Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jason Smith — What mathematical theory is for


Cuts to the chase on the use of math in science, including economics.

Information Transfer Economics
What mathematical theory is for
Jason Smith

Nice Monday



Bullish DTS from Monday.  $15B net withdrawals including $4B of interest and then the TGA gained (reserve drain) $30B from deposits; removing some regulated dud assets from depository institutions.

TGA now back up over $200B again here still under the debt ceiling.






Zaid Jilani — Trumpcare Is Dead. “Single Payer Is the Only Real Answer,” Says Medicare Architect.

Many health care activists are now pushing to adopt what is called a “single payer” health care system, where one public health insurance program would cover everyone. The U.S. currently has one federal program like that: Medicare. Expanding it polls very well.
One of the activists pushing for such an expansion is Max Fine, someone who is intimately familiar with the program — because he helped create it. Fine is the last surviving member of President Kennedy’s Medicare Task Force, and he was also President Johnson’s designated debunker against the health insurance industry.
Fine, now 91, wrote to The Intercept recently to explain that Medicare was never intended to cover only the elderly population, and that expanding it to everyone was a goal that its architects long campaigned for....
Could the GOP pick up on this?
After the death of the Senate healthcare bill yesterday, The Intercept reached out to Fine for comment about where Congress should go next. “Single payer is the only real answer and some day I believe the Republicans will leap ahead of the Democrats and lead in its enactment,” he speculated, “just as did Bismarck in Germany and David Lloyd George and Churchill in the UK.”
No way the presently configured GOP could ever pass anything like this.

Trump Jr. Took a Meeting, Bill Clinton Took $500K — Aaron Mate interviews Michael Sainato

According to reports, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe now includes the recently disclosed meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer. The music publicist who arranged the meeting told Trump Jr. the lawyer had compromising information on Hillary Clinton on behalf of the Russian government, but the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, says she was only trying to lobby against the Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions on Russian officials. If that's true, then there's another interesting Clinton tie here. Hillary Clinton also opposed the sanctions when she was Secretary of State, and that only came after her husband, Bill Clinton, received $500,000 for a speech at a Russian investment conference in Moscow. According to leaked emails, Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign killed a Bloomberg story that tried to link Hillary Clinton's stance to her husband's paid gig, which means Donald Trump might not be the only 2016 candidate with a conflict of interest related to Russia. 
Let's get some perspective here.

TRNN
Aaron Mate interviews Michael Sainato

See also
It's official: The self-appointed foreign collusion police have forgiven themselves for colluding with a foreign government. It was all in the past. To quote Barack Obama after we "tortured some folks": Forward!
The familiar, "It's only bad when others do it," syndrome. Seems to be rampant in the American elite.

Russia Insider
High-Ranking Democrat Weighs in on DNC Collusion With Foreign Government: "No Biggie"
Michael Hering

Oleg Komlik — Pierre Bourdieu: Economism is a form of ethnocentrism


Economic liberalism, typified by "economism," is not only an ideology based on restrictive assumptions that are normative and prescriptive in addition to positive. It is also ethnocentric, being based on Western culturally dominant concepts and values, and in particular Anglo-American concepts and values that have been dominant post-WWII, and which economic liberals have insisted upon universalizing as "natural."

Economic Sociology and Political Economy
Pierre Bourdieu: Economism is a form of ethnocentrism
Oleg Komlik | founder and editor-in-chief of the ES/PE, Chairman of the Junior Sociologists Network at the International Sociological Association, a PhD Candidate in Economic Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University, and a Lecturer in the School of Behavioral Sciences at the College of Management Academic Studie

see also

Fast Company
Are You Ready To Consider That Capitalism Is The Real Problem?
Jason Hickel And Martin Kirk



