Monthly Archive: August 2012

Aug 30

Greenwald Shows How Political Campaigns Are Lacking Substance

Glenn Greenwald has an excellent piece today that shows the inauthentic nature of the presidential campaigns.  He also shows the ridiculous level to which CNN has sunk in what it thinks is journalism.  The title of Greenwald’s article is a little deceptive since he goes after both Ryan and Obama.  I addressed the same topic …

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Aug 29

The Real History of US Deficits


Since Republicans like to talk about their commitment to reducing the debt, a look at history should help.  The chart below displays each year whether the government had a surplus or a deficit and by how much as a percentage of GDP.  Let’s look at the presidencies of the past 30 years and see what …

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Aug 27

Overview of the Fed and Quantitative Easing

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke seems close to having the central bank engage in “Quantitative Easing.” A lot of people may wonder what in the world that means.  Normally I post things more opinionated, but I thought this would be a good tutorial. For the benefit of everyone, I’m going to discuss what bonds are …

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Aug 24

Unemployment Rate and Murder Rate Partially Linked


After the latest shooting today in NYC, I started wondering if the bad economy might have anything to do with the recent number of mass shootings.   What I did can hardly be called a full analysis, and as the WSJ shows the correlation-cause relationship is hard to pin.  But I found two things.  First, …

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Aug 23

The Basics on Growth and Deficits

Source: US Census 2012 Statistical Abstract

[Update: Paul Krugman raised an important point today (which he actually got from Dave Weigel), which is that the Republican response to the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the “fiscal cliff” of Bush tax cuts’ potential expiration and new spending cuts contradicts their concerns about the deficit.  If the deficit was the main problem with …

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Aug 18

We Should Have Supported Mubarak? Seriously?

The recent forced retirement of several Egyptian generals by President Morsi brings to light some commentary on the Egyptian situation that is quite mind-boggling.  As a case in point, Charles Rowley, professor emeritus at George Mason University, blames President Obama for supporting the ouster of Mubarak when it risked bringing Islamist militants into power.  Rowley …

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Aug 13

The Under(and Over)Estimation of Catastrophe

Reuters has a piece today called “Are Israelis tough enough for a long war with Iran?” Some shocking points emerge out of it. One is the following quote from Defense Minister Ehud Barak: “Defense Minister Ehud Barak estimates 500 Israelis would die should a strike on Iran, which denies seeking to develop nuclear weaponry, turn …

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Aug 13

Democracy Now on Paul Ryan

Ryan’s policies are scrutinized quite thoroughly here…

Aug 13

Mainstream Economics Anyone?

Mainstream economics tells us (quite logically I believe) that the multiplier effect of government spending is greater than that of tax cuts. That is to say an increase in government spending increases GDP more than a tax cut of the same amount. Why? Because if I have a tax cut, I am likely to save …

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Aug 13

Political Theater Is Absurd

  Much has already been said about Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan as the VP candidate. While it isn’t even hidden that Ryan’s plan will cut services to the poor, while decreasing taxes on the wealthy, that is not what I want to focus on here. What gets me is how orchestrated these political campaigns …

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