Thoughts on Keynsian Economics

Think about it.  When enough people are presented with opportunity, there are many who do not ignore it.  Under the right circumstances, they  cannot ignore it.  Statistically, this tends to cause a shift in whatever macro dynamics are in play.
An obvious case is the question of the implementation of Keynsian Economic Theory.  It was used, with impressive effects, to pull the world out of the great depression.  FDR was a skeptic of investing in “something for nothing”, but his gamble in creating the WPA paid off big time.  What really did the trick was the “forced” government investment in the war machine in the late 1930’s.  The tragedy of WWII also led to the greatest period of prosperity in modern history.  Investment in war is always questionable.  Investment in manufacturing infrastructure worked beautifully.

The “gilded age” of the 1920’s yielded to the “golden age” which lasted into the 1970’s.

It’s simple.  During the depression, what everyone wanted, and needed, was a job.  The WPA filled that need.  During WWII, all the stops were pulled, with seismic economic results.  it seems that when money is flowing, people cannot resist spending it, which is a direct stimulus to growth and prosperity.  Fear subsides and the economy soars.  Of course, it’s not a trivial problem.  Too much spending beyond growth can cause inflation, as was witnessed with “stagflation” in the 1970’s.

Rather than adopting sane fiscal safeguards against inflation, which are known to the Keynsian Economic model,  President Reagan chose to reintroduce fear into the equation with his “trickle down” proposition, which has been a persistent impediment to economic growth to this day.  “Trickle down” is not a theory, it is a voodoo trick intended to persuade people to believe that the monied interests will take care of everybody.  Just ask yourself which is more likely:  Will more people spend more money when they have more money without the fear of being destitute, or will wealthy people invest more of their wealth to build something for everyone’s benefit?  The former makes no assumptions.  It’s a fact, proven by history.

The latter is loaded with assumptions:
Wealthy people are philanthropic – some of them are
Big business is willing to put its wealth at risk without the assurances of a monopolistic sure thing – its stockpile of trillions of dollars shows otherwise.  Most recent investments have only gobbled up smaller enterprises and reduced competition, indicating one goal – a consolidation of wealth into fewer more powerful interests.  More cash in their pockets won’t change this.

President Reagan weaponized fear, and its legacy has been adopted by all of his followers and apologists.

We were privileged to see the Keynsian model at work again when President Obama and Congress passed the Recovery Act in 2009.  Its only problem is that it was an anemic gesture that should have been ten times bigger.  Of course, there was enormous opposition by the usual suspects.  It saved the world economy, but did not set us on a path to prosperity.  FDR experienced the same problem with his initial efforts to save the world from the depression.  It took the the War to seal the deal.

Other examples of public policy that have led to overall prosperity:

Mandatory free public education (mandatory that it must be offered) includes an enormous talent pool whose education has led to unprecedented achievement in all possible ways. Science, technology, arts, global relief from disease and other suffering and even diplomacy that has trumped tribal instincts.  Imagine a world where only Trumps are educated (54% of Republicans think that college education is a bad thing for the nation)

Investment in the humanities.  Where would we be without our culture and entertainment?  (No philharmonic, no Spiderman?

Veterans Administration and the GI bill: the only real compensation given to veterans for their sacrifice.

NASA:Today’s private space enterprise and our private lives owe a debt to public policy (JFK’s moonshot, velcro).

What is common to all public policy is that everyone contributes to it, and everyone is the beneficiary.

Meditation: A Prayer for Peace

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

Background

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Review

My wife and I attended an event last night at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, featuring a screening of the new film and an appearance by Al Gore, who gave in an interview and update of what’s been happening since the release of An Inconvenient Truth in 2006.  What I describe below are features and conclusions expressed in the film and by Al Gore during his interview.

The essential truth is that climate change and the warming of the Planet Earth is not a political issue.  It is not hypothetical.  It is not a projection for the future.  It is here.  It is reality.  It has been made a political issue in America by the fossil fuel industry and well-healed and powerful people who are being made richer by denying that reality.  It’s that simple.

The political ploys that they have used are nearly identical to those that were employed by the tobacco industry in the suppression and obfuscation of smoking related health data in the 1980’s.  The results have also been similar.  They have spent over two billion dollars on their campaign to sway public opinion on the issue.  Their efforts have have been somewhat successful.  A significant segment of the population has been successfully misled, which has produced a widespread apathy to to the urgency of the situation and to the issue itself.

Science is a major proponent of truth in our civilization.  It is not inherently wise, but it can tell us when something is broken, and often, how to fix it.  Climate science has already shown us how to fix the climate problem physically.  It has fallen short of helping enough people in power to develop the will to do something about it.

In order to fix that, it has taken a serious advocate, in the person of Al Gore, to champion the endeavor to educate and otherwise shift the awareness of people toward the truth.

