economic ignorance


02/06/17

You know, I used to love Scarlett Johansson and she was once my biggest celebrity crush. But after taking the role of Motoko Kusanagi in the Ghost in the Shell movie, which should have gone to Rinko Kikuchi (or at least a Japanese woman), I no longer love or support Scarlett’s work. All I can think about when I see or think of her is how she contributes to racism and white supremacy by whitewashing roles that should go to Asian people, especially Asian women.

One of the major problems with white feminists is that they tend to only care about securing economic status, wealth, and power for others like themselves, which throws Women of Color under the bus because they do not have the privilege to reach such levels. Even if Women of Color do reach such positions, they are attacked and dehumanized simply because of their race. Not only that, but most importantly, singular topics of sexism and economics often ignore or even contribute to racism within white feminist spaces.

Sexism and economics are important topics, yes, but they need to be intersectional and include all kinds of women, especially of different races and etc.

Angry Asian Guy

4 Reasons Independence Is the Right Path for Puerto Rico

By Maru Gonzalez

Puerto Rico is in a state of emergency. Its public debt, which Governor Garcia Padilla recently declared unpayable, is $73 billion and counting. Unemployment is hovering at a dismal 14 percent and 46 percent of the island’s inhabitants are living below the poverty line, a rate higher than that of any state on the mainland.

Puerto Rico’s recent surge in out-migration is also cause for concern. Spurred largely by the economic crisis, a historic exodus of residents to the mainland translates to a shrinking tax base which, in turn, puts additional strain on an already weakened economy and burdens those remaining on the island with higher taxes and dwindling resources.

Although a variety of suggestions have been proposed to save the island from default, here are four reasons a clearly articulated, multi-year transition to independence is the only long-term viable solution for Puerto Rico.

1. Puerto Rico’s serious and worsening economy is largely rooted in its colonial status.

As a U.S. colony, Puerto Rico’s insolvent municipalities and public corporations cannot declare bankruptcy. And because Puerto Rico is not independent, it is prohibited from seeking help from international financial institutions, leaving it with few options in the face of what seems like inevitable default. Yet while the right to declare bankruptcy is important in helping the island restructure its mounting debt, it is only part of a short-term solution to a crisis that is, at its core, deeply structural.

Puerto Rico’s economy is both limited by and dependent on Washington. Constrained by U.S. federal laws and regulations, the island’s economy lacks the structural capacity to thrive on its own. Puerto Rico has no control over its monetary policy and little control of its fiscal policy. Issues related to immigration, foreign policy and trade are dictated by U.S. law and U.S. regulatory agencies.

Further, because Puerto Rico has no actual representation in Congress, decisions are made with little to no consideration for the needs and general welfare of the island’s residents. Indeed, Puerto Ricans must adhere to laws passed by a government in which they do not participate. Independence would grant Puerto Rico a platform to address the debt crisis on its own terms and afford the island’s 3.5 million inhabitants the right to self-determination.

2. Statehood is a pipe dream.

Economic and cultural arguments aside, statehood has never been a real option for Puerto Rico. Contrary to Alaska and Hawaii, which were deemed “incorporated” territories with the intention of moving toward annexation to the Union, the decision to keep Puerto Rico as “unincorporated” was a ploy to avoid statehood.

Indeed, Puerto Rico’s status as an unincorporated territory means that it “belongs to, but is not part of the U.S.” And that is unlikely to change. A Republican-controlled Congress would never admit Puerto Rico — with its massive debt and overwhelmingly Democratic (and non-white, Spanish-speaking) voting base — into the Union, even if such a determination is made by the island’s residents.

3. Other nations have proved that independence is possible.

For far too long, the people of Puerto Rico have chosen to accept the comfort of a familiar yet broken status quo over the uncertainty of real, revolutionary change. Indeed, many on the island and in the diaspora adhere to a colonized mentality, one that believes an independent Puerto Rico is economically unsustainable. But liberated nations across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America have demonstrated otherwise.

Singapore is a prime example. With a size 14 times smaller than Puerto Rico, less natural resources, and a significantly higher population density, Singapore has thrived socially and economically since gaining independence — even exceeding the per capita income of the United States.

4. An independent Puerto Rico would more readily protect the welfare and the rights of its people than the United States.

Since the U.S. invasion of Puerto Rico in 1898, Washington’s relationship with Puerto Rico has been one of exploitation and convenience. From the Ponce Massacre and government-sanctioned programs aimed at forcibly sterilizing working class Puerto Rican women to unethical testing and human radiation experiments on Puerto Rican prisoners, the U.S. government has a shameful track record of transgressions on the island.

And let’s not forget Vieques: for more than 60 years the U.S. Navy used the island of Vieques as target practice. Though the bombings stopped in 2003, the U.S.’ legacy on Vieques continues in the form of destroyed land (over half the island is uninhabitable), shattered livelihoods, and increased rates of cancer, birth defects, and illnesses — the result of contamination from years of continuous bombings.

Yet because Puerto Rico lacks any real autonomy or representation, these and other travesties — both social and economic — are largely ignored. Independence would hold accountable elected representatives at all levels of government and restore power to the people

Reading about the Chinese flirtation with Communism it’s always shocking how much worse it is than you expect, even when you expect it to be pretty bad.

At the same time, you get a sense of fatalism that things would have turned out in a roughly similar fashion no matter which economic orthodoxy took hold (ignoring factors like an alliance with the US and actual war with the USSR).

Turning a peasant economy into an industrial economy in a single generation while attempting to rebuild after decades of war and maintaining a central state and suppressing regional warlords was never going to be a fun project no matter what method you use for remunerating grain farmers.

  • billionaires: *profit off of the unpaid labor of the worker*
  • billionaires: *profit off of the taxes from the same laborers which they appropriate their due profits in the first place*
  • billionaires: *literally don’t even work unless they feel like having fun otherwise they under-pay people to do whatever*
  • Poor People: *work 12+ hours, have several jobs*
  • Poor People: *tries to get an extra $50 on their food card*
  • Government/Society: NOW YOU POOR PEOPLE HAVE GONE TOO FAR.

anonymous asked:

yeah but macron can't win either. he was the one who made those economic policies that all the laborers protested over. i dont like either le pen or macron.

you don’t like either of them ? yeah join the fuckin club

But has there ever been a politician that represented everything you are and you believe in, down to every detail ? Hell no, we always pick the less worse of the bunch, welcome to adulthood.

It’s about making real, hard choices now, not sulking in the corner because your special snowflake interests aren’t tended to to your liking.

So when one of the candidates combines homophobia, acute xenophobia, rampant antisemitism, blatant islamophobia, internal misogyny, a reactionary ideology, a profound ignorance of economic mechanisms, a dangerous affection for authoritarian regimes, accusations of misuse of public funds and an alarming sympathy for Nazis, the choice is the easiest I ever had to make.

It’s time to stop whining now and take that country’s fate into our hands.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the whole “GMOs are bad for you” propaganda is distracting from the real problem with GMOs, which is the economically exploitative business model of Monsanto and other companies which specialize in that field. We’ve been genetically modifying food since before we even began to understand genetics. The entire cultivar of bananas we eat is genetically modified. Every cultivar of apples we eat is genetically modified. Selective breeding and other genetic modification processes to make food larger and tastier are a significant part of agriculture and have been for centuries. All the “but it’s not natural so it’s bad!” people have literally zero understanding of how the food we eat comes to be. Using more modern techniques to do the same things we’ve been doing for centuries is not scary. It’s progress. And modern genetic modification techniques allow us to develop cultivars that are larger, hardier, more resistant to disease and pests, and grow in larger quantities, which (if it weren’t for the economic issues I’m about to discuss) could allow us to feed waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more people without using much more in the way of resources.

The problem with GMOs is, as far as I know, twofold. One, there are patented genes, which should not be legal. This means that if you’re caught growing those particular versions of those crops without licensing them, you’re open to lawsuits from the patent holders. This is even true in cases where seeds from crops on neighboring properties have blown over in the wind or carried over by animals. Two, there are patented crops which are seedless, like many cultivars of different crops modified with old world techniques, that have to be repurchased from the manufacturer every season. These are also subject to the same patent laws and thus if you find a way around the need to repurchase, you are legally liable for damages to the manufacturer.

These are obviously exploitative practices which, while they do very little harm to large farms with substantial income and subsidies, hurt poor farms, especially in poorer countries. And pressure from the major Western powers, particularly the US, has assisted corporations in exploiting those poorer countries. For example, after the earthquake in Haiti, Monsanto offered a year of free seeds to Haitian farmers who lost their crops. The next year, they were expected to either pay full price for a new set of seeds or destroy any future crops. This is an unacceptable model.

The bullshit “it’s not natural!” whining about GMOs is actually harmful to prospects of correcting the economic injustices caused by the current way of handling that side of agriculture. By centering the conversation around irrational health scares, we ignore the economic exploitation, and most people never learn that it’s happening. Watch: in a few years, when studies come out proving the harmlessness of GMO crops, the discussion will be more or less laid to rest. People in general in the West, with the power to pressure their governments into legislating away these exploitative practices, will feel like there’s nothing left to fight on the issue, and the discussion will end. We need to focus on the true harm of these corporations before it’s too late.

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02/09/16 - The Economics of Life

I don’t understand how this book is both tedious and interesting at the same time??? 

