Dear God, the stupidity

But if you look at productivity statistics, you see that it has fallen, almost catastrophically, across the board in the last decade. There is no story about automation that’s consistent with output per hour falling precipitously. It’s literally the reverse of what you would expect.

That links to this.

Where it is stated that productivity is growing more slowly than it used to. But not that produxctivity is actually falling.

Acceleration and velocity are not the same thing.

How does this work?

“We need to guarantee that we adequately fund public media so that it is not kept economically weak and vulnerable to political and commercial pressures.”

If the politicians control the paying for it then how can it be free of politics?

OK, boilerplate nonsense

This climate injustice is only one manifestation of the inequalities and injustices built into the capitalist powers’ imperial exploitation of the “under-developed” world. In the late Immanuel Wallerstein’s framework, the core capitalist powers compete with each other for dominance in exploiting the resources of the underdeveloped periphery nations.

Consequently, each of the capitalist powers is loathe to weaken its competitive position vis à vis the other capitalist economies. In a capitalist world, each economic unit must act to protect what it deems its own interests. The only counterweight comes from the public sector.

Yet in a capitalist world, each public authority — local, state or national government — is constrained by the fear that pushing public interests too far will cause capital flight, thereby undermining its viability. And, of course, corporations and the wealthy dominate the shaping of public policy — nowhere more than in the US.

Sigh. But then this is some kid, right?

Ted Morgan is emeritus professor of political science at Lehigh University

Sigh.

Yes, of course they’re lying, why do you ask?

It’s been known for people over here to do the same thing:

The eye-catching result here is they have consumption taxes being *sharply* regressive, e.g. 12% for the lowest income group. I’m not aware of any US state that has state + average local sales rates tax that high. And lots of goods are exempt from sales tax. So how do they get this? Well, suppose someone earns $1k in labor earnings and gets $9k in transfers, and consumes it all paying a 5% sales tax = $500 in tax. What sales tax rate have they paid (as a % of their income)? The method Treasury uses says 500/(1k+9k) = 5% (this is also what Auten-Splinter do). Saez-Zucman exclude transfers from the denominator, and thus say 500/1k = 50%. This is a matter of definition, so it’s hard to call it right or wrong, but it does seem misleading and yield some rather nonsensical implications. For example, it means that if welfare to the poor is increased, this will be measured as an increased tax rate.

Pikety, Saez and Zucman just aren’t even trying to do science. They’re just politics.

And get this:

As I noted the other day, excluding the EITC breaks from multiple standard tax-data reporting conventions including the treatment that the CBO has been using for the past 40 years. Zucman’s defenses of making this change amount to a tendentious argument that the credit — as a transfer — cannot be differentiated from other forms of public spending such as defense and health care. He therefore claims it is necessary to remove the EITC from consideration as a feature of the tax system

Yet on their new website, Saez and Zucman are all too eager to incorporate different aspects of health care into their total “tax” estimates — provided it further augments the patterns in their new data.

This practice may be seen through their bizarre treatment of private health insurance premiums as a component of taxation. A PowerPoint slideshow on the new website includes an Orwellian rebranding of private insurance payments as a “health insurance poll tax,” and Zucman has deployed similar language while defending this designation.

Tax credits aren’t part of the taxation system while health care insurance is?

Guardian fun

So Gary Younge says:

For along with Trump’s personal frailties is a series of political characteristics that underpins his anomie. He is a misogynist, a racist, a xenophobe and a nationalist. Those are not psychological descriptors but political ones, fortified by systems and ideology.

And:

This was not because people didn’t see those things, but because they either didn’t care, cared about other things more, preferred him to the alternative, or simply didn’t show up. As such, his victory marked a high point for the naked appeal of white supremacy in particular and rightwing populism in general, and a low point for the centre-left, neoliberal agenda.

Which gets changed by the subeditors, in the subheading, to:

To reduce his presidency to a frail mind is to ignore the fact he’s an emblem of free-market, white supremacist nationalism

Younge may be many things but he’s not stupid enough to add free market to Trump’s list of failings. Nor to think that free market is equal or part of white supremacy, nationalism and the rest.

The Guardian’s subeditors are that stupid.

Give over Honey, seriously?

Hillary Clinton has said Russia, which interfered in the US election she lost in 2016, is “grooming” a Democratic candidate for a third-party run next year, signalling she believes congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard could fill the role.

The goal of this would essentially be to divide the US electorate and help Donald Trump win re-election, Clinton said. In the interview, Clinton also said she believes Russia had compromising information, or kompromat, on Trump.

“I’m not making any predictions but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary, and they’re grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” the former secretary of state told David Plouffe in his “Campaign HQ” podcast without providing evidence.

“She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

You lost because not enough people wanted to vote for you. There was no grand conspiracy.

But you’re going to use that accusation to try to continue to run the Democratic Party. Retiring gently to the farm like Cincinnatus would benefit the Republic rather more.

Eh?

When Saracens rugby player Jade Knight ran her first 5km after the birth of her son, she was plagued by urinary incontinence. Pregnancy and birth had caused a weak pelvic floor – the group of muscles that span the bottom of the pelvis – leading to stress incontinence, a condition affecting around a third of mothers.

