The Smoke And Mirrors Of Ukraine. 1:36 am / 17 April 2014 by ann arky, at annarky's blog.
You can read the full article HERE:Before the Maidan began in Kiev in the fall of 2013, the Russians were allowed by treaty to have 25,000 troops in Ukraine, all in bases in Crimea. Once Russia controlled Crimea, early reports of Russian troops in Ukraine often confused this reality with other things that may or may not have been real, such as the March 7 report that the Pentagon estimated the presence of “20,000 Russian troops in Ukraine.” If true, the Russians would seem to have been under-massed by about 5,000 troops. Whatever else was true during the Crimea takeover, there were no pictures of massive Russian troop movements. Video of Russian tanks moving to Crimea on trains were, if real, showing those tanks moving unmolested through southern Ukraine, the only rail route from Russia to Crimea.And there’s another constituency with a clear vested interested in pushing the Russian threat toward a new Cold War: arms makers (excuse me: “defense contractors”). As the NATO secretary general said quite plainly at the NATO Transformation Seminar, April 8:“The reality is that Europeans have disarmed too much and for too long In NATO, we have agreed a defence spending guideline of 2% of Gross Domestic Product. Too few Allies meet this guideline. And too many have moved too far in the other direction. This is the time to stop the cuts and start reversing the trend.”
A Dislike Of The Bond Market. 10:06 am / 16 April 2014 by ann arky, at annarky's blog.
Read the full article HERE:ATHENS, Greece — Suspected domestic exploded a car bomb outside a Bank of Greece building in the heart of Athens Thursday, causing damage but no injuries in a brazen attack hours before a landmark bond issue by the financially struggling country.
I’m Sick. 3:11 am / 16 April 2014 by ann arky, at annarky's blog.
Propaganda, Propaganda, Propaganda, 2:40 am / 16 April 2014 by ann arky, at annarky's blog.
Important Diary Dates. 2:08 pm / 15 April 2014 by ann arky, at annarky's blog.
The other date is Friday, April 25, the monthly picket outside the ATOS offices in Cadogan street Glasgow. It is important that this picket continues and gains in strength. ATOS may have decided to withdraw early from its contract with the government, mainly due to the unpleasant publicity created by such pickets up and down the country. However, that doesn't mean that the government will abandon its attack on the sick and disabled. The millionaire cabal at the Westminster Houses of Hypocrisy and Corruption, have a bucketful of leeches ready and waiting to be unleashed on the vulnerable, when ATOS leaves by the back door, having made millions at the expense of the sick and disabled.Hi all,Two new posts online:(1) 'THE MEETING THEY TRIED TO BAN! HOUSING IS IN CRISIS: WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?'Public Meeting, Speakers and Discussion, 7-9pm, Tuesday 22nd April, St.Mungo's Academy, 235 Crownpoint Road, Bridgeton, Glasgow, G40 2RA. All Welcome!(2) 'Games Monitor on NewsnightPlease circulate news of the housing meeting widely if possible. We want to engage with local people's experience in particular, but housing for the games and clyde gateway is a citywide issue and we welcome all those with an interest in housing issues.Cheers,http://gamesmonitor2014.org/
This from Glasgow Against ATOS:
www.radicalglasgow.me.ukFriday April 25, 12:30 - 15:00ATOS Assessment CentreCarunna House29 Cadogan StreetGlasgow.We are Glasgow Against Atos, a dynamic campaign group, defending the sick and disabled. We have been picketing the Atos, Glasgow assessment centre since early 2012.
Please come and join us in fighting Atos, the DWP and the government cuts against disabled people, their families and carers.
The weather is getting better – so no excuses, and we’ll see you all outside the assessment centre. All welcome!
The Wreckers. 2:25 am / 15 April 2014 by ann arky, at annarky's blog.
A Poem, a thought, or just a simple rant.
Are falling graduate salaries good or bad? 11:27 am / 14 April 2014 by Jock, at Jock's OXFr33? Blog - Thoughts, and occasionally Confessions, of Jock Coats, Citizen of Headington
What to think of this...the Times Higher reports that (new window):
Research by the Complete University Guide says graduate starting salaries in professional posts fell by 11 per cent in real terms, from £24,293 to £21,702, between 2007 and 2012.
If falling salaries (many of them in fact "rents" in economic terms - the largest falls have been in heavily regulated, and therefore rent-receiving, professions, medicine and law) are going to feed through eventually to lower costs for consumers of those rent-supported services then this is, by and large, a good thing. And to be fair to them, for once a good part of Labour government policy if I recall correctly (at least in terms of training more medical professionals). There are more people who potentially benefit from cheaper doctors or lawyers than there are people in those professions who will see their rent premium fall. But that assumes that labour cost savings feed through to lower consumer prices, which is not a given...
On the other hand, the overall graduate premium has barely moved, so everyone (at least those starting out in employment whether graduate or not) has seen their income fall in a similar proportion (it is in fact of course a larger proportionate fall for non-graduates). And of course, this is not only the case for those starting out - in higher education as a whole, the pay settlements since the recession started have seen us all, of all ages and skills, worse off on average by 13% in real terms. Maybe new graduates, in this context, should not grumble: "we're all in this together", as they say!
