Dispatches from the Other Side of Despair by The Other Katherine Harris

The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris

Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

The Other Katherine Harris’s blog
Nov. 2, 2007

“Where does one go from a world of insanity?
Somewhere on the other side of despair.”
~ T.S. Eliot, from his play The Family Reunion

Alongside the surfeit of Getting It Wrong that prevails in our world of insanity, a couple of countries have gotten two crucial things right. There’s much we could learn from Argentina and from Iceland about how to deal with our economic and energy crises, respectively. But trust our media not to report these good news stories well, since they fly in the face of what passes here for wisdom.

Dispatch 1: Argentina. Only the LA Times seems to have acknowledged the sheer sense behind Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s presidential win last week. Her party and that of her husband, the previous president, grew the nation’s economy by more than 50 percent in the past five and half years — making it the Western Hemisphere’s fastest-growing — while liberating more than 11 million people (28 percent of the population) from the abject poverty that befell them under the evil sway of the IMF/World Bank’s gang of looters. Yeah, by defaulting on $100 billion in crippling debt at the end of 2001, they lost foreign investment and the ability to borrow directly in international bond markets, but those proved no great losses. The recovery didn’t require strong exports, either; they contributed only about 13 percent to the result. All it took was, as Mark Weisbrot put it, getting “basic macroeconomic policies right” — which meant reining in an overvalued currency that favored artificially cheap imports, while keeping interest rates low enough to promote growth, never mind inflation. Thus the Kirchners and their colleagues achieved average annual growth that, at 8.2 percent, was more than twice the average for Latin American nations. Further, wages have soared by more than 40 percent (adjusted for inflation).

Sounds like heaven from where most Americans sit, having steadily lost buying power and benefits for 30 years, doesn’t it? And yet we keep being told that our only possible future lies in pandering to giant transnationals and even paying them to ship our jobs offshore. In the Argentinan version of the word, mierda del toro.

Dispatch 2:  Iceland.  Back in the 1970s, when our effed-up government inflicted Pinochet on Chile and everything in South America started going swiftly to hell for all but a tyrannical elite, Iceland was one of the world’s poorest nations.  Now it’s one of the most affluent, ranked fifth in GDP per capita, based on three decades of utterly sane energy policy. We were making headway in that arena, ourselves, until Reagan pulled the plug on developing solar, wind and other energy alternatives that vied with what his buddies were selling. Come recently to our shores bearing the gospel of geothermal energy, Iceland’s President Olafur Grimmson said we’re also sitting on goldmines of the stuff. According to Byron White, writing for The Daily Reckoning a few days ago, Grimmson told both a Harvard audience and members of our (unreasonably uninformed) Senate that the U.S. sits atop “the second-largest geothermal resources in the world” — more than highly volcanic Iceland has and yet Grimmson’s folk are “heat-mining” so effectively that foreign companies have queued up to obtain such cheap electricity. “Fully 100% of Iceland’s electricity now comes from renewable sources, geothermal and hydroelectric,” wrote White, “and almost all buildings … are heated with geothermal energy … (A)bout 72% of … energy usage is tied to geothermal sources, which eliminates essentially all carbon emissions and dramatically reduces reliance on imported fossil fuels.” Citing a second source, Walter Snyder, director of the Intermountain West Hydrothermal Consortium, White added that “known but untapped sites in Western states could be developed within a reasonable time to produce … the equivalent (of) about 15 nuclear power plants or 30 coal-fired plants.” And Snyder imparted that information to the same Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources a year ago!

So why do you reckon we’re being railroaded into subsidizing lunatic alternatives like filthy coal, immensely dangerous nuclear power and biofuels that experts warn will starve the world’s poorest people and are already contributing to sharply rising hunger in America?

