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It Was A “Baht” Time!

imfgoIF Republican grandees like George Shultz, William Simon, and Walter Wriston are calling for an end to the International Monetary Fund as we know it, then it is clearly an issue whose time has come. The IMF has become a global force for hardship, austerity, and economic failure. Wherever the IMF travel schedule takes its senior staff, grass never grows again.

Last summer IMF chief Michel Camdessus visited Thailand and strongly suggested that the baht be de-linked from the U.S. dollar in order to effect a 15 per cent depreciation. Admittedly, by that stage, a devaluation of the baht had become inevitable. As Milton Friedman wrote in these pages a month ago about the Asian crisis: “The central banks of the countries involved tried to achieve two objectives — peg the exchange rate and promote domestic expansion — with a single instrument: control of the domestic money supply (more precisely, the banks’ own liabilities). The resulting domestic inflation led to overvalued exchange rates . . . Not devaluing would have been a second mistake that would only have increased the harm done by the first mistake.”

Thailand’s turmoil before and since the … Read the rest

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Protectionism: Never Good, No Matter The Intentions

pngMr. Borjas is professor of public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. This article draws upon work reported in “How Much Do Immigration and Trade Affect Labor Market Outcomes?” written jointly with Richard B. Freeman and Lawrence F. Katz and published in the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 1997.

THE defeat of “fast track” boosts protectionism in both political parties. The labor unions and Dick Gephardt were already emotionally committed to “fair trade” as a means of saving American jobs. They will now calculate that it is also good politics. Pat Buchanan will be similarly tempted to stress tariffs rather than immigration reform in his “America First” package. So the political debate may continue to ignore the potential economic trade-offs between free trade and immigration — although new research shows they can be dramatic.

Trade and immigration have risen sharply in recent decades. In 1970, exports and imports stood at 8 per cent of GDP; by 1996, they had risen to about 19 per cent. Much of this increase is trade with the Third World: by 1996, nearly 40 per cent of all imports came from there. … Read the rest

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Complexities Of Snoring And Stop Snoring Devices

You don't have to use a CPAP as your snoring device.

You don’t have to use a CPAP as your snoring device.

Snoring is not considered a very serious health problem by many and most of the people will keep on ignoring it for years. People ignore snoring because they do not know a way out of it. There was no easy solution to stop snoring that was known in the past but things are different in modern times. There are lots of solutions available to alleviate snoring, for example you can try some stop snoring devices to help you out. These devices are made particularly to address the causes of snoring. Once you know the actual cause of your snoring you can control it with these devices. At first snoring seems a very harmless disorder but it can turn into a very complex and serious sleeping disorder with time. You will need to invest a lot in the right devices to overcome those sleeping disorders but you can keep snoring to its minimum level by taking some precautions. A basic cause of snoring is irregular breathing patterns during the night time and you can resolve this issue very easily by doing regular exercise – especially if you can make yoga and running your daily part of life – then it will be lot easier to enhance your breathing power.

What Is Stop Snoring Mouthpiece?

Snoring happens when the individual relaxes the throat, tongue and roof of the mouth, and the resulting air becomes obstructed and causes these muscles to vibrate. The narrowing of the inhalation passage ends up being the cause of snoring. Snoring may be light or loud. In case of loud snoring, it affects the person as well as the others around the affected person causing sleeping disturbance. Snoring also may cause serious diseases to the affected person.

Hence, preventive measures to stop snoring will extend relief to the affected person and the others around allowing sound sleep. There are many ways to stop snoring, which include surgery inside the mouth, using the appropriate appliances to bring the tongue slightly outer during sleep or to adjust the jaws inside the mouth so that sufficient air can be possible to inhale during the time of sleeping, using nasal sprays/lotions to keep the nasal passage free.

The appliances, which are used in the mouth to bring the tongue slightly outer or adjust the jaws (upper and lower) to keep free for air inhaling, are known as a mouthpiece. The stop snoring mouthpiece (see some reviews here) has Continued…

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Easy To Use Skin Tag Removal Products

strpHaving skin tags is a problem that many people have had to contend with. While some people are more likely to grow these soft, benign tumors, almost every person can develop them. Not that they are a big medical problem to an individual. On the contrary, there is not as much as irritation that people experience when they have skin tags. Usually, just the appearance of these skin growths is what pushes people to seek skin tag removal products. They will usually ruin the smoothness of eyelids, necks and armpits, which are the parts of the body they mostly frequent.

