Tag: Free markets and their discontents

Not All Keynesian Spending Is Equal

Yves here. Richard Murphy makes an extremely important point about how Keynes’ belief in the importance of well-functioning, cohesive societies and how sound economic policy could promote them. However, he skips over the fact that Keynes did not approve of much of Keynesian thinking, particularly the American Keynesianism developed and promoted by Paul Samuelson. Samuelson […]

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A Full Scale Attack on Medical Debt

Yves here. Even if you don’t agree with Bob Hertz’s prescription for medical debt, his typology of various types of debtors and the political and practical problems they pose provides a good foundation for further analysis. By Bob Hertz, a health care essayist The recent proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders to cancel $81 billion of […]

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What the Heck Happened to Surprise Billing Legislation? (Or, It’s Never Too Late for the Lobbyists to Win)

Yves here. Way too much happening, and the nuking of surprise billing bills haven’t gotten the attention they warrant. We did comment on how proposed California legislation was dispatched by what amounted to a handwave.…indicating that way too many people were already clued in to the notion that backing the bill was tantamount to crossing […]

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Another Sign of Social Decay: Seniors Alone, Unable to Care for Themselves

The Wall Street Journal has a sobering new article on a phenomenon that heretofore had gone largely under the radar: the elderly, or per US-speak, seniors, isolated in their premises and either too feeble and/or too cognitively impaired to take care of themselves. They are casualties of the progress of the market economy, which as […]

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Yet More Finance Profiteering: Green Bonds

On the one hand, a new finance fad of “green bonds” shows that investors recognize that climate change is a risk. On the other, it simply perpetuates the convenient but false notion that the private sector by the virtue of cute packaging is a leader as opposed to a laggard in addressing climate change. In […]

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How Corporations Are Forcing Their Way Into America’s Public Schools

Yves here. Yet another illustration of the ongoing effort to repurpose schools solely for workplace skills and not, say, being a citizen. By Jeff Bryant, a writing fellow and chief correspondent for Our Schools, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He is a communications consultant, freelance writer, advocacy journalist, and director of the Education […]

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A Socialism Equal to the World

Yves here. Funny that when the workers, who’ve been on the losing side of a class war for quite some time, finally start to act like they might do something about it, the official minders start waving the “socialism” and even “communism” words as if they are magic talismans that will ward off demands for […]

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Hubert Horan: Can Uber Ever Deliver? Part Twenty-Two: Profits and Cash Flow Keep Deteriorating as Uber’s GAAP Losses Hit $8.5 Billion

By Hubert Horan, who has 40 years of experience in the management and regulation of transportation companies (primarily airlines). Horan has no financial links with any urban car service industry competitors, investors or regulators, or any firms that work on behalf of industry participants Uber’s profit performance and cash burn had ben dismal for years […]

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Sanders Called JPMorgan’s CEO America’s ‘Biggest Corporate Socialist’ – Here’s Why He Has a Point

Yves here. I wish Sanders would use even more pointed messaging, like “socialism for the rich”. But for those who complain about Sanders not going after important targets, this slap back at Dimon, who criticized Sanders and socialism at Davos, shows that the Vermont Senator is landing punches, but choosing his fights carefully. And banks […]

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Rentier Capitalism: Great for Stocks, Lousy for Growth

As fans of Michael Hudson and/or students of economic history know, one of the strongly-held policy views of classic economists was that constraining rentier activities was essential to promoting growth. They understood that rentier-ism could often produce more profits than investment in productive activities. For instance, they favored usury ceilings because lenders would otherwise lend […]

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Corporate Counter-Mobilization: Uber and Deliveroo’s ‘Charter of Good Work’ Is Nothing but Fairwashing

Yves here. One bit of good news with Uber and its allies’ launch of an empty charter to pretend to deal with the job conditions of gig workers is it appears to have gotten little notice in the US. Perhaps the fact that it was launched at Davos was more than a bit of a […]

