Economy

Economic Blowback from Iran Sanctions

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a press conference in Iran. (Official Iranian photo)

Economic sanctions have notched some successes, like freeing Nelson Mandela and ending South Africa’s apartheid, but other sanctions have lost sight of practical reforms and become destructive ends in themselves, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes about Iran.

The Ideology of Ecocide

Hurricane Sandy as it approached the U.S. coastline. (Credit: NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab)

The U.S. Constitution mandates the federal government to provide for the country’s “general Welfare,” but the Right’s self-proclaimed “constitutionalists” object to any efforts to curb the catastrophic threat of global warming, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

Fear in a Handful of Dust

Fire boat crews battle the blazing off-shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon on April 21, 2010, one of the many environmental catastrophes in recent years. (Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard)

The Grand Irony may be that Earth is the only spot in the Universe where intelligent life evolved, and it then made the Earth unlivable, the ultimate crisis in an age of an ossified order that poet Phil Rockstroh addresses.

Earth: Life’s Only Known Home

Image of Planet Earth taken from Apollo 17

New thinking about the universe asserts that there may be many planets with the potential for life but only one that is known to have overcome the extraordinary odds of life actually developing – and humans are threatening to destroy that, as Winslow Myers notes.

NSA Spying’s Economic Fallout

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

Many Americans were shocked at Edward Snowden’s leaks about the extent of the U.S. government’s electronic surveillance but another downside is that people around the world are now bailing out on U.S.-based Internet companies, as best they can, writes Sander Venema.

America’s Real-Life ‘Hunger Games’

hunger-games-catching-fire

Congressional Republicans are eager to ladle more subsidies onto agribusinesses while slashing, if not eliminating, food stamps for the poor, a twisted version of America’s own “Hunger Games,” writes Michael Winship.

The Case for a Higher Minimum Wage

Eight girls sewing by hand on material held in their laps, during a sweatshop inspection in Chicago, Illinois. 
(Photo credit: Chicago Historical Society)

The Tea Party claims to represent average Americans but its anti-government zealotry lines up with the interests of big-business elites, such as opposition to an increased minimum wage, a plan that would help millions of average Americans, writes Lawrence S. Wittner.

The Future in a Dazzling Shanghai

The skyline of Shanghai, China. [Photo credit: Carl Lovén on Flickr]

The biggest winner from the U.S. government shutdown and near credit default may be China as it pushes for a “de-Americanized” world economy, a future on display in a dazzling Shanghai, writes Beverly Deepe Keever from Shanghai.

Guns But No Butter

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin

The Right’s war on the poor rages on, driven in part by the belief that racial and ethnic minorities are getting much of the help. Yet, as food stamps are slashed, Congress lavishes money on military projects that are judged wasteful or useless, John LaForge writes.

Taxing the Movement of Money

The symbol of the Internal Revenue Service.

If U.S. budget gridlock had not ground rational thought to a standstill, creative options for revising the tax code might be possible, such as a tax on stock transactions to raise money and discourage micro-second trades. Another option would be a toll tax on money movement, as ex-prosecutor William John Cox suggests.