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Index January 2007

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More around Slums & Co.

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Found on the net, during the last two months:
Planet of Slums;
SLUM CITIES: A SHIFTING WORLD;
The major industrial and financial centre;
Bombay’s billion dollar slum;
The soul of a city, Bombay Lost and Found;
CM’s volte face on slum rehab;
State plans bill to bypass HC order on slum rehab;
Slum Futures;
Cut-off by the date;
Inside the slums: MUMBAI, Light in the darkness;
Slums (Zopadpattis);
Life online;
Mumbai slums and the search for ‘a heart’: ethics, ethnography and dilemmas of studying urban violence;
Metroblogging Mumbai;
History of Slums in Mumbai;
Slums, the magnitudde of the problem;
Making Mumbai into Shangai;
The Slum Sanitation Program in Mumbai;
Mumbai’s Slum demoltions;
Mumbai slum dwellers’ sewage project goes nationwide;
BBC, India’s biggest slum demolitions;
Bombay Slum Tours;
Mumbai slums valued at billions;
Slum cities;
Urban Squatters and Slums
;
Megacities must urgently address the needs of slum dwellers to prevent human disaster;

On this Economic blog in December 2006:
Hope in the slums: women’s work in Bangladesh;
Programme for Women of slum areas;
Slum & Money, one;
Slum & Money, two;

On our Humanitarian blog in December 2006:
Mumbai pavement dwellers finally get their homes;
Rethinking resettlement in Mumbai;
Women in Slums, an UN study.

Confronting the Climate Change Crisis

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By Ian Angus from Socialist Voice, published on ZNet, January 30, 2007.

Excerpt with part four of six, No Capitalist Solution: … Any reasonable person must eventually ask why capitalists and their governments seek to avoid effective action on climate change. Everyone, including capitalists and politicians, will be affected. Nicholas Stern estimates that the world economy will shrink by 20% if we don’t act. So why don’t the people in power do something?

The answer is that the problem is rooted in the very nature of capitalist society, which is made up of thousands of corporations, all competing for investment and for profits. There is no “social interest” in capitalism — only thousands of separate interests that compete with each other.

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Reflections from the World Social Forum

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By BenCyrus G. Ellorin, 31 January 2007, published on MindaNews, Philippines. Same article on Sun.Star, Philippines.

Excerpts: By the time my editors see this column in their emails, I’m probably already more than 30,000 feet above the Indian Ocean in a journey that would bring me back to my continent, Asia …

… I was asked to make the presentation of the 2006 International Sustainability Watch Report of the SusWatch Network in the 23rd of January 2007. The said report highlighted the Barriers to Sustainable Development that directly impinges on the ability of nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America to achieve their Millennium Development Goals, specifically the MDGs on Poverty Alleviation, Environmental Sustainability and Governance.

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HOW MUCH DOES THE WAR COST?

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Opinion by Richard Reeves, YAHOO.news, Jan 18, 2007.

Excerpt: … Here is one definition, this from the Business Knowledge Center: “The opportunity cost of a decision is based on what must be given up (the next best alternative) as a result of the decision. … Example: If a shipwrecked sailor on a desert island is capable of catching 10 fish or harvesting five coconuts, then the opportunity cost of producing one coconut is two fish.”

For those still reading, economists, commentators and even a few government officials are now calculating the opportunity cost of our national shipwreck in the desert. The National Priorities Project (nationalpriorities.org) posts one of those running totals of what the war is costing us. The total when I looked last Thursday morning was heading north of $359 billion.

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ECONOMIC RENEWAL

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Six proposals:

1). Tools for local economic renewal – nef equips communities with the tools needed to create the local economy that people want. Whatever your role is in a community – business leader, government official, or concerned resident – you have a vital role in shaping the local economy. Our tools: mobilise local resources, engage all sectors in economic renewal, and inspire action. Here’s how:
nef is an independent think-and-do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being.
We aim to improve quality of life by promoting innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on economic, environment and social issues. We work in partnership and put people and the planet first.

2). Deprived areas and economic renewal, an article.
Presentation: Building a strong economic base is essential for the sustained regeneration of the UK’s most deprived communities.

