Thursday, April 20, 2006


Globalize This! has declared the official start of Gold Bond season here in the nation's capital, which by our standard is the unofficial start of summer.

It's time to start dusting those nether parts that flop, flip, dangle, sweat, and chafe with what my best man calls, "the powdered cool sea breeze in a bottle."

Globalize This! recommends the extra strength version in the green bottle. But be warned, THIS IS SERIOUS SHIT. Not for the faint of heart. The uninitiated are best of sticking to regular strenght Gold Bond in the classic yellow bottle, at least to start.

Just another public service announcement from Globalize This!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Okay, I'm a little slow. If you are stumbling across this page by means of anything besides a google search, you probably already knew that economist extraordinaire Dean Baker (he scored a big 4 on the PAE's list of the 20th Century's Greatest Economists--mathematicians don't have ways to describe numbers so low as to express my relative rank) has a new blog: Beat the Press.

For the better part of a decade Dean wrote the much coveted Economic Reporting Review. While I thought he gave that up earlier this year to devote more time to revenue-generating work for CEPR, I guess he couldn't resist the temptation to fuel archane internet squabbles from his own blog (rather than from Maxspeak).

Good luck, Dean!


A proposal to raise the minimum wage, a track record of creating manufacturing jobs, a strong public commitment to achieving environmental sustainability...Forget Hillary, we should draft Hu Jintao as the Democratic nominee in 2008. He's no more secretive or authoritarian than Bush, but his agenda is in the right place. And maybe he'd have some ideas of how to deal with China on the diplomatic front.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


The Center for Global Development, the increasingly political-economy-conscious development economics arm of the Institute for International Economics, is currently seeking nominations for the 2006 Commitment to Development Award for the "individual or organization from the rich world who has made a significant contribution to changing attitudes and policies towards the developing world."

Let's nominate Mark Weisbrot.


Weisbrot, more than anyone else I've shared donuts with in my short 28 years, has committed in his work and life to empowering people from developing countries to stand up, throw off the yoke of neo-colonialism and fight for justice in the global economy, while himself (and with his colleagues at CEPR) working in the developed world to change attitudes and policies toward developing countries. His contributions are too many to document, so I will merely highlight some here and provide the reader a gateway to more resources:

*uncovering the reality of global progress (perhaps more aptly, global regress or stagnation) in the era of global economic liberalization. And taking World Bank economist David Dollar to task on the issue (video).

*defending Venezuela's right to self-determination (pdf) in the face of Bush administration orchestrated political coups, and the success of Hugo Chavez's pro-poor redistribution programs. Not to mention, other countries in Latin America, including Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Haiti, and Bolivia.

*setting the record straight on the effects of Nafta by uncovering the World Bank's egregious errors and misrepresentation of the facts.

*demonstrating how the Doha "development" round of global trade liberalization actually stands to hurt many, many developing countries.

*advocating against a global intellectual property rights regime that keeps developing country residents from accessing life-saving pharmaceuticals, costs them billions of $ that could be spent on national development priorities, and prevents the socially productive dissemination of life-bettering technologies.

*arming developing country central bank technocrats with the intellectual fire power to oppose austere monetary policies that, though profitable to international bond speculators, are disastorous for employment, growth, and living standards in developing countries.

*showing that debt default for highly indebted developing countries would be really good for improving their economic futures and not shut themselves out of international capital markets.

And so on. Not to mention the man is a huge fan of oatmeal.

Let Center for Global Development know, they need look no further than Mark Weisbrot for the 2006 award.


"Who you calling an immigrant, Pilgrim?"

Yes, it's time for some John Wayne-tough-talking in the fight for immigrant and human justice.

Pictures from the rally coming soon, as soon as I can find the cord to my camera.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006



Chairman and Ranking Douche Bag of the House Ways and Means Committee sees irreconcilable differences in the current round of multilateral trade negotiations. (He would rather put his resources into securing bilateral deals and bullying poor, cash strapped African and Caribbean Basin nations into trade concessions.) That, according to this morning's National Journal Congress Daily briefing (this link may get you through the subscription firewall).

While the House plays no constitutional role in ratifying international treaties (that's the Senate's role), the Ways and Means committee does have jurisdiction over legislation likely to affect federal tax revenues (such as removing taxes from imported goods). And nothing can happen in the committee without Thomas' say so.

Of course, the douche bag is retiring at the end of this term, so his chairmanship is up for grabs in the 2007 Congress. I'm only an armchair inside baseball Congressional analyst, so I can't say for sure that whomever comes along after Thomas won't have the power and control to drive this thing home, but this statement--on top of the countless delays and mounting failures--could be the straw that breaks Doha's back.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Britain has a cabinet-level agency tasked with fighting child poverty, the Social Exclusion Unit. As one politician there put it: "How can the U.K. compete globally if a third of our children grow up poor?"

Jared Bernstein and Mark Greenberg tell us more about British common sense in this morning's WaPo. Now if only the Blair government would come around on the whole imperialism issue.