The Great Gatsby Curve: Inequality and Social Mobility by Country

An interesting graphic from Bloomberg Business Week:

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In Memory of Kenneth Arrow (1921-2017)

The great American economist Kenneth Arrow, whose work has often been misused, died last month. A great modeler, yes, but also an economist who never forgot on what assumptions the models were based. One of his deeper insights:

“A democratic polity is supposed to be based on egalitarian distribution of political power. In a system where virtually all resources are available for a price, economic power can be translated into political power by channels too obvious for mention. In a capitalist society, economic power is very unequally distributed, and hence democratic government is inevitably something of a sham. In a sense, the maintained ideal of democracy makes matters worse, for it adds the tensions of hypocrisy to the inequality of power.

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Gettysburg Address: Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) Redux

Once again it feels like we are in a political Civil (or even uncivil) War, once again at Gettysburg:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Abraham Lincoln November 19th 1863

One of two photographs of Lincoln at Gettysburg, Lincoln highlighted in sepia.
lincolnatgettysburg

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Conflict Art: Peace Sign Paradox

peace-sign-soldiers

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Wars of the 20th and 21st Centuries: Piero Scaruffi

Useful information from Pierro Scarfuri: Wars and Casualties of the 20th and 21st Centuries

(slowly extending it back to the 19th century as i find data)by Piero Scaruffi

160 million people died in wars during the 20th century

(See also Modern Genocides)

TM, ®, Copyright © 2009 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.



1860-65: USA civil war (628,000)
1886-1908: Belgium-Congo Free State (8 million)
1898: USA-Spain & Philippines (220,000)
1899-02: British-Boer war (100,000)
1899-03: Colombian civil war (120,000)
1899-02: Philippines vs USA (20,000)
1900-01: Boxer rebels against Russia, Britain, France, Japan, USA against rebels (35,000)
1901-32: Saudis vs Arabian kingdoms (?)
1903: Ottomans vs Macedonian rebels (20,000)
1904: Germany vs Namibia (65,000)
1904-05: Japan vs Russia (150,000)
1910-20: Mexican revolution (250,000)
1911: Chinese Revolution (2.4 million)
1911-12: Italian-Ottoman war (20,000)
1912-13: Balkan wars (150,000)
1915-23: Ottoman genocides (1.2 million Armenians, 500,000 Assyrians, 350,000 Greek Pontians and 480,000 Anatolian Greeks)
1914-18: World War I (20 million)
1916: Kyrgyz revolt against Russia (120,000)
1917-21: Soviet revolution (5 million)
1917-19: Greece vs Turkey (45,000)
1918-20: Russian civil war (1 million)
1919-21: Poland vs Soviet Union (27,000)
1928-37: Chinese civil war (2 million)
1931: Japanese Manchurian War (1.1 million)
1932-33: Soviet Union vs Ukraine (10 million)
1932: “La Matanza” in El Salvador (30,000)
1932-35: “Guerra del Chaco” between Bolivia and Paraguay (117.500)
1934: Mao’s Long March (170,000)
1936: Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia (200,000)
1936-37: Stalin’s purges (13 million)
1936-39: Spanish civil war (600,000)
1937-45: Japanese invasion of China (500,000)
1939-45: World War II (55 million) including holocaust and Chinese revolution
1946-49: Chinese civil war (1.2 million)
1946-49: Greek civil war (50,000)
1946-54: France-Vietnam war (600,000)
1947: Partition of India and Pakistan (1 million)
1947: Taiwan’s uprising against the Kuomintang (30,000)
1948-1958: Colombian civil war (250,000)
1948-1973: Arab-Israeli wars (70,000)
1949-: Indian Muslims vs Hindus (20,000)
1949-50: Mainland China vs Tibet (1,200,000)
1950-53: Korean war (3 million)
1952-59: Kenya’s Mau Mau insurrection (20,000)
1954-62: French-Algerian war (368,000)
1958-61: Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” (38 million)
1960-90: South Africa vs Africa National Congress (?)
1960-96: Guatemala’s civil war (200,000)
1961-98: Indonesia vs West Papua/Irian (100,000)
1961-2003: Kurds vs Iraq (180,000)
1962-75: Mozambique Frelimo vs Portugal (10,000)
1962-75: Angolan FNLA & MPLA vs Portugal (50,000)
1964-73: USA-Vietnam war (3 million)
1965: second India-Pakistan war over Kashmir
1965-66: Indonesian civil war (250,000)
1966-69: Mao’s “Cultural Revolution” (11 million)
1966-2016: Colombia’s civil war (200,000)
1967-70: Nigeria-Biafra civil war (800,000)
1968-80: Rhodesia’s civil war (?)
1969-: Philippines vs the communist Bagong Hukbong Bayan/ New People’s Army (40,000)
1969-79: Idi Amin, Uganda (300,000)
1969-02: IRA – Norther Ireland’s civil war (3,000)
1969-79: Francisco Macias Nguema, Equatorial Guinea (50,000)
1971: Pakistan-Bangladesh civil war (500,000)
1972-2014: Philippines vs Muslim separatists (Moro Islamic Liberation Front, etc) (150,000)
1972: Burundi’s civil war (300,000)
1972-79: Rhodesia/Zimbabwe’s civil war (30,000)
1974-91: Ethiopian civil war (1,000,000)
1975-78: Menghitsu, Ethiopia (1.5 million)
1975-79: Khmer Rouge, Cambodia (1.7 million)
1975-89: Boat people, Vietnam (250,000)
1975-87: civil war in Lebanon (130,000)
1975-87: Laos’ civil war (184,000)
1975-2002: Angolan civil war (500,000)
1976-83: Argentina’s military regime (20,000)
1976-93: Mozambique’s civil war (900,000)
1976-98: Indonesia-East Timor civil war (600,000)
1976-2005: Indonesia-Aceh (GAM) civil war (12,000)
1977-92: El Salvador’s civil war (75,000)
1979: Vietnam-China war (30,000)
1979-88: the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan (1.3 million)
1980-88: Iraq-Iran war (435,000)
1980-92: Sendero Luminoso – Peru’s civil war (69,000)
1984-: Kurds vs Turkey (35,000)
1981-90: Nicaragua vs Contras (60,000)
1982-90: Hissene Habre, Chad (40,000)
1983-: Sri Lanka’s civil war (70,000)
1983-2002: Sudanese civil war (2 million)
1986-: Indian Kashmir’s civil war (60,000)
1987-: Palestinian Intifada (4,500)
1988-2001: Afghanistan civil war (400,000)
1988-2004: Somalia’s civil war (550,000)
1989-: Liberian civil war (220,000)
1989-: Uganda vs Lord’s Resistance Army (30,000)
1991: Gulf War – large coalition against Iraq to liberate Kuwait (85,000)
1991-97: Congo’s civil war (800,000)
1991-2000: Sierra Leone’s civil war (200,000)
1991-2009: Russia-Chechnya civil war (200,000)
1991-94: Armenia-Azerbaijan war (35,000)
1992-96: Tajikstan’s civil war war (50,000)
1992-96: Yugoslavian wars (260,000)
1992-99: Algerian civil war (150,000)
1993-97: Congo Brazzaville’s civil war (100,000)
1993-2005: Burundi’s civil war (200,000)
1994: Rwanda’s civil war (900,000)
1995-: Pakistani Sunnis vs Shiites (1,300)
1995-: Maoist rebellion in Nepal (12,000)
1998-: Congo/Zaire’s war – Rwanda and Uganda vs Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia (3.8 million)
1998-2000: Ethiopia-Eritrea war (75,000)
1999: Kosovo’s liberation war – NATO vs Serbia (2,000)
2001-: Afghanistan’s liberation war – USA & UK vs Taliban (40,000)
2001-: Nigeria vs Boko Haram (20,000)
2002-: Cote d’Ivoire’s civil war (1,000)
2003-11: Second Iraq-USA war – USA, UK and Australia vs Saddam Hussein’s regime and Shiite squads and Sunni extremists (160,000)
2003-09: Sudan vs JEM/Darfur (300,000)
2004-: Sudan vs SPLM & Eritrea (?)
2004-: Yemen vs Houthis (?)
2004-: Thailand vs Muslim separatists (3,700)
2007-: Pakistan vs PAkistani Taliban (38,000)
2011-: Iraq’s civil war after the withdrawal of the USA (150,000)
2012-: Syria’s civil war (320,000)
2013-: ISIS in Syria, Iraq, Libya (?)
2013-15: South Sudan vs rebels (10,000)
2014-16: Ukraine’s civil war (9,500)


