Monday assorted links

Comments

first

@5 Sure, Manhattan at night is different than Manhattan during the day (told to me by my rich portfolio manager friend) but you can't only enjoy Manhattan at night without putting up with the nuisance of the daytime folks.

1. The problem with the Greek debt is the voters elected Syriza based on the promise of negotiating negative interest rates so Greek creditors would pay Greece money every month on the Greek debt.

Syriza democratically voted for the EU to pay Greece tribute like in the old days, except they have not voted to have a dictator lead all the voters into the war of pillage and plunder. Syriza has no Alexander the Great.

If you ignore the confusing accounting that debt creates and just focus on GDP I don't think you can describe it as 'tribute'. Tribute would mean that Greece enjoys a lot of GDP but the EU is forcing it to transfer some of it to them. Even with austerity, though, Greece is actually receiving GDP *from* the rest of the EU except for the few times it can generate a true primary surplus.

Ignoring debt, what would happen if Greece was in a GDP neutral position. Neither receiving GDP from the rest of the EU (i.e. rolling over debt plus new debt to fund deficits) or having to pay it as tribute to the rest of the EU? Can Greece generate a living standard for its people by its own GDP that the EU can accept? If not, then if the EU wants to continue to mature it needs to set up a system of transfers to Greece in the form of something other than debt.

The US has states like Mississippi and Florida that are net receivers of GDP from the rest of the country. We don't tell Florida that they have to borrow to make the social security payments to their retirees and then yell at them when they have 'debt crises'.

How useful was tribute in ancient economies anyway? If there was little trade between the nations conducting the tribute exchange, wouldn't it largely not affect GDP?

That is, the transfer of gold from A to B constituted a decline in the money supply of A and an increase in the money supply of B. But if there's little trade, it just means A has deflation and B has inflation.

Doesn't seem like there'd be that much change in real production.

Tribute in ancient economies was incredibly important. It was the source of all status goods, and it was also necessary just to maintain the economy. When the Priest of Marduk or the High King received tribute in cedar or naptha or natron it enabled him to build ships, cast weapons, and pay fighters, without tribute the ancient state collapsed both because it lost the support of its elites who were not receiving the status goods they required to govern their dependents bur also because the state that lost the material benefits of tribute would quickly fall to aggressive neighbors because it would lack the very material of war.

No bronze age state could survive without tribute, and I doubt many high neolithic ones could eithet.

I'm doubtful about the significant effects of tribute on neolithic societies. Do you have a source for that?

Hamilton at least understands the inevitability of things, but he then tries to find some way for Greece to stay in the Eurozone. He really should be advocating for Grexit.

Henry's essay would have been a good one before the Euro was adopted since it lays out the essential problem of the currency zone. I noted, today, that one of the biggest cheerleaders of the Euro with a podium, Wolfgang Munchau, seems to see the writing on the wall now. Pity he didn't have his eyes open 15 years ago.

3. Does anyone know why there are so few water fountains in Europe? Getting water from the tap in restrooms feels pretty icky... You can't even find them in many airports.

+1

Same reason sparkling water (which provides easy evidence that the bottle has not been refilled from the tap) is much more popular in Europe, and tap water on restaurant tables is uncommon: people don't trust the water, or haven't until recently.

"Europe" is a huge generalisation. Plenty areas of Europe have trusted their tap water for generations but have no drinking fountains.

He's probably thinking of continental Europe.

It's no less true of continental Europe.

I expect you are right that many places have had safe drinking water for generations. But for whatever reason, sparkling water is still fashionable, and that alone is enough reason not to need drinking fountains.

Here in Munich, the locals are very proud of their tapwater which is clean, cold, unchlorinated snowmelt. But if you go to lunch and unwarily ask for water then you can expect foul-tasting carbonated stuff that came from a plastic bottle.

@Adrian:

You are discounting the possibility that for some the carbonated water is not foul tasting but enjoyable. Including myself.

Sparkling versus still water isn't the interesting question. The question is why drink bottled still water when safe tap water is easily available.

Aren't the French known for achieving drinkable tap water only in the 70s? And still not uniformly? Continental water quality is a running joke in England.

It may be an impression from the greater prevalence of non-potable water in Europe (and that the marking of such may not be obvious). For example, don't assume that the water in the pretty Italian fountain is meant for human consumption.

Personally, I would rather buy bottled water then drink out of a drinking fountain. Changed way to many filters on them that had never been changed before back in the day. When you pull out a filter covered with slimy green or black stuff it is hard to convince yourself to drink the water from those things. If I knew the maintenance was good on them it would be one thing. But how many institutions hire trust worthy driven people to pm their water fountains? Maybe I just worked at all the bad places.

Older Rome (not just Vecchia Roma - even the parts of Rome populated before WWII) has its nasone - and everyone drinks from those. Only in the last few years has the city been converting the show fountains (like the Trevi, etc) into recirculating, filtered messes of non-potable but low mineral deposit water.

Lots of other Italian cities have aqueduct fed public water fountains, too - Rome's are just the most famous.

Bottles aren't required to filter the municipal water they use.

*bottlers*

I drink water all the time that is not filtered straight from the tap (I have well water). I would rather water not be filtered than be run through a filter that is not being changed and only serves as a medium to grow things. Hopefully that is not the norm with most drinking fountains. But having done some maintenance, I lack faith.

+1 for Apeman, I was going to say the same thing. The maintenance on public fountains cannot be any good. And the only evidence the WaPo article gives for public fountains disappearing being bad is the speculative one that lazy kids prefer soda to water if there's no water, but I bet they would drink soda anyway ("The disappearance of water fountains has hurt public health. Centers for Disease Control researcher Stephen Onufrak has found that the less young people trust water fountains, the more sugary beverages they drink.")

Don't change the subject Ray: your function here is to tell us about your teen conquests.

Public toilets have been closed down across much of the English speaking world to deter the homeless. It is noticeable in places like London that those parts of the city that still provide them have a lot more homeless than those that don't.

I expect that public drinking fountains are the same. Why pay to incur large social and financial costs?

They're not malt liquor fountains.

2. Isn't it rather arbitrary to say which is the first "university"? There were educational institutions in the classical period, which would have considerably antedated Nalanda. None of them survived to the present, but neither did Nalanda.

In any case, why does it make sense to establish a modern University at the site of ancient ruins. What's the synergy here?

I know, it's like building MIT close to Harvard.

That was pretty funny.

Heh. Very well played.

The synergy is clearly to strengthen the claim that Nalanda was a university. Which it wasn't. These Indians are engaging in a conscious effort to distort history - and of course to increase the glory of Indian history.

I would put this down to a lingering effect of colonialism. Just as Chinese people have only recently stopped talking so much about paper and the compass. Faced with the massively successful West, the Third World has always felt bad. Some Indians have tried the "but we are so mystical and better than the cold hard materialist West" but it doesn't satisfy. China now at least can say their economy is doing great so that whole 19th century period was an insignificant blip. India cannot. So instead they have to say "We were building universities when You Know Who were painting themselves blue".

This reminds me, I was in DC at the Natural Science Museum last weekend. There is an exhibit there (which doesn't really belong in a Natural Science museum), about Indian-American culture.

It's pretty much a "yay, us!" type thing, comprising lists of the awesome accomplishments of Indian-Americans, such as the number of Indian doctors and the percentage of tech startups founded by Indians. Also the percentage of cab drivers who are Indian, for some reason.

For the record, I love Indian culture, but I agree there does seem to be some sort of effort, a bit like how China tries to claim credit for every mondern invention, to pump up Indian accomplishments through a litte creative rewriting of history.

Some elements of that society want to relive old glories (that perhaps) never were.

The same reason you cared so much for a flag to strengthen the claim that it was a symbol of southern heritage. Which it wasn't. You and many others engaged in a conscious effort to distort history, and of course to increase the glory of Southern (white) history.

I put it down to inferiority complex or lack of self-esteem, and a feeling of personal failures being the result of a "War on Whites". Its a lingering effect of integration. Just as successful Southerners (other than politicians) have only recently stopped talking obsessing the flag. Faced with a massively successful coalition of liberals, you feel bad. Northeastern elites, despite their fiscal shortfalls, can at least look at their states and say "hey, 50% of our people don't have diabetes" and "hey, most of our citizens don't fantasize about 1861," you cannot.

