Rudderless economy

first_imgThe recent IMF report on the Guyanese economy is an object lesson on why the expression “lies, damned lies and statistics” is used so ruefully but with increasing frequency in economics. Economics has, for the longest while, marketed itself as the “queen of the social sciences” because of its use of statistical data that was supposed to undergird its “scientific” approach. But, as has been exposed in so many instances, the manner in which the data is presented can lead to assertions that are far removed from the lives of people. What does it mean, for instance, to tell Guyanese that the economy is “growing”?But, rather inadvertently, even statistics can reveal the underlying reality that their presentations sometimes seek to mask — as was the case with the IMF report, which echoed the claims that the PNC-led APNU/AFC coalition government had been trumpeting. An interesting picture is formed if one places the performance of gold — which is doing so spectacularly on the backs of two foreign producers — in the centre of a graph that has the performances of the other contributors to the economy (say, President Granger’s ‘six sisters’) on either side of it. The gold statistic looks like the centre-post of a carnival tent that has collapsed around it. The question that is graphically posed is whether a tent is a tent when only the centre-post is left standing.And this is the question the Government is dodging as it insists on contradicting the Guyanese people in general and the business community in particular – those who are experiencing the effects of the collapsed “economic tent”. By the Government’s insistent refusal to accept the collapse of the economy, there is exposed its cluelessness on policies it should actually be proposing and implementing to secure a more balanced and robust performance in sectors other than gold.But what makes the Government’s lassitude and inertia in the economic field even more bewildering is that officials in change of this area are closing their eyes to the efforts other countries have made to confront analogous collapses in what, after all, has been a global problem since 2008. What they would discover is that the tenets of the neoliberal order that we bought hook, line and sinker in 1989 are, at the barest minimum, being questioned and, in many instances, being replaced. The assumption, of course, is that if one keeps repeating the actions that brought about the collapse, one is simply guaranteeing the continuation of that collapse.What were those tenets that must be questioned and possibly jettisoned? The first one, of course, was “market fundamentalism”: that the market should be allowed to make decisions on the allocation and distribution of resources in a country. The corollary was the demand that the state become a “night watchman” who simply sits around to ostensibly “protect” the economy. If the state were to intervene in any way — through production of goods or regulation of the private sector in any way — it would introduce “distortions” in the smooth running of the economy.Another tenet was that individuals and firms operated on the basis of what was called “rational expectations”. These tendencies are particularly noticeable in finance.It was not that the neoliberals did not think crises, which appeared to be inherent in the economy, would disappear, but they assumed that the market and rational expectations’ approach would successfully deal with them. In the decade since the 2008 crash, they have not, in most of the developed economies that were hardest hit. But yet, Guyana was able to buck the trend until this PNC-led APNU/AFC coalition government took office. What happened?If we examine the programmes of the PPP governments — especially those under Bharrat Jagdeo — we would see that the state played a much more interventionist role, just as even the US did when it pumped billions into private enterprise firms such as General Motors. Whether those roles were “Neo-Keynesian” or pragmatic can be interrogated, but it does not excuse the “don’t intervene” attitude of the Guyana Government.last_img read more