Bill Mitchell — Austerity will not work for France right now

It didn’t take long from Emmanuel Macron to get started on his neo-liberal agenda. That should be no surprise, given he championed the insidious El Khomri Law when he was Minister of Economy and Finance in the second Manuel Valls Cabinet. In a major speech in Paris on Monday (July 17, 2017), Macron, demanded that local governments in France slash spending by 13 billion euros by 2022 as part of an effort to cut the French fiscal deficit. Why they would want to be cutting the fiscal deficit with growth creeping along and the unemployment rate stuck close to 10 per cent, among other problems facing the French nation is another matter. Clearly, they are under pressure from the Excessive Deficit Mechanism given that the overal fiscal deficit remains around 3.5 per cent (above the 3 per cent threshold) and doesn’t look like coming down any time soon. And it is clear that Brussels will not turn a blind eye to France, as it did for Spain when it allowed the deficit to rise to support growth as part of the strategy to get the conservatives re-elected. The elites in the Eurozone have their boy in power in France so no further political support is required. But austerity will not work for France right now.
Look for more political unrest in France.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Austerity will not work for France right now
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

See also
Backlash against painful budget cuts coming from both sides as military, teachers, local authorities push back..
A backlash against budget cuts was to be expected in France, but for the first shots to be fired from the military is unusual, and a sign that Macron should be prepared to be hit from both ends of the political spectrum.
Honeymoon over?

Asia Times
Revolt against Macron begins, chief of French armed forces resigns
Chris Scott

Brian Romanchuk — Presentation At MMT Conference

I will be doing a presentation at the First International Conference of Modern Monetary Theory in Kansas City in September 2017 (conference dates are September 21-24, website: http://www.mmtconference.org/). I will be presenting an introduction to my Python stock-flow consistent models package -- sfc_models. This article is a rough draft of what I think the slides will look like.
Bond Economics
Presentation At MMT Conference
Brian Romanchuk

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Erica Klarreich — In Game Theory, No Clear Path to Equilibrium


Game theory in math and economics.

Quanta Magazine
In Game Theory, No Clear Path to Equilibrium
Erica Klarreich

Colin Marshall — Hunter S. Thompson Chillingly Predicts the Future, Telling Studs Terkel About the Coming Revenge of the Economically & Technologically “Obsolete” (1967)

I recall reading Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs back then. It was a good read, as was Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. This was new in journalism and investigative reporting. It took a lot of nerve."To see the Hell’s Angels as caretakers of the old 'individualist' tradition 'that made this country great' is only a painless way to get around seeing them for what they really are," Thompson writes in that book, calling them "the first wave of a future that nothing in our history has prepared us to cope with. The Angels are prototypes. Their lack of education has not only rendered them completely useless in a highly technical economy, but it has also given them the leisure to cultivate a powerful resentment... and to translate it into a destructive cult which the mass media insists on portraying as a sort of isolated oddity" destined for extinction.
Studs Terkel, after reading that passage out loud in a 1967 interview with Thompson, calls it "the key" to the entire book. "Here we have technology, we have the computer, we have labor-saving devices," he says to Thompson, but we also "have the need for more and more college education for almost any kind of job, and we have this tremendous mass of young who find themselves obsolete." But Thompson replies that the real consequences have only started to manifest: "The people who are being left out and put behind won't be obvious for years. Christ only knows what'll happen in, say, 1985 — a million Hell's Angels. They won't be wearing the colors; they'll be people who are just looking for vengeance because they've been left behind."
What we are seeing in the US that the upper 20% of workers are doing well and have bright prospects, while the other 80% are stuck where they are, are stagnating in place, or are doing worse. Moreover, employment for the lower 80% is becoming more precarious. This is resulting in social dysfunction and political reaction.

Edward Harrison — Some thoughts on full employment and this asset-based economic recovery

My answer is that monetary policy is the only game in town. In fact, if you look at the US compared to the rest of the G-7, fiscal policy has been tighter in the US than in any other country. It’s been even tighter than Spain, which has been forced to cut under the EU’s excessive deficit procedure.
Credit Writedowns
Some thoughts on full employment and this asset-based economic recovery
Edward Harrison
This is going to be a quick follow-on to the last post on monetary policy as the only game in town. I feel like the obvious question that post doesn’t answer is this one: what other policy tools should we use? And I want to tee up that question with this post.

Asia Unhedged — Three misconceptions in the US about China’s economy

Former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia talked to CNBC about the three main misconceptions he sees being thrown around about China’s economy:
  1. “Number one, they have pushed their system to the point of Japanese style implosion, with all the debt, and I think that is wrong.
  2. And, number two, that they have a centrally planned economic structure, every bit of which is driven by the government, and I think that’s wrong. I think that the private economy is actually thriving.
  3. And, number three, the west does not believe that China innovates. It continues to believe that China is aggressive at stealing intellectual property, and yet, the wave of innovation that is evident in their private-based economy, anything from e-commerce to medical sciences, is really quite spectacular right now. […]
The Chinese have defied a lot of naysaying for close to 40 years, and I think that will continue to be the case. All the talk about a crash landing, a slowdown, a debt-induced Japanese-like end game, those fears are largely overblown. […]
Asia Times
Three misconceptions in the US about China’s economy
Asia Unhedged

Nick Johnson — Production and realization of surplus value – Marxists, Keynesians and others

Many Marxists follow the man himself by emphasising that capitalism is a profit-driven system. By contrast, Keynesians, particularly the more radical post-Keynesians, see the system as demand-driven and therefore responsive to a policy of demand-expansion during a slowdown or recession.…

In sum then, I find the above quote from Marx on the contradiction between the production and realization of surplus value and profit very helpful. It offers tremendous insight into the dynamics of capitalism, which has given rise to periods of growth and crisis throughout its history. 
If Marx is right, different kinds of crisis may require different solutions: if the production of surplus value and profitability is insufficient, then some kind of restructuring is required; if its realization is weak due to inadequate demand, then policies which boost investment or consumption may be appropriate.
The Political Economy of Development

Cyrus Farivar — Security experts from Google, Facebook, Crowdstrike want to save US elections. "Defending Digital Democracy" will "generate innovative ideas" to safeguard democracy.


Get ready for  de facto censorship? The tell? "Safeguarding democracy."
A new group at Harvard University staffed by the former campaign managers of the Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney campaigns, along with other top security experts, have banded together to help mitigate various types of online attacks that threaten American democracy.
The initiative, dubbed "Defending Digital Democracy," will be run by former chief of staff for the secretary of defense, Eric Rosenbach.
"Americans across the political spectrum agree that political contests should be decided by the power of ideas, not the skill of foreign hackers," Rosenbach said in a Tuesday statement. "Cyber deterrence starts with strong cyber defense—and this project brings together key partners in politics, national security, and technology to generate innovative ideas to safeguard our key democratic institutions."
Of course these people have no agenda. Heh heh.

Meanwhile the felony leaks from anonymous government sources continue, and there seems to be nothing being done about uncovering the leakers. Thank heaven it's not disrupting democracy to mount a soft coup against a sitting president. Actually, the people involved profess to be "safeguarding democracy" from the American electorate "since it made a poor choice" that the "grownups" need to fix.

Tim Duy — This Expansion Will End in a Fizzle, Not a Bang

The Fed is growing increasingly concerned that this expansion will end like the last two, with a collapse in asset prices that brings down the economy. That concern will lead the central bank down the path of excessive tightening. Worse, that logic misses a key point. In both of the last two cycles, there was a sizable imbalance in the economy that extended beyond financial assets themselves. So far, the current environment lacks such an imbalance. That suggests the expansion ends with more of a fizzle than a bang....
The central point is this: High asset prices alone do not imply that a fall in those prices will bring the economy down. Those asset prices need to be linked in a very tangible way to a fairly significant and widespread imbalance in the economy for their decline to bring about a broader economy collapse....
Bloomberg View — Opinion
This Expansion Will End in a Fizzle, Not a Bang
Tim Duy | Director of Undergraduate Studies of the Department of Economics at the University of Oregon, the Director of the Oregon Economic Forum, and blogger at Tim Duy's Fed Watch

John Helmer — The Improper Association (Maybe Crime) of Victor Pinchuk With Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton, Covered Up by the Us Media, Us Department of Justice, and the International Monetary Fund

Never in the field of American conflict with Russia has so much wool pulled over the eyes been owed to so few sheep. That was during the losing presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. Now, in the investigations of President Donald Trump and his family, it’s a case of so many sheep producing so little wool.
The case of the $13 million paid to the Clinton family by the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, in exchange for personal favours and escalation of the war against Russia, was reported in detail throughout 2014. Click to read the opener, and more....
Dances with Bears
The Improper Association (Maybe Crime) of Victor Pinchuk With Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton, Covered Up by the Us Media, Us Department of Justice, and the International Monetary Fund
John Helmer

Robert Parry — Netanyahu Pushes Trump Toward Wider Wars

Russia-gate is empowering Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to strong-arm President Trump into escalating the Syrian war by abandoning a recent cease-fire and challenging Iran and Russia, reports Robert Parry
A weakened, even desperate President Donald Trump must decide whether to stand up to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or to repudiate the Syrian partial ceasefire, which Trump hammered out with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 7.

