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My blog is on holiday today

My blog is on holiday today in the nation’s capital. It was safe to be here because all the politicians and their advisors have gone back home! Last night I saw the fabulous Demons outsmart the Giants (who seem to think punching behind play is the way forward). It was great to see the old MCG manual scoreboard (which was transplanted to Manuka Oval in Canberra when the MGC was rebuilt (some say modernised). Anyway, tomorrow we will be back, but for the rest of the day, you might listen to some music provided below.


The old MCG Scoreboard

I spent many hours at the Melbourne Cricket Ground as a youngster, wagging school, jumping fences, evading security guards to get into games etc.

All part of growing up in Melbourne I guess.

The scoreboard was an essential part of sport in Melbourne.

This story is worth reading – MCG Scoreboard – if, like me, you like the old scoreboards rather than the new digital ones, which bombard spectators with ads for gambling and other mass consumption items rather than sticking to the facts.

The scoreboard I grew up with at the MCG, which is now at Manuka Oval, was built in 1907.

Here it is in all its glory in the old City Stand (now gone) during the – 1981 VFL Grand Final.

There were 112,964 spectators turned up that day.

It was the last time the scoreboard was used at the MCG.

Don’t mention who won!

Here is a story about the relocation of the scoreboard to – Manuka Oval in Canberra.

This is what the board looks like now in its new location – it was relocated and rebuilt in November 1982.

Music – Idle Moments

This is what I have been listening to while working early this morning before I catch a flight home.

It fits with the theme of the day.

The – Idle Moments – album was released on the Blue Note label in 1965, two years after it was recorded.

The guitarist is – Grant Green – who us one of my favourite guitar players.

He isn’t a player who would appear on many lists of the most famous jazz guitarists but he is close to the top of my list.

He recorded a massive number of tracks as a session player for Blue Note during the 1960s.

He was in the hardbop tradition while at Blue Note, but later branched out in the early 1970s and started paving the way for what we now call Acid Jazz.

On this album (and the title track) are the best players of the day:

1. Joe Henderson – tenor saxophone

2. Duke Pearson – piano

3. Bob Cranshaw – double bass

4. Al Harewood – drums

5. Bobby Hutcherson – vibraphone

This is the title track in C-minor and was written by the pianist Duke Pearson.

If you follow up you will learn that the track was meant to be only 7 minutes long (to fit with vinyl LP conventional time limits of the day) but Green continued to solo for 64 rather than 32 bars and the other soloists followed his lead which meant the track was twice long as planned.

They tried another shorter take but decided the longer version was far superior. They then rerecorded the other two tracks on the album (making them shorter).

He also did weird things to his amp to get that sound – basically only turning the bass and treble down to zero and the midrange settings to 10! I tried that once to see the effect but it only seems to work on Gibson 330s with the P-90 pickups.

His later work was looked down upon by the traditional jazz players, in the same way that Miles Davis’ transition to fusion in the late 1960s was dismissed by the so-called ‘purists’ (aka narrow-minded bigots).

I especially like – Iron City (released in 1972 on the Cobblestone label) – if you are interested.

Grant Green died at the very young age of 43 in 1979.

Anyway, in fitting with my holiday today here is ‘Idle Moments’.

That is enough for today!

(c) Copyright 2021 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

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    This Post Has 6 Comments
    1. While your blog is on vacation I will take it as an opportunity to describe some of the good things about my country- the USA. And why it is not a failed nation for its citizens.

      And I realize this country has done many bad things over the years to both its own citizens and to others in many places. But so have many other countries and I will focus on some of the good that I think the US has managed to do even if accidentally.

      There is generally at least the opportunity for a standard of living here that is well above the median of the 8 billion people that inhabit the Earth. This country produces far more food, for instance, than is necessary to feed our population, even if we do not distribute it all that fairly. If you were to look at Americans you would be justified to say that very many of us are obese rather than saying that we suffer from starvation- that just isn’t a thing here no matter how poor you are.

      This country is made up of immigrants from all over the world. I myself am Irish-English-French-Italian and probably others, by way of those countries and also through Canada and Australia. The last is most surprising. This country has a record of accepting immigrants from all over the world and for treating them as citizens. And I know we have not been perfect in this regard and prejudices remain. And we have an absolutely terrible history regarding African Americans and Native Americans that I will not try to minimize. It is the worst thing about this country- but I have reason to hope that it has been improving.

      The United States has been one of the most productive nations in the world for a long time now. Perhaps that is declined as so many industries have shifted production elsewhere to take advantage of lower wages. But even so the US produces a great many goods and I would think a larger percentage of what you might call ‘high tech’ goods than most other places. Still, the decline in manufacturing is a negative despite what MMT says about imports being a bonus.

      But if imports are actually a bonus as MMT says- well the US is excelling at that cause we are real good at buying them in excess of our exports.

