January 11, 2015 | Ronda Jambe

Naomi Klein nails it again

I have some sympathy for ABC commentator Dave Hughes, a card-carrying Liberal, in his article professing confusion about his party’s direction.

He is reading Naomi Klein, and is worried about her critique that market forces won’t magically solve all the environmental issues, such as climate change.

Read it here (as the software is being naughty): www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-07/hughes-climate-change-isnt-just-a-leftist-cause/6003620

He mistakenly says she does not acknowledge the environmental failures of Communist regimes, but I referred him to page 178, where she does exactly that.

Klein is not calling for more government action. She is calling for more democracy, a rather different item.

And she doesn’t call for the replacement of capitalism, rather that the very real externalities, on people and places, be properly accounted for in a context which would allow us all to survive. Too late for the French journalists, our own victims, or the unfortunate villagers in north-eastern Nigeria, who are dying in untold numbers, perhaps thousands. Not to mention Syria, Ukraine, Pakistan…

Klein, like Christian Parenti in his Tropic of Chaos, sees the links between destroying the environment and destroying people. I’m with them, and only want the killing to stop.

But if we return to our own Prime Minister and the Liberal dilemma that troubles Dave Hughes, we have to ask where Abbott is taking us with his own confused climate change approach.

These questions are asked with no punches pulled in a recent article by Gabrielle Kuiper, who goes through the policy twists, contradictions and outcomes. She asks what his options are now that any electoral benefit in denying or ignoring the urgency has evaporated.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our government actually set policy that was in our long term interest, rather than catering to the big mining influences that may already be seeing the end of their bull run.

Certainly the fracking thrill is fading, with falling prices and high debts set to cause havoc in global banking circles.

A few weeks ago I pointed to the G20 decision to allow banks to ‘bail in’ money for failed derivative trades. Now I understand better why that was so important. The US gov has also now given banks that indulgence. Just as the banks didn’t think the sub-prime mortgages could go belly up, so they failed to consider that the price of oil could tumble so dramatically. A huge amount of derivative money is just bets on fracking.

The taxpayers will be left to pick up the bill. What’s more, the media and banks have a convenient bad guy all lined up to take the fall:


Posted by Ronda Jambe at 2:31 pm | Comments (12) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. I don’t like the phrase capitalism. It should be about truly free markets which presently don’t exist on our planet.

    They don’t exist because central banks and their protégés,create from nothing as debt, all the money to equal our toil + inflation. This means this banking system owns us and our Govts.

    The inflation created as debt is the really big killer since this money often excels the worth of our toil known as growth. Money has no intrinsic worth. It is just numbers that represents the toil and creativity of all humanity.

    The USA used to have a Constitution that gave the power of money creation to elected Govts. In 1913 the private US Federal Reserve took over the power of money creation and wars of imperialism have been the order of the day to the present.

    The BRICS nations is the opposing power to this traditional Anglo American Axis seeking world domination. BRICS have the power of production, energy and resources. The West is in social, moral and economic decay. Our Oligarchs cannot win without pressing the nuke button and presently they are very desperate.http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/06/03/ready-nuclear-war-paul-craig-roberts/

    PS I don’t trust the BRICS either since they are likely to do exactly as the US/European oligarchs are doing presently.

    Comment by Ross — January 11, 2015 @ 6:06 pm

  2. flip side of money creation is debt. That will also bring the banks undone.

    Comment by Ronda Jambe — January 11, 2015 @ 9:20 pm

  3. “Klein is not calling for more government action. She is calling for more democracy, a rather different item. And she doesn’t call for the replacement of capitalism, rather that the very real externalities, on people and places, be properly accounted for in a context which would allow us all to survive. ”

    So she’s calling for the very real externalities to be properly accounted for, but not by government.

    Okay … how?

    “I’m with them, and only want the killing to stop.”

    And what account have you take of the risk of killing as a result of government action to shut down production on a huge scale in the name of climate change?

    Klein is so economically illiterate that she calls a government monopoly of money and credit by the name of “capitalism”. So if she is genuinely that stupid, and you think she has something valuable to contribute, what makes you think you have any thing valuable to contribute?

    What are the answers to my questions?

