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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:16 am

+JMJ+

Between the markets and mercy: New book looks at the Church and neoliberalism
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Leonardo DiCaprio stars in a scene from the movie "The Wolf of Wall Street." (Credit: CNS photo/Paramount.)

In his analysis of neoliberalism, Pope Francis diagnoses our cultural situation as one in which many people devote themselves to the idol of money, choosing mammon over God. He identifies how “the faceless economy” distorts our values, what we give time and energy to, and what we are able to see or not.

[Editor’s Note: Matthew Eggemeier is associate professor at the College of the Holy Cross. He teaches courses on political and liberation theologies, ecological theology, and Catholic theology. He is currently completing a book titled, Ekklesial Resistance: Radical Democracy and Political Theology, and is co-authoring (with Peter Fritz) a book on Catholicism and neoliberal capitalism. The book, titled Send Lazarus: Capitalism, Catholicism, and the Politics of Mercy, is currently under consideration for publication in 2019 by Fordham University Press. He spoke to Charles Camosy about capitalism and the Church.]

Camosy: There seems to be growing sense of unease with capitalism. From ongoing discussions about income equality and taxation, to Pope Francis’s forceful criticisms of the market, the topic is very much a live one. So your project seems particularly timely.

Eggemeier: Yes, but my co-author and I have a long-time interest in economic justice. This led us to offer team-taught courses at the College of the Holy Cross on Catholic social teaching and capitalism. Our courses created a space for students to carefully evaluate the capitalist world in which they live in light of moral and theological concerns.

As we taught them, we were struck that while Catholic social teaching says many affirmative things about capitalism in general, it uniformly opposes capitalism’s most recent variant, neoliberalism. Scholars and journalists tend not to make this important distinction between capitalism and neoliberalism, and as of yet there are no systematic analyses of the Catholic tradition’s response to neoliberalism.

We want to mark that distinction and to describe neoliberalism’s distinctive threats to creation, human persons, and Catholic life.

So, you see an important distinction between capitalism and neoliberalism?

Yes. But maybe first I should say what neoliberalism is not. It’s not “new progressivism” or “new leftism.” Instead, it’s a name for a new form of capitalism.

Its first theorists were political conservatives who wanted to defend capitalism (economic liberalism: free markets) from government intervention. For them, the state should be used not to intervene in markets, but to create and sustain them.

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher adopted this approach to government. Eventually, with Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and others neoliberalism was also adopted by politicians on the “left.” Now, this new capitalism is everywhere. …

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
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Re: Economics

Post by Del » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:49 am

wosbald wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:16 am
+JMJ+

Between the markets and mercy: New book looks at the Church and neoliberalism
Image
Leonardo DiCaprio stars in a scene from the movie "The Wolf of Wall Street." (Credit: CNS photo/Paramount.)

In his analysis of neoliberalism, Pope Francis diagnoses our cultural situation as one in which many people devote themselves to the idol of money, choosing mammon over God. He identifies how “the faceless economy” distorts our values, what we give time and energy to, and what we are able to see or not.

[Editor’s Note: Matthew Eggemeier is associate professor at the College of the Holy Cross. He teaches courses on political and liberation theologies, ecological theology, and Catholic theology. He is currently completing a book titled, Ekklesial Resistance: Radical Democracy and Political Theology, and is co-authoring (with Peter Fritz) a book on Catholicism and neoliberal capitalism. The book, titled Send Lazarus: Capitalism, Catholicism, and the Politics of Mercy, is currently under consideration for publication in 2019 by Fordham University Press. He spoke to Charles Camosy about capitalism and the Church.]

Camosy: There seems to be growing sense of unease with capitalism. From ongoing discussions about income equality and taxation, to Pope Francis’s forceful criticisms of the market, the topic is very much a live one. So your project seems particularly timely.

Eggemeier: Yes, but my co-author and I have a long-time interest in economic justice. This led us to offer team-taught courses at the College of the Holy Cross on Catholic social teaching and capitalism. Our courses created a space for students to carefully evaluate the capitalist world in which they live in light of moral and theological concerns.

As we taught them, we were struck that while Catholic social teaching says many affirmative things about capitalism in general, it uniformly opposes capitalism’s most recent variant, neoliberalism. Scholars and journalists tend not to make this important distinction between capitalism and neoliberalism, and as of yet there are no systematic analyses of the Catholic tradition’s response to neoliberalism.

We want to mark that distinction and to describe neoliberalism’s distinctive threats to creation, human persons, and Catholic life.

So, you see an important distinction between capitalism and neoliberalism?

Yes. But maybe first I should say what neoliberalism is not. It’s not “new progressivism” or “new leftism.” Instead, it’s a name for a new form of capitalism.

Its first theorists were political conservatives who wanted to defend capitalism (economic liberalism: free markets) from government intervention. For them, the state should be used not to intervene in markets, but to create and sustain them.

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher adopted this approach to government. Eventually, with Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and others neoliberalism was also adopted by politicians on the “left.” Now, this new capitalism is everywhere. …
I can't determine if this is really as dreadful as it sounds.

If this is a Catholic criticism of government and free markets, why doesn't the author include mention of "spaces" for Belloc and Chesterton in the midst of his academic jargon? Is his study of Pope Francis's theological dabbling in economics grounded in well-developed social and economic teachings of Pope Leo XIII (Rerum novarum), Pius XI (Quadragesimo anno), and John Paul II (Centesimo Anno)?

I doubt it.

From the article:
As we see it, Catholicism and neoliberalism ultimately offer completely divergent visions of life. We worry that neoliberalism is overtaking Catholicism in its influence1, and to disastrous effect.

We intervene theologically, hoping that our fellow Catholics will recognize this situation, resist neoliberalism’s advance by reclaiming politics and everyday life from the market2, and direct their lives toward enacting God’s mercy.

Concretely, we are concerned with neoliberalism’s practical effects, how the neoliberal social system intensifies sinful and merciless behaviors.

In Send Lazarus we analyze four crises intensified by neoliberalism: Climate change, the worldwide proliferation of slums, mass incarceration, and mass deportation.3
1) He seems to understand that secular values have overrun the guiding principles of our once-great Christendom. (What was his first clue?)

2) He seems to think that big corporations have overtaken our government. I suspect that he doesn't quite see that we have let our government grow too large, as well as our business -- and it is the willful collaboration of Big Gov and Big Bizz that defines his "neoliberalism."

3) He identifies some problems of our age. But I fear that he straining leftist principles through a Catholic sieve to get his position, rather than applying Catholic thinking directly. The word "family" or "families" only appears one time in the article, and that in a question by the interviewer. I have an inkling that this professor does not talk about families, marriages, or children often.
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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:06 am

+JMJ+

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"The Catholic Thread": pg 119 / pg 119 / pg119 / pg119
"I'm Starting to like this Pope": pg 65



Catholic teaching on economics about the human person, academic says [In-Depth]
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(Credit: Pixabay.)

[Editor’s Note: Dr. Mary Hirschfeld is Associate Professor of Economics and Theology in the Department of Humanities at Villanova University. She holds Ph.D.s in economics (Harvard, 1989) and theology (Notre Dame, 2013). Her work is along the borderline between economics and theology. In addition to having published numerous articles, she is the author of Aquinas and the Market: Toward a Humane Economy (Harvard University Press, 2018), which has been awarded the 2019 Economy and Society International Award by the Fondazione Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice. She spoke to Charles Camosy about the current debate over socialism and capitalism taking place in the United States.]

Camosy: Lots of talk about socialism in the news these days. Bernie Sanders is a front-runner for president. Younger people say they are increasingly skeptical of capitalism and much more open to socialism. But I also get the sense that these terms aren’t being used with much precision. Speaking as a student of economics, what is socialism?

Hirschfeld: “Socialism” is not an analytical term in economics. Instead, economists would use more precise terms to pick up various institutional features one might call “socialism.” So you can find economic analysis of central planning, or state-run enterprises, or the size of government-run welfare programs and the like. I should add that the term “capitalism” is much the same — a word that figures in public discourse much more than it does in economic analysis.

In light of that, what are your thoughts about how people are using the term “socialism” in our current political context? Would you suggest different language be used?

Like many of our political labels, the word socialism means different things to different people. If we think about economic questions in terms of having to choose between markets or government, the term “socialism” signals a preference for more government. But that could range anywhere from a more progressive tax code and a larger social safety net such as one might find in the Scandinavian countries to the centrally planned economies that existed in Eastern Europe before the collapse of the Iron Curtain. Emotively, when the term is used positively it signals a concern for equity, and when it is used pejoratively it signals a fear of the inefficiency and potential for abuse of centralized power.

One often hears that Catholic social teaching comes down hard on both capitalism and socialism. Others say that economic policies need to be prudentially connected to particular contexts such that there can’t be a hard and fast teaching. Can you summarize your views on this question?

On my reading, the Church’s social teaching does not map neatly onto secular debates about the balance between markets and government. Most importantly, in secular debates we tend to think in terms of economic outcomes — economic growth, measures of income or wealth inequality and so on.

The Church tends to think more in terms of the human goods that the economy is meant to serve. The value of markets is that they allow individuals to exercise the agency that is essential to the development of the human person. They provide scope for creativity and allow us to contribute goods and services to the community through the work we do.

[…]

With that brief background, we can get a better sense of why the Church’s teachings are “hard” on both capitalism and socialism. There are some defenses of capitalism that treat humans as atomistic individuals who are assumed to care only for their own wellbeing. In a society with that form of capitalism, individuals will have little scope for exercising the aspect of human agency that works in and for the community. It will also leave some members marginalized.

If I think the purpose of business is simply to maximize profits, I will tend to not see others as the human persons they are. Rather, I will see them as customers who can enhance my revenues, or as employees who are part of my cost of doing business. It should be obvious why the Church condemns such a capitalist spirit. By the same token, there are forms of socialism that deny the agency that is proper to the individual. That is both directly bad for the development of the human person, and it also tends to inefficiency, because decisions are taken by central planners who lack the on-the-ground knowledge to make the right decisions for localized problems. Also, some forms of socialism can crowd out or displace informal organizations which play an important role in an authentically human community.

So what does this mean for the current U.S. debate over socialism? What sorts of values and principles, in your view, should Catholics bring to this debate?

First and foremost, Catholics need to resist taking sides. As the principles I outlined above suggest, Catholics should see the value of both the market and the state. In addition, Catholics should see the value of intermediate organizations: churches, unions, clubs, leagues.

Everyone should remember that the question about the relative mix of markets and the state is at the end of the day an instrumental question. It’s about how best to achieve desirable goals. A person who is genuinely committed to achieving the desirable goals should be open to all possibilities, picking the one that works best for a given goal in a given place at a given time.

The fact that we polarize around an instrumental question suggests that we are actually more interested in something other than the problem we say we are arguing about.

Let me give an example. One question of the day is whether we should have a minimum wage. There seems to be a trade-off involved in minimum wages. On the one hand, they boost the earnings of the working poor. Most people think that’s a desirable goal. On the other hand, wages set above the market clearing level can cause unemployment, which in turn will disproportionally impact the working poor. The empirical work on the question of whether minimum wages help the working poor on balance or hurt is mixed. Most people end up citing the work that supports their position on the issue and criticizing or ignoring work that goes the other way.

But collectively, we should all recognize that given that the evidence is mixed, the right question isn’t whether the minimum wage helps or hurts. The question is when does the minimum wage help and when does it hurt. But nobody asks that question. Proponents of the minimum wage thus strike me as too cavalier about the problem of causing unemployment. And opponents of the minimum wage are insufficiently concerned about low wages being paid in conditions when higher wages really could be supported.

If we really cared about the working poor, we would be worried about both unemployment and low wages, and we would want to know what the best thing to do in a given location is. In an area where a few firms have power in the labor market, a minimum wage might well help. In an area that is more competitive, a minimum wage might hurt. We should be anxious to learn more about what factors determine whether a minimum wage is more helpful or hurtful, not the broad question of whether it is good or bad.

The same goes for other economic issues. Poverty is a complex phenomenon. Is the answer freer markets, more government, or more work from community organizations? Surely the answer depends on the sort of poverty that afflicts a given community.

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:49 am

+JMJ+

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"The Catholic Thread": pg 119 / pg 119 / pg119 / pg119
"I'm Starting to like this Pope": pg 65 / pg 117
"Economics": pg 3



Arthur Brooks, defender of capitalism, has a lot more work to do [In-Depth, Opinion]
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Arthur Brooks, of the American Enterprise Institute, right, talks May 12, 2015, with U.S. President Barack Obama and Robert Putnam of Harvard University during the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit on Overcoming Poverty at Georgetown University in Washington. (CNS/Tyler Orsburn)

Arthur Brooks [speaking at the 2020 National Prayer Breakfast, Feb 6th], like so many converts, is fervent in his faith. I make no comment on his commitment to Catholicism, the religion to which he converted as a teenager: There has been enough of calling people "bad Catholics" for one reason or another. But, his commitment to capitalism, the religion to which he converted later in life, is fair game.

Brooks' essay at America has already received a fine rebuttal from Catholic University's David Cloutier, whose recent book, The Vice of Luxury, I reviewed in two parts, here and here. Published in Commonweal, Cloutier's rebuttal focuses on many of the issues I wanted to take on. For example, Brooks says that five interrelated forces are responsible for lifting millions out of poverty: "globalization, free trade, property rights, the rule of law and the culture of entrepreneurship."

Cloutier notes that the free market advocates like some laws, those which protect property rights, but usually oppose others, such as those that regulate the market. "Catholic free market defenders like Brooks would be well-advised to spend more time articulating with precision the 'strong juridical framework which places [the market] at the service of human freedom in its totality.' If conservatives took this responsibility with seriousness, then perhaps we could get past the canard that government regulation is always and everywhere a hindrance to business and prosperity." Well said.

The issue is deeper than regulation. Brooks and other Catholic free-marketeers are correct that Catholic social doctrine posits a right to private property. But, that is not the end of the story. They tend to ignore the church's teaching on the universal destination of goods. Every person is entitled to own what they need for their sustenance, but whatever they own beyond that has a social mortgage attached. I can conceive of other civil society actors being the beneficiary of that social mortgage, but I do not see why government should not as well. It is typical of Brooks that he highlights those few principles of Catholic social doctrine that do not challenge his faith in the market, but neglects other important principles that would challenge his economic presuppositions.

[…]

… For Brooks and capitalism's other fellow travelers in the Catholic intellectual milieu, capitalism is treated as a given, its laws akin to the natural law, and, in some extreme cases, as a source of divine grace. "For many years, one of my favorite texts in Scripture has been Isaiah 53:2-3: 'He hath no form or comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; he was despised and we esteemed him not.' I would like to apply these words to the modern business corporation, a much despised incarnation of God's presence in this world," wrote Michael Novak in his essay "A Theology of the Corporation." No matter how many times I read those words, I am still shocked by them.

Brooks is far more sophisticated than Novak to be sure. But, he still misses the point. For Catholic social doctrine, the preference for solidarity over competition is a given. The preference of charity, in its fullest sense, over profit is a given. The preference of labor over capital is a given.

The capitalists like to cloak their system with all manner of virtue, and the more morally serious among them, like Brooks, recognize the importance of morality to making capitalism humane, but the morality is always extrinsic, an add-on. I read their defense of the free market and I am always reminded of James Madison defending the Constitution, noting that if men were angels there would be no need for government. If the morality is extrinsic and must be brought to the putatively neutral market, and it must be good for the system to work, then we must find a world of angels, no? And, if men were angels, then any economic system would yield just results, yes? The problem is that men are not angels, and capitalism as a system encourages behaviors that a Christian is called to shun.

