Black Workers Beat Andrew Yang to the Punchline

General Gordon Baker, Jr., a co-founder of Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM) and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, spoke briefly on the impact that robotics was having on particularly the black workers in the auto industry in Michigan. This segment was part of a longer interview done by “Chicago John” Hough and posted in September 2011.

With regard to Andrew Yang– I think he’s staking out his role in this campaign not as a contender, but as a flashing warning signal about the very near future of our working class. A “canary in a coal mine” candidacy.

When he speaks about the dangers of A.I. and robotics, it’s not bullshit. When he speaks about the need for a guaranteed survivable income, sure his number is way low, but at least he’s put it on the table when someone like Biden or Buttigieg take the old neoliberal “Screw the poor; they’re not my voters” attitude.

He’s basically remixing what Kai-Fu Lee has been saying about the high risk of robotics/A.I. to our U.S. working and non-working class for several years now.  If for no other reason, people should give a hat tip to Andrew Yang and the “Yanglords” for putting this out there for America to see, when other candidates just ignored it.

As far back as the “turn of the century,” in the early 2000s, having organized the League of Revolutionaries for a New America, General Baker along with Nelson Peery, had been warning that the introduction of robotics and artificial intelligence into the point of production, was going to lead to several processes in political economy that would tend to “break capitalism” and decimate our working class.

What Gen is talking about in this video is the tendency to create a permanent class of people pushed outside of production and marginalized to a point where the family’s quest is for “survival, plain and simple.”  This process began with the black workers in auto, and spreads outward from there. Everywhere the marginalization process in U.S. communities of the 21st century has begun with black workers, and workers of color generally.

“And lo and behold, Chicago, by the time we finished most of those battles, then we’re confronted with this thing where uh, where all the robots began to enter the plants. And all the work that you’d done to advance your cause, and the tactics for jobs and things, are now being eliminated in mass by robots. And uh, the whole struggle for equality and stuff in the workforce, been transferred to the struggle for survival. Survival, plain and simple because we got, we not no way, we got no way to live.

“So that poses the question we got now. Really, I mean, without jobs, how we supposed to live? There are no jobs on the horizon. But does that mean, does a job mean, that’s your ticket to livelihood? I mean, you can’t live without a job? Is that, is that the kind of contradictions in the world we fighting for? Uh, because it’s clear to us now, that the robots were so much more productive than we were, so they don’t need us in the workplace.

“So now we gotta pose the question about, how we gonna live, in the current world? So you’re talking about a real change in the system that we’re living under, and the people’s perspective of it. I mean, a job has been a, it’s used as a discipline in the family. You know, the kids get old enough, you say, ” get out and get a job!” Now, how you gonna do that now, when there ain’t none? You know I mean, so this whole question of jobs, and how we live, what kind of society we’re gonna have, and who got a right to live and who doesn’t? Who can eat, and who can have a home and who can’t? All those questions are being thrown into–it’s a moral question, that we got to deal with. And even though we fight to resist the acttacks that are put upon us, we gotta have, kind of a vision of, what kind of a world do we want? You know, what direction we want to go in?”








World Oil Shock Scenario and the Fate of Wisconsin: Pt. 1

The premises, certain assumptions, which are set forth beforehand as an introduction or a postulate in this post are in many cases the conclusions reached by various researchers and writers after lifetimes of work in the fields of energy, fossil-fuel energy in particular, and its effect on the economy and the environment in which economies operate. For example, from Art Berman of Labyrinth Consultants, who serves up advice to the energy industries, we have the notion that “Money is merely a call on work, energy. Energy is the economy.” His critique of the gushing enthusiasm for the “shale revolution” (what we’ll call the “fracking frenzy” in this post) shown by business writers and governmental writers housed at the Energy Information Agency should be familiar to everyone who has delved into the so-called “U.S. Energy Independence” narrative of late.


Some of these premises are that growth in energy consumption, in particular petroleum and natural gas consumption, is highly correlated with growth in GDP. Throughout the post we’ll use the phrase “Gross Destructive Product or GDP” as a value-judgment on the impacts of GDP upon the global, national, and 50-states environments in the USA: GDP growth is highly destructive. Another premise is that growth in GDP now depends highly upon cheap energy sources, and that when energy prices rise sharply then GDP will tend to fall. This is because the wages of “non-elite workers” are inadequate to support consumer spending if energy prices spike upwards.

A follow-on premise is that, in the absence of the cheap petroleum supply of the prior half-century, (approx. 1955-2005) the central bankers turned to debt as the main driver of GDP growth, which has resulted in a current level of debt which is not sustainable under any governmental policy set, and hence, is a loaded risk factor for a deflationary, debt-default scenario. A premise is that the 2008 housing bubble burst / banking and credit crisis was by no means a “one-off” situation but should be seen as the “model case” for what comes next in the U.S. And its states economies, as well as the entire global economy, China not excepted.