The most prominent example of this is Gore’s negotiations with the Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi during around the time of the global climate conference in 2015.  Modi was reluctant to lend his support for a climate accord because he felt that the Indian economy was not strong enough to shift resources toward the development of new alternative energy technologies and industries.  The need for the developing nation’s increase in energy production was immediate, with no room for mistakes. Modi and Parliament were on the verge of authorizing the building of 400 new coal based generation plants.  Gore realized that that would be a climate catastrophe.  He also realized that it was not their fault for their thinking that way.  India was in a really tough spot.

So, Gore contacted Solar City’s CEO Lyndon Rive about negotiating an agreement with India for the transfer of solar photovoltaic technology to India that would benefit both India and Solar City.  After intense negotiations, the deal was done, and Modi agreed to join the Paris climate accord.  Now that’s deal making.

Gore admitted, both to the audience and in the film, that he was often on the verge of despair regarding the trend of American politics on the matter.  Still, he persevered.  The history of setbacks is long.

One of the first was the cancellation of the NASA DSCOVR project.  It was one of the first casualties of George W Bush’s new administration.  The project was intended to launch a satellite into a solar orbit that is synchronized with the orbit of the earth in order to observe the earth from a constant “full earth” perspective.  It could make make measurements of the earth 24/7 which could then be analyzed to yield useful climate data.  For example, it would be a constant monitor over time of the ratio of incident and reflected energy on the earth.  That would yield an accurate measurement of how much energy is being absorbed by greenhouse gasses and the rise of global temperatures.

Many setbacks have occurred in America with the election of climate denying politicians to government office, and most recently, the appointment of many of them to federal executive cabinet and other high ranking positions.

On the other hand, there seems to be a global trend for the adoption of renewable energy sources.  Even in the US, in Texas, no less, one town proudly touts its 100% reliance on these resources. Some states have nearly reached 100% fossil fuel independence.  Across the world, the adoption and use of renewable energy is accelerating dramatically.  In Chile, in the last year or so, the production of renewable energy has grown by several thousand percent.  China has committed to the movement.

When asked whether a tipping point has been reached in the industrial and political adoption of renewable energy, Gore did not state unequivocally that it has, but he indicated that he thinks it’s inevitable.  He remains hopeful.

There were many examples shown in the movie of devastating events that have occurred worldwide since the last movie that are directly and unequivocally attributable to temperature and climate. Amid all the massive devastation, one event really stood out as a surprising and disturbing data point.

In 2015 a massive deluge was recorded in Tucson.  It seemed to be an aerial view of clouds dumping water (billions of gallons?) on Tucson as if a giant barrel in the sky tipped over.  You could actually make out the splash  of the water on the ground. Not drops. Barrels.

I don’t recall any mention of tipping points with regard to climate change itself.  That is, the point at which the planet will not recover sufficiently to stop the warming progression.  This was a prominent topic earlier on in the discussion.

See movie trailer

See interview at Greek Theater (video shaky, audio good)

 

The Milky Way Galaxy

On the platform of our planet Earth we can view the milky extending across the sky.  Mostly, we see the edge of the flat disk that is the galaxy in which we live.

Published on Apr 28, 2017

This video takes a close look at a new image of the Milky Way released to mark the completion of the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL). The APEX telescope in Chile has mapped the full area of the Galactic Plane visible from the southern hemisphere for the first time at submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves — and in finer detail than recent space-based surveys.

 

Chinese Snowballs at Huntington Gardens

Chinese Snowballs

For a few hours our minds are happy prisoners
of plants and trees in full April bloom,
recent rains returning a truer green
to our LA landscape, even the cacti
grateful for the plentiful showers
which broke years of drought.
We forget the danger that fills our nightly
news, the warnings from journalists,
that feeling of being bombarded
from every direction with no escape –
yet we do, set free in these gardens
seeded from every continent.
Who would guess there are so many
types of aloe, both local and as faraway
as Madagascar and Brazil?
The Japanese maples are peaking
in bright red and crimson, while
Chinese snowball trees burst
with festive white pom-poms.
So much beauty, enough for
all who pay attention – whether
hummingbird or freeway driver,
honey bee, lizard, or goose –
the world raging outside impossible
to bring into this conversation.
Amy Uyematsu

Amy Uyematsu

 

Raul, Hari Nam, Ellen

Astrology as Wisdom

Many of the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan refer to the transition of consciousness from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age.  That reference comes from a view of the Cosmos that is based on a system that relates the relative positions of celestial bodies to their effects on consciousness.  There are many systems like as this, including numerology, which uses combinations of numerals and sometimes geometry, the I Ching, which divines relative proportions of yin and yang and their movement,  systems involving the relative quantities of five elements, earth, water, fire, air and ether (ayurvedic) and other systems.

The systems themselves are empty, but they are self-consistent and depend on the application of the system to a given circumstance.  In principle, the tendency of a state of being (consciousness) can be described by each system by divining the relations between the components of the system relative to a given situation (event), e.g., a point in time or space or both.  Generally, it is an intuitive process performed by the one who is reading the components and who is in relation with the event.

I have been offering my readings using the ancient Chinese oracle the I Ching in order to provide a sense of the main tendency on a daily basis for those who would seek it.

From time to time, it seems useful also to share an astrological view of what is going on around us and within us.  If you look, you may see reflections of those inner and outer conditions in descriptions of astrological phenomena provided by those who are adept readers of that slice of the cosmos.  So, I have decided to share some of these readings which are designed for public consumption.  Mostly, my selections of these readings are based on what appear to be alignments that may have the capacity to produce conditions of significant intensity that many of us are, or can be, aware of in our environment and in our lives.  When we begin to see those interdependencies, sometimes they seem quite extraordinary. And, they can be helpful in forming how we relate with them.

Read on, and enjoy.

 

New Moon/Solar Eclipse February 26, 2017

The last of the virgo/pisces eclipses that began in march of 2015 occurs on Sunday February 26th at 6:58am PST when the new moon/Solar Eclipse at 8’12 pisces is exact.  Since early 2015 we have been gifted with lessons and opportunities to bridge the mundane and the sacred, the material and the spiritual.  Virgo is focused on reality, discernment and doing one’s inner and outer work- while pisces is focused on surrender, trust, faith and oneness.  The journey in the last couple of years has been to find where we overdo one focus as the expense of the other so we can find the middle path.  Too much detail oriented (like virgo) and we miss seeing the Bigger Picture (which is pisces).  Too much idealism and ungrounded fantasy and we float off the earth (very pisces) and are disconnected from our bodies and being here now (virgo).  Looking over the last 2 years and seeing how these lessons played out for you and how you navigate your path of learning and growing through these lessons can be insightful right now.

Solar eclipses are amplified new moons- which typically speak to new directions, seeds planted or new things coming in.  but this new moon is on the karmic south node- the point of the past where we get stuck, stay too long, play out karmic patterns and avoid our growth and evolution.  With the karmic south node in its last hurrah in pisces (it will shift into aquarius in may 2017) we have our last bit of focus on where we overdo the pisces energy:  live in denial, delusion, believe or perpetrate illusions, bury our heads in the sand to avoid the shadow within or without, turn to addictions to numb out, play the victim or the martyr, play out codependent dynamic with others, spiritually by pass, disassociate, try to save everyone else but ourselves and more.  This is personal but also collective- looking at the smoke and mirrors going on in the world right now.  What is the truth?  What is a lie?  Where are we being deceived?  Where are we deceiving ourselves?  Where are we living a lie?  This eclipse on the south node brings a new beginning to relating to our own Unconscious.  Where previously we let it run us, now we are challenged to step up, relate to it directly, see the shadow dynamics playing out rather than paint them in Love and Light to avoid the darkness going on behind the scenes.  Many of us have been living comfortably numb- sucked into our iphones, computers, dining out, shopping, living a privileged western life.  But guess what- now the collective shadow is out in the open.  We are starting to see other’s but also our own prejudices, darkness, hidden secrets.  It’s all coming out in the open- we are living in a time of transparency where what is behind the screen comes out into the Light.

We can use this solar eclipse energy to be willing, able and proactive about facing this shadow within and without.  With Neptune on the eclipse- the illusions and seductive fantasies of what could have been, should have been, would have been just keep us stuck in the past and in cycles of repetition and karma.  We have to BE HERE NOW and see what IS right now- in ourselves, in others, and in the world around us.  Only then are we truly empowered to change things and make them into what they can be.

A key signature of this eclipse is the mars/Uranus/eris conjunction opposite Jupiter- mars triggers all 3 bodies from Wednesday February 22nd through the 27th with the 2nd of 3 jupiter/Uranus oppositions on march 2nd.  This is some radical, revolutionary energy that can play out as activism, taking a stand, making huge waves that instigate change!  It can also express as a lot of anger and rage.  we need to remember Jupiter is in libra teaching us that to truly win we cannot have winners and losers.  We all share this planet, we all are connected.  If one person/country/political party benefits but another loses we stay stuck in the same game no matter what side we are on.  The days leading up to and following this eclipse can be particularly intense.  Using mars in aries energy to take conscious action and deal with things head on while mitigating his tendency to aggression, reactivity, impulsivity, selfishness and even violence is key.  Mars/Uranus/eris can wake us up in good ways or not so good ways.  Consciousness is key!

This analysis is reprinted from Divine Harmony.

Meditation

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