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World Social Forum WSF 2007 – Closure

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Latest publications about this event:

The 2007 World Social Forum, BY Kathambi Kinoti, 27 January 2007:

The seventh annual World Social Forum (WSF) ended in Nairobi, Kenya on January 25, 2007,with thousands of delegates marching from the city’s Korogocho slums to Uhuru Park. This year’s Forum drew together an estimated 60,000 participants from all over the world and was said to be the ‘most international’ [1] of the forums, partly because African delegates were able to attend in large numbers because of this year’s location. Nevertheless, the start of the Forum saw demonstrations by some Kenyans who said that they were disqualified from participating as they were unable to afford the registration fees. Their action, with its rallying call of ‘Free Everything’ persuaded the Forum’s organizing committee to allow them free entry.

Order amidst chaos?

The World Social Forum is held to coincide with the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where major global economic policies are shaped without the input of the majority of the global population. The World Social Forum is synonymous with anti-globalization and anti-neoliberalism.

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National Development Strategies in a Globalizing World

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The Wuhan Seminar: UNCTAD and the Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM) are organizing a seminar in Wuhan (21 January – 2 February 2007) on National Development Strategies in a Globalizing World.

Two-Phase Project:

The Wuhan seminar is part of the ongoing joint project to raise the awareness of policy- makers and academics, particularly from developing countries, about the opportunities and challenges of economic globalization.

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It’s war by any other name

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By Sami Moubayed, Jul 15, 2006, Asia Times – DAMASCUS: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described what is happening in Lebanon as saying. “This is an act of war.” Olmert is correct. This is war. It has been war, non-stop, since 1948. What is happening in Lebanon today is yet another chapter of bloody Middle East events that will last for generations to come, because it is impossible, after so many years of conflict, for the Israelis and Arabs to forgive and forget.

In this week’s events in Lebanon, the one set of parties, which include Syria, the Palestinians, Iran, Arab nationalists in the Middle East and North Africa, along with jihadi Muslims in the Muslim World, believe that escalation is the only solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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USA, China, and relations

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Some links about US, China, and some relations:

Intercontinental guided hypocrisy, by a Special Correspondent, Jan 23, 2007, Asia Times Online;

Two men on the wrong mission, Jan. 23, 2007, The First Post;

Opinion: Does the US always need a public enemy and is it Iran’s turn? (US and UK to attack Iran?), Jan. 23, 2007, The First Post;

Satellite killer really aimed at Taiwan, Jan. 23, 2007, Asia Times Online;

China’s Middle East journey via Jerusalem, M.K. Bhadrakumar, posted Jan. 12, 2007 by Sophie Beach on China Digital Times;

Jeb Bush in 2008?, Jan. 09, 2007, The Financial Express;

US turns space into its colony, Oct 20, 2006, Asia Times Online;

China aims for the stars, Oct 14, 2006, Asia Times Online,

Rare glimpse of China’s space program, Jun 30, 2006, Asia Times Online;

Satellite insurers stake out Asia, Apr 6, 2006, Asia Times Online;

Galileo: Why the US is unhappy with China, Feb 9, 2006, Asia Times Online.

Intercontinental guided hypocrisy

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By a Special Correspondent, Jan 23, 2007, on Asia Times.

China’s success on January 11 in destroying one of its own old orbiting weather satellites with a ground-based ballistic missile sent shock waves through US military circles. Not that it came a complete surprise to the Americans. What surprised them was the timing.

The unquestioned US dominance in space has now been challenged. It developed the capability to shoot down satellites in the mid-1980s and had felt confident about its unchallenged supremacy. Only the former Soviet Union also had those capabilities. Now China has emerged as the third country with anti-satellite capabilities, requiring resources be spent to develop countermeasures.

China has a long record of boldly asserting itself as a potential military competitor of the United States …

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The Great Game on a razor’s edge

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Read first some others of his articles:

And this following article: The Great Game on a razor’s edge, by M.K.Bhadrakumar, Jan, 3, 2007 on World Security Network:

Excerpt: … In 2006, the US and Turkey revived the 10-year-old idea of a trans-Caspian gas pipeline project (as part of the so-called East-West Energy Corridor) to supply Turkmen gas to Europe via Turkey. Turkmenistan’s gas output may well approach 80bcm annually at present. The trans-Caspian pipeline envisages an annual draw of 16bcm from the Turkmen output in the first stage, to be expanded to 32bcm in the second stage. In the US geostrategy, the project is vital for reducing Europe’s heavy dependence on Russian energy supplies. Niyazov had prevaricated in the light of Moscow’s opposition. But what will be the outlook of Niyazov’s successor?

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The Coltan Phenomenon

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Linked with Justine Masika Bihamba – Dem. Republic of the Congo,
and with The Pole Institute.

How a rare mineral has changed the life of the population of war-torn North Kivu province in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, pdf-text published by the POLE Insitute.

(Co-Research: POLE INSTITUTE/CREDAP, A research directed by Aloys TEGERA, Pole Institute Manager, and member of CREDAP, In collaboration with Dr MIKOLO Sofia, member of POLE INSTITUTE and CREDAP, Dominic JOHNSON, journalist).

Excerpt: … The study found that:

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World Social Forum WSF 2007

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Texts, reports, bloggers about WSF 2007

On IPS, Jan 9, 2007… The forum brings together groups interested in helping Burkina Faso realise the aims of the World Social Forum (WSF), which is pushing for a more equitable global order. The WSF is due to hold its seventh annual gathering later this month (Jan. 20-25) in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. “For young people, especially, it’s hard to live in their country because there are no prospects and jobs are increasingly scarce,” says Théophile Ouédraogo, a member of the Small Farmers Confederation of Burkina (Confédération paysanne du Burkina) who took part in a meeting of the Burkina Faso Social Forum that was held last month …

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The World Social Forum WSF 2007

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See also Text: Gendering the WSF Nairobi 2007 Process.
Alternative Davos meets in Nairobi, Swiss delegates are among those meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, for the World Social Forum (WSF). High on the agenda this year is the global fight against poverty. More than 100,000 people from non-governmental organisations and social movements are taking part in the seventh WSF, which got under way on Saturday. Swissinfo, Jan. 20, 2007.

Drums and dance as Africa hosts “anti-Davos” forum, By Helen Nyambura-Mwaura and Jeremy Clarke, January 20, 2007, The Star online, Malaysia.

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World Social Forum WSF 2007, Kenya

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The official organisation program.

The 7th World Social Forum (WSF) will be held from 20 until 25 January 2007 at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani, Nairobi and is expected to host up to 150,000 delegates from all over the world. Over 1,000 activities will take place in the 106 spaces provided at the venue. (See all on Social Rights Bulgaria, Networking Bulgarian NGOs online).

With the theme “People’s struggles, people’s alternatives”, this year’s WSF takes place in Africa for the first time, in Nairobi, Kenya, between 20 and 25 January 2007. (Ecumenical Coalition to Participate in 7th World Social Forum).

Unified Palestinian Delegation to the 2007 World Social Forum, Nairobi, Kenya.

GLOBAL: World Social Forum descends on Kenya.

Indymedia radio support for WSF 2007 from Kenya. This project has taken off, with your help it will get a lot bigger:

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The thief and the scorpion

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By Chan Akya, Jan. 13, 2007, Asia Times:

2 excerpts: … The decline of US credibility is complete after the humiliating death of Saddam Hussein and the sharp escalation of violence in Iraq that followed it. News editors of US television channels describing the situation as “the United States is losing the war in Iraq” clearly failed English grammar at school, by mixing up their gerund-participle in place of the appropriate past participle, ie, “the United States has lost in Iraq”.

The fact that America’s moral obligations have not kept pace with its technological capabilities has been brought to the fore once again, by the country’s attack on Somalia’s apparent sanctuaries for al-Qaeda this week, even as the US forsakes any responsibility toward the innocent victims of Sudan’s genocidal leaders. It is a matter of some wonder to observers that a US administration can practice non-intervention in the same breath as active bombardment.

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Who gives a dam?

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By Chan Akya, January 05 2007, The South Asian Post:

2 excerpts: … The completion last week of a significant milestone in the construction of one of India’s largest hydroelectric projects, the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada River, was greeted largely with indifference in the country and abroad, even though it puts an end to one of the longest-running controversies in the country’s modern history.

