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The World is Not Hostile

Hobbes’ declaration that life is “Nasty, brutish and short” is often quoted today  (although , completely out of context, it was not unconditionally so) and modern economists may decry the “scarcity of resources”, but this is only one view of the world, and one that has been formed relatively recently in Western history – perhaps it is no coincidence that this attitude developed along with philosophies of self interest and social theories of “survival of the fittest” (this is no criticism of Darwin’s theories, just their misapplication to human affairs, as promoted by Herbert Spencer).

Prices rise to absorb increases in income - Article by John Kosy

Here is a story that explains this concept. Thanks to our contributor, Matthew Mitchell, for alerting us to this brilliantly simple analysis of our current problem, originally published as a comment here. It is a skilled, yet easy to understand, critique of economic theory that underpins todays political policy and the similar adverse impact of globalisation on places as far away from each other as Bangladesh and Australia.

California Dreamin': Why I am running for State Treasurer

Originally published on opednews.com. (Emphasis added.)
Ellen Brown, author of The Web of Debt and one of the world's foremost advocates of public banking, is standing for Treasurer in the forthcoming California state elections. She plans to use the office of Treasurer to reproduce the success that the state of North Dokota, with its public banking system, had in avoiding the 2008 recession in California.

Governor Jerry Brown and his staff are exchanging high-fives over balancing California's budget, but the people on whose backs it was balanced are not rejoicing. The state's high-wire act has been called "the ultimate in austerity budgets."

Deep Sea Mining is not the answer to poverty alleviation for the Pacific

Civil society groups across the Pacific criticise SOPAC and its development of a regional regulatory framework on deep sea mining (DSM). They argue that it facilitates and pre-empts DSM before Pacific Island communities have had the opportunity to debate whether this is a form of development they want.

Australia heading the same way as the Philippines - Overpopulated and undemocratic...

"Populate and reap rewards," was Monday's editorial (2 December 2013) in the Australian Financial Review. Its flimsy self-serving logic provides a curious contrast to Kelvin Thomson's superb speech on the same topic to a full auditorium of concerned citizens on Sunday. (The speech is embedded in this article.) Where Thomson has reacted to the news that population growth is completely out of control by attempting to help people to organise against the growth pushing forces who seek to benefit financially from overpopulation, the editorial in the Financial Review is cynical in its enjoinder to exploit those problems for elite gain.

Rising Energy Costs Lead to Recession; Eventually Collapse


How does the world reach limits? This is a question that few dare to examine. My analysis suggests that these limits will come in a very different way than most have expected–through financial stress that ultimately relates to rising unit energy costs, plus the need to use increasing amounts of energy for additional purposes:

Comments on Plan Melbourne: An Economist’s Perspective

Plan Melbourne is the latest by the latest Victorian government to attempt to accommodate forced population growth. This article examines the economic propositions entailed in the plan. The fundamental failure of Plan Melbourne is that it is driven by a political imperative to maintain rapid population growth. Developers and some industry sectors will benefit, but to the detriment of the general public. ...Planning solutions, whether they be decentralisation, intra-urban dispersion, environmental pricing or other strategies face too many political and implementation difficulties to be successful. Reducing the rate of population growth, on the other hand, would make the planning tasks so much easier. Excessive growth requires massive infrastructure costs and borrowing requirements that will jeopardize Victoria’s AAA credit rating. Most AAA-rated countries have little population growth and modest infrastructure needs.

19th Century “Rules” Inflexibly Applied to 21st Century Economic Management in Australia

The economy of Australia is one of the largest capitalist economies in the world, with a GDP of US$1.57 trillion. We stand apart from the rest of the OECD with both population growth and economic growth rates roughly four times the OECD country average. Admittedly some of the other members of the OECD are going through hard economic times, but many of similar size to Australia (such as Sweden) have sound economies, high GDP per capita and far slower population and GDP growth rates.

Population Party challenges media: "Boring election campaign needs a spark - via population"

Let’s ask why Greens, Liberals & Labor suppress the population issue: Stable Population Party - The party says it will reveal all in a front-page ad in the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday. The Stable Population Party points out that, despite a ‘massive thumbs down for big Australia’, [1] with 70 per cent hoping the population does not hit the 40 million mark projected by 2050, no major party will raise population as a campaign issue.

Twenty Thirteen where shall we meet?

Twenty thirteen awaits us tomorrow. What is reasonable to expect of the year which some may see as being an unlucky number? Should we reach for the sky or just try to maintain business as usual?

