Browsing articles tagged with " inequality"
Jul 28, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Time for new code

Time for new code

Peter Buffett, co-chair of the NoVo Foundation, writing in the Times on the limits of philanthropy:

As more lives and communities are destroyed by the system that creates vast amounts of wealth for the few, the more heroic it sounds to “give back.” It’s what I would call “conscience laundering” — feeling better about accumulating more than any one person could possibly need to live on by sprinkling a little around as an act of charity…

It’s time for a new operating system. Not a 2.0 or a 3.0, but something built from the ground up. New code.

Read more here.

Jul 25, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Greed today, gone tomorrow

Greed today, gone tomorrow

Lynn Parramore, writing for Alternet, explains why investment in innovation has declined in America:

There’s a motto on Wall Street: “I.B.G.-Y.B.G.” or “I’ll Be Gone, You’ll Be Gone.” As long as you’re making money right now, what happens tomorrow is not your problem.

It’s everyone else’s problem. Witness the decline in the number and quality of jobs, the middle class evaporating, and the financial instability that brought about the Great Recession.

Read more here.

Jul 23, 2013
econ4org
Comments Off on Top dogs and low lifes

Top dogs and low lifes

Check out this new research on the psychology of privilege and greed (or what some economists dub “rational behavior”):

Source: PBS News Hour.

Jul 23, 2013
econ4org
Comments Off on Why GDP fails to measure economic well-being

Why GDP fails to measure economic well-being

A primer on the defects of GDP as a measure of economic well-being, from Econ4’s James Boyce:

Source: The Real News Network.

Jul 22, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Bankrupt politics hits Detroit

Bankrupt politics hits Detroit

Robert Reich breaks down the local politics behind the Detroit bankruptcy:

Much in modern America depends on where you draw boundaries, and who’s inside and who’s outside. Who is included in the social contract? If “Detroit” is defined as the larger metropolitan area that includes its suburbs, “Detroit” has enough money to provide all its residents with adequate if not good public services, without falling into bankruptcy. Politically, it would come down to a question of whether the more affluent areas of this “Detroit” were willing to subsidize the poor inner-city through their tax dollars, and help it rebound. That’s an awkward question that the more affluent areas would probably rather not have to face.

In drawing the relevant boundary to include just the poor inner city, and requiring those within that boundary to take care of their compounded problems by themselves, the whiter and more affluent suburbs are off the hook. “Their” city isn’t in trouble. It’s that other one – called “Detroit.”

Read his blogpost here.

Jul 20, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Big farm tribute

Big farm tribute

James Stewart writes in The Times about the latest economic travesty to come out of the U.S. House of Representatives:

It’s hard to imagine a more widely reviled piece of legislation than the nearly $1 trillion farm bill. Its widely ridiculed handouts to wealthy farmers and perverse incentives have long united liberals concerned about the environment, conservatives upset about the deficit and market-distorting subsidies, and just about everyone concerned about basic fairness.

Just about everyone, that is, except the powerful farm lobby and its allies in Congress, which every five years or so since the Depression has managed to fight off any meaningful reforms and actually increase farm subsidies.

And now they’re doing it again…. many of the same legislators up in arms about government spending and welfare abuse nonetheless voted for an increase in federal subsidies to wealthy farm interests.

Read more here.

May 31, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Just do the math

Just do the math

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich writes:

The means of most Americans haven’t kept up with what the economy could and should provide. The economy is twice as large as it was three decades ago, and yet the typical American is earning about the same, adjusted for inflation.

Read more here.

May 30, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Chomsky on student debt

Chomsky on student debt

From a wide-ranging interview with Noam Chomsky:

[O]ne of the main problems for students today — a huge problem — is sky-rocketing tuitions.  Why do we have tuitions that are completely out-of-line with other countries, even with our own history?  In the 1950s the United States was a much poorer country than it is today, and yet higher education was … pretty much free, or low fees or no fees for huge numbers of people.  There hasn’t been an economic change that’s made it necessary, now, to have very high tuitions, far more than when we were a poor country.

Read Chomsky’s breakdown of the rich-country-indebted-student paradox here.

Apr 8, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Who’s got the world’s wealth?

Who’s got the world’s wealth?

The world’s richest 300 people have as much wealth as the poorest 3 billion:

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWSxzjyMNpU

Mar 30, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Straight talk about the next American revolution

Straight talk about the next American revolution

Advance praise for What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution (Chelsea Green, April 2013), by Econ4’s Gar Alperovitz:

“Gar Alperovitz’s new book is so plain-spoken and accessible that it takes a moment to appreciate the magnitude of his accomplishment. After examining new patterns of positive change emerging in America today—including many undernoticed changes that involve democratizing the ownership of wealth—he develops a brilliant strategy for the type of transformative change that can lead America from decline to rebirth. In giving a sense of strategic direction and honest possibility to the call for a new economy, Alperovitz has made an enormous contribution exactly where it is most needed.”
James Gustave Speth, author of America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy

“In this important new book, Gar Alperovitz is telling us there’s something happening here in corporate-driven America, be it social enterprise, community land trusts, worker-owned businesses, or employee stock ownership plans. We all know that the free-market economic system no longer works for the vast majority of citizens and Alperovitz is showing us that there is a better, equally American way, to spread the wealth and put more people to work, while making the nation a safer and healthier place to live. This is not an utopian fantasy or a call for social engineering, but a plain-spoken and easy-to-absorb analysis by one of our leading economists of what’s gone wrong and how to make it better.”
Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker