The Wisdom of Nobel Laureates on the Streets of Ferguson, Cleveland, and NYC

By: Saturday December 6, 2014 9:01 am

In 1953, George Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in part for the visionary economic program to rebuild Europe after WWII that bears his name. In 2006, Muhammed Yunus was given the same honor for his work to fight against poverty through microlending. In their Nobel lectures, both point to the limits of military force when it comes to creating a lasting peace.

When I look at Ferguson, Cleveland, and New York City, it’s clear that too few people share their beliefs.

 

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Ha-Joon Chang, Economics: The User’s Guide

By: Sunday October 12, 2014 1:59 pm

Understanding some basic economics is crucial to understanding the world we live in, which in turn enables us to be better consumers, producers, and voters. Ha-Joon Chang’s Economics: The User’s Guide offers much of what people need in order to achieve this understanding in a way that is noticeably different from what a traditional introductory textbook looks like.

The Great (Re)Training Robbery

By: Wednesday October 1, 2014 11:20 am

Barack Obama told Americans every worker deserves to know “if you lose your job, your country will help you train for an even better one.” A nice sentiment,and politically safe; it’s just the wrong answer. Those “better jobs” don’t exist, and training doesn’t create jobs. Despite all that, every year the U.S. government spends billions of dollars on job training, with little impact. What’s the right answer?

In 2007 then-candidate Obama visited Janesville, Wisconsin, location of the oldest General Motors plant in America. Echoing his current promise to support unemployed Americans with job training, Obama proclaimed “I believe that, if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another hundred years.” However, two days before Christmas and just about a month before Obama’s inauguration, the plant closed forever.

The Myth Of A ‘Skills Gap’ And Our Phony ‘Education Crisis’

By: Monday March 31, 2014 11:33 am

Ask a neoliberal why trickle down economics is not working in America and there are a few standard excuses offered. The excuses range from the fringier “inner city people are lazy” to the boilerplate “government is distorting markets” to the more establishment friendly “it’s a lack of education.” Let’s put racial dog whistles and reactionary ideology aside for a second and focus on the last excuse, education.

Bill Gates: In The Future, Tech-Bots Will Take Your Jobs and Ending Corporate Taxes Will Prevent Poverty and Social Unrest

By: Monday March 17, 2014 2:37 pm

The richest man in the world also opposes raising the minimum wage, and believes that in order to prevent the social unrest that comes with mass unemployment the government should appeal to the better natures of large corporations by eliminating corporate and payroll taxes in order to encourage them to employ people they apparently won’t need.

It Is Still All About the Economy, Jobs, and Dysfunction

By: Thursday March 13, 2014 12:55 pm

It is worth remembering that while the media often focus on how the latest story or international incident will affect elections, what regular people care about most has remained unchanged for years.

Unemployment Seen as America’s Top Problem

By: Tuesday February 18, 2014 7:52 am

Our dysfunctional government was the top problem for months but now it has dropped down to the third place. Without destructive pointless fights the focus has moved from Congress to people’s more direct concerns.

Who’s Really to Blame for Unemployment?

By: Sunday February 9, 2014 7:00 am

Guided by the mythology of the “American dream”—the idea that, given the opportunity, the deserving will excel and rise above their peers—politicians often attribute unemployment to a mystical “skills gap.”

Being Unemployed Is a Miserable State

By: Saturday January 18, 2014 9:15 am

The headline isn’t mine, but it comes from one of my old college professors, Dale Mortensen, who won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics. I was fortunate enough to have studied under him for several years, and among other things, he instilled in me and my classmates a strong sense that behind all the statistics, all the equations, and and all the models are real people.

Dale died last week. I just wish that more folks in DC had had him as a professor, or would be willing to listen to the wisdom of his remarks in Sweden in 2011.

Delayed Deliveries Are Not a Crisis

By: Sunday January 5, 2014 6:40 pm

A short shopping season of less than 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, combined with extraordinary numbers of deliveries and extreme weather problems caused thousands of packages not to be delivered by Christmas. For some media, this was the top story.

But that’s not a crisis.

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