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User pages for A swedish kind of death:

Galbraith, the Conventional Wisdom and the current mess

by A swedish kind of death
Sat Nov 3rd, 2012 at 06:50:53 AM EST

I recently came across John Kenneth Galbraith's The Affluent Society where he (afaik) introduces the concept of Conventional Wisdom. Since we are seeing a clash between the Conventional Wisdom in the Economics of today and what Galbraith calls circumstances having a look at what it is might be beneficial.

front-paged by afew

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What happens during real resource austerity?

by A swedish kind of death
Thu Aug 2nd, 2012 at 03:16:32 AM EST

From time to time there has been discussion here on ET on the impact (if any) of lack of real resources when it comes to the current crisis. In short, the question can be posed as if there is an element of resource austerity driving the political austerity. To find the answer I had a look at history and found a recent enough example of resource austerity.

What is resource austerity?
First for a definition. Resource austerity is the condition when an economy can no longer get natural resources at the high quantities and low prices that earlier was the case. As such it is a gradual condition, so to find a situation where it is a really big factor we want dramatic cuts in access to resources or dramatic price increases.

Choosing an example - Sweden during world war two
As example I have chosen Sweden during world war two. This is based on the topic being familiar to me, The League of Nations providing statistical information for the period and Sweden not being at war (only prepared for war) so you get rid of the direct effects of war like destruction and looting. In the diagrams Switzerland will also be included for two reasons, it had a similar history and it often was on the same page as Sweden in the League of Nations statistical yearbooks. However, I will not discuss Switzerland much, as my knowledge there is limited.

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The future promise of Energy amplifiers/ Thorium reactors/ 4th gen nuclear

by A swedish kind of death
Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 04:35:45 PM EST

Cyrille linked a Monbiot article in the Salon which caused some discussion, a lot on other things. In an attempt to refocus the discussion, here comes a diary.

A bit of history
In 1995 Carlo Rubbia et al wrote a paper ("Conceptual Design 0f a Fast Neutron Operated High Power Energy Amplifier") on how to use a controlled decay-path for nuclear isotopes. The basic difference between an energy amplifier and a fission reactor is that the energy amplifier does not have a self-sustained reaction so no risk of meltdown. I remember this well as my younger self was very excited and saw a simple solution to every energy problem the world faced, including what to do with nuclear waste - feed it into the energy amplifier. One problem solved!

As I got older (and a fair bit more cynical) energy amplifiers first changed brand to Thorium reactors, then to 4th generation nuclear power and now apparently integral fast reactors. Actual reactors have however not been built.

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L'affair Juholt

by A swedish kind of death
Fri Oct 14th, 2011 at 04:42:17 PM EST

Right now, an interesting crisis is developing in Sweden's old power party, the Social Democratic party. I am not certain where it is heading. This was the case when I started writing this morning, now it is pretty clear.

On the surface it is about the party leader Juholt and a to high expense report as a parliamentarian, but that does not appear to be the real issue.

Below the fold follows the key elements.

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LTE draft: the periphery protects the weaker parts of the core

by A swedish kind of death
Fri Jun 3rd, 2011 at 12:58:13 PM EST

In How the Euro Crisis was resolved an idea for a multilingual LTE was formed.

I wrote:

Has the countries in the core balanced trade with each others? Otherwise, I doubt very much that it could work for the core either.

Structural trade imbalances would have built up, the surplus recycled to the trade deficit countries through the finance sector and then when recession hits, it turns into depression through the budget deficit ban, the vultures start attacking the debt of the trade deficit countries as the ECB demands shock therapy and demands that the finance sector of the trade surplus countries be protected at all costs.

Methinks inhabitants in the countries in the core that has a structural trade deficit against other members of the core should be very happy that they got away with a warning thanks to the admission of the periphery.

Migeru answered:

Can we fashion that argument into an LTE to be sent to newspapers in surplus countries having a deficit within the group of surplus countries?

And I say yes, we can.