+ isn’t my bookmark just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen (courtesy of my great grandmother)

  • them: if people don't have to work for anything, they wouldn't do any work, and nothing would get done
  • me: so you're telling me you do everything because you want money
  • them: yes
  • me: so like you have no hobbies or anything? You don't do art on the side or work on cars for fun or anything like that?
  • them: well hobbies don't count!!! those are things I actually enjoy doing
  • me: so ur telling me you'd willingly do something productive even if you weren't paid?
  • them: ... im sorry I can no longer read.

Remember this: that Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay.

Don’t let England silence us, like they have for the past 300 years.

They banned our language and our culture, forced us to assimilate, make fun of Gàidhlig to this day, caused the highland clearances, didnt allow Scotland to benefit economically from oil, ignored us in parliament, and overpower us every time a vote like this happens

Image: Standing Rock Protest

An open letter from Kurt Dongoske, from the January 27, 2017 Newsletter of The Archaeological Division of the American Anthropological Association: 

“For most people, the beginning of a new year offers a renewed sense of hope, happiness, and prosperity for the future. For me, as the Zuni Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and an archaeologist working in cultural resource management in the Southwest for 40 years, the dawning of 2017 brings anxiety born out of a feeling of foreboding that our future is in jeopardy. I am referring both to the future of careers in cultural resource management and the future of our environment. Normally, I’m a pretty optimistic fellow, but the results of the recent presidential election left me feeling more than pessimistic. My sense of foreboding is based, in part, on the campaign platform of the President-elect in which he promised to diminish or abolish regulations, underscored by anti-science, anti-climate change, and fact-denying rhetoric. Moreover, his recent appointments for key administrative positions heighten my apprehension. 

Once the President-elect is in office, I fully expect an executive and legislative branch assault on all environmental and historic preservation legislation and regulation that ‘industry’ currently views as unnecessary impediments to so-called 'development.’ The incoming administration most likely will move quickly to effectively promote and encourage gas, oil, and coal extraction on federal lands and couple this with a move toward seriously reducing compliance with environmental protection legislation and strong-arm tactics to any push back by environmental or professional organizations. 

Closer to home, I anticipate that the incoming administration will act to fundamentally undermine the preservation community’s commitment to protect, preserve, and interpret historical properties and cultural resources. Now more than ever, as the natural resource extraction industry is afforded unique privileges by the federal government, archaeological sites, sacred sites, traditional cultural properties and landscapes may be threatened with destruction without appropriate consideration or treatment. Any effort by the new administration to exempt categories of development projects from Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review—including reform of NEPA and the Section 106 process—will have a deleterious effect on cultural resource management. 

It is not just archaeological sites, historic properties, places, landscapes and the environment that will be threatened. A highly partisan Congress may entertain bills that seek to restrict the types of research funded under the National Science Foundation (NSF). This will cause negative reverberations throughout the academy. Even more importantly, such a change would damage historically and geographically marginalized communities that rely on the academy to make their voices, concerns, and struggles more public and to hold responsible entities more accountable. 

While the new Republican-held Congress is anticipated to work toward diminishing environmental and historic preservation regulations, they will concomitantly attempt to curtail federally required Tribal consultation by reversing previous Executive Orders on tribal consultation. Should this occur, it will have a profoundly negative effect on the ability of Tribal Nations to put forth meaningful and effective voices in the protection of their places of sacred and traditional cultural importance. One need only look at the Dakota Access Pipeline, the resistance by the Standing Rock Sioux, and the militarized response by the oil industry as an example of what may be in store for Native peoples. The othering of immigrant Mexicans and Muslims by the President-elect can be anticipated to be extended to Native Americans as a form of delegitimizing and dismissing their claims of primacy-of-association-to-landscape and to natural and cultural resources. If all of this occurs, not only will archaeological sites, traditional cultural properties and landscapes be threatened if not completely disregarded, but also it may result in the violation of basic human rights for Native Americans and their ability to secure the protection of their sacred places, cultural identities and living heritage. 

As anthropologists and archaeologists, we should be deeply troubled with the President-elect’s past and current turgidity toward dismantling or decreasing legislation that provides for the consideration and protection of clean air, clean water, and healthy ecosystems. We have a professional ethical responsibility to work collaboratively and effectively to advocate for and protect archaeological and cultural resources and to speak out and work against any and all efforts that threaten these important places. Moreover, as anthropologists we have a profound ethical responsibility to advocate on behalf of indigenous people when they are being disenfranchised from a regulatory process that has been altered to privilege oil, gas, and coal extraction efforts on their ancestral lands. 

