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Posts tagged with: economy

10 Nov, 2010

I heard an interesting report on NPR yesterday about the cotton trade. The story is basically that the US got sued by Brazil at the World Trade Organization (WTO) court over illegal (under WTO rules we have agreed to) cotton subsidies that the US government gives to US cotton farmers. Brazil won the case and its several appeals. However, in spite of the ruling, the US kept the subsidies in place, so Brazil threatened to retaliate with trade sanctions, which forced the US to negotiate a settlement with Brazil.

13 Jun, 2010

I recently saw a great documentary film at the Seattle International Film Festival called Waste Land. It's about an art project of Brazilian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Vik Muniz, which took place at the biggest landfill in the world, Jardim Gramacho, just outside of Rio de Janeiro.

4 Jun, 2009

In the United States at least, people with a post-secondary degree tend to earn more than people without one. For instance, looking at the statistics for people aged 25-34 in 2007, the median annual income for high-school graduates was about $25,000, while people with an Associates (2-year) degree earned $31,000, and those with a Bachelor's (4-year) degree earned nearly $41,000.

17 Feb, 2009

I recently read The Green Collar Economy, by Van Jones (with a forward by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.). I think President Obama must have read it too, since the ideas he's been talking about lately for fixing the economy are basically the same as what Jones sets out in his book. This is a good thing, in my opinion. Here are the main points from this book:

18 Oct, 2008

Because I used to work on Wall Street, some people I know are under the (incorrect) impression that I'm an expert in all things financial, and they have been asking me if I can explain how we got into our current state of financial collapse. So, I thought I would write a short summary of my understanding of how rampant greed around the practice of sub-prime lending led to a full-scale financial crisis.

First, let's set the scene: the sub-prime lending market. Here's a brief summary of how it worked:

1 May, 2008

I have been thinking a lot lately about economic growth. It seems like the news media, and practically everyone else, assumes that if the economy is growing, it's a good thing, and if it isn't, something terrible is occurring. This assumption has been bothering me for a while, and I recently read a book that put my vague uneasiness into words: Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben. In this book, McKibben makes the following points:

12 Feb, 2008

The city that I live in (Shoreline, a suburb just north of Seattle) closed two elementary schools this year, and the city of Seattle has also been talking about closing schools, in both cases because the number of children enrolled in school has declined. Yet the population of both Seattle and Shoreline must be increasing, as houses are replaced by condo buildings and apartments, so I had been somewhat confused about this...

20 Nov, 2007

In my volunteer work (teaching English to adult immigrants and Spanish-English interpreting), I come in contact with a lot of immigrants -- some are here legally, and some are not. Illegal immigration has also been in the news a lot lately, so I find myself thinking about the subject frequently. When I hear what our so-called leaders are saying about illegal immigration, I get frustrated, because I don't think they're thinking constructively. So, I decided I'd better get my own thoughts together.

27 Aug, 2007

I have some more thoughts as a follow-up to my previous post about poverty and the economy -- about solutions to the problem of poverty. First, the basics. Since poverty occurs when there is an imbalance between earnings and the cost of living, to move an individual out of poverty, either the person's earnings must be increased, or his/her cost of living reduced. There are several ways we could consider doing that for the working poor segment of the population (whether here or overseas).

23 Aug, 2007

I have been thinking lately about the U.S. economy, and how it is related to poverty. Here are some thoughts: