Think not forever of yourselves, O Chiefs, nor of your
own generation. Think of continuing generations of our families, think
of our grandchildren and of those yet unborn, whose faces are coming
from beneath the ground.
Stop Panicking About Our Long-Term Deficit Problem. We Don’t
by James K. Galbraith, August 9, 2011, The New Republic
Standard & Poor’s did not downgrade the US political
system. It did not downgrade the stock market. It downgraded United
States Treasury bonds and bills - and did so after Congress
had removed whatever tiny chance existed of even a small delay in
payments. So it’s instructive that, on the next market day, investors
moved massively out of stocks, and into the safety of US Treasury bonds
and bills. Rarely has stupidity been so quickly and massively shown
Some commentators read the downgrade as a rebuke to the
Tea Party, but, in fact, S&P was making good on its threat to act
if the deficit deal resolving that drama did not reach the arbitrary
threshold of $4 trillion over ten years. It wasn’t the Tea Party’s Kool - Aid they were drinking, but that of the
And yet, S&P’s statement (math error and all) was of
a piece with mainstream budget projections from CBO and other official
sources. These projections all assume steady growth, low inflation, and
falling unemployment (in which case, one may ask, what’s
the problem exactly?). Yet they also predict much higher
interest rates. In these projections, it is mainly the vicious magic of
compound interest—debt compounded on top of debt in computer
models—that generates the explosive debt dynamic which rationalized the
Read the full article at
Crisis in the States and Cities: What Should Be Done?
An EPS Bernard Schwartz Symposium
States and cities face tax increases and sharp cuts in vital
public services, with likely harsh effects on economic activity and
competitiveness going forward.
This public symposium on April 12, organized by EPS,
discussed the budget crises faced by state and local governments
including cuts to social services and increasing taxes. Will budget
cuts help, as some claim or hurt, as others believe,
the economies of affected jurisdictions and the country?
The panelists presented action plans for a federal role,
including revenue sharing, and the possible federalization of Medicaid.
Crisis in the States and Cities: What Should Be Done? was hosted by
Economists for Peace and Security; Bernard Schwartz; and the New
For transcripts, video, and
photos of the event, go to
EPS raised $65 last year
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GoodSearch, the more money you can raise for
EPS, just by searching the internet or shopping online - at no cost to you.
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the pennies add up.
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States Of Conflict: An Update
The spring of 2011 brought perhaps the single
biggest highlight in the war on terrorism since 9/11: the killing of Osama
bin Laden in Pakistan. Generally, however, it was a frustrating season
in the combat zones, as shown in data from April 1 to June 30 of 2009,
2010 and 2011.
In Iraq, violence is persistent (if much reduced from
five years ago). The coalition government — which took almost a year to
form — is locked in a standoff between Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and Ayad
Allawi of the main opposition party. They
have failed even to agree on leaders for the Defense and Interior
Ministries. Violence, stalemate and Iranian instigation have increased
sectarian tensions and the potential for renewed warfare. Meanwhile,
the remaining American troops are to withdraw by this fall, unless
Iraqi leaders say otherwise. Such a complete American departure is
bound to be highly fraught.
To read the full report
including the data table, visit
Afghan Civil Society and a
Comprehensive Peace Process
Unites States Institute of Peace
The transition from war to peace in Afghanistan requires
much more than high-level official negotiations and low-level
reintegration efforts. A comprehensive Afghan peace process would also
facilitate discussion amongst diverse civil society sectors about their
relationship with the Afghan government and on the future relations
between diverse groups in Afghanistan. A political settlement without
significant progress on these two other dimensions is unlikely to
produce a national consensus supporting sustainable peace.
Excluding or limiting civil society input into formal
negotiations creates long-term problems. First, it rewards groups who
use violence with political influence and positions of power, further
entrenching illegitimate and ineffective governance. Second, a peace
agreement that excludes public input and interests will lack public
ownership of the agreement and the political will required to implement
To read the USIP report, go
In Other News
Afghanistan is Broke, US Drowning in Debt – So What About
a War Ceiling?
By Michele Lin, for EconomyWatch
With all the debate in the United States over raising
its debt ceiling, politicians and lawmakers are once again fighting
over national spending. Democrats are sore that the US $2.4 trillion in
savings will not include any mandated tax increases, while the
Republicans are worried about the US $350 billion cut in the defense
budget. Why is the United States perpetually policing the world at the
expense of the American people and global markets?
