Regional Community Development News – May 30, 2011 - Announcements and Regional Links. & Financial Crisis.

Announcements and Regional Links.
    .01  Call for Papers and Organized Sessions - 2012 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers - February 24 - 28 - New York, NY, USA
All scholars, researchers, and students are welcome to participate. The deadline for submitting abstracts is September 28.
 The AAG accepts all submitted abstracts and organized sessions for presentation. If you have any questions about these guidelines please direct them to Oscar Larson at
    .02  Call for Papers - Localism: Sufficient and fit for purpose? - November 3, 2011 - University of Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester, UK - Regional Studies Association
Conference Objectives
Localism and regionalism tend to be seen as conflicting and competing conceptions of territorial organisation. Indeed, there are well rehearsed, albeit evolving, debates which engage with the theoretical and policy architectures underpinning regionalism and localism. These two forms of territorial organisation have their origins in different schools of thought, underpinned by fundamentally different ideals around the structure and role of both government and governance in territorial management, the scales at which these functions are most effectively operationalised and how they relate to each other. The current debates in the UK on Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS) illustrate this.

Nevertheless, many successful economies around the world have strong local government structures which are complemented by regional structures, either in the form of federal elected regional bodies, regional development institutions, or special purpose delivery vehicles. International evidence suggests that a regional structure provides a mechanism for thinking strategically about priorities of regional significance such as economic development and transport; that it allows scope for the setting of longer-term policy priorities; and that it can coordinate and frame collective arguments and priorities, and in doing so can provide a conduit through which to lobby national government and, increasingly, international agencies, yet also organise a plethora of local interests. This raises a crucial question which will form the theme for this conference: can localism deliver effective interventions and outcomes at a time when economic shifts have forced an adjustment to social, political, and cultural norms to which places must respond?
Please submit offers of papers in the form of 400 word abstracts through the Regional Studies Association on-line conference portal by Monday 6th June 2011.
    .03  Bottom-Up Regional Statements - 14 Regions - Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade
During Round 3, County team members from every County worked together to come to consensus on the top five regional priorities, based on the existing content from the County Summaries. The product of those work sessions will be posted here for ten (10) days of public review, until May 27th. This work product is a piece of content that will be dropped into a larger regional template including a prologue, resource map, list of top five regional priorities, discussion about specific connections between the regional statement and the statewide blueprint, and finally a body of appendices.
    .04  EDA Regional Innovation Network -
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez … unveiled a web portal to launch the Regional Innovation Acceleration Network (RIAN), an effort in collaboration with the State Science & Technology Institute to promote organizations that are growing regional economies and creating jobs through innovation.
RIAN is an initiative to accelerate the growth of Venture Development Organizations (VDO), entities that make direct investments in companies and new ideas and increase access to capital in order to turn innovations into companies with jobs to drive America’s economy. VDO’s are non-profit, business driven partnerships with government, community foundations, universities and civic organizations focused on promoting technology and innovation-based development. They provide a multifaceted portfolio of services tailored to address specific needs of their particular regional economy.
    .01  What Inflation Means to You: Inside the Consumer Price Index -
Chart:  CPI and Core CPI - Cumulative Change and Annual Rate of Change - 2000-April, 2011
Full article
The Fed justified the current round of quantitative easing "to promote a stronger pace of economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with its mandate" (full text). In effect, the Fed is trying to increase inflation, operating at the macro level. But what does an increase in inflation mean at the micro level — specifically to your household?
Let's do some analysis of the Consumer Price Index, the best known measure of inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) divides all expenditures into eight categories and assigns a relative size to each. The pie chart below illustrates the components of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers, the CPI-U, which I'll refer to hereafter as the CPI.

    .02  The New Feudalism - Global Economic Intersection
    Guest Author:  Derryl Hermanutz is a student of economic philosophy and frequent commentator on the subject.  This essay was originally written as a discussion comment on Dirk J. Bezemer’s recent article “This is Not a Credit Crisis.”
Dr. Bezemer is certainly on the right track by beginning his discussion with an objective observation of the core of the problem, which is unpayable debt. It is astonishing to see the extent to which so many academics, economists, financiers, pundits, financial journalists, bloggers, advocates, government and monetary officials, and ideologues of the various persuasions, apply their versions of “magic arithmetic” to the numbers of money, believing that somehow the economy can pay the banking system MORE money than exists.
The Babylonians recognized that for every credit there is a liability. In our system, where money is created and issued by the commercial banking system as loans at interest, for every credit of a $1000 loan at 5% interest, there is a corresponding debt charged to the borrower of $1050. The banks create ALL of our money. $1000 was created but $1050 is owed. The banks do not want your economic production in payment, they want money. But the banks have a monopoly on the production of money so the only money that exists is the money they create as loans which they credit to the borrower’s deposit account. The money to pay the interest is never created, so unpayable debt increases each time more new money enters the closed system.
Playing with Marbles
The fantasists believe that by some magic arithmetic the money to pay interest will somehow manifest itself. They believe that normal arithmetic does not apply to money numbers. ...
    .03  This Spanish Spring is the Real Thing - 21st Century Wire
It was perhaps inevitable given its long associations with, and geographical proximity to the Maghreb, that Spain should be the first European country to be swept up by the wave known as the “Arab Spring”. Protests have been raging across the country since May 15th, and like previous rumblings in Greece, this Spanish Spring will likely send a new shockwave through the EU.
An entirely false sense of prosperity engendered by their own infamous construction bubble is at the root of Spain’s subsequent economic collapse, with the by-product that the Spanish coastline has been completely and permanently ruined by the plethora of “Urbanisations” and “Apartamentos” that litter the once scenic Corniche. While thousands were temporarily employed as builders, surveyors, plumbers, estate agents and the like, their prosperity was only intermittent. But it had to end sooner or later. The market became completely saturated with identical apartments, few with any sense of place or purpose, bar enabling northern Europeans to soak up sun and sangria. Now the buyers have all gone away, thousands of flats and villas lie empty, unfinished building projects litter the edges of town centres and what have they got? Very little.
Franco’s failure to build a technological base in the mid 20th century, exacerbated by his democratic successors squandering of the opportunities afforded by EU membership, mean that Spain has very little to fall back on. ...
Thousands are now camped out in central Madrid along with 60 other sites nationwide, creating temporary cities of the dispossessed. The mainstream media in Britain and the West have chosen to largely ignore this phenomenon, perhaps because they fear that “it could happen here”.

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