Saturday, 21 April 2018

Australian economist John Quiggin on "Hackery or Heresy" with an endorsement from Paul Krugman plus other news and views

Hackery or Heresy - John Quiggin in Crooked Timber
There was a time when free-market economists like Milton Friedman saw defense spending as the exemplar of the rent-seeking “iron triangle” (interest groups, bureaucrats and politicians) ensuring that public expenditure is always wasteful. I Don’t suppose that Boskin and the rest have looked at the evidence and concluded that Friedman was wrong. Rather they’ve correctly calculated that heresy on defense spending would see them cast into the outer darkness of irrelevance.

The Chinese Communist Party Is Setting Up Cells at Universities Across America - Foreign Policy

It’s a strategy to tighten ideological control. And it’s happening around the world.
Amid Backlash, Natalie Portman Says She Can Protest Netanyahu Policies Without Boycotting Israel - Haaretz

'The mistreatment of those suffering from today's atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality and abuse of power.'

Republicans Now Believe James Comey Used the Pee Tape to Set a Trap for Trump - New York Magazine
What if Trump, an innocent family business operator, na├»ve to the ways of Washington, had been accosted by a scheming, predatory deep state operator? And what if Comey’s firing was a defensive measure against his nefarious trap? This is the scenario Trump’s defenders now envision, and have laid out in columns by The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway and the Washington Examiner’s Byron York. 
Ramaphosa calls for calm in Mahikeng - SABC News
President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged residents of Mahikeng in the North West to remain calm. This as violent protests have engulfed the town, as residents call for Premier Supra Mahumaphelo to resign.
Speaking to the media after calling an urgent meeting of the ANC leadership to address the violence, Ramaphosa has given the assurance that the issues of the North West will be dealt with the urgency that they deserve.
“I want to assure everyone that we are going to act speedily on this matter. We are not able to give the exact time-frame now, but we are going to act as speedily as possible to address each of the issues that have been raised with us.”
The President gave indications that the party will consult various stakeholders before pronouncing on Mahumaphelo.
A Debt Crisis Seems To Have Come Out Of Nowhere - NPR
It's a problem that has come seemingly out of nowhere. Over the last five years a worrisome number of low-income countries have racked up so much debt they are now at high risk of being unable to pay it back — with potentially devastating consequences not just for their economies but for their citizens, many of whom are already living in extreme poverty.
That's the sobering finding of a report by the IMF. And it's got some prominent experts calling for urgent action.
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