Capitalism

Greg Gerritt • If Central Banks are the determiner of economic conditions, which all of the above, and much of what we read elsewhere, seems to suggest, can someone tell me why so many insist that it is a capitalist entrepreneur driven system other than as a tool to steal more from the workers? If we talked about our economies as mixed, as an interplay of the public and private, we would have much more fruitful discussions, and we could get true sustainability on the table rather than lip service.

Correcting Moshassuck Critters identifications

Now that I know more about what kind of frogs, toads, and tadpoles I am looking at I went back to Moshassuckcritters and updated all of the titles and writeups that needed to be corrected.  Moshassuckcritters is available at   http://www.youtube.com/user/Moshassuckcritters?view_as=public      Thanks to all who helped in the quest.  I still have lots of footage to edit and post, so expect more videos over the course of the summer.   greg

Creating Prosperity for the 99% in Rhode Island Greg’s 60th Birthday conference

Ecological Healing, Ecological Economics, Economic Justice:  Creating Prosperity for the 99% in Rhode Island
 
Greg’s 60th Birthday Conference   October 12 2013  10 AM to 5 PM  Pawtucket Armory  Pawtucket RI
 
Contact Information
Greg Gerritt
401-331-0529
Gerritt@mindspring.com
Http//ProsperityForRI.com
On October 12 2013 at the Pawtucket Armory beginning at 10 AM, there shall be a conference  “Ecological Healing, Ecological Economics, Economic Justice,  Creating Prosperity for the 99% in Rhode Island.  ”  Organized by Greg Gerritt for his 60th birthday, the conference is part of an effort to open up the discussion as to the appropriate economic development strategy for Rhode Island and places like Rhode Island.  It is clear that an economy run for the benefit of the 1% does not work very well for anyone other than the 1%, but that other models of development appear ot be off the table.  As the economy grinds to a halt due to inequality, we also see ever more ecological destruction, further damaging the economy.  It is my contention that an economy that focuses on ecological healing, economic justice, and local based food security will be much more capable of riding out the turmoil of the 21st century and climate change than economies focused of the greed of the 1%.  Yet the people who direct economic policy in Rhode Island continue on the 1% path despite the traumas it brings and the general failure of development efforts over the last 40 years.
It is unlikely that we can turn the ship of state away from thrashing around for growth in one fell swoop, but it is still critical to begin a new discussion, one that lays out the true parameters of the ecological and unequal box we have been pushed into.  Hence a conference as a way to restart the discussion. This time encompassing the full range of possibilities, not just the business climate model trumpeted by the Koch brothers and their wealthy allies that we have been offered.
No one day conference can be comprehensive, but the October 12 conference will offer talks by some of the leading thinkers in the Eastern US and Rhode Island on where the economy might go if ecological healing and economic justice are at the heart of what we do to help our communities prosper.
Confirmed speakers
Keynoter  Margaret Flowers          Its Our Economy
Katherine Brown    Independent consultant on Community Agriculture
Marshall Feldman    URI
Robert Leaver   New Commons
Ken Payne     System Aesthetics LLC
Ray Perrault  Groundwork Providence
Jamie Rhodes   Clean Water Action
Sam Smith     The Progressive Review
Martha Yager   American Friends Service Committee
Greg Gerritt    ProsperityForRI.com
Additional speakers are expected
Conference is being hosted by The Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island and Groundwork Providence.  Their websites are  http://ejlri.wordpress.com       http://groundworkprovidence.org
Conference fee   $35.00   rising to $40 on September 15
There is a separate admission birthday dinner/dance party immediately following the conference (at 5:30 PM)  raising money for the EJLRI and GwP   Preregistration for dinner for conference attendees is a must.
For More Information or to To Register for the conference email Greg Gerritt gerritt@mindspring.com   All arrangements can be made from there.  
Greg Gerritt is available for interviews and to explain the conference at the contact information above.  Greg’s current work on the Rhode island economy can be viewed at   https://prosperityforri.com     and the Rhode Island economy is specifically explored in https://prosperityforri.com/38-studios-and-economic-development-in-rhode-island-2/        https://prosperityforri.com/economyri-response/    https://prosperityforri.com/the-world-bank-sort-of-figures-it-out/
 

The economic slowdown in china

Comments I made on The Economist website  http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/07/economist-explains-2

 

I am thinking that maybe the double digit growth machine has run out of steam permanently. No country has been able to maintain the upward trajectory for long, and it appears that each new round ends up with the outcome of less income per capita than the previous round of countries climbing the economic ladder. One of the causes is ecological collapse, especially the destruction of forests. The harder it is to get wood, the harder it is to build cities. The heat is on China to reduce wood imports, and the flooding China is already experiencing, along with the droughts, remind everyone how little of its own forest China has left to protect its watersheds and climate. The smog in Singapore also reminds us.

A second cause is rising inequality, The Koch brothers and their minions tell us economies should only deliver for the 1%, but clearly that is not working too well.

I have always found that when there are fewer truly productive places to invest as modern economies grind down you get asset bubbles. These are not aberrations, they are the only way the 1% can get fast enough returns to slake their greed.

China has as many greedy people as the US, and when combined with the need to create employment to stave off civic unrest they make mistakes that bring the economy into stall faster. They grab more instead of more widely distributing income and building resilience to climate change.

We are looking at the financialization of everything, but it is no way to run an economy. Look for a long term trends towards steady state economies with all countries trending toward the global mean in income.

NBG Frogs July 3, 2013

The Bullfrog and Gray Tree Frog tadpoles have turned to frogs.  In the larger pond there are no more jumping tadpoles, now there are hundreds of frogs lining the shores.  I collected a bit of video evidence today.  It is right on schedule.

Today I found no Gray Tree Frog Tadpoles in the drainage swale/little pond.  Yesterday I found only a very few. I did find one last frog and have some nice footage of it.  I am in holiday mode and do not feel like editing footage this afternoon, but will put up some preliminary footage in the next few days, and with the changes, it is time to start putting together the developmental sequence of the two frogs.  I have only some decent footage, but have learned much about both the frogs and the video process, so while I am looking forward to putting together the developmental sequence videos, I am really looking forward to doing this again next year much better than I did this year.

 

I expect that I will also write up my observations and put them together on this blog and on the Friends of the Moshassuck website.

 

the national insecurity state letter to projo

Too Many Snowdens published on July 2 properly points out that the US keeps too many secrets.  A democracy should have almost no secrets, and a country that respects and is at peace with its neighbors will need almost no secrets.  The United States has created the largest national insecurity system on Earth primarily because it wishes to use its military to make other countries do its bidding.  Practicing peace would work much better than keeping secrets, but it would also help if we did not run national insecurity systems for profit.  The idea that we can contract out national insecurity to for profit compnaies has to be one of the stupidest things our government has ever invented.  My guess is that the US privatized its insecurity apparatus so that it coud be farmed out to low paid workers while campaign contributors make big money.
As for the comments about patriots, the most courageous of patriots are those who blow the whistle when our government does stupid, vilolent, and illegal things such as kill innocent children around the world.  Eric Snowden is a hero.  All of the leaders of the national insecurity apparatus are the ones who should be in jail for the murders they have committed in our name.

The medical industrial complex and the end of economic growth

Recently I read an article about the rise in health insurance costs, and it noted that the expectation in the United States is that medical costs will rise between 4.6 and 7.5% next year. This following years of double digit increases prior to the recession.  I also saw some  estimates on how much the entire economy was going to grow next year.  That number is 2.2 to 2.4% with the lower number becoming more prevalent.  I then did a bit of arithmetic on how much of the economic growth in the US is tied up in the medical industrial complex and how that compares to everything else.
As of 2013  the medical sector of the economy is 18.4% of the US economy.  That number has been increasing rapidly over the last 30 years, and there are estimates that it will approach 25% of the economy within 10 years.  The case I want to make is best illustrated if I use the most rapid estimate for the growth in medical costs.  You can do the math using any other variation of the numbers and it may present a slightly less extreme set of numbers, but the pattern will remain.  18.4% times 7.5% equals 1.35%    If growth is 2.2% then it means all of the economy other than the medical industrial complex will grow a total of .85%.  This says that the 82% of the economy that is not in the medical industrial complex is growing about 1.04% per year.
As there are a few industries and costs that are growing: banking, college tuitions, high tech, and spying, then vast sectors of the economy are already shrinking. And as the cost of health care continues to climb much faster than the rest of the economy the growth rate of the rest of the economy will approach zero or even negative.  We see this evolving when businesses say the cost of health care is more than they can bear and workers will not start businesses if they have to go without health insurance for their families.
Clearly we are going to have to rethink the medical industrial complex with a focus on prevention and precaution as part of our step away from the brink.   But that is difficult if we have to stop the poisoning of our communities so that prevention can have the desired effect.  The producers of poison need to stop having the right to feed poisons to us if we are to make the economy or the healthcare system work.  And so it goes as we tug on one of the unraveled threads of our economy and it leads us into ecological healing and economic justice as the road forward.