Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Argentina

Greece Should Dump the Euro

The Greek government has decided to hold a referendum on whether or not to agree to the austerity and neoliberal reforms demanded by the troika (the IMF, the ECB, and the EU). The Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, has implied that if Greeks vote for austerity, he might resign. I’ve written about the negotiations between Greece and the troika in the past. Since then, events have unfolded and it’s now time for Greece to make good on its threat and dump the Euro. Here’s why.

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The 3 Ways Governments Raise Money Part II: Borrowing

Today I’m continuing my three-part series on how governments finance themselves. The aim is to clear up the popular misconception that the state’s budget is similar to that of a corporation or a household, that government borrowing is always necessarily a bad thing. Previously we talked about taxation–today is all about borrowing.

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Papal Flim-Flam

Pope Francis recently made some comments about homosexuality that were not entirely negative, and now  we have lots of people running all over the internet praising the papacy’s supposed shift on the issue. Even George Takei is buying in, calling it “An important step forward for the Catholic Church and its leadership”. Unfortunately, what we have here is not a change of position on homosexuality, it’s papal film-flam.

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Evaluating Erdogan

Recently there have been demonstrations against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The demonstrations began because the government was intending to demolish a park in Istanbul (not Constantinople) and replace it with a shopping mall. This relatively pedestrian protest escalated when the Turkish government removed the protesters in a violent police raid. The target of the protests has now expanded from the park to the policies of Erdogan more broadly, specifically the social conservatism of his government and its tendency to give preference to Islam in its legislation. A lot of people in the media in developed states have begun referring to this as a “Turkish Spring”, and the default reaction has been to support the protesters, assuming that they are under governments similar to those that prevailed in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and other such places. The instinct is to view Turkey as just another Middle Eastern country protesting a generically malevolent government. A poor job has been done of evaluating the Turkish situation specifically, of giving the Erdogan government a fair evaluation. Today, I’d like to contribute to rectifying that.

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