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It seems like William Greider was frighteningly correct with the thesis of his book from 1997. This snippet from Counterpunch has raised my curiousity enough to make it point to borrow or buy the book.

“Back in 1997, Greider wrote a book, One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism, which warned that competition from the developing world would put downward pressure on the wages of manufacturing workers and that large trade deficits could lead to serious shortfalls in aggregate demand, meaning weak growth and high unemployment. The book was widely trashed by economists, including the leading liberals of the day. In particular, they ridiculed the idea that trade deficits could lead to unemployment, after all, the Fed could just lower interest rates to make up any shortfall in demand.

Two decades later, most of the mainstream of the profession accepts the idea of “secular stagnation,” meaning a sustained shortfall in demand that leaves the economy operating well below its potential level of output. With interest rates having bottomed out at zero following the Great Recession, most economists would concede that the Fed does not have the ability to boost the economy back to full employment, or at least not with its traditional tool of lowering the federal funds rate.

While economists generally do not like to talk about the trade deficit as a cause of secular stagnation, fans of logic and arithmetic point out that if we had balanced trade rather than a deficit of 3.0 percent of GDP, it would provide the same boost to the economy as an increase in government spending of 3.0 percent of GDP or roughly $650 billion a year in today’s economy. There is little doubt that would be a huge boost to demand and would have gone far towards ending the problem of secular stagnation. (There is no magic to balanced trade. I only use it as a point of reference.)

There were certainly things that Greider got wrong in One World, Ready or Not, as he did in his other economic writings. He was a journalist not an economist. Still, as one great economist commented, it is better to be approximately right than exactly wrong, a position that described many of his economist critics.”

 

The book, read now, will probably read like a fairly large “I told you so”, but I think it would be interesting to see what evidence he used to make the assertion.

 

 

Going against the dominant expectations as a teacher, as Chomsky says, is a dangerously fine line. Those who do, please keep up the great work.

Michael Praetorius’ In dulci jubilo is a gloriously expansive amalgam of sound and text. Composed near the end of Praetorius’ life as part of his Polyhymnia Caduceatrix et Panegyrica (Polychoral Hymns of Peace and Festivals) of 1619, this setting of the well-known tune In dulci jubilo was actually his 11th, and most ornate.

A handy reference guide to the inanity is arguing with those who espouse an inherently contradictory ideology. Thank you Womenarehuman.com.

This selection, more than any other speaks to me during the holiday season.  It brings back the happy moments of days gone past and lends strength to continue forward in the present.

Take care friends.

 

“Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland” (original: “Nu kom der Heyden heyland”, English: “Savior of the nations, come”, literally: Now come, Saviour of the heathen) is a Lutheran chorale of 1524 with words written by Martin Luther, based on “Veni redemptor gentium” by Ambrose, and a melody based on its plainchant. It was printed in the Erfurt Enchiridion of 1524.

The song was the prominent hymn for the first Sunday of Advent for centuries. It was used widely in organ settings by Protestant Baroque composers, most notably Johann Sebastian Bach, who also composed two church cantatas beginning with the hymn. Later settings include works by Max Reger, Brian Easdale and Siegfried Strohbach.

English versions include “Savior of the nations, come” by William Morton Reynolds, published in 1851.

“Johann Sebastian Bach composed the church cantata Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland (Now come, Savior of the heathens),[1] BWV 62, in Leipzig for the first Sunday in Advent and first performed it on 3 December 1724. The chorale cantata is based on Martin Luther‘s Advent hymnNun komm, der Heiden Heiland“. It is part of his chorale cantata cycle.”

 

1. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland,
der Jungfrauen Kind erkannt,
dass sich wunder alle Welt,
Gott solch Geburt ihm bestellt.

2. Er ging aus der Kammer sein,
dem königlichen Saal so rein,
Gott von Art und Mensch, ein Held;
sein’ Weg er zu laufen eilt.

3. Sein Lauf kam vom Vater her
und kehrt wieder zum Vater,
fuhr hinunter zu der Höll
und wieder zu Gottes Stuhl.

4. Dein Krippen glänzt hell und klar,
die Nacht gibt ein neu Licht dar.
Dunkel muss nicht kommen drein,
der Glaub bleib immer im Schein.

5. Lob sei Gott dem Vater g’tan;
Lob sei Gott seim ein’gen Sohn,
Lob sei Gott dem Heilgen Geist
immer und in Ewigkeit.

1. Savior of the nations, come;
Virgin’s Son, here make Thy home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.

2. Not by human flesh and blood;
By the Spirit of our God
Was the Word of God made flesh,
Woman’s offspring, pure and fresh.

3. Wondrous birth! O wondrous Child
Of the virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
Still to be in heaven enthroned.

4. From the Father forth He came
And returneth to the same,
Captive leading death and hell
High the song of triumph swell!

5. Thou, the Father’s only Son,
Hast over sin the victory won.
Boundless shall Thy kingdom be;
When shall we its glories see?

6. Brightly doth Thy manger shine,
Glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin overcloud this light;
Ever be our faith thus bright.

7. Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be
Ever and eternally.

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