It is remarkable that ostensibly intelligent people can be made to fear the possibility that Europe and Japan will be less crowded places in the years ahead. The Financial Times has an article that reports on a warning from "top fertility experts" over "Europe's chaotic response to its demographic crisis."
It is hard to find the evidence for the crisis in the story. The article reports that health care spending as share of GDP is projected to rise from a Europe-wide average of 6 percent at present to 8 percent by 2050. Since the U.S. currently spends 15 percent of its GDP on health care, it is difficult to get too concerned about this prospect.
The New York Times reported on Saturday that China's central bank is adopting a more contractionary monetary policy in order to slow its economy and reduce inflation. If China's central bank is concerned that inflation is getting out of control, then it would be an ideal time for the country to begin to raise the value of its currency against the dollar.
"The Fed chairman may be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, but his real bosses are on Wall Street." This isn't the ranting of some crazed radical; it is a line from a column in the Washington Post's Outlook section, by Richard Yamarone, an investment analyst.
PRACTICALITY. I recommend that folks read Garance's sharp analysis of Mark Warner's impact at YearlyKos. Most interesting to me was news that the famously pragmatic, nonideological Markos is scornful of a potential meeting with Team Hillary. When a Hillary staffer reached out to him a year ago, Markos ignored the invitation. Indeed, he offers a willingness to take it a step farther, saying that if Clinton requested a meeting today, �I�d probably say no � I don�t think she has anything to say to me.�
UNFOUNDED CONFIDENCE. Responding to claims that America's apathy towards soccer adds to international irritation with us, Jerry Taylorwonders whether the world would really be happier "if America took this game seriously and, as a consequence, cut through their footballers like a hot knife through butter?"
BUT WHAT WILL BE THE CAUSE OF DEATH? I spent this morning at a Brookings/New America Foundation event on the future of employer-based health care. The consensus? The system, captain, she canna' take anymore!
IDEALISM AND SUCH. Writing like this from Richard Just makes me suspicious. Ostensibly, the argument is that "there are plenty of ways short of military action that America can oppose tyranny in Iran and elsewhere" and that we should do so. The post doesn't, however, name any such ways, cite any arguments that such ways would be effective, or debunk any counterarguments against any such proposals. Instead, the actual weight of the post is just dedicated to bashing liberals. I'd be interested in hearing about what these ways are -- really!
THE WAR: IT'S HERE, IT'S REAL, GET USED TO IT. Yesterday's scummy GOP political stunts over Iraq were, of course, scummy. At the same time, though, Democrats are paying the price for the ostrich-like attitude they've taken to the war ever since the 2004 election. There's been this persistent hope that either the Bush administration would declare victory and go home, or else that the mounting casualties, costs, and unpopularity of the venture would somehow allow a bipartisan truce to prevail letting Democrats wage a campaign that's all about ethics and prescription drugs.
BEN-GURION REDUX. All right, on this David Ben-Gurion business, I was trying to be provocative and maybe should have just gone with Menachim Begin whose Irgun is less controversially considered a terrorist group. That said, the different pre-independence groups did work together before the King David Hotel bombing, and Ben-Gurion's group was involved with "kidnapping of British officials in Palestine and sabotaged the British infrastructure in Palestine."