When you need to get rid of these skin problems, there are a number of methods that can be used. Freezing and even severing them are some means through which you can redeem the smoothness of your skin. However, in recent times, people are opting for simple to use procedures for removal. This is mainly in the form of OTC skin tag removal products. As anyone would expect, there are a number of such products mostly in the form of creams and formulas. With easy application, the right kind of product will enable you have smooth skin after a number of uses.

How To Choose The Right Means To Remove Skin Tags

Skin tags may not cause you any pain or irritation but may be a source of flawed skin. This is the reason why many people choose to alleviate these growths from the skin.  There are a number of methods that can be used to remove them and leave the skin smooth. Cutting and freezing are some of the approaches that can be used to rid your skin of this menace. Many people even choose to use OTC skin tag removal products because it allows them an easy home remedy. However, before you determine the best approach to use in this regard, there are a number of things that you may wish to consider.

First, the impact that the method of removal will have Continued…

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Minor Differences Mean Major Finance Issues

mfmMARION Barry, the mayor of Washington, D.C., has put up $100,000 of his taxpayers’ money so the city can compete to host the next summer Olympics. Apparently he hopes to enter himself in the crack and field events.

This promises to be a most educational month or two in the international markets. What has gone on so far in Asia promises to be just a runup to the main events. Let’s take South Korea, whose economy is bigger than those of Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia put together.

The more conspiratorially minded followers of international finance tend to believe that there is some person or group with superhuman intelligence and power who will be able to orchestrate a bailout of the system — at the expense, of course, of the small producer, investor, voter, taxpayer, etc. My own experience is that the world is ruled more by collective incompetence than by conspiracy. I think we are about to see my hypothesis proved right.

South Korea has a minimum of $60 billion of foreign-currency debt due in less than one year. It may have foreign-exchange reserves of as much as $30 billion (the optimistic … Read the rest

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Solving Education Woes Difficult, But Necessary

seWHEN administrators in the Connetquot school district on New York’s Long Island decided earlier this year to hire more teachers for their schools, they began their selection process by requiring that the would-be teachers — all of them graduates of education schools — demonstrate the ability to answer the reading-comprehension questions on the State High School English Regents Test, which the school’s own students had been given over the years.

Here is the beginning of one reading passage and the questions based on it.

The freeze-up on Black Bear Lake is a prelude to winter. The freeze-up is a prelude to hardship. The freeze-up is a prelude to loneliness. . . .

1. The effect of lines 1 and 2 is achieved by the narrator’s use of what literary device?

a) Contrast.

b) Symbolism.

c) Definition.

d) Repetition.

2. The narrator associates the freeze-up with . . .

a) Difficulty and isolation.

b) Observation and judgment.

c) Conflict and resolution.

d) Challenge and accomplishment.

These were typical questions from the test. Of 758 licensed teachers who took this multiple-choice exam, only 202 could answer the required 80 per cent of the questions … Read the rest

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Diana: Remembering The Present

pdTEN days after Princess Diana died in a Paris car crash, she was still the top story on the nightly network news. Money pouring in to the charitable fund established in her memory had reached $150 million. Flowers sent to her island grave entirely carpeted the island and were causing environmental problems. Crowds were still lining up to sign the books of condolence at Kensington Palace and at British embassies. A Tory MP reports that people signing the condolence book in his constituency did more than sign it: they copied out heartfelt testimonials to her drafted ahead of time. What explains this extraordinary outpouring of grief? Diana’s photogenic beauty?

Not alone, surely: there are other women as lovely or lovelier. Her good works? But Mother Teresa, whose life was devoted to others, received respect rather than adoration in death. That she was a wronged woman, Diana the Sad?  We saw a flawed, beautiful, willful, well-meaning woman go from fairy-tale romance through modernity’s prosaic discontents to the climax of a death borrowed from grand opera.

Even so, the excessive grief that we have displayed says more about us than about the Princess. … Read the rest

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