One thing you don't hear too much about in the primary fights so far is.....Iraq....

Oh yeah, before you start, I'm not saying that nothing is said about this issue or that the citizenry does not rank this festering sore created by Mr. Decider, 'Lil Boots', George W. Bush, America's Greatest Conservative President God save him and keep him safe in Paraguay....home of all fascist scum. Nor am I going to continue arguing with those who say that since the One Million Iraqis killed by Herr Leader are not Amerikkkan citizens that we, you and I, homer are not living in a Fascist State. Nope....I just want to bring your attention, as I have many times before, to the most important of all measures for Amerikkka.

That would be the geetus, cabbage, know the cash. Here is a quote from: The True Cost of War a book by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes reviewed for the Guardian by Aida Edemariam which sets the scene for the writing of this book here:

'Some time in 2005, Stiglitz and Linda Blimes, who also served as an economic adviser under Clinton, noted that the official Congressional Budget Office estimate for the cost of the war so far was of the order of $500bn. The figure was so low, they didn't believe it, and decided to investigate. The paper they wrote together, and published in January 2006, revised the figure sharply upwards, to between $1 and $2 trillion. Even that, Stiglitz says now, was deliberately conservative: "We didn't want to sound outlandish."'

Well me and malcontent, then writing as -c were not so shy. We posted:

The Profiteers back in 2006

I blogged about Stiglitz and the cost of war back in:

Military Keynseianism: A Slideshow for yer Wingnut Friends back in 2007

And of course I went right to the dirty, corrupt heart of Amerikkka with my post:

Military Keynesianism: What is that and why should I care?

And superawesomestuff pointed out the following:

One Of Many Costs Of The War

I pointed out some facts here:

The Stink of Money: DOD Version

Back to Edemariam's review. Stiglitz describes the Republican pushback on his original 2005 work:

'So what did the Republicans say? "They had two reactions," Stiglitz says wearily. "One was Bush saying, 'We don't go to war on the calculations of green eye-shaded accountants or economists.''

Stiglitz a vocal critic of the World Bank and not a shy or retiring went back to the records and from lots of hard work a picture emerged which, to those of us familiar with the Liar-in-Chief, was not a surprise:

'Stiglitz and Bilmes dug deeper, and what they have discovered, after months of chasing often deliberately obscured accounts, is that in fact Bush's Iraqi adventure will cost America - just America - a conservatively estimated $3 trillion. The rest of the world, including Britain, will probably account for about the same amount again. And in doing so they have achieved something much greater than arriving at an unimaginable figure: by describing the process, by detailing individual costs, by soberly listing the consequences of short-sighted budget decisions, they have produced a picture of comprehensive obfuscation and bad faith whose power comes from its roots in bald fact. Some of their discoveries we have heard before, others we may have had a hunch about, but others are completely new - and together, placed in context, their impact is staggering. There will be few who do not think that whatever the reasons for going to war, its progression has been morally disquieting; following the money turns out to be a brilliant way of getting at exactly why that is.'

Bold by me. As malcontent will tell you the 'why' of the Iraq War and continuing occupation despite the large majority of Americans who want us out takes us to the various and sundry underlying reasons our government is no longer responsive to the needs, desires even the will of the people.

Hopefully, the upcoming clash between the Democratic nominee and the 'uber-Hawk' 'Reverse Ace' John McCaine will throw some light on some very dark and heinous goings on under the pathetically tattered flag of 'Promoting Democracy' I can assure you that malcontent and I will be on the scene to attempt to do justice to story so dark, bloody and dire that many don't even want to hear it.

This quote should give you taste of the unpalatable truth everyone is gonna have to face in the near future. Except for 'Lil' Boots chillin' in Paraguay because Miss Nancy and 'SellOut' Reid were in on the scam. Here ya go:

'But the rising price of oil has also meant, according to Stiglitz and Bilmes, that the cost to oil-importing industrial countries in Europe and the Far East is now about $1.1 trillion. And to developing countries it has been devastating: they note a study by the International Energy Agency that looked at a sample of 13 African countries and found that rising oil prices have "had the effect of lowering the average income by 3% - more than offsetting all of the increase in foreign aid that they had received in recent years, and setting the stage for another crisis in these countries". Stiglitz made his name by, among other things, criticizing America's use of globalization as a bully pulpit; now he says flatly, "Yes, that's part of being in a global economy. You make a mistake of this order, and it affects people all over the world."

And the borrowed trillions have to come from somewhere. Because "the saving rate [in America] is zero," says Stiglitz, "that means that you have to finance [the war] by borrowing abroad. So China is financing America's war." The US is now operating at such a deficit, in fact, that it doesn't have the money to bail out its own banks. "When Merrill Lynch and Citibank had a problem, it was sovereign funds from abroad that bailed them out. And we had to give up a lot of shares of our ownership. So the largest shareowners in Citibank now are in the Middle East. It should be called the MidEast bank, not the Citibank." This creates a precedent of dependence, "and whether we become dependent on Middle East oil money, or Chinese reserves - it's that dependency that people ought to worry about. That is a big change. The amount of borrowing in the last eight years, on top of the borrowing that began with Reagan - that has all changed the US's economic position in the world."'

And when Stiglitz says, '.....that has all changed the US's economic position in the world'. He does not mean it's changed for the better folks.
How long does McCain, Clinton or Obama think this can go on?

