Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Paul Grenier — America’s Men Without Chests

America’s way of acting in the world, the violence it often does to the truth while asserting its will, cannot be explained simply through its alleged “interests.” The U.S. acts the way it does because of the peculiar American way of understanding what gives life and action meaning.
At the core of the American philosophy is voluntarism, the justification of action based purely and simply on the will. The distinguishing characteristic of voluntarism is that it gives pride of place to the will as such, to the will as power, the will abstracted from everything else, but especially abstracted from the good. The notion of the good is necessarily inclusive of the whole, of all sides. Concern exclusively for oneself goes by a different name.
The clearest and perhaps the best expression of American voluntarism come of age was expressed by Karl Rove during the George W. Bush administration, as reported by Ron Suskind in New York Times Magazine on October 17, 2004:

We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors… and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.
This oft-quoted statement is naively assumed to have been the expression of a single moment in American politics, rather than a summation of its ethos by one of its shrewder and more self-aware practitioners. The point of the voluntarist order is to act, to impose one’s will on global reality by any means necessary. The truth is not something to be understood, or grasped, still less something that should condition one’s own actions and limit them in any way. Truth is reducible to whatever is useful for imposing one’s will....
The American Conservative
Paul Grenier, founder of the Simone Weil Center for Political Philosophy

Joaquin Flores — ‘Oligarch’? Putin decrees a massive budget-doubling of socialized healthcare

Health care and infrastructure. 

How to pay for it? "We'll figure that out later."

So much for affordability versus the common good and general welfare.

Russia takes a cue from China?

Fort Russ
‘Oligarch’? Putin decrees a massive budget-doubling of socialized healthcare
Joaquin Flores

Caitlin Johnstone — MSM Is Frantically Attacking Dissenting Syria Narratives, And It Looks Really Bad

Many of these recent hit pieces are coming out of the UK, which is interesting given the way a BBC reporter recently admonished her interviewee for questioning the official story about the alleged Douma chemical attacks because his words could hurt the “information war” effort against Russia. If this view is widespread among British journalists (and recent headlines by the Times, the Independent and the Telegraphsuggest that it may be), this means we’re looking at an environment wherein reporters aren’t even pretending it’s their job to be truthful, tell all sides of a story and hold power to account, but rather to manufacture support for escalations against Russia and undermine anyone who resists....

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
MSM Is Frantically Attacking Dissenting Syria Narratives, And It Looks Really Bad
Caitlin Johnston

See also

Ed Schulz, Cenk Uygur, Mika Brzezinski, Phil Donahue, Ashleigh Banfield.
People scoff at state-funded channels like RT, while singing the praises of channels like MSNBC and CNN. Those networks benefit hugely from the myth that because they are not state-funded, they are somehow independent.
These are networks owned by giant parent corporations with plenty of skin in the political game — yet, it is rarely acknowledged that these corporations have a detrimental influence on the quality of journalism produced by their employees. The truth is rarely uttered, that network stars like Rachel Maddow are completely beholden to those corporate and political interests — and that this basic fact massively influences their reporting....
And this is just MSNBC, hardly the worst of the lot of US media.

Former MSNBC journalists expose the channel’s ‘pro-establishment bias’
Danielle Ryan, Irish freelance journalist

ht Naked Capitalism for both links.

Bill Mitchell – Bank of Japan’s QE strategy is failing

On April 20, 1018, the IMF presented its – Asia and Pacfic Department Press Briefing – in conjunction with the release of the April 2018 World Economic Outlook and the upcoming (May 9, 2018) release of its Asia and Pacific Regional Economy Outlook. The Deputy Director of the Asia and Pacific Department, one Odd Per Brekk, told the audience that Japan should continue its Quantitative Easing (QE) program and maintain transparency in its purchase volumes so as to ensure the strategy to accelerate the inflation rate up to the 2 per cent target is achieved. Part of this strategy involves shifting inflationary expectations from their recent low levels. Critics of the program shriek that the asset base of the Bank of Japan is now approaching the nominal GDP level and given that a high proportion of those assets are comprised of Japanese Government Bonds, that reversing the strategy eventually will be difficult and risks involving the Bank is huge losses, which might render it insolvent. Insolvency has no application in the case of a central bank which can never go broke. Further, the Bank never needs to reverse the QE purchases. There is no relevance in the rising assets to GDP ratio. The problem is that QE will not achieve the desired end. The Bank has expanded its QE program significantly yet the inflation rate and inflationary expectations remain well below the 2 per cent target. They will eventually work out that the mainstream theory that predicted otherwise is erroneous.
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Bank of Japan’s QE strategy is failingBill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Meagan Day — The Democrats and the Deficit Con

