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EconoSpeak

The Econospeak blog, which succeeded MaxSpeak (co-founded by Barkley Rosser, a Professor of Economics at James Madison University and Max Sawicky, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute) is a multi-author blog . Self-described as “annals of the economically incorrect”, this frequently updated blog analyzes daily news from an economic perspective, but requires a strong economics background.

Report From Moscow

 My wife, Marina, has returned from a two and a half week to Moscow to visit her 93 year old mother.  She almost got bumped from her Turkish Airlines flight out of Moscow through Istanbul, but her travel agent managed to get her back on.  Very glad she is back. Anyway, a few first hand current reports.Yes, in terms of living standards, in Moscow most things are operating and there are plenty of goods in the stores, although prices are high. There is a major effort to have things seem...

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Pharoah Sanders Has Passed

 One of the greatest musical performances I ever saw live was in Spring 1966, sorry have not tracked down exact date, in the University of Wisconsin-Union theater. It was a live performance of the final group of John Coltrane. None of his great quartet from "A Love Supreme" were in it, but it still completely blew my mind. Somehow this group had another saxophonist besides the greatest of them ever, Coltane, this guy Pharoah Sanders. He was really intense, arguably more so than Coltrane...

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Tom Schelling Is Rolling Over In His Grave

 Thomas Schelling got his Nobel Prize in economics for saving the world from global thermonuclear war in the 20th century, when many thought it was inevitable. Rival nuclear game theorist, John von Neumann, said to bomb the Soviets as soon as possible, like, tomorrow, preferably before noon Schelling won the debate in real time, being an advisor on "Dr. Strangelove..." bringing about as a result of that the installation of the "red phone," for immediate and direct communications on such...

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Happy 155th Birthday to volume one of Capital!

In his 1965 farewell lecture at Brandeis University, Herbert Marcuse read a long passage from the Grundrisse's "fragment on machines" and then observed: “But Marx himself has repressed this vision, which now appears as his most realistic, his most amazing insight!"In Time Labor and Social Domination, published 28 years later, Moishe Postone addressed the same section from the Grundrisse and commented:These passages do not represent utopian visions that later were excluded from Marx's more...

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How To Dismantle An Empire

 My late mother seriously admired the now late Queen Elizabeth II. Not only was she a conservative Anglophiliac with overwhelming British ancestry (all the "nations" of the UK) who had tea in the afternoon at the proper British time in more or less the proper British way, there was also the matter that the queen bore a son her heir only seven months after my mother had me. I was raised to see Charles as a   a sort of cohort.Indeed, i came to view him with great sympathy, although in later...

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Will The Iran Nuclear Deal Ever Get Reestablished?

 It keeps looking like it might, but then ne obstacles seem to appear. President Biden promised to undo what I have long argued was the worst foreign policy mistake made by Donald Trump. He should have just done it right after he took office, but he made a bunch of extra demands and the negotiations went nowhere. Then the moderate Rouhani government was replaced by the hardline Raisi one, something some of us like me forecasted would happen if he listened to these people who thought he...

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Where Will M.S. Gorbachev Be Buried?

 Mikhail Sergeivich Gorbachev died on the same day as our daughter Sasha's 33rd birthday. Sasha herself noted that if it were not for him she probably would not exist. It was ultimately Gorbachev who decided that the USSR would obey the Helsinki Accords rules on letting people get married and so on April 4, 1987 let my wife Marina leave Moscow for the US, the top story on CNN that evening. For that we are personally grateful to him and respect him, despite other things he did that one may...

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Will the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Reduce Intlation?

 Probably not, but it also will probably not increase it either. This is the judgment of the Congressional Budget Office and also the Penn Wharton Budget Model, as well as libertarian economist Tyler Cowen of George Mason, who is critical of much of its content.  It has inflationary and disinflationary elements, and it looks that they about balance out, although in the longer run it is hard to know.The obvious immediate issue is its impact from its aggregate character.  So it increases...

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Are Supporter Of Putin’s Invasion Of Ukraine Suffering From A Neo-McCarthyism?

 Recently I have seen claims made on some blogs that those who support the invasion of Ukraine by Russia under orders of its president, V.V. Putin, are experiencing suppression and discrimination that resembles the McCarthyism of the late 1940s and early 1950s in the US. This is also supposedly applying not only to those who fully support the invasion, but also to those who merely oppose the US assisting Ukraine in resisting the invasion, with the US supposedly not justified in doing so...

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Russian Central Bank Head May Be Out (But Apparently Probably Not)

 This is the first English language report of this, as near as I can tell after some serious googling, but it is all over a lot of pretty serious Russian sources.Reportedly, Elvira Naibiullina, Head of the Russian Central Bank, left her position this past Tuesday or thereabouts.  It is unclear if she resigned or was fired, although the hints seem to be the latter. The buzz is that she is going to be made a scapegoat for mounting problems in the Russian economy.  She had been very successful...

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