September 2010

Sep 2  Laura Tyson, economist and Chair of the US President's Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration, argues that "our national debate" has become skewed and that the US needs a second stimulus. She writes that "...the risk is uncomfortably high that trying to reduce the deficit – by cutting spending or increasing taxes – will tip the economy back into recession or condemn it to years of faltering growth and debilitating unemployment. In fact, either outcome would depress tax revenue and could mean larger deficits."

Sep 2  Pakistan's government counts the dead from recent flooding at 1,710.

Sep 3  Syria is moving "to curb the influence of Muslim conservatives in its mosques, public universities and charities," according to Kareem Fahim, writing for the New York Times. Syria has a history of moving against Islamic dissidents. See February 2, 1982.

Sep 6  President Obama declares his support for a second stimulus package: a $100 billion tax credit for businesses that invest in job creation and $50 billion for infrastructure building.

Sep 8  For Greece's government, paying its debt is made more difficult by an economy that declined 1.8 percent in this year's second quarter. The government's austerity measures have contributed to the decline. People are not spending money. Today, Europe's stock markets responded negatively, with bank stock declining.

Sep 8  In the US, the Daily Beast’s Asra Q. Nomani, a Muslim, expresses a lack of concern about a proposed Koran burning. To Muslims she writes, "Let's get over the symbolic insult and deal with the very real issues of literal interpretations of the Koran that are used to sanction domestic violence, terrorism, militancy, and suicide bombings in the name of Islam... We, as Muslims, need to tear a few pages out of the Koran."

Sep 13  Cuba's government takes steps from its old-style socialist – or Soviet style – economy. It announces that it plans to end more than one million private sector jobs, half of them within the next six months. President Raul Castro has described the government as supporting a bloated bureaucracy that has sapped motivation.

Sep 19  In elections in Sweden, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's center-right majority coalition appears able to return to power. But a swing in support for the "anti-immigrant" Sweden Democrats erodes the coalition's majority and may result in a hung parliament. Vote for the Liberal Democrats is said to be a protest against the reluctance of mainstream parties to address the issue of immigrants not integrating into Swedish society.

Sep 19   A former associate of Osama bin Laden, Noman Benotman, has written a letter to his old "comrade-in-arms" before 9/11, asking him the following: "What has the 11th September brought to the world except mass killings, occupations, destruction, hatred of Muslims, humiliation of Islam, and a tighter grip on the lives of ordinary Muslims by the authoritarian regimes that control Arab and Muslim states?" Benotman goes on to claim that, "Muslims across the world have rejected your calls for wrongful jihad and the establishment of your so-called 'Islamic state'."

Sep 23  In the US, Muslims report an increase in hostility and name-calling by co-workers, according to an article in the New York Times by Steven Greenhouse. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission "has filed several prominent lawsuits on behalf of Muslim workers." Writes Greenhouse: "Mohammad Kaleemuddin, a Pakistani immigrant who drove trucks for the American war effort in Iraq for three years, said that while he was working for a construction company in Houston, his supervisor and several co-workers called him 'Osama,' 'al Qaeda,' 'Taliban,' and 'terrorist'.”

Sep 28  We know that generally speaking, people with a lot of wealth are better able to accumulate more of it faster than people with little wealth, and we know therefore that across time the division of wealth is likely to grow, unless there is a politically created wealth distribution mechanism that mitigates against it. Today, Gwen Ifill of the News Hour announces that "The US has the greatest disparity between rich and poor among Western industrialized nations." Her guest, Timothy Noah of says that between 1929 and the early 1970s, incomes were "becoming more and more equal" but that incomes have been "growing less and less equal since 1979."

Sep 28  In the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), a monarchy like succession appears to be taking place. State media announces that the son of leader Kim Jong-ll, Kim Jong-un, has been named vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers' Party. Kim Jong-un is said to be about 27 years old and is already a four-star general.

to August 2010 | to October 2010

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