Grant F. Smith, director of research at the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy and author of Big Israel: How Israel’s Lobby Moves America, discusses the poll showing Americans think the US’s $38 billion military aid package to Israel would be better spent elsewhere, and IRMEP’s lawsuit claiming aid to Israel is downright illegal.

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  • What role (if any) should the gov’t play in the continued funding of cutting-edge scientific research? According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and  Development), approximately 10% of all R&D conducted globally is directly funded by governments, with approximately 60% done by private industry and 20% by educational institutions. Granted, this number probably doesn’t take into account indirect gov’t funding through tax subsidies and incentives. That 10% goes towards projects on the cutting edge of science, such as NASAs various space ventures and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (funded through the governments of the member states). Proponents of big gov’t science, such as Neil Degrasse Tyson, have stated in the past that projects like these are unlikely to be privately funded due to their high risk, high cost, and lack of return on investment. Gov’t, claims Tyson, is required to make the initial step and take all the risk so that private firms can follow in its wake with a clear picture of the requirements of such endeavours. TAM 2011: Our Future in Space Would such high risk, high cost projects be possible without gov’t backing?

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  • Hello, I’ve become quite keen on Jeffrey Rogers Hummel views on inflation. That governments don’t get as much cash money as they used to from Seigniorage(money printing)…becuase of some details of the modern banking system. Hummels view is that the US Gov is more likely to actually default on it’s bonds than print it’s way out of it’s financial problems as so many of us libertairans often predict. Any way…. how are people actually calculating the revenue states are getting from seigniorage? There is constant mention to specific statistics in his works on what revenue governments make from printing money…but how are economists attempting to calculate this so exactly? “Almost none of the developed countries could boast seigniorage amounting to more than 1 percent of GDP, despite the fact that the study incorporated the inflationary years of the 1970s. Joseph H. Haslag’s smaller sample of 67 countries over a longer period, 1965 to 1994, finds that seigniorage averaged about 2 percent of total output for the entire sample, ranging from as low as 0.25 percent to as high as 9.98 percent (for Ghana).” However, I’m not smart enough to figure out how this is being calculated? When I Google — I see Seignoarge defined as the cost to money vs what the money is worth. (if it costs 1cent to print a dollar bill than Seigorage is 99cents). Pennies have negative seigniorage — cost the Gov more to mint than 1 cent.) But for the point Hummel is making it seems like a more sophisticated calculation? How did people figure out that for example in WW2 seignorage was 6%? Perhaps this is rather obvious? Thanks! –Luke

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  • Who are the money changers? What role have they played in history?

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  • A Penny Doubled Dailey For Thirty Days comes to a Total of $5,368,709 and 12 Cents. 1 .01 2 .02 3 .04 4 .08 5 .16 6 .32 7 .64 8 1.28 9 2.56 10 5.12 11 10.24 12 20.48 13 40.96 14 81.92 15 163.84 16 327.68 17 655.36 18 1,310.72 19 2,621.44 20 5,242.88 21 10,485.76 22 20,971.52 23 41,943.04 24 83,886.08 25 167,772.16 26 335,544.32 27 671,088.64 28 1,342,177.28 29 2,684,354.56 30 5,368,709.12 Is the power of compounding working for you or against you?  Hint: are you paying interest or making interest?

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  • So, I am in the process of taking an Arab/Israeli conflict class, and the more I think about it, the more I wish I could solve all of this death and destruction in the middle east. In this discussion post, I would like to stay on the Arab – Israeli conflict; primarily those that arose due to Israel becoming a state. (I.e. – The Palestinian refugee problem). Comment your thoughts, and how you think we may could solve all of this conflict across the world.

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