Arab-Israeli wars

  • I (1947-49): 6,373 Israeli and 15,000 Arabs die
  • II (1956): 231 Israeli and 3,000 Egyptians die
  • III (1967): 776 Israeli and 20,000 Arabs die
  • IV (1973): 2,688 Israeli and 18,000 Arabs die
  • Intifada I (1987-92): 170 Israelis and 1,000 Palestinians
  • Intifada II (2000-03): 700 Israelis and 2,000 Palestinians
  • Israel-Hamas war (2008): 1,300 Palestinians

Main sources:

  • Charny: Genocide – A Critical Bibliographic Review (1988)
  • Stephane Courtois: Black Book on Communism (1995)
  • Clodfelter: Warfare and Armed Conflicts (1992)
  • Elliot: Twentieth Century Book of the Dead (1972)
  • Bouthoul: A List of the 366 Major Armed Conflicts of the period 1740-1974, Peace Research (1978)
  • R.J. Rummel: Death by Government – Genocide and Mass Murder (1994)
  • Matt White’s website
  • Several general textbooks of 20th century history
  • Sources vary, and it is difficult to find one reliable source for everything. Many of these numbers keep changing.
  • Caution: In the age of Wikipedia there is also the problem that numbers tend to escalate dramatically as people on each side keep claiming higher and higher casualties. If one had to believe Wikipedia, the Middle East would be depopulated by now (instead of having consistently experienced a population boom).
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Our Tasks

“The tasks that have been entrusted to us are often difficult. Almost everything that matters is difficult and everything matters.

from Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke 1903.

(PS When I worked for the US military I always liked their use of the word tasking: something you were accountable to do.)

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Handling Sexual Harrassment: West Wing Style

My favorite West Wing clip illustrates come uppance and also the best possible cure for sexual harrassment: it also shows the value of a good BATNA, best alternative to a negotiated agreement, in this case the Secret Service..

 

 

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