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Tidbits - February 15, 2018 - Reader Comments: Trump Budget - Military Spending Up, Social Safety Network Slashed; Iraq Wrong Then, Iran Wrong Now; Sustainability, Saving Our Earth; Announcements: Washington, DC, New York, and nationwide on Feb. 24 .....

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Reader Comments: Trump Budget - Military Spending Goes Up, Social Safety Network Slashed; Taxation -Devotion to Privatization Will Cost Us; Iraq Wrong Then, Iran Wrong Now; If We Bring The Good Life To All, Will We Destroy The Planet?; Announcements: Feb. 20 - 24 in Washington, DC, New York, and in cities across the country .....

books

Yanis Varoufakis’s Doomed Fight Against Austerity

Emmett Rensin The New Republic
This volume is an insider's account of Greece's recent struggle to preserve the general welfare of its people in the fact of the belt-tighening demands of the managers of the international financial system. Reviewer Rensin offers an assessment.

What Ireland Can Teach Europe

Conn Hallinan Foreign Policy in Focus
Europeans who think the current crisis is unique forget that between 1845 and 1848, 1.5 to 2 million Irish fled their famine-blackened land (while another million or more starved to death) in large part due to the same kind of economics Europe is currently trying to force on countries like Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain, and Cyprus. Today, the migrants are from Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, but the policies are the same.

Puerto Rico Is Getting Squeezed, and It Will Cost All of Us

Anamaria Lopez Institute for New Economic Thinking
The path of austerity could spread economic pain and social woes far beyond the Caribbean island, says public debt expert Martin Guzman. 1,000 miles off the coast of Florida, a small Caribbean island of 3.4 million American citizens is facing its worst economic crisis since coming under U.S. rule in 1898. In the short term, austerity aggravates the recession and reduces opportunities.

labor

2016: The Canadian Labour Movement in Review

Doug Nesbitt rankandfile.ca
Almost every single province in Canada is ruled by a government committed to deep austerity cuts and assaults on workers rights. The tasks seem large, but as with various local labour battles, campaigns like the Fight for $15, and organizations like Iron & Earth, workers are constantly being pulled together in common struggles against common enemies.

Democracy, Trade, Globalization and Trump

Thomas Piketty; Naomi Klein The Guardian (UK)
Rising inequality is largely to blame for this electoral upset. Continuing with business as usual is not an option. People have lost their sense of security, status and even identity. This result is the scream of an America desperate for radical change. People have a right to be angry, and a powerful, intersectional left agenda can direct that anger where it belongs. Thomas Piketty and Naomi Klein offer up interesting analysis.

Reform or Divorce in Europe

Joseph E. Stiglitz Project Syndicate
The worst-performing eurozone countries are mired in depression or deep recession; their condition is worse in many ways than what economies suffered during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The best-performing eurozone members look good, but only in comparison.This system cannot and will not work in the long run: democratic politics ensures its failure. Only by changing the eurozone’s rules and institutions can the euro be made to work.
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