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Daily Pickings is a blog on issues and events related to the work of the Critical Thinking project and invariably references videos, articles, books and academic papers. Accumulation of these materials adds to the "Critical Thinking reference library". Use the search facility to find articles on specific topics or you can browse the titles of every Dailly Pickings article since inception via the Site Map for which you need to be registered.
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Critical Thinking is a collaborative, educational project relying on contributions from diverse sources.

Brand clarifies

It is easy to disparage those who raise their head above the parapet to tell the truth and the media love to laud or ridicule the messenger.

Russell Brand says, "When I was poor and I complained about inequality people said I was bitter, now I'm rich and I complain about inequality they say I'm a hypocrite. I'm beginning to think they just don't want inequality on the agenda because it is a real problem that needs to be addressed." Brand's refusal to vote is premised on the knowledge that power lies not at the ballot box.

Russell Brand: we deserve more from our democratic system

Following his appearance on Newsnight, the comedian explains why he believes there are alternatives to our current regime


Rebuttal of Matthias Chang

Yesterday's Daily Pickings referred to the fragility of the US dollar and included an opinion piece by Matthias Chang. Dick Eastman's rebuttal is certainly no defence of economic orthodoxy. On the contrary, it reinforces Critical Thinking's analysis of the monetary system and proposes remedies which, in principle, we could support.

Dick Eastman rebuts Matthias Chang article: "The Entire Fiat Money System is Bankrupt: Demise of the Global US Fiat Dollar Reserve Currency"

Hat tip to Rob and Jimmy for this

It is difficult to predict what will cause the next crisis or when it will occur but it is inevitable. We are in uncharted waters and icebergs abound.

False dawn

Positive numbers for GDP growth across developed nations are interpreted as though we're on the road to recovery. For the majority of people in the UK and elsewhere, not much has changed other than the cost of living has risen sharply while earnings have stagnated. Sure, the rich have got richer and central bank largesse, in creating and shovelling bucket loads of money into the pockets of those who hold assets, has created a "feelgood" factor for the affluent but for most, life has become significantly tougher.

The accumulated banking and sovereign debt problems haven't been resolved and the financial edifice is as fragile as ever. The next inevitable crisis could create a domino effect to bring it down.

The Entire Fiat Money System is Bankrupt: Demise of the Global US Fiat Dollar Reserve Currency By Matthias Chang

It has been claimed that Ireland is past the worst of its problems but the reality is somewhat different.


Extreme poverty and fiscal policy

Fiscal policy concerns government taxation and spending (as opposed to monetary policy which is about varying the money supply to achieve economic aims). The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, invites civil society organizations and National Human Rights Institutions to submit contributions on the human rights impact of fiscal and tax policy.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights