10 November 2000. Thought for the Week: "Rather than waiting in disastrous circumstances for the fulfilment of promises that will not materialise, rather than watching out vainly and in distress for the return of work and galloping employment, would it be extravagant to try to make the decent and viable by other means and to do it today for those who, in what might soon be the radical absence of work or rather employment, are regarded as fallen, excluded and superfluous?
There is hardly any time left to include those lives, our lives, in their own, their true meaning; quite simply that of life, its dignity, its rights. Hardly any time to free them from the sweet will of those who scorn them.
Would it be extravagant to hope at long last, not for some love - so vague, so easy to declare, so self-satisfied, authorising itself to use all kinds of punishment - but instead, for the boldness of a harsh, unrewarding sentiment, a sentiment of intractable rigor which refuses all exceptions: respect?"
"The Economic Horror" by Viviane Forrester, 1996
WRITING OFF DEBT
by Jeremy Lee
Part of a report in The Australian
Financial Review (27/10/2000) said "World poverty is emerging
as a major concern at elite gatherings of economic policy
makers, partly in response to the real needs of the growing
numbers of poor people but also because of the anti-globalisation
Mr. Wolfensohn appealed to a sense of duty, but he also suggested that First World nations would be forced to intervene out of self-interest because poverty would become a threat to their security. The challenge was so great that Mr. Wolfensohn appealed to a sense of heroism "
There is something almost surrealist in Wolfensohn's words. It conjures up images of million and billionaires, munching their caviar, as they ponder an uprising of the destitute. It is said that Wolfensohn, when approached by a Jubilee 2000 church member with a request that Third World debt be written off, replied by asking whether the Church would also hand its property and investments over to the poor. Wolfensohn had a point, and the church member retreated in silence!
But there is a difference, which Wolfensohn ignored. The bankers now create as well as lend the world's money, claiming ownership of real credit in the process. Even if debt was written off the same terrible injustice would re-assert itself if the private ownership of money-creation is not changed. Each month in Australia the money supply is increased by billions of dollars, by allowing private banks to create and extend credit on usurious terms. The same happens in all other countries.
If, on the other hand, Australia re-assumed control of its own money system, and released the nation's new money requirements debt-free, the result would be a gradual and orderly reduction of debt aggregate. If the World Bank really wishes for alleviation of poverty and permanent improvement, it should publicly recommend that credit-creation be removed from private banks, which should confine themselves to lending. Until such a recommendation, the obscenely rich at their gala dinners are like the alcoholics who will do anything to solve their condition - except give up drink!
A major task is to inform the swelling number of anti-globalists about the true nature of "the root of all evil".
THE POOR IN AUSTRALIA
It is now clear that the Government is
completely isolated from the ever-increasing destitution in
the community. It keeps its eyes firmly fixed on statistics,
which hide reality. The Australian (27/10/2000) reported:
In a survey by the Australian Council of Social Service
released last month, 67 percent of community welfare agencies
reported an increase in the numbers they were assisting. At
the same time, government funding fell from 76 percent to
72 percent of their income and fees charged to clients rose
from 8 per cent to 11.6 per cent. Thirty-eight percent of
organisations reported an increase in the numbers they had
to turn away
But Mr. Costello says, "Our fundamentals are sound!"
THE JOBS REVOLUTION
Bigger and bigger numbers of people are going to end up on "work for the dole" as a mask for technology-driven unemployment if things go on as they are. No doubt Minister Tony Abbott will claim success.
Robert Gottliebsen (The Australian,
1/11/2000) described it thus:
Gottliebsen gave as one example the case of the automation of the wharves by Chris Corrigan and Patrick Stevedores. Unless other ports and harbours followed suit, huge amounts of shipping would be diverted to NSW, where the danger of strikes would be vastly reduced and low-cost docking facilities would attract vessels. Job losses would be enormous and union power to negotiate wage conditions almost eliminated. High-wage States would lose industries to low-wage States. No longer would multinationals have to play countries against each other; they could play one State against another inside a Federation like Australia.