The amount the US spends on the monthly running costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - on top of regular defence spending

The amount paid by every US household every month towards the current operating costs of the war

The amount Halliburton has received in single-source contracts for work in Iraq

The annual cost to the US of the rising price of oil, itself a consequence of the war

$3 trillion
A conservative estimate of the true cost - to America alone - of Bush's Iraq adventure. The rest of the world, including Britain, will shoulder about the same amount again

Cost of 10 days' fighting in Iraq

$1 trillion
The interest America will have paid by 2017 on the money borrowed to finance the war

The average drop in income of 13 African countries - a direct result of the rise in oil prices. This drop has more than offset the recent increase in foreign aid to Africa

Even the dope dealers on the corners of every American city know that this sort of cash drain can't be goin' on for too much longer. Are Amerikkka's leaders dumber than an illiterate fool on the corner with bag of rock and a nine?



Quest for Oil

If you haven't read it, I recommend: The Prize : The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power, by Daniel Yergin.

This is not an "anti" anything book but is an incredible detailed history of world domination the oil economy and the resulting politics.

On Iraq, assuming they were going after grabbing oil markets and so on, I still don't see how that adds up to the current costs. It has to be the entire privatization agenda.

It would be nice is someone calculated out the % drop in income for Americans due to oil and if anyone noticed Dubai is talking about not using the dollar against their own currency recently.

Yes, I am familiar with that book... fellow blogger malcontent is heavily into the hidden connections and agendas revolving around the 'financialization' of global politics. If that's the right way to say it.


I'm more into things such as:

Solar Grand Plan

As weapons to use against the individuals, groups and cabals who are engineering the stratification of wide.

'When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck to crush him.'

you got that one right

the re-engineering the stratification of global wealth.

Yes, energy economics is another topic that is so full of confusion, bloggers clarifying on which one is economically viable and more importantly is the true energy creation vs. the cost of more consequences in production that I have yet to swim through.

I'll be taking a crack at those topics....

........seems to me that the politicians are gonna need a crash course in this. The old 'graft and spend' techniques just are not gonna cut it anymore.

'When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck to crush him.'

Introduction to 'Complexity Economics': Wherein A.Citizen discov

I finally finished The Origin of Wealth by Eric D. Beinhocker. It will soon be available in our Brain Food section.Why did I read this book? Well, Matt Stoller mentioned it at OpenLeft and I thought it sounded interesting. And was it ever! Thanks Matt for the tip.

Many of you have heard my 'Theory of Pie' as it applies to differentiating between progressives and 'conservatives', at least if you came to the meetings you would have. It goes like this:

'When a 'conservative' or libertarian sees someone about to slice up a nice juicy lookin' pie they immediately become concerned that there won't be enough pie for them to have a piece. The 'conservative' immediately calls upon government to seize the pie by passing confiscatory pie taxes and then using tax law give the pie to him, the Libertarian asserts that there must be a 'Free Market for Pie' not subject to any regulation whatsoever. He plans to 'corner the market' in pie and never be without pie again.

The progressive scratches his head wondering at the behavior of the 'conservative' and libertarian's actions and sets about planning to make more pie. He has a good recipe form his mom and figures he can easily make plenty of pie for everyone.

That's my 'theory of pie'. Now, from very near the conclusion of Beinhocker's book we have:

'As agents(people) follow cultural norms they interact, and create complex dynamics. For example, let's examine the interplay between those who believe the world is a zero-sum game and those who see it as non-zero-sum game. If your beliefs are biased toward seeing the world as zero-sum game, then our objective will be to get your slice of the pie. You will view someone else's gain as your loss, and your proclivity to cooperate will be low. Rather than searching for new, more complex, and wealth-creating cooperative activities, people will invest their energies in finding ways to capture a greater share of the existing wealth. It is not hard to imagine that thievery, dishonesty, and corruption will be higher in such a non-zero-sum society. The moral attitudes around such activities will also be different: for example, theft might be viewed as 'I'm just taking my fair share...' from someone who has more than his or her rightful share.'

A certain similarity there I'd say. So far so good thinks I. I've been on the right track all along in my perspective on the vile, 'conservative' world view it would seem.. But the author goes on to set my hair on end fire with this paragraph:

'Now imagine a (society) in which some (Conservatives) think the economic pie is fixed, while others (Progressives) have a non-zero-sum view.....When researchers model (using computers) the dynamics (of such societies), they often find there is a tipping point: once a society is past a threshold ratio of noncooperators (guess who they might be) versus cooperators (Progressives) in a population, it becomes very hard to maintain large scale cooperation (median wealth), resulting in a 'poverty trap'(see Great Depression).

This is not the blatherings of some fringe economist. Note who published this book for one thing. The footnotes and Googling and my opinion is that this guy is the real deal and he's talkin' revolution. The author contends that a paradigm shift in the theory and practice of economics is upon us that will impact our lives in a manner similar to the application of the scientific method to the physical sciences.

Most people called that the 'Industrial Revolution'.

'When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck to crush him.'

eek! McKinsey Global Institute

is a think tank basically they writes up "studies" that are usually fundamentally flawed to promote McKinsey's offshore outsourcing business.

I haven't read this but he is a fellow there so immediately I am highly suspect.

Similarly Friedman's "flat world" is more he is taking dictation from his CEO pals who have their own agenda.

So, I'd have to read this but so often the spin the global labor arbitrage agenda as some sort of high ideal. Take trade for example, the reality from NAFTA is it has lowered wages standards of living for workers in all three countries involved yet increased the profits of multinationals.