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Brexit: Warmed Over Chicken

On the one hand, we Americans are hardly ones to talk about empty posturing, usually accompanied with moral indignation and finger-wagging. On the other hand, it isn’t just that the Government’s approach to Brexit has been heavy on theatrics and thin on substance. It’s also that we seem to be back to Groundhog Day mode, […]

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Cybernetic Opioid Pushers: EHR Vendor Practice Fusion to Pay $145 Million to Resolve Criminal and Civil Investigations

Yves here. Even though we linked to this story earlier in the week about the way a software company Practice Fusion actively enabled opioid abuse, we’re highlighting it again because the details matter, and not just the sorry fact that no one is going to jail. Many commentors defend the use of electronic health records […]

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US Loses Nearly 4 Million Jobs to China Since WTO Entry

A newly released study by the Economic Policy Institute reaches a devastating but not surprising conclusion: globalization has screwed American workers. However, putting numbers on how much sustained trade deficits with China translate into lost American jobs, and those numbers turning out to be large, gives free trade cheerleaders a lot less wriggle room. EPI […]

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Secular Stagnation: Demand Is Indeed the Culprit

Yves here. This post describes how much of the economics discipline has settled on a neat, plausible, and wrong explanation of secular stagnation. The only good news is at least pretty much no one buys Larry Summers’ theory. By Servaas Storm, Senior Lecturer of Economics, Delft University of Technology. Originally published at the Institute for New […]

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Michael Hudson on the History of Debt Cancellation, Austerity in Europe, January 2020

Yves here. Another long-form Michael Hudson discussion from Germany of why ancient societies found it in their survival interest to wipe out debt periodically, the resistance to this discovery, and how modern Europe illustrates the dangers of giving creditors the whip hand. Please enjoy this conversation. Rees Jeannotte [00:00:05] Hello and welcome. I’m Rees Jeannotte, […]

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The Dead Zone Downstream: Gulf Edition

Yves here. Even though this article discusses the fertilizer-created dead zone as a crisis for Gulf of Mexico shrimpers, this is a manifestation of an ecological problem showing up in other forms around the world. Written and photographed by Spike Johnson with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Originally published in partnership between […]

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A New Type of Conflict: France’s Ongoing Struggle for Pensions

Yves here. The limited media reporting on protests in France over pension “reform” depicts Macron as having won by outlasting the opposition. This account indicates that while some players, like certain union leaders, have surrendered, the rank and file, as well as other interests, are carrying on. I’m not in a position to validate whether […]

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WSJ Reports: State AGs to Cooperate with Feds to Take on Google?

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. The WSJ ran an exclusive today, suggesting that state attorneys general may begin to cooperate more closely with the feds to take on Google, according to State Attorneys General to Meet With […]

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Desperation Hidden in Plain Sight: Coastal Edition

We’ve regularly featured “How Is Your Economy?” queries to readers to get a more granular view of how different regions and industries in the US (and selectively abroad) are faring. A short thread in Links yesterday has me wondering if I’ve been asking the wrong question all these years. Asking about overall conditions can direct […]

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“A Who’s-Who” of People Against Progressives’ Agenda: DNC’s Perez Under Fire for Convention Committee Picks

Yves here. As progressives, meaning the real thing, not the Vichy Left, are finally developing and flexing atrophied muscles, so their opponents are making it obvious they intend to thwart them. As one seasoned political analyst said via e-mail about the DNC’s picks: “Amazing porkers”. But can the party brass prevail now that not only […]

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Boeing Again Pushes Back Guesstimated 737 Max “Good to Go” Date to Mid 2020 as Company Bleeds Cash

It’s not a good look when financial disclosure deadlines result in a company ‘fessing up to ugly truths. Boeing has had to admit that its fond hope that the FAA would give the troubled 737 Max a green light in February or March was optimistic. The airline announced it estimated that the “ungrounding” of the […]

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Precarity: A Political Problem

Yves here. The basic premises of this post are sound: that precarity is the result of the shift in the last couple of generations of business revenues away from workers and towards profits, or capital, if you prefer. And that most people are far too complacent about that because they have deeply internalized prevailing market/neoliberal […]

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