On Wednesday, April 24, an 8-story building outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed. Over 600 people were killed, and over 1,000 injured – but the death toll may rise as rescue crews continue their search.
The building housed a variety of businesses, including a bank and five garment factories that employed over 3,100 garment workers – mostly young women. Observers noticed a large crack develop on in the building on Tuesday, and the bank on the second floor told its workers not to come in the next day. The garment factories decided to stay open for business, and the result was tragedy.
They came, they danced, they marched, 2,000 people spirited and strong, Robin Hood’s merry band of men and women, through the streets of Washington April 20.
Ending up astride a prominent government building, christened with a new name and a naming ceremony. No more U.S. Treasury, now, the banner declared, “The U.S. Treasury. A Citigroup Subsidiary. Jack Lew, Inc., CEO.”We could end AIDS, reverse climate change, fund jobs and health care. Who do you work for Secretary Lew?” asked Jennifer Flynn, managing director of Health GAP (Global Action Project). “You work for the people, not Wall Street.”
There have been an extraordinary number of reactions to the paper we wrote with Thomas Herndon that critiqued the highly influential 2010 Reinhart and Rogoff paper “Growth in a Time of Debt.” Not surprisingly, these reactions have run the gamut. It is obviously impossible for us to respond to all the points raised. One of the most thoughtful critical responses was from Prof. James Hamilton of UC San Diego. Prof. Hamilton is an eminent econometrician. He posted his critique on his own blog site Econbrowser here. We are reposting here his critique of our work along with our response, below. Prof. Hamilton was kind enough to post our response on his site as well.
Noticeably absent from President Obama’s “fix-it-first” program for rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, highlighted in his State of the Union speech, is, so far, the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline project. Let’s keep it that way.
There’s heavy pressure from the fossil fuel industry, the politicians they influence, conservative Canadian interests, and some construction unions in the U.S. for the pipeline. But it’s not just the President’s decision. It’s up to all of us to put the pipeline in mothballs and leave the heavy tar sands crude oil in the ground.
Putting Americans back to work by addressing climate change should be a top priority for Congress, but politics have often gotten in the way of solutions that will both create jobs and reduce the carbon pollution causing climate change. If anything, the stark need for our country to take climate change seriously hit home late last year when the East Coast was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. I know I’m not the only one that watched in shock as we saw subways underwater, people without power and heat for weeks on end, and our communications systems falling down when we needed them most.
Climate change — and the extreme weather like “super storms” and droughts that it will increasingly cause — is a huge problem for our country. It’s also an opportunity. Addressing climate change is a key component of any plan to keep our economy on track and get us back to full employment.