"The Nature Of The Greek Crisis"
In the postwar period, with every subsequent expansion, a smaller and smaller share of the gains in income growth have gone to the bottom 90 percent of families. Worse, in the latest expansion, while the economy has grown and average real income has recovered from its 2008 lows, all of the growth has gone to the wealthiest 10 percent of families, and the income of the bottom 90 percent has fallen. Most Americans have not felt that they have been part of the expansion. We have reached a situation where a rising tide sinks most boats.
This policy note provides a broader overview of the increasingly unequal distribution of income growth during expansions, examines some of the changes that occurred from 2012 to 2013, and identifies a disturbing business cycle trend. It also suggests that policy must go beyond the tax system if we are serious about reversing the drastic worsening of income inequality.Tricked down isn't happening. Time for some new narrative to dupe the rubes.
Hostility to minorities and attempts to rewrite Holocaust history in Baltics - but no one cares, except Russia
(Reuters) - The Greek government will sell its majority stake in the port of Piraeus within weeks, the country's deputy prime minister told China's official Xinhua news agency, a flip-flop from the leftist government as it seeks funds from its creditors.
The Syriza government of Alexis Tsipras took power in January on promises to end painful austerity, saying it would halt a string of privatisations including the sale of a 67 percent stake in the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP). Read article.
Schumer had in the past “succeeded in limiting efforts to regulate credit-rating agencies, for example, sponsored legislation that cut fees paid by Wall Street firms to finance government oversight, pushed to allow banks to have lower capital reserves and called for the revision of regulations to make corporations’ balance sheets more transparent.”
His behavior has changed very little since the crisis.
When Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Ted Kaufman (D-DE) introduced an amendment to break up the largest banks, they were able to recruit the support of a handful of GOP senators, but Schumer worked alongside the Obama administration to kill it. He insists that capital gains tax rates stay lower than those of other income, a direct gift to fund managers. Read the rest of the article here.
"Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction." James Madison
It is hard to think of a website so loved by its followers and so scorned by economists as John Williams’ ShadowStats, a widely cited source of alternative economic data on inflation and other economic indicators. Any econ blogger who has ever written a line about inflation is familiar with ShadowStats. Time and again, readers cite it in comments, not infrequently paranoid in their tone and rude in their language. Brief replies that cast doubt on some of more extreme claims made by ShadowStats fans don’t seem to have much effect. After a recent round of comments, I promised the editor of one website to undertake a thorough deconstruction of ShadownStats. Here is the result....Economonitor — Ed Dolan's Econ Blog
All this demonstrates the discrepancy between the diplomatic and financial power of the U.S. On the one hand, the U.S. must deal with countries that are eager to claim their places in global governance. The dominance of the U.S. and other G7 nations in international institutions is a relic of a world that came to an end with the global financial crisis. On the other hand, the dollar is still the predominant international currency, and will hold that place for many years to come. The use of the renminbi is slowly growing but it will be a long time before it can serve as an alternative to the dollar. Consequently, the actions of the Federal Reserve may have more international repercussions than those of U.S. policymakers unable to cope with the shifting landscape of financial diplomacy.Angry Bear
There was an interesting article in the UK Guardian last weekend (March 29, 2015) – Why falling inflation is a false pretext for keeping wages low – which examined wage trends in the UK and the validity of the argument that “Falling inflation now provides employers with a pretext for keeping wage settlements low". Employer groups never support wage increases and are continually trying to suppress real wages growth below productivity growth so that they can enjoy a greater share of national income. As part of my research to discover the nature of the ideological shift accompanying the emergence of Monetarism as the dominant policy paradigm I have been examining wage distributions. This is part of a book I will complete next year (fingers crossed) on the demise of the political left. In this blog we examine the shifting relationship between labour productivity growth and real wages growth since 1960. The results are illuminating and open up a broad research front about which I will write more as time passes.As usual, Bill puts his finger on the fundamental issue. The chief issue in a surplus economy is distribution of the surplus. The major parties vying for a share are "capital" (owners and those who control the firm) and "labor" (workers aka "the help"). So the tussle is between capital share and labor share with respect to distributing the surplus resulting from productivity.
