Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Can you imagine Pakistan as…?

Just listen to this and while you do, knowing this was recorded in a studio in Pakistan, by Pakistani’s try to jive that with “they hate us because…” and all that comment suggests.    Dave Brubeck’s Take Five

Here is the video about the orchestra. They actually work with Abbey Road Studio. 1500 concerts, 17 albums from the Pakistan studio.  They talk about the great jazz artist traveling the world “to physically promote American culture”.  

Being that jazz, the true American art form,  is part of their culture, are we not bombing a part of our self?  Is such a performance not a testament to the benefit of cultural exchange via the arts to ours and the worlds economy?   Now, think of Bush and Cheney and try to jive the image with this performance.  Even jazz couldn’t do it.

I put this one in my favorites folder at youtube.  Hat tip on this performance to Real Economics.

Tags: , , , , Comments (0) | |

Let the Wars Start–only when we are willing to pay for them

by Linda Beale

Let the Wars Start–only when we are willing to pay for them

The op-ed page of the New York Times often has some thoughtful items worth reading.  Russell Rumbaugh’s A Tax to Pay for War, New York Times (Feb. 11, 2013), at A17 is one of them.  As Rumbaugh notes, the slight delcine in military spending since 2009 has provided some breathing room on solving the fiscal crisis, but that breathing room could quickly vanish if we undertake new military interventions.  As he notes:

[W]ar spending–like all government spending–wrecks public finances only when more money is spent than is brought in.  …Three years ago, the Senate Budget Committee adopted a bipartisan amendment requirement that wars be paid for.  …[But] none of these proposals resolved the question of whether to pay for future wars through spending cuts or raising more revenue.”

Rumbaugh urges that we “make a choice and require a tax surcharge to pay for any military operation.”

He offers three primary rationales for instituting a war surcharge:

1) Historic norms and traditions for financing wars:  we have historically made major changes in tax poli:y in connection with undertaking wars, from the development of the income tax initially in the Civil War to its permanent inclusion in the US Code during WW I to the use of withholding in WWII and the enactment of a tax surcharge during Vietnam to pay for that war.

2) Ease of implementation: The “savings” from leaving Afghanistan coupled with the passage of the Budget Control Act with a cap on military spending offer a similar opportunity for a war surcharge.  Any “necessary” military spending above the cap would result in an automatic surcharge to raise the necessary revenues.

3) Proper consideration of the costs and benefits of war:  Rumbaugh notes that a surcharge will mean that argumnents for military action “would explicitly include a call for increased taxes, forcing the question of whether the stakes in the military situation are worth the cost.  If the American people agree they are worth it, the president will get both the political support and [the] financing he needs.”  After all, “[i]f military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too.”

These arguments seem sound.  Certainly one factor in causing the Great Recession we are still coming out of was the decision to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq–wars likely to be long and costly in terms of technical equipment as well as lives and costs of caring for wounded soldiers (physically and psychically) afterwards–and just put it on the credit card by LOWERING taxes at the same time for the very wealthy amongst us in particular.  Whereas tax rates in war have been very high in the past, the Bush wars of choice were fought with borrowed money.  And perhaps those wars were more easily entered into because there was no direct cost obvious to Americans at the outset.

The use of a volunteer armed force left most of us more removed from the conflict; the use of “embedded” journalists who did not have the opportunity to capture iconic images of the war outside the scope of what the Pentagon wanted to be seen left most of us with uncertainty about what was really going on in the war zones; and the use of borrowed money to fund the wars meant Americans could go about their daily lives with little recognition that we were a country engaged in a very costly military battle.

PS. I would note that government spending even when it is based on borrowing doesn’t necessarily “wreck” the economy as he implies–Krugman, Stiglitz and other economists will tell you that it is much better to borrow and spend after a recession than to adopt silly austerity measures.  When the private sector isn’t spending, government needs to.  But we should spend wisely–infrastructure spending, for example, might make a lot more sense than military intervention spending, as Blodget suggests in the post linked below.  Even wiser–tax ourselves to pay for whatever wars we decide to fight.  The war tax is a win-win Tobin tax–if we go to war, at least we have the revenues to pay for the war.  If the potential tax take discourages us from going to war, then we have less war, which I suspect most of us would think is a pretty good outcome……

cross posted with ataxingmatter

Tags: , Comments (1) | |

Did Romney’s Foreign Policy Team Indicate That He Would Try to Establish Autocratic Puppet Regimes In the Middle East?

The headline on the Washington Post’s opening Web page was irresistible: “Romney aides: No Mideast turmoil if he were president.”  The headline of the actual article, by Philip Rucker, though, is headlined “Romney team sharpens attack on Obama’s foreign policy.” 

Both headings are accurate. Romney’s foreign policy team—drawn, apparently, entirely from the farthest-right faction of George W. Bush’s foreign policy advisors—issued a series of written statements yesterday.  And among them, if I understand correctly, is one in which they suggest that the Obama administration should have established a puppet government in Libya after Gadhafi fell last year. Oh, and probably one in Egypt, too.  And in Yemen, and in ….

Y’all know: Like the puppet government that these very same folks, then Bush administration officials, tried to establish in Iraq back in 2003.  The effort that worked out so well.  Remember?

It’s time now for Obama and the news media to make it far better known than it is now who Romney’s foreign policy team members are—and to remind people of what happened when last they directed this country’s foreign policy. 

As for the fact that Romney has delusions of autocratic grandeur, or at least of mystical powers over Middle Easterners to cause them to happily acquiesce to our efforts to control them, Romney himself is taking care of that just fine, thank you. 

And at least he’s finally making clear where all that extra money for defense spending will go.  If not where that money will come from.  

Romney’s sons all are too old to be subject to any new military draft necessitated by his and his policy team’s  desires, and his grandchildren all are very young.  So the Romney family is save.  Many other families, though, probably not so much.

Tags: , , , , , Comments (10) | |

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Largest Absolute Drop in Private Employment Since the US Started Keeping Records

A commenter at Steve Benen’s Washington Monthly blog was grousing (correctly, as spencer notes in comments) that Benen had allocated all of the 2009 change (read:drop) in private-sector jobs to Obama, while GWB was in office for the first 19.5 daysduring the time the employment data for January was gathered.

Turns out that there were 841,000 private-sector jobs lost in January of 2009—the most in any month in the 2000s—so it might have made a difference.*

I assumed that, since the population continually increases, that was probably the largest monthly job loss since the data was first recorded in January of 1939.

I was wrong. By a wide margin. The Top 30 single-month drops in U.S. Private Sector employment history since February of 1939:

The highlighted months are since the beginning of NBER’s declaration of the Great Recession. But it appears that V-J Day also signalled an end to employment for more than 1.75 million people.

*Note, by the way, that November and December of 2008 are also in the Top Ten, so calling the January, 2009, layoffs part of the normal post-Xmas letdown appears dubious.

Tags: , , Comments (5) | |

This is US. We have done all of this.

by: Daniel Becker
This is very important.  It is a list of all we have done in the world.   Go take a look.  It won’t take long.  I’ll wait for you to return.

That we do not teach about this in our schools is why we are who we are.  This list should be a banner which is run along the bottom of every news cast for as long as we are involved in such activity or when a new such action is proposed.  It should be a page in every Sunday newspaper edition for as long as we are involved or when a new such action is proposed.

Most of all, this list and the banner should start with the following words: “You have done all of the following…”  I say “you” because such actions need to remain personal.   It is always personal.  Yes, you and me personally have done all of this.  Don’t start thinking that the use of robotics removes you from the equation.  Don’t fall for that psych-ops.  You, me, we still are the one’s pulling the trigger.  We did this.  All of this. 

We’re broke? We have to sacrifice? What do we have to sacrifice, our dignity? Our integraty? Do you like someone doing all this in your name? Your name is on it. Don’t make that mistake thinking it’s not.

Oh, it’s only about the money at this blog? Well, you’re the private sector, you, me and we. Is this how you would choose to spend your Nth dollar? Is this how you would choose to spend your vaction money, your retirement money, your holiday gift money? I mean, it’s all extra spending anyway. Gee, you have no extra? Well then, is this how you would choose to spend your grocery money, your heating money (just filled my tank, $3.59/gal), your insurance money, your TAX money?

Is the private sector spending it better than the government sector? How can you tell? See, private or government, it’s still US. You pulled the trigger. I pulled the trigger by inclusion. We pulled the trigger.

And the rest of the world knows it.

In case you did not go to the link, here is the first list:
US interventions taken for sole purpose of regime change since 1945:

1946 – Thailand (Pridi; conservative): success (Covert operation)
1946 – Argentina (Peron; military/centrist): failure (Subverted election)
1947 – France (communist): success (Subverted election)
1947 – Philippines (center-left): success (Subverted election)
1947 – Romania (Gheorghiu-Dej; stalinist): failure (Covert operation)
1948 – Italy (communist): success (Subverted election)
1948 – Colombia (Gaitan; populist/leftist): success (Subverted election)
1948 – Peru (Bustamante; left/centrist): success (Covert operation)
1949 – Syria (Kuwatli; neutralist/Pan-Arabist): success (Covert operation)
1949 – China (Mao; communist): failure (Covert operation)
1950 – Albania (Hoxha; communist): failure (Covert operation)
1951 – Bolivia (Paz; center/neutralist): success (Covert operation)
1951 – DPRK (Kim; stalinist): failure (Overt force)
1951 – Poland (Cyrankiewicz; stalinist): failure (Covert operation)
1951 – Thailand (Phibun; conservative): success (Covert operation)
1952 – Egypt (Farouk; monarchist): success (Covert operation)
1952 – Cuba (Prio; reform/populist): success (Covert operation)
1952 – Lebanon (left/populist): success: (Subverted election)
1953 – British Guyana (left/populist): success (Covert operation)
1953 – Iran (Mossadegh; liberal nationalist): success (Covert operation)
1953 – Costa Rica (Figueres; reform liberal): failure (Covert operation)
1953 – Philippines (center-left): success (Subverted election)
1954 – Guatemala (Arbenz; liberal nationalist): success (Overt force)
1955 – Costa Rica (Figueres; reform liberal): failure (Covert operation)
1955 – India (Nehru; neutralist/socialist): failure (Covert operation)
1955 – Argentina (Peron; military/centrist): success (Covert operation)
1955 – China (Zhou; communist): failure (Covert operation)
1955 – Vietnam (Ho; communist): success (Subverted election)
1956 – Hungary (Hegedus; communist): success (Covert operation)
1957 – Egypt (Nasser; military/nationalist): failure (Covert operation)
1957 – Haiti (Sylvain; left/populist): success (Covert operation)
1957 – Syria (Kuwatli; neutralist/Pan-Arabist): failure (Covert operation)
1958 – Japan (left-center): success (Subverted election)
1958 – Chile (leftists): success (Subverted election)
1958 – Iraq (Feisal; monarchist): success (Covert operation)
1958 – Laos (Phouma; nationalist): success (Covert operation)
1958 – Sudan (Sovereignty Council; nationalist): success (Covert operation)
1958 – Lebanon (leftist): success (Subverted election)
1958 – Syria (Kuwatli; neutralist/Pan-Arabist): failure (Covert operation)
1958 – Indonesia (Sukarno; militarist/neutralist): failure (Subverted election)
1959 – Laos (Phouma; nationalist): success (Covert operation)
1959 – Nepal (left-centrist): success (Subverted election)
1959 – Cambodia (Sihanouk; moderate/neutralist): failure (CO)
1960 – Ecuador (Ponce; left/populist): success (Covert operation)
1960 – Laos (Phouma; nationalist): success (Covert operation)
1960 – Iraq (Qassem; rightist /militarist): failure (Covert operation)
1960 – S. Korea (Syngman; rightist): success (Covert operation)
1960 – Turkey (Menderes; liberal): success (Covert operation)
1961 – Haiti (Duvalier; rightist/militarist): success (Covert operation)
1961 – Cuba (Castro; communist): failure (Covert operation)
1961 – Congo (Lumumba; leftist/pan-Africanist): success (Covert operation)
1961 – Dominican Republic (Trujillo; rightwing/military): success (Covert operation)
1962 – Brazil (Goulart; liberal/neutralist): failure (Subverted election)
1962 – Dominican Republic ( left/populist): success (Subverted election)
1962 – Indonesia (Sukarno; militarist/neutralist): failure (Covert operation)
1963 – Dominican Republic (Bosch; social democrat): success (Covert operation)
1963 – Honduras (Montes; left/populist): success (Covert operation)
1963 – Iraq (Qassem; militarist/rightist): success (Covert operation)
1963 – S. Vietnam (Diem; rightist): success (Covert operation)
1963 – Cambodia (Sihanouk; moderate/neutralist): failure (Covert operation)
1963 – Guatemala (Ygidoras; rightist/reform): success (Covert operation)
1963 – Ecuador (Velasco; reform militarist): success (Covert operation)
1964 – Guyana (Jagan; populist/reformist): success (Covert operation)
1964 – Bolivia (Paz; centrist/neutralist): success (Covert operation)
1964 – Brazil (Goulart; liberal/neutralist): success (Covert operation)
1964 – Chile (Allende; social democrat/marxist): success (Subverted election)
1965 – Indonesia (Sukarno; militarist/neutralist): success (Covert operation)
1966 – Ghana (Nkrumah; leftist/pan-Africanist): success (Covert operation)
1966 – Bolivia (leftist): success (Subverted election)
1966 – France (de Gaulle; centrist): failure (Covert operation)
1967 – Greece (Papandreou; social democrat): success (Covert operation)
1968 – Iraq (Arif; rightist): success (Covert operation)
1969 – Panama (Torrijos; military/reform populist): failure (Covert operation)
1969 – Libya (Idris; monarchist): success (Covert operation)
1970 – Bolivia (Ovando; reform nationalist): success (Covert operation)
1970 – Cambodia (Sihanouk; moderate/neutralist): success (Covert operation)
1970 – Chile (Allende; social democrat/Marxist): failure (Subverted election)
1971 – Bolivia (Torres; nationalist/neutralist): success (Covert operation)
1971 – Costa Rica (Figueres; reform liberal): failure (Covert operation)
1971 – Liberia (Tubman; rightist): success (Covert operation)
1971 – Turkey (Demirel; center-right): success (Covert operation)
1971 – Uruguay (Frente Amplio; leftist): success (Subverted election)
1972 – El Salvador (leftist): success (Subverted election)
1972 – Australia (Whitlam; liberal/labor): failure (Subverted election)
1973 – Chile (Allende; social democrat/Marxist): success (Covert operation)
1975 – Australia (Whitlam; liberal/labor): success (Covert operation)
1975 – Congo (Mobutu; military/rightist): failure (Covert operation)
1975 – Bangladesh (Mujib; nationalist): success (Covert operation)
1976 – Jamaica (Manley; social democrat): failure (Subverted election)
1976 – Portugal (JNS; military/leftist): success (Subverted election)
1976 – Nigeria (Mohammed; military/nationalist): success (Covert operation)
1976 – Thailand (rightist): success (Covert operation)
1976 – Uruguay (Bordaberry; center-right): success (Covert operation)
1977 – Pakistan (Bhutto: center/nationalist): success (Covert operation)
1978 – Dominican Republic (Balaguer; center): success (Subverted election)
1979 – S. Korea (Park; rightist): success (Covert operation)
1979 – Nicaragua (Sandinistas; leftist): failure (Covert operation)
1980 – Bolivia (Siles; centrist/reform): success (Covert operation)
1980 – Iran (Khomeini; Islamic nationalist): failure (Covert operation)
1980 – Italy (leftist): success (Covert operation)
1980 – Liberia (Tolbert; rightist): success (Covert operation)
1980 – Jamaica (Manley; social democrat): success (Subverted election)
1980 – Dominica (Seraphin; leftist): success (Subverted election)
1980 – Turkey (Demirel; center-right): success (Covert operation)
1981 – Seychelles (René; socialist): failure (Covert operation)
1981 – Spain (Suarez; rightist/neutralist): failure (Covert operation)
1981 – Panama (Torrijos; military/reform populist); success (Covert operation)
1981 – Zambia (Kaunda; reform nationalist): failure (Covert operation)
1982 – Mauritius (center-left): failure (Subverted election)
1982 – Spain (Suarez; rightist/neutralist): success (Subverted election)
1982 – Iran (Khomeini; Islamic nationalist): failure (Covert operation)
1982 – Chad (Oueddei; Islamic nationalist): success (Covert operation)
1983 – Mozambique (Machel; socialist): failure (Covert operation)
1983 – Grenada (Bishop; socialist): success (Overt force)
1984 – Panama (reform/centrist): success (Subverted election)
1984 – Nicaragua (Sandinistas; leftist): failure (Subverted election)
1984 – Surinam (Bouterse; left/reformist/neutralist): success (Covert operation)
1984 – India (Gandhi; nationalist): success (Covert operation)
1986 – Libya (Qaddafi; Islamic nationalist): failure (Overt force)
1987 – Fiji (Bavrada; liberal): success (Covert operation)
1989 – Panama (Noriega; military/reform populist): success (Overt force)
1990 – Haiti (Aristide; liberal reform): failure (Subverted election)
1990 – Nicaragua (Ortega; Christian socialist): success (Subverted election)
1991 – Albania (Alia; communist): success (Subverted election)
1991 – Haiti (Aristide; liberal reform): success (Covert operation)
1991 – Iraq (Hussein; military/rightist): failure (Overt force)
1991 – Bulgaria (BSP; communist): success (Subverted election)
1992 – Afghanistan (Najibullah; communist): success (Covert operation)
1993 – Somalia (Aidid; right/militarist): failure (Overt force)
1993 – Cambodia (Han Sen/CPP; leftist): failure (Subverted election)
1993 – Burundi (Ndadaye; conservative): success (Covert operation)
1994 – El Salvador (leftist): success (Subverted election)
1994 – Rwanda (Habyarimana; conservative): success (Covert operation)
1994 – Ukraine (Kravchuk; center-left): success (Subverted election)
1996 – Bosnia (Karadzic; centrist): success (Covert operation)
1996 – Congo (Mobutu; military/rightist): success (Covert operation)
1996 – Mongolia (center-left): success (Subverted election)
1998 – Congo (Kabila; rightist/military): success (Covert operation)
1998 – Indonesia (Suharto; military/rightist): success (Covert operation)
1999 – Yugoslavia (Milosevic; left/nationalist): success (Subverted election)
2000 – Ecuador (NSC; leftist): success: (Covert operation)
2001 – Afghanistan (Omar; rightist/Islamist): success (Overt force)
2001 – Belarus (Lukashenko; leftist): failure (Subverted election)
2001 – Nicaragua (Ortega; Christian socialist): success (Subverted election)
2001 – Nepal (Birendra; nationalist/monarchist): success (Covert operation)
2002 – Venezuela (Chavez; reform-populist): failure (Covert operation)
2002 – Bolivia (Morales; leftist/MAS): success (Subverted election)
2002 – Brazil (Lula; center-left): failure (Subverted election)