So big are the implications of this new
technology that we can only get a partial picture of the implications
in this picture of the Patrick operation by Andrew Fraser
(The Australian, 27/10/2000):"
The executive chairman
of Patrick Stevedores is far from finished with his vision
for Australia's waterfront, outlining yesterday a radical
makeover of the company's Sydney operations, involving robots
moving containers round the wharves. "But he also said that
those crane operators who would be required in his vision
for the future did not necessarily have to be on site.
A 27,000 percent increase in handling facilities - all driven by a few armchair operators sitting at home! What will happen to the displaced wharfies? Either jobs in the '! New Economy"- that's computers -or work for the dole!
(For new readers: The answer, if we want to build freedom for each person, is Social Credit. C.H. Douglas, the Social Credit founder, realised the implications of technology in the first 20 years of the 1900's, and foresaw that a different way of distributing income would have to be devised in technology-driven economies -the National Dividend. It's a concept way ahead of "work for the dole!" But it can't be done unless the "monopoly of credit", now in the hands of the banks, is ended.)
ROBOTS - FREEING HUMANS FROM WORK
While we're talking of robots, the following
was contained in a challenging article by Helen O'Neill (The
Australian Magazine, 21-22/10/2000):
And they tell us the "New Economy" is
going to absorb the world's unemployed! They don't even believe
THE CONTAMINATED FOOD CHAIN
by Betty Luks
All foods carry innumerable bacteria which our bodies deal with, and our senses are trained to detect food going bad, but when heat-treated poultry excreta or offals, or putrid, ground-up dead sheep are fed to our food sources, we are inviting all sorts of troubles. The circumstances in which the 1989 outbreak occurred cast a spotlight on the sort of food being fed to factory-chickens and to other animals mass-produced for human consumption. The public was to learn that a probable source of the salmonella in the egg production was the inclusion of poultry-excrement as well as edible parts of their bodies (e.g. guts, feet and heads) in the chicken food. A media-howl went up from the producers of this dubious food and forced the resignation of the then health minister (named Currie).
Geoffrey warned, "Hens are not carnivorous by nature and neither are cows; but we learn that a particularly horrible disease called BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which drives cows mad), has been traced to giving dairy cows feed containing the ground-up remains of sheep infected with a disease called scrapie.
He also noted. "It is only the big corporations that supply the super-markets which have the necessary capital and equipment to grind up and heat-treat these unacceptable items and mix them up with vegetable matter so as to obscure their nature and origin." He called for "hormone-fed beef and poultry excreta or offals meat, or eggs laid by hens fed on, and milk and meat from cows fed on ground-up sheep to all be prominently labelled, and let the super-markets see what profits they can make out of them when the public knows what it is buying!"
Fears that 'mad cow' now in Sheep Flocks
The headlines bear out Geoffrey Dobbs' concerns as we read, "Fears 'mad cow' now in sheep flocks". Unwisely (or greedily) "Britain introduced a ban on animal remains in cattle food in 1988 but stopped short of banning 'cannibalism' for all livestock..." A judicial inquiry has found that a 'culture of reassurance' by government ministers and officials had misled the British public about the BSE epidemic, forcing the Blair government to review its health regulations. It was also reported" 'intra-species recycling' could risk a new BSE-like disease in another animal", and "Some experts suggested that the new ban should ultimately be widened to outlaw the feeding of feathers and chicken manure to poultry and even fish waste to fish". What a revolting thought!
One would hope the fish farms in Australia are not feeding their fish kept in fish-lots 'recycled intra-species'. Surely the British farmers have a strong case against the big corporations who produced and promoted the food containing animal remains, let alone the families of those who have died as a result of eating the contaminated meat!
Instinct and Commonsense the Best Guides
Implications of Vaccine Brushed Aside
THE REFORM OF ECONOMICS TEACHING
by Antonia Feitz
As reported in Le Monde, "It was in the beginning a modest initiative, almost confidential. It has now become a subject of important debate, which has put in a state of effervescence the community of economists. Should not the teaching of economics in universities be re-thought?" (www.lemonde.fr/ article/0.2320,93489,00.html).
It began in June this year when a small
group of economics students web-posted a petition protesting
against the "uncontrolled use of mathematics" in the teaching
of economics. (www.respublica.fr/ autisme-economie). They
called for an end to the mathematical dominance and to the
domination of neo-classical theory in the curriculum.
The students have demanded a plurality
of approaches and, in particular, an emphasis on economic
realities as opposed to theoretical blathering. Le Monde
picked up the story when the petition had 150 signatures,
including many from Frances most prestigious universities.
On the June 21st, the paper ran an article on the petition.
As other French media - including TV and radio - became interested, the signatories grew. In response to the petition, some academics web-posted their own petition, supporting the students' call for reform. (www.republica.fr/autisme-economie).
Jack Lang, the minister of education, has since informed Le Monde that he will be announcing "the formation of a commission charged with making an evaluation of the situation and submitting to him some proposals. An economist of renown has been approached about leading this investigation."
There was a meeting held at the Sorbonne on October 4th where the student leaders, Olivier Vaury and Gilles Raveaud decided to conduct a series of debates in universities throughout France. In December the reformers plan to hold a national meeting to develop concrete proposals. Though some economic rationalists have tried to dismiss the demand for reform as a Trotskyite conspiracy, it seems they're in for a shock, at least in academia. (Material taken from the post-autistic economics newsletter No. 2, October 3rd, 2000)
The students' petition
Open letter from economics students to professors and others responsible for the teaching of this discipline.
We economics students in the university(ies)
of , declare ourselves to be generally dissatisfied with the
teaching that we receive. This is so for the following reasons:
2. We oppose the uncontrolled use of mathematics! The instrumental use of mathematics appears necessary. But resort to mathematical formalisation when it is not an instrument but rather an end in itself, leads to a true schizophrenia in relation to the real world. Formalisation makes it easy to construct exercises and to manipulate models whose significance is limited to finding "the good result" (that is, the logical result following from the initial hypotheses) in order to be able to write "a good paper". This custom, under the pretence of being scientific, facilitates assessment and selection, but never responds to the question that we are posing regarding contemporary economic debates.
3. We are for a pluralism of approaches in economics! Too often the lectures leave no place for reflection. Out of all the approaches to economic questions that exist, generally only one is presented to us. This approach is supposed to explain everything by means of a purely axiomatic process as if this were THE economic truth. We do not accept this dogmatism. We want a pluralism of approaches, adapted to the complexity of the objects and to the uncertainty surrounding most of the big questions in economics (unemployment, inequalities, the place of financial markets, the advantages and disadvantages of free-trade, globalisation, economic development. etc.).
4. Call to teachers: wake up before it is too late! We appreciate that our professors are themselves subject to some constraints. Nevertheless, we appeal to all those who understand our claims and who wish for change. If serious reform does not take place rapidly, the risk is great that economics students, whose numbers are already decreasing, will abandon the field in mass, not because they have lost interest, but because they have been cut off from the realities and debates of the contemporary world. We no longer want to have this autistic science imposed on us. We do not ask for the impossible, but only that good sense may prevail.
We hope, therefore, to be heard very soon.
HILLARY'S SECRET REVEALED
The American journal Criminal Politics, 31/8/1999, quoting from a New York City newspaper Forward claims: "Hillary Clinton has admitted her Jewish background and to having Jewish relatives." The claim is based on a lead story in the Forward newspaper of New York City. 6/8/1999 and the reference it makes to Hillary's grandmother.
The lead story caption reads... "Meet
Hillary Clinton's Grandmother Della Rosenberg - The Feisty
Wife of a Yiddish-Speaking Jewish Immigrant". The sub-caption
reads: "Family's Secret a Boost for her Senate Chances".
Criminal Politics suggests both the Clintons may be active practising Jews, referring to articles and photographs they have published over the years showing Clinton participating in Jewish ceremonies within the White House. So what? you might ask. Don't you think the American people, predominately Christian, might want to know if their President is posing as a Christian, but in fact, secretly practises Judaism?
Further reading: Controversy of Zion, Facts are Facts, Conquest Through Immigration: How Zionism Turned Palestine into a Jewish State. Contact your League Book Services.
"On Target" is published by the Australian League of Rights, Box 1052. G.P.O. Melbourne 3001.