Viewed through the ideology of money-scarcity, the major challenges facing society appear to represent “costs” that people must be penalized to pay by taking dollars out of their personal pockets. At one level, politics is the endless and bitter argument of one party proposing to do X, Y, or Z in order to accomplish some collective benefit, and the other party saying: Yes, but how are you going to pay for it?—which is the “gotcha” question because everyone certainly “knows” that in order to actually do X, Y, or Z, the federal government will have to increase taxes or borrow dollars from the Private Sector pot. Understanding modern fiat money (and how to manage it as a collective tool) creates, as we now understand, a remarkably different and more useful perspective. With this new perspective, as we’re about to see, many of the biggest challenges we face as a collective society can be viewed not as a “cost”—a penalty to be paid—but instead as an enormous opportunity to make our lives, both collectively and individually, more effective and prosperous. Confronting these challenges, in other words, will not take dollars out of our personal pockets, it will—in addition to hopefully overcoming the challenge addressed—put dollars into our pockets. This, in essence, is the uniquely empowering perspective that modern fiat money makes possible.
To see the power of this perspective in concrete terms, let’s explore four of the major dilemmas the Millennials will surely be facing as they come into power....
Few Americans seem to comprehend what is unfolding in the Middle East – with the latest conflict involving Saudi airstrikes against the Houthi rebels who now control Yemen’s capital of Sanaa. In this swirl of regional wars, it’s often not clear where the U.S. government stands and how American interests are affected.
The reason for the confusion is simple: Many key pundits who get to explain what’s going on from the op-ed pages of the major U.S. newspapers and from the TV talk shows prefer that the American people don’t fully grasp what’s happening. Otherwise, the people might realize the dangers ahead and demand substantial changes in U.S. government policies....
... over the years, the U.S. government has exploited the general lack of knowledge among Americans about the intricacies of Middle East religions and politics by funneling the anger against one group to rationalize actions against another....
In seeking to smash this “Shiite crescent” [from Tehran through Baghdad and Damascus to Beirut], these Sunni-ruled states have been joined by Israel, which has taken the position that Iran and its Shiite allies are more dangerous than the Sunni extremists, thus transforming Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State into the “lesser evils.”
This was the subtext of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress on March 3 – that the U.S. government should shift its focus from fighting Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State to fighting Iran....
In one of the most explicit expressions of Israel’s views, its Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post in September 2013 that Israel favored the Sunni extremists over Assad.
“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post in an interview. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
And, if you might have thought that Oren had misspoken, he reiterated his position in June 2014 at an Aspen Institute conference. Then, speaking as a former ambassador, Oren said Israel would even prefer a victory by the Islamic State, which was massacring captured Iraqi soldiers and beheading Westerners, than the continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria.
“From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said....
Over the past decade, the Israelis and the Saudis have built a powerful alliance, a relationship that has operated mostly behind the curtains. They combined their assets to create what amounted to a new superpower in the Middle East, one that could project its power mostly via the manipulation of U.S. policymakers and opinion leaders – and thus deployment of the U.S. military.
Israel possesses extraordinary political and media influence inside the United States – and Saudi Arabia wields its oil and financial resources to keep American officialdom in line. Together, the Israeli-Saudi bloc now controls virtually the entire Republican Party, which holds majorities in both chambers of Congress, and dominates most mainstream Democrats as well.
Reflecting the interests of the Israeli-Saudi bloc, American neocons have advocated U.S. bombing against both the Syrian and Iranian governments in pursuit of “regime change” in those two countries. [emphasis added],,,,,Parry views this as an existential crisis for the United States and neither the background nor the details are being revealed to the American public — as the New York Times calls for war with Iran (see below).
