Monthly Archive: October 2012

Oct 31

UK Think Tank Says Deficit Paranoia Increases Debt

A think tank in the UK has pointed out (as the IMF did in less vocal tones about Europe as a whole) that focusing on reducing government deficits is actually leading to greater debt.  The UK has taken an approach of tax increases and spending cuts to keep debt from going too high.  But the …

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Oct 30

Political Power Comes from Organization

I’ve come to realize I have a certain assumption of how I think political systems work that underlies a lot of my opinions so I thought I’d lay it out.  It’s really very simple, but I think it explains a lot.  It can be summed up in one sentence: Power over social decision-making requires organization. …

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Oct 29

Republicans Are Actually Keynesians

I feel like I never stop learning from Paul Krugman.  His latest blog post discusses the fact that the “fiscal cliff” of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes should be welcome to conservatives if they are consistent.  After all, they will significantly reduce the government deficit and all we hear from Romney/Ryan is how debt …

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Oct 21

Ellsberg Piece and Voter Boycott Counter-Productiveness

I usually don’t repost others material, but I want to share a great piece by Daniel Ellsberg, of Pentagon Papers fame,  about why it is important to defeat Romney.  I post this as an elaboration on the back and forth on ZSpace and here that I had with Terri Lee, who supports a voter boycott.  …

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Oct 21

Paul Krugman is on to Something with Household Debt

Paul Krugman often states his opinion that consumer demand, held back by large debt, is what is keeping the US economy from recovering fully and that government stimulus is in order.  I am frankly not the best at economic statistics, but I did a little research that seems to support this.  First, total household debt …

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Oct 20

Media Bias on Palestine Elections

A Reuters article today on local elections in the Palestinian West Bank demonstrates rather obvious bias in media coverage.  One article by one news agency is not all that important obviously, but the image portrayed is rather usual in mainstream commentary.  The title of the article is “West Bank vote held to help plug Palestinian …

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Oct 11

Thoughts on Externalities

I’ve been looking back at material I read a long time ago by Robin Hahnel, economics professor emeritus at American University, and it got me thinking about the problem of externalities in market systems.  As basic economics tells us, an externality is an effect of a purchase on a third party in addition to the …

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Oct 07

Good Organizations/Projects

Wanted to take the time to promote two worthwhile endeavors: 1) Free Press is an organization based in Massachusetts challenging corporate consolidation of media.  Especially relevant given my recent post on the media’s terrible performance on presidential debates. 2) ZNet is launching a new social networking site called ZSocial.  It is still in beta testing …

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Oct 06

Want Real Debates? Put This High School Student in Charge

To understand that political debates should be about substantive issues, all you have to do is talk to a high school student who actually debates.  Click below (embed code isn’t working for some reason).  Skip to 3:53 and the girl being interviewed makes what is an obvious point to anyone who knows the first thing …

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Oct 04

Media Focus on Style, Not Substance Erodes Democracy

The post-debate analysis offers a chance to see a severe problem with our media, which is its focus on who “won” a debate and how the debate will effect the presidential race, rather than focus on the issues being debated.  For example, a headline piece from discusses how Obama’s apparent strategy of appearing calm …

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