There Is Only One Empire: Finance

There is only one global empire: finance. China and the U.S. both exist within the Empire of Finance. Virtually every mercantile nation with access to global markets lives, works and thrives/dies within the Empire of Finance. Every nation that allows capital to flow into its economy is subservient to the Empire of Finance. Every nation with capital and debt markets exposed to (or dependent on) global financial flows is just another fiefdom in the Empire of Finance.There’s an entire sub-industry in journalism devoted to the idea that China is poised to replace the U.S. as the “global empire” / hegemon. This notion of global empire being something like a baton that gets passed from nation-state to nation-state is seriously misleading, in my view, for this reason:

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Amazon Earnings without Web Services Business. Are cheap prices and customer love hiding real problems?

…Amazon’s annual sales will be just a bit less than 10 percent of GDP. Since much of GDP involves areas like health care, rent, and education, areas in which Amazon does not currently have a presence, it would have to be an incredibly dominant actor in the segments of the market where it does operate.

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White Liberal Guilt, Black Opportunism and the Green Party

This peculiar kind of solidarity is an artifact of white liberal guilt and the tokenism used to assuage it. White liberals look around and see there are too few blacks, Latinas and queers in their ranks. So they pass a rule that says they should get more. They look around for available black, brown and queer heads to fill the spots. They move over and they make room. That’s called diversity, and the black brown and queer faces recruited in this scheme are tokens. A revolutionary party, a mass based party of the left, which is what some of us are trying to build the Greens into requires something entirely different…

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Beware friends bearing low prices. Amazon. Capital Destroyer, Beserker of Retail and Unemployer of Legions

Who is hunting down the brick and mortar retailers and snuffing them. And, the killing fields are growing, from 2014-2016, 12,000 stores closed. Detectives estimates that from now to 2019 the killer will strike 30,000 more times.

What if you knew who did it? Would you tell? What if your best friend was the culprit, or your spouse or child, would you tell? Or, would you not? This is not only someone you love, but they also give you huge discounts on everything! Whatever you want, you tell them and within 48 hours it’s on your doorstep

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No BS Review. Wonder Woman

There is something about popcorn, soda and Mom. We used to love going to the movies together. There were months that we saw every major release. James Bond, Mel Brooks, Sextet starring Mae West. And I remember seeing Being There with Peter Seller. I remember when the Gardener becomes a Presidential Candidate, the maid sees him on TV and say ‘It’s a white man’s world’….

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Opinion Polls. Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Polls give an appearance of “data-driven journalism”, but they are not. They make it effortless to form an opinion with no information assembly required. They are a sort of rolling referendum and their science is not in accuracy but in giving the appearance of it.

Who has unleashed these hordes of polls and why! How are political opinion polls run, who funds them and what is happening behind the curtain?

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Is Victory chocolate a human right? Tycoons and Oligarchs consecrate Universal Basic Income

Ah, the companies that care about me, and indeed, humanity, and indeeder, improving shareholder return. What a better world it would be, if they had it their way, which they likely will, and massively firing its frothy workforce, moving those lives to the public pocketbook. But, I am not a cynical type of skeptic.
Is Universal Basic Income a ‘good’ thing? Who will pay for it? Well…

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A no BS review of Amazon bookstore

I went to the Amazon Bookstore today on an errand to audit its well-being. I am wary of any store that has a greeter. I think they said ‘can I help you find a book today.’ It could have been that, I disregard panhandlers in the trains and in bookstores. I’m not new to books and stores, this isn’t my first rodeo.
Amazon Bookstore is a confectionary selling books (incidentally I give cotton candy a 2.3 score)

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The cold war. Amazon against the world. U.S. Rep Cicilline asks for hearings

Rep. David Cicilline wrote in his letter requesting hearings: (the deal) “raises important questions concerning competition policy, such as how the transaction will affect the future of retail grocery stores, whether platform dominance impedes innovation, and if the antitrust laws are working effectively to ensure economic opportunity, choice, and low prices for American families.”
and (the deal might) “increase Amazon’s online dominance, enabling it to prioritize its products and services over competitors.”

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Seneca on Values

“But he hates those who make an ungoverned use of great power suddenly acquired.” I retort that he will do the same thing as soon as he acquires the same powers. In the case of many men, their vices, being powerless, escape notice; although, as soon as the persons in question have become satisfied with their own strength, the vices will be no less daring than those which prosperity has already disclosed.
These men simply lack the means whereby they may unfold their wickedness.

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Ah the Snowflakes

…I suppose that the mania for giving publicity to one’s own life arises from the feeling that what is only private cannot be of any importance, a feeling that is promoted by the publicity given to the supposedly intimate details of the lives of celebrities. I remember that buses in Nigeria used to have little mottos painted on them that gave advice to the public, for example Let them say—in other words, take no notice of the malice of evil-sayers. Another such motto asked Why die in silence? I haven’t been to Nigeria recently, but a motto more in keeping with contemporary mores would be Why live in silence? It is as if our lives are real only insofar as other people know about them, as many as possible.

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We Do These Things Because They’re Easy: Our All-Consuming Dependence on Debt

Our national philosophy now is “we do these things because they’re easy”– and relying on debt to pay today’s expenses is at the top of the list. What’s easier than tapping a line of credit to buy whatever you want or need? Nothing’s easier than borrowing money, especially at super-low rates of interest.On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave a famous speech announcing the national goal of going to the moon by the end of the decade. (JFK’s speech on going to the moon.) In a memorable line, Kennedy said we would pursue the many elements of the space program “not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

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