Friday, April 15, 2011

When Hoodlums Ran Amok in Stockholm

In a clip from March, 8, 1948, a very serious reporter describes the growing "youth problem" in Sweden. 15-18 year olds have "crossed the boundaries of decent behaviour and created problems for the local police." Fights, car thefts and disturbances have made the Stockholm police pay attention. See how the crowd disperses when Constaple Sven approaches. This being Sweden, there is a of course a solution: The youths have organized a club that rents a nightclub on Mondays where the young and restless (50 percent are children of divorce we are informed. On the night of the reporters' visit, a Jitterbug contest is taking place.. well what could you expect the reporter shrugs and informs us about the 80% drop in car thefts since the club opened.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Former Governor Jennifer Granholm Discusses Clean Energy Investments

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The President's Speech: Did Barack Obama Draw A Line In the Sand?

Obama's speech about the long-term budget crisis was strong and effective. He came out as the national leader setting the agenda, and wiping off the irresponsible and immoral proposal Paul Ryan presented a couple of weeks ago.

The Republicans threw a hissy fit, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan faked outrage and Rush Limbaugh emerged from the relative obscurity where he has been found himself due to the oversupply of nutty conservatives.

Now, lets hope that hos words will be match with deeds, and not backtracking ahead of the battle.

Hans Sandberg

PS. Here is New York Times comment on the speech:

President Obama, Reinvigorated

Monday, April 11, 2011

Progressives Are Loosing the Patience with President Obama

Paul Krugman is one of the most influential progressive economists in the U.S. He initially supported Hillary Clinton in the campaign, but later switch to a cautious support of President Barack Obama. He has been nudging the president to be firm, and warned repeatedly that the Obama stimulus package was too small to have the desired effect, something we know only to well now that it was true.
In his latest NYT column, Krugman scolds President Obama for wimpering out instead of leading the fight against the Republicans and Tea Party zelots:

"What have they done with President Obama? What happened to the inspirational figure his supporters thought they elected? Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn’t seem to stand for anything in particular?"
The President Is Missing

Hans Sandberg

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Excellent Frontline Show About the Deficit

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Is It Better to Invest in Facebook Than in Our Infrastructure?

The rationality of capitalism is based on the assumption that the market is the superior mechanism for guiding investments to where they are most needed. When it works, it works wonders, but it doesn't always work, as we've seen over the past few years. Instead of the invisible hand directing the economy to fulfill societies needs, we've seen a corrupt system where the rich and powerful plays the system to their advantage, until the giant casino collapsed.
The paradox of investments is that while markets are efficient at allocating funds between alternative projects over the short-term, they often fail to lead financial decision-makers to invest in long-term projects of great public value. Repairing a bridge at risk of collapsing is an obvious social need, but few investors would take it on. Infrastructure is considered boring, and most private investors would rather chase elusive and hyped up targets such as real-estate (before the crash) and Facebook (not crashed yet). Google, and Facebook are providing great value to the modern global society, but it is a systemic failure that capitalism under-invests in providing a safe and sustainable sturcture for human life, nationally and globally. Hence, capitalism must be balanced by the political system. This is not socialism, just common sense. For more about this dilemma, read this article from Truthout:

Infrastructure Cuts Would Make the Unthinkable Unsurvivable
Infrastructure Cuts Would Make the Unthinkable Unsurvivable
Infrastructure Cuts Would Make the Unthinkable Unsurvivable
Infrastructure Cuts Would Make the Unthinkable Unsurvivable
Hans Sandberg

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New York Times Dubs Dr. Hans Rosling Information Guru

The Swedish health expert Hans Rosling has attracted millions of fans since he gave his first performance at TED in 2007. Now he is a full blown web celebrity and - according to the New York Times - a "guru" in information design.

In an uncharted world of boundless data, information designers are our new navigators.       
They are computer scientists, statisticians, graphic designers, producers and cartographers who map entire oceans of data and turn them into innovative visual displays, like rich graphs and charts, that help both companies and consumers cut through the clutter. These gurus of visual analytics are making interactive data synonymous with attractive data.       
“Statistics,” says Dr. Hans Rosling, a professor of international health at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, “is now the sexiest subject around.”       
Dr. Rosling is a founder of Gapminder, a nonprofit group based in Stockholm that works to educate the public about disparities in health and wealth around the world — by offering animated interactive statistics online that help visitors spot trends on their own," Natasha Singer writes in i artikeln When the Data Struts Its Stuff.