Rich nations seek stable global path

The problem with economics educations these days is that the most important points – such as market failure (e.g., failure to account for the cost of polluting mutually beneficial community space) – become so marginalized they eventually become tossed by the roadside of free-marketeerism. [google: environmental economists]

And so we fall into the sheeple mentality where “our leaders” will do something about it. “Our leaders” will stand for us. “Our leaders” will protect us, etc.

Leaders can include all types of people, and they’re not necessarily evil. But when people such as the President or pastors are looked at as “lifelong” or even just “life” leaders, we’ve got a big problem.

That is why I write this blog. I want to challenge you to think independently, think logically (e.g., why trust the government vs. “just don’t trust the government”), and to seek God’s guidance and Jesus’ example in thinking correctly (or alternatively, with moral responsibility).

99.9% of our “leaders” lack this attitude, and that is why the continued exploitation of the poor, among many other injustices, will continue to the very end of the Age.

New York Times via International Herald Tribune.

By Steven R. Weisman The New York Times
SEPTEMBER 17, 2006

SINGAPORE Even before the conclusion of the annual gathering of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, a striking swing in the global order has been obvious. China and other fast-growing developing countries are demanding a bigger say in the aging institutions that superintend the world economy.

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The Second Coming, part 1 – Intro

The “Beast” found in Revelation has long been the center of much eschatological speculation over the years, and I’ve decided to focus this series of posts to the proper analysis and criticism of various theories available on the internet and elsewhere.

Before I get started, though, it’s important to first understand the perspective John (author of Revelation) was coming from, and the mindset of the audience he was writing to – one of expectation of the imminent return of Jesus Christ as supreme conquerer of the world, even in spite of the many who had “fallen asleep” before his return by AD 66-68.

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China’s economy is out of control (and that’s not a good thing)

I love how everyone says “China is gonna be the next superpower” without actually sitting down, beer in hand, and crunching some numbers. Yes, they do have a million-man standing army. Yes, they do hold a massive amount of the US’ import debt. Yes, they do have nukes. But is that enough to ensure a 21st-century USA-style global domination? Maybe. Then again, probably not.Why not, you ask? Here are some reasons:

1. “Chinese people” don’t all speak “the same language”. They can read the same language – but that doesn’t quite come off the same when you want to pull off a Nuremberg rally. A recent poll showed that only around 50% of people had learned Standard Mandarin, the official government-sanctioned second language, despite a recent massive ad-blitz advocating proficiency.

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Coping with high oil prices

An excellent article talking about the economics of Peak Oil via EnergyBulletin. Among some questions that were approached were: with energy prices so high, why isn’t the “world” suffering from a massive economic downturn? Have firms been taking a hit at all?

Unfortunately, due to its West-centrism, it fails to acknowledge that the high prices have effectively destroyed semi-developed countries such as Zimbabwe, and is working against some countries exporting oil such as Indonesia and Qatar due to outdated domestic policies regarding subsidies. But even more importantly is the talk of “transition”.

Looking at Japan’s post-70s example of transition, while maintaining some of the highest efficiency standards, it remains number three in oil consumption, behind only the US and China.

By Nikos Tsafos

The most surprising feature of the current oil crisis is that it does not
really feel like a crisis. Oil and gas prices may be high and many
people are struggling to cope with rising energy bills, but at a macro
level, the world’s largest economies have grown consistently in the
past two years. Hardly is our fear realized—that high energy costs will
force an economic downturn, much less a recession. What explains this
disconnect between expectation and reality?

To examine this question, take three mechanisms through which oil
prices affect economic performance (there are more, but let’s focus on
three): a reduction in income caused by the need to spend more money on
energy leads to reduced demand for goods and services and this, in
turn, forces an economic slowdown; an increase in inflation generated
by higher prices that firms charge to cover energy costs leads to a
reduction in real income; and worsening performance by firms,
reflecting mainly higher costs and/or reduced overall demand by
shrinking real income.

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