Just as the New York Times promoted fake facts to rationalize invading Iraq, it has just published a deceptive op-ed to justify bombing Iran, the ranting of one of America’s most notorious warmongers, John Bolton, as Lawrence Davidson describes.Letting A Warmonger Rant
Thomas Piketty, Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman were brought together in one event organised by 92nd Street Y in New York CitySocial Europe
Critics... well, probably better to call them "friends" have pointed out to me that last summer I didn't spend enough time linking to Dan Kervick's and Matt Brunig's contributions to the Piketty debate. I remember reading them at the time. And I cannot figure out why I didn't focus more on them--save probably because both seemed to me to be thinking along the lines I was thinking along, I didn't think that there was much new there. But usually I am anxious to promote people saying things that I think are smart and right, so it is a puzzle...
More generally, if you like intelligent takes on modern economics coming from the terrain of philosophy, Dan Kervick is the kind of thing you will like...Now how about some strokes for the MMT economists. They are overdue.
My own point of view is that IS/LM is mistaken in assuming that the central bank controls the money supply and that the sectoral balances (private and public) are not made explicit. You actually can get a lot of mileage out of the good old IS/LM model if you let the central bank set the interest rate on the short-term money market (horizontal LM curve) and – because of general depression – determine some level of expenditure (or demand) that does not react to changes in the interest rate (vertical IS curve). The resulting cross is so trivial that I tend to agree with Syll: maybe it is not the best idea to use a macroeconomic model to show that:
- Demand is exogenous and smaller than potential output
- The central bank creates the interest rate, but that doesn’t matter because of 1.
- Demand is exogenous, but government spending can add to that
Using a mathematical model with all eyes crossed and all teas dotted to then arrive at this conclusion really is a waste of time. How do we fix this?
I have published the so-called IS/MY model to show what could be done to improve on the shortcomings of the IS/LM model (working paper version here). First of all, the main idea is that expenditure equals spending in equilibrium. Then, net deposits (money) are created through three mechanisms that rely on the same balance sheet trick. A rise in net debt leads to a rise in deposits for each of the three sectors: private, public and external. The monetary circuit works well as long as the amount of deposits is increasing (given velocity, and ignoring complications of what is money)....
The IS/LM model was not perfect, and never will be. Any alternative will face the same fate. However, it would be nice for the macroeconomist to have something small and “unbreakable” that works on the back of an envelope. The IS/MY model is based on (BoP) accounting relations and assume only that consumption and imports depend on income. Most economists should be able to live with these assumptions. What is left to the economist is to speculate about the quantity of investment, government spending and exports. These will, using the vocabulary of Wynne Godley, determine the fiscal and trade stance and allow discussions of sustainability of macroeconomic regimes.
The result was a host of policies based not on evidence, but on inadequately examined ideas. And we are still paying the price for that intellectual failure today.Could ideological bias have had anything to do with it?
The dominance of Friedman’s ideas at the beginning of the Great Recession has less to do with the evidence supporting them than with the fact that the science of economics is all too often tainted by politics. In this case, the contamination was so bad that policymakers were unwilling to go beyond Friedman and apply Keynesian and Minskyite policies on a large enough scale to address the problems that the Great Recession presented.
Admitting that the monetarist cure was inadequate would have required mainstream economists to swim against the neoliberal currents of our age. It would have required acknowledging that the causes of the Great Depression ran much deeper than a technocratic failure to manage the money supply properly. And doing that would have been tantamount to admitting the merits of social democracy and recognizing that the failure of markets can sometimes be a greater danger than the inefficiency of governments.
The result was a host of policies based not on evidence, but on inadequately examined ideas. And we are still paying the price for that intellectual failure today.Philip Mirowsi has documented how neoliberalism rose to power at this time, for example, in The Road from Mont Pelerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (2009) and has managed to stay in power in Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown (2013).
