One of the long standing taboos in the US is an open discussion of our capitalist economic system. Mainstream economists talk of business cycles, recessions, depressions, upturns, downturns, etc, in an effort to avoid discussing just how unstable capitalism is. In 2009 that changed. Professor Richard D Wolff, a PhD who taught economics at UMass for many years, published a book entitled Capitalism Hits The Fan, a compilation of articles and essays written between 2005 and 2008. Since that time he has been on a whirlwind of personal appearances and radio/TV talk shows discussing just how capitalism has worked, or not worked, for people over the last 50 years.
|By: SouthernDragon Sunday July 22, 2012 1:59 pm|
|By: David Dayen Wednesday July 11, 2012 11:50 am|
It’s clear that something happened in corporate boardrooms around the 1970s and through to today, where they decided to give their CEOs massive amounts of money through salary and stock options. And why is that? Well, the fact that the top marginal tax rate had been cut in half, so more of that compensation would actually go to the individual, has to have something to do with that.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday May 29, 2012 9:15 am|
The last four years have seen a comeback in manufacturing. As that relates to the auto rescue, the Obama Administration never tires of telling the story. But one part of that story is often left out of the telling. Because it turns out that the expansion in manufacturing has accompanied flat wages (WSJ subscription required) for the sector, as worker salaries haven’t kept up with the rate of inflation.
|By: Knut Saturday May 19, 2012 1:59 pm|
It is an honor and a pleasure to have Paul Krugman at the Lake this afternoon for a conversation on End This Depression Now! Dedicated “To the unemployed, who deserve better,” the book is a condemnation of the policies and mind-set that have produced the worst economic depression since the 1930s. And unlike the Great Depression, which contemporaries did not understand, we know what to do; the current depression is entirely self-inflicted. The broken homes and ruined lives are not attributable to acts of God or the inscrutable logic of the market, but are the direct consequence of public decisions that have amplified the inherent risk of private credit by deregulating financial operations and the attempt to balance the budget when aggregate private demand is collapsing. The central message is that none of this suffering is necessary, and none of it is justified.
|By: David Dayen Friday March 30, 2012 10:18 am|
The implosion of Mike Daisey’s Foxconn stories may have, in the short term, returned focus to Apple’s suppliers of their electronic products. Now Foxconn, the notorious Chinese manufacturer, has announced a series of changes to working conditions at the plant.
|By: Phoenix Woman Thursday March 15, 2012 11:05 am|
I learned two useful things that are central to American life today, yet which I have never once heard stated on the radio or TV or read in a newspaper: I learned about the labor shortage that fueled the 150-year period of rising wages in the United States, and I learned about the fact that corporations used to pay a lot more in corporate taxes, especially as an overall percentage of American tax revenues, than they do now.
|By: David Dayen Thursday March 8, 2012 4:00 pm|
In many ways this is the best economic data since the beginning of the recession. The Labor Department reports that unit labor costs have risen above the level of inflation for the first time since the end of 2008. And much of that can be attributed to higher wages, according to the Wall Street Journal.
|By: Attaturk Monday February 13, 2012 1:30 am|
It isn’t just contraceptives the Republicans want to take away:
|By: David Dayen Tuesday January 3, 2012 8:30 am|
During the labor protests of early 2011, Indiana Democrats walked out of the state, denying the legislature a quorum, to protest several bills, among them an education voucher law and legislation making Indiana a “right-to-work” state. Daniels immediately disavowed the latter bill, saying it wasn’t something he wanted to take up; then he was running for President. Now that’s over, and Daniels, going back on his earlier word, supports the right-to-work legislation.
|By: David Dayen Monday January 2, 2012 9:30 am|
The biggest reason I can find for economic optimism in 2012 is a belief that people will eventually have to buy new cars and form households, so why not this year? That appears to be the animating thought behind Matt Yglesias’ cheery forecast in the new year. But the economic story is a lot more mixed.