Dick Cheney was right: deficits don’t matter. If only Democrats would learn.…
Attempting to balance a commitment to deficit reduction alongside a theoretical responsibility to protect and expand public programs, Democrats end up imposing false limitations on themselves and neutering their own supposed political agenda. One wonders if the party, increasingly reliant on an elite capitalist donor class, is actually using deficit reduction to weasel out of the responsibility to make life better for the working-class majority of their constituency. The GOP inevitably spends every penny the Democrats save; the difference is that they spend it advancing right-wing policies, not left-wing ones, and lining the pockets of the rich, not the rest of us. The Republicans may be hypocrites, but the Democrats are either suckers or they’re throwing the game. 
Not MMT, but useful.

Deutsche Wirtshaftnachrichten — German press says US kneecapped itself with its sanctions on Russian aluminum

The US sanctions against aluminum producer Rusal seem to be a shot in their own knees: After the US government found that the price of aluminum went up as a result of uncertainty about the future of Rusal, US companies, and the massively hit western allies, the government in Washington backpedaled on Monday.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement: “Rusal has felt the impact of US sanctions for its involvement with Oleg Deripaska, but the US government is not targeting the hard-working people who depend on Rusal and its affiliates. Rusal approached us to request removal from the list. Given the impact on our partners and allies, we have decided to postpone the resolution and dismantling phase while reviewing the request from Russia.”….
Merkel traveled to the US to clue Trump in about the economic and consequential political effects that sanctions are having on Germany.

Fort Russ
German press says US kneecapped itself with its sanctions on Russian aluminum
English translation posted at Fort Russ
Translated by Tom Winter

See also at Fort Russ

Backgrounder on Armenia, Moldova, and Belarus.

Post-Soviet Standoff: After Armenia, Who’s Next?
Eduard Popov, translated by Jafe Arnold

Kremlin: Ukraine ‘Maidan’ and Armenian ‘Velvet’ not the same
Vedomosti – translated by J. Flores

Christine Lagarde — Shining a Bright Light into the Dark Corners of Weak Governance and Corruption

I am gratified that nine countries—the entire G7 plus Austria and the Czech Republic—have already volunteered for this assessment. This is a major vote of confidence in the new framework.
IMF gets a new club to beat the emerging world that is now challenging the West. What's the likelihood of the IMF dealing with corruption in the West. This looks to be just another tool in the box of neoliberalism.

Most countries are affected by corruption of one form or another. Corruption in so-called capitalism is endemic, starting with state capture, since capitalism is based on law and institutional arrangements.

Neoliberalism is a political theory based on state capture — special interests using government to favor capital as a factor of production because this "promotes growth and efficiency." The same with neocolonial wars to spread late-stage capitalism under the rubric of "spreading democracy and freedom." The IMF is just a tool in the neoliberal toolbox.

The IMF itself is corrupt. Look what it contributed to in the destruction and enslavement of Greece.

IMF Blog
Shining a Bright Light into the Dark Corners of Weak Governance and Corruption
Christine Lagarde | Managing Director

Monday, April 23, 2018

Paul Robinson — ‘Foreign’ Minister

Chrystia Freeland gives a new meaning to the title ‘Foreign Minister’. Normally, it means the person in charge of a state’s dealings with foreign countries. In Canada’s case, however, it sometimes seems to mean something rather different – namely, the minister who represents the interests of a foreign country. For on occasion Ms Freeland appears to be less the foreign minister of Canada and more the foreign minister of Ukraine....
Just why did Justin Trudeau hire this person and why doesn't he fire her?