    Why bother even discussing it if you have no interest in the truth, and are only interested in squarking your stupid opinions?

    Answer the questions:
    1. how is she going to account for the externalities without government action;, and
    2. what account have you taken of the killing of human beings as a result of the policies Klein and you support?

    Comment by Peter Hume — January 12, 2015 @ 1:25 am

  4. Rhonda those at the top of the pyramid do not care that a few banks go down, since their wealth is safe.

    Their plan was to let the $US collapse and then usher in a new Global currency via special drawing rights of the IMF. The BRICS Development Bank has put a big hole in this plan. So the USA is going to crash their $ to pay off debts to China. China also hold $4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves which it cannot spend. Jim Rickards says China has an agreement with the USA to hold down the price of gold as China buys it cheaply. China is using gold as a hedge against the $ US dollar collapse.Japan is being told to print the Yen to oblivion thus help hold up the $ US. They are hoping that Russia will collapse with the falling oil prices and get rid of Putin but low oil prices also hurts the West and could bring on an oil derivative collapse.

    Germany, France, Netherlands and others in the EU do not want to go down the toilet with the USA. I’ve heard that Germany is happy to let Greece leave the EU, default on its debt, thus bring on the EU collapse.

    So the strength of the $ US is temporary until everyone bolts for the doors. The West is now locked into money printing since the whole system collapses if they stop.

    While we don’t have much Govt debt compared to many, our private debt with over inflated house prices is very high.I think it is 2.9 times our GDP.

    The solution is to move back to Govt owned banks and create our own money for growth thus reducing taxes. I hear that Abbott wants the GST on food. You don’t shrink to greatness with this program of austerity. We will just end up like Greece.

    Comment by Ross — January 12, 2015 @ 5:31 am

  5. Peter Hume wrote;
    “Klein is so economically illiterate that she calls a government monopoly of money and credit by the name of “capitalism”. So if she is genuinely that stupid, and you think she has something valuable to contribute, what makes you think you have any thing valuable to contribute?”

    Rather rude!

    Keynes pointed out, fallaciously, how ridiculous it was to dig holes to find a metal to use as a currency. Who then should supply and control a currency other than a national sovereign government(an SG)? We have a successful fiat currency controlled by a Reserve Bank owned by our elected SG. The money is in demand because the government will accept no other in settlement of taxes and charges.

    Certainly too often the frailty of individuals and the leaders of the group leads that government to do things that are not in the best interests of the citizenry often because big business has the ear of the politicians and has too much influence through the media.

    If you think you know better than Klein I suggest that you read the bibliography and acknowledgements in her book, that is if you have read the actual book. Before you comments on such things you need to do the reading.

    If you think the Sovereign Governments have no role you need to read Professor Mariana Mazzucato’s excellent book The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths. I am hopeful that you would understand it and learn something.

    Comment by John Turner — January 12, 2015 @ 9:54 am

  6. I didn’t mention the problems with banks. Banks only create exactly balancing amounts of assets and liabilities. Their loans tend to cause asset value inflation.

    When any one bank ceases to be adequately prudential in its lending decisions then the risk of a Gresham Dynamic developing increases. Once that happens a financial crisis will develop. Bank regulation was aimed at ensuring that that dynamic would not develop. The GFC showed just how disastrous consequences are likely to follow from inadequate regulation. Banking cannot be a competitive industry.

    Chifley lost power largely because the banks resisted privatization but on assuming power Menzies lost no time in establishing strong and effective regulation of the whole banking system.

    Howard didn’t have enough sense to resist the bankers’ pressure to deregulate. Hence the 2008 debacle.

    Comment by John Turner — January 12, 2015 @ 10:13 am

  7. There are worse things than an oil derivative collapse.
    I mean, speculators, with massively deep pockets, have for decades kept energy prices artificially high in order to make a killing/sustain a market, and if these are the ones that pay the price rather than struggling economies, well about time!

    Yes to a completely free market; which to me means a buyer and a seller, and few if any in between; least of all profit demanding middle mean, who between them all but double the cost of living; maintain unnecessarily high levels of harmful inflation, and power up the damaging and eternal price, wage, cost spiral!

