Jim Devine | 1 Sep 01:09 2008
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Re: Questioning GDP

Shane Mage wrote:
> *Real* GDP measures use-values, not exchange values.  Strictly speaking,
> since it *is* done it *can* be done!

This calculation is done using an off-the-wall method of correcting
for inflation (which might be the best available but is still poor).
Even before that, the key assumption is that the price of any item
equals its use-value to the purchaser on the margin. This ignore
external costs and benefits.

> That is because use-values are not
> qualitative but quantitative (Marx repeatedly speaks of the "menge," [the
> "mass"] of use values as varying in a quantitative [as more or less] way.

For any specific item, there is quantitative dimension (the number of
pounds, kilos, or whatever) except in the case of unique products.
That is, the number of any specific use-value (i.e., good) is
quantitative. But the actual use-value is qualitative, representing
the relationship between people and the item. I guess one could
quantify such relationships but almost all of them are
multidimensional.

> Use-value is a measure of concrete (because dated) socially necessary labor
> time.

we disagree on this one.
--

-- 
Jim Devine / "Segui il tuo corso, e lascia dir le genti." (Go your own
way and let people talk.) -- Karl, paraphrasing Dante.
_______________________________________________
(Continue reading)

Michael Perelman | 1 Sep 02:08 2008

Theological Question

Didn't Pat Robertson explain that Hurricane was God's punishment for abortion and/or 
homosexuality?  Would Gustav similarly be a reprimand to the Republicans?

--

-- 
Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321
E-Mail michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
michaelperelman.wordpress.com
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Michael Nuwer | 1 Sep 03:08 2008
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Re: The Beauty of Markets and Markets of Beauty

Michael,

If the Jevons' passage is finding its way into one of your book, maybe Veblen's 
view would be an interesting contrast:

It is difficult to see how an institution of ownership could have arisen in the 
early days of predatory life through the seizure of goods, but the case is 
different with the seizure of persons. Captives are items that do not fit into the 
scheme of communal consumption, and their appropriation by their individual captor 
works no manifest detriment to the group. ... The captives taken under rude 
conditions are chiefly women. ... They serve the purpose of trophies very 
effectually, and it is therefore worth while for their captor to trace and keep in 
evidence his relation to them as their captor. ...

When the practice hardens into custom, the captor comes to exercise a customary 
right to exclusive use and abuse over the women he has seized; and this customary 
right of use and abuse over an object which is obviously not an organic part of 
his person constitutes the relation of ownership, as naively apprehended. After 
this usage of capture has found its way into the habits of the community, the 
women so held in constraint and in evidence will commonly fall into a 
conventionally recognized marriage relation with their captor. The result is a new 
form of marriage, in which the man is master. This ownership-marriage seems to be 
the original both of private property and of the patriarchal household. Both of 
these great institutions are, accordingly, of an emulative origin.

The Beginning of Ownership
by Thorstein Veblen
American Journal of Sociology, vol. 4 (1898-9)
http://socserv2.mcmaster.ca/~econ/ugcm/3ll3/veblen/ownersh

(Continue reading)

Jim Devine | 1 Sep 04:13 2008
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Re: Theological Question

Michael Perelman wrote:
> Didn't Pat Robertson explain that Hurricane was God's punishment for abortion and/or
> homosexuality?  Would Gustav similarly be a reprimand to the Republicans?

both hurricanes Rita and Gustav happened during a GOP administration.
God is punishing the GOP for not arresting all the DP folks.
--

-- 
Jim Devine / "Segui il tuo corso, e lascia dir le genti." (Go your own
way and let people talk.) -- Karl, paraphrasing Dante.
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Michael Perelman | 1 Sep 05:21 2008

California Budget Mess

California still does not have a budget.  The Republicans have taken a 
vow not to raise taxes.  To pass a budget will require a few Republican 
votes, but whoever wavers will be severely punished by the Republicans.  
The Republicans are holding out to get existing rules trashed, put on 
permanent spending caps, and cut spending.  Governor Arnold has a 
"compromise," which is bad, but the Republicans strongly reject it, 
holding out for a complete capitulation.  Arnold also proposes to put 
almost all state workers on minimum wage.  This brilliant idea is put 
on hold by a court challenge.

Schumpeter, Joseph A. 1954. "The Economic Crisis of the Tax State." 
International Economic Papers, 4; reprinted in Schumpeter, Joseph A. 
1991. The Economics and Sociology of Capitalism, ed. Richard Swedberg 
(Princeton: Princeton University Press): pp. 99-140.

101: "The spirit of a people, its cultural level, its social structure, 
the deeds its policy may prepare -- all this and more is written in its 
fiscal history. ... The public finances are one of the best starting 
points for an investigation of society."

--

-- 
Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321
E-Mail michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
michaelperelman.wordpress.com
_______________________________________________
(Continue reading)

Anthony D'Costa | 1 Sep 13:26 2008
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on contemporary imperialism readings

Could you recommend some really good recent books and/or articles on
contemporary imperialism (arguments for or against, or
neoimperialism), global structures of exploitation, especially those
that might account for international migration (demand) for labor
(skilled and unskilled)?

