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Having our cake and eating it too [13 Dec 2004|07:48pm]

Skeptics argue that we don't want to imitate a Europe burdened by costly social supports that drag down economies. But a half-dozen European countries, including France and Germany, now rival US productivity output per hour, even while workers put in 150 to 500 fewer hours a year than the average American, according to data released last month by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Meanwhile, Europe's work-family programs have expanded.

--- Maggie Jackson, Boston Globe, 2004 November 21

Different article, same paper:

On a recent trip to Germany, Baily, the economist, was struck by the widespread pessimism he encountered. Said Baily: "Germany had a pretty good long run of prosperity with generous social benefits, and people can see that it is no longer sustainable."

The Germans are right. What they had isn't sustainable. Wrenching adjustments lie ahead. That is the reality in a competitive world economy.

---Charles Stein, Boston Globe, 2004 November 21

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Spies Like Us [13 Dec 2004|10:59pm]
[ mood | amused ]

Was reading The Nation on the bus coming home tonight. Had to do a double-take when I came across the name of the new CIA executive director, Dusty Foggo. As a friend asked, "Is his last name War?"

The executive director of our top intelligence agency is named after two words indicating obscured vision.

I'm not one to make fun of people's names because they sound funny, them fahreners, but this one just struck me as a real Dewey, Cheatham and Howe kind of moment.

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