Meanwhile, war torn Afghanistan is facing a deepening
financial crisis that requires an estimated US $820 million in bailout
money. Yet, the country is as corrupt as it is bankrupt. Although the
war-torn country’s largest bank nearly collapsed last September, the
government of Hamid Karzai and international stakeholders are still
splitting hairs over how to raise funds and confidence over the
intended bailout vision, as well as how to deal with its former leaders
and rebels who siphoned off millions of dollars, and plenty of illegal
gemstones and timber from Afghanistan to the outside world.
After a decade of US-led war in Afghanistan, US
officials are still determined to keep its troops stationed there –
amid heavy defense budget cuts and declining public support. Why
is the US bent on throwing more money (which they do not have) at
To read more, see
Welcome to the Tea Party's
By Joshua Holland, August 1, 2011, for Alternet
Economic historians will look back on this era as a time
when policy-makers damaged Americans' welfare with ideologically
driven, self-inflicted wounds.
The House finally passed a deal to raise the debt limit after
weeks of wrangling with a cadre of reactionary, Tea Party-endorsed
lawmakers. The measure, which will force some serious cuts to public
spending, is expected to easily pass in the Senate. When it does, a
painful second "dip" into recession becomes far more
likely - all the conditions are there.
Recently a depressing report on economic growth caught
many observers by surprise. The take-away was that gross domestic
product (GDP) – the measure of economic activity within our borders –
has been growing at a snail's pace in the first half of this year --
far slower than analysts had predicted. Researchers at the Federal Reserve tell
us that since 1947, about half of the times we've had six months
of growth as weak as we've seen in 2011, the economy sank into
recession in the following year. But many of those slow periods
occurred in a different era; today, with Washington obsessed with
cutting spending, the chances are certainly greater than 50/50.
To read the full article,
Call for papers
The Eurasian Peace Science Network invites proposals for
the Eurasian Peace Science Conference, which will take place on January
13 - 14, 2012 at Koç University in Istanbul,
Turkey. The Conference's goals are to broaden cooperation among
Eurasian and Middle Eastern peace science scholars, encourage
interaction with the worldwide peace science community, and bring
together research on conflict and peace-related topics from throughout
All aspects of the peace science field are welcome including in
particular: (a) empirical studies of political violence and peaceful
resolution, (b) quantitative and formal analyses of conflict and peace
processes, (c) peace science methodology and theory, (d) alliances,
investment, trade, and conflict, (e) economic and political causes of
international and domestic violence encompassing war, ethnic conflict,
and terrorism, (f) contemporary regional conflicts in Eurasia and
Middle East, (g) security and foreign policy, and (h) conflict analysis
All submissions before August 31, 2011 will be
considered for the conference. Proposals after that date will only be
considered if there are presentation slots available.
For more information or to
submit a proposal, visit
Call for Papers
The upcoming special issue "Political Economy
Studies on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" to be published on Peace
Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy.
The special issue is intended to gather contributions
that focus on political economy aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. The contributions may highlight positive and/or normative aspects
of this conflict. Papers may make a theoretical or empirical
contribution to a better understanding of this conflict.
Please send papers and
inquiries to Esteban Klor
by September 30, 2011.
RESEARCH DIRECTOR - World
Peace Foundation Program, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
The World Peace Foundation Program (WPF Program) at The Fletcher
School is poised to position itself at the cutting edge of new
thinking, at once creative and realistic, in the field of peacemaking.
The Foundation aims to be internationally recognized for this role. It
will achieve this through rigorous and creative intellectual leadership
in the field of peace studies, associating the name of the World Peace
Foundation Program with the best new thinking. And, through research,
seminars, publication, public information/advocacy, and engagement with
international policymakers, the WPF Program will promote fresh
approaches to understanding conflict and peace.
The Research Director is responsible, in discussion with
the Executive Director and other potential lead-research staff/faculty,
for project development from conceptualization to final reporting of
all research projects hosted by the WPF Program.
To see the full job posting,
Economics of Peace and
Security Journal Vol. 6, No 2 - On peace, war, and violence - is now available online
·Sterling Huang and David Throsby on economic, political,
social determinants of peace
·Alvaro Riascos and Juan
Vargas on violence and growth in
Pickering on the (supposed) bellicosity of “mountain people”
·Vincenzo Bove on the demand
and supply of peacekeeping
·John Gilbert, Tanigawa
Takahiko, Krit Linananda,
and Alongkorn Tuncharoenlarp
on the deadweight cost of war
·Zachary Tambudzai on
determinants of military expenditure in
The Journal is a peer-reviewed online publication hosted
by EPS-UK. Published twice yearly, it raises and debates all issues
related to the political economy of personal, communal, national,
international, and global peace and security. Previous contributors
include Joseph Stiglitz, James Galbraith, and
Lawrence Klein. The Journal’s website also features book reviews
submitted by members and subscribers.
EPS members receive a 25% discount on the annual subscription to the
Economics of Peace and Security Journal. A regular one-year
subscription is $40; for EPS members, it's only $30! Non-subscribers
can access the abstracts and contents pages.
information about the Journal or to subscribe:
a member of EPS (and to qualify for the subscription
The Annual Budget Issue
EPS Quarterly, March 2011.
In this issue EPS takes on conservatives' and Tea
Partiers' loud cries for cuts in federal spending.
A self-described conservative and two libertarians join
their voices in two separate articles, asking for defense cuts along
with any other belt-tightening measures. To assist in sorting out the
defense budget and its relative merits, we include brief excerpts from
the new handbook-guide to the Defense Department, "The Pentagon
Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It," from the
Strauss Military Reform Project. This issue also contains several
pieces which examine the Obama administration’s policies and processes.
On the back cover is our Statement on Federal Spending and the
Recovery, released February 28.
Read this issue of EPS
From FCNL: 2C: The Friends Committee
on National Legislation Staff Blog
As policymakers and lobbyists
alike scramble to try to understand what impact the new debt deal will
have on their favorite programs, one thing is becoming clear. Critical
funding for tools to help prevent wars are
facing drastic cuts that could close down hard won programs forever.
Because the international affairs budget is treated as
part of a broad category of "security spending," which also
includes the Pentagon budget, it will now have
to compete directly with the military industrial complex as Congress
decides where to cut from the 2012 budget in the months ahead.
The international affairs budget and specific programs
that help prevent war, including the Complex Crises Fund, Civilian
Response Corps, and UN funding, were already slashed by the House when
it marked up its initial FY12 State and Foreign Operations
Appropriations bill on July 27.
Now, the US Global Leadership Campaign, which mobilizes
support for the international affairs budget, is predicting an
additional 20-30% cut non-military international affairs spending under
the debt deal. Humanitarian aid, development assistance, State
Department diplomacy, and contributions to international organizations
could all face even deeper cuts than the House bill. (Remarkably, the
debt deal exempts funding for the Global War on Terror - one of the
biggest spending sprees that got the US into this mess - from any
cuts.) Small, innovative programs that are helping prevent and mitigate
deadly conflicts are now at risk of being cut completely from the FY12
budget. If these programs are lost this year, they may never be funded
Find out how you can help
prevent these programs from disappearing; visit
Get the word out on the
topics that matter most to you! The ACLU
has a tool that helps write and send letters to local papers. With such
a letter, you can help bring your message not only to your neighbors
but directly to the offices of your Members of Congress, where staffers
and our lawmakers themselves follow opinions
from home with an especially watchful eye.
list of media outlets by state, with tips on how to write a letter in
your own words plus talking points for the listed topics, see
Do you have a foreign policy
alternative that should be heard in the halls of government? Citizens for Global Solutions
provides an easy-to-use tool to find the foreign policy staffer
for your Member of Congress.
To access the Foreign Policy
Staffer Locator, go to
If you would like to post an EPS flyer on a
departmental bulletin board or similar venue, please contact Thea Harvey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6 - 7, 2011. Conflict Research
Society Annual Conference will be held at
the Richardson Institute for Conflict and Peace Research,
Lancaster University, UK. The theme for this year's
conference is Has
War Gone Bust? Peace, Conflict and the Global Financial Crisis.
more information, visit
- September 22 - 23, 2011.
Responsibility in Economics and Business and The Legacy of E.F.Schumacher
Conference. The conference will be
hosted by the Center for Ethics, University of Antwerp in
collaboration with the Business Ethics Center, Corvinus
University Budapest. The conference is supported by the Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer and Batiself.
more information, see
11 - 13, 2011. ICAPE's 3rd
international research conference: Re-thinking economics in a time
of economic distress will be held at the
University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst, MA.
The 2007-08 financial crisis and subsequent economic downturn have
raised many questions about how well prevailing economic approaches
identify and explain pressing economic problems and suggest sound
ways to solve them. Exploring what needs to change in economics
and identifying productive paths forward are the central themes of
The International Confederation of Associations for Pluralism in
Economics 3rd international research conference.
details about the conference are available at
- January 13 - 14, 2012. EURASIAN PEACE
SCIENCE CONFERENCE at Koç
University in Istanbul, Turkey. The Conference's goals are to
broaden cooperation among Eurasian and Middle Eastern peace
science scholars, encourage interaction with the worldwide peace
science community, and bring together research on conflict and
peace-related topics from throughout the world.
more information, see
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perspectives on essential economic issues continue to be heard.
Membership dues and other donations are fully tax-deductible.
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