Friday, December 14, 2018

100 Percent Of US Senate Against MBS

Wow. Sometime ago I here called for Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohamed bib Salman bin Abdulaziz al Sa'ud, (MbS) to be rmoved from his position.  How he is punished beyond that for his crimes, I do noit care, especially as I think being prevented from becoming the King of Saudi Arabia will be for him the worst punishment.

So the for once the US Senate agrrees with me, 100%, really.  Hey, I have to cheer such an event that has never happened brfore and probably will not again. Yay!  The US Senate has 100% voted to declare that MbS is guilty for ordering the murder of Kamal Khashoggi.  They are right.  He is guilty guilty guuilty. 

He needs to be removed, and the sooner the broader Saudi royal family figures this out and moves to replace him, the better, really, for the world as a whole, given the ongoing important role that nation plays in the world economy worldwide.  It is clear thart he came to power thanks to Jared Kushner and the Trump admin, who supported his coup removal of his predecessor, Muhammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz al Sa'ud, who was deeply respected by US mil-intel apparati. MbS had become Defense Sec and was able to send his guys to MbN's palace and imprison him until he gave up and let MbS replace him as Crown Prince.  None of this woudl have happened without Trump and Jared Kushner approving of it, which they did.

So now the  US Senate has figured out that I was right that this was a totsl disaster, that MbS is completely unacceptable as a leader of Saudi Arabis.  This is not a matter of the US declaring against a democraticallhy elected leader.  This is ultimately an absolute monarchy now facing its deeply difficult succession problem.  Folllowing corrupt influence from tehe US, their leaders have made a bad decision, choosing MbS.

I appreciate that it may not be that easy for the royal famoly to get rid of this power hungry murderer, but I applaud this unanimous vote from the US Senate.  He needs to go.

BTW, some time ago there were rumors that a "Co-Prince"  might be approved, although with MbS retaining the succession right.  That Co-Prince is the current Governor of Mecca, a very serious position in that nation, Khalid bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz al Sa'ud, 78 years old.  I actually know KbF and can attest that he is a deeply intelligent and reasonable  person who would make an excellent replacement for the worthless and ddisgusting and degraded MbS.  While KbF is super competent, the legally in place person MbS violently removed, Muhamed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz al Sa'ud.

In any case, recent Saudi policy has been an outrage, with its war in Yemen the extreme manifesation of how  bad MbS is.  The Senate has also voted against the US supporting this awful war, although not unanimously, and  with the old House of Paul Ryan not supporting any of this.

In any case, I applaud this unanimous vote for MbS to go.  Really, the Saudi royal family needs to get its you know what together and overcome the current king's support fot his discredited son and put something more reasonable in as Crown Prince.  There are several candidates available who would hopefully stop the horrendous war in Yemen.

Barkley Rosser 


AXEC / E.K-H said...

Urgent: Taking politics out of economics
Comment on Barkley Rosser on ‘100 Percent Of US Senate Against MBS’

The status of economics is this: There is political economics and theoretical economics. The main differences are: (i) The goal of political economics is to successfully push an agenda, the goal of theoretical economics is to successfully explain how the actual economy works. (ii) In political economics anything goes; in theoretical economics, the scientific standards of material and formal consistency are observed.

Political economics is mere opinion, theoretical economics is knowledge: “In order to tell the politicians and practitioners something about causes and best means, the economist needs the true theory or else he has not much more to offer than educated common sense or his personal opinion.” (Stigum)

Economists do not have the true theory but they have many opinions. The four main approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism ― are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, materially/formally inconsistent and all got the pivotal economic concept profit wrong.

After 200+ years, the status of economics is this: Economics is a failed/fake science and the vast majority of economists are stupid/corrupt political agenda pushers. Economics is an integral part of the political Circus Maximus. Because economists do not have the true theory they are not entitled to give policy advice.#1

Rather odious examples of soapbox economics are provided by the busy communicators across the political spectrum from Paul Krugman to Brad DeLong to Noah Smith to Simon Wren-Lewis to David Glasner to Mark Thoma to Bill Mitchell to Steve Keen, to Barkley Rosser.

Barkley Rosser never understood how the economy works and has swapped economics for foreign policy. His field of interest is now the Middle East in general and Mohamed bib Salman bin Abdulaziz al Sa’ud (MbS), in particular. Barkley Rosser has not enough brain for thinking but still enough for journalism and moralizing. His summary of MbS’ role in the Khashoggi affair is: “He is guilty guilty guuilty” and “I think being prevented from becoming the King of Saudi Arabia will be for him the worst punishment.”

Not one iota of economics or objective analysis left ― what remains is gutter journalism.

There is the political sphere and there is the scientific sphere. The political sphere is about agenda pushing, the scientific sphere is about knowledge. In the political sphere, every imbecile is entitled to climb on a soapbox and to vomit the content of his dysfunctional brain all over the place. In the scientific sphere, people are supposed to contribute something to the growth of knowledge.#2

The two spheres must be kept apart. The strict separation of the scientific sphere and the political sphere is necessary because politics always and everywhere corrupts science.#3 Schumpeter exactly spotted the ultimate cause of the all too obvious scientific failure of economist: “It is only our inability to divorce research from politics, or our suspicion, all too often justified, that the other fellow cannot analyze with single-minded devotion to truth, which makes problems and party issues out of decisions that do not excite anyone in more fortunate fields of research.”

Economics has never been a field of scientific research but a ridiculous political wrestling show.#4 Yes, economists in general and Barkley Rosser, in particular, are “guilty guilty guuilty” of bad science a.k.a. political economics a.k.a. sitcom blather.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 Legitimacy lost

#2 Economists: scientists or political clowns?

#3 The end of political economics

#4 Economics: A pointless left-right wrestling show said...

Sorry, Egmont, but you are dead wrong. Political economy (not your "political economics") is serious stuff that while certainly deeply involved with policy agendas and advocacy does take seriously scientific economics of both the theoretical and empirical sort, a distinction you do not recognize since you know zero about and ignore emporical and scientific economics, taking seriously actually your own idiosyncratic and vacuousliy tautological theoretical economics.

Now you are right that there are plenty of political economists out there who push agendas and spout fake news against mountains of empirical evidence. A good example back in the spotlight recently is the handful of well-paid advocates of the vulgar version of "supply economics," led by its main founder, Arthur Laffer, who continue to spout after a good l40 years of repeated empirical disproofs of their argument, that cutting income taxes in the US will generate enough revenues to "pay for themselves." Just blatantlyi and screamingly empirically false, something known and accepted by the vast majority of professional economists, including a majority of those who identify themselves in the US as being Republicans.

Note, of course, that in theory if tax rates are high enough the Laffer curve accurately forecasts that a cut in tax rates will increase tax revenues. Best current estimates have the peak of the curve beyond where this happens as being in the 60-70% range in moat nations. Indeed, when Putin came to power in 2000 he increased revenues by introducing a flat 20% income tax to replace a horrendously messed up and complicated tax system that actually involved tax rates in certain locales exceeding 100%. in the case of the original 1981 Reagan tax cut Laffer forecast would raise revenues, revenues from the top group looking at 70% marginal tax rates did rise, about 2% of the population, but they fell for all other groups. But Laffer was out there again being wrong claiming the Trump tax cuts of last year would "pay for themselves." Very few other economists agreed, and indeed we were all right as the US budget deficit has soared.

Yeah, I know one hell of a lot about Saudi Arabia, but deal with it, Egmont, this does not mean that I do not know any serious economics. I know a hell of a lot more than you do. Deal with it.

AXEC / E.K-H said...

Barkley Rosser

I do not claim expertise of the family life of the House of Sa’ud but I have seen some Inspector Clouseau movies.

Roughly speaking, the Khashoggi story contains some rather improbable elements. For example

• MbS calls his chief of special operations on the phone and tells him to get rid of Khashoggi. No real-world ruler would do this because he knows that his phone is wiretapped. Instead, he would write his order on a piece of digestible paper which his chief of special operations must eat after reading. After all, the supreme principle of statecraft since Machiavelli is plausible deniability.

• The chief of special operations has learned as rule No 1: only idiots carry out an assassination in an embassy of their own country. Rule No 2: make sure that no CCTV photo of your own surveillance system that shows the target person entering your own embassy is ever published in the media.

• It is pure dilettantism to let your colleagues from the other side take live audio/video recordings of how the target person is cut into pieces.

In view of the utter improbability of the whole story your verdict “He [MbS] is guilty guilty guuilty” seems to be a bit hasty. Which tells everyone that your foreign policy competence is even worse than your economics competence.

Who could have imagined that this would be possible?

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke said...

Indeed, Egmont, one of the reasons all US senators want MbS out is that he a completely incompetent loose cannon. He has botched all sorts of things, being a young power mad fool. His war in Yemen is a disaster, his boycott of Qatar has been a failure, his attempt to remove Hariri in Lebanon was a botch, he failed to get an IPO for ARMACO. He did manage to let women drive in KSA finally, but this assassinatino of Khashoggi has clearly been another thing just completely incompetently managed.

It is an old observation that what might be explained by a conspiracy theory is more oftn simply explained by sheer stupidity and incompetence of which there is simply huge amounts of going around out there.

AXEC / E.K-H said...

Barkley Rosser

In my post of June 29, 2017, I wrote: “Your true competence has always been insightful comments on the sex life of the House of Sa’ud and other celebrities as demonstrated in … ‘Muhammed Bin Nayef Bin Abdulaziz Al Sa’ud Confined To His Palace’.”#1

On Oct 18, 2018, you demanded: “MBS Must Go”#2 and upon my critique that your comment has nothing to do with economics you answered: “You have been repeatedly lectured on how totally inappropriate your complaints that sometimes people here write specifically about politics or other non-economics issues. We can and do write about what we want to and always have. There is no rule or law that says we cannot, and you declaring that we should not or cannot just mskes you look like the totslly worthless arrogant asshole that you are.”

On Nov 27, 2018, you complained: “Trump More Seriously Kowtows To MbS”#3

On Dec 14, 2018, you jubilated: “100 Percent Of US Senate Against MbS.”#4

Apart from my longstanding methodological reprimand that foreign policy is NOT the subject matter of economists but heavily distracts from the main and still unfinished task to explain how the economy works, I wonder why you are so obsessed with this “worthless and ddisgusting and degraded” MbS who tramples all conventions about the proper treatment of journalists underfoot: “Mr. Khashoggi was dead within minutes, beheaded, dismembered, his fingers severed, and within two hours the killers were gone, according to details from audio recordings described by a senior Turkish official on Wednesday.” (NYT)

This is NOT the stuff for highly sensitive economists. Wouldn’t it be much more rewarding for you and your academic colleagues to do some scientific homework and to figure out what profit is?#5

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 Economists: scientists or political clowns?

#2 Reverse Alchemy: from scientific gold to political shit

#3 “We have sunk very low”

#4 Urgent: Taking politics out of economics

#5 Do first your macroeconomic homework

AXEC / E.K-H said...

Barkley Rosser

In Zero Hedge I read today: “Khashoggi has wrongly been presented by liberal western media as a sort of hero wanting to liberate his own country from the savagery of its Saudi elite. Conveniently, for leftish journals like the Washington Post this ticks a number of boxes, not least of all how it portrays Trump’s key ally in the Middle East ― the house of Saud ― as a brutal dictatorship. But you couldn’t find a better example of the personification of a fake news operative, who wasn’t even a journalist, than Jamal Khashoggi. The 59-year old columnist, we now know, was planning to create an opposition movement which would overthrow the Saudi rulers, the same rulers who paid him handsomely for over 30 years as one of their own ‘journalists’. He was a Muslim Brotherhood acolyte who was on the Qatari payroll, managed by an American lady, who assisted him with his vociferous, if not spiteful, attacks on Mohammad bin Salman. Khashoggi had big plans, with the help of Qatar, to bring down the House of Saud and he wasn’t particularly bothered about abusing the trust of that 30-year friendship, which trusted him and shared information with him.”

Provided that this is not also disinformation, it confirms my long-standing impression that, in addition to your proven economics incompetence#2, you are NOT qualified as foreign policy analyst/journalist either.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 How The Melting Pot Of Truth And Disinformation Became One

#2 Economists: scientists or political clowns?