Does National Debt Really Matter?
Deficit reduction in a depressed economy is the road not to recovery, but to contraction, says British political economist Robert Skidelsky. He argues that current efforts to repay debt are misguided.
What's the Latest Development?
America is undergoing large budget cuts while Europe negotiates to prevent Greece's default. It seems every industrialized nation agrees that paying down its national debt is imperative.The logic goes like this: Paying off debt today will allow the country to borrow at lower rates in the future, meaning private investors will also be able to borrow more easily. The desired effect, of course, is increased economic growth. But the argument depends on a false analogy, says British political economist Robert Skidelsky.
What's the Big Idea?
Nations who owe money to other nations, or to private banks, do not need to operate like a family with a credit card, says Skidelsky. He warns that doing so will only bring about more economic woe. For a family, it is illegal to print money. Not so for a nation. And decreasing spending now puts a burden on future generations by depriving them of important investments in education and infrastructure. Politicians worried about the political impacts of debt should also be concerned about the social impact of austerity—namely, revolution.
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Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.
Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
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