Kewpies on parade

first_imgThe Kewpies range in size – from 1 to 24 inches – and materials such as bisque, celluloid and vinyl. They come in several different characters, such as a bride and groom, police officer, prisoner, Lil’ Bo Peep, Sleeping Beauty, a soldier and an Olympian. Their distinctive look includes star fingers, a round head with a topknot of hair, and large eyes that look to the side. But the time has come for the Merriams to share their collection with others. “I liked them because they are happy,” Debbie Merriam said. “They smile, have big eyes and a little, chubby tummy.” The Merriams’ appreciation for the Kewpies started when their daughter had to go to the hospital for surgery. The couple bought her a small vinyl Kewpie doll and she carried it with her to the operating room. After that, Debbie Merriam saw a composite Kewpie she liked and bought it for herself. They soon found themselves “eyeballing every store for the pleasant doll,” Bill Merriam said. The Merriams realized that – like the rest of the world – they, too, were hooked by the charming icon. The Merriams’ entire collection of Kewpie dolls and toys is up for sale, but there is one item Bill Merriam said he will not part with – a large doll with a cloth body and plastic head. Bill Merriam said he has been talking to people in Tokyo, where the doll is also popular, and a local antiques dealer. But he wanted to allow anyone interested in the vintage doll to have a chance at buying one. “There are some things that just stay in the collection,” Bill Merriam said. The Merriams can be reached by calling (909) 985-4748. Staff Writer Lori Consalvo can be reached by e-mail at, or by phone at (909) 483-9391. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! UPLAND The sight of a hundred Kewpie dolls could trigger a range of emotions in people – from a sense of nostalgia to fear. But the image is a mixture of business and pleasure for Bill and Debbie Merriam. “If a guy’s got to play with dolls, I would rather play with a Kewpie than anything else on the market,” Bill Merriam, 75, said of the dolls designed by Rose O’Neill that date back to 1913. The Merriams have made a living for years as antiques dealers. And after more than 20 years of collecting Kewpies, they’re finally ready to part with the dolls. “I’ve got so many of them and my children are not real interested in them,” said Debbie Merriam, 70. “We have had them for so many years. We need to paint (the front room) and recarpet and get a new sofa.” Their asking prices range from $25 for a reproduction of a small doll to $900 for their most valuable figure, a black Kewpie, also known as a “Hot and Tot.” The Merriams have acquired a large collection of the Kewpies as well as other merchandise fashioned after the doll. The merchandise includes board games, books, clocks, dishes, lamps, puzzles, telephones and quilts. “They have a certain amount of innocence,” Bill Merriam said. “They wrote songs and books about the dolls. Kewpie was in the comics.” last_img read more

Mockery of justice

first_imgThe point of putting people into jail is to punish them for wrongdoing and deter them and others from similar behavior in the future. If judges are using meaningless jail time as a symbolic punishment or to cover up their unwillingness to treat celebrities like the rest of us, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate our correctional priorities – as well as to re-examine what kind of people are appointed to the judiciary. JUST hours after the most recent scofflaw starlet was sentenced, people were already discussing whether, once again, justice was applied unevenly. Depending on whom you ask, Lindsay Lohan’s one-day jail sentence Thursday – coupled with community service, rehab and probation – was either celebrity justice, symbolic, or about right for a first-time offender. And Nicole Richie’s 82-minute stay (of a four-day jail sentence) in county jail added the final spice. Looking past the immediate argument of whether celebrities are treated the same as regular folks when getting punished is the larger question of the point of a one-day jail sentence, let alone 82 minutes. How many of the already-thin county resources went into processing Richie into county jail? 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Report says that most common type of gorilla is near extinction

first_imgBy Erica Bulman THE ASSOCIATED PRESS GENEVA – The most common type of gorilla is now “critically endangered,” one step away from global extinction, according to the 2007 Red List of Threatened Species released Wednesday by the World Conservation Union. The Ebola virus is depleting western gorilla populations to a point where it might become impossible for them to recover. Commercial hunting, civil unrest and habitat loss due to logging and forest clearance for palm oil plantations are compounding the problem, said the Swiss-based group known by its acronym IUCN. “Great apes are our closest living relatives and very special creatures,” said Russ Mittermeier, head of IUCN’s Primate Specialist Group. “We could fit all the remaining great apes in the world into two or three large football stadiums. There just aren’t very many left.” In all, 16,306 species are threatened with extinction, 188 more than last year, IUCN said. A quarter of mammals are in jeopardy, as are one-eighth of birds, a third of all amphibians and seven-tenths percent of the plants that have been studied. “Life on Earth is disappearing fast and will continue to do so unless urgent action is taken,” the IUCN warned. The western gorilla’s main subspecies – the western lowland gorilla – has been decimated by the Ebola virus, which has wiped out about a third of the gorillas found in protected areas over the past 15 years. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Rostov pitch deemed unplayable just a WEEK after Man United complaints

first_imgManchester United boss Jose Mourinho’s complaints about the playing surface at FC Rostov’s Olimp-2 may have fallen on deaf ears at UEFA, but not the Russian Football Premier League.The RFPL on Wednesday announced it had deemed the surface unplayable.“The ban is imposed until the identified shortcomings are eliminated and the fields are brought into line with the established requirements of the regulatory documents,” a statement from the RFPL said.UEFA dismissed Mourinho’s complaints about the threadbare turf prior to last week’s Europa League last-16 first-leg clash.United drew 1-1 and host FC Rostov in Thursday night’s second leg at Old Trafford.The RFPL statement also applied to the Central Stadium in Kazan. Pictured: The Rostov pitch caused Jose Mourinho to recently complain 1last_img read more

