On macroeconomics, in memory of David Graeber

On macroeconomics, in memory of David Graeber

David Graeber died a couple of months ago on 2nd Sept. I never met him but was introduced to his work by my son who pointed me at "On Flying Cars and declining rate of profit", and he was introduced to me as one of the world’s leading anarchist thinkers; he was teaching at Goldsmiths which is close to where I live. I didn't feel it appropriate to write anything at the time, however I was clearing up my desktop and came across "Against Economics", which is a review of Robert Skidelsky's book, "Money & Government: the past and future of economics". It is through these two articles, and his tweet stream, that I came to know him; there is much wisdom in these articles. In this blog post, I comment on three things which I think especially important. Firstly, the nature of capitalism has changed. Capitalism is no longer progressive, and its defenders are moving towards arguing there is no alternative. The problems that the economic system needs to solve are no longer growth and the resource allocation required to deliver it, but, in his words, "how to deal with increasing technological productivity, decreasing real demand for labor, and the effective management of care work, without also destroying the Earth". This would also require an equitable distribution of wealth and income, the lack which is one of the chief criticisms of capitalism. Secondly that amongst the fatal flaws in economics as a science is the truth that systems that promise a benevolent equilibrium cannot rely on expectations of exogenous rewards to act as stabilisers. Thirdly, I look at his critique of the quantitative theory of money, and his positioning of credit and debt as an exclusively social construct. For more, see below/overleaf ...

Valuing people

Valuing people

I was nudged to look at Psychometric systems, both Myers Briggs which I see as offering one insight into yourself and Belbin which more orientated to managing teams. Perhaps one reason they’re important is based on the insights one of my ex-managers shared with his team,

“You’ll be good at what you enjoy! What’s not going to happen, is that I sit you down in front of your manager who’ll tell you what you’re bad at and then we attempt to remedy your weaknesses through training; that’s how you build mediocrity”

One of my Old Managers

Shame he was shagged by his global management who introduced a system of stack ranking which means no-one will admit their weaknesses and managers recruit for the permitted talent spectrum.

Myers Briggs helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses and this know what help you need, If you build teams where people do what they’re good at and are encouraged to rely on the complementary strengths of others, you teams will perform well and even those perceived as adding the least value may be critical for success. No man left behind! As Belbin’s theory says, we can’t all be Plants, i.e. too many of some skills/personality types diminishes team effectiveness.  …

On DMCA takedown of youtube-dl

On DMCA takedown of youtube-dl

The EEF thought fit to comment on an RIAA DCMA takedown using §1201 of the DCMA aimed at a program called youtube-dl hosted on Github; I forwarded it via Facebook with a cryptic, acronym laden comment, and not surprisingly, some of my correspondents suggested I could have been more helpful and understandable. So I wrote an article on Linkedin, although much of it can be gained from the EFF article, however, this version includes a bit on oppressive economics of copyright maximalism, and a comment noting that Github have reposted the repo and revised their process to ensue their policies of supporting developers is fully considered when considering takedown notices. ...

Abstention is not opposition.

Where’s Starmer? I didn’t think that “responsible opposition to the Tories” meant serial abstention. It’s not opposition! Labour has abstained on the Overseas Operations Bill and the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill; they also abstained on a LibDem resolution in the Lords to block evictions as the lockdown provisions expired. I should also add that Starmer’s “No ifs, no buts, get them back to school” is likely to haunt him and us. At least he should have added, when you’ve made it safe. The PLP have been absent on Brexit too. Abstention is not opposition.

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Saving Jobs

Yesterday Rishi Sunak announced the next stage of support for the economy to see us through a coronavirus winter and mitigate some of the job destruction inherent within Brexit. It seems to be a short term working subsidy. It is described in the Guardian in an article entitled, “Covid scheme: UK government to cover 22% of worker pay for six months”. It requires employers to pay workers 55% wages for 33% hours. Below/overleaf, I also look at Richard Seymour and Rebecca Long Bailey's comments. ... ...

What cost equality?

What cost equality?

51.5% of Labour MP’s are women and 20% of Labour MP’s are BAME.

But what about the class background of MP’s?

29% of MP’s went to private school (7% of the population did), 14% of Labour MP’s went to private school.

25% of MP’s went to Oxbridge (0.5% of the population did)

50% of MP’s went to the Russell Group of Universities, 24 ‘top’ universities (11% of the population did).

In 1979, 15% of MP’s came from ‘blue-collar’ backgrounds. In 2019, 3% did!

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