» And that’s just the low-end estimates. Analysts estimate that a gradual increase in the Pentagon’s budget to 4% of GDP would cost the United States roughly $2.1 trillion over the next decade. Should Romney win the election, and immediately push spending up to 4%, the subsequent spending could cost an additional $200 billion or more. While Romney is hardly the first to suggest such a plan, with past notable proponents including former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, some have been quick to condemn any plan tying the budget to GDP in any way. “GDP rises and falls. Do you really want your defense budget falling in a recession?” said Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments’ Todd Harrison, adding, “spending should be determined by the security environment — not the size of your economy.”
» Such evocative language in the source story: But before you get too excited about those three-tenths of one percent, just keep in mind the text that AFP used here: “The better-than-expected figure is unlikely to have a major impact on confidence in the enfeebled US economy, but tints the backdrop in a slight less gloomy hue.”
Our Tumblr friend Newsflick has been doing some great coverage of the Egyptian protests. And in general. He seriously runs a great site that offers a great view of international events. It’s one of our favorite Tumblr blogs, and a truly unsung hero as far as news coverage goes. We got these numbers directly from him – we take no credit, other than that we’re laying them out a little bit more to fit our style. Anyway, here goes:
» A few more stats (from us): The country sports 17 percent food inflation, which was one of the factors noted in the recent Tunisia uprising. While the country’s GDP growth is respectable, it’s also a severe sign of the country’s inequality. Nearly 40 percent of people – out of a population of 80 million – are poor, and the country’s unemployment is 25 percent. And youth unemployment is incredibly high around the world, especially in Egypt. But even in developed countries, it’s shocking: 40 percent unemployment in Spain. 20 percent unemployment in France. How does this happen? How does our youth culture become so unemployable in these countries? This is a big problem which shows a lack of long-term thinking. (Note: Some numbers just updated)
» What is “good enough,” anyway?: We’ll leave this assessment to someone who knows a little more about banking. “Growth really needs to be closer to 4% for a couple of years to bring down the unemployment rate,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo. So, in other words, we’re getting there, but this isn’t cooking with gas. This is the pilot light on the oven staying out for an extended period. The economy needs a spark.