Peter Dorman at Econospeak has an excellent post on the real challenges facing the U.S. today. It's the political economy that must change. It no longer serves the interests of the vast majority of Americans. We need more discussion and action at these levels> It’s the Political Economy, Stupid!, by Peter Dorman: Sometimes living in … Continue reading It’s the Political Economy That Must Change.
It looks like we are going to repeat the past. In this case, it's 1937. In 1937 the general discussion in U.S. politics had turned to concerns about debt and deficits. The conservative view that opposed both the New Deal and efforts to alleviate the Great Depression began to get the upper hand. Keep in … Continue reading Learning From the Past – Or Maybe Not.
We should have learned from decades of lying by tobacco companies, but we don't. Oil and gas companies have been lying about the "safety" of hydraulic fracturing, "fracking", of oil and gas wells. From the The New York Times: “There have been over a million wells hydraulically fractured in the history of the industry, and … Continue reading Fracking Can Contaminate Drinking Water
It's now Monday morning, Aug 8. It's been roughly 60 hours since S&P downgraded the rating on U.S. government bonds. In that 60 hours the media, particularly TV talking head channels, have been breathlessly awaiting what they felt was a certain market panic on Monday. Clearly interest rates would go up they said. They were … Continue reading The Market Shrugs Off Rating Downgrade, Market Is Worried About Real Economy.
The media and the talking heads will no doubt make a big deal about S&P downgrading the U.S. debt from AAA to AA and threatening to go to A in 6 months. But it's really nonsense. The U.S. it is not possible for a sovereign nation with it's own currency, it's own central bank, and … Continue reading S and P: Not the Best Judge of Credit-Worthiness
Yesterday after the U.S. markets closed, Standard & Poor's downgraded their credit rating on U.S. government bonds. Previously, the U.S. government had enjoyed for over 70 years the highest possible rating: AAA. Now it is "only" going to be AA+. We should note that the other two major bond-ratings agencies, Moody's and Fitch's still rate … Continue reading U.S. Government Debt Downgraded by S&P. What a Farce. And Non-Issue.
In a previous post, reader Sergei asks Hello, I appreciate your article, however, I still wondering what is the meaning of the National Debt over GDP ratio? My numbers based on the US debt clock http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.htmlshow me that this ratio currently around 98%. Could you briefly explain what is the meaning behind this number? Others might … Continue reading Is Debt-to-GDP a Good Measure?
In the comments to my post on the extraordinarily weak 2nd qtr 2011 GDP numbers a reader asks for my thoughts about debt-to-GDP ratio and "how can we afford more stimulus"? Since my response will be a little long and others might be interested, I'll post it here. Reader AZLeader asks: Here are some other GDP … Continue reading But What About National Debt-to-GDP Ratio? Not a Problem, Really
America's attention has been focused lately on the unnecessary debate in Congress over the debt-ceiling law. Part of the motivation (at least the vocalized motivation) for cutting the deficit and trying to limit the national debt, according to both Republicans and the President, is that supposedly government deficits are holding back the economy. They assert … Continue reading Government Budget Cutting SLOWS the Economy – That’s Why It’s Called Contractionary Fiscal Policy
John Quiggin of Crooked Timber sends us to Grist.org for "Solar Gets Cheap Fast" for good news about solar power. The cost of producing solar photovoltaic cells (the silicon-based cells that convert sunlight to electricity) has been declining consistently at 20% per year since the early 1980's. Solar power is now close to the point … Continue reading Solar Power Looking Brighter Economically