Archives for the month of: March, 2012

A rock-star economist says it’s much simpler than you think. Daron Acemoglu, M.I.T. Professor, and his collaborator have found that the wealth of a country is most closely correlated with the degree to which the average person shares in the overall growth of its economy. When the poorest and least educated citizens have some shot at improving their own lives—through property rights, a reliable judicial system or access to markets—these citizens do what it takes to make themselves and their country richer. A comparison of related countries bears this out, e.g. the Dominican Republic vs. Haiti (two halves of the same island!) or Thailand vs. Burma (now Myanmar). It has also been true historically that fairly open and prosperous societies can revert to closed and impoverished autocracies. (NY Times Magazine, 3/18/12)

An important report from Working Families:

“This morning, a fracking compressor exploded in Northeast Pennsylvania, just 30 miles south of Binghamton.

As black smoke billows from the site, emergency crews from three counties are on the scene. The most recent reports suggest that workers are still trying to shut off the flow of gas. Luckily, no injuries have been reported so far.

The compressor station takes gas, extracted from the Marcellus Shale by hydrofracking, and pressurizes it for transport. Stations like these would spring up across New York if Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation approve fracking in our state.

Poisoned water, earthquakes, and now explosions. What more evidence do we need that fracking is too dangerous?”

Here is the link to news coverage by the Scranton Times-Tribune.

Chris Gibson’s Record (in part)

1. When he is in the district, he talks about getting Federal aid for flood victims from agencies such as FEMA. In Washington, he votes against all FEMA appropriations.
2. When in the district he talks about jobs. In Washington, he votes for tax cuts for large corporations and the rich – giving them money they invest overseas to take jobs away from Americans.
3. When in the district, he says he is in favor of expanding broadband coverage throughout rural areas. In Washington, he has done nothing to push this, and has voted against stimulus moneys that could be used for broadband expansion.
4. He consistently votes to restrict women’s rights.
5. He only votes against the wishes of his party’s leaders when they give him permission to do so and already have the votes they need, even when their positions hurt the district and its citizens. In short, he represents big corporations and lobbyists, and not us.

Governor Cuomo has quietly removed funding for the health assessment of hydrofracking, so that there will be no governmental data to prove that hydrofracking will result in increased levels of toxic chemicals in the air and water, with severe irreversible long-term health consequences for New Yorkers.

The issue of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars seems to have faded from public consciousness. It is important that Americans continue to recognize that these wars were sold to us with a pack of lies. They created unprecedented human misery, including the unnecessary deaths of thousands of young Americans, resulted in huge deficits (following a Democratic administration that left the country with a budget surplus), and failed to accomplish any of their stated aims of creating democracies and ensuring a guaranteed supply of middle eastern oil.

Significantly, when the Bush administration left office, Dick Cheney stated that he was satisfied that they had accomplished what they set out to do. What could that have been other than to make him and Bush’s supporters very, very wealthy, destroy the nation’s economy, and make the world a much more dangerous place.