The contrast with China’s more majestic Three Gorges project is quite stark, particularly in terms of implementation speed, objectives and methods. The wrenching shortage of physical infrastructure in India cannot be resolved with an ambivalent attitude toward such projects; therefore there is much to learn from the Chinese approach in this matter …

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It’s the money, honey

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by Chan Akya, Dec 22, 2006, Asia Times:

2 excerpts: … much the same reasons, the caste system has continued to flourish in India despite a series of conquests by non-Hindu forces. Away from Asia, the progress of Abrahamic religions depended on similar economic rationale. Bertrand Russell, writing about the adoption of Christianity by Constantine, notes: The support of the Christians, as a single organized bloc, was to be obtained by favoring them.

Whatever dislike of the Christians existed was unorganized and politically ineffective. Probably [Michael] Rostovtseff is right in holding that a large part of the army was Christian, and that this was what most influenced Constantine. However that may be, the Christians, while still a minority, had a kind of organization which was then new, though now common, and which gave them all the political influence of a pressure group to which no other pressure groups are opposed. This was the natural consequence of their virtual monopoly of zeal, and their zeal was an inheritance from the Jews.

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Eco-friendly terrorism

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by Chan Akya, Sep 30, 2006, Asia Times:

2 excerpts: … Having been subjected to the rigmarole of watching former US vice president Al Gore pontificating on the future of the planet in the film An Inconvenient Truth [1] and reading the gloomy projections for carbon emissions in Scientific American, I had an alternative view when reviewing the current electrified situation of Muslims against Catholics that arose from Pope Benedict XVI’s recent remarks.

My view is that terrorism could actually play a large part in reducing the world’s carbon emissions, and that alone should make Osama bin Laden and his ilk the new poster-boys of the ecological (green) movement.

Facts and friction: SciAm [2] reports that the 1 billion people living across North America, Europe (including Russia), Japan, Australia and New Zealand together contribute some 62% of carbon emissions. India, China and eripheral countries contribute a grand total of 25%, despite accounting for well over half the world’s population …

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Texts about Basic Needs of Poors

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EU plans ‘industrial revolution’

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Published on BBCnews, on 10 January 2007.

Some excerpts: … EU vulnerability as an oil importer was thrown into sharp relief this week when Russia’s row with Belarus hit supplies.
Binding targets: This is the first step towards a common energy policy, says the BBC’s Europe editor Mark Mardell. There are three central pillars to the proposed integrated EU energy policy:

  • A true internal energy market
  • Accelerating the shift to low-carbon energy
  • Energy efficiency through the 20% target by 2020

In addition to the 20% of all EU energy that should come from renewable power by 2020, 10% of vehicle fuel should come from biofuels, said EU energy chief Andris Piebalgs …

… “We need new policies to face a new reality – policies which maintain Europe’s competitiveness, protect our environment and make our energy supplies more secure,” said Mr Barroso. “Europe must lead the world into a new, or maybe one should say post-industrial revolution – the development of a low-carbon economy” …

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Altersvorsorge – Balgerei um 650 Milliarden

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Von Wolfgang Hafner, Ausgabe vom 4. Januar 2007, WOZ Die Wochenzeitung:

Drei Artikel-Auszüge: … Die zweite Säule ist ein technokratisches Gebilde, eine Kopfgeburt von Bürokraten. Da alles so kompliziert und unübersichtlich ist, haben Juristinnen und Finanzexperten dabei das Sagen – seien sie nun linker oder rechter Provenienz. Verunsichert überlassen wir ihnen die Verantwortung und zweifeln daran, ob wir je einmal von der zweiten Säule profitieren werden.

Die Unübersichtlichkeit der zweiten Säule macht sie zu einem gefundenen Fressen für alle, die sich rasch bereichern wollen. Bekannt geworden ist etwa der Fall des Anlagechefs der Rieter-Pensionskasse, Jürg Maurer. Er hat sein Privatvermögen innerhalb von vier Jahren von einer knappen halben Million auf 69 Millionen mehr als verhundertfacht. Das dürfte kein Einzelfall sein. Der Anlageverantwortliche der kantonalzürcherischen Beamtenversicherungskasse, Robert Straub, wies bei seiner Wahl im Jahre 1988 ein Reinvermögen von 1,6 Millionen Franken aus. Sieben Jahre später waren es 9,7 Millionen Franken …

… Die Intermediäre sind eine Zwischenstation bei Geldanlagen. Das hat für die eigentlichen Anleger Vor- und Nachteile: Je mehr Intermediäre zwischengeschaltet sind, umso weniger nachvollziehbar wird die Geldanlage. So müssen sich die Kapitalgeber für ihre Investitionen nicht direkt verantwortlich fühlen – zahlen dafür aber eine Prämie.

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The Relative Richness of the Poor?

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Natural Resources, Human Capital and Economic Growth, by Claudio Bravo-Ortega, World Bank and Department of Economics, Universidad de Chile, and by Jos´e De Gregorio, Banco Central de Chile.
(Worldbank WPS3484).

Abstract: Are natural resources a blessing or a curse? In this paper we present a model in which natural resources have a positive effect on level of income and a negative effect on its growth rate. The positive and permanent effect on income implies a welfare gain. There is a growth effect stemming from a composition effect. However, we show that this effect can be offset by having a large level of human capital. We test our model using panel data for the period 1970-1990. We extend the usual specifications for economic growth regressions by incorporating an interaction term between human capital and natural resources, showing that high levels of human capital may outweigh the negative effects of the natural resource abundance on growth. We also review the historical experience of Scandinavian countries, which in contrast to Latin America, another region well endowed with natural resources, shows how it is possible to grow fast based on natural resources. JEL Classification: J24, O41, O57, Q00.

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Microcredit and Women’s Poverty

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Linked with Drucilla K. Barker – USA, with Hazel Henderson – England & USA, with George Monbiot – England, and with G. Edward Griffin – USA.

But also with Good Governance and Participatory Development, with The Politics of Money, with Other Economies are Possible! with Inequality and Redistribution, with Economic Growth and Unequal Wealth Distribution, with Complaint on Swiss Taxes, and with Articles on Scarcity and Development.

Granting this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to microcredit guru Muhammad Yunus affirms neoliberalism, by SUSAN F. FEINER AND DRUCILLA K. BARKER:

This article is from the November/December 2006 issue of Dollars & Sense magazine (Homepage) – Read the whole article on this page of Dollar & Sense. Here two excerpts:
The key to understanding why Grameen Bank founder and CEO Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize lies in the current fascination with individualistic myths of wealth and poverty. Many policy-makers believe that poverty is “simply” a problem of individual behavior.

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Good Governance and Participatory Development

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Linked with Hazel Henderson – England & USA, and with The Politics of Money.

OK, THIS TEXT IS OUT OF 1997, BUT FOR ME IT IS STILL VALUABLE.

By Ms. Hazel Henderson, Author, Futurist, Economist, during the Special Plenary Session of the International Conference on Governance for Sustainable Growth and Equity, United Nations, New York, 28-30 July 1997:

Since the end of the Cold War we have learned again that markets, regulations, social capital, and good governance are all necessary for environmentally sustainable, equitable economic development. Yet good governance is imperiled today in ways unimagined a few years ago.

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The Politics of Money

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Linked with Hazel Henderson – England & USA.

Published by Hazel Henderson on January 31, 2006 – (Read the whole long article on Vermont Commons).

Two excerpts: … As with politics, all real money is local, created by people to facilitate exchange and transactions, and it is based on trust. The story of how this useful invention, money, grew into abstract national fiat currencies backed only by the promises of rulers and central bankers is being told anew. We witness how information technology and deregulation of banking and finance in the 1980s helped create today’s monstrous global casino where $1.5 trillion worth of fiat currencies slosh around the planet daily via mouse clicks on electronic exchanges, 90% in purely speculative trading.

New Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke opined that the mystery of low bond yields and interest rates was due to a “global savings glut.” Former Fed Chairman Greenspan, whose zero real interest rates flooded the US economy with excess liquidity and helped create the dot-com, housing, and global asset bubbles, declared himself “perplexed.” The anomaly involves the global economic imbalances between the USA, the world’s largest debtor – borrowing the lion’s share of global capital – and the developing countries of Asia and those exporting oil as the world’s new lenders. I doubt there is a “global savings glut” or a “Shift of Thrift” from indebted U.S. household’s zero saving rates to thrifty Asian savers as claimed in The Economist editorial of Sept. 24, 2005.