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:29 am

+JMJ+

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"The Catholic Thread": pg 119 / pg 119 / pg119 / pg119
"I'm Starting to like this Pope": pg 65 / pg 117
"Economics": pg 3 / pg 3



Our Economic Problem — Greed or Ignorance? [In-Depth]
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Photo by midwinterphoto at flickr.com

Many commentators on the crisis that has rocked banks and stock markets all over the world would tell us that the problem is simply greed. But a brief look at the remarkable insights into economics of the Canadian Jesuit, Bernard Lonergan, would suggest a rather different diagnosis, as well as a new way out of our recurring economic injustices, argues Peter Corbishley.

“Greed and fear on the way up and greed and fear on the way down” was how the editor of a national newspaper, speaking recently on BBC TV, characterised the current economic crisis. His version of key economic drivers, as well as his belief that boom and slump are the inevitable counterpart of these drivers, presents a bleak scenario of the human condition. Runs on banks, the ‘credit crunch’, job losses are an inevitable part of what it is to be human. Maybe all moralists, secular and religious, concur on greed as the root of the present malaise. Bernard Lonergan would beg to differ. In 1980, while describing how recession turns to depression, into a crash, and even stagnation, he wrote:
In equity it (the basic expansion) should be directed to raising the standard of living of the whole society. The reason why it does not is not the simple-minded moralist’s reason: greed, but the prime cause is ignorance. … When people do not understand what is happening and why, they cannot be expected to act intelligently. When intelligence is a blank, the first law of nature takes over: self-preservation. It is not primarily greed but frantic efforts at self-preservation that turns recession into depression, and depression into crash.[1]
So, in our ignorance, we are now heading for a recession, and maybe worse: panicking by queuing up outside Northern Rock, promoting non-competitive mergers or spending billions of public money on bailing out the banking system. But what is that we are ignorant of?[2]

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by hugodrax » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:14 am

Hey, if it's all Bullpucky, Wos, why was the Vatican secretly using all those hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in luxury London real estate? Why do they try so hard to profit?

Now, no offense, but if the Canadian Jesuits had gotten off their collective rear ends and performed the task for which they'd been ordained, there might be a Catholic left in a Candadian church. What they managed to do to Quebec within two generations is stunning. Ghost town doesnt begin to describe it.

I don't want anyone to think I'm particularly capitalist, because I'm not, but here's the part I find most offensive. Let's say I'm talking to a machinist about his new fair economic plan. I never hear the machinist saying he will still be a machinist when the revolution comes. No, the revolution will recognize his talents. Without fail the machinist thinks he's going to lead the show and correct God's mistakes. It's the rest of us that will be taking up our rightful place on the factory floor.

I'm highly suspect of the whole doggone thing. Its blatant class warfare all godded up.
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Re: Economics

Post by Hovannes » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:19 am

hugodrax wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:14 am
why was the Vatican secretly using all those hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in luxury London real estate? Why do they try so hard to profit?

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Vigano knows!
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Re: Economics

Post by Jester » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:40 am

hugodrax wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:14 am
Hey, if it's all Bullpucky, Wos, why was the Vatican secretly using all those hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in luxury London real estate? Why do they try so hard to profit?

Now, no offense, but if the Canadian Jesuits had gotten off their collective rear ends and performed the task for which they'd been ordained, there might be a Catholic left in a Candadian church. What they managed to do to Quebec within two generations is stunning. Ghost town doesnt begin to describe it.

I don't want anyone to think I'm particularly capitalist, because I'm not, but here's the part I find most offensive. Let's say I'm talking to a machinist about his new fair economic plan. I never hear the machinist saying he will still be a machinist when the revolution comes. No, the revolution will recognize his talents. Without fail the machinist thinks he's going to lead the show and correct God's mistakes. It's the rest of us that will be taking up our rightful place on the factory floor.

I'm highly suspect of the whole doggone thing. Its blatant class warfare all godded up.
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Re: Economics

Post by hugodrax » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:39 am

Jester wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:40 am
hugodrax wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:14 am
Hey, if it's all Bullpucky, Wos, why was the Vatican secretly using all those hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in luxury London real estate? Why do they try so hard to profit?

Now, no offense, but if the Canadian Jesuits had gotten off their collective rear ends and performed the task for which they'd been ordained, there might be a Catholic left in a Candadian church. What they managed to do to Quebec within two generations is stunning. Ghost town doesnt begin to describe it.

I don't want anyone to think I'm particularly capitalist, because I'm not, but here's the part I find most offensive. Let's say I'm talking to a machinist about his new fair economic plan. I never hear the machinist saying he will still be a machinist when the revolution comes. No, the revolution will recognize his talents. Without fail the machinist thinks he's going to lead the show and correct God's mistakes. It's the rest of us that will be taking up our rightful place on the factory floor.

I'm highly suspect of the whole doggone thing. Its blatant class warfare all godded up.
Image
Heh. Two things:

1. Hovannes, that's a picture of Karl Marx.

2. The thought of Wos's loins being stirred by the thought of plundering my pelf was not one I needed this morning, Jester.
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Re: Economics

Post by arank87 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:27 pm

I was going to comment but you can’t talk about economics without getting political. I would love talk theory but I’m not sure that’s possible anymore.

