North Dakota led the USA last year with a whopping growth rate in real GDP of 7.6%, more than five times the national average of 1.5%. This is the way we must all go and the way Iceland is going, so its just about how painful it will get and how we envisage the future.

See attachment for article on Iceland.

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Hi Kevin

It might pay to be cautious of articles that contain the phrase 'economic miracle'.  I think we have heard that one before. The report say 'more than one-third of North Dakota’s economic growth in 2011 came from its mining sector'. The question is, who benefits from this 'miracle', the people living in the area where this mining is occurring (think of tar-sand mining in Canada) or the CEO and shareholders of the company performing the activity?

That term GDP is also worth thinking about.

"Traditional economists use growth in the gross domestic product (GPD) as their measure of economic growth, which the public automatically assumes is the same as a measure of how well we are doing as a nation this year relative to last year. But this is not what it measures, and it was never intended to do so.
The problem is that GDP is a measure of total activity. Some items included are definitely costs to society and logically ought to be deducted rather than added, for example: environmental cleanup (e.g. Chernobyl, Love Canal, Exxon Valdez, Bhopal, BP in the Gulf of Mexico, Fukushima), highway accidents, prison costs, costs of treating social problems, effects of global warming (increasing frequency of violent storms, larger insurance premiums), unemployment costs and many health costs.
GDP is not an appropriate measure for the effectiveness of economic policy." (Ross Jackson - Occupy World Street).

A great many people are coming to the conclusion that 'growth' is far from good and that it is exactly the opposite. The relentless pursuit of 'growth' may well have  brought us to the brink of ecological disaster.

"Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on for ever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist." (Kenneth Boulding, ecological economist 1910 – 93).


I would say the article is the same old propaganda from the same people who got us into the financial crisis and whose only answer is more of the same. Remember what our mate David Malone said:


"We got into this mess by sitting and listening to the fatuous and self-serving assurances of the financial experts. Now we are sitting around letting the self-same economic experts tell us how to get out of it.  They were greedy, amoral, short-sighted, totally self-serving then; what makes anyone think they are different now?"


The article about Iceland is an altogether different story.  That is the one we should be paying attention to.


Cheers, Joe

I have read quite a bit on American politics and looked at the dissenting arguements that are in their 'free press'. These would be Truthout and Nation of Change amongst others. The situation in North Dakota seems to benefit from a State wide institution which was set up shortly after the first world war.(dates escape me). The mainstay of this bank is the State which funnels all its revenues through it and then re-invests into its own community whether this is 'public works; or expanding 'local business'. As all revenues due to the State, taxes and so forth, are paid into this very focused local bank it has been operating in 'virtuous circle' mode for a long time and is stable and trusted. Would that all banks had stayed as local and as focused.

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