‘Foreign’ MinisterPaul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa

Douglas Clement — U.S. inequality: It’s worse than we thought

Time spent on home chores increases inequality among American households.…
The idea that income inequality might be tempered by “home production”—with low-income families cooking meals at home rather than eating out; mowing the lawn instead of hiring a service—is both intuitively and emotionally appealing. If families can’t earn big bucks, goes the notion, at least they can provide for themselves and thereby soften the blow of poverty due to low wages and unemployment. The story aligns well with America’s ethic of self-sufficient individualism.
But is that comforting picture a reality, or a myth?
Recent research by Minneapolis Fed economists suggests the latter. In “Inferring Inequality with Home Production” (WP 746, also NBER 24166), Job Boerma and Loukas Karabarbounis find that home production—a factor often ignored by economists—“amplifies … differences among households, meaning that inequality is larger than we thought.” Their mathematical model with both market production (that is, jobs) and household production generates greater inequality than a model that incorporates only market production....
FRB Minneapolis — The Region
U.S. inequality: It’s worse than we thought
Douglas Clement | Editor, The Region
ht Mark Thoma at Economist’s View 

Craig Murray — Condemned By Their Own Words

The Zionists are getting slammed, in case you missed it. And they are not helping their own case.

Craig Murray Blog
Condemned By Their Own Words
Craig Murray, formerly British ambassador to Uzbekistan and Rector of the University of Dundee

Model tractability. Scientific?

More on the raging debate over tractability begun by Beatrice Cherrier, if you are following it.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Tractability hoax redux​
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Information Transfer Economics
Tractability for tractability's sake?
Jason Smith

Business Insider — Bernie Sanders is about to roll out a plan to guarantee every single American a job

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders will introduce a plan to guarantee every American a job paying $15 an hour, according to a new report.
  • The plan comes after two other Democratic senators, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand, also backed job guarantee proposals.
  • Advocates for the plan say it will fight inequality and dampen recession, while opponents say it is an inefficient use of government resources.

Woo hoo.

Thank Stephanie Kelton, especially, and the MMT economists!

Business Insider
Bernie Sanders is about to roll out a plan to guarantee every single American a job
Bob Bryan

Pam and Russ Martens — Why Did a Wall Street Plaintiff’s Law Firm File the DNC RICO Lawsuit Against Trump’s Campaign

If there’s any plaintiff’s law firm in America that should know racketeering when it sees it, it’s Cohen Milstein. It’s sued the major Wall Street banks repeatedly with a solid win rate for colluding to rig pretty much anything that trades. On Friday, in the same Federal District Court where its Wall Street actions are litigated, the Southern District of New York (SDNY), it filed its bombshell RICO lawsuit on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Wall Street On Parade
Why Did a Wall Street Plaintiff’s Law Firm File the DNC RICO Lawsuit Against Trump’s Campaign
Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Sputnik — Lavrov Calls French President Stance on Syria ‘Colonial’

Getting real about motives.


For France and the UK, making their countries great means recapture some of their colonial power.

Macron setting himself up as the new DeGaulle? "A la gloire de la patrie."

Sputnik International
Lavrov Calls French President Stance on Syria ‘Colonial’

Southfront — Another Field Correspondent Finds Out That Douma Chemical Attack Was ‘Staged’

Uli Gack, a correspondent of the German state-run Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) broadcaster has visited the Damascus countryside [Douma is lcoated near it] and has found that refugees from Douma say that the April 7 chemical attack was “staged”.

“People told us in a very convincing manner that this whole story was staged,” he told adding that he visited of the refugee camps near Damascus, where “some 20,000 people from Eastern Ghouta and particularly from Douma” had been placed.
According to Gack quoting witnesses, the scene of the April 7 “chemical attack” was in fact the “command post” of a local militant group.
The corresponded added that, according to the locals, militants brought canisters containing chlorine to the area and “actually waited for the Syrian Air Force to bomb the place, which was of particular interest for them.” The locals added that it had not been the first provocation starged by militants.
According to other local sources quoted by the corresponded, militants deliberately exposed people to chemical agents during what they called “training exercises”. The videos filmed during such “exercises” were later presented as an “evidence” of the alleged chemical attack in Douma.
Gack concluded by saying that he cannot verify the local’s statements and cannot say if they are all true. However, he called them quite “convincing”.
Another Field Correspondent Finds Out That Douma Chemical Attack Was ‘Staged’

See also

Saudi Warplanes Struck Wedding Ceremony In Yemen. More Than 40 Civilians Killed

Daniel Margrain — Class Matters

The prevailing orthodoxy in terms of class identification over the last few decades has been through the nexus of lifestyle choices and job roles. Indeed, this understanding of class in the subjective sense has, since the emergence of neoliberalism four decades ago, been in the ascendancy while conversely, the recognition that class is an objective category measured in terms of ones relationship to the means of production, has been in retreat....
Renegade Inc.
Class Matters
Daniel Margrain

