25 February 2016   Leave a comment

The US is, by far, the world’s largest military spender.  Indeed, every American citizen who pays taxes spends $3,300 per year on military equipment.  Or, to put it another way, each American citizen spends more on the military than the per capita income of 70 countries.

Putting America's Defense Spending into Perspective

The President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, campaigned hard for a change in the constitution to allow him to run for a fourth term.  Morales was elected President at a time when there were a number of leftist leaders in Latin America such as Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Argentina, and Rafael Correa in Ecuador.  Michelle Bachelet in Chile was re-elected President of Chile, but her popularity has waned in recent years.  Bolivian voters, however, repudiated Morales and refused to pass the change.  The left-wing seems to be losing power in Latin America, but the right-wing does not seem to be formulating a distinct alternative set of policies just yet.

The Financial Times is reporting that “…the value of goods that crossed international borders last year fell 13.8 per cent in dollar terms — the first contraction since 2009.”  [Students will have to use a College computer to access this site unless she has a subscription to the newspaper]  The news is particularly sobering since foreign trade usually outpaces economic growth.  The decline suggests that the world may be entering a global recession or it may reflect a decline in the process of globalization.  We should all keep an eye on this particular trend.

Chart: World trade by value

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Posted February 26, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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