Graph source: Oil Supply Limits and the Continuing Financial Crisis, By Gail Tverberg. Published in Energy Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 27-34.

How is U.S. oil consumption in million barrels a day impacted by a drop in Gross Destructive Product (GDP) growth? The 2008-2009 “crash” was a mere -2.5% GDP growth decline, but it dropped U.S. oil consumption by nearly 10% over that crash period. Consumption was heavily leveraged to the GDP growth rate apparently.USoilConsumpt2007-2018

The “mere” -2.5% growth rate of GDP was heavily leveraged into a loss of 8.8 million United States jobs in the Great Recession, however. That could explain the drop in oil consumption, as a lot of workers became less-consumers. Oil consumption was highly leveraged to job destruction, which led to “demand destruction” for petroleum products.

Now, the next question is, when oil consumption is forced to decline because of geophysical limits (depletion of resource), rather than job losses, how will THAT leverage into decline in GDP growth and in turn, job losses? In other words, a reversal of leveraging?

Dennis Coyne has perhaps the most comprehensive data-analytics set on what he’s calling the “World Oil Shock Model Scenarios in a post on, published on 9/27/2019. We’re re-printing parts of this to show the level of detail in this.

EIA International Energy Outlook 2019 and Oil Shock Model Scenarios

by Dennis Coyne Posted on 09/27/2019

The EIA recently released its International Energy Outlook and it is quite optimistic.  In the chart below I compare their estimate for World Crude plus Condensate (C+C) output with an oil shock model with a URR of about 3100 Gb.  (Gb is gigabarrels of oil, billions of barrels –Ed.)


The IEO reference scenario shown above (blue line) for World C+C has a trend line with a slope of 735 kb/d from 2017 to 2050, slightly less than the 1982 to 2018 slope for World C+C output’s annual increase of about 800 kb/d.  The difference between the IEO C+C output forecast and my more realistic (and perhaps optimistic) shock model estimate is 46 Mb/d in 2050.

The shock model focuses on conventional C+C output which excludes unconventional oil which I define as the combination of extra heavy oil (API Gravity <10) and tight oil.  The economically recoverable resource (ERR) from unconventional oil is 285 Gb in the scenario presented below.

The extra heavy (XH) and tight oil are modelled separately from conventional C+C.  The tight (LTO) and XH oil are both read on the left vertical axis and the unconventional oil (sum of LTO and XH) from the right vertical axis.  In each of the shock model scenarios presented below the unconventional C+C model output is added to the conventional shock model scenario (three separate cases). I focus on conventional C+C because the bulk of World C+C output consists of conventional C+C about 88% of World C+C in 2018 consisted of conventional C+C.


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The “Green Swan: Central banking and financial stability in the age of climate change” with pdf stash

We first saw this think-piece linked on “the world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change DENIAL” known as “Watts Up With That”.

Rather than have you patronize that site, we thought we’d offer the story up on the “world’s least-viewed site on the dollar-denominated, debt-default, deflationary death spiral; the death-stage of U.S. Capitalism; the fail of the petro-military state; the Fragment on the Machines and the end of the wage-labour and commodities-exchange system; etc.”

The green swan: central banking and financial stability in the age of climate change


Climate change poses new challenges to central banks, regulators and supervisors. This book reviews ways of addressing these new risks within central banks’ financial stability mandate. However, integrating climate-related risk analysis into financial stability monitoring is particularly challenging because of the radical uncertainty associated with a physical, social and economic phenomenon that is constantly changing and involves complex dynamics and chain reactions. Traditional backward-looking risk assessments and existing climate-economic models cannot anticipate accurately enough the form that climate-related risks will take. These include what we call “green swan” risks: potentially extremely financially disruptive events that could be behind the next systemic financial crisis. Central banks have a role to play in avoiding such an outcome, including by seeking to improve their understanding of climate-related risks through the development of forward-looking scenario-based analysis. But central banks alone cannot mitigate climate change. This complex collective action problem requires coordinating actions among many players including governments, the private sector, civil society and the international community. Central banks can therefore have an additional role to play in helping coordinate the measures to fight climate change. Those include climate mitigation policies such as carbon pricing, the integration of sustainability into financial practices and accounting frameworks, the search for appropriate policy mixes, and the development of new financial mechanisms at the international level. All these actions will be complex to coordinate and could have significant redistributive consequences that should be adequately handled, yet they are essential to preserve long-term financial (and price) stability in the age of climate change.

The PDF stored here on the blog– othp31.
Use your mouse and use the download-clicker thingie to get it on your drive(s).