Read more... (8 comments, 413 words in story)

Getting ECB'd

by A swedish kind of death
Tue May 10th, 2011 at 06:16:05 AM EST

This diary was meant to be called "Getting IMF'd" but apparently right now, within the eurozone, IMF plays the role of slightly less raving mad police officer.

Hence the name. Now to the content.

It has been pointed out that while you learn economics you are best positioned to write clearly about what it means. So I have been thinking about what Getting ECB'd or IMF'd means in economic terms, if we look past the terms of money.

IMF comes in when a country is less rich then it recently was. So what is a rich country?

frontpaged - Nomad

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Elections in UK result thread

by A swedish kind of death
Fri May 6th, 2011 at 12:18:26 PM EST

Since no-one that knows something about it has put up one. Results, discussions etc in the comments.

front-paged by afew

Comments >> (63 comments)

Housing bubble in Sweden going pop?

by A swedish kind of death
Sat Feb 12th, 2011 at 01:42:28 PM EST

Since the housing crash in the early 90ies, Sweden has had a long increase in housing prices, most markedly the last couple of years. Now it appears to finally burst.

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Calling all HSR-experts for debunking Carbusters anti-HSR

by A swedish kind of death
Mon Nov 8th, 2010 at 10:39:09 AM EST

It recently came to my attention that Carbusters - an online anti-car magazin - featured an anti-HSR article.

High-Speed Rail: Green or Mean? - Carbusters

High-Speed Rail: Green or Mean?

High-speed rail is often touted as a means to move forward and beyond the current modes for long distance transport. Its advocates tells us that, by combining the low energy use of trains and the high speed of planes, it will be the best option for our future transport needs. But is it really so? In this article Hampus Rubaszkin debunks some of the myths surrounding high-speed trains and argues that we can't solve our transport problems by using the same kind of thinking that created them.

Read more... (29 comments, 789 words in story)

Swedish election - result thread

by A swedish kind of death
Mon Sep 20th, 2010 at 01:16:57 AM EST

I wrote the basic intro earlier and Starvid wrote about scenarios after the election.

Last SIFO (big poller, calls many and calls them fast) conducted 15th and 16th gives 49.9% for the Alliance and 45.3% for the RedGreens, and Sverigedemokraterna just outside parliament. This is a big increase for the RedGreens over a few days, if the trend continued during 17-19th of September we have an interesting night tonight.

next-day front-paged by afew

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General Elections in Sweden

by A swedish kind of death
Fri Sep 10th, 2010 at 03:09:10 PM EST

9 days from now the polls will just have closed in the 2010 general elections in Sweden. All local assemblies, all regional assemblies and the national parliament are voted forth in one big election.

Last time was in 2006 and I wrote up the aftermath in Swedish politics: Rascism, Scandals and Piracy.

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Cap CAP? Sustainable agri-policy

by A swedish kind of death
Thu Mar 4th, 2010 at 04:00:33 AM EST

Thinking about alternative policy, I got to thinking about what a sustainable rural/agricultural  policy would look like in the EU.

Since markets are to support societal needs I think it might be wise to first list what such a policy should accomplish.

A sustainable agricultural and rural policy should strive for:

  • Longterm sustainable agriculture
  • Production of food stuffs that cover the needs of the population in the EU
  • A living countryside (among other things to avoid the negative effects of all out urbanization)

In addition a production of luxury/surplus agricultural products for trade is a good thing if it can compete with production elsewhere. So no real need for support for that, but should not be hindered either.

So how could this be accomplished?

Read more... (28 comments, 224 words in story)

SCF: Sweden-Israel kink that became a crisis

by A swedish kind of death
Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 04:31:30 AM EST

This last week a minor crisis has emerged in the relations between Sweden and Israel.

It started with an article in the evening paper Aftonbladet about suspected organ harvesting from Palestinian prisoners in Israel. A bit of to and fro ensued with the Israeli government demanding condemnations the Swedish government would not supply.