Tak.  Anthony

--

-- 
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Anthony P. D'Costa
Professor of Indian Studies
Asia Research Centre
Copenhagen Business School
Porcelaenshaven 24, 3
DK-2000 Frederiksberg
Denmark
Email:ad.int@...
Ph: +45 3815 2572
Fax: +45 3815 2500
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Marvin Gandall | 1 Sep 15:10 2008
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Still decoupled - so far (1)

Although the report below states that "hopes that emerging markets could
power ahead regardless – a theory known as decoupling – now look misguided",
the evidence it presents suggests otherwise:

1. Demand for commodities is still strong in China and other rapidly
industrializing nations outside the core OECD countries; 2. The BRIC's, in
particular, have abundant foreign exchange reserves; 3. their banks have
limited exposure to the bad debt plaguing their American and European
counterparts, and  4. a steadily growing percentage of their foreign trade
is with each other, easing their dependence on the advanced capitalist
countries. While some smaller, heavily-indebted and highly export-dependent
countries could be pulled under by the financial crisis and economic
downturn in the West, indications are that China and the other big new
economies should stay afloat and help stave off a global depression.

According to one analyst, “...the period between 2005 and 2015 (will be) a
remarkable decade – remarkable because of the transfer of wealth from
developed world to developing world. In the next few years, you will
continue to see the economic power shift east.”

-MG

Time to pay the bill?
By David Oakley and Rachel Morarjee
Financial Times
August 28 2008

In the bars of downtown Moscow, there is still a buzz as if all is well in
the world. At the Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s glass-domed rooftop lounge, which
looks out on to Red Square, dark-suited oligarchs enjoy $50 cocktails,
(Continue reading)

Marvin Gandall | 1 Sep 15:11 2008
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Still decoupled - so far (2)

Endurance test
Aug 21st 2008
The Economist

DURING the six months to the end of June commodities posted their best
performance in 35 years, rising by 29%. In July they had their worst month
in 28 years, falling by 10%. The slide continues: an index compiled by
Reuters, a news agency, shows that prices are almost a fifth below the
pinnacle reached in early July. The Economist’s index, which excludes oil,
has fallen by over 12%. Breathless headlines have hailed the bursting of a
bubble.

But most analysts are more reticent. They cite various reasons for the
recent drop in prices, chief among them the darkening economic outlook in
rich countries. In recent weeks it has become clear that Europe and Japan
are faring even worse than America, and so are likely to consume less oil,
steel, cocoa and the like. But that does not necessarily presage a collapse
in commodity prices, they argue, thanks to enduringly strong demand from
emerging markets such as China.

Oil consumption, for example, has been falling in rich countries for over
two years. Goldman Sachs expects them to use 500,000 fewer barrels a day
(b/d) this year than last. But it reckons that decline will be more than
offset by an increase of 1.3m b/d in emerging markets. It predicts China’s
demand for oil will grow by 5%.

A similar story could be told of many commodities. Marius Kloppers, the boss
of BHP Billiton, a huge mining firm presenting its results this week, argued
that emerging markets were much more important to the firm’s fortunes than
rich ones were. Developing countries, he said, consume four to five times
(Continue reading)

Seth Sandronsky | 1 Sep 17:01 2008
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Re: California Budget Mess

Michael,

 

I got your post from the PEN-L archives.

 

A starting point for the arc of CA’s fiscal policy over the past few decades is the rise of funding for incarceration. There has been something close to the building of two dozen new prisons and one new state university in the state during this era. Bars not books, indeed.

 

CSU and UC students paying increased out-of-pocket fees for their education can thank the state DP and RP in Sacramento. 

 

Federally, let us not fail to note politicians who fed this trend of locking down Americans. I mean Sen. Joe Biden, who helped to lengthen prison sentences for drug convictions two decades ago.   

 

Seth Sandronsky 

 

California Budget Mess

 

To: pen-l <at> xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Subject: [Pen-l] California Budget Mess

From: Michael Perelman <michael <at> xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 20:21:25 -0700

User-agent: Mutt/1.5.16 (2007-06-09)

 

California still does not have a budget.  The Republicans have taken a vow not to raise taxes.  To pass a budget will require a few Republican

votes, but whoever wavers will be severely punished by the Republicans. 

The Republicans are holding out to get existing rules trashed, put on permanent spending caps, and cut spending.  Governor Arnold has a "compromise," which is bad, but the Republicans strongly reject it,

holding out for a complete capitulation.  Arnold also proposes to put almost all state workers on minimum wage.  This brilliant idea is put on hold by a court challenge.

 

Schumpeter, Joseph A. 1954. "The Economic Crisis of the TaxState." International Economic Papers, 4; reprinted in Schumpeter, Joseph A. 1991. The Economics and Sociology of Capitalism, ed. Richard Swedberg (Princeton: PrincetonUniversity Press): pp. 99-140.

 

101: "The spirit of a people, its cultural level, its social structure, the deeds its policy may prepare -- all this and more is written in its fiscal history. ... The public finances are one of the best starting points for an investigation of society."

 

--

Michael Perelman

Economics Department

California State University

Chico, CA 95929

 

Tel. 530-898-5321

E-Mail michael at ecst.csuchico.edu

michaelperelman.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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Laurent GUERBY | 1 Sep 17:17 2008
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Re: Stock Buybacks Again

On Sat, 2008-08-30 at 16:08 -0700, Michael Perelman wrote:
> I have written a couple times about the irrationality of stock buybacks 
> from the standpoint of corporations using their money to manipulate stocks 
> in expectation of higher bonuses. [...]

Stock buybacks are strictly equivalent to dividends from an economics
point of view: it's just a way to move money from the company to the
shareholders.

The real meat of the issue is the tax regim for the company and
shareholders in both case. Dividend tax regime tend to be well known,
unfortunately for stock buybacks it's not clear to me at all. I suspect
at least some shareholders benefit more from buybacks in some way,
wikipedia mention stock option holders:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treasury_stock

But there's probably more to it, any taker?

Laurent

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Gmane