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The New Keynesian Phillips Curve and the role of expectations

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Evidence from the IFO World Economic Survey, by Steffen Henzel, Timo Wollmershaeuser – CESIFO working paper no. 1694, category 6, monetary policy and international finance, March 2006.

Abstract:

We provide evidence on the fit of the hybrid New Keynesian Phillips curve for selected euro zone countries, the US and the UK. Instead of imposing rational expectations and estimating the Phillips curve by the Generalized Method of Moments, we follow Roberts (1997) and Adam and Padula (2003) and use direct measures of inflation expectations. The data source is the Ifo World Economic Survey, which quarterly polls economic experts about their expected future development of inflation. Our main findings are as follows: (i) In comparison with the rational expectations approach, backward-looking behaviour turns out to more relevant for most countries in our sample. (ii) The use of survey data for inflation expectations yields a positive slope of the Phillips curve when the output gap is used as a measure for marginal cost.

JEL Code: C52, E31. Keywords: inflation expectations, survey data, euro zone, Phillips curve. (Read the 41 pdf pages on CESifo.de). (Homepage).

Other Economies are Possible!

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Linked with George Monbiot – England, and with World Changing.com.

Published on AlterNet, Sept. 1, 2006, by Ethan Miller, Dollars and Sense. Is the raw capitalism in American society the best possible outcome for our well being? Surely not: It’s time to think about an economic system that makes us happy people.

Other Economies are Possible!

This article is reprinted from the July/August 2006 issue of Dollars & Sense: The Magazine of Economic Justice. – Can thousands of diverse, locally-rooted, grassroots economic projects form the basis for a viable democratic alternative to capitalism? It might seem unlikely that a motley array of initiatives such as worker, consumer, and housing cooperatives, community currencies, urban gardens, fair trade organizations, intentional communities, and neighborhood self-help associations could hold a candle to the pervasive and seemingly all-powerful capitalist economy. These “islands of alternatives in a capitalist sea” are often small in scale, low in resources, and sparsely networked. They are rarely able to connect with each other, much less to link their work with larger, coherent structural visions of an alternative economy.

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Contradicting global warming

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Linked with George Monbiot – England, and with World Changing.com.

George Monbiot writes – Excerpt: … Further to your coverage of climate change and melting ice in the Himalayas (19 March, p 6), it should be pointed out that glaciers in many other parts of the world are not shrinking but in fact are growing.

Norway�s glaciers are growing at a record pace. All 48 glaciers in New Zealand�s Southern Alps are growing, the Franz Josef by about 4 metres a day. Pio XI, the largest glacier in the southern hemisphere, and the Perito Moreno Glacier, the largest in Patagonia, are also growing despite the fact that they should be melting because of warm winds zephyr�d from El Ni�o seas.

Glaciers are real cool in California, where all seven on Mount Shasta are growing apace and three have doubled in size since 1950. Further north, in Washington state, America�s youngest glacier in the crater of Mount St Helens holds a record for fastest-growing lump of ice. Not far away is America�s most studied glacier, the one on Mount Rainier, which was melting catastrophically until 1931.

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Inequality and Redistribution

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Inequality and Redistribution, The Need for New Perspectives, by Agnar Sandmo, Discussion Paper 04/2005.

Excerpt: … The sources of increased inequality.

The causation behind the recent increase in inequality in the Western world is unlikely to be a simple one; I believe that it must be understood in terms of the interaction of a number of forces whose relative importance may vary from one country to another as well as over time. The following list is brief and selective.

First of all, it is often maintained that the increase in inequality of factor income, particularly income from labour, is due to globalisation. A short version of this theory is that globalisation has liberalised trade and factor movements between the rich and the poor countries of the world. The poor countries have a relative abundance of unskilled labour, while the rich countries have a relatively large endowment of skilled labour. As countries utilize their comparative advantage, the demand for unskilled labour increases in the poor countries, whereas skilled workers in the rich part of the world experience increased demand for their services. Therefore, the skilled-unskilled wage differential increases in the rich countries, while it decreases in the poor countries. If trade unions in the rich countries try to resist the fall in the wages of the unskilled, the result will be increased unemployment – another source of increased inequality. For further discussion and references see e.g. Atkinson (1999) and Sandmo (2003).