Tags: , , , , Comments (91) | |

What IR can learn from the NHL

Both Gary and Rebecca cited Marc Lynch recommending “intervening” in Libya:

The appropriate comparison is Bosnia or Kosovo, or even Rwanda where a massacre is unfolding on live television and the world is challenged to act. It is time for the United States, NATO, the United Nations and the Arab League to act forcefully to try to prevent the already bloody situation from degenerating into something much worse.

I petulantly asked whether Mark Lynch had ever seen an intervention he didn’t like.

The answer, of course, is yes, which a moment’s thought about pseudonyms would have made clear. My social radar remains a perfect contraindicator.

But that leaves several questions, not the least of which is “with what Army”? Certainly not the U.S. one, which is overextended in battles of—let us be polite&dubious optimal cost.

NATO and The United Nations suffer similar issues, along with “institutional inertia” (unlike the U.S., they do not jump into wars without a strategy, a purpose, and a plan).

This leaves the Arab League, which has several members—Egypt, Lebanon, Somalia, Bahrain, Iraq, Libya (being the issue at hand), Yemen, the Sudan, Tunisia, and possibly Saudi Arabia and Jordan come immediately to mind—that are rather preoccupied themselves.

It’s not just that the very sharp Mr. Lynch conflates genocides with civil war; it’s that he chooses the wrong strategy for ending the process.

Watch NHL fights. Here’s a good example (fight starts ca. 0:55):

Note that the fight isn’t ended until half a minute later. The referees (especially the one on the left side of the screen) are paying attention the entire time—fallen gloves get picked up or kicked out of the way—but they don’t even attempt an intervention until the players are on the ice.

The corrolary is that as soon as a player falls to the ice, they intervene.

The question for those advocating military action should be seen in that light: how can we quickly and efficiently get the battle to the point where intervention does not involve getting in the middle of two moving targets.

This is an economics blog, so, yes, you can bet that my answer will be economics-related.

If you want to stop a dictator from killing his people, freeze any of his personal assets that are held out of the country.

In cases where the dictator is likely to fall, it sends a clear signal to other countries. (In cases where the dictator is likely to succeed, the worst case scenario is that banking relationships will be damaged, a consideration that the domestic government would have considered before making the decision to freeze the assets in the first place.)

