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links for 2011-08-23

  • Quote:""For years, popular psychologists have insisted that boys and men would like to talk about their problems but are held back by fears of embarrassment or appearing weak," said Amanda J. Rose, associate professor of psychological sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science. "However, when we asked young people how talking about their problems would make them feel, boys didn't express angst or distress about discussing problems any more than girls. Instead, boys' responses suggest that they just don't see talking about problems to be a particularly useful activity."

    Rose and her colleagues conducted four different studies that included surveys and observations of nearly 2,000 children and adolescents.[…] boys reported that talking about problems would make them feel "weird" and like they were "wasting time."

    // Duh. Talking about some problem is normally a waste of time. The best cure for worry is work.

  • Quote:"The American economy currently has both a short-term problem and a long-term problem. The short-term problem is that the economy is depressed; it is growing more slowly than the population, with the result that per capita income is declining. The high rate of un- and underemployment is a factor, but is itself the product of other factors, having mainly to do with the reluctance of over-indebted consumers (over-indebted in major part because of loss of equity in their houses, the major source of household wealth) to spend, the reluctance of the impaired banking industry to make risky loans, and the reluctance of businesses to invest and to hire, which is due in part to weak consumer spending and in part to profound uncertainty about the nation’s economic future.
  • Quote:"Politics are no exception. There’s been no federal government for more than a year, but the country is continuing to grow and outperform the single currency bloc as a whole. Belgian gross domestic product expanded 0.7% in the second quarter, compared to a euro zone average of just 0.2% according to EU statistics published yesterday.

    Last month, caretaker Prime Minister Yves Leterme cut the forecast for budget deficit to around 3.3% of GDP instead of 3.6%, well ahead of the deficit reduction path it agreed with the European Union, which targets a deficit of 4.1% this year.

    All these healthy signs come in the midst of a bitter political deadlock which has seen the country run by a caretaker government since June 2010.

    // Interesting result, given the other economies in the European sphere.

  • Quote:"Sales of new homes fell for the third straight month in July, a sign that housing remains a drag on the economy. If the current pace continues, 2011 would be the worst year for new-home sales in nearly half a century.

    Sales fell nearly 1 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That's less than half the 700,000 that economists say represent a healthy market.

    Last year, 323,000 homes were sold – the worst year on records that go back to 1963.

    // How could the recession have ended when the cause of the recession still hasn't found the bottom?

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