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Economic Growth and Unequal Wealth Distribution

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Linked with Victoria Curzon-Price – Switzerland, and with Complaint on Swiss Taxes.

Economic Growth and Unequal Wealth Distribution, A Dynamic Approach, by Victoria Curzon Price. In New Perspectives on Political Economy, Volume 2, Number 2, 2006, see pp. 116 – 135, a 20 pages pdf.

Abstract: This article surveys various equity-based arguments from Marx to Rawls, in favour of income redistribution by means of public policy. Political explanations, the role of luck versus merit and the problem of the legitimacy of wide income differentials, are also discussed. The article argues that income and wealth inequality, due in great part to luck, is an inseparable part of economic growth, and even necessary for political freedom.

A survey of data published by the United Nations shows that most people today enjoy higher per capita incomes than in 1975, during which time the world’s population almost doubled. The article claims on the basis of this data that the world has entered a new phase in economic development, during which productivity growth surpasses population growth on a broad scale. People are becoming richer, but income disparities persist because they are an intrinsic part of the growth process.

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Complaint on Swiss Taxes

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Linked with Economic Growth and Unequal Wealth Distribution, and with Victoria Curzon-Price – Switzerland.

Victoria Curzon Price, Professor of Economics at the University of Geneva, writes in her article The growth of Switzerland’s welfare state, published on The Free Market Foundation, (FMF Policy Bulletin/19 October 2004):

Switzerland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, despite having few or no natural resources to rely upon. Over the last 20 years, however, the country’s economic performance has been slipping in relative terms.

Real growth of the economy has been 1.3 percent per year on average (per capita growth has been about half that), while other developed nations have managed to grow about 20 percent faster.

Government absorbed most of the real growth in the economy; as a result, ordinary people have received no gain in personal income for at least a decade.

The impetus for this change has been the creation of an extensive welfare state, over-burdensome regulation and high taxes, says Price. For example: Social Security contributions as a percent of total taxation has risen from 29 percent in 1975 to 34 percent in 2000.

Taxes as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) have grown faster in Switzerland than anywhere else in the developed world, rising from 22 percent in 1980 to 36 percent of GDP in 2000. Switzerland’s transformation was predicted by economist Mancur Olson two decades ago, when he argued that long periods of economic prosperity will lead individuals to form institutionalised groups in order to lobby the state to redistribute wealth in their favour. He says redistribution soon takes precedence over production and entrenched interests groups become all but impossible to dislodge.

Source: Victoria Curzon Price, Switzerland: Growth of Government, Growth of Centralisation, Journal of the Institute of Economic Affairs, June 2004.

For more on Welfare in Other Countries

My comment:

Yes, taxes rise. Yes, taxes rised for those who earn more. Yes, companies and Elites may feel stolen.

But in the same time rised also the profits of those companies and CEOs/Elites leaving more and more people on the street, to enable these companies to make more profit. As job offers going down by the same mechanism, people finally have to be sustained by the social networks of the state.

If companies would not only look at privat profits, but also have a social responsibility, without using the excuse of the ‘liberal market’, the state would not need more and more taxes to sustain the ones lost by these companies.

Why do you complain that – by the mechanism of taxes – some of these huge profits goes back to the ones let in the street ? Let there by the system you want.

Trafficking Women and Children

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Linked with Azra Hasanbegovic – Bosnia and Herzegovina, with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hopes Betrayed, and with Association “ŽENA BIH”, Mostar.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, HOPES BETRAYED, TRAFFICKING OF WOMEN AND GIRLS TO POST-CONFLICT BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA FOR FORCED PROSTITUTION … see text, Nov. 2002, and Homepage.

Traffick offenses, by Esti Ahronovitz: Three weeks ago, far from the eyes of the media, an indictment was filed in Tel Aviv District Court against Vladislav Wexler and Alexander Berg. The two, who were arrested half a year ago in the Czech Republic and extradited to Israel, are accused of trafficking in women for purposes of prostitution … see text December 21, 2006, and Homepage.

