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Showing posts from August, 2009

Ellen Ruppel Shell: meet The Great Turning

As I was reading a somewhat recent New York Times Book Review (July 19th that is; they do tend to pile up on my Sunday morning breakfast table sometimes), I discovered a courageous new voice in the cause for human decency in the face of global capitalism, Ellen Ruppel Shell. Her new book, Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, looks like great reading, and I'll have to put it on my (too long) list of must-reads. After pulling up a few of her online articles at The Atlantic, my impression of courage was confirmed: she takes on some tough cookies, like Megan McArtle (who sounds like a most unpleasant person that I would rather avoid.)

However, I was most struck by a telling comment towards the end of the review by Laura Shapiro:

Ruppel Shell doesn't conclude with any grand ideas for reshaping the world's economy, ...

I would like to connect Ms. Shell's excellent work with that of Mr. David Korten -- because he does have grand ideas for reshaping the world's economy …

ARRA's Economic Forecasts Disparaged

[This was an email I sent to Mark Cavanaugh, director of Colorado's Economic Recovery Team, and to Greg Griffin, the Denver Post reporter who wrote the story, on Monday, August 3, 2009. I was incensed over the closing comment in the story, for reasons I address below.]

Dear Mr Cavanaugh,

I was disappointed to read that the Denver Post's Sunday edition front page story ended with this quote attributed to you:

I have no idea where that number came from...I think it was pin the tail on the donkey.

-- Mike Cavanaugh, Director of Colorado Economic Recovery program, page 6A, Denver Post, Sunday, August 2, 2009,
in referring to how the Obama administration developed its estimates of the number of jobs created by ARRA, the American
Reinvestment and Recovery Act

This was disappointing to read because (1) in the previous paragraph it was explained how the federal economists made the estimate, (2) it put you in the position of belittling and undermining the very mission of the Colorado Economi…