I was a signatory to a letter published in the Financial Times on Thursday (March 26, 2015) – Better ways to boost eurozone economy and employment – which called for a major fiscal stimulus from the European Central Bank (given it is the only body in the Eurozone that can introduce such a stimulus). The fiscal stimulus would take the form of a cash injection using the ECB’s currency monopoly powers. A co-signatory was Robert Skidelsky, Emeritus Professor, Warwick University, renowned Keynesian historian and Keynes’ biographer. Amazingly, Skidelsky wrote an article in the UK Guardian two days before the FT Letter was published (March 24, 2015) – Fiscal virtue and fiscal vice – macroeconomics at a crossroads– which would appear to contradict the policy proposal we advocated in the FT Letter. The Guardian article is surrender-monkey territory and I disagree with most of it. It puts the progressive case on the back foot. What the hell is going on?Bill Mitchell – billy blog
John Bates Clark (January 26, 1847 – March 21, 1938) was an American neoclassical economist. He was one of the pioneers of the marginalist revolution and opponent to the Institutionalist school of economics....
In 1888 Clark wrote Capital and Its Earnings. Frank A. Fetter later reflected on Bates' motivation for writing this work:
"The probable source from which immediate stimulation came to Clark was the contemporary single tax discussion. ... Events were just at that time crowding each other fast in the single tax propaganda. [ Henry George's ] Progress and Poverty... had a larger sale than any other book ever written by an American. ... No other economic subject at the time was comparable in importance in the public eye with the doctrine of Progress and Poverty. Capital and its Earnings "... wears the mien of pure theory .... But ... one can hardly fail to see on almost every page the reflections of the contemporary single-tax discussion. In the brief preface is expressed the hope that 'it may be found that these principles settle questions of agrarian socialism.' Repeatedly the discussion turns to 'the capital that vests itself in land,'..."Tax away the land rent.
The strategic equation in the Middle East began to shift as it became clear that Iran was becoming central to its security architecture and stability. The House of Saud and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began to whimper and complain that Iran was in control of four regional capitals—Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad, and Sana — and that something had to be done to stop Iranian expansion. As a result of the new strategic equation, the Israelis and the House of Saud became perfectly strategically aligned with the objective of neutralizing Iran and its regional allies....
While the House of Saud has long considered Yemen a subordinate province of some sorts and as a part of Riyadh’s sphere of influence, the US wants to make sure that it could control the Bab Al-Mandeb, the Gulf of Aden, and the Socotra Islands. The Bab Al-Mandeb it is an important strategic chokepoint for international maritime trade and energy shipments that connects the Persian Gulf via the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea via the Red Sea. It is just as important as the Suez Canal for the maritime shipping lanes and trade between Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Israel was also concerned, because control of Yemen could cut off Israel’s access to the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea and prevent its submarines from easily deploying to the Persian Gulf to threaten Iran. This is why control of Yemen was actually one of Netanyahu’s talking points on Capitol Hill when he spoke to the US Congress about Iran on March 3 in what the New York Times of all publications billed as «Mr. Netanyahu’s Unconvincing Speech to Congress» on March 4.
Saudi Arabia was visibly afraid that Yemen could become formally aligned to Iran and that the events there could result in new rebellions in the Arabian Peninsula against the House of Saud. The US was just as much concerned about this too, but was also thinking in terms of global rivalries. Preventing Iran, Russia, or China from having a strategic foothold in Yemen, as a means of preventing other powers from overlooking the Gulf of Aden and positioning themselves at the Bab Al-Mandeb, was a major US concern.
Added to the geopolitical importance of Yemen in overseeing strategic maritime corridors is its military’s missile arsenal. Yemen’s missiles could hit any ships in the Gulf of Aden or Bab Al-Mandeb. In this regard, the Saudi attack on Yemen’s strategic missile depots serves both US and Israeli interests. The aim is not only to prevent them from being used to retaliate against exertions of Saudi military force, but to also prevent them from being available to a Yemeni government aligned to either Iran, Russia, or China....
Turkey would announce its support for the war in Yemen too. On the day the war was launched, Turkey’s Erdogan claimed that Iran was trying to dominate the region and that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the GCC were getting annoyed.
