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Team of Rivals
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Folks who claim to hate "big government" are sure to be outraged and out holding tea party protests about this increase in the size of the federal government, I bet!

Just like they were livid when, back in March, the press reported that 7 in 10 arms programs were over budget, and when it was announced the Pentagon intended to add 20,000 more jobs onto the government payroll. Remember the round of denunciations over that on FOX News, from Newt Gingrich, etc., because that would make the government larger, while conservatives believe in "limited government"?

I don't remember it, either.

Arming up

Jun 8th 2009
From Economist.com

The world's biggest military spenders by population

GLOBAL military expenditure rose by 4% in 2008 to a record $1.46 trillion, according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Israel spends most on defence relative to its population, shelling out over $2,300 a person, over $300 more than America. Small and rich countries, and notably Gulf states, feature prominently by this measure. Saudi Arabia ranks ninth in absolute spending, but sixth by population. China has increased spending by 10% to $85 billion to become the world's second largest spender. But it is still dwarfed by America, whose outlay of $607 billion is higher than that of the next 14 biggest spenders combined.

bord du rasoir [userpic]


From Krug's latest NYT piece:

To be blunt: recent events suggest that the Republican Party has been driven mad by lack of power. The few remaining moderates have been defeated, have fled, or are being driven out. What’s left is a party whose national committee has just passed a resolution solemnly declaring that Democrats are “dedicated to restructuring American society along socialist ideals,” and released a video comparing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to Pussy Galore.

And that party still has 40 senators.

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Elizabeth Warren, who was appointed from the private sector to "police" the TARP/bank bailout money, on what she's found so far.

Very good bit on the "trick and Traps" economy near the middle, and towards the end.

bord du rasoir [userpic]

bord du rasoir [userpic]

Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research talks about the financial crisis with Cenk.

(Link to video)

grat2005 [userpic]

For my mind USA must support industry more than finance and banking.

I expect conservatives/GOP/etc. to protest this expansion of the federal government as vociferously as they did on their tea bagging day. We should insist they do so. Because they hate "big government," right? Right.


Pentagon to create 20,000 jobs to manage arms buys
Wed May 6, 2009 4:26pm EDT

By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's Defense Department plans to create 20,000 new government jobs to help revise how it buys more than $100 billion of weapons each year, the Pentagon's No. 2 official told Congress.

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From http://www.texasobserver.org/article.php?aid=3031

Causes of the Crisis
James K. Galbraith | May 01, 2009 | Commentary

Editor’s note: These remarks were delivered to a meeting of the Texas Lyceum in Austin on April 3, at a debate between University of Texas professor James Galbraith, an Observer contributing writer, and former Majority Leader Richard Armey, chief instigator of the recent Astroturf “tea party" protests. Armey had begun his remarks by noting that his rule in life was “never trust anyone from Austin or Boston,” and proceeded to declare his allegiance to the “Austrian School” of economics, a libertarian view that regards public intervention in private markets as socialism.

[GALBRAITH speaking:]It is of course a pleasure to be with you today. I was born in Boston, and I am proud of it. And I have lived 24 years in Austin—and I’m proud of that.

Leader Armey spoke to you of his admiration for Austrian economics. I can’t resist telling you that when the Vienna Economics Institute celebrated its centennial, many years ago, they invited, as their keynote speaker, my father [FDR administration economist John Kenneth Galbraith]. The leading economists of the Austrian school—including von Hayek and von Haberler—returned for the occasion. And so my father took a moment to reflect on the economic triumphs of the Austrian Republic since the war, which, he said, “would not have been possible without the contribution of these men.” They nodded—briefly—until it dawned on them what he meant. They’d all left the country in the 1930s.

My own economics is American: genus Institutionalist; species: Galbraithian.

This is a panel on the crisis. Mr. Moderator, you ask what is the root cause? My reply is in three parts.

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