"... But it does need to be said: he was a terrible president, arguably the worst ever, and not just for the reasons many others are pointing out.
From what I’ve read, most of the pushback against revisionism focuses on just how bad Bush’s policies were, from the disaster in Iraq to the way he destroyed FEMA, from the way he squandered a budget surplus to the way he drove up Medicare’s costs. And all of that is fair.
But I think there was something even bigger, in some ways, than his policy failures: Bush brought an unprecedented level of systematic dishonesty to American political life, and we may never recover.
Think about his two main “achievements”, if you want to call them that: the tax cuts and the Iraq war, both of which continue to cast long shadows over our nation’s destiny. The key thing to remember is that both were sold with lies.
I suppose one could make an argument for the kind of tax cuts Bush rammed through — tax cuts that strongly favored the wealthy and significantly increased inequality. But we shouldn’t forget that Bush never admitted that his tax cuts did, in fact, favor the wealthy. Instead, his administration canceled the practice of making assessments of the distributional effects of tax changes, and in their selling of the cuts offered what amounted to an expert class in how to lie with statistics. Basically, every time the Bushies came out with a report, you knew that it was going to involve some kind of fraud, and the only question was which kind and where.
(...) Even more important, Bush lied us into war.
(...) And right there you have something that should block Bush from redemption of any kind, ever: he misled us into a war that probably killed hundreds of thousands of people, and he did it in part for political reasons."
Similar levels of dishonesty were also reached by politicians in this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
And then she does something magical, something that almost makes me kiss her. And I would too, if I didn't have flashing memories of her tearing a young girl's arm off and beating three people to death with it.
This wikipedia page has a list of fictional computers in literature, movies and other media. One in particular caught my attention:
A "supercalculator" formed by the networking of all the computing machines on 96 billion planets, which answers the question "Is there a God?" with "Yes, now there is a God" in Fredric Brown's single-page story Answer (1954).
As usual, I present a few figures based on the national accounts data published by the national statistics office. To better interpret the data, take into consideration that the current goverment won the elections on the 5th June 2011 and that date roughly coincides with the beggining of implementation of the Troika memorandum, although some austerity measures were already implemented by the previous government.
GDP decreased 3.78% in the last quarter of 2012. (Anual decrease of 3.2%)
The external contribution to growth has been decreasing
Exports are slowing down reflecting a slower economic activity in trading partners
Heavy decreases are observed in consumption of durable goods (also in construction investment).
This shows the weights of GDP components. In the second quarter of 2011 they were: private consumption 65%, public consumption 22%, investment 20%, exports 32% and imports 42%.
The external position continues to adapt favourably, which comes as no surprise given the contraction observed in domestic demand
Q: Why is divorce so expensive? A: Because it’s worth it. Q: If Bigamy is having one wife too many, what is Monogamy? A: The Same! Q: How do you know your wife is a good housekeeper? A: After the divorce she keeps the house! Q: What happens if you miss your Ex-Wife? A: Get better aim! (...my favorite)
“You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. Enthusiasm is the spark in your eye, the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of your will and your energy to execute your ideas. Enthusiasts are fighters; they have fortitude; they have staying qualities. Enthusiasm is at the bottom of all progress! With it, there is accomplishment. Without it, there are only alibis.”
This is already old news, but I did not have the time to post it before. Overall, the numbers show economic conditions worsening due to lack of domestic demand. The financing needs gap has been closed. The trade balance continues to improve because of the decease in imports. The most relvant development since the previous quarter is the slowdown in exports.
"In line with these assumptions, earlier analysis by the IMF staff suggests that, on average, fiscal multipliers were near 0.5 in advanced economies during the three decades leading up to 2009. If the multipliers underlying the growth forecasts were about 0.5, as this informal evidence suggests, our results indicate that multipliers have actually been in the 0.9 to 1.7 range since the Great Recession. This finding is consistent with research suggesting that in today’s environment of substantial economic slack, monetary policy constrained by the zero lower bound, and synchronized fiscal adjustment across numerous economies, multipliers may be well above 1"
These are a few figures obtained from the second quarter national accounts data published by the National Statistics Office. Portugal is undertaking an adjustment program sponsored by the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission. The main goal of of the program is to bring public finances to a sustainable path. This goal is not being met and so far the only success has been in reducing foreign indebtness. That is the main conclusion we can read in the data.
The adjustment has led to a huge compression of domestic demand
Construction is, without surprise, the sector taking the most beating. This is partially a result of its oversize and its sensitiveness to domestic demand (the data is added value)
The balance of trade has improved remarkedly although I fail to see (as Abebe Selassie does in today's interview to Publico) that the correction is being made essentially by the good perfomance of exports and not by the compression of imports.
Finally, the good news. The huge adjustment in financing needs.
Hi, welcome to my blog. This is a personal blog. I will be posting on subjects that I am interested on, such as economics, science fiction, free will, films, books, etc. I am currently a graduate student in economics, and I work in Lisbon - Portugal.