Industrialized Cyclist Notepad


Stiglitz: Austerity Will Make Matters Worse

Pretty good little essay here from Joe Stiglitz.

[…]

Europe’s single-minded focus on austerity is a result of a misdiagnosis of its problems. Greece overspent, but Spain and Ireland had fiscal surpluses and low debt-to-GDP ratios before the crisis. Giving lectures about fiscal prudence is beside the point. Taking the lectures seriously – even adopting tight budget frameworks – can be counterproductive. Regardless of whether Europe’s problems are temporary or fundamental – the eurozone, for example, is far from an “optimal” currency area, and tax competition in a free-trade and free-migration area can erode a viable state – austerity will make matters worse.

[…]

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/after-austerity

Just listening to the news you’d think Spain and Ireland were deeply in debt prior to the fraudtastic financial crisis, but no.



But there isn’t any

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged energy-starved India on Monday to reduce its Iranian oil imports to keep up pressure on the Islamic republic to come clean about its nuclear program.

In meetings in the capital, New Delhi, Ms. Clinton was expected to push for India to find alternative sources of oil on the international market.

uhh…

Earlier Monday, she told a town hall meeting in the eastern city of Kolkata that there’s an adequate supply in the market for India to find other suppliers. Ms. Clinton noted India has taken some steps to reduce its imports from Iran but she says the U.S. wants to see more.

“If there weren’t an adequate supply … we would understand, but we believe that there is adequate supply,” she said.

Do they really believe that? Because that is impressively delusional, even for these Champions of Delusion.

Or… Is there really something else going on here? Ah yes — Wal-Mart wants to open in India, and the US is using the threat of sanctions to shoehorn ’em in.

When asked whether India could get a waiver from the Iran sanctions, Ms. Clinton said it was too early to discuss that possibility.

Ms. Clinton also met Monday with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a key partner of India’s ruling coalition who has stymied government efforts to lift restrictions on foreign-owned investments in the country.

Ms. Clinton had a long conversation with Ms. Banerjee about allowing multi-brand retailers, such as Wal-Mart, enter the market, U.S. officials said after the meeting.

Last year, India’s Cabinet had to rescind a decision to open up its market to major foreign retailers after Ms. Banerjee balked at the move, saying it would crush small domestic retailers.

Ah ha. You see how this works.

via Clinton presses India to cut oil imports from Iran – The Globe and Mail.



Herman Daly on the Limiting Factor

The Church of Economic Growth sings louder as the brushfire of reality encircles the building.

…even though the benefits of further growth are now less than the costs, our decision-making elites have figured out how to keep the dwindling extra benefits for themselves, while “sharing” the exploding extra costs with the poor, the future, and other species.

via What Is the Limiting Factor? « Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.



Police Unity Tour Honors Those Killed in Line of Duty

When cops ride bikes for any reason, it’s good for bicyclists.

On May 9, the police chief leaves behind the bulletproof vest and paperwork to embark on a 300-mile bicycle trek from Florham Park, NJ to Washington D.C. for the 16th annual Police Unity Tour.

Over 1,400 officers rode last year, raising $1.5 million to maintain the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and museum to honor those who gave their lives while on the clock. Over 19,000 names are on the wall. Nine alone have died in the last month.

For Ward, on his third Unity trip, it’s personal.

“I’ve lost a few friends over the years in the line of duty,” he says.

via Police Chief Riding to Remember the Fallen – Ridgewood, NJ Patch.



NYC Bike-Sharing Program Now Too Big to Fail

The Citi Bike program…He heh… Life is funny.

Citigroup Inc. (C) agreed to pay $41 million to sponsor New York City’s bicycle-rental program, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg said will be the largest such system in the U.S. when it begins in July.

The “Citi Bike” program, presented by the mayor and Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit at City Hall today, will offer 10,000 bikes branded with the New York-based bank’s logo at 600 docking stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

via Citigroup Pays $41 Million to Sponsor NYC Bike-Sharing Program – Bloomberg.

(Folks will pay about $100 for a year’s worth. That’s not “sharing,” is it?)