Whether intentionally or not, this crossroads is where the months of Russia-gate hysteria have led the United States, making Trump even more vulnerable to Israeli and neoconservative pressure and making any cooperation with Russia more dangerous for him politically.
After meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Sunday, Netanyahu declared that Israel was totally opposed to the Trump-Putin cease-fire deal in southern Syria because it perpetuates Iranian presence in Syria in support of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Netanyahu’s position increases pressure on Trump to escalate U.S. military involvement in Syria and possibly move toward war against Iran and even Russia. The American neocons, who generally move in sync with Netanyahu’s wishes, already have as their list of current goals “regime changes” in Damascus, Tehran and Moscow – regardless of the dangers to the Middle East and indeed the world.…
Armageddon arriving.

Consortium News
Netanyahu Pushes Trump Toward Wider Wars
Robert Parry
Under Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israel continues to become more and more intolerant both in its treatment of Palestinians and its attitude toward more liberal tendencies in Judaism, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
The Lost Liberalism of Netanyahu’s Israel
Paul R. Pillar

Chris Dillow — Facts, frictions & "mainstream" economics


A major problem with conventional economics is that it is like doing physics without taking friction into account. OK for creating simple teaching models to illustrate fundamentals, maybe. But disastrous in doing advanced theory and especially in applications like engineering.

There are a lot of inefficiencies in economic behavior that are difficult to measure and very difficult to reduce in a cost-effective way, such as transaction cost. Ignoring these factors or pretending that they don't contribute substantially to results can render modeling quite non-representational when predictions are compared to evidence.

And this is in addition to "theonomic" assumptions!

Stumbling and Mumbling
Facts, frictions & "mainstream" economics
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle

Cristina Casabón — More people live inside this circle than outside it - and other demographic data you should know


With the progressive integration of China, India and other large developing countries into the world economy, hundreds of millions will compete in the global market to reach higher living standards. Global structures of production, trade, employment and wages will change with the relocation of people, enterprises, capital flows and financial globalisation.

The consequences of global population changes will affect billions of people, and therefore, we will need to revise migration policies and implement new changes in their economic models. It's ok to raise concern about this challenge, but we never shouldn't underestimate our ability to innovate, solve problems and create ideas, as this is the only solution to confront our global challenges. The world grows and changes, and more brains thinking solutions and policies will be necessary.
Emerging challenges — and opportunities.

World Economic Forum
More people live inside this circle than outside it - and other demographic data you should know
Cristina Casabón | Digital Content Specialist

Bill Mitchell — A government can always afford high-quality health care provision


Must-read on the abysmal state of the American health care system. Disseminate widely.
The only way that these sorts of debates will progress, however, is to take them out of the fiscal policy realm where they are largely inapplicable and start talking about rights and what different interpretations of these rights concepts have for real resources allocations and redistributions.
Whether a nation can afford first-class health care depends only on the real resources that are available to it for that purpose.
If all available real resources are being fully utilised then to expand their use in one area requires another area(s) give up its (their) claim on those resources.
In US politics, affordability of health care provision is only one side of the coin. The other side is the highly contentious "right versus privilege" issue.

Liberals and progressives generally hold that access to quality healthcare is a right whereas conservatives generally hold that health care is a privilege, although many conservatives would agree that all should have access to emergency treatment. Many conservatives argue that access to emergency rooms, which only treat acute conditions, is sufficient provision.

The abysmal state of health care in the US is a cultural outcome of a highly individualistic framework and a political plutonomy.

