Miscellaneous links

a bit of humor, some more serious, all interesting. . .



all new links (after 7 July 2009) will be posted here


daily links



permanent links

Chris Hayes [The Nation's Washington editor]

Open Economics [ND's QUEST]


blip downturn recession depression crisis representations

[X-axis shows months. Y-axis shows the ratio of that month’s nonfarm payrolls to the nonfarm payrolls at start of recession.]

u3. . .

u6. . .


> 7 july 2009

coops: an important alternative within the health care debate, in which medical workers receive salaries and patients get to vote

the latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, will be cold comfort to neoliberal Catholicism. . .

some selections:

Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty.

Hunger is not so much dependent on lack of material things as on shortage of social resources, the most important of which are institutional. What is missing, in other words, is a network of economic institutions capable of guaranteeing regular access to sufficient food and water for nutritional needs, and also capable of addressing the primary needs and necessities ensuing from genuine food crises, whether due to natural causes or political irresponsibility, nationally and internationally.

Through the systemic increase of social inequality, both within a single country and between the populations of different countries (i.e. the massive increase in relative poverty), not only does social cohesion suffer, thereby placing democracy at risk, but so too does the economy, through the progressive erosion of “social capital”: the network of relationships of trust, dependability, and respect for rules, all of which are indispensable for any form of civil coexistence.

It is nevertheless erroneous to hold that the market economy has an inbuilt need for a quota of poverty and underdevelopment in order to function at its best.

Economic activity cannot solve all social problems through the simple application of commercial logic. This needs to be directed towards the pursuit of the common good, for which the political community in particular must also take responsibility. Therefore, it must be borne in mind that grave imbalances are produced when economic action, conceived merely as an engine for wealth creation, is detached from political action, conceived as a means for pursuing justice through redistribution.

Alongside profit-oriented private enterprise and the various types of public enterprise, there must be room for commercial entities based on mutualist principles and pursuing social ends to take root and express themselves. It is from their reciprocal encounter in the marketplace that one may expect hybrid forms of commercial behaviour to emerge, and hence an attentiveness to ways of civilizing the economy. Charity in truth, in this case, requires that shape and structure be given to those types of economic initiative which, without rejecting profit, aim at a higher goal than the mere logic of the exchange of equivalents, of profit as an end in itself.

Today we hear much talk of ethics in the world of economy, finance and business. . .It would be advisable, however, to develop a sound criterion of discernment, since the adjective “ethical” can be abused. When the word is used generically, it can lend itself to any number of interpretations, even to the point where it includes decisions and choices contrary to justice and authentic human welfare.

The global context in which work takes place also demands that national labour unions, which tend to limit themselves to defending the interests of their registered members, should turn their attention to those outside their membership, and in particular to workers in developing countries where social rights are often violated.


> 6 july 2009

in honor of the departure of the rains, here's the Théâtre du Soleil, a communal theater company (not to be confused with Cirque du Soleil, a multinational capitalist enterprise)


> 30 june 2009

clothesline emergency--here in VT!


> 25 june 2009

the boom-and-bust cycles of capitalism: they (the economists who do behavioral economics, behavioral finance, neuroeconomics) want them to be hard-wired, so they can avoid examining the language of the unconscious or capitalist class structures

Robert Kenner's film of the causes and consequences of capitalist food

shopping for body parts


> 24 june 2009

Dr. Doom's prognosis

Iran: how about just a bit more history?

The central story of Iran over the last 200 years has been national humiliation at the hands of foreign powers who have subjugated and looted the country--Stephen Kinzer


> 23 june 2009

worker-run enterprises vs. capitalist boards of directors [ht: ke]


> 13 june 2009

for Stiglitz, the problem is not capitalism per se but American-style capitalism

for ncl economists, increasing the minimum wage is really bad--and, for David Neumark, it's a really, really bad idea right now


> 12 june 2009

more banksy


> 11 june 2009

so this is what ncl economists have to offer higher education--more inequality and less faculty governance?

good, let's get serious about health care coops--but let's go beyond this proposal and have real cooperative enterprises, combining both providers and recipients of health care


> 10 june 2009

gotta make sure they defend economics, even while blaming the economists!

according to Rodrick, all we have to do is take the basic toolkit and add the real advanced stuff, like "behavioral economics, agency theory, information economics, and international economics," and all will be well--no mention, of course, of anything outside the mainstream, which might focus on other issues like exploitation. . .


> 9 june 2009

the Chicago lakefront: where's Woody Guthrie when we need him?

what goes up. . .


> 5 june 2009

a big loss. . .


> 4 june 2009

Vinchen [ht: sm]


> 3 june 2009

only infrequent postings these days--because unregulated utilities aren't required to provide broadband access (or, for that matter, cell phone coverage) to rural (or, for that matter, urban) areas, in contrast to the early history of postal services and telephones

why does anyone take Mankiw seriously?

the students themselves influence how the faculty thinks. Faculty who teach PhD students are used to being asked, "How did you derive that first-order condition? How can you prove that the equilibrium exists and is unique?"

oh, really? read Klamer and Colander's The Making of an Economist to understand that PhD students enter graduate school wanting to change the world and learn that first-order conditions and the existence of equilibrium are the only important questions for mainstream economists

Like the typical MBA student, the typical undergraduate prefers practical to abstract economics. But undergraduates are usually less assertive in their preferences. So if the professor wants to teach theory, the undergraduate will learn it to do well on the exam.

but elsewhere Mankiw argues that undergraduate teaching should focus on the eternal verities of the gains from private property and free markets


> 29 may 2009

another argument for universal health care. . .

capitalists are concerned about rising health care costs (which cut into sv), while the rest of us are concerned about the capitalist nature of health care in the US

a new blog: ecocomics ("where graphic art meets dismal science"). . .


> 20 may 2009

the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (at the hands of the Catholic Church in institutions funded by the Irish state) released its 2,575-page report, a decade after the States of Fear documentaries (produced by Mary Raftery) first exposed the abuse (which began in the 1930s and lasted until the last of the institutions closed in the 1990s)

the top 1% certainly got their cut of sv. . .

back to posting now that the great migration north is completed


> 15 may 2009

toxic textbooks, "a movement to encourage schools and universities to use economics textbooks that engage honestly with the real world"



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