The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – July 18, 2021

Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – July 18, 2021

by Tony Wikrent

The Epidemic

NEW From CDC“Community Profile Report July 8 2021” (PDF), “Rapid Riser” counties

[CDC, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 7-16-21]

Five undervaccinated clusters put the entire United States at risk

[CNN, via The Big Picture 7-12-2021]

Clusters of unvaccinated people, most of them in the southern United States, are vulnerable to surges in Covid-19 cases and could become breeding grounds for even more deadly Covid-19 variants: Starting in Georgia and stretching west to Texas and north to Missouri + include parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

There’s A Stark Red-Blue Divide When It Comes To States’ Vaccination Rates 

[NPR, via The Big Picture 7-13-2021]

But surveys have shown Trump supporters are the least likely to say they have been vaccinated or plan to be. Remember, Trump got vaccinated before leaving the White House, but that was reported months later. Unlike other public officials who were trying to encourage people to get the shot, Trump did it in private.

Least Vaccinated U.S. Counties Have Something in Common: Trump Voters

[New York Times, via The Big Picture 7-13-2021]

The disparity in vaccination rates has so far mainly broken down along political lines. For nearly every U.S. county, both the willingness to receive a vaccine and actual vaccination rates to date were lower, on average, in counties where a majority of residents voted to re-elect former President Donald J. Trump in 2020.

Strategic Political Economy

Newsmax anchor goes full death cult, suggests vaccines go against evolution and nature


[Twitter, via, Aldous J Pennyfarthing, July 12, 2021, Dailykos]

This is the oligarchs’ “final solution” to finally eliminating all those pesky plebes who are constantly consuming resources the oligarchs prefer to hoard for themselves. It is the triumph of the oligarchs’ Malthusian pessimism over the optimism and progress of the Enlightenment and the creation of the USA as a self-governing republic constitutionally dedicated to promoting the General Welfare. It is a rejection of the classic Christian conception of humanity made in the image of the Creator, investigating and learning the laws of nature so that humanity can partake in the Divine by co-participating in the act of Creation through new science and technology that relieves human suffering and betters the human condition. That USA christianists are not in an uproar about these statements, shows how deeply the oligarchs’ corporations have corrupted USA christianity

Buying Democracy in a Good Way

Dean Baker, CEPR, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 7-14-21]

“At the moment, at least two Democratic senators (Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona) seem unwilling to go along with voting to weaken the filibuster to allow voting rights measures to pass with a simple majority. As a result, it is hard to see how anything can pass. But, the Democrats can pass bills that involve appropriations with a simple majority through the reconciliation process. This is where the point that Brian made comes in, we can make voting rights about money. Suppose the next reconciliation bill included a provision that gave $1,000 per person to every adult living in a state where the districts are drawn by an independent commission, where basic provisions of access are guaranteed (e.g. two weeks of early voting, no excuse absentee voting), and where elections are run by career civil servants and cannot be overturned by elected officials. We should probably throw in some provisions about mandatory five-year prison terms for harassing or threatening election officials. This is a straight up appropriation bill, it’s not telling states what they have to do, so it should pass muster for reconciliation. It may be the case that Republican states will still insist on their voter suppression measures and rigged districts, and look to blow off the money, as they did with Medicaid expansion, but this would be a very different story.”

“Market dirigisme”

[Interfluidity, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 7-14-21]

Market dirigisme is the name I give to a style of public policy I think we ought to use more. The idea is pretty simple. Governments form preferences over how the polity ought to be but currently is not. Often, what governments should do is to explicitly purchase the changes in behavior they desire from the general public…. Often when a central government wishes to change the polity, it tries to induce changes at the level of subsidiary governments, rather than via citizens and households….. There are deep problems with this style of center-to-subsidiary governance. It’s intuitively attractive, I think, due to a mistaken analogy between government subsidiarity to bureaucratic hierarchy. It feels “rational” or “logical” to work through the “chain of command” rather than have the center try to mess directly with with hundreds of millions of citizens about whose particular circumstances it knows little….A better approach is for the central government to alter the circumstances, and so the preferences, of the broad public. If we’d like denser communities, the central government can simply pay a subsidy to residents of communities growing denser. Elected officials of subsidiary governments no longer face conflicting incentives. If the subsidy is large enough to shift the preferences of the voters to whom local politicians are accountable, politicians will enact real change. If their supporters’ dispreference for density overwhelms the money, they won’t. The size of the subsidy can be set large enough to meet the central government’s objectives while still permitting some communities to opt out.”

The Biden Transition and the Fight for Real Hope and Change This Time

“The Biden Antitrust Revolution”

[The New Yorker, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 7-15-21]

“Since joining the Administration, at the start of March, Wu has been working full time on the order, which is lengthy and detailed. ‘There is an intellectual revolution here, which the President has embraced,’ Wu told me. ‘Part of that effort is to bring back antitrust as a popular movement, rather than as an abstract academic thing. I think we went through a long period in which it became more remote and abstract. But, as the President said, ultimately this is about creating an economy that works for everyone…. The way that the executive order names specific problems also reflects an effort on the part of Wu and his colleagues to make the most of a limited tool. Barack Obama issued a pro-competition executive order in the final year of his second term, but he left office before it could have much impact. Donald Trump signed all manner of executive orders, most of which are no longer in effect—either the courts struck them down or Biden reversed them after taking office. Wu and his colleagues are all too aware that this order, too, is likely to be challenged in the courts, where many judges have taken a restrictive view of the government’s power to promote economic competition. So, in drawing it up, they tried to address specific problem areas that are highly visible and subject to existing laws. ‘The whole approach of this executive order is to focus on areas where there are strong congressional authorities, often given during the New Deal or the nineteen-fifties and sixties, but which are not being fully used,’ Wu explained.”

The (Anti)Federalist Society Infestation of the Courts
From Qualified Immunity to Voting Rights, the Supreme Court Guts Civil Rights Laws

David Gans, director of the Human Rights, Civil Rights, and Citizenship Program at the Constitutional Accountability Center, July 16, 2021 [The American Prospect]

Predatory Finance

“The Top 10 Largest Private Equity Firms in the World”

[US News, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 7-12-21]

“Private equity firms have come out of the pandemic red-hot, inking more than 2,300 deals in the first five months of 2021, an increase of 21.9% from the same period last year.

  1. The Blackstone Group
  2. KKR
  3. The Carlyle Group
  4. Apollo Global Management
  5. CVC Partners
  6. Advent International
  7. Thoma Bravo
  8. TPG Capital
  9. Warburg Pincus
  10. Bain Capital

Frontline Investigates the Federal Reserve: Is It a Captured Regulator that’s Wrecking the U.S. Economy with Asset Bubbles?
Pam Martens and Russ Martens,  July 11, 2021 [Wall Street on Parade]

This Tuesday evening [July 13], the PBS investigative program, Frontline, will broadcast a documentary covering its year-long investigation of the Federal Reserve’s bailouts of Wall Street, from the financial crisis of 2008 to the present….

Andrew Huszar, a former insider at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where the Federal Reserve has a serial habit of outsourcing its bailout programs for the mega banks on Wall Street (likely because it is literally owned by those same banks) will explain to viewers how he was “single-handedly responsible for directing the deployment of $1.25 trillion of Fed funds, and we did not see the knock-on benefits that we had hoped for the average American.”

Huszar is talking about the $1.25 trillion the Fed spent in buying up agency Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) following the 2008 financial crash on Wall Street. Despite the fact that the Fed saw no benefits accrue from that program to the average American, it doubled down on the same program during the pandemic, buying up $40 billion a month in agency MBS. The Fed’s current total of agency MBS on its balance sheet stands at $2.3 trillion as of last Wednesday. The custodian of the securities purchased in the Fed’s MBS program has been, from the outset, JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest owners of the New York Fed. The fact that the bank has received an unprecedented five felony counts from the Department of Justice since 2014 hasn’t changed the Fed’s mind about entrusting the bank with $2.3 trillion of its assets. (JPMorgan Chase admitted to all five felony counts.)