In many ways, its the same feeling. Although at least on the Indian end, its to reclaim the glory of something good (learning) as opposed to the glory of slavery and treason.

TheAJ July 13, 2015 at 9:11 pm

Some elements of that society want to relive old glories (that perhaps) never were.

There is no perhaps about it. Nalanda was not a university.

The same reason you cared so much for a flag to strengthen the claim that it was a symbol of southern heritage. Which it wasn’t. You and many others engaged in a conscious effort to distort history, and of course to increase the glory of Southern (white) history.

Except I don't care about the flag. And it is a symbol of southern heritage. When the Dukes of Hazard put it on their car, they were indicating they were southern. Not that they owned people. Or even wanted to own people. The fact is the North-East liberals are trying, with a great deal of success, to make any evidence of a separate southern identity illegal.

I put it down to inferiority complex or lack of self-esteem, and a feeling of personal failures being the result of a “War on Whites”.

If you like,

Just as successful Southerners (other than politicians) have only recently stopped talking obsessing the flag.

Indeed. We are seeing a sub-ethnic group shamed out of existence. In another generation there won't be any southern people in the same way there aren't actually any German Americans.

Although at least on the Indian end, its to reclaim the glory of something good (learning) as opposed to the glory of slavery and treason.

Well treason is a Democratic Party tradition. Highest form of patriotism or something like that. Just ask Jane Fonda. Are the Indians trying to reclaim the glory of learning? I don't think so. I think they are doing something else.

Still, what evidence of southern identity is now acceptable in polite American society? Accents have to change. Not one symbol of the South is acceptable that I know of. What?

And my objection remain to the shameless exploitation of a mass shooting to settle a partisan political issue - and rile up the Black Democratic base to make sure they come out and vote. Which is ironic given it is a flag of the Democratic Party as well as the South. Republicans freed the slaves in the same way they founded the NAACP, tried to make HUS color-blind and supported the Civil Rights Act.

“hey, 50% of our people don’t have diabetes”

No state in the US has anywhere close to that rate of diabetes. But don't let the facts slow down your posturing.

Lol, Its almost comical the lengths you go to.

If you didn't care about the flag, you wouldn't have cried about it. There's no southern heritage about it. Southerners didn't give a damn about the flag until the 60s. No southerner cared about it for a hundred years after the war. It went up for one reason only - to resist integration. If you cared about southern heritage at all, you would care about the elements that are also shared by the other 30% of the population of the south.

Concerinng your other complaining, you must live under a rock. The CEO of my organization is based on Atlanta and our lawyer I communicate with the most is based in Dallas. Both of them have heavy southern accents and seem to be quite successful. I wouldn't be surprised if CEO's southern accent has made him even more successful. Our CIO is from Howard Beach, NY. The first thing he learned to do out of school was pronounce the letter "h". So its not just southerners whose accents are mocked.

I can't think of any southern symbols? Come to think of it, I can't think of any northern ones either.

You probably live nowhere near the south, and are just projecting you own insecurities. It's funny that someone who can so clearly see beyond the Nalanda project still lives in a fantasy world wrapped around the flag.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6jSqt39vFM

The same reason you cared so much for a flag to strengthen the claim that it was a symbol of southern heritage. Which it wasn’t. You and many others engaged in a conscious effort to distort history, and of course to increase the glory of Southern (white) history.

There’s no southern heritage about it. Southerners didn’t give a damn about the flag until the 60s. No southerner cared about it for a hundred years after the war.

It has been on the Mississippi state flag for 120 years. If you click on that link, it will take you to a gathering of Confederate veterans and well-wishers ca. 1935. You'll notice the crowd is waving...Confederate battle flags.

--

Now, kindly quit pretending you know what you're talking about.

You mean to tell me what a bunch of Confederate veteran's supporters are waving confederate flags? The hell you say!

I mean come on. You are smarter than this. You are searching for obscure videos to generalize about an entire society. The confederate flags went up in the 50s and 60s in South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. Its not possible for the Mississippi flag to have symbolize the local culture because up until the 1930s blacks were over 50% of the Mississippi population, and they didn't seem to be well represented by the flag.

It's silly. This is more about beating the blacks and the liberals for you than it is about any bit of common sense.

You know why the flag went up.

JWatt, thank you for the value-add.

You are searching for obscure videos to generalize about an entire society.

And you are pulling it out of your rear end. You're an obnoxious fraud.

You are right that Indian's and others have an annoying habit of bigging up their culture with lies. But Nalanda a poor example.

You keep simply stating "Nalanda wasn't a university". But you never support the claim. It what substantial way did it differ from the European institutions that were beginning to up at around the time of its destruction.

When European institutions started, they often started as religious institutions. So did Harvard and Yale come to that. Although their curricula had moved on by that point.

However the first university in Europe, the University of Bologna, was started specifically to study law - the reintroduction of Roman Civil Law was largely their doing. Not just religious law either. The other major universities soon adopted a more secular curriculum. So sure, Oxford continued to train clergymen down to the First World War. But it was definitely a university.

There is no evidence that Nalanda did anything that you would not find in a modern Tibetan monastery. There is a study of the ancient Buddhist texts, but only from a particular stand point. I doubt many of them would tolerate people engaging in scientific study of said texts.

Apart from that, what do we know of Nalanda? Virtually nothing. Well, actually nothing. They could have invented nuclear physics there. But we don't have any surviving evidence of any intellectual activities at all. So perhaps I should say it may have been a proper university. But there is no evidence for it at all.

Exercises in lonely Upstate New Yorkers being butthurt about something in the south.

A Memorir By Art Deco

I think it is because things like Nalanda and many Islamic schools were recognisably similar to places like the Universities of Bologna, Paris and Oxford when the first came to be called Universities. In a way that say Plato's Accademy was not. Arguably modern universities are more similar to the Accedemy than those cleric-mills.

Indian stuff is always the oldest because Vedic civilization goes back 70,000 years.

It's funny how Sen spends much of the article complaining how the Hindutva types are distorting history for ideological ends but does exactly the same thing when it suits his purposes. Nalanda was a vihara -- a monastery. It's primary purpose was theological. Sure some of the the monks may have also studied other subjects as there was little distinction between sacred and secular in pre-modern times but just as a Celtic monk occasionally copying Aristotle along with Psalters and Bibles doesn't make Iona a university, Nalanda wasn't one either.

Here's another one. Supposedly Nalanda fell to "Armies from West Asia." While it was true that people like Bakhtiar Khilji were of Turkish and Agfgjhan origin (and self-conscious of it.) Muslims had been in Sindh and Panjab for generations by then and Khilji was sent to fight by the first Sultan of Delhi. Most of his troops would have also been born in India. Nalanda fell to homegrown Islamic Jihad but out Historical truth-teller can't admit that.

"It’s primary purpose was theological. Sure some of the the monks may have also studied other subjects as there was little distinction between sacred and secular in pre-modern times"

The same could be said for Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, etc. These were founded as institutions to train the clergy. And, as you say, there was little distinction between the sacred and secular in pre-modern times so these institutions also taught subjects we wouldn't think of today as necessarily "religious."

Any revision of the "not very serious people" in Greece in light of Germany's rather 'serious' demand to "do what I say, not what I do"?

http://www.vox.com/2015/7/12/8939937/greece-sunday-shopping-germany

Yes. Germany's sunday trading laws are stupid and distinctly non-serious.

Amazing that anyone thinks this matters.

Pro Tip: Vox is bad for the brain.

It is telling that you don't have a substantive response

It is telling as it is that you think this is meaningful or relevant.

" telling that you think it is"

It's interesting stuff how hypocritical the Germans are being. But don't read it cuz Vox? I don't get it.

The Blue laws for Sunday shopping are silly and economically inefficient. So Germany is stupid for having them. That doesn't mean Germany shouldn't pressure Greece to not have them also.

A 3 pack a day smoker telling a 1 pack a day smoker that he should quit for health reasons is still correct.

In this case it is a 1-pack smoker telling a 30-pack smoker...

Germany can afford to have a larger welfare state with lots of regulations because its economy is highly productive.

Greece can't afford those things because the Greeks aren't as productive.

It's like when liberals talk about how great green energy is in California and that if only Mississippi were to adopt green power initiatives, Mississippi could be rich too. They fail to realize that it's only because California is rich that it can afford to spend 3X more per kilowatt on solar power.

Yeah, I'm reminded of the paper last year claiming that Germans are more productive than Greeks because they work fewer hours per day.

Er, no, they work less because they are more productive.

What's the productivity threshold at which a country can rightly decide to implement a bunch of regulations, pay for solar power, introduce costly social programs and start working less?

I'm my universe, such decisions would be made on an individual-by-individual basis, not on a country-by-country basis.

Hard to do country level policies on an individual by individual basis. But abolish government? I can dig what you're saying.

I expect much of this hours business has to do with bad reporting.

I'm a software developer in Germany, and I have to clock my hours, which are allowed to exceed certain statutory maxima. Before I moved to Germany, I thought such clocks only existed in Flinstones cartoons.

I expect that in the US, working hour regulations which do apply to Fred and Barney do not apply to the geeks who program their tablets. Thus highly payed Germans have more reason to undereport their hours than Americans do.

On the other hand those Greeks with secure government make-work jobs might be able to claim full hours plus overtime while hardly doing any work at all. Only a few will get away with this, but they will slant the averages.

7 - "An automated thermal detection system..."

I recently watched a very exciting documentary that included these systems, would not recommend.

Probably a hell lot cheaper to train a dog.

Today maybe, in 10 years, probably not.

Anticipated Spike in canine wages?

All right thinking people support a Canine living wage!

3. I'm sure Coke et al are laughing all the way to the bank. Why drink water for free when you can pay 1.49 for a 20 oz bottle?

"Americans now drink more bottled water than ... beer."
Speak for yourself.

Hilarious, Urso: don't let yourself be bullied !

Coke won an Ignoble award for converting perfectly safe tap water into dangerous-to-drink bromate contamination by the virtues of Coke's bottling process.

I believe Coke's Dasani brand had to recall thousands of bottles of this accidentally tainted water in London.

Wikipedia reports that Nalanda University began its first academic session on September 1, 2014 with 15 students.

Demand side issue or Supply side issue?

Sen is probalby right that the BJP is positioning its toadies as directors of this or that institute, university and whatnot. And that this is a bad thing. But that's just how India works. Moreover the whole point of having public ownership of these things is that governments control them.

Didn't Manmohan Singh's daughter get a sinecure at Nalanda? Congress is no stranger to this game.

I told you. That's how India works. Or doesn't work.

Greece is in receivership. The court is asking for claims on assets in the restructuring and some control over management. Good.

Alternatives to seeking protection under bankruptcy exist, they are just usually considered to be less favorable. Here, Syriza was supposed to pursue those options and they seem to have blinked, gagged and choked on their own proposal, pursuing instead a fantastic "look ma no hands" disaster. They need to be gone.

#5: The difference between a market that is allowed to clear and one that isn't.

No activist has ever marched on City Hall to get rent control for investment bankers' offices in the 60th floor of a skyscraper. No activist has ever complained that the new skyscrapers being built to house new offices will ruin the neighborhood where the other offices are. No activist has ever marched to stop the new commercial landlord from raising rents on the importer-exporter, forcing them out to be replaced by a commodities broker.

Those daytime population densities reflect the density that happens in a functional market where supply is unencumbered. The nighttime densities reflect a sick semi-market where potential suppliers are harassed and micromanaged.

There is a status quo bias about these things. We assume that this is just the natural way that cities develop. But, it's not. It's the result of a long buildup of peculiar policies. There are trillions of dollars worth of untapped resources hundreds of feet in the air in our major core cities which we have strangled ourselves into leaving unused. One reason productivity and real growth have been low is that instead of building housing that consists of $100,000 of building materials and $400,000 of intrinsic location value in our core cities, households substitute housing outside the cities that consists of $300,000 of building materials and $100,000 of intrinsic location value. Those core city homes simply aren't available and the housing stock that is there gets bid up and up and up.

