Archive | November, 2010

  • European Authorities Pushing Ireland Down the Wrong Track

    As another one of the so-called “PIIGS” countries is being led to the slaughterhouse, it is worth asking whether all the carnage advocated by the European authorities is really necessary.  Ireland is in its third year of recession and income per person has already declined by more than 20 percent since 2007.  Unemployment has more […]

  • Excerpts from FAO’s Food Outlook (November 2010)

    International prices of most agricultural commodities have increased in recent months, some sharply.  The FAO Food Price index has gained 34 points since the previous Food Outlook report in June, averaging 197 points in October, only 16 points short from its peak in June 2008.  The upward movements of prices were connected with several factors, […]

  • Cuba’s Economic Reform: Interview with Oscar Martínez

      Oscar Martínez is Deputy Head of the International Relations Department of the Cuban Communist Party.  This interview was conducted during the South African Communist Party visit to Cuba this month. What is the nature of the economic problems Cuba is currently experiencing? In the context of our other problems, the US economic and financial […]

  • Haiti: A Seismic Election

      Juliana Ruhfus: In these elections Haitians actually have a choice between no less than 19 different presidential candidates. . . .  Haiti’s political history has been one of revolt, dictatorship, and violence. . . .  Democracy arrived in the country in 1990, with the election of the priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide.  But, over the following […]

  • Core Inflation Virtually Flat since July

    The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2 percent in October as the inflation in the price of energy rebounded to 2.6 percent in the month.  The overall price of core consumer goods and services remained virtually flat for the third consecutive month.  Over that time, the core rate of inflation has been only 0.2 percent, annualized. […]

  • UK: Student Protest against Education Cuts

    Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian cartoonist.  Cf. Nina Power, “Student Protest: We Are All in This Together” (Guardian, 10 November 2010); and Richard Seymour, “Tories Fall Back in the Polls” (Lenin’s Tomb, 17 November 2010). | Print

  • The Value of Money

      Paul Jay: On November 7, the president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, issued a statement calling for the reintroduction of some form of gold standard to establish the value of money.  Why now? . . .  Is Robert Zoellick’s proposal grasping at straws? Jane D’Arista: Well, what you’re saying is quite right.  The […]

  • On Paul Baran’s Political Economy of Growth

    In underdeveloped countries the appropriation of the economic surplus by foreign capital or its absorption by nonessential consumption of the parasitic upper classes is emphasized, the repercussions being a low level of investment and slow economic growth.

  • Where’s the Growth Supposed to Come From?

    Have governments everywhere simply lost their marbles?  Not much emerged from the Seoul G-20 Summit — and definitely not anything really desirable in the form of coordinated Global Keynesian policies (of the kind that Matías Vernengo has advocated in the TripleCrisis blog).  But then, quite frankly, not much was really expected to come out, given […]

  • Carving Up Sudan

    If Sudan gets carved up, it won’t be common people in southern Sudan who will benefit. Fahd Bahady is a Syrian cartoonist.  This cartoon was published in his blog on 13 November 2010; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes.   The text above is an interpretation of the cartoon by Yoshie Furuhashi. | Print

  • The Gains from Trade: South American Economic Integration and the Resolution of Conflict

    It has long been argued that expanding commercial relations between countries acts as an incentive for nations to avoid hostilities up to and including armed conflict.  Indeed this was a major impetus behind the economic integration of Europe1 after World War II, which led to the European Union and more recently the currency union of […]

  • Let’s Launch an Enquiry into the Debt! A Manual on How to Organise Audits on Third World Debts

      Excerpt: The first objective of an audit is to clarify the past, to untangle the web of debt, thread by thread, so as to reconstruct the sequence of events which has led to the present impasse. . . .  Who has loaned and what was his role?  How did the State find itself committed, […]

  • Econ 101 Fail

    OK, folks.  It’s time for a refresher on basic national accounts.  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is interested in reducing current account surpluses around the world without devaluing the dollar.  Good luck with that. Even worse, Geithner reiterated that the U.S. “will bring our fiscal position back to a sustainable balance.” Loosely speaking, our national income […]

  • Can We Afford Cost-Saving Efficiency?

      So there are no technological fixes [to the environmental problem caused by increasing consumption] in sight? I’ve gone on from the basic footprint concept to demonstrate a couple of other interesting spin-offs.  The assumption seems to be, in the mainstream, that improved technology, improved material and energy efficiency will help to solve this problem. […]

  • What the Republican Victory Means for US Foreign Policy

    Paul Jay: Certainly President Obama had more support for the war in Afghanistan from the Republican Party than he ever did from within his own party.  But might this mean increased pressure for a more aggressive stance towards Iran? . . .  What’s your take?  How do you think this election might affect US foreign […]

  • David Brooks’ Apocalypse

    “Elections come and go, but the United States is still careening toward bankruptcy.  By 2020, the U.S. will be spending $1 trillion a year just to pay the interest on the national debt.  Sometime between now and then the catastrophe will come.  It will come with amazing swiftness.  The bond markets are with you until […]

  • From Field to Fork: Obama’s Agri Recipe for India

    The government of the USA has planned for India to become an important consumer of its agricultural exports and crop science.  India has also been planned as a host country for an agricultural research agenda directed by American crop-seed biotech corporations.  This is to be achieved through a variety of programmes in India, some of […]

  • No Fracking Way! PA: Exemption without Taxation in the “Saudi Arabia of Natural Gas”

    Part 1 Part 2 Part 1 Tom Corbett, Governor-Elect for Pennsylvania: It’s now time to come together, to tell the rest of the world — to tell the rest of the world Pennsylvania is open for business. Jesse Freeston: And that business is natural gas.  Pennsylvania’s race was unique in that it was fought primarily […]

  • A Colossal Madhouse

    This is what the G-20 meeting that started yesterday in Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, has been turned into. Many readers, saturated with acronyms, may wonder: What is the G-20? This is one of the many miscreations concocted by the most powerful empire and its allies, who also created the G-7: the United States, Japan, […]

  • G-20 Barking Up the Wrong Tree

    If the G-20 is going to be nothing more than a talking shop on economic issues, they ought to at least talk about the economic problems that really matter, and the ones that they can do something about.  Not that currency values don’t matter — they are actually very important.  And it is interesting to […]