Someone Is Buying Up Power Plants and Critical Infrastructure in 22 Countries. The Trail Leads to JPMorgan – a Bank Repeatedly Charged with Rigging Markets

Pam Martens and Russ Martens,  July 15, 2021 [Wall Street on Parade]

Biden Stimulus Is Financing GOP’s Tax Cuts For The Rich

[Daily Poster, July 16, 2021]

Republicans are taking advantage of the White House’s refusal to invoke a law designed to make sure stimulus money isn’t used for tax breaks….

But rather than investing in underfunded schools and public services, some Republican-run states are instead funneling the cash to high-income households – and the Biden administration’s refusal to enforce the anti-tax-cut language in the federal legislation are providing a green light for Republicans to try to do even more.

The Arizona legislature recently passed a $1.9 billion income tax cut designed to benefit the wealthy, with 93 percent of the benefit going to the top 20 percent of earners, and over half going to the top 1 percent. Ohio passed $1.7 billion in tax cuts, over half of which will flow to the top five percent of earners and over a third of which will flow to the top one percent. And Wisconsin passed more than $2 billion in tax cuts, about three quarters of which will go to individuals who make $100,000 or more.

Fintech, NeoBanks and the Unbanked

[No Mercy No Malice, via The Big Picture 7-13-2021]

25% of U.S. households are either unbanked or underbanked. Half of the nation’s unbanked households say they don’t have enough money to meet the minimum balance requirements. 34% say fees are too high. And, if you’re trying to get a mortgage, you’d better hope the house isn’t cheap.

The carnage of mainstream neoliberal economics

U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Spiked 30 Percent in 2020

[New York Times, via Naked Capitalism 7-16-2021]

The Hidden Costs of Dollar General 

[Slate, via The Big Picture 7-12-2021]

When the dollar stores moved in, they started driving grocery stores out. Local grocers blamed it on what they called the Walmart effect. When Walmart Supercenters arrived in neighboring areas, offering huge selections of goods at low prices, people started driving to them rather than shopping locally. Smaller stores couldn’t compete. (Slate)

Pharma Companies Spend Billions More on Stock Buybacks Than Developing Drugs

[The Brick House Cooperative, via Daily Poster July 14, 2021]


[Dollars & Sense, via Naked Capitalism 7-12-2021]

The process of taking money out of the company is evident in Figure 2 and Figure 3. “Free cash” is the term for the resources a company has available to spend after it has covered operations costs and the costs of maintaining existing equipment. The green bars in Figure 2 show the percentage of “free cash” that Boeing obtained from operations (i.e., selling planes created by the workers in the production process), which typically provided 40% to 80% of the cash Boeing was free to spend annually. (Boeing obtained the remaining percentage of “free cash” largely from new loans—like a lot of American households, Boeing borrows every year, though at a lower rate of interest than the typical consumer.)

In many years up until 2018, the corporation obtained the bulk of its “free cash” flow from operations, yet the falling blue line in Figure 2 indicates that Boeing only puts between 10% and 20% of its cash back into new equipment for production operations—known as “capital expenditures.” With roughly 60% coming from operations, and only 15% going back into operations, Boeing’s cash flow statements reveal a slow erosion of manufacturing capacity, as the company spends less and less on capital equipment of any kind. If this is how the U.S. capitalist class accumulates capital, then it’s no wonder capitalism in the United States isn’t doing well.

Figure 3. Shareholders vs. Production: How Boeing Spends Free Cash Flow
So, how does Boeing actually spend its “free cash”? The yellow bars in Figure 3 show the combined spending on dividends to shareholders and stock buybacks.

Climate and environmental crises

“The U.S. Wheat Crop Is in Trouble”

[Gizmodo, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 7-14-21]

“Wheat farmers across the country are facing lower yields as 98% of the country’s wheat crop is in areas experiencing drought. In the Northern Plains, the Department of Agriculture said Monday that farmers were projected to harvest their smallest crop of spring wheat—crops planted in the spring and harvested in the autumn—in 33 years. … The region is hardly alone; the USDA also said this week that 68% of the Pacific Northwest’s spring wheat was in ‘poor or very poor’ conditions. At this time last, only 6% of the region’s wheat crop was in this state. All told, the USDA found that 98% of the U.S. wheat crop is growing in areas hit by drought.”

The U.S. Is Rapidly Running Low on Water There’s a gross way to fix this.

[Slate, via The Big Picture 7-15-2021]

Restoring balance to the economy

France fines Google $593 million for not negotiating ‘in good faith’ with news publishers.

[New York Times, July 13, 2021]

Google was fined 500 million euros, or $593 million, by French antitrust authorities on Tuesday for failing to negotiate a deal in “good faith” with publishers to carry news on its platform, a victory for media companies that have been fighting to make up for a drop in advertising revenue that they attribute to the Silicon Valley giant.

French officials said Google had ignored a 2020 order from French regulators to negotiate a licensing deal with publishers to use short blurbs from articles in search results. The case has been closely watched because it is one of the first attempts to apply a new copyright directive adopted by the European Union intended to force internet platforms like Google and Facebook to compensate news organizations for their content.

“When the authority imposes injunctions on companies, they are required to apply them scrupulously, respecting their letter and their spirit,” Isabelle de Silva, president of the French antitrust body, said in a statement.

Google has two months to come up with fresh ideas for compensating news publishers or risks further fines of up to €900,000, about $1.065 million, per day, the French authorities said.

Institutionalists = Obstructionists

“1 big thing: Dems’ House hopes hang on two states”

[Axios, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 7-14-21]

“The Democrats’ “only chance of keeping the House” next year is if they redraw congressional lines to their advantage in New York and Illinois, Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman tells Axios’ Stef Kight…. The GOP is already poised to take advantage of its control of map-drawing in more states than Democrats. But Democrats have a chance to eliminate as many as seven Republican House seats in just New York and Illinois through redistricting in states they control.”

Centrist Think Tanks Are Raking In Exxon Cash

[The New Republic, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 7-15-21]

[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 7-13-21]


Disrupting mainstream politics

“Sidewalk Socialists and the Path to Power”

[Current Affairs, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 7-15-21]

[Charlotte] Kelly is one of seven candidates running for Somerville City Council who has been endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). This slate of campaigns is bound not just by the idea of winning socialism in a general sense, but specific, concrete reforms to pave the way. To get there, the candidates demonstrate intricate knowledge of policy battles and embed themselves in community organizing, but it’s more than that, too: their proposals for the future drill down to the details. According to Spencer Brown, co-chair of Boston DSA, the election centers on three issues of daily life—affordable housing, climate change, and public safety—and in addressing those issues the DSA-endorsed candidates move seamlessly from broad-stroke abstractions to net zero stretch code and idling police cruisers. The slate in Somerville has the potential to translate the grand aim of socialism into the minutiae of city politics…. This upcoming election in Somerville also may have wider implications, both in the Boston area and nationally. All over the country, not just in big coastal cities but in places like Florida and Texas, socialists are running for municipal office. But even in the largest DSA chapter in the country—New York City—DSA put up six candidates in the June primary, contesting only 12 percent of the City Council (and only winning two races). Meanwhile in Chicago and Seattle, socialists make up about 10 percent of their respective city councils. But in Somerville, 64 percent of seats are being contested. The prospect of winning an outright majority represents, in the words of Seitchik, ‘a generational opportunity, the first time since World War II, the first time in 80 years, to be able to have a majority socialist City Council.’ In fact, as DSA’s national account recently corrected, the city of Richmond, California already has a majority-socialist City Council—an indication that what’s happening in Somerville is not as anomalous or isolated as it might at first seem.”

Interview With Professor Adolph Reed

Matt Taibbi, July 15, 2021

Reed: No, it’s not new. Combating racism becomes a convenient alternative to attacking inequality and inequality, even those inequalities that appear or the manifest themselves as racial disparities. Because the struggle against racism is exactly parallel to the struggle against terrorism… It can go on forever, because the enemy is an abstraction that you can define however you want to define it, at the moment that you wanted to find it….

Black workers can’t just be workers. They got to have some special black thing about them. But I’m not denying that black workers are black, as much as workers. To keep with my prior illustration, black is the adjunctive, worker is the noun.

But the thing is always: how do we try to build the solidarities that we need to have, to change the society in the ways that make it better for everybody who lives in it, except Bezos, and those people? The practice of this performative race-first politics is completely disconnected from any sort of pragmatic questions like that.

It’s not only disconnected from such questions, it tends to be so essentially antagonistic to pursuit of such questions.

The real separation of powers in modern America: The left has unfair privilege in culture, and the right in politics.

FT, via Naked Capitalism 7-15-2021]

Comment by Michael Pettis: “Call me old fashioned, but I liked it better when the left cared more about the working classes than about culture.”  To which Lambert Strether added: “To repeat, if you don’t put the working class first, you’re not on the left. You’re working on the rainbow of flavors to put in your freezer, just like Nancy Pelosi, ka-ching.”

The Dark Side

“Florida Democrats Ask for ‘Clarity’ on ‘Anti-Riot’ Law After Cuba Protesters Not Arrested”

[Newsweek, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 7-15-21]

“Florida Democrats are calling out Republican Governor Ron DeSantis while asking the state’s attorney general for “clarity” about a law that the governor signed earlier this year criminalizing protesters blocking road traffic. Prompted by Black Lives Matter protests that swept the nation following the death of George Floyd last year, DeSantis signed the so-called “anti-riot” bill HB 1 in April, imposing potential criminal penalties for protesters who block roads while holding demonstrations. However, when large groups of Cuban Americans—a key Republican voter block in Florida—took to the streets and sometimes blocked them while holding demonstrations in solidarity with pro-democracy protests in Cuba this week, law enforcement did not intervene. Democrats quickly noted that no arrests were made on Tuesday when protesters blocked Florida State Road 826, also known as the Palmetto Expressway.”

“Citizens, Not the State, Will Enforce New Abortion Law in Texas”

[New York Times, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 7-13-21]

“People across the country may soon be able to sue abortion clinics, doctors and anyone helping a woman get an abortion in Texas, under a new state law that contains a legal innovation with broad implications for the American court system. The provision passed the State Legislature this spring as part of a bill that bans abortion after a doctor detects a fetal heartbeat, usually at about six weeks of pregnancy. Many states have passed such bans, but the law in Texas is different. Ordinarily, enforcement would be up to government officials, and if clinics wanted to challenge the law’s constitutionality, they would sue those officials in making their case. But the law in Texas prohibits officials from enforcing it. Instead, it takes the opposite approach, effectively deputizing ordinary citizens — including from outside Texas — to sue clinics and others who violate the law. It awards them at least $10,000 per illegal abortion if they are successful. ‘It’s completely inverting the legal system,’ said Stephen Vladeck, a constitutional law professor at the University of Texas at Austin. ‘It says the state is not going to be the one to enforce this law. Your neighbors are.’ The result is a law that is extremely difficult to challenge before it takes effect on Sept. 1 because it is hard to know whom to sue to block it, and lawyers for clinics are now wrestling with what to do about it.”

“The obscure foundation funding “Critical Race Theory” hysteria”

[Popular Info, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 7-13-21]

“A Popular Information investigation reveals that many of the entities behind the CRT panic share a common funding source: The Thomas W. Smith Foundation.”



Open Thread


The Canadian Economy Under US Hegemony and Neoliberalism


  1. Plague Species

    So, does anyone believe shaming those who refuse to get vaccinated will make them get vaccinated? It’s not going to happen. Strap them down and stick the needle in. It needs to be compulsory at this point.

    Licking this pandemic is more than vaccines at this point. Ubiquitous testing and contact tracing and quarantining is equally important in addition to vaccination. Mask wearing for EVERYONE and they must be N95 masks considering this virus spreads via an aerosol. The blue medical masks aren’t going to cut it.

    I had an argument with my 19-year-old son about going to a restaurant today for breakfast with his friend. He claimed he is vaccinated so it’s okay to go to the restaurant. I told him it wasn’t because being vaccinated doesn’t mean you can’t get the virus and spread it. It was designed to minimize the severity of the virus for the variants of it that were prevalent at the time the vaccines were developed.

    He relented and he and his friend got take out, or so he says. He could have just told me that to appease me, I suppose, but this is what I’m up against.

    This is the attitude Biden and Fauci have created. It’s the impression they have given. That if you’re vaccinated, you’re immune.

    The ramifications of the pandemic in America are now Biden’s responsibility. He’s proving to be every bit the mass murderer McDonald Trump was and is, except Biden has a more professional PR team.

  2. Plague Species

    I’m surprised there was nothing in the line up about Haiti or Cuba.

  3. Hugh

    The Frontline show on the Fed wasn’t bad. It brought up the asset bubbles it has created and kept juiced, a point I have been making for several years. It was in error when it said the current Fed bailout began in response to the covid crisis. The Fed was running $100 billion a day credit lines to Wall Street back in the pre-covid Fall of 2019.

    And almost everyone on the show was Establishment. They had worked at the Fed or had held some other government position. What they didn’t have were people like Ian, myself, and many others who got it right and more than that saw it coming. So it was kind of weird seeing this investigative, look at what we found, presentation for things we were discussing 13 and 14 years ago.

  4. Hugh

    PS, hundreds of thousands of Americans are dead because of Trump’s stupidity on covid. So much worse than Biden. What is frustrating about the Biden team is that it very much is a B team effort vaccination, masks, ventilation, ivermectin? We need adults and are getting nine-to-fivers.

  5. bruce wilder

    The “CRT hysteria” supposedly juiced by a far-right foundation juxtaposed with the Taibbi interview with Adolph Reed raises an interesting question: are we going to pretend that the pseudo-left’s obsessions with id pol politics is not a real thing?

    It seems to me that the Right, as in the case of the Smith foundation recognizes that the left’s mismanagement of its privileged domination of culture and media has handed them a great opportunity to seize power over culture as well as money.

    Does the Left bear no responsibility for running this ball into indefensible territory and creating an opportunity for reactionaries?

  6. Hugh

    So difficult to keep it straight. The Democrats are id pol, but the Republicans war on black and brown voters isn’t. Got it.

  7. Astrid

    I can’t decide if Hugh is really bad at reading comprehension or so good at the right kind of reading comprehension that I’m completely unable to grasp it.

    Maybe rather than the crude strawmanning, bad faith argumentation, never bother with evidence Hugh that I perceived, Hugh just got initiated into a PMC level that PTB judged me I was unworthy. Is what I see as shameless repetition of lies actually a sign of his worthiness?

  8. Jason

    Compelling commentary. The magical mystery tour continues.

  9. Sienna

    Jason, it’s safe to assume a few of the commenters here are invalids with feeding tubes, unable to do much else but comment at blog sites. I’m glad they have an outlet.

  10. edmondo

    ” Strap them down and stick the needle in. It needs to be compulsory at this point.”

    Aren’t you the guy who always called Trump a fascist? WTF are you?

  11. Hugh

    Edmondo’s right. Americans should have the right to kill their neighbors.

  12. NR

    So common sense public health measures that were completely uncontroversial a century ago are now proclaimed as fascism by neo-libertarians. How wonderful.

  13. nihil obstet

    On the pseudo-left and id pol — a certain number of people will take any idea and leap to extremes with it. That’s certainly something we see on these comment threads. Say that stretching is good, and certain people will drop other exercise for stretching only. Say that fat is fattening and the people will eradicate all fat from their diet. And so on.

    So concern that racial, gender, and other sources of inequality needed to be considered goosed certain people into dropping all other political goals for id pol. Any exaggeration is fodder for opponents, which in turn rallies more people to the exaggeration. Meanwhile, the left has continued to work for genuine access to health care, increase in the minimum wage, improved education, and support for the average citizen while the media cultivates the notion that it’s all about id pol and CRT.

  14. “I had an argument with my 19 year old son”

    Don’t tell him about the thread by @holmenkollin that was retweeted by Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of the mRNA and DNA vaccines. (Well, according to him).

    „But what about 100% vaccination rate?“

    Here you go: 1600 double-jabbed british soldiers on HMS Queen Elizabeth. They even had hygiene rules, distancing etc

    Wait 2 months…

    1 in 16 (= higher case rate than any country!) turns out to be infected.…

    Your son may no longer take anything you say, seriously.

  15. DMC

    To put it simply, economic problems demand economic solutions. Social problems demand social solutions. Cultural problems demand cultural solutions. Racism is largely a cultural phenomenon and Popular Culture does hardly anything else these days but disparage racism and all forms of exclusivism or prejudice. Blatant racism is on the wane due largely to it simply being uncool and gauche. “Oh dahling, wherever did these RUBES come from!”

