NewsNotes

September 2011

 

 

 

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The pursuit of peace resembles the building of a great cathedral. It is the work of a generation.

In concept it requires a master-architect; in execution, the labors of many.

~Hubert Humphrey

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

EPS News

Links

In Other News

Funding & Employment Opportunities

EPS Publications

Action Corner

Upcoming Events

How Can I Help?

 

 

 

EPS News 

 

The Price of 9/11

by Joseph E. Stiglitz, September 1, 2011

 

The September 11, 2001, terror attacks by Al Qaeda were meant to harm the United States, and they did, but in ways that Osama bin Laden probably never imagined. President George W. Bush’s response to the attacks compromised America’s basic principles, undermined its economy, and weakened its security.

 

The attack on Afghanistan that followed the 9/11 attacks was understandable, but the subsequent invasion of Iraq was entirely unconnected to Al Qaeda – as much as Bush tried to establish a link. That war of choice quickly became very expensive – orders of magnitude beyond the $60 billion claimed at the beginning – as colossal incompetence met dishonest misrepresentation.

 

Indeed, when Linda Bilmes and I calculated America’s war costs three years ago, the conservative tally was $3-5 trillion. Since then, the costs have mounted further. With almost 50% of returning troops eligible to receive some level of disability payment, and more than 600,000 treated so far in veterans’ medical facilities, we now estimate that future disability payments and health-care costs will total $600-900 billion. But the social costs, reflected in veteran suicides (which have topped 18 per day in recent years) and family breakups, are incalculable.

 

To read the full article, go to

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/stiglitz142/English.

 

 

 

 

Military Spending: A Poor Job Creator

Fact Sheet by William D. Hartung, Arms & Security Project, September 2011

 

Plans for cutting the federal deficit have raised an important question: what impact would military spending reductions have on jobs?

 

Contrary to the assertions of the arms industry, maintaining military spending at the expense of other forms of federal expenditures would actually result in a net loss of jobs.  This is because military spending is less effective at creating jobs than virtually any other form of government activity. 
Description: Figure 1 Job Creation in US through $1 billion in spending

See the entire fact sheet, with supporting text and references, at
http://www.ciponline.org/pressroom/articles/090911_Hartung_Military_Spending_Jobs.html.

 

 

 

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 America Foundation.

 

 

For transcripts, video, and photos of the event, go to
http://www.epsusa.org/events/411conf/statecrisisprogram.htm.

 

 

 

EPS raised $65 last year with GoodSearch. The more you use GoodSearch, the more money you can raise for EPS, just by searching the internet or shopping online - at no cost to you. With every search you do, EPS receives a penny; when everyone uses it, the pennies add up.

 

To start using GoodSearch, see

http://www.goodsearch.com/about.aspx.

 

 

 

EPS now has a group page on LinkedIn. If this is your preferred social network, check in with us at www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2009987&trk=anetsrch_name&goback=.gdr_1263369639671_1.

 

 

 

Don't forget EPS is on Facebook.  Become a fan and keep up with our latest activities and upcoming events.

 

Become a fan of EPS at

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Economists-for-Peace-and-Security/114370951337.

 

 

 

Links


 

Human Nature
Is it true that the condition of man is a condition of war?

 

The condition of man is a condition of war, wrote 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes. A quick glance through history books and today’s news headlines certainly seems to support the longstanding idea that humans by nature are aggressive, selfish and antagonistic.

 

But this view simply doesn’t fit with scientific facts, write researchers featured in the new book “Origins of Altruism and Cooperation” (Springer, 2011), edited by Robert W. Sussman, PhD, and C. Robert Cloninger, MD. The book’s authors argue that humans are naturally cooperative, altruistic and social, only reverting to violence when stressed, abused, neglected or mentally ill.

 

The book, which now is available, presents evidence supporting this idea from a range of academic perspectives, including anthropology, psychiatry, biology, sociology, religion, medicine and more.

 

“Cooperation isn’t just a byproduct of competition, or something done only because both parties receive some benefit from the partnership,” says Sussman, professor of physical anthropology in Arts & Sciences. “Rather, altruism and cooperation are inherent in primates, including humans."

 

For more information about the book “Origins of Altruism and Cooperation,” visit

http://www.visionofhumanity.org/info-center/humans-naturally-cooperative/.

