Adam Eran

Orangevale, CA, United States

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Adam Eran
Posted 9 months ago
Mariana Mazzucato: Government -- investor, risk-taker, innovator
Sorry, this is right-wing propaganda. The postal service subsidized the distribution of information from the beginning of the republic. That was by design...no internet in those days. It was the price the founders were willing to pay to have an educated public who could vote. It was also why they set up the press as a check on government. After the post office was privatized, it began to make money, and has successfully competed with the likes of UPS and FedEx for years. The only reason it hasn't made money recently is a Republican poison pill that required it to pre-pay 75 years of retiree health care. Yep, that's right, it has to pay for health care for workers unborn. That's free enterprise for ya! Meanwhile, Social Security is solvent forever. Yes, it has enough in its trust fund to pay full benefits for the next 20 years, and could even increase those benefits, fully paid, if the cap on SS income was lifted.... But that's not the real story here. Besides debunking the propaganda, I'd like you to consider the obvious fact: government is not funded by taxes or borrowing. Where would tax payers or lenders-to-government get their dollars if government didn't spend them into the economy first. The idea that "failure is sure to come" is belied all over the country by the cheaper, publicly-owned power companies (read Dennis Kucinich's Wikipedia entry), by the fact that worldwide, government-regulated or sponsored health care is half as expensive as the mostly private health care in the U.S. etc. Some things government does better than the private economy. The idolatry of worshiping at the altar of "free markets" ignores that government is absolutely required for such markets to exist. I urge you to demonstrate you are not automatons. Change your mind.
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Adam Eran
Posted about 1 year ago
Dean Ornish: The killer American diet that's sweeping the planet
Half true. Eating "too great a volume" is impossible for vegans. The caloric density of the food itself makes a 500-calorie hunk of steak much smaller than the identical number of calories expressed as potatoes. You experience fullness simply because your stomach stretches if you're eating potatoes. "Eating because they can" is also an expression of the metabolic effect of refined sugar--particularly fructose. This is metabolized exactly as alcohol is in the liver (but not in the brain), so cirrhosis is a potential side effect of consuming too much fructose. The other problem with ingesting a "big gulp" is that such sugar does not trigger the "I'm full" hormone. There is no experience of satiation because of the type of food consumed. So in consuming high-caloric-density foods or foods that do not let us know we've consumed enough with our metabolism leads to obesity, diabetes, etc. The "fruits" of civilization... no? And when one is obese, movement is experienced as struggle, far to often. Oh yes, and the final element of public policy that makes movement into struggle: Suburban sprawl. This separates residences, commerce, offices, etc. with auto-only connections. Pre-1950 we built in patterns that mixed those uses with streets that allowed a pedestrian connection. Not so now. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwd4Lq0Xvgc (9 10-minute episodes) for the complete story. The moralizing about body mass, and how we've grown away from our hunter gatherer legacy is simply inappropriate given the influence of these subtle and pervasive things.
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Adam Eran
Posted about 1 year ago
Dean Ornish: The killer American diet that's sweeping the planet
Ornish is not just keeping up with the research, he's conducting it! See also Colin Campbell's "The China Study." As for your "frailty" criticism... Olympic champion sprinter Carl Lewis is a vegan, as are several other world class athletes. They're hardly "frail." The protein assembled from the amino acids in rice + beans is as complete as any dietary meat, without the top-of-the-food-chain concentration of poisons endemic in meat. As for the "weight control"... like Adkins diet? I'm guessing you can lose weight with chemotherapy too, but if you want to see health weight control, see all the testimonials at www.drmcdougall.com/stars to see not just the effect of vegan diets on weight loss, but in ending cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lupus, muscular distrophy, etc. This is not little stuff. My "extreme carnivore" friends... they're all dead now. For reals. Too much protein causes kidney disease.
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Adam Eran
Posted about 1 year ago
Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion
It's subtle, but the emphasis on teachers, as though they're the ones responsible for *all* learning is part of the movement to dismantle some of the last of the public realm. Michelle Rhee and the "Waiting for Superman" crowd promote this meme, and the notion that merit pay, charter schools and testing will lead to better educational outcomes. No science supports this position. On the other hand, it's politically profitable to those opposing public goods and services. Better to have toll booths for all those things to pay the rentiers. The film "Waiting for Superman" touts the Finnish schools as what to emulate. It doesn't mention that Finnish teachers are well paid, tenured and unionized. In the U.S. Rhee's organization ("Students First") even wants to dismantle the defined benefit pensions of teachers...some of the last in the U.S. since corporate looting removed DB pensions from most of the 70% of workers who had them. (FYI, these pensions are twice as remunerative as 401Ks and the like). See the book "Pension Heist" for the footnotes here. What does science disclose actually influences educational outcomes? Childhood poverty. Only 2% of Finnish children live poverty. In the U.S., the figure is 23%. The real agenda of "Teachers Uber Alles" is to misdirect from this sad fact. So this cruel misdirection is applauded universally as "wonderful," but the real business of ripping off the American public, privatiizing yet another piece of the commons, proceeds apace. Shame on everyone who knows this and doesn't protest.
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Adam Eran
Posted over 1 year ago
Andreas Schleicher: Use data to build better schools
Not mentioned in the lecture: The social context (which, BTW, is exactly what school "reformers" who want to privatize everything in the U.S. want) That makes every outcome the teachers' or school system's problem. But scientific correlations between merit pay, charter schools and testing (the current B.S. strategies to "improve" U.S. schools) and educational outcomes don't exist. On the other hand, childhood poverty correlates strongly with educational outcomes. Childhood poverty in Finland: 2%. Childhood poverty in the U.S.: 23%. See any connection?
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Adam Eran
Posted over 1 year ago
Adam Davidson: What we learned from teetering on the fiscal cliff
First, government "debt" is not an indication that government spends too much. That's your OPINION. Your OPINION and $2.75 will get you a latte at Starbucks. Your OPINION has been demonstrably counter-factual so often that it is discounted immediately, at least by me. Factually speaking, what that "debt" is is an indication that government (net) spends *anything.* The Fed creates an equal amount of dollars and "debt" simultaneously. Government then spends the dollars out into the economy, and retrieves some of that spending in taxes. Dollars originate with government. OBVIOUSLY. ... unless they're counterfeit. The "debt" is therefore EXACTLY equal to the number of government-created dollars in non-government hands (plus net exports). Reducing the debt NECESSARILY means reducing those dollars in the private economy. Oddly enough, as the link cited demonstrates, the economic history of the U.S. shows EXACTLY this. In other words, even though it's not a theory, it's accounting, this assertion also has the benefit of being actually FACTUALLY TRUE. As for the Fed obeying congress, you can Google to find Greenspan and Bernanke saying that (and can also find the right-wing St. Louis Fed saying exactly what I've said about the U.S. sovereign, fiat currency preventing any solvency problem in repaying debt too). I'm just taking their word for it. How long do you think a Fed mutiny would last? As for the audit, yes, they resisted that (and I'd be for it). It showed they issued $16 - $29 trillion to cure the same financial markets whose frauds crashed the economy. Why can we issue those trillions instantly, but can't fund social safety net or revenue sharing programs. NO REASON, except the financial sector now runs public policy and feels they'd get a vulture's payday from austerity. Read all the links, please, and this time understand them. Try this one too: http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2013/01/americas-deceptive-2012-fiscal-cliff-part-4.html
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Adam Eran
Posted over 1 year ago
Adam Davidson: What we learned from teetering on the fiscal cliff
As Mr. Cowell says "That was the worst response to factual assertions I've ever seen."...;-)" What you assert is counterfactual. Not supported by the history, the archaeology, or the anthropology. Read "Debt: the First 5,000 Years" by David Graeber for an entertaining jaunt through all of the above. Commodity money, even in Rome, was not weighed, it was valued at the amount stamped on it. Your assertion is therefore false on all counts. Money, at its origins, was social. It prevented feuds and paid the bride price. It was not some commodity exchanged in barter....Really. It's true that central banks aren't necessary, however ours provides a clearing-house service. And yes, the economy can get along without government money. We could all exchange each others' IOUs. As Hyman Minsky says "Anyone can make money. The problem is in getting it accepted." The truth is that government money is enormously convenient. Like government research (drugs, silicon chips, internet) it empowers the economy. As for the "crowding out" effect of government demand: That's true only when factories are at capacity and unemployment is zero. Otherwise it doesn't apply; more demand employs more people and resources. I don't want to defend government spending as perfect, or always pure. It's just as susceptible as any human activity to corruption. Think Enron, Adelphia, Credit Mobilier, and Silverado Savings & Loan. However, what you believe is utter baloney. Seriously. You can look it up. And yes, the government is the monopoly provider of dollars, and only accepts dollars in payment for taxes. You can BELIEVE anything you want, but don't try to pay your taxes with gold. Your BELIEF and $2.75 will get you a latte at Starbuck's. For more, see neweconomicperspectives.org/2013/01/news-conference-for-a-paradigm-shift.html
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Adam Eran
Posted over 1 year ago
Adam Davidson: What we learned from teetering on the fiscal cliff
OMG! Your theology is unassailable! Government programs and spending *obviously* create jobs. Vendors don't ask "Did this dollar come directly from the government, or from a private entity?" before they sell their stuff. That *is* the economy. The job-creating programs include such things as the gigantic irrigation project that makes California agriculture possible, the post office (no, not even Meg Whitman could bring e-bay to Russia because their postal service was so bad), silicon chips (NASA), the internet (DARPA), etc., etc., etc. How far into your nether regions does your head have to be inserted before you can ignore all this? Has the Stimulus worked? You're willing to take the word of "many economists" about whether Japan has reached the point of no return. Sure, bond markets continue to purchase their bonds, but what do they know?... Meanwhile, many more *real* economists say 2M jobs were the product of the stimulus. Google for yourself. And yes, Keynesian economics from Reagan to Bush has been vindicated. Reagan abandoned Monetarism in the early '80s (read Krugman's "Peddling Prosperity" for the whole story). You continue to believe you answer the questions I've posed, but consistently ignore them, and cite the counter-factual as "evidence." Not convincing. There is no "debt" owed by the government. IT DOESN'T EXIST...at least not like household debt. That's the point of the link. Nothing is passed to "younger generations" in the way of an obligation because the obligation is freely repay-able with fiat money. I've already answered the inflation objection to that too. You see, you have to understand the words, and take them to heart, not just rehearse your pleasant fairy tale. It's a fairy tale. It's not true, and obviously so. How convincing are fairy tales? Consider that Copernicus heliocentricity was banned even after he died and Galileo spent his later years under house arrest. Change your mind. It's not G-d. It's just a fairy tale
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Adam Eran
Posted over 1 year ago
Adam Davidson: What we learned from teetering on the fiscal cliff
Now all you have to do is show: 1. All the inflation that occurred when we were *on* the gold standard. 2. Whether the cure for the inflation is worse than the "disease." Yes, numbers got bigger. Did people's economic lives get worse too? Incidentally, the inflation of the '70s came primarily from petroleum, not gold. For more, see these: http://www.rooseveltinstitute.org/new-roosevelt/federal-budget-not-household-budget-here-s-why http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2013/01/americas-deceptive-2012-fiscal-cliff-part-4.html. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/04/what-are-the-preconditions-for-hyperinflation.html
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Adam Eran
Posted over 1 year ago
Adam Davidson: What we learned from teetering on the fiscal cliff
First, the programs you mention are largely paid-for benefits, not "entitlements" -- that's the neo-con framing designed to create government you can drown in a bathtub. Second, the entire premise that government "debt" is like household debt is false. Read this for the details: http://www.rooseveltinstitute.org/new-roosevelt/federal-budget-not-household-budget-here-s-why http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2013/01/americas-deceptive-2012-fiscal-cliff-part-4.html. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/04/what-are-the-preconditions-for-hyperinflation.html