Edit: I meant “one” can’t talk about economics without getting political.
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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:30 am

+JMJ+

Farm bankruptcies increase nationwide, report says
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American Farm Bureau Federation released a report in late October 2019 showing increases in farm bankruptcies nationwide, with the largest number of bankruptcies coming in the Midwest. (Provided, Farm Bureau)

Farm bankruptcies continue to increase nationwide, with the largest number of such filings coming in the Midwest region, according to a report from the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The report, by Farm Bureau economist John Newton, details the number of bankruptcies per state in the 12-month period ending in September 2019, how those bankruptcy numbers compare to the year prior, and an overall discussion of farm income.

Farm income is at record-high levels, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. According to the report, not only are bankruptcies up, but farm debt is projected to reach record-high levels and producers are taking longer to repay their loans.

The Farm Bureau report shows Wisconsin with 48 bankruptcies; Nebraska, Kansas and Georgia with 37; and Minnesota with 31. The Midwest region, made up of 13 states including Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, had 255 bankruptcy filings, far more than any other region.

Those numbers aren’t surprising to Megan Roberts, a Mankato, Minn.-based educator on the University of Minnesota Extension’s Agricultural Business Management team. The region has a high number of dairy farms and row crop farms, both sectors stressed by current events. Dairy prices have been low for multiple years, and trade issues, including tariffs and lack of trade agreements, have hit corn and soybean growers particularly hard.

“Those particular agricultural commodities are really struggling from a financial perspective,” she says.

But Roberts says it’s the prolonged downturn in the farm economy that makes things difficult. While there is no one reason for the increase in bankruptcy filings, poor prices over a number of years definitely play a part.

“It’s not just a one year downturn,” she says. “Bankruptcies happen and loan deficiencies happen when there are more prolonged issues.”

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:19 pm

+JMJ+

NOTE: Translation by Google Translate and slightly augmented by Wos


Coronavirus and financial markets: we are in Sarajevo 1914 [In-Depth, Opinion]
Image

Image
Map by Laura Canali, 2011.

The bullet is the pandemic. Archduke Francesco Ferdinando is neoliberalism. Either change the system or we all succumb. Starting from Europe.

[…]

The feared black swan — the more or less improbable and highly disruptive event — shatters the carefree daydream, revealing the fragility of an economic and financial system structured to underestimate risks in order to maximize profits in the short — the very short — term. It is a "destabilizing stability", as Hyman Minsky called it; the product of decades of excesses erected in a system. The architects of this world-system and the economic operators who animate it are in most cases greedy, not stupid. It is now clear to them that the virus, by imposing draconian measures of social distancing, at the same time constricts supply and demand — therefore, both the ability to produce and the ability to buy. And they look toward the prospect of society having sufficient income to fuel consumption, given the concrete risk of chain failures and related employment costs induced by the pandemic.

[…]

This crisis is systemic. In retrospect, the virus will be the bullet that kills Archduke Francesco Ferdinando, the rhapsodic event that tips the balance of a situation which is now too precarious to stand the test of reality and history. The systematic nature of the crisis — of which 2008 retrospectively appears to be the disturbing preview — implies that the system must change, ere we succumb to unbearable consequences. Developments are emerging that are capable of subverting the geopolitical, as well as the economic environment.

First of all, there emerges the direct and indirect return of the State to the economic situation. The pandemic is, in fact, global only in its ruthless biological form. (Geo)-politically, it reveals the wide spectrum of approaches, priorities, and responses which will be necessary to consider in the months and years to come. From the outset, it manifests the continuous salience of the State as an organizational unit and guarantor-of-last-resort of the collectives it contains. This does not exclude, of course, the coordination and collaboration of subsidiary entites; but it puts the lie to the claim of the State's complete overcoming by historical accident. A culturally and geographically overdifferentiated humanity, one which is counted in billions, needs minimal organizational units. The Limes does not become in itself a doomsayer merely by identifying structures of organization and action that ward-off chaos and permit the "systeming" of intelligence, resources and will. We built a global Internet of electronic entanglement, yet we forgot that our geopolitical reality also needs a basic architecture that allows individuals to have a cultural, institutional and psychological reference. A place to call home.

Looking ahead, there emerge on the horizon the incentives for overcoming the neoliberal paradigm. Its major flaw lies is not in "globalism", but in the conception of the individual as an instrument of the economy, when it should be just the opposite. The ubiquitous appeals, in all sectors and all countries (including the United States), for governments to guarantee an economy that risks collapsing — as indeed already in 2008 — are symptomatic of a unspoken taboo which seems to break against the shock wave of public uncertainty. This taboo's extreme twentieth-century alternative, i.e. authoritarian command, is a recipe that has already been tried and is not to be too much lamented. On the possibility of finding other ways between the two extremes, Europe could — should — have something to say, that is if it could only speak the word.

In Europe's current philosophical-fiscal architecture, a significant return of the State to guarantee the equity and stability of economic and social systems is widely dismissed as impractical, because it would imply (and will imply) the defeat of German ordoliberalism and its economic "austerity." And because, as it is the State's economic-fiscal policy, i.e. the action of the governments (which in the case of relatively small and strongly interconnected economies such as the European ones can only be concerted to hold in the medium-long term), which is alone able to go where the efficacy of central banks can no longer reach, it requires unprecedented political coordination.

On this, we must be absolutely clear: either Europe is finally made or it is finally shattered. Regardless, this 2020 won't leave unmarked the time it has found.
Last edited by wosbald on Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by Del » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:23 pm

wosbald wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:19 pm
+JMJ+

NOTE: Translation by Google Translate and slightly augmented by Wos


Coronavirus and financial markets: we are in Sarajevo 1914 [In-Depth, Opinion]
Image
Map by Laura Canali, 2011.

