Browsing articles in "Articles"
Aug 21, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Justice for all who can pay for it

Justice for all who can pay for it

Reviewing Joe Stiglitz’s new book, The Price of Inequality, Thomas Edsall pulls this quote:

America has become a country not ‘with justice for all,’ but rather with favoritism for the rich and justice for those who can afford it — so evident in the foreclosure crisis.

 

Read his review here.

Aug 8, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Time for real job creation

Time for real job creation

Econ4’s Juliet Schor calls for getting real to create jobs for youth:

It is not surprising to learn that last year’s class suffered the highest level of stress on record, according to an annual survey of college freshmen taken over the past quarter century.

One reason the situation is so bad in the US is that nearly all the burden of adjustment since 2008 has been to lay people off, rather than share hours, as was done in Europe.

Read more here.

Jul 31, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Know your climate’s enemy

Know your climate’s enemy

Bill McKibben breaks down the “new math” of global warming:

We have five times as much oil and coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn….

Yes, this coal and gas and oil is still technically in the soil. But it’s already economically aboveground – it’s figured into share prices, companies are borrowing money against it, nations are basing their budgets on the presumed returns from their patrimony. It explains why the big fossil-fuel companies have fought so hard to prevent the regulation of carbon dioxide – those reserves are their primary asset, the holding that gives their companies their value. It’s why they’ve worked so hard these past years to figure out how to unlock the oil in Canada’s tar sands, or how to drill miles beneath the sea, or how to frack the Appalachians.

Read it here.

Jul 24, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on TBTF = TBTR?

TBTF = TBTR?

Does “Too Big To Fail” also mean Too Big To Regulate?

Gretchen Morgenson talks with Neil Barofsky, former special inspector general for TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program) about his new book, Bailout:

“So much of what’s wrong with Dodd-Frank is it trusts the regulators to be completely immune to the corrupting influences of the banks,” he said in the interview. “That’s so unrealistic. Congress has to take a meat cleaver to these banks and not trust regulators to do the job with a scalpel.”

Finally, Mr. Barofsky joins the ranks of those who believe that another crisis is likely because of the failed response to this one. “Incentives are baked into the system to take advantage of it for short-term profit,” he said. “The incentives are to cheat, and cheating is profitable because there are no consequences.”

Read her piece here.

Meanwhile Gar Alperovitz finds a surprising source of support for nationalization of banks that are TBTF and TBTR:

Most liberals in Washington — President Obama included — keep hoping the banks can be more tightly controlled but otherwise left as is. That’s the theory behind the two-year-old Dodd-Frank law, which Republicans and Wall Street are still working to eviscerate.

Some economists in and around the University of Chicago, who founded the modern conservative tradition, had a surprisingly different take: When it comes to the really big fish in the economic pond, some felt, the only way to preserve competition was to nationalize the largest ones, which defied regulation.

Read his column here.

Jul 23, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Share the Work

Share the Work

Writing in The Guardian, Dean Baker explains that there’s more than one way to skin the unemployment cat:

The average worker in Germany and the Netherlands puts in 20% fewer hours in a year than the average worker in the United States. This means that if the US adopted Germany’s work patterns tomorrow, it would immediately eliminate unemployment.

Read his piece here.

For more on work and time in America, check out Take Back Your Time.

Jul 22, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Offshore Loot: The (Really) Big Picture

Offshore Loot: The (Really) Big Picture

A trillion here, a trillion there… pretty soon you’re talking real money. The London Observer reports new estimates of the world’s offshore wealth:

A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary £13 trillion ($21tn) of wealth offshore – as much as the American and Japanese GDPs put together – according to research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network.

Read more here.

Jul 20, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Confidence Men & Fairytales

Confidence Men & Fairytales

In “Capitalism Unmasked,” Econ4′s joint project with AlterNet, Paul Davidson tours a fairytale world:

Conservative economists and their friends like to trot out a mythical being whenever they want to make arguments that favor an economy built for the wealthy at the expense of ordinary people. This imaginary being, known as the Confidence Fairy, is only happy when capitalists are given free rein to do whatever they want – even if it brings us to the brink of a global economic meltdown.

Read his essay here.

Jul 19, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on When Corporatism Masquerades as Liberty

When Corporatism Masquerades as Liberty

In “Capitalism Unmasked,” Econ4′s joint project with AlterNet, Edward Harrison writes on the peril to democracy posed by out-of-control credit markets:

“Corporatism masquerading as Liberty” … is a sort of crony capitalism steeped in the language of liberty that some are using to remove the protections we have built up to uphold and safeguard our individual rights. The goal of this corporatism is to give corporations the sorts of liberties that permit them to use their size, influence and money to tilt the playing field to their advantage. Absent any kind of regulatory oversight, these behemoths can run roughshod over individuals, trampling their rights and liberties in the process.

Read his piece here.

Jul 18, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Command and Control Meets the Market

Command and Control Meets the Market

In an essay for “Capitalism Unmasked,” Econ4′s joint project with AlterNet, Lynn Parramore writes on the new economic bondage:

This has been coming for some time. Ever since the Reagan era, from the factory to the office tower, the American workplace has been morphing for many into a tightly-managed torture chamber of exploitation and domination. Bosses strut about making stupid commands. Employees trapped by ridiculous bureaucratic procedures censor themselves for fear of getting a pink slip. Inefficiencies are everywhere. Bad management and draconian policies prop up the system of command and control where the boss is God and the workers are so many expendable units in the great capitalist machine. The iron handmaidens of high unemployment and economic inequality keep the show going.

Read her piece here.

Jul 14, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Corporate Corruption: The Spreading Scourge

Corporate Corruption: The Spreading Scourge

Speaking of bringing bad things to life, Eduardo Porter writes in the business section of The New York Times:

Company executives are paid to maximize profits, not to behave ethically. Evidence suggests that they behave as corruptly as they can, within whatever constraints are imposed by law and reputation….

And the furious rush of corporate cash into the political process — which differs from bribery in that companies pay politicians to change laws rather than bureaucrats to ignore them — is unlikely to foment ethical behavior.

Read the story here.