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Tag Archives: Banana republic

The Agribusiness Alliance for a Green Revolution Failed Africa

Yves here. Agriculture/food sustainability expert Tim Wise speaks to Lynn Fries on how the promise that “modern,” as in “green revolution” or Big Ag approaches would revolutionize food production in poor nations and reduce hunger. Revolutionize they sure did, but not in the way they promised, in terms of results. As Wise explains, this push to displace small farmers and traditional practices hasn’t simply enriched foreign business interests. It has increased hunger. By Lynn Fries. Originally...

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Spike in Energy Prices Suggests That Sharp Changes Are Ahead

Yves here. Leroy R recommended the last Gail Tverberg piece, where she broadens out from her usual focus on energy to the issues of complexity and collapse. I decided to repost it because it’s meaty and thus likely to provoke a good discussion. That said, while I agree completely with her overview statement, that the trend towards complexity has gone too far, I have to beg to differ with her in making energy a central driver. What has made the increase in “complexity” destabilizing is that it...

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New Report Highlights Corporate Funding of Police Foundations, Which Encourage Police Militarization and Thwart Reform

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. One thing I learned from studying with Tom Ferguson: follow the money. That’s the Golden Rule for understanding American politics and other money-driven political systems. Alas, political scientists and other students of politics often don’t do this, for a variety of reasons, not least that they don’t want to admit – let alone document – how our...

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Insurance Focused on Virtual Visits? The Pros and Cons of a New Twist in Health Plans

Jerri-Lynn here. During the pandemic, I’ve done some telemedicine sessions, but only with doctors I’ve seen in person before. So I don’t know exactly how I view this trend, especially as so many medical ‘innovations’ are more focused on making profits, at the expense of patient care. So what may seem to be a good thing in theory, on reflection turns out to be just another vehicle for profit extraction. Because that’s what our neo-liberal health care system is designed to do. Readers? What’s...

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Bad Biden Foreign Policy

Yves here. While Rosser is correct to depict Biden foreign policy as an ongoing train wreck (Rahm to Japan? Hard to imagine anyone temperamentally less well suited to dealing with that culture), he oddly neglected to highlight the latest splat: AUKUS. This deal was not just a diss of India but also a threat. Indian diplomats have said not in diplospeak but plain noun-verb sentences that this move made clear the US wasn’t much of a friend and maybe getting cozier with China would be a smart...

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Never Mind the Pandora Papers: Why Secrecy Still Rules in the UK

Yves here. Our Richard Smith provides a broader look into the question of why so little has changed on the secrecy front despite a fair bit of press and even some regulatory and legislative efforts to rein it in. The short version is: “It’s hard!” but there are specific devices the shadowy money types employ to evade what to most would seem to be pretty clear-cut rules. Our Richard Smith is back! As you can see below, he’s a co-author of a new piece at openDemocracy on a favorite topic: how...

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Reallocation Effects of the Minimum Wage

Yves here. Classic studies by Andrew Card and Alan Krueger on the impact of minimum wage increases on the income and employment levels of fast food workers came to similar conclusions as this paper: increasing minimum wages does not in fact produce unemployment, and so winds up in a net increase in the income of low wage workers. From Vox after Krueger committed suicide: In introductory economics courses, students are typically taught that setting price floors — on milk, oil, or, perhaps most...

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European Investment Scammers Allegedly Laundered Their Money through Scotland

Yves here. Our Richard Smith is back! As you can see below, he’s a co-author of a new piece at openDemocracy on a favorite topic: how shady investment vehicles like Scottish limited partnerships facilitate scams and money laundering. Richard took up this beat when a friend lost a lot of money to an international scammer. He discovered that the authorities won’t get out of bed if the ripoff is below $20 million, and even then it’s hard to get their attention, since cross border crime is...

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‘This Is a Battle Between What People Need & What Money Wants.’ How’s That Going to End?

Yves here. The protracted struggle over Biden’s spending plans, particularly between the business stooges moderates and progressives, is putting a spotlight on whose interests are being served by government. It’s become a little too obvious that ordinary people are getting the short end of the stick. But since there’s been no open revolt, expect the beatings to continue. By Thomas Neuberger. Originally published at God’s Spies “The news media are not independent; they are a sort of...

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Why Does Congress Fight Over Childcare But Not F-35s?

Yves here. Of course we know the answer to how Congress sets its priorities. No one wants to lose donations or cause their friends in Virginia to lose sleep wondering how they’ll pay for their kids’ college tuition. Even so, the New York Times has finally deigned to notice that the US is an outlier, in an obviously bad way, on childcare spending. Gee, one wonders why. In fairness, this post gives useful detail on America’s over the top military spending and how it manages never to come up for...

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