The bullet is the pandemic. Archduke Francesco Ferdinando is neoliberalism. Either change the system or we all succumb. Starting from Europe.

[…]

The feared black swan — the more or less improbable and highly disruptive event — shatters the carefree daydream, revealing the fragility of an economic and financial system structured to underestimate risks in order to maximize profits in the short — the very short — term. It is a "destabilizing stability", as Hyman Minsky called it; the product of decades of excesses erected in a system. The architects of this world-system and the economic operators who animate it are in most cases greedy, not stupid. It is now clear to them that the virus, by imposing draconian measures of social distancing, at the same time constricts supply and demand — therefore, both the ability to produce and the ability to buy. And they look toward the prospect of society having sufficient income to fuel consumption, given the concrete risk of chain failures and related employment costs induced by the pandemic.

[…]

This crisis is systemic. In retrospect, the virus will be the bullet that kills Archduke Francesco Ferdinando, the rhapsodic event that tips the balance of a situation which is now too precarious to stand the test of reality and history. The systematic nature of the crisis — of which 2008 retrospectively appears to be the disturbing preview — implies that the system must change, ere we succumb to unbearable consequences. Developments are emerging that are capable of subverting the geopolitical, as well as the economic environment.

First of all, there emerges the direct and indirect return of the State to the economic situation. The pandemic is, in fact, global only in its ruthless biological form. (Geo)-politically, it reveals the wide spectrum of approaches, priorities, and responses which will be necessary to consider in the months and years to come. From the outset, it manifests the continuous salience of the State as an organizational unit and guarantor-of-last-resort of the collectives it contains. This does not exclude, of course, the coordination and collaboration of subsidiary entites; but it puts the lie to the claim of the State's complete overcoming by historical accident. A culturally and geographically overdifferentiated humanity, one which is counted in billions, needs minimal organizational units. The Limes does not become in itself a doomsayer merely by identifying structures of organization and action that ward-off chaos and permit the "systeming" of intelligence, resources and will. We built a global Internet of electronic entanglement, yet we forgot that our geopolitical reality also needs a basic architecture that allows individuals to have a cultural, institutional and psychological reference. A place to call home.

Looking ahead, there emerge on the horizon the incentives for overcoming the neoliberal paradigm. Its major flaw lies is not in "globalism", but in the conception of the individual as an instrument of the economy, when it should be just the opposite. The ubiquitous appeals, in all sectors and all countries (including the United States), for governments to guarantee an economy that risks collapsing — as indeed already in 2008 — are symptomatic of a unspoken taboo which seems to break against the shock wave of public uncertainty. This taboo's extreme twentieth-century alternative, i.e. authoritarian command, is a recipe that has already been tried and is not to be too much lamented. On the possibility of finding other ways between the two extremes, Europe could — should — have something to say, that is if it could only speak the word.

In Europe's current philosophical-fiscal architecture, a significant return of the State to guarantee the equity and stability of economic and social systems is widely dismissed as impractical, because it would imply (and will imply) the defeat of German ordoliberalism and its economic "austerity." And because, as it is the State's economic-fiscal policy, i.e. the action of the governments (which in the case of relatively small and strongly interconnected economies such as the European ones can only be concerted to hold in the medium-long term), which is alone able to go where the efficacy of central banks can no longer reach, it requires unprecedented political coordination.

On this, we must be absolutely clear: either Europe is finally made or it is finally shattered. Regardless, this 2020 won't leave unmarked the time it has found.
No comment.
"Anyone who knows anything of experts will know one thing for certain; that they will always be disturbing our way of living; and therefore we shall always be disputing their right of governing." - GKC. Feb 11, 1933.

The future is certain; it’s the past that keeps changing. ~ Old Soviet joke

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Re: Economics

Post by hugodrax » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:34 pm

Del wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:23 pm
wosbald wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:19 pm
+JMJ+

NOTE: Translation by Google Translate and slightly augmented by Wos


Coronavirus and financial markets: we are in Sarajevo 1914 [In-Depth, Opinion]
Image
Map by Laura Canali, 2011.

The bullet is the pandemic. Archduke Francesco Ferdinando is neoliberalism. Either change the system or we all succumb. Starting from Europe.

[…]

The feared black swan — the more or less improbable and highly disruptive event — shatters the carefree daydream, revealing the fragility of an economic and financial system structured to underestimate risks in order to maximize profits in the short — the very short — term. It is a "destabilizing stability", as Hyman Minsky called it; the product of decades of excesses erected in a system. The architects of this world-system and the economic operators who animate it are in most cases greedy, not stupid. It is now clear to them that the virus, by imposing draconian measures of social distancing, at the same time constricts supply and demand — therefore, both the ability to produce and the ability to buy. And they look toward the prospect of society having sufficient income to fuel consumption, given the concrete risk of chain failures and related employment costs induced by the pandemic.

[…]

This crisis is systemic. In retrospect, the virus will be the bullet that kills Archduke Francesco Ferdinando, the rhapsodic event that tips the balance of a situation which is now too precarious to stand the test of reality and history. The systematic nature of the crisis — of which 2008 retrospectively appears to be the disturbing preview — implies that the system must change, ere we succumb to unbearable consequences. Developments are emerging that are capable of subverting the geopolitical, as well as the economic environment.