They take out the fountains because they want you to buy water or other drinks. It's all about the money. However, in some buildings the water is bad because the pipes are so old.

And here's the real problem, as a consumer I have no way of knowing which fountains are good and which fountains are bad.

Even if the water in the city lines is fine, what about the pipes in the building or the pipes in the fountain itself?

Do you ever order tap water at restaurants? That's also coming through old, possibly badly-maintained pipes.

How many people get sick from drinking water from a "bad fountain"? I imagine unless there's lead in the water, people can drink it just fine.

#6 Interesting. good link!

+1
One of the most fascinating Assorted Links I have read.

#6. Nobody suffers more from they-all-look-alike-itis than young white men in movies.

I'm scared of water fountains. And GMOs. And fracking. And ...

And then there's Coca-Cola's H2NO campaign:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H2NO

#1. I think he makes a valid point about the problematic nature of attempting to bring about structural reform from the outside, as practiced by the IMF and the EU in the case of Greece. The left will generally blame the failures of these reforms on "neoliberalism" or capitalist economic theory in general, but the real problem is that due to the lack of domestic political support the reforms are generally never completely or effectively implemented. This is clearly the case in Greece, where many economic reforms were never implemented. Only cutting spending and raising taxes, but not labor market reform. Similarly, places like Argentina supposedly implemented "neoliberal" economic policies prior to the 1999 crisis and yet, if you look at their public sector spending they had many of the same problems as Greece - large numbers of civil servants on the payroll who did no real work but just showed up to collect a paycheck, for instance.

This is one reason why I am opposed to the continued bailing out of Greece. The real "austerity" is for Greece to not get any more bailouts and be finally be forced by sheer fiscal reality to reform. That is the only way to bring about a change in the internal political consensus which is necessary to enact real reform. Europe is literally confronting that fact right now by realizing that there is no reason to trust that any of the Greek reforms will be implemented because the Greeks have sent a strong signal there is no domestic political support for such reforms. If the EU continues to bail out the Greeks, the political consensus will not change, and the Greeks will continue to drag their feet.

Truly curious about your opinion of the anti reform track record here. It is my understanding that Greece has implemented all the policy reforms asked as terms of the previous bailouts. They were conditions of the money. Why wouldn't they do it again? If they half ass it, can't Germany just tell them they are not really complying with the terms and withhold the rest?

Your understanding is close to 100% wrong. That is why one of the conditions of the ultimatum is that they implement all (all!) the reforms that they previously agreed to (and that they "roll forward", i.e. reimplement, those that SYRIZA rolled back).

Spending changes, tax increases, retirement age changes. Those were all implemented. Please tell what was part of previous deals that the Greeks did not implement and if link if you have any evidence.

Labor market reforms. Deregulation of certain economic sectors, particularly tourism. Privatization of state owned enterprises.

They were mostly promised and not implemented (or belatedly and half-heartedly) + what Hazel says. I don't think you have any idea how much Greece is in need of labour market reforms and deregulation (and everything else the Eurogroup wants them to implement).

Here's another way of looking at it: http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2015/07/greece-brought-a-latte-to-a-gunfight/

Kind of throws it in a different light, eh?

#4. Not sure why devaluation is consider such an awesome solution to every crisis.
In some ways, staying in the Euro has the positive benefit of forcing economic reality on people, by preventing government from just stealing everyones savings by arbitrarily devaluing the currency. if you literally can't devalue then you have to live within your means and make honest choices to cut pensions and wages.

IMO, the best of all worlds solution would be for Greece to not get bailed out AND not leave the Euro. They can't spend money they literally don't have. They can't pretend that resources aren't finite. The government will have to choose between keeping the banks from failing and paying pensions.

Export led growth and decreasing the value of your debts is the devaluation reason. It is an inducement to spend instead of save, so also spurs on some economic activity. And yes, it is punishing to creditors - but to debtors (like new homeowners), their prior loans will drop in value, so it helps them get out from a debt overhang.
But the bigger point is that grexit is not to allow devaluation. It is to allow default, where the Greek government refuses to pay back any of its loans.
The best of all worlds is that the other EU states agree to forgive some of the Greek debt so that they can run a reasonable primary surplus without too much austerity and start paying off the rest of its debt in an orderly manner.

Why can't they default on their debt and stay in the EU? Just don't bail them out again. Let the creditors lose and put them in the position of having to balance their budget and run a surplus because nobody will lend to them.

They can but this would leave one of the fundamental economic problems of Greece untouched. It would still be an economy in a deep recession with no recourse to fiscal or monetary policy.

Poor them. I guess they'll have to make some structural changes like deregulation or something.

"No recourse to fiscal or monetary policy" = actually having to make real reforms.

They had that option in 2010, until the refinancing bailed out the banks and put the debt onto government books - the same governments which control the ECB, and can use it as an enforcement arm.

Northern European governments can't and won't sell the idea of significant debt forgiveness to their electorates, so the destruction of the Greek economy will continue.

If you assume that pro-cyclical fiscal policy and no monetary policy at all are good for economies in recession then, ok, sure. The problem is that you haven't supported those assumptions and even go so far as to assert that these hidden assumptions of yours represent "economic reality."

The US cut spending (and raised taxes) during a recession when we implemented the sequester. GDP growth improved.
All the Keynesians were predicting that it would cause a double-dip recession.

Krugman was implying the US would have a double-dip recession if the Federal government didn't double its emergency spending package.

Predicting what will happen to one economy at one point in time is almost always a sucker's game and Krugman has taken his lumps for it in this case. But the case for fiscal or monetary policy has not and never will rely on a single case at a single point in time. Your comment amounts to the same sort of "reasoning" that causes people to reject antibiotics in favor of herbal remedies or homeopathy because some people some of the time get rid of infections without the intervention of modern medicine (and others who take antibiotics might die anyway or get hit by a truck on the way back from the doctor's office). In both cases, one needs to look at an unbiased, large enough sample to filter out the statistical noise and draw valid conclusions.

If Greece does not find some way to in effect devalue, the suffering will be prolonged, intense, and eventually too much for Euro-peans to stomach. The ECB should start being a central bank and stop being the enforcer for Greece's creditors.

A significant reason for increasing bottled water sales are immigrants. Those that come from places with a decayed or non-existent infrastructure wouldn't dream of drinking tap water and don't do it in the US. Mexicans won't drink it because it would be virtual suicide to do it at home. Lots of people brush their teeth with beer down there.

Good point. I remember that in Grad School the Chinese used to cart huge drinking water bottle packs from the stores.

As usual with many irrational things Mexicans do, it's less fear about getting sick an more about status: poor people drinks tap water, rich people drinks bottled water.

http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=36984584

If you're American when you go into the bathroom and you're American when you come out of the bathroom, what are you while you're in the bathroom?

I suggest one goes to Rajgir and has a look at the new Nalanda university built under the auspices of Amartya Sen. It resembles a shabby motel!

This man refuses to acknowledge the misallocation of funds and the colossal waste of public resources on this project - which was a non-starter to begin with, given the location.

The article linked to is largely pointless comprising of diatribes against Modi which are totally misplaced. The man has been in power for over a year. And the "minorities" are doing fine.

+1 about Nalanda. That's 500 Million Dollars that could have been spent more fruitfully elsewhere.

OTOH, the Modi-minorities issue should be kept separate from Nalanda.

I didnt raise the minorities issue...

It's being raised by Mr Sen in the context of Nalanda! Just goes to show there is a strong irrational aversion against Mr Modi among the liberal intelligentsia.

I suggest one goes to Rajgir and has a look at the new Nalanda university built under the auspices of Amartya Sen.

The article says,

The reestablished Nalanda University will eventually have its new campus in the ancient town of Rajgir, a few miles away from the old Nalanda. The design and planning of the new campus, by the well-known architectural firm Vastu Shilpa Consultants (chosen by an international competition), are now completed, and the work of construction is about to begin. Since even the first phase of the work will take a few years, Nalanda has started functioning, on a small scale, in rented premises in Rajgir,

Can you elaborate on the misallocation of funds?

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