The question is the extent to which these lessons remain appropriate. Deflation is now a greater risk than inflation in Europe. The euro zone’s underlying or “core” inflation rate is now as low as just 0.8%: the lowest level in the short-life of the single currency. Britain and America, by contrast, have yet to suffer from destabilising levels of inflation because of reflationary policies like quantitative easing. Neither it is clear that the same set of policies that the German public credits for its economic and political stability will work in places like Greece or Italy, with very different structural contexts. A selective memory of the past may prove worse than no memory at all.

Are we going to see a repeat of destabilization?

But many worry that Guatemala’s poor are already suffering from the diversion of food to fuel. “There are pros and cons to biofuel, but not here,” said Misael Gonzáles of C.U.C., a labor union for Guatemala’s farmers. “These people don’t have enough to eat. They need food. They need land. They can’t eat biofuel, and they don’t drive cars.”

In the energy debate, it’s still important to remember that whether you use “clean” energy or coal, have three cars or one, our greed causes pain. 

There were 14m unemployed workers in August. The $447b stimulus package could be used to generate a check of almost $32,000 to each and every one of them. As a condition of receiving that check, they would be asked to work at some organization, for profit or nonprofit, for one year. These jobs would last just as long as the stimulus package and some of them would no doubt turn into real jobs. Isn’t this a plan everyone could support?

Warren Buffett on the the wealthiest 1%


“If you’re in the luckiest 1% of humanity,” he once said, “you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%.”

- Warren Buffett qtd. in Sunday Star Times

(More from the article: “But it is also a matter of enlightened self-interest. He knew that in the long run he and his class would benefit from living in a fairer society. The rich do better when everyone does better.”)