I just found a good article from the public service television, Diplomatisk fnurra blev allvarlig kris - rapport |, that I have translated. It explains some about Swedish freedom of press and so on which might be interesting.

(If we have some "Sweden coverage" symbol, insert it here.)

part of the Special Country Focus on Sweden - Nomad

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EP-elections in Sweden

by A swedish kind of death
Sat May 2nd, 2009 at 05:33:18 AM EST


I will hold this short and sweet.

Rules of the game
Proportional elections, 4% threshold, 19 seats. Easy to register party, the real obstacle to enter is that new parties have to distribute ballots to the poll stations. Seats are distributed in accordance to list-order, except if candidates get enoguh votes on them personally to pass a threshold. In the EP-elections that is quite common.

Promoted by afew

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Does public opinion matter? With chart!

by A swedish kind of death
Thu Apr 16th, 2009 at 03:41:49 AM EST

Inspired by conversations here, I drew on my political experience and structure up a flow chart for when public opinion matters.

Scenario: You are a politician and about to vote for or against a bill. A group of citizen makes you aware of their displeasure with your attitude in the question at hand. The question is: does it matter? Follow this simple flow chart and find out!

Read more... (15 comments, 785 words in story)

What are the meta rules of the EP elections?

by A swedish kind of death
Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 11:25:31 AM EST

The rules of the election game differs from country to country, but I assume that there are some meta rules, on the EU level. Rules that specify what methods of distributing seats are accetable to the EU. And such.

I have no idea where to find these, so I´ll just pose the question and see what pops up.

With poll!

Comments >> (22 comments)

Has anyone read the Lisbon treaty? With poll!

by A swedish kind of death
Mon Dec 29th, 2008 at 07:39:49 AM EST

Inspired by Franks latest diary, I started wondering how many that has actually read the Lisbon treaty.

I have not read the treaty myself. As is often the case I rely on second-hand sources. Now this might be even funnier if we cross it with point of view on the Lisbon treaty.

I have subdivided "read" into a) full extensive read, crosschecked with Nice to understand everything and b) read some. Their is of course gray-space between those two also, but I think it will suffice.

Now vote:

Comments >> (7 comments)

Can we use the EP election to promote peace in Israel/Palestine?

by A swedish kind of death
Sun Dec 21st, 2008 at 07:48:39 PM EST

Shergald has kept up an impressive series of reports of the ongoing suffering in what was once the British Mandate of Palestine west of the Jordan River. The latest one created a meta-discussion on the lack of comments which produced this comment from metavision:


The fact that Palestine diaries don't get enough attention is sad and I think it reflects our helplessness to make a difference.  

Helplessness is no good, m'kay? So, what can we as fairly bright citizens of the EU do to at least affect change in the EUs part of this? Well, there is an EP election this spring and I have some thoughts about it.

Read more... (4 comments, 335 words in story)

Trying to understand the current financial situation

by A swedish kind of death
Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 12:33:20 PM EST

This is how I understand the current financial situation. Correct me if I am wrong. As I understand it the financial markets are right now somethink like:

  • Company A owns company D billions, that debt is insured by company B.
  • Company B owns company C billions, that debt is insured by company A.
  • Company C owns company A billions, that debt is insured by company D.
  • Company D owns company B billions, that debt is insured by company C.

Suddenly everyone has realised that no one has the billions. Oh, and they do not either know exactly how the others debt/insurance situation looks.

Read more... (11 comments, 468 words in story)

Females in front LQD - with petition

by A swedish kind of death
Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 04:09:12 PM EST

Recently learnt about Females in front. I will just quote them:

Females in front

250 million women in the EU. Not a single one good enough?
During the coming 12 months, four politicians will be appointed as leaders of the European Union. For fifty years now, the picture of European political leadership has remained the same. It is time for a change. International top posts should always go to the most competent candidate. There are 250 million women in Europe; it should not be too hard to find qualified candidates among all these.

Read more... (8 comments, 138 words in story)

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