by southasiawatch, Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:56:27 AM EDT
Economic protectionism does more than threaten economic recovery these days, it also threatens national security. Economists agree that economic protectionism is a losing strategy for strengthening GDP. Barriers to free trade and commerce actually harm native economies by proliferating protectionism globally as nations respond by passing defensive barriers of their own.
But the domestic economy is not the only thing threatened by some protectionism under consideration in the US Congress right now. The Kansas City Star reports, a new trade measure proposed by the White House would provide for "Reconstruction Opportunity Zones" in Pakistan, a lynchpin in the war on terror.
by tjrifai, Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 06:43:50 AM EDT
For a long time now, I have been in agreement with the idea that Global Warming is by far Humanity's greatest problem and challenge of the 21st century. In truth, however, it is not. Global Warming is the greatest problem caused by the mother of the vast majority of our problems: Growth Capitalism. Indeed, we will not solve global warming without first solving its mother.
In a growth capitalist society, we must define economy as the way in which a society distributes limited goods and services to satisfy limitless wants and needs. Our society must teach us and train us to believe that we have limitless wants and needs in order for growth capitalism to work: the great idea that "You can never have too much money". In fact, we do not, naturally, have limitless material wants and needs. For example, I have fairly elite tastes. I want to eat delicious, high quality, healthy foods. I want a super fast computer. I want a brand new Prius, fully loaded. But I don't want to eat too much, I don't want more than one PC or more than one car. I want a beautiful, well built, environmentally friendly home, but not a mansion. People who think they want 5 Ferraris, a mansion and 3 vacation homes, etc. have, essentially, been brainwashed. It is happiness and health that they want and they have been taught that these things equal happiness and health but, in fact, we know for certain they do not. I will admit that it is, perhaps, impossible to satisfy everyone's limited wants and needs but I know that they are still limited and that we are wealthy enough to completely satisfy many people's and most of others.
We measure the health and wealth of our economy in growth capitalism by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and GDP per capita. This is supposedly a measurement of the monetary value of all the goods and services produced in a given country. The problems with this measurement are many. When we produce products that do not improve our health and happiness and are even detrimental to them, we still increase the GDP. When I purchase more food than I need and let it rot in my refrigerator before I throw it out, I increase the GDP. When people are more unhealthy and need more health care, we increase the GDP. When we go to war, we increase the GDP. And, perhaps most importantly, when we work 40-70 hour weeks rather than 20 hour weeks, we increase the GDP. Therefore, this is a horrible measurement of the wealth of an economy.
by masterplaid, Mon Mar 23, 2009 at 02:45:24 PM EDT
Cross-posted to Mike's Blog!
I'm really curious to see what happens with today's new plan to fix the banks. Among people to whom I listen about the economy, opinions are sharply divided; here's a strong argument in favor from Brad DeLong and a strong argument against from Paul Krugman. I don't know enough to have a defensible opinion, although my instincts are with Krugman and against the banksters, so I don't have much confidence in today's plan.
Obviously for the sake of alleviating economic suffering I hope it works out, but I also think this is an intellectually critical moment, much like the Iraq war debate.
by brasch, Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:25:45 AM EDT
SUMMARY: Americans are outraged at what has happened to their money, but they may outraged at the wrong things.
by bacalove, Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 03:33:15 AM EDT
It is very Unpatriotic that every morning Morning Joe opens up with how Team Obama is so Confused and so muddled, when in fact he has been very clear about getting America back on track in the many avenues which have been neglected for all of these years. This assumption is false when in fact Team Obama has been clear that they are doing Stress Tests on the banks to figure out how to proceed. Why that cannot be allowed to take place by some in the media, well we know the answer to that, Politics. And, actually is Unpatriotic to the American people to continue to falsely accuse Team Obama for actions that are not real and to pretend things are so confused when they have never been so clear. Daily they come out with their plans for the American people, plans which have long been ignored. And, please media, stop saying Main Street is confused, we are not. They are instituting policies for us now. When GOP brings up the era of "easy money" is over, we could ask, easy money for whom and to whom? Not us, not Main Street...
As of yesterday, robocalls are going out to ask people to sign up to restructure thier mortgages (that is not confusion but action on behalf of the American people.) It is too bad that when Republicans had their chance they did nothing for the people but use the word No, No, No, so it is no wonder they think Team Obama are doing to many things at once, being the party of no action that they were.
Let this Team have their chance to bring in real change. The American people are not confused! Please stop being so falsely and deceptively unpatriotic, because we know as Rush stated so blatantly, they want Pres. Obama to fail, which means the American people also fail.
With the economy in freefall, Americans have a chance to reshape society for a more equitable distribution of wealth....