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Friday, 08 January

13:58

Brazil forecasts jump in wind and solar investments as hydro wanes Renew Economy

Wind and solar power capacity expected to increase to as much as 11.6% and 3.7% of the energy mix as part of a new 10-year energy expansion plan in Brazil.

13:56

GM unveils the Chevy Bolt, a 200-mile-range EV with a $30,000 price tag Renew Economy

The age of affordable, long-range electric vehicles has begun.

13:47

Germany is 20 years away from 100 percent renewable power – not! Renew Economy

Despite Germany adding more renewable electricity than ever before in a single year in 2015, the government seems keen on slowing down this growth. What is really happening?

12:16

Mining company suit against US government tar sands decision shows TPP threat AFTINET

January 9, 2016: The  Huffington Post  reprots that just two months after the Obama administration rejected TransCanada's bid to build the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline - a landmark victory for the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground - the Canadian corporation announced it will retaliate by using ISDS in NAFTA, a TPP-like trade deal,

12:00

Saturday Quiz – January 9, 2016 Bill Mitchell – billy blog

Welcome to the Billy Blog Saturday Quiz. The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention over the last seven days. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.

1. As a matter of accounting, the financial assets held by the non-government sector rise $-for-$ when a sovereign government issues debt.



2. When government bond yields for new issues start to rise, government spending becomes more expensive.


...

Thursday, 07 January

12:38

The mass consumption era and the rise of neo-liberalism Bill Mitchell – billy blog

I was having a talk with a friend in San Francisco last Monday about globalisation and the capacity of the state, which is the topic of the upcoming book I am working on (manuscript due around May 2015). He made the comment that globalisation had meant that the state can now only do bad and can no longer do good. I asked him whether he was talking about globalisation (the international nature of finance and supply chains) or neo-liberalism (free market economics) and he said “neo-liberalism is a disease – that is the problem and since the 1970s it has meant the state is restricted to doing bad”. The point I was digging at was that progressives often conflates the two concepts which then leads to flawed conclusions about what the state can and cannot do. Further, when he talked about the state doing bad he was really talking about the impact on the average person and those who are disadvantaged. He wasn’t talking about the so-called top-end-of-town, which have without any question done very well since the 1970s. And that is my next point – the state hasn’t gone way or been rendered impotent by neo-liberalism as many on the Left believe and angst over. As the currency issuer it is still very powerful. It just serves the interests of a different cohort now relative to the cohort it served during the full employment period that followed the Second World War. In doing so, it has shifted from being a mediator of class conflict to serving the interests of capital in its battle to appropriate ever increasing shares of real income from labour. That is a wholly different narrative to the one that emerges when globalisation is conflated with neo-liberalism – as if they are parts of the same process.

The series so far:

1. Friday lay day – The Stability Pact didn’t mean much anyway, did it?

2....

12:15

Western Australia’s rooftop solar now state’s ‘biggest power station’ Renew Economy

The sheer volume of rooftop solar capacity installed in WA is such that, collectively, solar power comprises the state’s de facto largest power station.

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