Worse Than Pompeii

1902 eruption of Mount Pelée

You’ve probably heard of the destruction of Pompeii by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, but have you read about the eruption of Mount Pelée in 1902 and the destruction of Saint Pierre?
Probably not.
Do you know which caused greater loss of life? If you said the destruction of Pompeii […]

Does an aging demographic structure lead to an export-oriented economy?

As part of their work on the Fertility Trap Hypothesis, Edward Hugh and Claus Vistesen argue that an aging demographic profile will lead to an export-oriented economy. More controversially (at least to me), they argue that a move towards an export economy will make it hard to raise birth rates to replacement levels. They think Click Here to continue reading.

Iran has decided to commit financial suicide.

As people who follow Iran know, the country is currently dealing with a high inflation rate. So what do they go and do? The Lebanese Daily Star has the answer….

Iran’s moderate press and economists Thursday slammed a decision by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to slash interest rates, describing the move as incomprehensible” and risking “economic suicide.”

The rate cut, which economists said could overheat an already inflationary economy, appeared to have been taken without the knowledge of Iran’s economy minister, who had said exactly the opposite just hours earlier.

“Economic suicide for banks,” the Mardomsalari (Democracy) newspaper said of Tuesday’s move.

“The economy minister and the head of the Central Bank have to explain this decision since this decree is incomprehensible for economists,” Saeed Shirkavand, economy minister in the previous reformist government, was quoted as saying.

Apparently this decision was made the normal way that decision are made when one madman is calling the shots (this from the Guardian)….

Iran’s financial system suffered a fresh jolt yesterday with panic selling on the stock market after the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, abruptly ordered banks to cut interest rates sharply, despite surging inflation.

The order, which Mr Ahmadinejad issued by telephone during a visit to Belarus and which flew in the face of expert advice – has triggered warnings of a financial crisis and spiralling corruption amid fears of a capital flight from the country’s lending institutions.

The main thing that worries me: If they are stupid enough to do this, what else are they stupid enough to do?

Rant of the Week: 5/27/07-6/2/07

This week’s rant comes from the one and only Joel Salatin who is famous for popularizing pastured poultry among other things. I have heard Mr. Salatin speak and I have to say he was one of the most charismatic speakers I have ever heard.

That is not nessearly a good thing in my book. I have an ingrained suspicion of charismatic types. I am always wondering how they are trying to blind me.

Ingrained suspicion aside, I have to say that I agree with Salatin’s complaint in this rant. The government, not the market place, is destroying the small family farm in this country.

The EU's silliness is started to catch up with it.

It is getting to the point where the European nations cannot even handle the garbage they generate. And I mean that literally….

(The from the Independent)

The European Commission is currently undertaking legal action against 14 member states for failing to enforce landfill regulations, with large fines expected to follow. Similar waste disposal crises have led to strikes and riots in Greece and Bulgaria this year, while Britain was recently warned that landfill capacity will be exceeded by 2016.

Naples’ rubbish crisis may worsen tomorrow with the planned closure of the only remaining working landfill in the area. The southern Italian city has been turned into a stinking dump this week as rubbish collectors have gone on strike complaining that they have nowhere to take it. Angry residents have burnt refuse piled up in the streets. Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano, in a letter published this week in the financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore, appealed for a quick solution, warning that further delay would “precipitate an ecological and health disaster, with serious economic and labour repercussions.”

Collectors have stopped hauling the rubish away because they have nowhere to take it. The government has approved construction of more dumps but there have been delays in getting them working because of opposition from local communities.

The Blog called the EU referendum has some nice pictures of the mess. They blame the EU rules for the problem. And I can well believe that EU is a contributing factor. But not all the blame cannot be put on the EU doorstep (this from France 24)….

The chronic problem is the result of a lack of space in existing dumps, some of which have been closed by court injunctions after their operations were taken over by organised crime, dubbed the “ecomafia.”

A May 10 decree by the centre-left government creating four new dumps — fiercely opposed by people living nearby — will not come into effect for several weeks.