27 May 2016   Leave a comment

A team of IMF economists has published a paper that suggests that the policies known as neoliberalism–reduced taxation, reduced governmental regulation, and reduced government spending–are counterproductive and harmful.  Neoliberalism has been the main policies employed by governments and enforced by international organizations for the last thirty years, since the administrations of US President Reagan and British Prime Minister Thatcher.  While neoliberalism did foster economic growth, the consequences of neoliberalism, notably rising economic inequality, offset those benefits.  The economists argued that:

“Increased inequality in turn hurts the level and sustainability of growth. Even if growth is the sole or main purpose of the neoliberal agenda, advocates of that agenda still need to pay attention to the distributional effects.­”

This reassessment is long overdue and let’s hope that the insight is followed.

For some time doctors have been warning that the overuse of antibiotics, in medicine and agriculture, would lead to the development of bacteria that are immune to the current panoply of antibiotics.  It appears as if that time has come as doctors have diagnosed a patient in Pennsylvania with a bacteria that is resistant to colistin, the antibiotic of last resort.   Colistin is widely used in China in breeding pigs and the first cases of colistin-resistant bacteria were detected there last November.  It has since spread worldwide.  The Director of the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), Tom Frieden, is quoted as saying:

“It basically shows us that the end of the road isn’t very far away for antibiotics — that we may be in a situation where we have patients in our intensive-care units, or patients getting urinary tract infections for which we do not have antibiotics.”

Climate is weather over the very long-term.  If the climate is indeed changing, then at some point the weather has to change beyond its “normal” parameters.  Since weather does vary quite a bit, it is difficult to tell when those parameters are being violated in a systematic manner.  Some meteorologists, however, are beginning to think that weather is finally changing in a manner consistent with predicted climate change.  In other words, climate change is already happening.

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Posted May 28, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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