22 February 2016 – This week Will and I ended up with so much to say that we did the whole show ourselves. I open with an update on the economic crisis in Puerto Rico and I follow that with a quick take on economic canaries, Maersk and CSX.
I’m up next with answers to listener questions relating to the article, “It’s Not About the Debt,” by Chad Stone. I get into some detail about why using debt-to-GDP ratio as a metric makes no logical sense. As part of my explanation I draw from the excellent Levy Economics Institute Working Paper (Number 603), “Does Excessive Sovereign Debt Really Hurt Growth? A Critique of This Time It’s Different, by Reinhart and Rogoff.”
We also mark the passing of the gifted author and thinker, Umberto Eco. Both Will and I have been deeply impressed by his works and given the bent of the current US elections many of Eco’s literary themes seem inordinately timely.
In Extra Mad I venture out into the weeds of GDP; what it is, what it isn’t, what’s wrong with it and the various options. If you listen to the podcast version of the show I’m betting you will be surprised by relevancy of this topic.
We do have new interstitial music this week from Bua, the great traditional Irish band. Check out their website and support their music. Traditional music artists have an especially challenging road and artists as fluent and musically astute as Bua are rare.
As always, Hopping Mad is available here as a download as well as on Stitcher and iTunes. We are on Twitter and Facebook as IMHoppingMad. We LOVE receiving your feedback, questions and corrections. Spring is coming! – Carrots! Arliss
21 September 2015 – I wanted to take just a moment to tell you about the music we are using as part of Hopping Mad. Music is a large part of both of our lives and we wanted to reflect that in the show. In fact, just last night Will sent me a link for Mongolian rap. I know what just flashed through your mind…Will is crazy. Okay, that’s true but the link he sent took me to an incredible video. How DO Mongolian throat singers do that? Really, if you aren’t already a fan of Mongolian rap then you simply must listen to this. After you come back I’ll tell you about the music we are using in the show.
Our intro music is a small snip from the lead-in to the great James Taylor’s song, Stand And Fight. It’s a deep cut from Taylor’s 1981 album, Dad Loves His Work. This is a song every progressive around the world should, at the very least, hear and I recommend you purchase it so you can listen to it whenever you need to remind yourself why the hell you are doing all this (fill in the blank) anyway. Here’s a link to the complete song on iTunes: Stand and Fight.
Liz Carroll isn’t just any traditional Irish fiddler. First of all, she was raised in the American Midwest. Still, Liz made her mark in traditional Irish music early when she won the All-Ireland* senior category competition in fiddle (a very competitive category) at the age of eighteen. She was also honored with a National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1994 and became the first Irish-American traditional Irish musician nominated for a Grammy (2010) for her album with John Doyle. We feature music from two of Liz’ albums, Lake Effect (2002) and On the OffBeat (2013). From the former we are using The Rock Reel/Morning Dew/Reeling on the Box and from the latter we are using Liam Child’s/Balkin’ Balkan/The E-B-E Reel. Even from the very short selections we are using on Hopping Mad it is clear that Liz is an extraordinary musician and composer. She is also just a generous and lovely person. We thank her for allowing us to use her work and encourage you to download more of her music. Trust us when we say, it doesn’t get better than Liz.
[*Note: the “All-Irelands” are the major international competition for Irish music…obviously.]
Our outro music is by one of my very favorite singer-songwriters, John Gorka. Here’s a tip as to how old I am – the first several John Gorka albums I purchased were on vinyl. Then I bought them again on cassette. Then I bought them again on CD. Then I downloaded them from iTunes. Oh – and I have seen him in concert more than a dozen times. If you could see the iTunes section of my computer you would know that I listen to a LOT of music. So much so that my iTunes music library has to live on its own terra-drive and at any given time I limit myself to a mere 2000ish songs downloaded onto my phone. Even amidst all of that, I listen to John very frequently. His songs Lightning’s Blues and Flying Red Horse feel like old friends. Still, those songs were from early in John’s career and he just continues to get better. The song we are using as an outro is Ignorance and Privilege. It is from John’s 2009 album So Dark You See which, I have to tell you, doesn’t have a weak song on it anywhere. The message of Ignorance and Privilege is both powerful and timely. Please support music, support John and support us by purchasing some of John’s music. It will make your day. – Carrots! Arliss