Some entries to catch up from the last two days, but first some thoughts on sense of scale.
To begin, I use this map from the header from another (neglected) blog of mine to show how we have travelled down to near the bottom left hand of the world and are creeping up again.
For sense of scale, here's another map sourced from Wikipedia showing American comparisons of the economies of states with the GDP of other countries. In these terms we have motored down through an economy the size of Austria, we are in the top of Iraq and heading for Italy, in 2012 numbers.
Here are the top ten states in 2015, according to Wikipedia.
Here are some world comparison numbers from several sources .
So on this scale, it takes a couple of Australian economies to match Italy and you have to add an Oregon to get to the size of California. Then, on IMF ranking, you need to add a Washington State to get one Indonesia. Two Californias and a Washington State will have you around the size of a Japan. Take the Japan and the California and the Washington State and hello India. Two Indias and a Japan added together gets you ahead of either China or the US and with a worried look over shoulder from the EU.
So, for today's exercise children, California is big.
And on the side, may I remind people in Australia who don't come to terms with the importance of Indonesia, that they would do well to look at the numbers above and see where we sit. Oh, and as this comment relates to the upsurge of feeling about Indonesia's exercise of the death penalty, I was struck looking at the left column immediately above that among the 18 countries ranking higher than Australia, more than half practice the death penalty.... Which tends to reinforce my preference for drawing attention to Australia's place on the UNDP's Human Development Index. How long will we maintain our place up there with big government Norway if we vote in governments that do not understand what civil society is?