IMF Says 2018 Economic Outlook is Rosy, But Austerity is Still Needed Ben Norton interviews Mark Weisbrot

The IMF just released a positive World Economic Outlook report for 2018. Still, in order to make sure that the outlook remains good, the IMF makes recommendation that would lead to recession, says CEPR's Mark Weisbrot.…
GS: There seems to be a general perception that the IMF has changed its ways and adheres less to neoliberal economic orthodoxy than it used to.
MW: … I think the perception that they've changed is really based on mostly what comes out of the research department. There have been some significant changes there. But their policy has changed very little. And you can see that they're having their World Bank and IMF annual spring meetings here in Washington. And this is a big event where you get finance ministers from all over the world, and the press comes and reports on it generally. And so, and this is where you see their world economic outlook, which you mentioned, you know, gives their take on the world economy and what they think countries should do....
IMF Says 2018 Economic Outlook is Rosy, But Austerity is Still Needed
Ben Norton interviews Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research

Mark Hertsgaard — The Secret Daniel Ellsberg Really Worries About

The author and former military analyst tells The Nation that it’s still US policy to launch a first-strike nuclear attack.
Russia not paranoid?

The Nation
The Secret Daniel Ellsberg Really Worries About
Mark Hertsgaard

See also

"General" Prince?

Ben Norton interviews Medea Benjamin,s co-founder of the peace group CODEPINK and the human rights organization Global Exchange

Marx Today

As the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth gets closer, a host of conferences, articles and books on the legacy of Marx and his relevance today are emerging – including my own contribution. The most interesting was a speech last week by the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney in his homeland of Canada....
Michael Roberts Blog
Marx 200: Carney, Bowles and Varoufakis
Michael Roberts

See also

The Guardian — The Long Read
Yanis Varoufakis: Marx predicted our present crisis – and points the way out


Naked Keynesianism
On the blogs - Labor Theory of Value (LTV) Edition
Matias Vernengo | Associate Professor of Economics, Bucknell University

Justin R. Harbour — For Bold Solutions We Ought To Include MMT in Economic Discourse

In a recent Financial Times article, Martin Sandbu identifies three major economic failures of competitive capitalism in the West: growing inequality; the disproportionate effects of The Great Recession on young people; and the threat of displacement in labor markets brought by improving technology and the presumed ubiquity of artificial intelligence. Sandbu connects these failures to recent victories of populist “extremist” parties in the EU, UK, and US, and asserts that if liberalism and competitive capitalism are to remain a viable and persuasive platform for the next generations a bolder thinking from the Western political economy is now more necessary than ever.
This need to revamp Western capitalism has brought renewed attention to Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), a school of thought that offers an important and bold perspective on economics and policy solutions. A universal basic income (UBI), universal basic services (UBS), and a job guarantee by the State are most commonly cited as a bold fix to current problems. So, it is worth asking, what are the merits of these aforementioned proposals, through the lens of MMT?...
The Minskys
For Bold Solutions We Ought To Include MMT in Economic Discourse
Justin R. Harbour, ALM

The London Economic — Almost half of all Brits now admit they struggle to make ends meet

A shocking survey of 2,000 UK adults revealed 43 per cent are short of the cash they need to pay the bills an average of seven months each year.
But one quarter said money is an uphill battle for them every single month.
The average adult is forced to turn to their credit cards or overdraft to get them through to payday four out of every 12 months, with one in 10 saying this is the case each month.
Six in 10 even went as far as to say they feel they are never going to make ends meet on their current salary.
Louise Harper-King, spokeswoman for OnePoll.com which carried out the research, said: “With rising costs and wages not following suit, it’s not a surprise so many people are struggling....
Welcome to the precariat. The article gets worse as it goes along.

The London Economic
Almost half of all Brits now admit they struggle to make ends meet


Government "out of touch" as number of zero hours contracts creeps up to 2 million

See also
The UK is at the centre of global corruption: shell companies that launder dirty money can be set up with ease. But when a whistleblower showed just how easy it is, he faced the full force of the law
Welcome to the City of London and its global environs (tax havens) are notorious for their freewheeling style. But it is not just the City. All this "openness" is government policy.

The Guardian (22 April 2018)
Britain, headquarters of fraud
Oliver Bullough

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Xinhua — China to develop world-leading, internationally dominant SOEs

China will step up efforts to develop a group of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) with international dominance and influence, the chief of China's top SOE watchdog said Saturday.
The goal includes having a group of leading SOEs that are dominant in international resources allocation, Xiao Yaqing, chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, said at a forum on the reform and development of Chinese enterprises.
China also aims to have a number of SOEs with leadership in global industry and technology development, and increase the number of SOEs with a say in global industry development, he said, calling the mission "more urgent" than before.
Chinese SOEs have significantly increased their scale, power, and competitiveness since the reform and opening-up which began 40 years ago, he said.
Official data showed total SOE assets stood at 163.6 trillion yuan (around 26 trillion U.S. dollars) at the end of February, and SOEs reported solid profit growth in the first two months of this year, raking in 367.3 billion yuan with a 25.3 percent year-on-year increase.
Three of the top five Fortune 500 Companies in 2017 were Chinese SOEs.
The country will deepen reform of SOEs and ramp up efforts to establish institutions and mechanisms that are in line with the market economy, Xiao added.
"SOEs should be more open and enhance exchanges and cooperation with private companies at home and abroad for win-win cooperation," he said.
China to develop world-leading, internationally dominant SOEs
Global Times

Bill Mitchell — Forget European reform – the Germans have anyway

Germans will be Germans, it seems — fiscally conservative.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Forget European reform – the Germans have anyway
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

China Daily — U.S. report calling China 'force of instability' backfires

The Trump administration may have had not expected that its human rights report about the rest of the world would backfire so badly after it was released last Friday.
That was especially true when U.S. Acting Secretary of State John Sullivan called the governments of China, Russia, Iran and DPRK a "forces of instability" as a result of their human rights issues.
Pointing out China's problems in human rights is one thing and should be welcomed. China, as a developing nation, has much to improve in that regard. But calling China a force of instability is just blown out of proportion and does not at all fit the reality.
During the 2018 IMF/World Bank annual spring meeting that ended Sunday, the message is that China has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in past decades and has contributed to a third of global economic growth in the past decade, more than any other country.
That is some of the powerful evidence that China is a source of not only stability, but prosperity for its own nation, the region and the world, not to mention China's greater role in United Nations peacekeeping missions and global governance, including playing a leading role in reaching the Paris climate accord. The list is long.
Sullivan should read readers' response when Agence France Presse tweeted last Friday that "U.S. brands China and Russia 'forces of instability.'"
"I keep forgetting; was it China, Russia, Iran or NK who invaded Iraq in 2003, bombed Libya in 2011, and have been arming jihadists in Syria since 2012?" replied Mario Santana.
"Really? Name a country invaded by these forces," wrote Cuanticorojo.
"U.S. caused more war, terror and instability on foreign land than anyone else. Don't kid yourself. And funny how it ignores Israel and Saudi," said Coitnana, clearly referring to the U.S. double standards.
"Not looking in the mirror, hey America," wrote cappygolucky.
"Definitely add Trump's mental state to that list," added Mr. Mason.
The U.S. human rights reports on nearly 200 countries and territories have long been regarded as biased because they never include human rights violations in the U.S.
Compared to China, the U.S. is more deserving of the title "force of instability".
From the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, regime change in Libya, rampant drone strikes in a number of countries that have caused many civilian deaths, covert special forces, spy operations and secret prisons abroad to the withdrawal from the Paris climate deal and cutting funding to the UN, the list could go on and on.
A lawyer by training, Sullivan clearly was deliberately ignoring the human rights violations in the U.S.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch, in its recent World Report 2018, said the U.S. moved backward on human rights at home and abroad across a range of issues in 2017, the first year of the Trump administration.
The report critized Trump's actions on refugees and immigrants by calling them criminals and security threats; equivocated on white nationalism and consistently championed anti-Muslim ideas and policies.
According to the report, the Trump administration has embraced policies that will roll back access to reproductive health care for women and undermined police accountability for abuse.
"Many vulnerable groups endured renewed attacks on their rights during the year. Other longstanding U.S. laws and practices — particularly related to criminal and juvenile justice, immigration, and national security — continued to violate internationally recognized human rights," the report said.
It's not the first time for Human Rights Watch to note the 2.3 million people in U.S. state and federal prisons and jails on any given day, the world's largest reported incarcerated population.
As people just marked the 50th anniversary of the passing of Martin Luther King Jr, on April 4, the report sadly noted that black men are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of white men, and an unarmed black person is five times as likely to be killed by police as an unarmed white person.
At the Guantanamo detention center, the U.S. continues to hold 31 men there indefinitely without charge. And throughout 2017, the U.S. continued to carry out large-scale warrantless intelligence surveillance programs without transparency or oversight, according to the report.
Sullivan should definitely read this report, especially the 18 pages on the U.S., because that is why people disagreed so strongly with his indentifying of "force of instability".
U.S. report calling China 'force of instability' backfiresChina Daily