      Militarily, or projection of power, or self defense- US would not be considered as a failure in that ability even though there are many, many reasonable moral objections to how it has been used.

      Health- the US has a most screwed up way of providing health care to its citizens. Life expectancy is mediocre for developed countries. Our experience with the current pandemic would win no awards. Except the country has managed to develop several seemingly very effective vaccines and so far deliver them to more than 30% of the population in the last few months. And I will bet anyone that we will be distributing them to the world as soon as we inoculate our own citizens and that will be soon.

      Intellectually- well there are more than 330,000,000 people here in the US. While it is unfortunate we don’t have the Bill Mitchell, we do have Warren Mosler and Randall Wray and Stephanie Kelton among others. And a lot of other really bright people in other important fields.

      So I reject that the US is a failed nation as Bill seemed to state. Even if the chance of being randomly shot by a fellow citizen approaches the chance you might win the lotto.

    2. @Jerry Brown

      Most countries have somewhere their citizens can escape to when under duress..
      Think Greece, Latvia etc.
      Here in New Zealand hundreds of thousands of Kiwis relocated to Australia when the neolibs took over in the 80’s-90’s.
      I’ve often wondered where US citizens went to……..probably nowhere!

    3. William, US citizens are free to leave at any time assuming they find a country that will accept them. But don’t forget that the US itself is a vast area and there are plenty of places to go here. The entire country of New Zealand is comparable in size to the 8th largest US State by area- Colorado. Although Colorado seems to have about a million more people than New Zealand and even so, it is far less densely populated than many areas in the US.

      My impression is that far more people want to move to the US than want to leave though. But I admit that since seeing the Lord of the Rings movies I really would like to visit New Zealand some day. It seems beautiful. Hopefully you have managed to control the orcs :)

    4. Jerry, read Nancy MacLeans Democracy In Chains to see where America is heading and who is organising it. Since around 1947. Step by little step. You will be horrified.

    5. Jerry: The MMT position that imports are benefits and exports are costs is totally unrelated to the MMT position on manufacturing. A strong and resilient economy is one with strength in the three major trophic levels of the economy – the primary trophic level (ecologically sustainable agricultural and resource-extractive industries); the secondary trophic level (manufacturing, construction, resource-processing, and recycling industries); and the tertiary trophic level (service industries). Most of the output of the primary trophic level serves as inputs to the secondary trophic level, and the majority of the output of the secondary trophic level serves as inputs to the tertiary trophic level. Some of the output of the secondary trophic level becomes inputs to the primary level (e.g., farm machinery, mining equipment, and fuels). All output of the primary trophic level (natural resources) ultimately ends up as waste – energy immediately it is used; materials eventually (first and second laws of thermodynamics).

      While imports in excess of exports are an immediate benefit for a country, if it is merely overcoming a gradual decline in one of the trophic levels, it will have long-term implications for the productive capacity of the economy and increase the nation’s vulnerability. Because MMT focuses on real resource constraints and productive capacity, not financial constraints, it would view a decline in manufacturing as a concern, even though it would not alter the fact that an imported product constitutes a benefit to the importing country because it involves receiving a useful resource, product, or service from another country without having to utilise any of its own resources. The only exception would be the importation of useful stuff to help rebuild domestic manufacturing industries. But this is not the case with the USA – most imports are consumer goods. My country, Australia, does much the same. Australia’s vulnerability is lessened by Australia’s abundance of non-renewable resources, which gives it strength at the primary trophic level. That is the result of good luck, not good management. Many EU countries are not in the same fortunate position, besides being impaired by having a central government that is a currency-user.

    6. Well deserved rest, professor.

      I hardly ever physically missed school as a youngster, but I was definitely not fully there mentally.

      As for the conversation as to whether America is failed state. Its an ultimately meaningless question & answer because it works great for some and terrible for many. We have alot of wealthy people and have literally the poorest people on earth (the homeless in Los Angeles).

      Everything depends on what the market likes and who your parents are and what time were you born. If you a plumber now, you are “fine.” If you are a biologist, then get ready for years of poverty.

      It is better to use a dialectical method of looking at the world, all the things you have cited (military, healthcare, and intellectualism) are all problematic on “the other side.” In military, its great for armaments companies, but its terrible for people who have no choice but to join the army or are the receiving end of imperialism. For healthcare, its great for people who have top healthcare or work in healthcare, but its terrible for poor people who don’t have money or just have their income eaten up by it. For intellectualism, its great to get respected (and well deserved in case of MMTers) but often the way people justify poor treatment for the poor is the poor’s lack of education. A graduate student once told me non-college educated people shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Because of inequality of educational attainment, then we are allowed to treat the poor less than human. And what about the fake knowledge still being peddled by well paid professors? We cannot ignore the other side.

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