During these events, Egypt’s Sisi stated that the security of Cairo and the security of Saudi Arabia and the Arab petro-sheikhdoms are one. In fact, Egypt said that it would not get involved in a war in Yemen on March 25, but the next day Cairo joined Saudi Arabia in Riyadh’s attack on Yemen by sending its jets and ships to Yemen.
In the same vein, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif released a statement on March 26 that any threat to Saudi Arabia would «evoke a strong response» from Pakistan. The message was tacitly directed towards Iran....
The US is also involved and leading from behind or a distance. While it works to strike a deal with Iran, it also wants to maintain an alliance against Tehran using the Saudis. The Pentagon would provide what it called «intelligence and logistical support» to House of Saud. Make no mistakes about it: the war on Yemen is also Washington’s war. The GCC has been on unleashed on Yemen by the US...Strategic Culture Foundation Online Journal
America now chooses between two radically opposed paths. One leads to a final consolidation of wealth and power by the oligarchs of global capital; the other to a just distribution of prosperity and opportunity. One leads to the ultimate corruption of our democracy; the other to civic revitalization. One direction heads toward the absolute depletion of natural resources, ceaseless global conflicts and a likely environmental catastrophe; the other to economic and environmental sustainability and the possibility of peace.
What is extraordinary about this choice is its starkness, of course, but also that in a democratic society we are making it without benefit of an informed, full-throated debate. This is a debate Occupy was unwilling — and perhaps unable — to bring and that Democrats seem unable to grasp, at least not fully. The choice it frames is not as simple as that between Democrats and Republicans, or even progressives and reactionaries. It’s a choice between a status quo we know all too well and a future we’ve only begun to imagine; between an all devouring yet lifeless leviathan bent on a single goal and its opposite; a political economy that prizes pluralism and human scaled enterprise; that upholds a higher ethics and seeks our moral as well as material wellbeing.
Progressives must do what Occupy and the Democrats did not: conceive a new political agenda for a new political economy.....Amen, but here on it's downhill. Curry doesn't confront the fundamental issue. The founding fathers established a bourgeois liberal government designed to be governed by the ownership class. There is no fix within those rules and the institutions that have developed from their application, since any viable alternative to the status quo and its logical extension is ruled out. And this is even before the more pragmatic issues of entrenched wealth and power. Moreover, the prevailing economic paradigm supports this.
Australia has decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which would allow Australia to become a founding member of the bank, said a statement released by Prime Minister Tony Abbott Sunday morning.
In the carefully worded statement, Abbott said the signing of the MOU will enable Australia "to participate as a prospective founding member in the negotiation of setting up the bank."
"The Government has discussed the AIIB extensively with China and other key partners inside and outside the region," the statement said.Xinhua
New Left Project’s new e-book, Alternatives to Capitalism: Proposals for a Democratic Economy, is now available for download.
In it the leading radical thinkers Robin Hahnel and Erik Olin Wright take on the crucial but all-too neglected question: what kind of society should we be fighting for instead of capitalism?
Hahnel favours ‘participatory economics’. Wright advocates ‘real utopian socialism’.
Alternatives to Capitalism puts these practical proposals through their paces in an in-depth, frank and extremely instructive debate about the central question of our time.
"Poverty, exploitation, instability, hierarchy, subordination, environmental exhaustion, radical inequalities of wealth and power — it is not difficult to list capitalism's myriad injustices. But is there a preferable and workable alternative? What would a viable free and democratic free society look like? Alternatives to Capitalism: Proposals for a Democratic Economy presents a debate between two such possibilities: Robin Hahnel's "participatory economics" and Erik Olin Wright's "real utopian " socialism. It is a detailed and at times technical discussion that rewards careful engagement. Those who put the effort in will, we hope, find that it illuminates a range of issues and dilemmas of crucial importance to any serious effort to build a better world...." — Ed Lewis, Introduction
Dr. Garett Jones is wary of democracy. He is Associate Professor of Economics and BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism at the Mercatus Center, “the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas,” at George Mason University, you see. He wants “less democracy.” He, like so many of his academic colleagues, writes scholarly articles in prestigious economics journals, extolling the virtues of moralless, unmitigated greed and absolute plutocratic tyranny. And it just so happens that that inconvenient “democracy” thing is an “inefficient” burden on the path toward a society based on these principles.
In “10% Less Democracy: How Less Voting Could Mean Better Governance,” a 24 February 2015 presentation at George Mason University’s Center for Study of Public Choice, Jones bemoans the “anti-market bias” inherent in democracy. He laments that protectionism is “encouraged by voters,” and that, “around the world, looming elections mean less labor market liberalization.” Jones also is distraught that elected electricity commissioners “shift costs to the … industrial sector.” The burden should always be on the worker, naturally.
A good macroeconomist maintains “skepticism toward maximum democracy,” the professor says, as “less democratic monetary policy” leads to “lower, more stable inflation, with no apparent change in the unemployment rate or real GDP growth.” He cites Alan Blinder, a former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve and Princeton professor of economics who served on President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, who candidly admits that “events since 1997 have pushed me more and more toward the conclusion that society would indeed be better off if politicians confined themselves to broad decisions about tax policy and left the details to a group of technocrats analogous to the Fed’s Board of Governors.” This is the kind of thing economists say to each other behind closed doors: Democracy is bad, and society would be much better if ruled under the silicon fist of a technocratic oligarchy.....
"The investments that previously went to the oil industry, are now beginning to decline. And the capital will be directed to other, non-oil industries," Siluanov said. According to him, agriculture is currently receiving significant investments, as well as import substitution industry. "And it is a right thing. This is the main motive of all the changes that are taking place, and we support it as a part of anti-crisis plan," the Minister said.TASS
The Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE), embroiled in a scandal earlier this month involving a recently elected parliamentarian's comments about the "many positive nuances" of fascism, was hit again on Saturday in an op-ed by a famous party member and national sports champion who said that he had once been told that he was just another "illiterate athlete who must first go to the nearest library and read the works of Hitler."What with the rising popularity of Stalin in Russia and Hitlers in Europe? The answer is pretty simple, although obviously different parties have divergent views that complicated a full answer. The quick takeaway, however, is that in parlous times many people look to a strong leader and more authoritarian state to assuage rising fear. While this phenomenon is usually explained by rising nationalism and based on exceptionalism, which is true to a degree, the overwhelming factor seems to me to be a reaction to events called forth by a broad perception of threat. While Stalin and Hitler are generally thought of in terms of their authoritarian excesses, they are also remembered by some for their leadership qualities based on projection of power.
Earlier this month, the EKRE was hit by scandal following local media's discovery of an old blog post by recently elected MP Jaak Madison, who noted in 2012 that he saw "fascism as an ideology that consists of many positive nuances necessary for preserving the nation-state." The young politician also noted that while "it's true that there were concentration camps, forced labor camps, and a fondness for the use of gas chambers, at the same time, [the Nazis'] 'iron-fisted' rule did bring Germany out of deep trouble as the development initially based on military industry growth made the country one of the most powerful in Europe in just a few years."....
Oh, this is going to be fun!Grasping Reality
Early this morning, the Senate approved a Republican-authored budget that features deep cuts in spending, no new taxes, and hopes of a balanced budget within the next decade. However, not only could their plan never achieve what they hope, it would be an absolute economic catastrophe. Let’s hope it never sees the light of day.
The level of ignorance regarding federal government budgeting is horrifying. I don’t just mean among lay people or the general public, but right up the both houses of Congress and the White House-–you know, the people who actually make the decisions. Nor is it limited to one party. While the Republicans have been far more rabid about it, the
Democrats, too, are anxious to see the day when the budget deficit is not only smaller, but eliminated entirely. Best of all, they say, we might even reach the point of having surpluses that can cut into our massive national debt. While they may prioritize these goals differently, it appears that just about every single politician in Washington shares these sentiments.
God help us.....Taking the moron fest to task.
