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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 67,631

Journal Archives

Krugman in "I was wrong"

Growth and Interest Rates: I Appear To Be Wrong

In my last post I followed Floyd Norris in criticizing the CBO, which has marked down its estimates of future economic growth without marking down its estimates of future interest rates. I still think that’s a fair criticism. But I also offered a hypothesis: that interest rates fall more than one-for-one with slower growth, so that the crucial difference r-g — interest rate minus growth rate — actually falls, making debt easier, not harder, to handle.

So I’ve taken a quick and dirty look at US history, and it doesn’t seem to bear my hypothesis out. Here’s actual r-g — strictly speaking, interest rates minus the rate of growth of GDP over the previous year — since 1952:

Postwar US history broadly breaks into two eras: a fast-growth generation after World War II, and generally slower growth thereafter. If my hypothesis had been right, r-g should have been lower in the second era than the first. Well, it looks as if the opposite was generally true, even if you ignore the spikes around big recessions.

Now that I think about it, the case of Japan — although complicated by the zero lower bound — also counts in this direction: interest rates have been low, but GDP growth even lower.




USA Highest Per-Capita Healthcare Spending - YET - One Of Lowest Life Expectancies

The U.S. has by far the highest per-capita healthcare spending... and one of the lowest life expectancies of any of the world's richest countries.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/life-expectancy-vs-healthcare-spending-2014-3#ixzz2ulOugj1O

'How Republicans lost their minds, Democrats lost their souls and Washington lost its appeal'

By Robert G. Kaiser


Reagan’s 1980 landslide victory surprised the Democrats in Congress and left them confused about what they believed. Once they had genuine leaders — Humphrey was one, Robert F. Kennedy another — who could forcefully articulate a liberal platform with broad appeal, but those leaders had no successors. When Reagan announced, in his first inaugural address, that “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem,” Democrats seemed helpless to reply. Instead they caved. In 1981, Democrats provided the votes in both the House and the Senate that enacted Reagan’s tax and spending cuts, as well as his defense buildup.

That same year, Democrats in the House elected a new chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rep. Tony Coelho of California. It was a fateful choice. Coelho was remarkably good at the job. His colleagues saw him as a lifeline who would help them raise enough money to retain their House majority despite Reagan’s popularity. And he succeeded. Coelho convinced his fellow Democrats that in this new era, they had to raise money from business interests — just like Republicans. He set up new ways for those interests to make their wishes known to House Democrats. Democrats listened, took the money and retained big majorities. All it cost them was their soul.

The 1980s changed America. These were the years when corporations and wealthy individuals organized to fight back against the liberal forces that had dominated the ’60s and ’70s. Moneyed interests organized new groups, especially political action committees that were prepared to spend large sums to achieve their political objectives. This began the three-decade process that has made money the most important element of our public life, a form of pollution way beyond the reach of the Environmental Protection Agency.

As money became more and more important to congressional candidates, Democrats, especially in the House, became less and less effective in their historic role as the allies and defenders of the little guy. Their electoral successes every two years dulled their competitive skills. They had little to offer by way of new policies or ideas. They became smug, self-satisfied, too willing to engage in the petty corruptions that four decades in control made so easy. Instead of defending the little guy, Democrats helped themselves.



But march ever forward, breaking down bars. Look ever upward at the sun and the stars.

Children, I come back today
To tell you a story of the long dark way
That I had to climb, that I had to know
In order that the race might live and grow.
Look at my face -- dark as the night --
Yet shining like the sun with love's true light.
I am the dark girl who crossed the red sea
Carrying in my body the seed of the free.
I am the woman who worked in the field
Bringing the cotton and the corn to yield.
I am the one who labored as a slave,
Beaten and mistreated for the work that I gave --
Children sold away from me, I'm husband sold, too.
No safety , no love, no respect was I due.

Three hundred years in the deepest South:
But God put a song and a prayer in my mouth .
God put a dream like steel in my soul.
Now, through my children, I'm reaching the goal.

Now, through my children, young and free,
I realized the blessing deed to me.
I couldn't read then. I couldn't write.
I had nothing, back there in the night.
Sometimes, the valley was filled with tears,
But I kept trudging on through the lonely years.
Sometimes, the road was hot with the sun,
But I had to keep on till my work was done:
I had to keep on! No stopping for me --
I was the seed of the coming Free.
I nourished the dream that nothing could smother
Deep in my breast -- the Negro mother.
I had only hope then , but now through you,
Dark ones of today, my dreams must come true:
All you dark children in the world out there,
Remember my sweat, my pain, my despair.
Remember my years, heavy with sorrow --
And make of those years a torch for tomorrow.
Make of my pass a road to the light
Out of the darkness, the ignorance, the night.
Lift high my banner out of the dust.
Stand like free men supporting my trust.
Believe in the right, let none push you back.
Remember the whip and the slaver's track.
Remember how the strong in struggle and strife
Still bar you the way, and deny you life --
But march ever forward, breaking down bars.
Look ever upward at the sun and the stars.
Oh, my dark children, may my dreams and my prayers
Impel you forever up the great stairs --
For I will be with you till no white brother
Dares keep down the children of the Negro Mother.


"Senator John McCain: “We Are All Ukrainians”

This Just In.

John McCain has been rounded up by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and placed in a detention camp, after McCain let slip yesterday that he really is Ukrainian, and therefore here illegally.

"Senator John McCain: “We Are All Ukrainians”


Keystone Pipeline: The Chinese will pay us nothing, or next to nothing-So Uncle Sam is Uncle Sucker.

Rep. Alan Grayson Become a fan
The Keystone XL Pipeline: Who Benefits?

The Chinese economy consists of taking raw materials and energy, making that into stuff, and then selling that stuff -- a/k/a "manufacturing." Chinese leaders understand that in order for that model to work, China needs steady supplies of raw materials and energy. But how do you get a steady supply of energy, in a world where those supplies are dominated by a cartel, and are concentrated in a part of the world prone to war? In America, we've been trying to puzzle that out for four decades, without success.

Well, the Chinese have figured it out. They're going to get their energy from Canada, a stable country, and pass it through the United States, another stable country. They will pay the Canadians the world price for oil. They will pay us nothing, or next to nothing. So Uncle Sam is Uncle Sucker.


When deciding what to do about Ukraine, we must ask 2 key questions.

GOP Unplugged @GOPunplugged

When deciding what to do about Ukraine, we must ask 2 key questions.
1) Do they have oil? 2) Can we make Obama look bad?
4:04 PM - 28 Feb 2014


Palin on Ukraine: “Yes-I could see this one from Alaska-I’m usually not one to Told-Ya-So-but I did"

Sarah Palin is saying “Told-Ya-So” on the rising tensions in Ukraine, writing in a Facebook post that she predicted in 2008 Russia would invade the country.

“Yes, I could see this one from Alaska. I’m usually not one to Told-Ya-So, but I did,” Palin wrote Friday.

Palin on Ukraine: I told you so

In the post, Palin says that in 2008, following Russia’s invasion of Georgia, she criticized then-Sen. Barack Obama whose reaction she said “was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that for indecisiveness that would only encourage Russia’s [Vladimir] Putin to invade Ukraine next.”

The former Republican vice presidential nominee said she was derided for her comments — which on Friday she called an “accurate prediction”— on foreign policy, making reference to the notable interview during the 2008 election in which she talked about the proximity of Russia and Alaska and was spoofed by Tina Fey on “Saturday Night Live” with the famous line, “I can see Russia from my house!”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/sarah-palin-ukraine-russia-104110.html#ixzz2uistG5qc

George W. Bush Paintings To Be Exhibited This Spring...

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