Export Growth

Here is the good side to a weakening dollar and the importance to Free Trade Agreements to our Balance of Trade.  Last year, U.S. exports grew by 13% over 2005 to $1.4 trillion. Exports to all regions of the world showed significant growth, rising for 29 of America’s top 30 trading partner countries — and reaching double-digit growth rates in such key markets as China, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Mexico, India, Brazil, and the European Union. Exports comprised 11.1% of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006 compared to 9.6% in 2002 and 5.2% 50 years ago.chart21.gif

Pre-War Conversation Revealed

Full text of the top secret transcript of the conversation between US President George W. Bush and Spain’s Prime Minister José Maria Aznar at Crawford, Texas, on February 22, 2003, as printed in the Madrid daily newspaper El País on September 26, 2007 (translation: José Guardia) Continue reading “Pre-War Conversation Revealed”


Outraged By the Same Old Rhetoric, Two Environmentalists Turn on Their Brethren
“There is simply no way we can achieve an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” they write in their introduction, “without creating breakthrough technologies that do not pollute.”

Environmentalists, therefore, have missed a huge opportunity. Rather than being leaders in solving the global climate crisis, they are content to be doomsayers and scolds. What Nordhaus and Shellenberger advocate is what might be called post-environmentalism, an ambitious new philosophy that isn’t afraid to put people ahead of nature and to dream big about creating economic growth — neither of which environmentalists have been very good at. Their vision cuts across traditional political divides: It’s pro-growth, pro-technology, and pro-environment.

What if environmentalism’s emphasis on limits and “not in my backyard” restrictions was hopelessly at odds with the average American’s belief in a limitless future? With a handful of like-minded partners, they drafted the New Apollo project, the first version of their plan for a federally subsidized greening of the economy. They hired an economist to run the numbers and determined that a $300 billion government investment could call forth another $200 billion in private capital. (To prove their independence from traditional environmental politics, they picked someone who had worked for the Bush administration.) Switch Grass is a new technology example.

50% more Home Runs with 10% More Muscle

Tufts E-News: Study: Steroids Can Power Home Runs
Tufts physicist Roger Tobin found that increased muscle mass that can be generated by steroid use could help batters knock 50 percent more baseballs out of the park.

The 10 percent increase in muscle mass helps a batter swing five percent faster, increasing the speed of the ball leaving the bat by four percent. This extra speed, applied to a model distribution of trajectories, could result in 50 percent more home runs, Tobin found.

For pitchers, the results are good but less sensational: pitch speed can increase by approximately five percent, or four to five miles per hour, for a pitcher who throws a 90-mile-per-hour fastball, dropping his earned run average by a half-run per game, Reuters reported.

Are America’s Rich Falling Behind The Super-Rich?

In The Know: Are America’s Rich Falling Behind The Super-Rich? | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source
Panelists discuss a new study showing the gap between the wealthy and the absurdly wealthy is widening, and how we can help the merely rich catch up. The Onion spoofs the left/right argumentative TV on the woes of the Rich versus the Uber Rich.

A Carbon Tax to Fight Global Warming?

One Answer to Global Warming: A New Tax – New York Times
Among policy wonks like me, there is a broad consensus. The scientists tell us that world temperatures are rising because humans are emitting carbon into the atmosphere. Basic economics tells us that when you tax something, you normally get less of it. So if we want to reduce global emissions of carbon, we need a global carbon tax. Q.E.D.

Slide Show of Specialized Cameras

Photos: Camera makers bring niches into focus | ZDNet Photo Gallery
With hundreds of models on the market, it can be tough to get your digital camera to stand out–heck, it can even be hard not to be overwhelmed by the 28 models Canon sells right now. One strategy employed by mainstream manufacturers and smaller rivals: specialize.

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