Replacement-size families are in the interests of society as a whole: Stable Population Party

Limiting baby bonus payments to each woman’s first two children would mean that the majority of people with two or fewer children would not be subsidising those who choose to have larger families. It would also conservatively save over $2 billion in direct costs to taxpayers every year, not to mention hundreds of thousands of dollars in infrastructure for each new person. William Bourke speaks up about the changes to the Australian baby bonus. The Stable Population Party has been formally registered with the Australian Electoral Commission since 2010 and its website is www.populationparty.org.au

Melbourne reacts to Richard Heinberg

Report on Richard Heinberg's tour of Australia, Melbourne talk: We should remember that the economy is a subset of the environment and that 'not sustainable' does not mean 'insufficiently eco-groovy'. Heinberg pointed to Australia's growing reliance on petroleum and its decreasing production and suggested that the policy of growing our population needs a profound rethink. Some strange and interesting responses from the audience. And a standing ovation for Australian MP Kelvin Thomson, who was chairing Heinberg's session. Not to mention Jenny Warfe - a terrific new Vice President for SPA Victoria and Tasmanian Branch.

Visiting American - Richard Heinberg - challenges Melbourne on the economy of the future

Kelvin Thomson MP will be chairing Richard Heinberg's talk about his book, The End of Growth 7.30pm. on Saturday 22 September 2012 at The Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street. Heinberg is a well-known U.S. peak oil blogger and writer who delivers an entertaining and stimulating message on the serious subject of resource depletion which Australian governments and financial planners at all levels simply cannot cope with. At a time when Australia continues to back military intervention in the oil-rich Middle East, Richard's talk is especially topical. As well as that, it is the reality we all must deal with. So go along and then take the message back to your state and federal political representative and your growth-obsessed local council.

How much further can developer-debts drag us down?

Australian private debt is proportionately higher than US debt. Financial sector debt is significant and Govt debt is relatively small. Why then is so-called excessive Goverment debt ALL we ever hear about from the media and the growls emanating from the political bear-pit? Article by Greg Wood.

Kelvin Thompson, Budget reply criticises immigration rise

"There is one announcement in the budget which I cannot in all good conscience overlook and with which I strongly disagree. The government has increased the permanent migrant worker program from 125,000 to over 129,000. This is heading in absolutely the wrong direction. We should be cutting the number of migrant workers, returning it to the level it was in the mid-1990s —around 25,000. This is because, firstly, Australia has big cost-of-living and congestion problems arising from our rapid population growth, and increases the number of foreign workers only makes these problems worse." Kelvin Thomson - see last four paras this article.

Bloated US defence budget, savage austerity leave US citizens unprotected against real threats

US Congress's decision to maintain its bloated defence budget whilst other US government programs suffer savage austerity is opposed by two thirds of Republican voters and nine tenths of Democrat voters. As retired US Army Colonel Douglas McGregor explains in an interview with Russia Today excessive defence spending threatens the future economic viability of the US whilst doing little to stop threats to its citizens from South of the border that are far greater than that which they face from regions in which the US has waged war in recent decades.

Also published at Brasscheck TV, YouTube.

From Scarcity to Abundance: Re-imagining Money, Finance Capital vs. Public Banking - Ellen Brown

In her talk to the New Wall Street meeting of 16 March, Ellen Brown Chairman and President of the Public Banking Institute and author of Web of Debt shows that financial crisis faced by much of the industrialised economies has been caused by their governments having surrendered to private banking corporations the right to create money.

Includes two broadcasts from YouTube also broadcast from Global Research TV as From Scarcity to Abundance: Re-imagining Money on 25 April 2025 and Finance Capital vs. Public Banking of on 22 October 2011. See also: articles by Ellen Brown on Global Research and The Corbett Report.

The European Stabilization Mechanism, Or How Goldman Sachs Captured Europe

The ESM is a permanent rescue facility slated to replace the temporary European Financial Stability Facility and European Financial Stabilization Mechanism as soon as Member States representing 90% of the capital commitments have ratified it, something that is expected to happen in July 2012. A December 2011 youtube video titled “The shocking truth of the pending EU collapse!”, originally posted in German, gives such a revealing look at the ESM that it is worth quoting here at length. It states:
[Article 30]: “Governors, alternate Governors, Directors, alternate Directors, the Managing Director and staff members shall be immune from legal process with respect to acts performed by them . . . and shall enjoy inviolability in respect of their official papers and documents.” First published by Global Research April 19, 2012.

There Ain't No Cure For The Recession Blues

One day it will dawn on us that this is no ordinary recession. This is not a fiscal or credit crisis. Another trough in the usual boom and bust cycle. This time Keynesian prime-pumping won't work (if in fact it ever did, contrary to legend). We cannot spend or inflate our way out of this one. And if we do the reverse, if we cut back spending and implement austerity and conservation measures, we will only be taking our foot off the gas pedal-----not braking our motion toward the cliff. And the poor and the unemployed will suffer a disporportionate amount of the pain. Traditional left wing or right wing strategies are obsolete. The problem they would attempt to solve is much deeper than they imagine, and beyond their comprehension.

A Patriots’ Agenda

Robert Bowman writes about the need to restore the Constitutional rights of American citizens, enhance their national security through a return to Constitutional foreign and military policies, and rebuild their economy by providing financial security to American families. None of these things can be accomplished so long as the giant multinational corporations, the banks and financial service companies, the insurance industry, the fossil fuel conglomerates, the weapons manufacturers, and the billionaires are running the US government. Therefore the first priority of American patriots, he says, has to be separating big money and political power.

Doomsday Auction

The joke is on you, you green fool! You and your idiot faith without evidence! Your techno-optimism and cornucopian denial! Renewable technology? What a laugh! Who did you think you were kidding? Mr. Jevons? What a paradox! Smart growth? Ha! What's next, "Smart" cancer? "Smart" extinction? "Smart" deforestation?

Why this anti - Euro hype in the global economic crisis?

Amid a European and global economic crisis, governments are still letting markets get away with little regulation, big bonuses and dubious financial instruments that are distorting financial stability for short-term gain and putting enormous pressure on people to pick up the manufactured debts. (See also "The US Dollar as a weapon: debt and devaluation," which is about a fascinating theory of this kind of economic policy in relation to US debt.)

Fun: are we getting enough?

Is life as much fun as it should be or are our opportunities for enjoyment in daily life eroding? Brolga-Brolga explores the notion of a Gross National Fun Quotient and finds that Australia is deficient in this vital national resource.

The Imminent Crash of Oil Supply: Why national and local government needs to start planning now for a Steady State Economy

The supply of the world's most essential energy source is going off a cliff. Not in the distant future, but within two years. Production of all liquid fuels, including oil, will drop within 20 years to half what it is today. And the difference needs to be made up with "unidentified projects" – in other words, we face a potential ‘rank shortage’. According to this graph, we stand on the edge of a precipice, with no prior warning from either the industry or governments, which ostensibly protect the public interest.

Occupy Melbourne, Sydney ... movements may be real chance for democracy

First published 2011-10-10 10:02:39 +1000. Republished on 21-October 2011 at 11:37: There is a new protest movement for democratic occupation of cities all over the world, demonstrating against the financial system and its insults to most of us. We support the principles the movement espouses and urge others to do so. Days later we have unanswered questions about this movement in Melbourne, which we are hoping to elucidate. Please join in with comments.

Land and Rent Costs to Business make Australia uncompetitive

Why doesn't the government cut land costs? High costs of land, and the resources it carries - energy and water - are responsible for our failing economy. The greatest costs to small and medium-sized businesses are the rents they pay for their shops, warehouses, and factories. The greatest costs to workers are the rents they pay for personal accommodation. Small and medium-sized businesses pay both for their business premises and for their personal accommodation. Manufacturing in Australia is losing out to high rents and housing costs. Wages must go up to satisfy the malignant effect of land-speculation, which government continues to encourage against our common welfare. But, why don't they just cut the land-costs? Stop pushing up property prices by reducing immigration and you won't have to put wages up. Business will become competitive on the world market again, because most of its profits won't go on rent of premises. Let's get rid of the property developers. Let's outlaw land speculation. [Title changed from "Cut land-costs, not wages. Down with property developers, Up with workers!" on 9 Oct 2011.]

The US Dollar as a weapon: debt and devaluation

The decline in the value of the US dollar is engineered by the US government in order to make US products more affordable and to relaunch their manufacturing economy. The world is trapped by the US into subsidising its debt on account of the very large market it represents and the control over the money markets of US corporate investors. Other economies with higher value currency will experience a falling off in sales because the goods they produce will be less affordable on the world market. Hans-Peter Martin and Harald Schuman wrote about this 'trap' late last century. Read what they wrote then and consider how well it explains our current situation.

Implementing the Green Economy: US debt profligacy, EU austerity, and the future of economic growth

Can the current economic growth system be the basis for the Green Economy ? The current economies of western industrialised society are moribund and unable to provide the basis for the transition to the Green Economy without massive structural change. We need to scale down our expectations of financial prosperity having already attained a standard of living that is proving dangerous to our wellbeing.

The Ultimate ‘Thought Crime’: The Limits to Growth

The Julian Simon/Matt Ridley School of economic optimism essentially denies the limits to growth and the possibility of human extinction because they believe that human technological capacity makes humans exceptional. But technology is applied science and it is well recognised that science in itself has limits, perhaps intrinsic limits.

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