For those at the start of their independent lives also (graduate or not) one of the biggest costs for them, housing costs, which will take up a greater proportion of their income than it does for someone who has already half paid off their mortgage, have been rising and for many in excess of the average inflation rate. Presumably (somebody correct my economics if I am wrong please) falling real salaries/wages is the same thing as saying a greater *proportion* of production being returned to either capital or land (in interest or rent), and a lower *proportion* to labour (wages). And presumably implies a yet increasing transfer of wealth from young and least well off (less likely to have capital or land assets) to the older and best off (landlords and shareholders).
The article doesn't say that we are getting a commensurate number of extra doctors or lawyers though, only that employers are getting their pick without increasing the salaries offered. So longer term the rent problem is not going to go away through increased supply. And this must presumably apply throughout the labour market, skilled or unskilled.
So, are they a good or bad thing, these declining graduate salaries? Well insofar as this is in line with the whole labour market, it cannot be good that the returns to capital and land are rising and the returns to labour falling, can it? In other words that profit and rent are taking a bigger share of the pie and wages a smaller share. But if the graduate premium itself is not falling significantly then the existing arguments for going to university still apply: "you'll be better off than if you don't go". And again, the money value of the premium may have fallen an incy-wincy bit, but because non-graduate salaries are already the lower of them, this means an increasing percentage graduate premium: "you'll be an increasing proportion better off than if you don't go".
If there is a greater relative fall in the longer term in salaries for those heavily rent-receiving graduate professions, that would be beneficial to those (most of the population) who have to pay for their services. Removing rent is a good thing, but if the saving just passes from employee to employer and not to consumer, the rent remains the same, just even more concentrated: definitely a bad thing.
Not particularly related to the above, but something I want to mention anyway, I have a pet theory about the long term socio-economic effects of a higher proportion of the labour force being graduates that I don't really see discussed much in "the literature": that it will tend to diminish the difference in returns between management roles and production roles and therefore tend to lead to a more equal distribution of economic welfare. Middle class technical/production/specialist graduates negotiating with their middle class management graduate peers, or lobbying their middle class graduate politicians are in a relatively better negotiating position, after three years of networking with each other, than when it's between management graduates and people from whom they diverged, educationally and very probably socially, at the end of their school years. That's if, in the case of former private school pupils, who still dominate in rent-seeking jobs and politics, they ever met in the first place. Once you are at university, those from less well off socioeconomic backgrounds have relatively greater equality of opportunity with their graduate peers from wealthier backgrounds than if they don't even make it to university.
For me, and especially as regards my dissertation, will all this translate into greater demand for postgraduate education and so financing? With a predicted level of up to 75% of the post-2012 £9,000 fees regime loans likely to go unpaid according to research released last week by the Institute for Fiscal Studies for the Sutton Trust (I believe it was) maybe we're into an era when people simply cannot afford to take on more debt. Though it's possible the opposite may be true - that to take out, say, £15,000 for a one year Masters on top of your nearly £45,000 debt from your undergraduate degree may produce more than a 33% greater premium and be very much worthwhile doing.
Shades Of 1914!! 1:00 am / 14 April 2014 by ann arky, at annarky's blog.
6.30pm, Tuesday 15 April
And for today----· The Wesley Hotel, Euston Street, London NW1 2EZ
The crisis in the Ukraine continues, with tensions between the big powers growing day by day. There are several factors militating against war in the immediate future, including Russia’s nuclear arsenal and trade links with EU countries. But as the establishment think-tank Stratfor has argued, it would be naive to rule out a conflagration.
Already NATO air drills are taking place over the Baltics, and the UK and US are sending extra jets to patrol the skies. Poland has requested 10,000 NATO troops to be stationed on its territory and MPs in Kiev have voted to hold joint military exercises with NATO. In the medium to long term, NATO is looking at establishing permanent military bases in Ukraine.
If We Make Everything, Why Are We Hungry? 2:52 pm / 13 April 2014 by ann arky, at annarky's blog.
www.radicalglasgow.me.ukWe take back a few of the things we produced with hard labour and our bosses have stolen from us…
The establishment of a state of emergency, in conjunction with the predatory raids of the bosses at work and in our lives, imposes the fear of repression as well as destitution on society. Disparities in everyday life have a tragic dimension, when hands reach out begging or overturn trash bins hoping to find food. Unemployment and constant price increases of products on the shelves of supermarkets have made us wonder if we can even meet our basic needs.
We do not tolerate this situation; we will resist.
Today (April 11th, 2014), we covered our faces and expropriated one of these big supermarkets. We have made our face visible with our move, and because it disturbs (mostly) their peace as well as their profitability, they will try to track us down. We do not give ourselves over to them, we defy their terrorism, we plan our ways, and respond collectively in the street. We collectivize our resistances and rebel against our oppressors.
Today, we also made a stop at the manpower employment organization (OAED).
We left some of the items we took from the supermarket at the local unemployment office as a gesture of class solidarity towards other workers and unemployed; a righteous act that we, those from below, do for ourselves, redistributing the pie. In this modern system of human trafficking, in this contemporary galley, workers in public benefit projects, which the Greek manpower employment organization promotes, are forced to live like slaves for five months. They have no right to holiday or sick leave; they get crumbs, and face the threat of removal from the unemployed register in case they refuse the position assigned to them. Every one of us should know that we outnumber them, and if we want to organize ourselves, we can overthrow the exploiters of our lives.
“poor but dishonest”