamics. I am looking at the dynamics of the natural world with its rapid shifts to new system states or rather the chaotic instability in the periods when it shifts from one system state to a new one. At the same time, I am looking at the lack of dynamism in the sclerotic, neoliberal economic system. These dolts believe we can go back to business as usual (meaning neoliberal capitalism as usual) after this crisis is over… and it may not be over for years.

    What they do not understand is that we entered a period of continuous crisis which will mandate radical new continuous actions at a statist level. We have already seen this. We have seen how capitalism simply does not work in a serious crisis and the state has to come along and suspend the conventional operations of capitalism in favor of statist and essentially socliast measures. Of course, it is still mainly socialism for the business class, big and small. And that must change.

    I keep hammering the point. If crisis mandates statism and (democratic) socialism then continuous crisis mandates continuous statism and socialism. We have entered the era of continuous crisis. There is no doubt about that. Climate change, and its many dangerous effects, is now a clear and present danger every single year. The bush-fires are near continuous now, nearly every summer and well into what was the off-season for bush-fires. Sea level rise is inexorable and already hitting low level islands and the great deltas of the world, some of which are highly populated. COVID-19 , a zoonotic disease, is systemically linked to wilderness encroachment and capitalist modes of production. I could go on and on with lots of examples. You know them all I’m sure.

    The battle is to change people’s minds so they can change our political economy and our world. At one level it really is a simple and as difficult as trying to get people to stop believing in money and markets. Trying to get a typical modern person to stop believing in money and markets really is, or would be, as difficult as getting a medieval person to stop believing in God. It is a fundamental and powerfully held article of faith. Yet money and markets DO NOT WORK. Have they solved the climate and ecological crisis? Do they work in a crisis? NO! The government has had to suspend, or attempt to suspend, many market operations in the arenas of employment, accommodation, rents and mortgages. The government has had to suspend neoliberal labor market relations and welfare rules in the face of the crisis. Why? Because neoliberal labor market relations work very poorly in benign times and fail utterly in crisis.

    I really wonder when neoliberal boosters (not meaning James Wimberley or anyone here) will get it through their thick skulls that their system does not work, except for the super rich. I had been saying for a while that it would take a “salutary disaster” to convince people that neoliberalism and capitalism do not work; meaning do not work equitably and sustainably. Really “convince” here means causing them to lose belief. Because most people simply don’t think. They just believe. Well, their beliefs are now going to be shattered one after another like prized china swept off the shelf. I cannot pretend that I do not feel some schadenfreude and complete vindication at the irrefutable empirical proof that I, and the thinkers I followed and assessed to be most correct, were completely right. And all the arrogant, sanctimonious, supercilious, pernicious and vicious exploiters were completely wrong. Their system is now collapsing around all our ears. Let us hope that those of us who actually have some ethics and some logic in our brains can rescue something from this ongoing horrendous disaster that late stage capitalism has become.

  5. akarog,

    Like I say, Neoliberals are sclerotic: near catatonic when it comes to preparing for real world disasters. They don’t really believe anything exists that can’t be controlled by markets. When the real world bites them and the rest of us on the ass because of their myopia, the science advisers and science professions have to drag them struggling and protesting back to even a most rudimentary acceptance that real-world empirical facts do exist and do matter. That everything is not just markets and money.

    Yet, it is terrifying to see how few people do believe in real-world facts in some quarters. One just has to look at Catallaxy, the US President or the US states demonstrating for the freedom to die of coronavrius and take a lot of others with them.

    Apparently, evolutionary fitness depends on being either non-intelligent like viruses or much more intelligent than the average human. Being just red-neck intelligent means destroying the world for guns, beer, pickup tracks and cable TV. But that’s freeeeeeeeeeeeedom!

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