Here in the world of insanity, Andrea Hopkins wrote for Reuters on October 30: “The Hormel Hunger Survey released on Monday … found 64 percent of Americans believe US hunger has worsened in the last year, with 13 percent saying they or someone in their family had gone to bed hungry in the past month. Sixty percent said they have had to cut back on the quality or quantity of food they buy because of higher prices, while 29 percent said they expected to ask for food from a food bank or other charitable organization in the future.”


Biofuel: Another Flawed Policy (video)

The Greater Depression By Doug Casey

Dandelion Salad

By Doug Casey
Chairman, CaseyResearch.com
09/27/07 “
Financial Sense™ “

Let me cover the big picture. I do think we’re approaching the end of the world as we know it…I think there is such thing as the business cycle. It exists. And we’ve had the longest expansion – and the strongest expansion – in the world history. But we’re at the end of a 25-year boom. It’s gone on more than a full generation now. And I’ll tell you how it’s going to end: It’s going to end with a depression, and not just a depression; not just another Great Depression; it’s going to be the Greater Depression.

What’s a depression, incidentally? It’s a period of time when distortions and misallocations of capital are liquidated; that’s called a depression. Over the last 25 years, distortions and misallocations of capital have produced an artificial boom. But when these distortions and misallocations of capital are liquidated, we’ll get a depression.

Another general definition of a depression is this: a period of time when most people’s standard of living goes down significantly. Now, for the long run, there’s no question in my mind the standard of living of everybody on earth is going to go up immensely over the next hundred years. Immensely. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to have setbacks, and I think we’re looking at one: A severe standard of living drop. So the economic picture is not going to be good…

So what should you be doing about all this? I suggest you really internationalize yourself. I think what you ought to have is your citizenship in one country, your bank account in another country, your investments in a third, and live in a fourth. You’ve got to internationalize yourself. Most people out there are like medieval serfs, psychologically and physically: they’re born some place, they don’t go very far from it and that’s where they die, and they’re going to get exactly what they deserve. Well, you can’t be that way. I think you ought to treat the world as your oyster.

What am I doing about this? I’ve been all over the world. I guess I’ve lived in 12 countries now. And out of 175, I’ve been to most of them, numerous times actually. What am I doing, where do I want to go, where am I living?

Well, in New Zealand. I went there a few years ago for the polo, actually, and the reason was that playing polo there was about 10% what it cost me in Palm Beach, and I liked it better. So we bought a lot of real estate. But since then, the currency has doubled and the real estate within that currency has doubled at least. So I’m getting out of New Zealand. Where am I going now? I’m going to Argentina.

And let me give you a tip, okay? Forget about Europe, it’s going to become a petting zoo. It’s like Disneyland with real stones instead of paper Mache stones. I mean, Europe is on the slippery slope. I wouldn’t touch Europe with a ten-foot pole. If this war with Islam gets out of control, Europe is going to be an epicenter. It’s going to be a disaster. I’ll tell you where you ought to look. Argentina is the place to be. It’s the cheapest country in the world. It has low population, incredibly beautiful, the climate is great. One hundred years ago, it was in competition with the US for being the best place in the world and the richest place. But it went downhill radically, radically.

But let me tell you something. It’s turning around I think. And what’s going to happen is driven by the fact that everything in Argentina costs between 10% to 30% of what it costs in North America. That’s correct. It’s that cheap. It’s free. It’s free. It’s free for us as North Americans. But the Europeans really think it’s free with that strong Euro. So you’re getting a massive immigration from rich Europeans that can see the handwriting on the wall and like it down there. And I really like it down there. It’s just a great society, great society, great place to hang out, prices are right. I mean this can solve most of your investment problems right there, just by transplanting yourself, if you’ve got some capital.

Furthermore, Argentina is going to be insolated from WWIII to a good extent.

Hope to see you down there!

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Naomi Klein: The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007)

Dandelion Salad

[replaced video July 12, 2011]

1:33:37- 2007

Award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author, Naomi Klein, talks about her latest book, “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”.


 on Apr 24, 2011 Continue reading