Time to abolish the slave trade, by Carolyn Moynihan: If Tony Blair is really sorry about the slave trade he should try harder to abolish it … see text December 7, 2006, and Homepage.

Nigeria: Human Trafficking And Sex Trade, by Adeze Ojukwu, Lagos: As I pen this script, thousands of young and old Nigerians or even millions are trapped in the heinous international traffick cartel commonly known as human trafficking for economic and sexual exploitation as well as other sundry reasons that are neither plausible nor tenable … see text, December 13, 2006, and Homepage.

THE TRAFFIC IN WOMEN – OUR REFORMERS have suddenly made a great discovery–the white slave traffic. The papers are full of these “unheard-of conditions,” and lawmakers are already planning a new set of laws to check the horror. It is significant that whenever the public mind is to be diverted from a great social wrong, a crusade is inaugurated against indecency, gambling, saloons, etc. And what is the result of such crusades? … see text Oct. 8, 2000, and Homepage.

Statement on Migrant Rights – In observance of the United Nations’ International Migrants Day, we stand together to call upon the U.S. government and the United Nations itself, to uphold the human rights of all immigrants and refugees … see Text, December 8, 2006, and Homepage.

The Trafficking of Nigerian Women into Italy … case study, January 2001, and Homepage.

“Press for Change” – A guide for journalists reporting on the prostitution and trafficking of women … see PressPac.pdf 12-06, Homepage CATW international, Homepage services.web, Homepage action.web.

Stolen Lives, Trafficking of women – ‘The first thing they lose is their freedom. Then they’re subjected to violence to make them submit’, by Lory Hough, Kennedy School Communications … text and pictures March 10, 2005, and Homepage.

Help Ashoka Fellows fight trafficking worldwide!, and Homepage.

Stop Human Trafficking, Learn more about what organizations are doing to stop human trafficking, and Homepage.

Child Trafficking, the digital library, Homepage.

Save the Children: The UK has one of the worst rates of child poverty in the industrialised world. We are calling for more realistic resources for the poorest children in the UK … see Text, and Homepage.

Children at Risk.

… the Child Trafficking Research Hub.

Trafficking in children is a global problem affecting large numbers of children. Some estimates have as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year. There is a demand for trafficked children as cheap labour or for sexual exploitation. Children and their families are often unaware of the dangers of trafficking, believing that better employment and lives lie in other countries … see text, and Homepage.

Indigenous representatives campaign in Europe

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Linked with Maninha Xukuru-Kariri – Brazil (1966 – 2006), with The Forum for the Defense of Indigenous Rights APOINME, with The World Rainforest Movement WRM, and with Aracruz Celulose and the World Cup: propaganda and deforestation.

See also: Table of indigenous organisations of Brazil, and Alert against the Green Desert Movement, and Promoting the Rights, Voices and Visions of Indigenous Peoples, and Texts about Economy and Indigenous Peoples, and Indigenous Webs for Information, and Texts about Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights, and definition of what Indigenous Peoples are, on wikipedia
and ciesin.org.

Brazil: Indigenous representatives campaign in Europe Indigenous representatives campaign in Europe to recover their land occupied by Aracruz Celulose. Source: WRM’s bulletin Nº 107, June 2006. (See report from the Alert against the Green Desert Movement).

Paulo Henrique de Oliveira, a Tupinikim leader of Caieiras Velhas and Coordinator of the Articulação de Povos e Organizações Indígenas do Nordeste, Minas Gerais e Espírito Santo – APOINME (Articulation of Indigenous People and Organizations from the Northeast, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo), and Antônio Carvalho, a Guarani chief, travelled to Europe in April/May 2006, to publicise their struggle to demarcate Tupinikim and Guarani lands in Espírito Santo (see WRM Bulletins Nº 94, 96, 102, 103) . They spent three weeks travelling to Norway, Holland, Germany and Austria where they talked to various groups about the 11,009 hectares of their land currently in the possession of Aracruz Celulose –Brazil’s giant pulp producer. The following is Paulo de Oliveira’s account of the trip.

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