Daily Digest

Image by swampt01, Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Digest 5/7 - Capitalism Unfolding As Marx Predicted, Rural Kansas Is Dying

Monday, May 7, 2018, 11:55 AM

Economy

Capitalism is unfolding exactly as Karl Marx predicted (blackeagle)

Marx showed that recurrent crises were not an accidental side effect of capitalism, but a necessary and inherent feature, explains Nick Nesbitt, Princeton University professor of French and Italian and editor of The Concept in Crisis: Reading Capital Today. “​He shows that the source of value in capitalism is living labor. He also shows that capitalism nonetheless tends to eliminate living labor as a necessary dimension of its development,” Nesbitt says. That contradiction means capitalism is never stable, but forever shifting in and out of crises: The system depends on human labor while simultaneously eradicating it.

How to change emotions with a word (tmn)

As the researchers had hypothesised, presenting the statements in noun form reduced feelings of anger. Participants so treated had an average anger score of 3.21, in contrast to the 3.67 averaged by those presented with verb-form statements. This is a statistically significant difference. The noun forms of the statements also increased support for the concessions, with these scores averaging 2.02, in contrast to the average of 1.72 scored by participants presented with verb-form statements.

How Criminals Steal $37 Billion a Year from America’s Elderly (blackeagle)

Some 5 million older Americans are financially exploited every year by scammers like the ones who targeted Jones. The elderly are also suffering at the hands of greedy, desperate or drug addicted relatives and friends, among others. The total number of victims is increasing as baby boomers retire and their ability to manage trillions of dollars in personal assets diminishes. One financial services firm estimates seniors lose as much as $36.5 billion a year. But assessments like that are “grossly underestimated,” according to a 2016 study by New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services. For every case reported to authorities, as many as 44 are not. The study found losses in New York alone could be as high as $1.5 billion.

The Basic Rules of Survival During Hard Times (from 2008, Thomas R.)

Each of the above events was the result of a different set of circumstances. However, in each situation the dark side quickly emerged in a large percentage of the people in the affected geographical area, and the resulting chaos and destruction was similar in all three situations.

Therefore if our world continues to slide further and further down into a devastating hard times economy then you should be emotionally prepared to personally witness the dark side of people. And if you want to survive then you should make preparations right now to properly and adequately protect yourself, and the ones you love, and the place you call home.

11 Farm Attacks in 100 hours, SA descending into Chaos (Thomas R.)

n this video by Willem Petzer the crisis pertaining to farm murders and farm attacks is looked at. With a country that has about 30 000 farmers there were eleven farm attacks and three farm murders. Do the maths. And this highlights the astonishing claim by the DA overseas condemning those who protest against farm murders. The chaos raining in South Africa is a fact as was seen in the recent looting, burning, destruction and chaos during the riots in the North West province. The video brings to light the situation as it is and no denying by the ANC government can change this. Details of a recent attack and murder are revealed in a heartbreaking look into what transpired that fateful night.

Is Australia running out of fuel? PM orders supply review (psebby)

Mr Frydenberg says Australia's reliance on imported fuel has increased in the last 10 years because "three of Australia's seven domestic refineries have closed and our domestic oil production has declined by a third as existing fields become exhausted".

Robots And Drones Are Changing The Offshore Oil Industry (Michael S.)

BP uses a robot the size of a small dog to inspect the Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The so-called magnetic crawler is equipped with strong rare-Earth magnets and a high-definition camera. The inspection work is also complemented by drones with cameras that capture the smallest details. According to BP executives, robots and drones can perform inspections in roughly half the time it would take people to do it, and at the same time remove people from unsafe harsh offshore environments.

Rural Kansas is dying. I drove 1,800 miles to find out why (tmn)

Population is also growing in the areas around the state’s massive slaughterhouses and feedlots, which have built communities largely around immigrant labor. But that’s nowhere near enough to stave off the decline, which is only expected to increase more rapidly. Wichita State University forecasts Kansas’s annual population growth next year will fall by half again, holding steady at a paltry 0.4 percent for the next 40 years. Dozens of Kansas’s rural counties now average less than 10 people per square mile, while towns I remember from my childhood have almost completely collapsed. According to U.S. News and World Report, Kansas ranks 46th in net migration, and is losing 25- to 29-year-olds faster than any other state.

Why Europeans Don't Refrigerate Their Eggs (from 2014, Thomas R.)

