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Hit them where it hurts 

Stephen Byers reckons targeted trade sanctions by Europe could hurt president Bush’s re-election chances. I’d guess that it would just increase anti-European sentiment, which would probably help Bush.

Two worlds 

Deborah Branscum sums up many of the dilemmas for us Americans living in Europe. “When people ask me if I’m going to become a Swedish citizen, I start laughing because it’s such an odd idea.”

That said, when the day comes that Britain becomes a republic I’ll happily apply for citizenship and carry two passports.

Mr Darcy 

I’m glad to see that Brad DeLong is at last concentrating on matters of true importance.

“So how rich is Fitzwilliam Darcy, anyway? What does ten thousand (pounds) a year in the aftermath of the Napoleonic War mean, really?

“I have two answers, the first of which is $300,000 a year, and the second of which is $6,000,000 a year.

“In relative income terms — relative to the average of disposable incomes in his society — Fitzwilliam Darcy’s 10,000 pounds a year of disposable income gave him about the same multiple of average income in his society as an annual disposable income of $6,000,000 a year would give someone in our society.

“On the other hand, my guess is that someone today with a disposable income of $300,000 a year can spend it to get the same utility as Fitzwilliam Darcy could by spending his disposable income of 10,000 pounds a year. By our standards, early nineteenth century Britain was desperately poor. There are lots of things we take for granted–and that are for us trivially cheap–that Fitzwilliam Darcy could not get at any price. Consider that Nathan Meyer Rothschild, richest (non-royal) man in the world in the first half of the nineteenth century, died in his fifties of an infected abscess that the medicine of the day had no way to treat.”

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