The invaluable Levada Center, Russia’s only genuinely independent polling agency, regularly conducts a survey about Russians’ attitudes towards the government, the economy, and the proper relationship between the state and its citizens. The 2015 results were just released, and it makes for rather depressing reading [to Western liberals].
Basically, right across the board, Russians have become substantially more statist and nationalist in their views.....
It should seem obvious, but you need to pay attention to what the Russian public thinks. It might be nice to assume that it wants exactly the same things that we do, but all of the evidence suggests that this isn’t true.Turns out that most Russians are very conservative rather than liberal. The odds of a liberal regime coming to power are very low.
For many analysts the term Russky mir, or Russian World, epitomizes an expansionist and messianic Russian foreign policy, the perverse intersection of the interests of the Russian state and the Russian Orthodox Church.
Little noted is that the term actually means something quite different for each party. For the state it is a tool for expanding Russia's cultural and political influence, while for the Russian Orthodox Church it is a spiritual concept, a reminder that through the baptism of Rus, God consecrated these people to the task of building a Holy Rus.
The close symphonic relationship between the Orthodox Church and state in Russia thus provides Russian foreign policy with a definable moral framework, one that, given its popularity, is likely to continue to shape the country's policies well into the future.....It's not possible to understand current events involving Russia, Russians, and Russophones in other countries without understanding the significant of the concept of Russky mir. Otherwise it is just projection. Religious people of the West were praying for the conversion of Russia. Well, they got it and now will have to deal with it.
Put together by Nathan Cedric Tankus
Our biggest hurdle seems to be the slow population-penetration of mission-critical information.That's a fatal malady for democracy.
Why so many empty church pews?
The 1970s saw declines in employment for less-educated men, divergent incomes for college-educated and less-educated men, and a “breathtaking increase in inequality” — all of which left college-educated families and their communities with more financial resources, and poor and working-class communities with fewer resources.
The Russian state corporation Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) may start cooperation with China on its project of development and production of locomotives, CEO Oleg Sienko said in an interview to TASS.
Earlier the corporation planned to implement the project jointly with the US-based Caterpillar, however, the cooperation was frozen due to sanctions introduced by the US against UVZ.TASS
"The Chinese [companies] may come instead of Caterpillar, we’re studying this issue. We even have joint framework agreements singed," Sienko said....
Russians sold more foreign currency than they bought in January for the first time in two years, the Central Bank said Wednesday, in a sign that last year's panic over the ruble has subsided.
The Russian currency went into meltdown in December as a months-long devaluation prompted by Western sanctions and oil price falls turned into a rout. Massive demand for dollars and euros among Russians exacerbated the ruble's plunge, which peaked on Dec. 17, when the ruble fell 20 percent against the U.S. dollar within a few hours of trading.The Moscow Times
But the rout appears to have run its course for now, with demand for foreign cash falling sharply in January, according to data published by the Central Bank.
"The strategy emphasizes the U.S. ambition to begin forming a new global economic order. A special role in this order should be played by the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership, which will help the U.S. get central positions in free trade zones encompassing two-thirds of the world's economy," the document says.
The armed forces are regarded as the foundation of U.S. national security and "military superiority is considered the main factor in U.S. world leadership," the Russian Security Council said.
The document retains the determination "to use military force unilaterally at any spot in the world and preserve military presence abroad," it said.Russia to take into account threats resulting from new U.S. security strategy
Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich announced at a Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum on February 27 that agreement has been finalized between the two countries on a proposal made by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang during his October 2014 visit to Moscow to construct a 7,000 km and $242 billion high-speed rail corridor going from Beijing across Kazakhstan and Russia to Moscow. The project will include a high-speed Moscow to Kazar in Russia’s Autonomous Tatarstan.
Research shows that when governments provide citizens with economic security, they embolden them to take more risks.
According to the Helmer theory of Russian political economy, first propounded in 2002, people who haven’t been paid spend their time blaming the Kremlin for their pain. When arrears rise, the president’s approval rating falls.....Dances with Bears