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Globalization and free trade: wonders of a past era, now enemies of America?

Summary:  Something is wrong with America, rendering our society incapable of connecting effectively to reality.  Who can tell what has caused this social illness, a form of cultural Alzheimer’s?  The symptoms appear in many aspects of our national public policy, an inability to effectively take collective action in critical areas such as energy, geopolitics, and management of our economy.  This is …

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What do we know about the financial crisis? What are the key questions?

Amidst all the blather about the financial crisis, I believe two things are clear. We — everybody — have more questions than answers. We, the American people, are fools.  These events should spark thought about our fitness for self-government. This post discusses the questions, the details about the crisis.  As usual for this site, let us …

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Iran buys wheat from American – is this significant?

The recent purchases of wheat by Iran from Ameican sources has generated some comment.  Here are the available facts, plus some analysis of its geopolitical effects. Iran needs grain We have wheat for sale Conclusions Another perspective, by M. Simon 1.  Iran needs grain “IRAN: 2008/09 Wheat Production Declines Due to Drought“, US Dept of Agriculture, 9 …

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Prof Nouriel Roubini describes “The Decline of the American Empire”

The hot dots in economics today are, in my opinion, David Rosenberg and Nouriel Roubini.  Roubini is a professor of economics at NYU, noted expert in international finance, and founder of RGE Monitor(a aggregator of economics and finance articles, invaluable for anyone in those fields). His forecasts are grim reading (by comparison with my longer-term …

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The secret cause of high oil prices

Why do so many people find high oil prices so surprising that they invoke unusual explanations?  This perennial of the past few years appears again with Patrick Lang’s (Colonel, US Army, retired) confident assertion that “short term traders in oil futures are the fire behind the crude prices we see now” (posted at Sic Semper Tyrannis, 4 August 2008). We …

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