 

 

 

 

In Other News

 

The Die-Hard Recession Heads Off the Charts  

By Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, for Truthout, September 9, 2011

 

"By 1970, the governments of the wealthy countries began to take it for granted that they had truly discovered the secret of cornucopia. Politicians of left and right alike believed that modern economic policy was able to keep economies expanding very fast -- and endlessly. That left only the congenial question of dividing up the new wealth that was being steadily generated."

 

Those words, from a Washington Post editorial more than twenty-five years ago, echoed the beliefs not only of politicians and the press, but of mainstream economics professionals resistant to the idea that growth in a market economy would ever stagnate over a protracted period.

 

And some of the data did fit nicely. Through several recessions and recoveries, inflation-adjusted GDP rose almost in tandem with a line of predicted growth expectations. But in November 2007, something changed. Real GDP dropped down from what was expected by more than 11 percent, and, as this summer's data has shown, it hasn't returned to its pre-recession trend.

 

The unusual slump has provoked a stream of commentary that attempts to define the problem, but it hardly matters whether the downturn is identified as the second dip of a 'double-dip' recession, a continuation of the 'Great Recession', a fast-moving slowdown, a slow nosedive, a long-term stall-out, or a confirmation that the economy has entered a Japanese-style 'lost decade'. Growth during the 21st century is following a different trend line than it did in the 20th, and employment is also responding in new, different ways from earlier post-World War II recessions.

 

 

Read the full article at

http://www.truth-out.org/die-hard-recession-heads-charts/1315578544.

 

 

 

Empire of Chaos: How 9/11 Shaped the Politics of a Failing State

By Arun Gupta, September 9, 2011, for Alternet

 

The neoconservative ideas that shaped the war on terror have evaporated as the United States is battered by an economic depression that shows no end.

 

The events made my mind reel. The angry plumes of smoke, office paper raining like confetti, tumbling windows flashing in the sunlight. I could make out jumpers and watched a jet fighter whoosh by the burning towers, bank and disappear. I thought, “This is like a movie.”

 

It upset me that my only way to comprehend the events was to reference the Hollywood imaginarium. But it was understandable. Where else would I have seen images resembling the war in my backyard – collapsing skyscrapers, gigantic fireballs and thousands of dead?

 

The need to make sense of the events of Sept. 11 – the plot by al-Qaeda, four hijacked airliners, the demolished twin towers and nearly 3,000 dead – is universal. It is why the state’s first task after 9/11 – before one bomb dropped, one soldier deployed – was to imprint the “war on terror” on the collective American mindset.

 

Many of the ideas that have shaped the events and policies of the first decade of the war on terror are right there: American exceptionalism, they hate us for our freedoms, capitalism will triumph, and this war will know no geographic or temporal bounds.

 

These ideas were bundled into the “New American Century,” the neoconservative dream to extend Pax Americana indefinitely. Ten years later that dream has evaporated as the United States is being battered by an economic depression that shows no end. The only question appears to be how quickly America will be eclipsed by China. So how did we get from the triumphalism of “mission accomplished” to the twilight of American Empire?

 

To read the full article, visit

http://www.alternet.org/story/152320/empire_of_chaos%3A_how_9_11_shaped_the_politics_of_a_failing_state/.

 

 

 

Call for Papers

To be published in 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 (eklor@mscc.huji.ac.il) by September 30, 2011.

 

 

 

Funding & Employment Opportunities 

 

The United States Institute of Peace is now hiring a program officer at the Center for Conflict Managment

 

The Center for Conflict Management seeks a Program Officer for Afghanistan Programs. This position is based at USIP’s Washington DC headquarters, and will work closely with colleagues in the Kabul field office, the CCM Afghan team, and others in the Academy, CoI, and Grants who work on Afghan related programs. This position reports to the Director of Afghanistan and Pakistan Programs.

 

View the full job description and qualification details at

http://www.usip.org/work-us/staff/contractor-positions.

 

 

 

EPS Publications 

 

Crisis in the States and Cities: What Should Be Done? Symposium Issue

 

EPS Quarterly, June 2011. This issue contains summaries of the proceedings from the Bernard Schwartz symposium held at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, Washington DC on April 12, 2011. The Symposium was organized by Economists for Peace and Security and co-sponsored by The New America Foundation, Washington DC. 

 

Read this issue of EPS Quarterly at

http://www.epsusa.org/publications/newsletter/2011/jun2011/jun2011.pdf.
To watch video of the symposium, visit
http://www.epsusa.org/events/411conf/statecrisisprogram.htm.