The purpose of financial in lieu of military intervention is to balance the tradeoff. A dictator whose funds will remain unencumbered no matter how many of his people he kills will not change his behavior. A dictator who stands to lose a large (and increasing) portion of $70 billion faces a scenario where extending his time in office may well appear too costly.

(There is the added signalling benefit of the proliferation of asset-freezings that occur. Since each country and institution that freezes the assets is weighing their decision based on political outcomes, the more places that freeze his assets, the more clear it becomes that his efforts are not expected to succeed.)

Again, I premise this on the idea that Tom Friedman’s basic premise is correct: that economic activity mitigates the chance of military activity. But the idea here is much easier to implement uni-, bi-, or multilaterally than managing the logistics of moving soldiers, machinery, and rations to an area that may have ended activities by the time you can start to have an effect. (Even ignoring if the effect will be negative.)

IR recommendations should follow the lead of NHL referees: make it as easy as possible for the fighters to be separated, but don’t put your body between them until then.

Tags: , , , , , Comments (9) | |

Start from Silliness and the Product is…?

Begin with a Really Stupid Assumption:

  1. Assume Tom Friedman is correct.

    Not about the brilliance of cab drivers, or the flatness of the Earth, or even that AGW is the route to revitalize the U.S. economy.* But assume as valid his claim that the “global economy” makes war less likely; that Pakistan and India won’t battle because too many people in India depend on trade with Pakistan for their income and vice versa.**

    How do you then conduct war? Why, economically, of course.

    I mean, you can do it the stupid way: spend a bunch of your capital, get a lot of your people with potential for economic growth killed, and develop the enmity of those you battle, win or lose, but no one would be stupid enough to do that these days, would they?

  2. Assume you want to take over a country or bunch of countries. What’s the optimal way to do it?

    My best guess is

    1. You start with countries whose economies together are larger than yours, but where each one individually is smaller. This gives them a sense of security.
    2. Check that you start in better fiscal shape than all but one or two of them. (Those that are comparable or better need to be that much smaller.)
    3. Lend significantly to the poorer countries. Iterate and expand lending program as possible, and
    4. Dun them to within an inch of their life at the first opportunity after reaching a critical mass.
  3. When the result is the same as if you have just fought (and won) a war, what comes next for your “coalition.”

    Henry Farrell, who appears to be as old as I am, (and nine others [PDF]) suggests the answer:

    The long term consequences of Germany’s successful push towards austerity have yet to play out. However, initial results from the Irish case would suggest two lessons. The first is that the contradictions within Germany’s policy towards Europe are leading to bad policy. The second is that as a result, Germany is likely to receive the political blame in target countries both for the economic pain that its mandated measures are causing, and for many of the adjustment pains that they would surely have suffered in any event. Germany’s asymmetric power is reshaping European economic politics in a direct, and arguably even a brutal fashion. It is not clear that German politicians and economic policy makers have any appreciation of the resentment and hostility that they are likely to incur as a result.

New types of war may require new weapon, but they appear likely to produce the old results, though possibly with human capital devalued instead of outright eliminated.

It is left as an exercise whether the model of France 1918-1939 is preferrable to the PIIGS and Belgium 2010-???

*As an aside, that route is completely eliminated, simply as collateral damage, by the GOP spending cut proposal discussed here. Good thing their constituents don’t depend on the U.S. for anything.

**While we’re at it, I would like a pony, of course.

Tags: , , , Comments (4) | |

Political Will has always been a Debased Coin

Gary Farber lays out the details of who the real “silent majority” were in the Nixon Administration’s approach to Viet Nam, using Nixon’s own words.

Such as this, from 20 January 1973—two years and three months before the ultimate U.S. withdrawal:

Nixon realized that the Communists were going to win in Vietnam. “I look at the tide of history out there,” he said in the Oval Office, “South Vietnam probably can never even survive anyway.”

Go read the whole thing.

Tags: , Comments (0) | |

Strange Data Point of the Day

Looking at Population Change data derived from version 6.2 of the Penn World Tables.

It appears that the population of Kuwait declined by 55.46% in 1991, only to increase 48.64% in the following year.

I’m inclined to think of this as measurement error, not a mass exodus following by a mass return after the invasion. But that’s mainly because I think we would have heard if fully half of the population of the country had left.

Anyone have any information otherwise?

Tags: , , Comments (0) | |