In the U.S., large-scale laying houses are preferred over free-range system because farmers can produce more eggs on a smaller amount of land. Even with good sanitary practices, the factory farm environment makes eggs more susceptible to contamination. Eggs are moved directly from the hen house to a conveyer belt that takes them through a washer. The eggs are sprayed afterward.

Bangladeshi Inventor Creates Electricity-Free Air Conditioner Out of Plastic Bottles (Thomas R.)

In the summer, temperatures in Bangladesh, where many rural citizens live in tin huts and without electricity, can reach up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. These eco-coolers would act as a window in the walls to catch passing breezes.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 5/3/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

3 Comments

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: May 4 2014
Posts: 533
Marxian Agricultural, anyone?

Cost effective?

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1580
Happy Birthday, Karl Marx

https://mises.org/wire/real-socialism-has-indeed-been-tried-—-and-its-been-disaster

May 5th marks the 200th Anniversary of Karl Marx's birth, and in spite of inspiring a wide variety of political movements that have caused countless human rights disasters, Marx continues to be an object of admiration among many intellectuals and artists. One such example can be seen in Raoul Peck's new film The Young Karl Marx which portrays Marx is a principled radical with a laudable thirst for justice

Fortunately for Marx the man and his reputation, he never personally gained control of the machinery of any state. Thus, the dirty work of actually implementing the necessary "dictatorship of the proletariat" was left up to others. And those who attempted to bring Marxism into the light of practical reality, quickly found that applied Marxism brings impoverishment and the destruction of human freedom. 

Nevertheless, after a century marked by brutal socialist regimes based on various interpretations of Marx's ideas, Marx's rehabilitation often rests on the idea that "real socialism" has "never been tried." That is, a truly "pure" socialist experience — as Marx presumably wanted — has always been tainted by the presence of bourgeois ideas or lingering capitalistic habits present in the state apparatus. 

A typical example of this sort of thinking can be found in Noam Chomsky's insistence that the obviously socialist regime in Venezuela is really "quite remote from socialism." And it's also notable in philosopher Slavoj Zizek's 2017 article " The problem with Venezuela’s revolution is that it didn’t go far enough" at The Guardian... 

 

Partial Capitalism Works Better Than Partial Socialism

Note, however, that capitalism doesn't suffer from this problem. If we take a middle-of-the road interventionist economy and start introducing partial, half-way free-market liberal reforms, does this cause the economy to collapse? 

Certainly not. Indeed, everywhere we look and find a relatively less socialistic economy, the less poverty and more prosperity we find. 

RELATED: "Why Do Half-Measures Work for Markets, But Not for Socialism?"

Historically, this is obvious. The countries that embraced free trade, industrialization, and the trappings of market economies early on are the wealthiest economies today. We also find this to be the case in post-war Europe where the relatively pro-market economies such as those in Germany and the UK are wealthier and have higher standards of living than the more socialistic economies of southern Europe — such as Greece and Spain. This is even true of the Scandinavian countries like Sweden, which, as Per Bylund has noted, historically built its wealth with a relatively laissez-faire regime.

We see this phenomenon at work in comparisons between West Germany and East Germany. In West Germany after World War II pro-market reforms helped usher in a period of immense economic growth — with only half-way reforms. By abolishing price controls and other government-imposed restraints on the economy, the Germany economy took off while more socialistic economies — like that found in the UK at the time — were more stagnant. 

Obviously, in the case of Germany, the West German state did not adopt "pure" capitalism. They merely adopted relatively more laissez-faire. And the economy expanded. In fact, according to Hans Sennholz, the West German state rather accidentally stumbled upon its free market reforms. And yet, we call the results "the German economic miracle." 

Other examples can be found across Eastern Europe and Latin America. Where markets are more relatively free, the higher the standard of living, and the greater the economic growth. Capitalists aren't forced to make excuses about how "real capitalism has never been tried" — even though purely free markets have never existed anywhere. 

200 years after Marx, though, every new Marx-inspired failure causes his defenders to resort to this same excuse again and again. One can only hope that 200 years from now, they've given up. 

Matt Holbert's picture
Matt Holbert
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 3 2008
Posts: 110
A different perspective on Marx...

can be found in Marx's Concept of The Alternative to Capitalism by Peter Hudis. Marx is almost always put forth as the devil incarnate by idealogues like the writers at misesdotorg. When I get the time I'll share some excerpts from the book at my online journal: http://deepgreen.club.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments