Winter Updates III

So many updates this winter!

– my skiing repertoire now includes downhill
– learn from my mistake: do not try the biggest hill on your first day
– I’m seriously looking into visiting Easter Island Brazil
– I wish travelling to Iran was easier
– I wish more that Iran had freedom
– watching YouTube on my TV is great, especially in HD
– should I name my TV?
– I’m currently rocking a Black Thought/John Legend beard
– Toronto is saturated with culture and Torontonians don’t even see it

Rule 7 with my Cousins

Pedram: The original old testament describes an ora around Moses, but because of poor translation in the middle ages, ora was translated as horns. So in a lot of the statues from that time, Moses is depicted with horns.

Shiva: Really?

Pedram: Yah. Look it up.

Sina: Is it on Wikipedia?

Pedram: Yup.

Sina: Alright I believe you.

Forever the outcast

The Drummond Report has been released and, if all goes according to plan, it will set up the political will for Ontario’s government to go ahead with its austerity plans. Meanwhile, the Federal government has hinted that it is going to go ahead with its planned austerity despite evidence of a deteriorating economy at a time when the Bank of Canada is still operating at near-zero interest rates.

Now it’s certainly satisfying to see some of my work in the final report, but I think I might be the only person in the Ontario Ministry of Finance right now that advocates more spending and higher deficits across Canada. (I can’t really blame Ontario because this actually needs to happen at the federal level.)

For example, while the report instead talks a lot about transportation user fees and congestion taxes (which I don’t mind!), this might be the opportune moment for federal and provincial commitments to build high-speed rail in the Quebec-Windsor corridor. And subways! Toronto desperately needs more subways!

Sigh. Why does Canada insist on following the European example? It’s not working well for them, you know.

Amen, brother

I shut down my site recently for precautionary professional reasons. That goes against the most basic principle of my blog, which is that it should always be public and open (otherwise what’s the point of having a blog?!). And I purged some of the rottenness as well.

Which got me to think: why? And then, like most moments in my life, I was reminded of a comic.

[comic link]

As such, my site is back up and I’ve ended my short lived private-only post policy.

P.S. I also updated my site’s look to something proper. I think it’s just great.

I’m still Team Easterly though

When William Easterly agrees with Jeffrey Sachs, there are two possible reasons.

[Article Link]

1) Jeffrey Sachs is unusually right, or
2) William Easterly is unusually wrong.

Unfortunately in this case, Easterly is unusually wrong.

From the article:

Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman isn’t paying enough attention to growing U.S. government debt as he promotes deficit spending, Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs said.

“Krugman has staked out a rather crude Keynesian position and unrelentingly so,” Sachs said today.

Krugman “knows one thing, which is stimulus, stimulus, stimulus and expand deficit spending.”

Krugman has “under-emphasized the risks of growing debt, he’s over-asserted what we really know about the effects of these policies and he has underestimated the long-term need for public-sector change and reform,” Sachs said.

But it is all about stimulus (both fiscal and monetary). It is all about too much savings and not enough spending. And as long as there is a massive savings glut and interest rates are stuck at zero, federal government debt doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t.

Tell your friends.