Friday, June 26, 2020

Ireland still struggling with Leprechaun economics

In 2016 when Ireland reported that gross domestic product (GDP) had grown by 26% in 2015 Paul Krugman, the New York Times economics columnist, called the claim Leprechaun economics.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Slavery and myth of American exceptionalism

In 1501-1867 an estimated 12.5m Africans were forced to travel to the Americas  

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart:
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!

William Shakespeare (1564-1616), 'Merchant of Venice'

The term American exceptionalism dates from an article in the Communist Party USA's 'Daily Worker' newspaper in January 1929. The newspaper reported that Communist International was acutely aware of "American exceptionalism" and this affected "the whole tactical line of the CI as applied to America." In May 1929, Jay Lovestone (1897-1990) [born Jacob Liebstein in modern-day Belarus], the US communist chief, visited Moscow to explain to Stalin why the American proletariat was not yet ready for revolution. The "man of steel" had no time for Marxist exceptionalism and Lovestone was ousted from his position.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Irish material standard of living per capita below EU-27 average in 2019

Ireland Actual consumption per capita

A proxy for per capita Irish material standard of living based on household consumption of public and private goods and services, released by Eurostat on Thursday, shows that in 2019 Ireland again trailed Italy and was 3% below the EU-27 average.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

China, US and EU top global economies and share similar size

Global GDP

China, the US and the EU are the top global economies and despite the exit of the UK from the European Union, the bloc is similar in economic size to the other two giants.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Covid-19: Irish Times cites J P Morgan research rejected by senior executive

Covid_19 benefit of lockdowns

On June 2,
Reuters reported for a second week that Covid-19 infections had risen in the United States, "Several southern US states reported sharp increases in Covid-19 infections, with Alabama, South Carolina and Virginia all seeing new cases rise 35% or more in the week ended May 31 compared with the prior week, according to a Reuters analysis."

Nationally, US infections had fallen for a fifth straight week.

Monday, June 01, 2020

Albert Camus' La Peste / The Plague and enduring pandemics

Albert Camus (1913-1960), the French Algerian philosopher, writer, journalist and playwright, had his book La Peste / The Plague published in 1947 (French version). It is set in Oran, a Mediterranean port city in northwest Algeria.

Oran as a port city has a history of plague outbreaks with the last incidence of bubonic plague (see below) in 2003.