First of all, there emerges the direct and indirect return of the State to the economic situation. The pandemic is, in fact, global only in its ruthless biological form. (Geo)-politically, it reveals the wide spectrum of approaches, priorities, and responses which will be necessary to consider in the months and years to come. From the outset, it manifests the continuous salience of the State as an organizational unit and guarantor-of-last-resort of the collectives it contains. This does not exclude, of course, the coordination and collaboration of subsidiary entites; but it puts the lie to the claim of the State's complete overcoming by historical accident. A culturally and geographically overdifferentiated humanity, one which is counted in billions, needs minimal organizational units. The Limes does not become in itself a doomsayer merely by identifying structures of organization and action that ward-off chaos and permit the "systeming" of intelligence, resources and will. We built a global Internet of electronic entanglement, yet we forgot that our geopolitical reality also needs a basic architecture that allows individuals to have a cultural, institutional and psychological reference. A place to call home.

Looking ahead, there emerge on the horizon the incentives for overcoming the neoliberal paradigm. Its major flaw lies is not in "globalism", but in the conception of the individual as an instrument of the economy, when it should be just the opposite. The ubiquitous appeals, in all sectors and all countries (including the United States), for governments to guarantee an economy that risks collapsing — as indeed already in 2008 — are symptomatic of a unspoken taboo which seems to break against the shock wave of public uncertainty. This taboo's extreme twentieth-century alternative, i.e. authoritarian command, is a recipe that has already been tried and is not to be too much lamented. On the possibility of finding other ways between the two extremes, Europe could — should — have something to say, that is if it could only speak the word.

In Europe's current philosophical-fiscal architecture, a significant return of the State to guarantee the equity and stability of economic and social systems is widely dismissed as impractical, because it would imply (and will imply) the defeat of German ordoliberalism and its economic "austerity." And because, as it is the State's economic-fiscal policy, i.e. the action of the governments (which in the case of relatively small and strongly interconnected economies such as the European ones can only be concerted to hold in the medium-long term), which is alone able to go where the efficacy of central banks can no longer reach, it requires unprecedented political coordination.

On this, we must be absolutely clear: either Europe is finally made or it is finally shattered. Regardless, this 2020 won't leave unmarked the time it has found.
No comment.
Get the feeling the wonks have a boner right now?
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth
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Re: Economics

Post by Del » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:42 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:34 pm
Del wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:23 pm
wosbald wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:19 pm
+JMJ+

NOTE: Translation by Google Translate and slightly augmented by Wos


Coronavirus and financial markets: we are in Sarajevo 1914 [In-Depth, Opinion]
Image
Map by Laura Canali, 2011.

The bullet is the pandemic. Archduke Francesco Ferdinando is neoliberalism. Either change the system or we all succumb. Starting from Europe.

[…]

The feared black swan — the more or less improbable and highly disruptive event — shatters the carefree daydream, revealing the fragility of an economic and financial system structured to underestimate risks in order to maximize profits in the short — the very short — term. It is a "destabilizing stability", as Hyman Minsky called it; the product of decades of excesses erected in a system. The architects of this world-system and the economic operators who animate it are in most cases greedy, not stupid. It is now clear to them that the virus, by imposing draconian measures of social distancing, at the same time constricts supply and demand — therefore, both the ability to produce and the ability to buy. And they look toward the prospect of society having sufficient income to fuel consumption, given the concrete risk of chain failures and related employment costs induced by the pandemic.

[…]

This crisis is systemic. In retrospect, the virus will be the bullet that kills Archduke Francesco Ferdinando, the rhapsodic event that tips the balance of a situation which is now too precarious to stand the test of reality and history. The systematic nature of the crisis — of which 2008 retrospectively appears to be the disturbing preview — implies that the system must change, ere we succumb to unbearable consequences. Developments are emerging that are capable of subverting the geopolitical, as well as the economic environment.

First of all, there emerges the direct and indirect return of the State to the economic situation. The pandemic is, in fact, global only in its ruthless biological form. (Geo)-politically, it reveals the wide spectrum of approaches, priorities, and responses which will be necessary to consider in the months and years to come. From the outset, it manifests the continuous salience of the State as an organizational unit and guarantor-of-last-resort of the collectives it contains. This does not exclude, of course, the coordination and collaboration of subsidiary entites; but it puts the lie to the claim of the State's complete overcoming by historical accident. A culturally and geographically overdifferentiated humanity, one which is counted in billions, needs minimal organizational units. The Limes does not become in itself a doomsayer merely by identifying structures of organization and action that ward-off chaos and permit the "systeming" of intelligence, resources and will. We built a global Internet of electronic entanglement, yet we forgot that our geopolitical reality also needs a basic architecture that allows individuals to have a cultural, institutional and psychological reference. A place to call home.

Looking ahead, there emerge on the horizon the incentives for overcoming the neoliberal paradigm. Its major flaw lies is not in "globalism", but in the conception of the individual as an instrument of the economy, when it should be just the opposite. The ubiquitous appeals, in all sectors and all countries (including the United States), for governments to guarantee an economy that risks collapsing — as indeed already in 2008 — are symptomatic of a unspoken taboo which seems to break against the shock wave of public uncertainty. This taboo's extreme twentieth-century alternative, i.e. authoritarian command, is a recipe that has already been tried and is not to be too much lamented. On the possibility of finding other ways between the two extremes, Europe could — should — have something to say, that is if it could only speak the word.

