more links. . .
> 14 may 2009
red hot chili peppers [ht: sc]. . .
> 13 may 2009
on the economic front, some think the glass is half full, some that it's half empty; some of us think it's time for an entirely new glass. . .
on the sports front, 3 down. . .
2 to go. . .
a bit of history for the HSM sit-in. . .
Women's Trade Union League of Chicago, Official Report of the Strike Committee: Chicago Garment Workers' Strike, October 29, 1910-February 18, 1911 [Chicago : s.n., 1911]. . .
> 12 may 2009
this time, a sit-in. . .
> 11 may 2009
fuzzy rates of exploitation? [ht: ja]
final grades are in. . .
> 9 may 2009
sign of the times?
> 8 may 2009
and here's a link to the geography of job losses
The course characteristic of modern industry, viz., a decennial cycle (interrupted by smaller oscillations), of periods of average activity, production at high pressure, crisis and stagnation, depends on the constant formation, the greater or less absorption, and the re-formation of the industrial reserve army or surplus-population. [Marx, Capital, vol. 1]
by the numbers: 120K - 563K = -497K —> 8.9% (U-3)
and for those graduating soon. . .
average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers. . .
one final mental health break. . .
> 7 may 2009
even Posner makes sense every once in awhile. . .
And let's not forget to apportion some of the blame to the influential economists who assured us that there could never be another depression.
more from DD. . .
The response of governments worldwide to the financial crisis has been to give the structure of private profit-taking an ever-growing scaffolding of socialised risk.
for the students writing their third and final essay. . .
> 6 may 2009
what won't they do to earn their keep? [write a paper criticizing mnc's, that's what]
commodifying nature. . .
The more one knows of its peculiar history, the more one realizes that wilderness is not quite what it seems. Far from being one place on earth that stands apart from humanity, it is quite profoundly a human creation—indeed, the creation of very particular human cultures at very particular moments in human history. It is not a pristine sanctuary where the last remnant of an untouched, endangered, but still transcendent nature can for at least a little while longer be encountered without the contaminating taint of civilization. Instead, it is a product of that civilization. [William Cronon]
mental health break--for the students finishing up those final research papers. . .
> 5 may 2009
inspired design in everyday life--for bus stops
one of my own favorites, in Vermont. . .
another mental health break. . .
> 4 may 2009
one part of the financial sector is growing--and lobbying hard to keep it that way [pdf]. . .
mental health break, for students taking final exams. . .
some good responses from students to my 17 February lecture on the political economy of health care in the United States, including. . .
Dr. Ruccio pointed out that although comprehensive studies which link lower socio-economic classes to poorer health exists in other countries, such as England, no such studies exist in the United States. This is most likely due to the fact that Americans try to ignore the issue; if evidence is found, we may be then obligated to act accordingly to bring justice, and better coverage for everyone would have to begin. Dr. Ruccio highlighted these severe inequalities: the average CEO gets 411 times more than the average production worker, the wealthiest 1% of people in the US earn 12% of the total amount made in the country, which the lowest 20% of people only earn 5%. The US has one of the worst distributions of wealth of any industrialized nation, and ranks just about Brazil, and this inequality extends to health care also.
The findings of these studies in fact portrayed the inequalities in health care which exist between the rich and the poor. The lower class has a lower life expentency, due to factors such as higher tobacco use, environmental hazards, and most notably, lack of access to health care. With limited or no care, or decreased access to and quality of care, it is not wonder that the lower class has more health problems.
In addition, issues which need to be on the political agenda but are sometimes overlooked include an emphasis on community-based care, where physicians and nurses work as a team. The inequalites in society also need to be addressed to improve the health of the entire population, not just the wealthy.
the rich in Brazil who have so much to protect. . .
More than 7,000 vehicles were armored for civilian use in Brazil in 2008, up from 1,782 a decade earlier, and the pace has continued in 2009 despite the economy’s dispiriting first quarter, according to the Brazilian Association of Bulletproof Manufacturers. [NYT]
twin problems: the UAW and employer-based healthcare [Doug Henwood]
> 2 may 2009
later in the day. . .
I Want Revenge but at least I had the Celtics against the Bulls
my picks: I Want Revenge Nowhere to Hide Join in the Dance
> 1 may 2009
may day protests around the world. . .
Haymarket Square [actually 4 May 1886, to protest police violence against those participating in the 1 May general strike for an 8-hour work day]. . .
the labor trail [created by the Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies]
labor unrest in Chicago, 25 April-4 May 1886, leading up to the Haymarket incident [a wonderful map created by Michael P. Conzen and Christopher P. Thale for the Encyclopedia of Chicago History]
> 30 april 2009
art, price, and value [at the Centro di Cultura Contemporanea a Palazzo Strozzi]. . .
[Thomas Locher, 2007]
more Illinois poverty from crisis, in new reports. . .
As many as 405,000 more Illinoisans—132,000 of them children—are likely to have been pushed into poverty as a result of the recession, according to the Heartland Alliance Mid-America Institute on Poverty's newly released 2009 Report on Illinois Poverty. The projected increase would represent a 27 percent jump in the number of people living in poverty in the state over the past two years.
and even when capitalism is not in crisis. . .
Nearly 1.5 million Illinoisans, almost 12 percent of the state's population, were in poverty in 2007—before the recession began—the most recent year for which poverty data are available. More than 667,000 Illinoisans lived in extreme poverty in that year on an annual income of less than half of the poverty line (less than $11,000 for a family of four). An additional 16.2 percent—more than 2 million residents–were on shaky financial ground with incomes between the poverty line and twice the poverty line.
> 29 april 2009
so much for those little green shoots. . .
> 27 april 2009
another result of the crisis: Rafael Correa appeared headed for an outright election victory, which would make the left-wing economist the first Ecuadorean president in 30 years to be chosen without a runoff vote.
Tim's world. . .
> 26 april 2009
photographs of bankers who left Iceland after the financial crisis have a new use in the restroom of a bar in Reykjavik
[in addition to pissing on the bankers, Icelanders voted out the right-wing Independent Party and elected Johanna Sigurdardottir: head of the Social Democrats, former flight attendant, the first woman to lead Iceland's government, and the first out lesbian to lead any government in the modern world]
> 25 april 2009
> 24 april 2009
a little local music here [ht: nk]
we're probably better off than when he's awake. . .
> 23 april 2009
hell's kitchen: my future teaching model
> 21 april 2009
or how dumb do they think we are. . .
more numbers: $4.1 trillion (total losses with the financial crisis, according to the IMF), or $630 for every man, woman and child on the planet
> 20 april 2009
still worth a read. . .
> 19 april 2009
> 14 april 2009
> 13 april 2009
on Engels, the Frock-Coated Communist
pirate economies. . .
The most powerful check on captains and quartermasters was that they did not hold their positions by natural right or blood or success in combat; the crew elected them and could depose them. . .[The contemporary] model of C.E.O. leadership is increasingly being questioned, with a greater emphasis being placed, at least rhetorically, on the need for executives to be more responsive to employees and on the value of dividing authority (although no one is seriously considering letting ordinary employees elect the boss). [James Surowiecki]
> 11 april 2009
Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided. Thirty-somethings are a bit more supportive of the free-enterprise approach with 49% for capitalism and 26% for socialism. Adults over 40 strongly favor capitalism, and just 13% of those older Americans believe socialism is better. [Rasmussen]
> 8 april 2009
lots of red ink. . .
> 7 april 2009
> 6 april 2009
letter from a friend to the NYT. . .
Stephen Greenhouse’s otherwise effective synopsis of the history of U.S. labor militancy (“In America, Labor Has and Unusually Long Fuse” April 5, 2009 Week in Review) suffers from a simple but profound omission. A key factor explaining the decline of labor militancy since the halcyon days of the 1930s and 1940s has been American employers’ virulent repression of labor militancy and unions per se that transformed the character of American labor as an institution as well as U.S. workers’ political culture, and made such basic tools of labor militancy as a legal strike a suicidal act.
As recent scholars of the history of U.S. labor relations have shown, the uniquely (to the U.S.) large industrial employers of this country mobilized against unions beginning in the 1940s on a scale matched by no other advanced industrial nation on Earth. Riding the wave of anti-communism, the militant leaders of U.S. labor were routed out of and expunged from U.S. unions, including the destruction of most of the eleven major industrial unions ejected from the Congress of Industrial Unions in 1949 for having allegedly communist leadership. Employers and employer associations financed a massive ideological campaign against unions that featured the hard sell that only a union-free “free enterprise” economy was consistent with the values of an anti-communist America at the height of the Cold War.
Finally and most importantly, U.S. employers have attacked and killed off militancy, especially legal strikes, through a virulent five-decade campaign to destroy private sector unions that has been an immense success. The cornerstones of this effort have been the transformation of the strike into management a tool to break a union; as University of Berkeley scholar John Logan has shown, American employers discovered that by using permanent replacement workers, companies could deploy a “management strike” provoked by unreasonable demands on unions for give backs. In such a strike non-union workers, who eventually are permitted under U.S. labor law to vote the union out, replace striking workers. The dozens of national management strikes in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s convinced American unions that the strike – their “one true weapon” in bargaining for decent wages, hours, and conditions – had become a sure path to suicide. So, American unionized workers have smartly stopped striking, but they have lost most of their power to bargain on an equal economic basis with their employers. In turn, non-union companies have spent tens millions of dollars a year using consultants to bend and break the law to make it impossible to use existing national labor law to organize new unions. Directly using the threat of eventual permanent replacement in management strike has been central to the successful ability to deprive American workers of an effective right to organize new unions.
We do not know if the one-time militancy of U.S. workers might have become an enduring tradition in the absence of decades of huge and unrivaled repression. More importantly, passage of the Employee Free Choice Act may both lead to a revival of unions, and also a legal framework in which labor militancy is no longer a sure act of self-destruction. Given the depths of the current recession and the historic role that labor played in shaping an effective recovery from the Great Depression, it would be an experiment worth waging.
Professor of Economics, University of Southern Maine
University of Southern Maine
> 5 april 2009
why expect anything different? NCL economics on the GD: blame it on. . .
they got their cut of sv (in 2008). . .
> 3 april 2009
1 in 10! recent food stamp data. . .
Food stamp enrollment rose in all but four of the 50 states during January, said Agriculture Department figures. Vermont, Alaska and South Dakota had increases of more than 5 percent. Texas had the largest enrollment, 2.984 million, down 65,000, followed by California at 2.545 million, up 43,000, and New York with 2.211 million, up 37,000.
> 2 april 2009
> 1 april 2009