Embarrassed, Knight religiously wore black leggings when she returned to training out of fear she would leak in front of her team-mates. “Unless I speak about it I don’t think anyone else is going to,” she says. Even as a qualified midwife, she was astounded at the toll pregnancy had taken on her body.

With a severe lack of evidence and information on how exercise impacts post-partum sportswomen,

How old are Kegel weights now?

That is, this is hardly an unknown, is it?

Well boo hoo

The Duchess of Sussex has spoken of the “really challenging” time of being a new mother in the spotlight, saying “it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes”.

The Duchess, who appears emotional on screen, said pregnancy is a “really vulnerable” time, adding not many people had asked after her wellbeing.

In an on-camera interview for an ITV documentary about the Sussex’s tour to Africa, she conceded it had been a “struggle”.

One of the most privileged women in the world wants to tell us how hard it all is.

Bollocks love.

We’ve got your problem right here Emma

Sgt Emma Slade, who has responsibility for policing prostitution in Avon and Somerset, said: “Vulnerable women are being enslaved and exploited for sex within pop-up brothels. They are isolated and suffer terrible abuse. Many of the women are recruited and trafficked on false promises of legitimate work but find themselves in a very different circumstance.”

Slade said that when police carried out safeguarding visits to brothels, they often found women from the far east and eastern Europe who spoke no English and did not know the emergency services phone number.

That someone is from the Far East or Eastern Europe does not mean they’re enslaved. It simply means they’ve moved from there to here to rent out their gonads.

Sex slavery is appalling, a vile crime, repeated rape. Migration to be a tart in a higher paying market might be something that you disapprove of but it’s not even a crime.

The surprise here is what?

Only one out of every 25 pupils in schools for those with behavioural difficulties or exclusions managed to gain passes in English and maths GCSEs this year, according to national data which also shows little headway being made in improving overall exam results.

People who don’t study don’t pass exams.

And?

Eh?

‘God, I was disgusting!’ – Ali Wong on why women’s bodies are the last taboo

They are? I thought we had rather more public display and conversation about them than ever before.

Why is it still so taboo for women to talk about bodily functions and all the fluids and secretions that ooze out of us?

What taboos about what secretions?

Oh, sure, the Guardian and the like are full of pieces shouting that “We’ve got to talk about menstruation. Why aren’t we?” but they get all huffy when told that by having just published 1200 words on the subject – for the dysmenorrheac 30th straight day in a row – they are in fact talking about menstruation.

True, the male conversation on the subject would be limited to “It happens. Cool.” but taboo? Today?

But what’s wrong with chlorinated chicken?

There is a real risk that the coming general election could be the United Kingdom’s last – with Boris Johnson remembered only for being its last Conservative prime minister. Johnson’s deal is, we now know, even more fatally flawed than Theresa May’s in vital respects: it threatens to make Ireland a smugglers’ and tax avoiders’ paradise and ushers in a race to the bottom in social and environmental standards. All Labour MPs must vote against it. The deal also threatens to Balkanise Britain. Northern Ireland is, for example, exempted from the evil consequences of a US-UK trade deal – from the entry of chlorinated chicken to the contracting out of NHS services – while Scotland, Wales and England would be bound in.

If people don’t want to eat it then they won’t buy it. So, what’s the problem with it being on the shelves?

Either people want it, in which case they should have it, or they don’t and the availability makes no difference.

That social divide

One of the two activists who climbed on top of a train at Canning town can exclusively be revealed as Mark Ovland, who had already been arrested and released “several times” this week.

The 36-year-old has been identified as the man chased along a train roof before being pulled down onto the platform.

He describes himself as a full-time Extinction Rebellion protestor who gave up his Buddhist studies to devote himself to climate change action.

Can’t think of any grants available for Buddhist studies. So, a man of private means then.

Telling people in Canning Town they can’t get to work.

Yep, that’ll work well.

Accuracy in sourcing quotes

Well, yes:

Peter Navarro, an economist who has written a number of books on China, has employed Ron Vara as a source in at least five of his works, quoting his anti-Beijing views.

OK:

Mr Navarro batted away criticism of his Ron Vara character, comparing it to director Alfred Hitchcock’s cameos in his own movies.

It was, he told the Chronicle, “refreshing that somebody finally figured out an inside joke that has been hiding in plain sight for years.”

Quite.

The Telegraph could have done better there tho’:

Ms Morris-Suzuki told the Chronicle of Higher Education, which first reported the story, that she took a dim view of quoting fictional characters and was left “wondering whether there might be other invented sources in Navarro’s work”.

She said she has not discovered any, but did find a quote in one book on China credited to Leslie LeBon, whose credentials are not listed in the book. An online search revealed that Ms LeBon is an architect – and also happens to be Ms Navarro’s wife.

Sigh.

What?

And do you really think piles of cash will stop that climate crisis? Really? How? Please tell, because 97%+ of the world’s climate scientists disagree with you. Are you one of them?

If piles of cash won’t stop climate change then why’s he sop insistent on spending everything everyone has to prevent climate change?

The Green New Deal is rather the argument that cash will solve the problem, isn’t it?