Aug 16, 2019

America’s “low road capitalism”

From (of all places) the New York Times:

Those searching for reasons the American economy is uniquely severe and unbridled have found answers in many places (religion, politics, culture). But recently, historians have pointed persuasively to the gnatty fields of Georgia and Alabama, to the cotton houses and slave auction blocks, as the birthplace of America’s low-road approach to capitalism.

Read more here.

Aug 13, 2019

Nice non-work, if you can get it

From Bloomberg’s survey of the ultra-rich:

The numbers are mind-boggling: $70,000 per minute, $4 million per hour, $100 million per day.
That’s how quickly the fortune of the Waltons, the clan behind Walmart Inc., has been growing since last year’s Bloomberg ranking of the world’s richest families.
At that rate, their wealth would’ve expanded about $23,000 since you began reading this. A new Walmart associate in the U.S. would’ve made about 6 cents in that time, on the way to an $11 hourly minimum.

Read more here.

Aug 5, 2019

Education alone isn’t enough

Nick Hanauer writes in The Atlantic:

Income inequality has exploded not because of our country’s educational failings but despite its educational progress. Make no mistake: Education is an unalloyed good. We should advocate for more of it, so long as it’s of high quality. But the longer we pretend that education is the answer to economic inequality, the harder it will be to escape our new Gilded Age.

Read more here.

Jul 29, 2019

Frank Ackerman’s last post

From the final post by the extraordinary economist and thinker Frank Ackerman, who passed away this month:

I am honored to be invited to talk about a lifetime in economics. My work in the field follows a perverse arc of progress: from youthful optimism about a complete understanding of economics, to a more mature pessimism about how unpredictably bad the worst cases can turn out to be. Was studying economics still a good idea, despite the worsening implications that turn up as one digs deeper into it? How did the personal satisfaction of exploring the mathematics of the field relate to the unfair and uncomfortable reality of the U.S. and global economy?

Read his retrospective here.

Jul 29, 2019

Sociopaths in the boardroom

A corporate lawyer sees a problem:

Mr. Gamble has had an epiphany since retiring nearly a decade ago that is so damning of his former life that it is likely to give his ex-partners a case of agita.
He has concluded that corporate executives — the people who hired him and that his firm sought to protect — “are legally obligated to act like sociopaths.”

Read about it here.

Jul 24, 2019

School segregation in the USA

Nikole Hannah-Jones dissects the renewed controversy about “busing” in the effort to break apart America’s educational caste system:

I was one of those kids bused to white schools… Starting in second grade and all the way through high school, I rode a bus two hours a day. It was not easy, but I am perplexed by the audacity of people who argue that the hardship of a long bus ride somehow outweighs the hardship of being deprived of a good education.

Read more here.

Jul 22, 2019

Big Plastic

The plastic industry has an image problem:

Read about the industry’s spin control efforts here.

Jun 25, 2019

New left economics

Interesting piece in The Guardian on new thinking about the economy:

There is a dawning recognition that a new kind of economy is needed: fairer, more inclusive, less exploitative, less destructive of society and the planet. “We’re in a time when people are much more open to radical economic ideas,” says Michael Jacobs, a former prime ministerial adviser to Gordon Brown….

This “democratic economy” is not some idealistic fantasy: bits of it are already being constructed in Britain and the US. And without this transformation, the new economists argue, the increasing inequality of economic power will soon make democracy itself unworkable.

Read more here.

Jun 25, 2019

“Time to tear up our economics textbooks”

“”I don’t care who writes the nation’s laws – or crafts its advanced treaties – if I can write its economic textbooks.” – Paul Samuelson

In the Washington Post, Robert Samuelson (no relation) writes:

The modern era in economics textbooks began in 1948 with the publication of Samuelson’s first introductory edition. We now are at a similar moment. We need to tear up the existing texts and start over, adding what is relevant and discarding what is outdated or unimportant….

The role of introductory textbooks is not to educate the next generation of economists. They will take many courses. For most of us, the purpose of studying economics is more modest. It is to make the world a little more understandable and, with luck, to force us to acknowledge what’s realistic and what’s not. But to play this constructive role, the textbooks must be up to date.

Read his piece here.

Pages:1234567...36»