Saturday, January 26, 2008

Recommended reading: Two articles on the US economy and one on the myth of free trade

What is happening to the U.S. economy? Why are the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, dominated by the US, preaching "free markets" and "free trade," which are myths? Here are three recently published articles, all interesting, and, in my opinion, related.

1. Richard Heinberg’s "Peak Everything Economics, or, What Do You Call This Mess?" Heinberg, according to his bio, is “[O]ne of the world's foremost Peak Oil (oil depletion) educators and is a Senior Fellow of Post Carbon Institute. He is the author of eight books including The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies, Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World and The Oil Depletion Protocol - A Plan To Avoid Oil Wars, Terrorism, and Economic Collapse.

2. Chalmers Johnson’s "The Myth of Free Trade." The American Empire Project (cofounded by my favorite blogger, Tom Englehardt), describes Johnson: “[P]resident of the Japan Policy Research Institute, a non-profit research and public affairs organization devoted to public education concerning Japan and international relations in the Pacific. He taught for thirty years, 1962-1992, at the Berkeley and San Diego campuses of the University of California and held endowed chairs in Asian politics at both of them. At Berkeley he served as chairman of the Center for Chinese Studies and as chairman of the Department of Political Science. His B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in economics and political science are all from the University of California, Berkeley.”

Johnson’s most recent books, a trilogy: Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, The Sorrows of Empire - Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic and Nemesis - The Last Days of the American Republic.

3. Scott Horton’s post at Harper's, "How Bush's Fiscal Mismanagement Produced a Recession," commenting on and linking to the excellent study, "Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison. This evening, I'm tackling this study, a 12 page draft published on January 14, 2008.


chris said...

Love the picture, Gail.

If Wile E. Coyote represents the U.S. economy, what or who does Road Runner represent?

I'd sure like to know, so I could tuck what little money I have deep inside Road Runner's feathers.


Psudo said...

Has the US economy reached recession yet, as Scott Horton's book title suggests? I know the economy isn't growing as fast now as it was, but I wasn't aware it was receding yet. I thought it was still growing, just more slowly than otherwise.

Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten said...

Gail, thank you for the link to Heinberg's article. Very interesting. There's another potential upside to a big slowdown in the world economy: it should be good for mother earth if we all stopped consuming so much stuff, yes? Interesting times are in store for us!