Stratfor: Cracks in Putin’s Kremlin as the stress on Russia grows

Fabius Maximus website

Summary: We tend to see the complex politics of America but assume Putin rules a simple autocracy. Here Stratfor describes the fragile Russian state, under incredible pressure from the collapse of oil prices — while a struggle appears to have begun to control its future.

Stratfor

The Kremlin’s Cracks Are All-Too Familiar

Stratfor, 27 February 2016

Summary

February 27 marks the anniversary of the assassination of Russian opposition heavyweight Boris Nemtsov. His killing sparked two weeks of intrigue in Russia’s top political circles, laying bare previously obscured Kremlin infighting and putting President Vladimir Putin’s continued control in question. The dispute, which went far beyond the death of one opposition leader or even broad factional competition, was in fact a struggle over who controls Russia’s future. In this it mirrored a three-year period of division in the early 1920s that ended in a leadership transition and set the trajectory of the Soviet…

View original post 1,538 more words

General government expenditure as % of US, British and Canadian GDP since 1960

Both the British and Canadian economies experienced major winding backs in the size of government. Only the UK, under neoliberal pawn and closet Thatcherite Tony Blair, was that undone. He is now despised by many Labour Party members including its current leader for this record.

image

Data extracted on 23 Feb 2016 07:45 UTC (GMT) from OECD.Stat.

How infectious and deadly are different diseases?

What happens with a measles outbreak depends on the level of vaccination

@economicpolicy Top incomes and the decline of unions in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand

The Economic Policy institute is spreading more nonsense again on top incomes shares and union membership.

Utopia, you are standing in it!

https://twitter.com/PoliticalSift/status/660733745092272128

The Left in the USA and the UK like to show correlations between top incomes and the decline of union membership.

I thought I would check how this hypothesis travelled to European offshoots such as Australia and New Zealand. For example, in the USA, top income shares have been increasing while union membership has been in decline since 1960.

Source: OECD Stat and Top Incomes Database.

Source: OECD Stat and Top Incomes Database.

In the UK, the relationship between union membership and top incomes is gentler than in the USA.

Source: OECD Stat and Top Incomes Database.

Source: OECD Stat and Top Incomes Database.

Moving down under, the relationship between top incomes and union membership is non-existent in New Zealand.

Source: OECD Stat and Top Incomes Database.

Source: OECD Stat and Top Incomes Database.

The same pretty much goes for…

View original post 38 more words

@BernieSanders no living wage for interns @HillaryClinton hires interns illegally

Bernie Sanders is the only presidential candidate who pays interns. He pays a princely $10.10 per hour.

Bernie Sanders pays well below the $15 living wage he expects all other employers to be by law required to pay out of their equally limited budgets. His revolution will be built on near starvation wages for the work of the worker bees.

Labour v Machines – from the developing world to Wall Street

This blog post is a good argument as to why the robots are coming, robots are coming for all our jobs is such a nonsense argument.

The robots are coming in industrialised countries is nothing like that technological transformation that will take place in less developed countries. All of them without exception who made the transition from being very poor to very rich did so with full employment.

econfix

Labour v MachinesBoth The Economist and The New York Times magazine have touched on the issue of machines now taking over the jobs of humans with the developing economies being especially vulnerable. A study from by Carl Benedikt and Michael Osborne of Oxford University found that 47% of jobs in the US were at risk to technology. However the same authors found poorer countries are at a much greater risk e.g.

% of jobs at risk

  • India – 69%
  • China – 77%
  • Ethiopia – 85%

There are two reasons for this:

  1. Jobs in the developing world tend to be less-skilled
  2. The vast majority of the production of goods and services have not yet embraced technology on a significant scale and therefore are open to change.

Having surplus labour is attractive to manufacturers as this will keep wages suppressed. However investment in robots can be repaid in less than two years so labour…

View original post 308 more words

Bring back @RusselNorman to save the planet from @NZGreens MPs carbon footprint @DBSeymour

Living the clean, green lifestyle means more than just buying carbon-offs in the same way that indulgences for sins were sold by the mediaeval Catholic Church. Russell Norman was an MP for 9 of the 12 months covered by this chart. He consistently had one of the smallest carbon footprints of a Green MP even when he was still co-leader of the Greens and not just a backbench MP.

image

Source: New Zealand Parliament – Members’ expense disclosure from 1 October to 31 December 2015.

New Zealand MP travel expenses 1 October – 31 December 2015 @DBSeymour

10 of the 14 green MPs have above-average air travel expenses – have an above average carbon footprint for a member of the New Zealand Parliament. It is not easy to be Green.

image

Source: New Zealand Parliament – Members’ expense disclosure from 1 October to 31 December 2015.

Stuff Keeps Getting Cheaper

Source: Stuff Keeps Getting Cheaper – Bloomberg View.

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