Reblogged from whip or will.
Reblogged from whip or will.
“The point is that there’s often an indefatigable gap between the rigors of cost-benefit analyses and the emotional hunches that drive our decisions. We say we want to follow the evidence, but then the evidence rubs against a bias like loss aversion, and so we make an exception. We’ll follow the evidence next time.”
“The markets would help to clarify exactly the extent to which there is in fact a consensus about climate change. There is, I believe, an abnormally high degree of disingenuousness within the global warming debate, most of it coming from one side. We would very quickly find out if the skeptics — and for that matter the believers — were willing to put their money where their mouths were.”
The use of markets would be an interesting and effective test of belief as it requires breaking that all too difficult initial barrier of inertia — whether it be political will-power, or overcoming business risk to invest in capital venture. Once you overcome inertia and fear, that’s where the fun and innovation begins.
Whenever Norway’s extensive social welfare system and high standard of living is discussed, conservatives like to say that they can only afford it because they are sitting on so much oil.
If that’s the case, then why does Sweden have a nearly identical system and standard of living, without much oil at all?
“In its annual “World Development Report” published on Tuesday September 15th, the World Bank notes that they accounted for 64% of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels between 1850 and 2005. In 2005 itself, however, this share had fallen to 50%, and middle-income countries such as India and China (now the world’s biggest emitter) accounted for almost half of CO2 emissions and more than half of wider greenhouse-gas emissions. But rich countries’ 1 billion people emit far more on a per person basis compared with the 4.2 billion people who live in middle-income countries.”
“The loss has fired a debate over whether the future of Dresden, in what was once East Germany, should lie more in research and design, rather than manufacturing…
“We need to put money in places that create knowledge, not things,” said Wolfram Drescher, one of two co-chief executives at the company. “If all we had were production and not knowledge, I’d be standing on the street, unemployed.”
The thought that traditional manufacturing should not necessarily be the indispensable foundation of the economy is heresy in Germany. But as China moves to supplant Germany as the world’s largest exporter of goods, the questions here over where to invest for the future go to the heart of an issue that Americans have faced for decades but that Germans are just beginning to confront.”
- Carter Dougherty, “A Nascent Debate in Germany - Research or Manufacturing (NYT)”
Despite appearances regarding Canada’s 1st place spot, it is interesting to note that:
I don’t have data on hand, but it would be interesting to compare with Germany — which is sitting just below the OECD average, and also with Sweden and Australia against Canadian or American figures and factors.
“If people were as captivated by public affairs as they are by erotic ones, the economy would be very strong.”
— magdalena; reader’s comment left at the NYT
The government debt of the ten richest countries attending the G20 summits will hit 114% of GDP by 2014, up from 78% in 2007, according to a new IMF study. To measure how much fiscal pain would be required to bring gross debt ratios to a sustainable level, the IMF looked at demographic pressures and assumed that long-term interest rates exceed economic growth rates by a percentage point (the long-term pre-crisis average) and then calculated by how much primary budget balances would have to improve. The economists define this level as 60% or, for Japan, half of today’s figure (ie, 85%). Their results suggest that Ireland and Japan have most to do. Both would need to boost their primary balances by more than 12% of GDP, compared with what is forecast for 2014. Britain would need an improvement of close to 6%. The gap in America is 3.5% and in Germany just under 2%. (The Economist via sabine)