The American Anthropological Association (AAA), the Society for American Archaeology, and the Register of Professional Archaeologists all have ethical principals or codes of conduct that define our responsibilities to the archaeological record. For example, the Society for American Archaeology’s ethical principle No. 1 calls upon all members of the Society to be “both caretakers of and advocates for the archaeological record for the benefit of all people,” and “to use the specialized knowledge they gain to promote public understanding and support for its long-term preservation.” Recently, the Society for American Archaeology’s Board of Directors issued direction to the membership (Our Ethical Principles, Our Actions: Member Responsibilities in a Time of Change) in response to what is viewed as a pending time of change. They added the following directions to the membership regarding ethical principle No. 1: 

As members, we will therefore oppose any initiatives to weaken the present legal protections of archaeological sites and materials, be these through legislative process, rewriting of agency regulations, or other means. Moreover, our stewardship responsibilities require that we support and defend initiatives aimed at mitigating the impacts on cultural heritage of accelerating climate disruptions. 

The AAA’s code of ethics speaks to our professional responsibilities to support and defend the rights of indigenous peoples and this is important for us, as anthropologists, to never forget and to be compelled to action by embracing this code. The AAA represents all anthropologists and archaeologists working in the United States and our collective economic viability and our ability to secure federal funding for academic research and cultural resource management projects likely will be under assault. It seems to me that every archaeological, anthropological, historic preservation and environmental professional organization has a dog in this fight and must be willing to speak out and lobby against any efforts to abolish or decrease environmental protection and historic preservation legislation. 

As members of professional organizations, I urge you to encourage and support our organizations to establish strong lobbying coalitions with fellow environmental organizations in order to actively and effectively thwart any legislative or executive efforts to weaken current legal protections for the environment and historic properties, places, and landscapes. As individuals, I encourage each and every one of us to act locally, at the state level and nationally by contacting your congressional representatives and senators and expressing your concerns regarding the movement to rollback regulations, for those regulations not only help to protect our collective cultural heritage and a healthy environment for generations to come, but are the backbone of providing appropriate consideration for and attention to many places that are central to the identity and ongoing traditional practices and benefits of indigenous and traditional communities.” 

TL;DR: The Trump Administration’s actions to restrict regulations in order to allow the development of energy extraction on federal lands puts at risk both natural and heritage resources, many of them nonrenewable. In cutting off federal funding and curtailing public education, it also threatens the livelihoods and free speech of scientists in many fields. The Trump Administration also presents a threat to the civil rights of Tribal Nations in cases where economic interests ignore Tribal sovereignty over matters within their own lands. It is important that the scientific community, the Tribal community, and their allies stand up to these efforts of the Trump administration (see the final paragraph of the letter for concrete actions). 

Intersectional Feminism

Intersectional feminism recognizes that all forms of oppression are connected in one way or another and that oppression of any kind cannot be remedied without addressing these connections. Oppression that stems from sexism can overlap with racial oppression or oppression that stems from sexual orientation or socio-economic status, for instance.

The way that queer women, trans women, and women of colour experience oppression is often very different than the oppression white women may experience. To say that a middle-class white, cis-gendered, able-bodied heterosexual has the same experience with oppression as a black, queer woman of low socio-economic status is to ignore the fact that the oppression both individuals may encounter do not stem solely from sexism.

White feminists are uncomfortable with this notion and prefer to play down, if not outright drown out, the argument that not all women face the same obstacles in the pursuit to having their equality recognized.

The point of intersectionality is to point out that identities cannot be separated. A black woman cannot separate her race and her gender. A trans person of colour cannot chose which part of their identity needs liberating. Types of oppression cannot be separated because they are not experienced independently of one another. Ignoring intersectionality for the sake of ‘unity’ serves to homogenize the movement by erasing identity.

The feminist movement itself is incredibly broad, encompassing many different sub-movements that relate to these identities. Addressing the intersections of oppression does not divide the movement; it makes it stronger.

6

My favorite comment:

“So the whiteys are offended because a #Boricua won the #Powerball? Let me give you a piece of my mind, and for your comfort I will do it in ENGLISH since most of you are not capable of learning a second language. We have been citizens of the US for decades, you have unknowingly adapted various parts of our culture, we have fought and won in your wars, we pay taxes (even more taxes combined than all the federal aid we receive). We speak 2+ languages and we are one of the most educated working force on the planet. That is why we are taking over Texas, Florida, New York, etc. Our state college is amongst the best in the world. Next time you talk uneducated shit about my country, remember we can tell you to fuck off in English and Spanish.”

Let me tell y'all something: America’s ignorance is unbelievable. 

Even if you think economics is ‘bourgeoisie’, why wouldn’t you want to learn it? You can argue against it all you want in the process. "To disagree, one doesn’t have to be disagreeable" (Barry Goldwater). How can you strongly argue against something you don’t deeply understand? Learn so that politicians don’t take advantage of your economic ignorance. 

Keep an open mind!