Premier League transfer news: Chelsea striker hunt, Sanchez, Aubameyang latest

first_img1 We have entered the penultimate week of the January 2018 transfer window, and a number of deals are expected to be completed in the coming days.The swap deal involving Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan has finally been completed, and Chelsea’s hunt for a new striker should come to fruition before the end of the week.Follow’s live blog, below, to see all the latest transfer news and done deals on Monday, January 22. Follow’s transfer live blog last_img read more

Mia Khalifa, Jay-Z and Sting – Every Premier League club’s most famous fan

first_imgTom Hanks promised to ‘bleed claret and blue’ for Aston Villa during their Play-Off final victory over Derby County.While we hope the Hollywood legend did not mean it literally, football fans were surprised to see the Oscar-winner showing his supporter for the Villans. Noel Gallagher – Singer 22 Liverpool update ‘Champions Wall’ after ending 2019 as European and world champions 22 Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update 22 Premier League Latest Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? Sean Bean – Actor 22 22 On Monday I will bleed claret and blue for Aston Villa. One match away for a return to the Premier League. Up the Villa! Hanx— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) May 25, 2019Alongside Prince William, who was seen hugging John Carew at Wembley, Villa can lay claim to having possibly the most famous fan in world football.Or so we thought.Who could forget earlier in the season when former adult actress Mia Khalifa professed her undying love for West Ham?Khalifa was clearly a good luck charm for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, as they held on to win the game 1-0 thanks to Declan Rice’s first goal for the club. Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card shining Bill Nighy – Actor Crystal Palace 22 Tom Hanks – Actor getty Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Liverpool 22 Newcastle United J.K Rowling – Author LATEST getty Jay Z – Rap Artist 22 tense Will Ferrell – Actor latest Brighton and Hove Albion West Ham United Gary Lineker – TV presenter and former footballer Tottenham Hotspur Norwich City revealed 22 gameday cracker Actor Tom Hanks holds up an Aston Villa scarf Chelsea But despite her internet fame, Khalifa is certainly not recognised globally and there are plenty of other famous Hammers supporters across the world.Here at, it got us thinking about which other worldwide celebrities have vested interests in Premier League sides.Scroll down to see which superstar supports your club! Everton JIBE 22 Sylvester Stallone – Actor Seth Rogen – Actor 22 22 Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT AFC Bournemouth TROPHY 22 Mark Hammill – Actor The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 Arsenal 22 GETTY Aston Villa 22 22 Watford Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Justin Timberlake – Singer Liam Neeson – Actor gameday cracker REVEALED Manchester City Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Mai Khalifa shows her support for West Ham Burnley huge blow whoops deals 22 Sting – Singer Most Read in Football getty Manchester United Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January Hugh Jackman – Actor 22 22 James Corden – Actor Sheffield United Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Wolverhampton Wanderers getty Getty 22 Fat Boy Slim – DJ Leicester City Elton John – Singer no dice Southampton Prince Charles – Prince of Wales Craig David – Singer Lampard appears to aim dig at Mourinho for handling of Salah and De Bruyne at Chelsea 22 22last_img read more

