Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Measures for Bankruptcy Needed

I was reading a Paul Krugman article last night where this economist was addressing, what appears to be, the single-minded pursuit by Government of 'an inadequacy of demand' in the economy.

"It is possible for economies to suffer from an overall inadequacy of demand--recessions do happen" said Krugman. Then he added: "they can usually be cured by issuing more money--full stop, end of story.”[1]

And this is where the issue of bankruptcy plays in. You can't keep fueling consumption when people can't pay their bills without drawing down or abandoning all of the 'houses' they need to survive in.

So here's some reminders to Paul Krugman and company of what an ultimate bankruptcy really means:

“The risk that a 50-year-old white woman will develop breast cancer has soared to 12 percent today from one percent in 1975. Likewise, asthma rates have tripled over the last 25 years and childhood leukemia is increasing by one percent per year.”[2]

"Three out of every four Tasmanians suffer from a chronic health condition. This renders them unable to hold down a job and sees them struggle with simple daily tasks." [3]

"[consumptive water use across the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia] has reduced average annual streamflow at the Murray Mouth by 61 percent. The river now ceases to flow through the mouth 40 percent of the time compared to one percent of the time."[4]

"..In recent years [1992]... we have been witnessing another dramatic drop in biological diversity as a result of human activity, with both species extinctions and gene pool declines occurring at rates unprecedented in the earth’s history."[5]

"The Environmental Protection Agency is ready [April 2009] to start testing 67 pesticide ingredients for their possible endocrine disruption effects. But the testing program the agency plans to use is only a pitiful skeleton of what
it needs to be. This battery of tests, first recommended in 1998, is outdated, insensitive, crude, and narrowly limited. Each test and assay was designed under the surveillance of corporate lawyers who had bottom lines to protect and assorted toxicologists who were not trained in endocrinology and developmental biology."[6]

[1] The Accidental Theorist, All work and no play makes William Greider a dull boy.
By Paul KrugmanPosted Friday, Jan. 24, 1997, at 3:30 AM ET

[2] As quoted in the Tasmanian Times and sourced from:
Cancer From the Kitchen?
Published: December 5, 2009

[3] Plan to fight chronic disease. DAMIEN BROWN
December 07, 2009 09:13am
The Mercury link:

[4] CSIRO, Water Availability in the Murray-Darling Basin- A report from CSIRO to the Australian Government, October 2008, p 5. See for further information. As quoted in:
Native Title Report 2008, Case Study 2
The Murray-Darling Basin – an ecological and human tragedy

[5] Spellerberg and Hardes 1992 as quoted in:
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function: Do Species Matter?
Paul S. Giller and Grace O’Donovan. Paul S. Giller, Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology, University College Cork, Republic of Ireland (corresponding author; e-mail:; Grace O’Donovan, Department of Environmental Resource Management, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Republic of Ireland.

[6] EPA's new pesticide testing is outdated, crude
In its search for endocrine-disrupting chemicals, the EPA should turn to scientists who think outside the box and inside the womb. The agency's testing program is "a pitiful skeleton" that will fail to detect many serious effects on human development.
By Theo Colborn, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange. April 27, 2009


run75441 said...

Roach Motel:

You can check in but you can't check out. That is what the 2005 Bankruptcy and Consumer Protection Act is all about.

George Smiley said...

No, Brenda, this the human cost of moral bankrupcy to individuals but not an important aspect of the headlong rush toward the monetary bankrupcy of nations. We come and go individually whether by war, hunger, old age. cancer or whatever - the end result is the same and it doesn't matter a lot because attrition has always been a given in every society, more than balanced by the birth of new little munchkins who will sacrifice the long term future of their world for immediate personal gain. Just like their parents did. And they are locked in because if you don't do it somebody else will thereby inheriting whatever is left of the earth and the commons will degrade - tragically - whether or not you are a player. But if the dollar/US/world economy deep- sixes you won't even have an option.