24 February, 2011

How al Qaeda Works

This is the best thing about the organization, methods, and goals of Al Qaeda that I have read in years. Assuming he's not making it all up, I wish I had access to some of his sources.

Farrall, Leah. "How al Qaeda Works."
Foreign Affairs; Mar/Apr2011, Vol. 90 Issue 2, p128-138.

Find it. Read it. This one is going to my class.

Looking to 2012

From everything I've read so far, this is my favorite candidate for my favorite candidate for 2012.

The consolidation of power and wealth

Just how much has the world changed?

From 1939 to 1973, during the 24 years from the start of WW2 to the first oil crisis the US’s average income grew by $30,500. 72% of this economic growth in incomes went to the poorest 90%, and 28 % went to the richest 10%.

Over the following 24 years, between 1974 and 2008, the US’s average income grew by $11,000 – average income of the poorest 90% declined, and all the growth went to the richest 10%, mostly to the richest 1%.

Why? One plausible explanation points to the "winner-take-all" nature of American politics, and the use of wealth to purchase political power, which in turn is used to protect and transfer wealth to the top one percent.

A tip of the hat to Resilience Science and economist Emmanuel Saez.