    And so called democracy is all but genuinely impossible, along with genuine accountability, if a massively abused preferential voting system routinely defies the will of the people, and returns nominees, as much as 85% of the electorate rejected!

    Proportional representation or primary and secondary elections, to more fairly and democratically, decide outcomes and make our so called Representatives, truly accountable! Yes please!

    If you can defy the peoples’ judgment, by massively manipulated outcomes, via preference swaps; then our so called democracy, is little more than a giant scam!

    True accountability would make a very pleasant change from virtual dictatorships foisted upon us, by a massively manipulated system, where almost anybody except the voter/taxpayer, gets to decide outcomes.
    No tax without representation!

    Nor should the rich and powerful maintain an ability to decide/buy elections, by throwing money or controlling the flow of information; or for that matter, disinformation or endless innuendo.

    I mean throw enough mud and some of us will think that the accused has a case to answer.

    It has been a very long time since we thought of the mainstream media as true champions of justice, exposing the crooks, crims and shonks in our midst; but in too many reported cases, joining their ranks!?

    [I say Molly, isn’t this chap’s private email interesting? Can you believe that sexual appetite, and or, those sexual preferences? He did what with who!?]

    Nonessential profit demanding middlemen, also helps to grow poverty, and or the sheer numbers asked to unnecessarily endure it.

    And it’s not just the private sector infected by this unearned/undeserved easy money disease!?

    We also need to get back to the social compact, and an inherent sense of fair play, and common Christian decency!

    Regardless of accumulated wealth, we leave this world with what we brought into it!
    And reportedly, rich Australians are the meanest in the world, and it seems, those who represent their so called interests?

    A couple of whimsical wanders that come to mind, would be none the worse for donating two of their daily feasts to the poor and homeless?

    Surely, if wealth has any purpose, then it must be making a difference for those who are asked to endure enduring generational poverty.

    Helping these people to climb out from under, just makes perfect economic sense, in as much; as their means are progressed, so also are their ability to become target markets/trading partners and what have you.

    Nobody but nobody, whether rich or poor, is assisted in any way, shape or form by austerity, but each and every one of them is helped by the forced removal of the profit demanding middle man.

    A phenomena at complete odds with a genuine Christian ethos.

    It is written, the only time the Christian master lost his impeccable cool, is when he whipped the money changers (profit demanding middlemen) from the temple, with the evocation, how dare you defile my father’s house.

    We need genuine tax reform and massive simplification!
    Any real harm done by that is completely offset by the recreation of a peoples bank.

    That bank needs to be tasked primarily, with providing very low cost venture capital, and invest in our own people and their better ideas; preferably via the cooperative model.

    People need to be accountable and own their own behavior, rather than playing the eternal victim, and or sitting around with a hand out, all while refusing real jobs!

    And we need to understand that trees are just harvestable plants that store carbon whether vertical or horizontal; and need to be sensibly and sustainably managed; not turned into yet another entirely illogical sacred cow!
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — January 12, 2015 @ 10:16 am

  8. We are in agreement John Turner. Peter Hume needs to apologise for his rudeness. You can make a better point using logic rather than derision.

    Goldman Sachs has threatened Greece with a bank holiday if they vote the wrong way. This means a Cyprus style “bail in” of bank accounts. Goldman Sachs were instrumental in eliminating the Glass Steagall Act which would have stopped this debacle. http://www.alternet.org/economy/how-goldman-sachs-may-provoke-yet-another-major-financial-crisis

    China and Russian would not be fleeing to precious metal if responsible people were controlling the money supply. Fiat money can work if it is truly democratic allowing all of society to share in its creation. The current situation is a disaster and our leaders are in denial to how serious it is.

    Comment by Ross — January 12, 2015 @ 8:05 pm

  9. Yes Ross, and something of a worry for ordinary mums and dads, when their modest savings can be forfeit in favor of worthless derivatives, when bankrupt or insolvent banks are wound up.

    And good on the often critiqued federal govt for requiring the big banks to carry as much in cash reserves, as their much smaller competitors.

    And if a tiny country the size of Greece can bring the world to its financial knees, by reneging on its debt?

    What will be the case, when the USA does?

    I mean, does anyone seriously believe that the US can ever repay the massive debt they’ve created, and just to stop another even more serious Great depression, from wiping out a once great economy.