 

 

 

Economics of Peace and Security Journal Vol. 6, No 2 - On peace, war, and violence - is now available online

 

Contents

·Sterling Huang and David Throsby on economic, political, and
social determinants of peace

 

·Alvaro Riascos and Juan Vargas on violence and growth in
Colombia

 

·Steve Pickering on the (supposed) bellicosity of “mountain people”

·Vincenzo Bove on the demand and supply of peacekeeping

 

·John Gilbert, Tanigawa Takahiko, Krit Linananda, Edward Tower,
and Alongkorn Tuncharoenlarp on the deadweight cost of war

 

·Zachary Tambudzai on determinants of military expenditure in
Zimbabwe

 

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.

For more information about the Journal or to subscribe:

http://www.epsjournal.org.uk/.
To become a member of EPS (and to qualify for the subscription discount):

http://www.epsusa.org/membership/membership.htm.

 

 

 

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 Quarterly at

http://www.epsusa.org/publications/newsletter/2011/mar2011/mar2011.html.

 

 

 

 

Action Corner 

 

 

End the Endless War

 

Help repeal legislation passed in the wake of September 11 that gave the president a blank check to fight war, to torture, to launch drone attacks and much more.

 

Ask your representative to cosponsor H.R.2859, which would repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force. H.R. 2859 was introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (CA), the only representative to vote against the Authorization in 2001.

 

In September 2001, Congress rushed to provide the Bush administration authority to wage a “war on terror.” The Authorization for the Use of Military Force, passed by the House on September 14, gave the president broad and open-ended power to carry out this “war”. After ten years, the consequences of this legislation in the headlines from Afghanistan and in the distrust with which the United States is regarded. War is not the answer. It’s time to repeal this authorization.

 

Find out how you can help; visit

http://fcnl.org/action/alert/2011/take_action_end_the_endless_war/.

 

 

 

 

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.

For a 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

http://action.aclu.org/site/PageServer?pagename=LTE_SOTU_2007&JServSessionIdr001=3bu4 9o8t91.app20a.

 

 

 

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

http://globalsolutions.org/hill/fpstaff.

 

 

 

If you would like to post an EPS flyer on a departmental bulletin board or similar venue, please contact Thea Harvey at theaharvey@epsusa.org.

 

 

 

Upcoming Events 

 

  • 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, Hungary. The conference is supported by the Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer and Batiself.

    For more information, see
    http://www.eurospes.be/page.php?LAN=E&FILE=agendadetail&ID=1026.
  • November 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.

    Full details about the conference are available at
    http://www.icape.org/conferences.html
    .
  • November 16, 2011. EPS benefit, an evening with Dr. Alan Blinder.
    Kathleen Stephansen and Andrew Racine will host an evening at their home with special guest speaker Dr. Alan Blinder. All proceeds will help further the work done at EPS. 


    For further details about the event, please contact Thea Harvey at theaharvey@epsusa.org.
  • January 6 - 8, 2012. Annual meetings of the Allied Social Sciences Association and American Economics Association in Chicago, IL.


EPS will present two sessions on Friday, January 6.  The EPS Dinner in honor of Robert J. Gordon will be held Saturday, January 7.

 

Please check for details and updates soon on our website:
www.epsusa.org

  • 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.

    For more information, see
    http://conflictstudiescenter.ku.edu.tr/call.html.
  • March 9 - 11, 2012.  Eastern Economic Association 38th Annual Conference will be held at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA. The Eastern Economic Association is a not-for-profit corporation whose object is to promote educational and scholarly exchange on economic affairs. Towards that end, the Association encourages the freedom of research and discussion.

    Further information about the conference is available at
    http://www.ramapo.edu/eea/.

 

 

 

How Can I Help? 

 

Become a member of EPS. Your annual membership entitles you to discounts on publications, invitations to events, our informative newsletters, and more. Most importantly, by joining us you help to ensure that reasoned perspectives on essential economic issues continue to be heard. Membership dues and other donations are fully tax-deductible.

 

To become a member, go to

http://www.epsusa.org/membership/membership.htm.

 

 

 

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Sign up for GoodSearch. EPS gets a penny every time you use it for an online search, at no cost to you.

 

 

 

 Visit our website at www.epsusa.org.

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