Category - Economics

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While I’ve Been Gone…
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What Do You Do with a Failed State?
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Further Thoughts on the Pacific Economies Article
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Are Island Economies Viable?

While I’ve Been Gone…

Next week I leave for Buffalo for a weekend with the family, centered around the wedding of a niece. After that, thankfully, it’s back to the islands to set up camp on Guam.  Just today I received an email confirming that I will be living at the cathedral rectory in downtown Hagatna (as it is now called).  I’ll be doing pastoral work on weekends, teaching a course at the seminary, and trying to take advantage of whatever opportunities come along to do useful things. A few projects have already been proposed by some–for instance, a short book to commemorate the Diocese of the Carolines.  I’m sure there will be others. The truth is that I haven’t found myself idling for too long at any stage of my life. Read More

What Do You Do with a Failed State?

First, you find out what the term means.  Unfortunately, the Fund for Peace, an NGO that each year publishes the Index of Failed States, doesn’t seem to offer much help.  It offers a list of symptoms–civil strife, hunger, poor economic performance despite sometimes rich resources, breakdown in government services, widespread corruption, and a steady flow of refugees heading for the border.  But at bottom all these are just consequences of the core problem: a national government that is too weak and ineffective to rule. Read More

Further Thoughts on the Pacific Economies Article

The article that is posted here has already drawn several responses, not as comments here but as emails.  Perhaps I should have posted a disclaimer.  I’m not an economist, as is probably obvious to those who have read the article, but only a dabbler with a fascination in the history of economies on the world stage. Even in that area the reading list I can draw on is embarrassingly short. Read More

Are Island Economies Viable?

We all know that the Micronesian island nations are having problems building their economies.  Palau might be doing better then FSM and the Marshalls, but they all seem to be heavily dependant on Compact funds from the US.  Are the US-related island nations north of the equator doing worse than the rest of the Pacific Island nations?  Perhaps because they’ve become fat and lazy due to the Compact funds?

Last year, working with two Fordham graduate students, I gathered as much economic data about the island nations as possible so that we could compare the Micronesian nations with the rest.  When looked at this way, Read More

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