Monday 30 January 2017

Bits and Pieces: Great Southern Land.

General Motors Holden announced recently that the last Holden Commodore will roll out of its Elizabeth assembly line (South Australia) on Friday, Oct. 20, after 69 years. One thousand factory workers will lose their jobs.

Last year Ford closed its Broadmeadows assembly plant. Toyota will shut down its own line around the same time, spelling the end of car manufacturing in Australia.

Saturday 28 January 2017

Bits and Pieces: Vampiric Dystopia Edition.

"Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks." (Das Kapital, vol 1)

Marx sometimes described capitalists as "vampires".

More literate readers won't need this clarification, but I'll place it here anyway as a courtesy to upper-middle class, philosophically-minded bloggers, econo-poseurs, and bloviating professors of economics from Berkeley: he used that term metaphorically, only.

Well, it turns out that Marx may have been wrong on this.

Friday 20 January 2017

The Donald and Volodya: A Love Story?

The liberal, respectably Leftish/Clintonite, upper middle class, educated, intellectually sophisticated American commentariat has long fretted about an alleged and ominously asymmetric bromance between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

In that assumed relationship, Volodya is the top. He is the master manipulator, the puppeteer; The Donald, the marionette, plays the bottom. [*]

Other than the deep aversion those Sherlocks feel for the Orange One, and their Cold War legacy Russophobia, I've never understood the reason for that assumption. Why the dominant role is assigned to Putler without discussion? However otherwise reprehensible, is Trump necessarily a simpleton, too?

In other words, if one were to put on those conspiracy theorists' tin-foil hats and assume some kind of relationship between Trump and a shadowy, sinister, foreign character should Putin be the one obvious suspect?

Tuesday 17 January 2017

The Last Man on the Moon.


Capt. Eugene Andrew "Gene" Cernan, veteran of the Gemini and Apollo programs, died today in Houston.

In December 1972, as commander of Apollo 17, he was the last man to return to the lunar module.


Ever since, generations of spacemen/women from other countries have joined the American and Soviet/Russian pioneers, without touching, however, other alien worlds. In our times of mediocrity, men like Capt. Cernan remind us that our species once did boldly go where no man had gone before.

It remains to be seen whether we can repeat that.


Image Credits:
[A] "Eugene Cernan, December 1971". Source: Wikimedia. File in the public domain.
[B] Capt. Cernan in December 1972. Author: Dr. Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17 crew member). Source: Wikimedia. File in the public domain.

Saturday 14 January 2017

Bits and Pieces (x)

So, what's with the emerging Right?

A self-flattering explanation popular among the sanctimonious and disingenuous liberals, like Paul Krugman, is:
"I don't think any kind of economic analysis can explain this. It has to be about culture and, as always, race."
How can one argue with such politically correct brilliance? It's all Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel's fault.

Monday 9 January 2017

On Markup: Is the Price Right?

In Fred Lee's "Post Keynesian Theory of Prices" the concept of markup is the common denominator to the conceptual mishmash post Keynesians call their "theory of prices".

Being such a crucial notion readers could naturally ask what, exactly, is "markup"? And one should expect and indeed demand a clear answer to such a fundamental question. Clear definitions, after all, are of the essence, right?