Nov 5, 2014
boyce
Comments Off on More on Ebola and profit-guided health care

More on Ebola and profit-guided health care

Unusually blunt words from World Health Organization Director Margaret Chan:

Ebola emerged nearly four decades ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure?

Because Ebola has historically been confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest in products for markets that cannot pay. WHO has been trying to make this issue visible for ages. Now people can see for themselves.

Read her speech here. See press coverage here.

Oct 24, 2014
boyce
Comments Off on Why no Ebola vaccine?

Why no Ebola vaccine?

When the availability of health care is guided by corporate profit and state security, poor Africans just don’t count:

Almost a decade ago, scientists from Canada and the United States reported that they had created a vaccine that was 100 percent effective in protecting monkeys against the Ebola virus. The results were published in a respected journal, and health officials called them exciting. The researchers said tests in people might start within two years, and a product could potentially be ready for licensing by 2010 or 2011.

It never happened. The vaccine sat on a shelf. Only now is it undergoing the most basic safety tests in humans — with nearly 5,000 people dead from Ebola and an epidemic raging out of control in West Africa.

Its development stalled in part because Ebola is rare, and until now, outbreaks had infected only a few hundred people at a time. But experts also acknowledge that the absence of follow-up on such a promising candidate reflects a broader failure to produce medicines and vaccines for diseases that afflict poor countries. Most drug companies have resisted spending the enormous sums needed to develop products useful mostly to countries with little ability to pay.

Read more here.

Sep 17, 2014
boyce
Comments Off on core-econ

core-econ

Free access to the beta version of a remarkable new textbook that aims to change economics education:

http://core-econ.org/

For a review by Econ4’s David Bollier, see here.

Sep 15, 2014
boyce
Comments Off on Standard & Poor’s hits impact of inequality on state tax revenues

Standard & Poor’s hits impact of inequality on state tax revenues

S&P makes another important connection:

Extending our analysis to public finance, we find that income inequality is undermining the rate of state tax revenue growth.

For the report, see here.

For press coverage, see here.

 

Sep 15, 2014
boyce
Comments Off on Standard & Poor’s hits U.S. income inequality

Standard & Poor’s hits U.S. income inequality

From an August 2014 report by S&P:

  • At extreme levels, income inequality can harm sustained economic growth over long periods. The U.S. is approaching that threshold.
  • Standard & Poor’s sees extreme income inequality as a drag on long-run economic growth. We’ve reduced our 10-year U.S. growth forecast to a 2.5% rate. We expected 2.8% five years ago.

For the report, see here.

For press coverage, see here.

Sep 15, 2014
boyce
Comments Off on Rethinking Economics: a new international student network

Rethinking Economics: a new international student network

“An international network of rethinkers coming together to demystify, diversify, and invigorate economics”:

http://www.rethinkeconomics.org/

Sep 1, 2014
boyce
Comments Off on Dividends for all?

Dividends for all?

From Peter Barnes on PBS Newshour, discussing his new book With Liberty and Dividends for All:

Dividends from common wealth, by contrast, unite society by putting all its members in the same boat. The income everyone receives is a right, not a handout. This changes the story, the psychology and the politics.

Read more here.

Sep 1, 2014
boyce
Comments Off on German network of pluralist economics students

German network of pluralist economics students

German students organize for new economic thinking:

https://www.plurale-oekonomik.de/home/

Aug 8, 2014
econ4org
Comments Off on The carbon dividend

The carbon dividend

Econ4’s James Boyce writes on newly introduced climate legislation:

A major obstacle to climate policy in the United States has been the perception that the government is telling us how to live today in the name of those who will live tomorrow. Present-day pain for future gain is never an easy sell. And many Americans have a deep aversion to anything that smells like bigger government.

What if we could find a way to put more money in the pockets of families and less carbon in the atmosphere without expanding government? If the combination sounds too good to be true, read on.

Read his oped piece in the New York Times here. Read more about the new bill here.

Aug 8, 2014
econ4org
Comments Off on Banking on tax avoidance

Banking on tax avoidance

When corporations avoid taxes, investment banks take their cut:

Investment banks are estimated to have collected, or will soon collect, nearly $1 billion in fees over the last three years advising and persuading American companies to move the address of their headquarters abroad (without actually moving). With seven- and eight-figure fees up for grabs, Wall Street bankers — and lawyers, consultants and accountants — have been promoting such deals, known as inversions, to some of the biggest companies in the country, including the American drug giant Pfizer.

Just last week, President Obama criticized these types of transactions, calling the companies engaged in them “corporate deserters.” “My attitude,” he said, “is I don’t care if it’s legal. It’s wrong.”

Read more here. Read President Obama’s remarks on “corporate deserters” here.

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