On the other hand, polling shows that the public is in favor of universal access to quality health care through something like Medicare for all.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
A government can always afford high-quality health care provision
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Monday, July 17, 2017

The US Empire, the CIA, and the NGOs — Ludwig Watzal interviews F. William Engdahl

Disclaimer: F. William Engdahl is a controversial figure and this implies that his documentation should be scrutinized carefully, which I have not done in the case of his latest book on which he is reporting herein. But the outline he provides abut the establishment of NGOs for covert operations is corroborated by many others.
Ludwig Watzal: After WW II, hardly any coup d’état or organized uprising happened without the helping hand of the CIA. As I understood your book, in the last 25 years, the CIA got quite a few so-called little helpers in the form of NGOs. Please, could you elaborate on that?
William Engdahl: During the Reagan Presidency very damaging scandals were becoming public about CIA dirty operations around the world. Chile, Iran, Guatemala, the top secret MK-Ultra project, the student movement during the Vietnam War to name just a few. To take the spotlight away from them, CIA Director Bill Casey proposed to Reagan creating a “private” NGO, a kind of cut-out that would pose as private, but in reality, as one of its founders the late Allen Weinstein said in a later interview to the Washington Post, “doing what the CIA did, but privately.” This was the creation of the NGO named National Endowment for Democracy in 1983. Soon other Washington-steered NGOs were added like the Freedom House or the Soros Open Society Foundations, the United States Institute of Peace and so forth….
Of course, not all NGOs are doing the work of the CIA. I focus on the ones with a hidden political agenda, who, as I describe in the book, have weaponized human rights and the word democracy for devious ends....
LW: If you could give the NGOs a piece of advice, what would you tell them?
WE: For the honest persons who may have got caught up in nice rhetoric about values, human rights and such, I would suggest looking more closely at the money trail feeding your given NGO.
Russia and China have banned US NGOs as subversive, which the US claims is suppression of free expression.

NGOs have a legitimate aid and humanitarian purpose. When that purpose is used as a cover for intelligence and covert operations, the entire spectrum of NGOs suffers as a cloud of suspicion envelopes all of them and the good are banned along with the bad. Then it becomes a failed policy and also erodes American soft power.

Dissident Voice
The US Empire, the CIA, and the NGOs
Ludwig Watzal interviews F. William Engdahl

The US has also promoted "human rights activists" and "democracy activists" like the recently deceased Liu Xiaobo.
Liu’s admirers seldom discuss at length their hero’s other major views. Among other things, he supported the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. He backed the Vietnam and Korean wars even long after they ended, in a 2001 essay. Despite the immeasurable human-rights abuses of those conflicts, Liu stated in his “Lessons from the Cold War” that “the free world led by the US fought almost all regimes that trampled on human rights.” He insisted: “The major wars that the US became involved in are all ethically defensible.” Liu Xiaobo also admired Israel’s positions in the Middle East’s, saying the Palestinians were “often the provocateurs.”
Worse, to Chinese sensibilities, was perhaps his advocacy of all-out Westernization for China. He told an interviewer in 1988 that “to choose Westernization is to choose to be human.” Reported Britain’s Guardian newspaper: “He also faulted a television documentary, He Shang, or River Elegy, for not thoroughly criticizing Chinese culture and not advocating Westernization enthusiastically enough: ‘If I were to make this I would show just how wimpy, spineless and fucked-up [weisuo, ruanruo, caodan] the Chinese really are’. Liu considered it most unfortunate that his monolingualism bound him in a dialogue with something ‘very benighted [yumei] and philistine [yongsu],’ the Chinese cultural sphere … In a well-known statement of 1988, Liu said: ‘It took Hong Kong 100 years to become what it is. Given the size of China, certainly it would need 300 years of colonization for it to become like what Hong Kong is today. I even doubt whether 300 years would be enough’.”
Counterpunch
Liu Xiaobo: the West’s Model Chinese

Jeff M. Smith — High Noon in the Himalayas: Behind the China-India Standoff at Doka La


A US view of the Sino-Indian confrontation over Bhutan.

Reminder: India, China and Pakistan are nuclear powers. The border of India, Pakistan and China is a volatile region complete with a line of control LOC, with heavily armed troops manning it on all sides and a history of skirmishes. Calling it a flash point would be an understatement.

War On the Rocks
High Noon in the Himalayas: Behind the China-India Standoff at Doka La
Jeff M. Smith is the Director of Asian Security Programs at the American Foreign Policy Council and author of Cold Peace: China-India Rivalry in the 21st Century

Asif Aziz — A Pound of Flesh: Why is India Trying to Sabotage the Silk Road Initiative?

29 countries attended, including delegates from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the United Nations; even the US. However India, the OBOR Initiative’s second-largest investor, boycotted the event.
His absence was a mum protest against People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping’s shrewd decision to deepen ties with Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC); a vital trade route into the Middle East for the OBOR.
More geopolitics and geostrategy around the New Silk Road initiative (OBOR — One Belt One Road).

Astute News
A Pound of Flesh: Why is India Trying to Sabotage the Silk Road Initiative?
Asif Aziz

News of New Book on Adam Smith by Gavin Kennedy

An Authentic Account of Adam Smith
Gavin Kennedy

To be published by Palgrave-Macmillan, 1st September, 2017

Busting the myth.

Adam Smith's Lost Legacy
News of New Book on Adam Smith by Gavin Kennedy
Gavin Kennedy | Professor Emeritus, Heriot Watt University

Nafeez Ahmed — Pentagon study declares American empire is ‘collapsing’

Report demands massive expansion of military-industrial complex to maintain global ‘access to resources’ 
n the first of a series, we report on stunning new evidence that the U.S. Department of Defense is waking up to the collapse of American primacy, and the rapid unraveling of the international order created by U.S. power after the Second World War.
But the Pentagon’s emerging vision of what comes next hardly inspires confidence. We breakdown both the insights and cognitive flaws in this vision. In future pieces we will ask the questions: What is really driving the end of the American empire? And based on that more accurate diagnosis of the problem, what is the real solution?
"We need a blank check."

Incidentally, the Vietnam War was sold to the public based on the "spread of freedom and democracy," and the domino effect. I was serving on active duty as an officer in the US Naval Reserve at the time and according to the DOD, maintaining access to resources in Southeast Asia and denying them to the enemy was a chief reason for making US  domination of the region a high strategic priority.

Here we go again.
The document is particularly candid in setting out why the U.S. sees these countries as threats — not so much because of tangible military or security issues, but mainly because their pursuit of their own legitimate national interests is, in itself, seen as undermining American dominance.
Russia and China are described as “revisionist forces” who benefit from the U.S.-dominated international order, but who dare to “seek a new distribution of power and authority commensurate with their emergence as legitimate rivals to U.S. dominance.” Russia and China, the analysts say, “are engaged in a deliberate program to demonstrate the limits of U.S. authority, will, reach, influence, and impact.”
The premise of this conclusion is that the U.S.-backed “status quo” international order is fundamentally “favorable” for the interests of the U.S. and its allies. Any effort to make global order also work “favorably” for anyone else is automatically seen as a threat to U.S. power and interests....
The document also sets out the real reasons that the U.S. is hostile to “revolutionary forces” like Iran and North Korea: they pose fundamental obstacles to U.S. imperial influence in those regions. They are:
“… neither the products of, nor are they satisfied with, the contemporary order… At a minimum, they intend to destroy the reach of the U.S.-led order into what they perceive to be their legitimate sphere of influence. They are also resolved to replace that order locally with a new rule set dictated by them.”
Far from insisting, as the U.S. government does officially, that Iran and North Korea pose as nuclear threats, the document instead insists they are considered problematic for the expansion of the “U.S.-led order.”...
Summing it up.
This is a war, then, between US-led capitalist [neoliberal] globalization, and anyone who resists it.
And to win it, the document puts forward a combination of strategies: consolidating the U.S. intelligence complex and using it more ruthlessly; intensifying mass surveillance and propaganda to manipulate popular opinion; expanding U.S. military clout to ensure access to “strategic regions, markets, and resources”.
Even so, the overarching goal is somewhat more modest — to prevent the U.S.-led order from collapsing further:
“…. while the favorable U.S.-dominated status quo is under significant internal and external pressure, adapted American power can help to forestall or even reverse outright failure in the most critical regions”.
The hope is that the U.S. will be able to fashion “a remodeled but nonetheless still favorable post-primacy international order.”
INSURGE intelligence - Medium
Pentagon study declares American empire is ‘collapsing’
Nafeez Ahmed

Ann Wright — The Logic in North Korean ‘Madness’


Of course it is rational behavior on the part of NK. Every sovereign nation has the right and responsibility of self-defense.

