Index for 2005

139: Hope and Light for the Winter Solstice, by Loren Cobb

"Where I live, in the snowy mountains of the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice is a time of gathering darkness and freezing temperatures. Arctic blasts of wind deliver ever-deeper piles of snow and ice to our doorsteps, and the weakening sun seems to be losing its battle against the forces of the night... Perhaps it is time for an antidote! Herewith, a warming blast of hope and light delivered to you by The Quaker Economist, just in time to join the season's festivals of lights and song." [15-Dec-05]

138: Flight of the Condor: The Indigenous Movement in Bolivia, by Loren Cobb

"Today, after four centuries of nearly continuous oppression, the ancient spirit of the condors is stirring again. It can be said to have begun in 1952, but it is my belief that it takes from two to four generations for an enslaved people to throw off the psychological state of passivity that slavery induces..." [1-Dec-05]

137: Fortress America, by Loren Cobb

"As the embassy vehicle speeds through the crowded streets of Lima, I look to the east, towards the dusty foothills of the Andes. The view seems strangely distorted, the buildings and street signs undulating slowly as I move my eyes. What on earth? I reach out and touch the glass of the window, and the realization dawns that each window is fitted with a thick layer of bulletproof glass..." [21-Nov-05]

136: Interest and Discounting the Future, by Jack Powelson

"What do interest rates have to do with global warming? Read on and see. In the Middle Ages, paying interest on borrowed money was not approved by the Catholic Church, as also not with the Muslim and Jewish religions. Yet borrowers needing money would go to lenders..." [4-Nov-05]

135: Price Gouging and Empathy, by Loren Cobb

"Whenever gasoline prices increase dramatically, complaints of price gouging appear, closely followed by thunderous denunciations from politicians. And then, a few days later, we see columns advising us that all of this is just the normal response of a free market. Which is it? Immoral profiteering or normal market operations? ..." [19-Oct-05]

134: Libertarian Remedies for Future Katrinas, by Jerry Van Sickle & J.D. Von Pischke

"The libertarian point of view emphasizes self-reliance, voluntary cooperation, and the benefits which will follow for those who are most vulnerable. Few discussions of Hurrican Katrina have emphasized the underlying causes or the libertarian responses that will be suggested here..." [10-Oct-05]

133: Thanks, Germany! by Loren Cobb

"Remember those estimates that it would take three to six months to pump the water out of New Orleans? Just ten days after those estimates were made, the city is more or less dry. There is a story behind this news..." [22-Sep-05]

132: Hurricane Katrina, Pt 2: What I Would Do If I Were President, by Jack Powelson

"We have all heard how governments (federal, state, and local) have failed us in New Orleans. I have a different perspective. By its very nature, any government would fail its people under similar circumstances..." [10-Sep-05]

131: Preparing for Disaster: The Use of Exercises in the Aftermath of Katrina, by Loren Cobb

"How does a nation prepare for disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes? I have some experience in this, which I would like to share. Between 1997 and 2002, I had the pleasure of participating in four international civil/military exercises in disaster relief..." [4-Sep-05]

130: Hurricane Katrina: Economic and Social Consequences, by Loren Cobb

"It is now clear that the effects of Katrina are severe. They are not quite as bad as it seemed they might become when I wrote the original TQE #130, the day before Katrina made landfall in Louisiana, but the situation has been deteriorating ever since the hurricane hit on Monday. Here are some salient points..." [28-Aug-05, with updates]

129: A Visit to the War on Drugs, by Loren Cobb

"I have recently returned home from a foray into the tropical lowlands of Bolivia, with some new perspectives on how the War on Drugs is affecting that nation. Over the past eight years, I have visited Bolivia 25 times..." [15-Aug-05]

128: Corporate Corruption, by Loren Cobb

"On my very first visit to Bolivia, back in 1998, I was asked to give a lecture on corruption at the Escuela de Altos Estudios Nacionales (roughly translated: school of higher national studies). Of course I knew almost nothing about the topic..." [1-Aug-05]

127: Globalization of Crime: The Case of El Salvador, by Loren Cobb

"If you travel south through Mexico, along the Pacific coast, you will pass through the Mayan province of Chiapas and into the highlands of Guatemala. The next stop south is the tropical paradise known as El Salvador, a small but beautiful nation of cloud forests and volcanos, white beaches and green mountains..." [17-Jul-05]

126: Commentary on "Leadings", by Jack Powelson

"Some Friends have told me I am an 'arrogant know-it-all.' I have been aware for years that Friends have thought of me this way. But all I want is for Friends to think before they take actions as Friends on economic matters..." [7-Jul-05]

125: Leadings, by Jack Powelson

"One Quaker said he favored forgiving debts of Third World countries, because "Jesus forgave." I wondered whether accepting the leadings of God or Jesus means that Quakers no longer think for ourselves..." [28-Jun-05]

124: A Trusteeship for Zimbabwe? by Norman Reynolds

"The situation in Zimbabwe has become critical. The nation is suffering an economic, health and social implosion. After three fraudulent elections, a chaotic land redistribution program..." [7-Jun-05]

123: Zimbabwe: Background of the Crisis, by Jack Powelson

"In order to understand what is happening in Zimbabwe today, it is well to know a bit of history..." [4-Jun-05]

122: Powelson's Laws, by Jack Powelson

"Powelson's First Law is: "Power expands until other power stops it." Think of a jigsaw puzzle..." [29-May-05]

121: Globalization and the World's Poor, by Janet Minshall

"Globalization and its proponents are widely mistrusted and their achievements denied and denounced. Some vocal representatives of the labor movement have said that any production done outside the US or Europe which is provided at lower than US or European wages amounts to exploitation..." [20-May-05]

120: Military Futures of Latin America, by Loren Cobb

"There is no 'typical' Latin American military, but it is quite clear that none of them resemble the US military. Let me try to paint a picture...." [2-May-05]

119: History of Economic Development, by Jack Powelson

"While a Visiting Scholar at Harvard in 1980, I began writing a book that was ultimately named Centuries of Economic Endeavor. For fourteen years I labored on it..." [21-Apr-05]

118: Democracy or Sense of the Meeting? by Jack Powelson

"What does 'democracy' really mean? I believe that when decisions are delegated to our representative body, Congress does not try to find a 'sense of the people'..." [8-Apr-05]

117: The Royal Mail Coach: Metaphor for a Changing World, by Loren Cobb

"In the year 1800, the Royal Mail Coach could achieve an average speed of eleven miles per hour between cities. These magnificent machines were the ultimate refinement of the stage coach, itself only invented some seventy years before..." [16-Feb-05]

116: Breaking the Vicious Cycle, by Loren Cobb

"I have just read a new book-length report from the American Friends Service Committee, entitled Putting Dignity and Rights at the Heart of the Global Economy. Here are my first reactions..." [4-Feb-05]

115: The One Who Got Away, by Loren Cobb

"Once, a long time ago on a Saturday morning, I took my bike and explored outside my neighborhood. We lived at that time in Lahore, Pakistan, in the upscale Gulbarg area, around the corner from a refugee camp..." [21-Jan-05]

114: Who is Human? by Loren Cobb

"Let us take a hard look at this emerging future, setting quick moral judgements aside for the moment in order to remain clear and dispassionate about what is likely to happen..." [5-Jan-05]

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