In Europe's current philosophical-fiscal architecture, a significant return of the State to guarantee the equity and stability of economic and social systems is widely dismissed as impractical, because it would imply (and will imply) the defeat of German ordoliberalism and its economic "austerity." And because, as it is the State's economic-fiscal policy, i.e. the action of the governments (which in the case of relatively small and strongly interconnected economies such as the European ones can only be concerted to hold in the medium-long term), which is alone able to go where the efficacy of central banks can no longer reach, it requires unprecedented political coordination.

On this, we must be absolutely clear: either Europe is finally made or it is finally shattered. Regardless, this 2020 won't leave unmarked the time it has found.
No comment.
Get the feeling the wonks have a boner right now?
SHWING!

Something is happening, and we get to use all of our big words! It's a orgiastic regurgitation of multisyllabic pixels!
"Anyone who knows anything of experts will know one thing for certain; that they will always be disturbing our way of living; and therefore we shall always be disputing their right of governing." - GKC. Feb 11, 1933.

The future is certain; it’s the past that keeps changing. ~ Old Soviet joke

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:03 am


ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by Del » Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:32 am

Wow! Has AOC seen this?
"Anyone who knows anything of experts will know one thing for certain; that they will always be disturbing our way of living; and therefore we shall always be disputing their right of governing." - GKC. Feb 11, 1933.

The future is certain; it’s the past that keeps changing. ~ Old Soviet joke

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:20 am

+JMJ+
Del wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:32 am
Wow! Has AOC seen this?
The American Optometry Council?

I think they're agin it.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:22 am

+JMJ+

COVID-19 worries loom on many fronts in rural America [In-Depth]
Image
Agricultural workers in Arvin, Calif., clean carrot crops April 3, 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic. (Credit: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters via CNS)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Making a living as a farmer in the United States has never been easy. But the coronavirus pandemic has added new layers of complexity for farmers and the people living in the small towns that dot the rural landscape.

The issues have to do with planting, harvesting, production, health, prices and housing — all of which have to do with people.

“In Ohio, we were hearing from one of our chapter leaders who was concerned about farmers,” said James Ennis, executive director of Catholic Rural Life. “Because they do a lot of work themselves, if they get sick, who’s going to help them?”

In Catholic Rural Life’s chapter in Owensboro, Kentucky, “they were concerned about the farmworkers. They weren’t getting enough farmworkers. Usually they get a lot of migrant workers coming from Mexico. And that’s not happening,” Ennis said. “What’s going to happen if those workers can’t come into their particular area of Kentucky?”

That’s a serious issue, “especially when consulates and embassies were starting to reduce services,” said Mike Stranz, vice president for advocacy at the National Farmers Un𝗂on. Farmers relying on immigrant labor to harvest crops are “in a tough spot,” he agreed. “We’ve talked with the State Department. They have become more flexible about immigrant workers changing employers while they’re here.”

“We’re definitely watching the issues of farmers, but now is the time that crops need to be planted and crops need to be harvested,” said Lorette Picciano, executive director of Rural Coalition, which focuses on immigrant farmworkers and minority farmers.

Social distancing is a dream to farmworkers. Picciano spoke of workers from Mexico who line up at a bridge at 1 a.m. each night to be scrutinized by U.S. immigration authorities in Texas in time to be packed into a van that leaves at 6 a.m. to drive them to farm fields. In some migrant communities in Florida, she added, 15 will sleep in a building that has just one or two bathrooms.

“All the relief that’s in the stimulus package cannot go to someone who is not documented,” Picciano told Catholic News Service, adding farmers are “not necessarily getting tested” and “not getting payments.”

“I’m a Catholic, and how can we make sure our government does its duty to supply Americans with what they need during this emergency?” she asked. “It’s devastating, and there’s a lot of work to do.”

The health of farmworkers is precarious. Picciano cited the case of a date-packing plant in California’s Coachella Valley where “the COVID-19 was already found in one worker. They cleaned everything, then they found that eight more workers were infected,” she said.

Ennis was told by a Catholic Rural Life chapter in Davenport, Iowa, that a Tyson pork processing plant in nearby Columbus Junction suspended operations after some workers there were found to have the coronavirus. “That was really scary. It’s a big deal when it’s 1,400 jobs and they decide they’re going to suspend operations,” he said. “That was disconcerting and a big deal — a really big deal. That’s impacted that community very significantly.”

Dairy and livestock markets “have seen significant impacts already,” Stranz said. “It’s not a matter of supplies, it’s a matter of shipping and demand. It’s how people are eating. It would normally take decades (to alter consumer preferences), but it’s happened in a matter of weeks.”

He added, “Dairy is particularly hard hit by this. Other than getting rid of cows, you can’t slow production. They need to be milked three times a day. … The price of dairy futures went down 40 percent in two weeks, and those prices were low to begin with. We’re seeing a lot of threats to dairy farmers and farmers who were already hurting.”

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by TNLawPiper » Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:09 pm

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... on/609832/
The Millennials entered the workforce during the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Saddled with debt, unable to accumulate wealth, and stuck in low-benefit, dead-end jobs, they never gained the financial security that their parents, grandparents, or even older siblings enjoyed. They are now entering their peak earning years in the midst of an economic cataclysm more severe than the Great Recession, near guaranteeing that they will be the first generation in modern American history to end up poorer than their parents.
Stat crux dum volvitur orbis.

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