The real question is why countries that are on the US's "list" are arming  up and strengthening their nuclear deterrent. The US claims that there is no rational reason for it since the US is not threatening anyone. These countries see it differently in light of US behavior post-WWII.

Consortium News
The Logic in North Korean ‘Madness’
Col. (ret.) Ann Wright, US Army Reserve, former US diplomat


Lawrence Davidson — The Paradox of Tolerance/Intolerance


Another paradox of liberalism that tests the limits of liberalism.
The issue of “tolerance” can be complicated, even paradoxical, such as extending tolerance to intolerance with the possibility that the intolerance will ultimately eliminate tolerance, explains Lawrence Davidson.
Consortium News
The Paradox of Tolerance/Intolerance
Lawrence Davidson | professor of history at West Chester University in Pennsylvania

George Koo — The two sides of late Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo

The important difference between Wu and Liu is that while Wu remained in the safety of the protective West, Liu went back to China from a teaching position in the US to advocate the overthrow of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Liu even expressed the idea that 300 years as a colony of a Western power would have done China wonders and enabled it to catch up to the standards of Western democracy. That was paimapi [obsequious flattery' of the first order. No wonder the West adored him.
Conveniently overlooked by Liu was that in the nearly three decades since Liu went back to China, it has become the second-largest or largest economy in the world, depending on the yardstick used.
According to Pew’s regular polls of the sentiments of people in China, their satisfaction and approval rating of the country’s one-party rule and CPC has hovered around 80% in most recent years....
Asia Times
The two sides of late Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo
George Koo

M. K. Bhadrakumar — Indian military standoff with China was all about Bhutan

China did not intrude on India; tensions seem part of the 'great game' over Bhutan amid deep Indian disquiet about Beijing's dealings with Thimphu.
Asian imperial powers contest influence in the small Himalayan countries of the Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim, and Tibet. The latest kerfuffle is over influence in Bhutan. India is wary that China's intention is to gobble up Bhutan and Nepal economically like it did Tibet territorially by dangling advantages of the New Silk Road for their economies. India's problem is that Bhutan is suffering from India's neoliberal imperialism by binding Bhutan with debt through loans for "aid."

Asia Times
Indian military standoff with China was all about Bhutan
M. K. Bhadrakumar

BIEN — History of UBI: From Hunter-Gatherers to the 21st Century


Backgrounder. Links to an Investopedia paper.

Seems to reinforce the conclusion that sharing requires a more advanced level of collective consciousness or necessity for social cooperation to survive than exists in most places today.

BIEN
History of UBI: From Hunter-Gatherers to the 21st Century

Tony Wikrent — R.L. Bruckberger on American School Economist Henry C. Carey

The concept of the struggle for power over nature as the goal of mankind can hardly be called original. But where Carey was so characteristically American was in his insistence that this association of men's strength and power had a more distant, loftier aim, a more imperative goal than that of mere power over nature. "The ultimate object of all human effort," wrote Carey, in a truly remarkable statement, "[is] the production of the being known as Man capable of the highest aspirations."
Here Carey took a decisive step of his own. Nowhere in the theoreticians of the capitalist school, nowhere in Marx and Lenin, can any such words as these be found. Basically, all that concerned Carey was man, and the process whereby man becomes more and more civilized. What Carey sought to create, beyond a theory of political economy, was a theory of civilization itself. For him, man was not only greater than the whole of nature, but even above the victory he won over it. With this victory civilization began, but it still had far, far indeed to go. It still faced the obligation to fulfill man's "highest aspirations."
….Carey very clearly saw that neither all the victories over nature nor all the wealth accumulated by toil can avail, unless those victories and that wealth are then put to man's service, for him to use for his own, his human aims. Just as the nature of man is above that of the beasts, so his highest aspirations and his ultimate ends transcend the realm of the material. Man is more important, he has more intrinsic value, than the whole of nature, more even than his dominion over nature, more than society. Carey was a true Jeffersonian. — Raymond Léopold Bruckberger, Image of America (p. 156-165) 
Good read.

real economics
R.L. Bruckberger on American School Economist Henry C. Carey
Tony Wikrent