Daily Digest

Daily Digest 10/2 - The Ugly Side Of Exponents, Who Really Won The Iraq War, Clashes Continue In Syria

Sunday, October 2, 2011, 9:48 AM
  • The Ugly Side Of Exponents: Weekend Edition
  • Rethinking The Boosterism About Small Business
  • Who won the war in Iraq? (Here's a big hint: It wasn't the United States)
  • Austria Passes Expansion of Euro Bailout Fund, With Opposition Limited but Loud
  • Clashes Continue as Thousands Protest in Syria
  • More Than 700 Arrested In Wall Street Protest
  • Flooded Farmers Learn To Be Creative
  • Japan Lifts Evacuation Advisories Near Nuclear Plant

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The Ugly Side Of Exponents: Weekend Edition (June C.)

In 2007, when the financial mess began and The Market Ticker originated publication, I pointed out that in order to bring the government into balance and stop the ponzi finance we would have to cut government spending ("G" in GDP parlance) by approximately 18%. This $500 billion in deficits represented approximately 3.5% of GDP.

Rethinking The Boosterism About Small Business (jdargis)

In the U.S. in 2007 there were around 6 million companies with workers on the payroll. Ninety percent of those businesses employed fewer than 20 people, according to analysis of the latest census data by Erik Hurst and Ben Pugsley of the University of Chicago. Collectively, those companies accounted for 20 percent of all jobs. Most small employers are restaurateurs, skilled professionals or craftsmen (doctors, plumbers), professional and general service providers (clergy, travel agents, beauticians), and independent retailers. These aren’t sectors of the economy where product costs drop a lot as the firm grows, so most of these companies are going to remain small. And according to Hurst and Pugsley’s survey evidence, the majority of small business owners say that’s precisely their intent—they didn’t start a business for the money but for the flexibility and freedom. Most have no plans to grow.

Who won the war in Iraq? (Here's a big hint: It wasn't the United States) (jdargis)

The United States lost 4474 soldiers (and counting), with thousands more crippled or wounded, spent a couple of trillion dollars that helped wreck our economy at home, and did not get much in return. Blood for oil? Only in the sense that one of out of every eight U.S. casualties in Iraq died guarding a fuel convoy. Iraqi oil output is stuck at pre-war levels and will be for some time. A drop in world oil prices would wreck the Iraqi economy. Despite Panetta's patter about Iraq being a country willing to work with the United States, Iraq as a political entity follows its own path, virtually allied with Iran and unsupportive of American geopolitical dreams. The U.S. government will sell some military gear to the Iraqis and make some money, but in the end George Bush went to war and all we got was a low-rent dictatorship turned into a low-rent semi-police state.

Austria Passes Expansion of Euro Bailout Fund, With Opposition Limited but Loud (jdargis)

The decision in Vienna left just 3 of 17 countries still waiting to approve the measure, which expands not only the size but also the powers of the bailout fund. With Malta and the Netherlands set to vote next week, pressure mounted on Slovakia, viewed by many as the last holdout.

Clashes Continue as Thousands Protest in Syria (jdargis)

In the central town of Rastan, army defectors and government troops have clashed for the past week. The town, near the restive city of Homs, is a bastion for recruits for the mostly Sunni rank-and-file army, headed by officers from the Alawite minority sect, to which the president belongs.

The state news agency, Sana, said Friday that seven soldiers and police officers were killed in what it said was an operation against “terrorists” in Rastan and 32 others were wounded. The report added that the army “inflicted big losses on the armed terrorist groups.”

More Than 700 Arrested In Wall Street Protest (jdargis)

"Over 700 summonses and desk appearance tickets have been issued in connection with a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge late this afternoon after multiple warnings by police were given to protesters to stay on the pedestrian walkway, and that if they took roadway they would be arrested," a police spokesman said.

Flooded Farmers Learn To Be Creative (jdargis)

Most of Bradley Farm sat beneath water so deep, he navigated it in a canoe, surveying fields whose sodden potatoes and carrots, Etna shell beans, delicata squash and squat cheese pumpkins would never come to the market.

“This year is going to be a total loss,” Mr. Bradley said. “All that effort, all that money, the labor to weed it, fertilize it, irrigate it, and then to get nothing from it, that’s what kills you.”

Japan Lifts Evacuation Advisories Near Nuclear Plant (jdargis)

But questions remain about whether radiation levels are low enough for all residents to return. On Friday morning, for example, the entrance to Minamisoma city’s main hospital measured 0.51 microsieverts per hour in radiation, according to numbers released daily by the city. A simple calculation would bring annual exposure at the level to almost 4,500 microsieverts, or 4.5 millisieverts a year, far above the annual limit of 1 millisievert for civilians that is recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection.

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littlefeatfan's picture
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Posts: 141
3E Links, Resources and Cartoons Weekly Summary

 Weekly summary of 3E related links, cartoons and resources posted at http://3es.weebly.com/ with expanded #occupywallstreet coverage

earthwise's picture
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Joined: Aug 10 2009
Posts: 848
Hey Sager, is this one of your neighbors?


If I recall correctly, (which happens less and less frequently these days) you live in the New Paltz area where this flooded farmer  from the above story lives. Got any more feedback on how these folks, and any others simalrly affected, might be faring?

Just curious.

SagerXX's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2260
All the folks mentioned...

...are our neighbors, and their experience is reminiscent of our CSA a mile down the road. They've had little to offer since Irene other than spuds. And we met a farmer at the Kingston farmer's market whose fields were flooded -- and when the waters receded it was stones and gravel as far as the eye could see. Not only is this year ruined, but his farmland is now just a shallow gravel mine. Catastrophe. He kept saying "I still have my house," but he was just putting a brave face on things. It all gives me pause when I think that in the not too distant future we will rely on these local sources much more heavily. What do we do when they have a terrible year? Self-reliance? What if we have a terrible year too? Clearly it behooves us to cultivate as many sources as possible -- and to put up a year's worth of food storage. Viva anyway -- Sager

Damnthematrix's picture
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1,000,000 Economists Can Be Wrong

1,000,000 Economists Can Be Wrong: The Free Trade Fallacies
Steve Keen, Debtwatch | Sep. 30, 2011, 6:02 AM | 261 | 1


Steve Keen an Associate Professor of Economics& Finance at the University of Western Sydney

Not only did the global financial crisis catch the vast majority of economists completely unawares, they instead expected tranquil and even buoyant times just as the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression began. My favourite such observation is from the OECD‘s Economic Outlook for June 2007—in which the Chief Economist suggested that, “the current economic situation is in many ways better than what we have experienced in years . . . Our central forecast remains indeed quite benign.”

But there are countless other such utterly wrong prognostications about the economy, from the profession that is supposed to be the font ofwisdom on the economy.

Those “in the know” understand that this is not an isolated failing. The Neoclassical model that dominates economics today is riven with logical and empirical fallacies. If economics were a real science, it would have long ago been  overthrown and replaced by something more realistic.

Yet at least 90% of academic economists believe in this model, as do almost all economists working in government and private industry. Left to their own devices, they will continue thinking that this model does describe the economy as the real economy falls deeper and deeper into a crisis, even though their model says that this can’t even happen.

Since economics has failed to clean out its own intellectual stable, it will be the public that finally forces reform upon it – as once-supporters like Anatole Kaletsky of The Times calls for “a revolution in economic thought” and George Soros funds an Institute for New Economic Thinking. With luck, in a decade or two, a more realistic approach to economics might emerge. But in the meantime, here’s a simple guide for the public: Anything the vast majority of economists believe
is likely to be wrong.


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