The Debt-Ratio Distraction/ Michael Pettis



BEIJING – A 2010 paper by Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart suggesting that a country’s economy will slow when public debt exceeds 90% of GDP has fueled heated debate worldwide. What is usually missing from such discussions, however, is an explanation of how too much debt leads to slower growth. Such an explanation is needed to decide whether crossing a particular threshold really is the determining factor in an economic slowdown.

This illustration is by Paul Lachine and comes from <a href=""></a>, and is the property of the NewsArt organization and of its artist. Reproducing this image is a violation of copyright law.
Illustration by Paul Lachine

In fact, it is not. While excessive debt can hamper a country’s growth prospects, it does so by inducing economic actors to behave differently, thereby generating financial-distress costs. Just as major stakeholders in a business generate such costs by changing their behavior when the firm’s balance sheet becomes too risky, an economy’s stakeholders respond to rising default risk in ways that reduce growth and, in a vicious feedback loop, increase financial fragility further. Συνέχεια

Σχολείο Γυμνό : Όραμα για την Εκπαίδευση

Το παράδειγμα των αθλητών, των ανέργων και πολλών άλλων γυμνών διαμαρτυρομένων, ακολούθησαν στη Γαλλία 15 καθηγητές Μέσης Εκπαίδευσης, προκειμένου να τραβήξουν την προσοχή πάνω στην απαξίωση και την …απογύμνωση της δημόσιας εκπαίδευσης.


Στο Μανιφέστο που κυκλοφόρησαν, καταγγέλλουν ότι οι μεταρρυθμίσεις στην Παιδεία κρύβουν μία κοντόφθαλμη λογιστική και τεχνοκρατική λογική που δυναμιτίζει τις βάσεις της δημοκρατικής εκπαίδευσης.


«Δηλώνουμε ότι σήμερα το σχολείο είναι γυμνό, όχι μόνο γιατί του στερούν τα οικονομικά μέσα, αλλά κυρίως γιατί έχει χάσει βαθμηδόν το νόημά του, καθώς και το ανθρωπιστικό του ιδεώδες, που από την εποχή των Ελλήνων του έδωσε το όνομα του «σχολείου». Συνέχεια

“Αρχή πολιτείας απάσης νέων τροφά”




(Ο τίτλος ανήκει στον Πυθαγόρα και σημαίνει ότι θεμέλιο κάθε πολιτείας είναι η ανατροφή των νέων)


Ο κάθε άνθρωπος έχει ακατέργαστα ταλέντα και ποιότητες, ο κάθε άνθρωπος είναι εν δυνάμει ένας μικρός Θεός, το περιβάλλον του έχει υποχρέωση να αναδείξει αυτά τα χαρακτηριστικά του στον βαθμό που γίνεται. Θα ήταν ένας άπειρα πιο ωραίος κόσμος αν οι άνθρωποι είχαν την ευκαιρία να γνωρίσουν σε βάθος τις ποιότητες τους και να τις κάνουν κτήμα τους για μια ολόκληρη ζωή. Τον βαρύ και δύσκολο αυτό ρόλο θα έπρεπε να τον έχει η Παιδεία. Συνέχεια

Ulterior Motives?: School “Reform”, Rich, Poor, and Land Grabs



Cloaking Inequity has explored the ulterior motives of school “reformers” in prior posts (See for example Walking Away From High Stakes Tests, A Noble Lie and Letter to Civil Rights and school “choice” advocate (p.s. neoliberals skip this) and Update on Smart ALEC: Education, Privatization, and the Pursuit of Profit. Recently, Leslie T. Fenwick, the Dean of the Howard School of Education explored their ulterior motives and wrote a scintillating piece arguing that urban school “reform” is really about land development (not kids).

She wrote in Ebony:

The truth can be used to tell a lie… Συνέχεια

Bill Gates Should Not Micro-Manage Our Schools By Prof. Nicholas Tampio

The multinational software giant, Microsoft, once bundled its Explorer search engine with Windows, and refused, for a time, to have Windows run WordPerfect, a competitor to Microsoft Word. As head of Microsoft, Bill Gates wanted everyone to use the same program. As funder of the Common Core, I believe he wants to do the same with our children.

The Common Core is one of the most effective educational reform movements in United States history. Gates is a financial backer of this movement. Looking at this connection enables us to see why the United States should be wary of letting any one person or group acquire too much control over education policy. Συνέχεια

Driverless cars, pilotless planes … will there be jobs left for a human being?

Throughout history, economic upheaval has destroyed whole industries – and created new ones. But now, some fear automation may mean the death of mass employment

Robots assembling Tesla sports cars in California

The future of jobs? Robots assembling Tesla sports cars in California. Photograph: Paul Sakuma/AP

Suddenly a robotised, automated economic reality is moving off the science fiction pages and into daily life. The growing use of unmanned battlefield drones is encouraging the growth of pilotless commercial aircraft – the first ever flew in British airspace last month. Google’s driverless car is completing ever more trials ever more successfully: the world’s major car companies are all hot in pursuit, working on their own prototypes of their own versions. The automated checkouts at supermarkets are becoming as familiar as bank cash machines. From staff-free ticket offices to students who can learn online, it seems there is no corner of economic life in which people are not being replaced by machines. Συνέχεια