  16. KT Chong

    Fact check:

    Dr. Robert Malone invented mRNA vaccines… FALSE.

  17. Hugh

    Although it is often presented by our overlords that we exist to serve the economy, that is them, the economy exists to supply and maintain our society. And as that wily Greek Aristotle observed 23 centuries ago how we act and should act in society is inherently a moral exercise. So economic problems are not just social in nature they are also moral as well. The rich don’t like this because it puts in question the morality of their wealth and our elites don’t like it because it does the same for their power. They prefer to pretend that it is all about vast agentless forces they have little control over or responsibility for.

  18. The June 14, 2021 wikipedia entry for “RNA vaccine”, History section, starts out with

    “In 1989, Robert W. Malone, P. Felgner, et. al. developed a high-efficiency in-vitro and in-vivo RNA transfection system using cationic liposomes, which were used “to directly introduce RNA into whole tissues and embryos”, as well as various cells types. ”

    in the first paragraph, and

    “The first mRNA vaccine experiments were carried out by P. Felgner, J. Wolff, G. Rhodes, R.W. Malone and D. Carson. P. They completed a number of mRNA vaccination studies that resulted in nine patents on mRNA vaccination with a shared priority date of March 21, 1989.

    in the 2nd paragraph.

    Oh, but that was so June 14, 2021. It’s now July, 2021, and “Malone” has been excised from the main body of the article, though he’s still listed in a couple of the references.

    Funny, that, don’t you think?

    More info available at “Inventor of mRNA technology removed from Wikipedia after he warned against taking COVID jabs” @

  19. I’ve added “Inventor of mRNA technology removed from Wikipedia after he warned against taking COVID jabs”, as well as “wikipedia watch”, to my vanity sub-reddit /r/bad_science_culture

  20. Hugh

    If you had gone to the wiki article’s comments page, you would have seen that researcher names were removed by an editor 10 days ago for the following reason:

    “Names of researchers only make the text heavier to read, do not add anything encyclopedic, and give undue emphasis on that aspect when really it isn’t that important – it’s not like a breakthrough discovery which is unambiguously credited to one or a few prominent authors.”

  21. Plague Species

    Malone reached out to Logically, stating that he did not invent the mRNA vaccines, but instead the “vaccine technology platform.” He also presented us with copies of nine patents – none of which showed that he invented the mRNA vaccines. The judgment for the claim has not changed.

    Nine patents? Jonas Salk he is not. Too funny considering many on metamars bandwagon have a beef with patents and trademarks and copyrights except when it comes to their patents and trademarks and copyrights, right?

    Malone is to mRNA technology what Craig Murray is to Bitcoin. Weinstein is a deceit for propagating this deceit. Rogan too. Anyone who jumps on this bullshit to gain an audience is a poseur and huckster opportunist.

  22. Plague Species

    If Robert Malone invented the mRNA technology platform as he claims, Al Gore invented the internet.

  23. nihil obstet

    To put it simply, economic problems demand economic solutions. Social problems demand social solutions. Cultural problems demand cultural solutions. Racism is largely a cultural phenomenon. . . .

    The divisions between economy, social issues, culture, and racism are simplifications for the purpose of discussion. Was it a cultural problem that created the race-based slave system in which captive black Africans were imported into the American colonies? It was economic and racist, the source of the “cultural phenomenon”.

    Remember Lee Atwater’s explanation of the Republican success:

    In 1981 Lee Atwater, the famed Republican political operative, explained to an interviewer how his party had learned to exploit racial antagonism using dog whistles. “You start out in 1954 by saying ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’” But by the late 1960s, “that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, ‘forced busing,’ ‘states’ rights,’ and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.”

    Totally economic, and racist.

  24. Here is the study from the corporation selling the vaccine.

    1- Taking a page from Trump they did not test for negative health effects.
    2- They did not even test 25% of the people with infectious like symptoms. 1,816 and 1,594 people were not tested for Covid who had infectious symptoms in the placebo and vaccinated group.
    3-Efficacy data started 7 days after the injection because during that period the vaccinated had 409 Covid cases compared to 287 for the unvaccinated.
    4- 162 people in the placebo group got Covid compared to 8 in the vaccine. According to the people selling the vaccine not even 1% of people had a benefit from the drug.
    5- The severe adverse event occurrence in the vaccine group over placebo (not counting Covid) was 1.2%. Higher than the percent who received any benefit.
    6- Self reported side effects 7 days after the injection were that the vaccine caused 62% to be fatigued, 22% to get a fever, 55% headaches, 23% join pain and 38% muscle pain.
    7- The corporation decided that they would not include 311 and 60 people in the data from the vaccine and placebo group.

    That is the study from from the corporation (conflict of interest much?) selling the drug.

  25. StewartM

    There is really only one ID pol that matters, Bruce. And that’s white ID pol that the Rs milk, and will even create bogus grievances to stoke. I say this as R white ID pols is the one that, to by far the greatest extent, gets its followers to vote and promote things that are tangibly against its self-identified members’ own tangible best interests.

  26. jrs

    “Meanwhile, the left has continued to work for genuine access to health care, increase in the minimum wage, improved education, and support for the average citizen while the media cultivates the notion that it’s all about id pol and CRT.”

    A few, very few, politicians may kind of work for that. I know there is some pressure on the ground level though. There are tenants unions and others.

    It’s true people keep trying to get us to care about CRT and id pol and it’s not relatable at any level. Who does this even affect? Academia? How detached from our lives can you get? You want to make your bourgie battle in academia everyone’s concern? It’s just a pretty irrelevant issue to anyone’s life. It’s easy to understand wages, healthcare, even at this point environmental issues (but not what to do about them), but we should spend all our time caring about some obscure stuff that affects almost nooone’s actual lives? TRY HARDER. Or actually don’t, who wants their enemies, that is the right, to really try harder anyway. Don’t try, fail harder. 🙂

  27. the other commenters


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  28. different clue

    @Plague Species,

    I suspect the not-yet unvaccinated Americans fall into two groups. Those who haven’t been reached or cannot reach vaccination points. And those who reject and refuse.

    The reject-and-refuse community have most of the private guns and most of the private ammunition in this country. If you think they should be strapped down and forcibly vaccinated, you should be the first person to attempt to do so, and then we can judge your success in that effort.

  29. Plague Species

    The reject-and-refuse community have most of the private guns and most of the private ammunition in this country. If you think they should be strapped down and forcibly vaccinated, you should be the first person to attempt to do so,

    Oh my goodness. Shiver me timbers. I’d be happy to lead that effort if the authorities let me. It certainly would put an end to all the mass shootings by these brave and noble gun toters. Strap them down and poke them with the needle and take their guns while we’re at it. What incredible satisfaction that would be. Three birds with one stone. No more mass shootings. A population 90% vaccinated and the end of the gun culture.

  30. somecomputerguy

    30 years ago it was called the 4 Gs. Guns (gun control), Greens (the environment), God (abortion), and Gays (gay rights). There are only 24 hours in a day. The purpose of these issues, is to take up time, air time and column inches, to keep anyone from discussing economic issues, particularly the economic interests of the middle and working class, as much as possible.

    These issues and their alternatives, are marketed as a way to be liberal or left-wing, or progressive, without having to know or care about economic issues, and most especially without threatening the economic interests of the wealthy.

    This is one way the New Democrats stopped talking, and prevented anyone else from talking about the economic interests of the working class, or pretty much any economic issues at all.

    Now that talking about the environment is a serious economic issue, it has declined tremendously in popularity, for them.

    This is the purpose of identity politics; not to act as a substitute for class, so much as to prevent talk about economic conditions that might make it suck to be a member of that group.

  31. different clue


    Exactly so. Identy is a real thing, but so is economics and social-economic class.

    Clinton used the Identy rackets in her debate with Sanders. When Sanders said “break up the big banks”, the Hillarrhoid said ” breaking up the big banks would not do a thing to address racism”. Which shows the cynical diversionary nature of Basic Wokenism.

  32. Hugh

    Except that banks redlining was racist and a way to keep black and brown people poor and weak. So Hillary couldn’t get it right even when she was trying to change the subject. And yes, breaking up the banks would have helped that.

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