    Maybe if they print enough money, they can pay off their debts with it?

    At some point people everywhere, but mostly ordinary Americans are going to have to say, thus far and no farther.

    No more farm bills to prop up wall street farmers, no more debt creation that ordinary folk are expected to pay, just so billionaires and the indolent rich can pay half the comparative tax of their long suffering work forces.

    And we cannot allow ourselves and our resources to be sacrificed and used up, just to enable the US to draw down some of its debt.

    Charity begins at home, ours and theirs!

    Foreign investments are fine and good, unless they come as debt funded speculation, that leaves us like Ireland, holding the proverbial can!

    And something needs to be done about home grown investment, to prevent homegrown carpet baggers from buying the blood sweat and tears of generations, for a song. [Perhaps if the shoe were on the other foot?]

    Just so some very rich folks can hedge their mineral bets with investments in agricultural land!

    According to the link you generously provided, thank you, had ether Greece or Ireland had the good sense to retain their own currency and the gold standard.

    The likes of Goldman Sachs just wouldn’t have been able to effectively blackmail them into giving worthless derivatives, more seniority than senior depositors.

    Even during the Great Depression, senior depositors had priority, and were eventually able to recover most of their money.

    Not so today, with clever young (wall street) people and their mountains of largely worthless derivatives getting priority and only due to the extreme power now handed banks, by the sovereign nations, they allegedly serve?

    Depositors seniority must be enshrined in law, least we also are blackmailed into the condition made infamous in Cyprus!

    We who still mine mucho plenty gold, could do a lot worse than return to the Gold standard, preferably before China does, and thus prevent powerful merchant bankers and their purse strings from deciding our financial future and our place in the global market.

    And those decisions cannot be allowed to be decided by mindless mantras, but rather, Lee Kwan Yu type pragmatism.

    In which case we’d jettison the dog’s breakfast of a tax system in favor of a single stand alone unavoidable one, [can’t died in a cornfield over a century ago,] and begin in earnest, to roll out publicly owned and operated thorium power; and the cheapest industrial energy in the world, that that paradigm would create.

    Now that’s the way to produce massive record economic growth which can then be used to progressively draw down debt!

    Why, even debt funded projects committed to by a government almost drowning in their war debts, will as demonstrated, in time repay themselves; just as the completely unaffordable snowy mountain’s scheme did!
    Alan B Goulding

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — January 13, 2015 @ 10:27 am

  10. Very scary if there is a cabal that would let the $US collapse, and who knows where our overpriced houses and private debt will take us?

    Lots of food for thought in these comments, and I will try to get hold of the book by Mazzucato.

    Mr Hume, the others have responded to some of your issues. Neither I nor NK said there is no role for government; the trick is to make governments truly answerable to the people, rather than vested interests. Do you see the difference?

    And I don’t know what you mean by hurting people by cutting production, when the real harm is coming by stifling the new energy economy of renewables, which has the potential to create far more wealth and jobs than the extractive industries.

    Comment by Ronda Jambe — January 13, 2015 @ 2:06 pm

  11. This sentence from Klein captures much of what I admire so much about her writing: (p 347) “We know that we are trapped within an economic system that has it backward; it behaves as if there is no end to what is actually finite (clean water, fossil fuels, and the atmospheric space to absorb their emissions) while insisting that there are strict and immovable limits to wehat is actually quite flexible: the financial resources that human institutions manufacture, and that, if imagined differently, could build the kind of caring society we need.”

    Comment by Ronda Jambe — January 13, 2015 @ 2:39 pm

  12. Rhonda no one is looking at the long term costs of our present economic philosophy. I was reading that the total cost of a BIG MAC is $250 when considering all the production and health costs to our communities.

    Our Govts should be looking at quality foods for better health rather than remedial short term chemical solutions that treat the symptoms rather than the cause of disease. If people had good knowledge about their food and what’s good for their health,we would not need this over expensive health system and people would live better and longer. This however does not shore up the profits of big Pharma.

    We are just beginning to wake up to how corrupted and perverted our present system has become. Corporatism has taken over our Govts and in a world of plenty,many struggle for survival.

    Comment by Ross — January 13, 2015 @ 6:21 pm

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