Macron: I’m Here to Make France Great Again

Macron States – “I Am Putin’s Equal”

French President Wants America To Go To War In Syria

How Emmanuel Macron Became the New Leader of the Free World

French president to call for American ‘militarism’

How the UK's special relationship with the US was replaced by Macron's 'relation sp├ęciale'

Macron: US, France and allies should not leave, must build 'new Syria after war'

Macron to advocate long-term nation-building in Syria during U.S. visit

French President Emmanuel Macron: I’m Here to Make France Great Again
At least 55% of French ‘dissatisfied’ with President Macron – poll

Macron To Trump: "You Make Trade War Against Everyone, Come On...You Need Allies"

French President Mocks Trump Over Putin: 'When You Are Weak, [Putin] Uses It'

Lars P. Syll — A new paradigm for teaching economics

Samuel Bowles and Wendy Carlin.

I would say that CORE is an update rather than a new version.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
A new paradigm for teaching economics
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Brian Romanchuk — Why We Should Be Concerned About The Forecastability Of Economic Models

Although it might be possible to find dissenters, the apparent consensus among financial market practitioners is that mathematical economic models provide terrible forecasts. One response is to keep searching through the set of all possible models, hoping to find something that works. The author's suggested response is to accept that forecasting is an inherently impossible task. However, in order to advance beyond nihilism, we need to quantify why mathematical models are terrible. My argument is straightforward: the models that provide the best fit to observed behaviour cannot themselves be forecast with the type of information that we have available in the real world.
(As an aside, I would note that Beatrice Cherrier has written about the preference for tractable (simplicity) of mathematical models in "What is the Cost of 'Tractable' Economic Models," and in a follow up article. Much of what she discusses appears to overlap my thinking about the existing methodology, although I believe that I have a different view. My suggestion is to look at non-forecastable economic models, and tractable (or reduced order) non-forecastable models would be the most interesting. A non-tractable non-forecastable model might provide the best fit to reality, but its complexity would also make it difficult to draw any conclusions from it; this is essentially my concern with agent-based models. Since I was in the middle of laying out my logic, I was not able to work in a longer comparison to her arguments.)
Most economic models are either gadgets or thinking tools that assist in adding rigor. They are not capable of predicting the future any more than sociological models are.

For one thing, there are too many contingent factors involved, even if all were known and could be specified with some degree of precision based on data. 

It is not possible to generate an economic ephemeris. No economic laws of motion have been forthcoming.

The question then becomes how close is is possible to comes, e.g., what is the degree of error. Even that can only be estimated.
The multiplicity of sources of disturbances makes a generalisation of the notion of "small disturbances" difficult. As a result, I would argue that we should instead worry about analysing models with a focus on the properties of their forecast errors rather than the precise nature of the generalisation of exact forecastability....

"Normal" distribution?

Well if you moved the mouth of the funnel to the left edge, then the distribution would be skewed to the left so what?... more stochastic idiocy in action....


Filmed by Dima Aboud in Spain. Roger Waters exposes NATO-member-state White Helmets as a multi million dollar funded propaganda construct for terrorist factions inside Syria.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Zero Hedge — Germany's Largest Public TV News Broadcaster: Syria Chemical Attack "Most Likely Staged"

A senior correspondent for German state media broadcast ZDF heute stunned his European audience during a report from on the ground in Syria when he gave a straightforward and honest account of his findings while investigating what happened in Douma. The veteran reporter, Uli Gack, interviewed multiple eyewitnesses of the April 7 alleged chemical attack and concluded of the testimonials, "the Douma chemical attack is most likely staged, a great many people here seem very convinced."
It appears that all local Syrians encountered by the German public broadcast reporter were immediately dismissive of the widespread allegation that the Syrian government gassed civilians, which the US, UK, France, and Israel used a pretext for launching missile strikes on Damascus....
Ann Wright, Col. ret. (US Army/Army Reserves), former US diplomat