Hearts ‘very close’ to new deal for defender John Souttar

first_imgCommitting John Souttar to Hearts on a new long-term contract is the next step towards stability at the club, according to manager Craig Levein.Levein is in the process of tying down several of his most important players as aims to settle his squad for the coming years.Captain Christophe Berra and defender Michael Smith have both signed new deals until 2021 and Levein hopes that Scotland cap Souttar will be the next to put pen to paper.The Hearts boss said: “I think to sustain any kind of excellence you need stability. “Brendan [Rodgers] has come in and done that at Celtic and arguably the next most successful manager in Scotland is Derek McInnes who’s been in his post longer than me.“I think it is hard to have a sustainable challenge without having stability, and that’s where we are trying to get to.“We have made some steps forward with Christophe [Berra] signing a new contract, Michael Smith signing a new contract and, I don’t want to say too much but, we are very, very close to John Souttar signing a new contract as well.“There are two or three others as well and that is solely around trying to create the stability that we are after.” Levein, who brought 18 new players to the club over the summer, said his focus was shifting towards his long-term ambitions for Hearts that would see fewer new players arrive, and the squad augmented by more young players from the academy system.He said: “This is a plan – a long-term plan – and the reason for it is the stop this constant changeover of managers, because every time you change it costs you money. Then that is money that is not going in to help the squad.“We will always sign players, of course, but I would expect the numbers to come down as the quality from the academy improves.”Meanwhile Hearts are not expecting to do any deadline day business, with Levein spending the evening in Glasgow watching rock band Snow Patrol.The Hearts manager said: “I’ll have my phone off, so it will be hard to get hold of me.“I’m really pleased with the squad. The players coming back will be like new signings.“I was so pleased with John Souttar on Saturday. [Steven Naismith] is back, we’ve brought [David] Vanecek in, we’ve brought Conor Shaughnessy in and we have Uche [Ikpeazu] and Peter [Haring] coming back from injury shortly.“That should give us enough strength-in-depth to get back to our early season form.”last_img read more

Let’s Do This Again: Are These Shoes Gray and Teal, or Pink and White?

first_imgFor what it’s worth, 89% of people who voted in a Buzzfeed poll went with gray and teal. It’s been like 12 minutes since an optical illusion photo went viral, so here you go.  Here’s the newest one in the tradition of “The Dress” from a few years back . . . Someone on Twitter named “TFILDOLANS” posted a picture of her shoe a few days ago.  And people are debating whether it’s gray and teal . . . or pink and white.last_img

Photo of the Week: Can You Hear Me Now?

first_imgRotary telephones and headphones carved into the Cincinnati Bell buildingWait, can you go around the block again? I saw something interesting on that building and want to check it out. That’s what I asked my husband when we were in Cincinnati, driving around downtown at dusk, looking for a place to eat dinner.We circled the block and slowly came up to the building again. And I confirmed what I saw. The building had an Art Deco look, which meant it was probably built in the 1920’s or early 1930’s (before the Great Depression hit), when Art Deco architecture was very popular across the United States. And there were rotary telephones and headphones carved into the building! Not surprised, I saw the sign on the side of the building, Cincinnati Bell Telephone, home of the local phone company. I couldn’t wait to do some research and learn more about the building.History of the Cincinnati Bell Telephone BuildingThe Art Deco building was designed by Harry Hake, Sr, a well-known local architect whose company specialized in public and commercial building architecture. When the Cincinnati Bell building opened in 1931, it contained the world’s longest straight switchboard, with 88 operator positions who handled outbound long-distance calls.The exterior of the building is limestone, marble, brass, nickel, and bronze. I noticed the Greek gods carved into the facade above the doors.But what stood out for me was the horizontal limestone frieze with carved telephones and headphones that encircled the building.The Cincinnati Bell Telephone Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. In addition to designing the Cincinnati Bell Telephone Building, Hake designed the Cincinnati Masonic Temple, Queen City Club, and the Court Street Fire Station which now houses the Cincinnati Fire Museum.Hopefully next time I’m in Cincinnati, it will be when the building is open and can see some of the details inside the building!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedPhoto of the Week: World Peace Bell in Newport, KentuckyChecking out the architecture in an older city is one of my favorite things to do. I love exploring and you can just imagine my delight when I found the county courthouse in downtown Newport, Kentucky, marveling at the red brick and limestone building from the late 1880’s. But as…In “Miscellaneous”Photo of the Week: Teller’s of Hyde Park in CincinnatiWhen I looked down the street from our parking spot in Hyde Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, I quickly noticed the unmistakable tall columns of a bank building. You’ve probably seen them as well in older communities. Banks built in the United States in the 1800’s and early 1900’s often included…In “Miscellaneous”Photo of the Week: Guardian Building in Downtown DetroitWalking around downtown Detroit, you’ll see a number of impressive buildings, from towering skyscrapers, to theaters, and historic churches. But one building that stands out for many people is the beautiful orange brick and gorgeous facade of the 40-story building at the corner of Congress and Griswold Known as the…In “Miscellaneous”last_img read more