Defending S&P’s downgrade of the US’s credit rating

Lots of ink and many bits are currently being spilled analyzing S&P’s downgrade of the credit ratings of the United States to AA+ from AAA late Friday. Most of the talking heads in America continue to pretend to not to understand the dynamic of this action, and S&P, which hasn’t covered itself in glory over the past several years, admittedly, is taking a lot of flak for this—even Warren Buffett disagrees, and of course, Buffett is never wrong (except for those times when he is). Paul Krugman, with whom I normally agree, takes a number of pot shots, but I think misses the larger picture. Eschaton has an elegant little summary that a number of people, including Krugman, think summarizes what our reaction should be (and Eschaton, aka Duncan Black, is also an economist).
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S&R Poetry: "Tokyo in the Underbrush" by Dan Ryan

Introduction

If I had read the instructions more clearly, these photographs would have gotten me into the photography program at the Yale University School of Art. But, like an idiot, I submitted this portfolio in print form rather than on 35mm slides as was required. Anyway, long story short: I didn’t get into Yale, though I did come close. Damned instructions.

Anyway, what you are about to read and view are poems and photographs I created while living in Tokyo in 1987 and 1988. The words were not specifically written for the images, but I paired each piece of text with each photo as a kind of experiment which I thought ended up working. You will note that all the photos are of Japanese drunks and homeless people. I was not on a social crusade, as I might be today. I was merely out to document an aspect of Japanese society which I could not believe existed. And it still exists, as my wife and I discovered during our trip to Tokyo in 2008. There are still tons of dispossessed in Ueno Park, for example. Continue reading