It’s far from a friendly competition. Of those four, two are locked in an ongoing state of war and the third refuses to recognize the fourth.
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Because the story of the Brasilian Real (R$) is one of my favorite stories, and NPR has been telling the story recently…
If you are interested in the audio version, the story begins about 5mins into the Planet Money podcast that is linked there.
Barney Frank and Ron Paul call for a major reduction in the military budget and worldwide military presence over the next decade. Finally someone is talking about the strain that military spending places on the American economy.
cbarwa and thabet are discussing. Toggle Comments
The Indonesian followers of Sheikh Abdalqadir as-Sufi are “shunning” “worthless” paper money in favor of gold and silver coins for their daily transactions.
The followers of Sheikh Abdalqadir as-Sufi — born Ian Dallas — trade goods such as food, medicine, clothes and phone cards with gold dinars and silver dirhams in line with a strict interpretation of Islamic law.
An official reports that the number of dinars on the local market more than doubled to 25,000 pieces last year.
“We decided to mint silver and gold coins in Indonesia following a fatwa issued by Sheikh Abdalqadir as-Sufi in Cape Town of South Africa, banning Muslims from using paper money,” Azis told AFP.
Abdalqadir, a former playwright and actor who converted to Islam in the late 1960s, bitterly opposes modern capitalism and advocates a return to forms of Islamic law practiced by the first generations after Mohammed.
Some Muslims have countered that a world economy based on gold coins would lead to a powerful cartel of gold-producing countries, while others have noted the potential for market chaos if gold replaced the greenback.
But for the sheikh’s followers, such issues seem remote compared to the straightforward injunction to obey the Quran and emulate Mohammed.
We’ve had lively discussions about the Scottish-born Sheikh Abdalqadir as-Sufi’s ideas before at Talk Islam with the Granada bloggers…
We probably don’t write enough around here about the economy and how the current economic downturn is affecting families and societies. The Atlantic article below ends on the point “…both inside and outside the U.S., lengthy periods of economic stagnation or decline have almost always left society more mean-spirited and less inclusive, and have usually stopped or reversed the advance of rights and freedoms.”
But I was also interested in this article for what it has to say about fatalism. I’ve blogged a few times recently about fatalism in Islam, but it’s important to put that in the context of fatalism in the larger society.
Ron Alsop, a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal and the author of The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaking Up the Workplace, says a combination of entitlement and highly structured childhood has resulted in a lack of independence and entrepreneurialism in many 20-somethings. They’re used to checklists, he says, and “don’t excel at leadership or independent problem solving.”
Alsop interviewed dozens of employers for his book, and concluded that unlike previous generations, Millennials, as a group, “need almost constant direction” in the workplace. “Many flounder without precise guidelines but thrive in structured situations that provide clearly defined rules.”
All of these characteristics are worrisome, given a harsh economic environment that requires perseverance, adaptability, humility, and entrepreneurialism. Perhaps most worrisome, though, is the fatalism and lack of agency that both Twenge and Alsop discern in today’s young adults. Trained throughout childhood to disconnect performance from reward, and told repeatedly that they are destined for great things, many are quick to place blame elsewhere when something goes wrong, and inclined to believe that bad situations will sort themselves out—or will be sorted out by parents or other helpers.
“Millennials” are those born between 1980 and 2001. On the other hand, many first-generation Muslims in the US are entrepreneurial, so it seems there are good examples in the community, though whether Muslim ‘millennials’ have been raised to value those examples or to integrate to the college-educated class culture described above is another question.
credit to the stimulus for keeping GDP growth on life-support… by the American Enterprise Institute?
…substantial support from fiscal stimulus, coupled with inventory rebuilding, boosted real GDP growth in the second half of the year to an estimated 3 percent annual rate. Without fiscal stimulus and inventory building, however, growth would have remained negative–an ominous fact because the fiscal stimulus will fade rapidly by mid-2010.
indeed. Maybe we should have another one. (btw, the taxpayer made a profit on the bank bailouts, too).