Tag: Free markets and their discontents

Re-Localizing Industry, One Thing at a Time

Yves here. I know it’s probably not the most consequential example for readers, but it is gratifying to read that the garment industry is coming back to Manhattan. When I first came to Manhattan in the early 1980s, the fashion biz wasn’t the only industry to make things in New York City. The printers who […]

Read More

The TPP Is Dead! Long Live the TPP!

Yves here. Established readers know we were very vocal opponents of the TransPacific Partnership, aka the TPP, and its evil European sister, the TTIP. We were delighted to see it die. Public Citizen did phenomenal research, particularly on the noxious Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions, and they deserve a lot of credit for this win. Jomo […]

Read More

Covid-19 Shortages Continue and Could Get Worse

The Wall Street Journal has a terrific article on the current state of consumer supplies. The short version, as many of you have been reporting, is many things that were scarce no longer are, like toilet paper and chicken breasts. Not being a baker or much of a cook and also due to still avoiding […]

Read More

Why Capitalism Is in Constant Conflict With Democracy

Yves here. Even though the elements of this explanation of why the monied are hostile to democracy will be familiar to readers, it’s a tidy, high level recap. And you can always send this to your conservative friends to get them worked up. However, I regard this piece as naive in its depiction of Democrats. […]

Read More

Why International Financial Regulation Still Falls Short

Yves here. Just so you know, this is the William White who along with Claudio Borio, when both were at the BIS, started issuing warnings in 2003 to central bankers about housing bubbles in many national markets. They later formalized it in a paper. They were pooh-poohed, particularly by Alan Greenspan, for the lack of […]

Read More

International Trade Has Cost Americans Millions of Jobs. Investing in Communities Might Offset Those Losses

Yves here. On the one hand, it is useful to have an economist amplify the World Bank analysis that documented the magnitude of US job losses after China entered the World Trade Organization. It is also useful to have an economist debunk the “Let them eat training” recommendation to workers who suffered and offer an […]

Read More

International Trade Has Cost Americans Millions of Jobs. Investing in Communities Might Offset Those Losses

Yves here. On the one hand, it is useful to have an economist amplify the World Bank analysis that documented the magnitude of US job losses after China entered the World Trade Organization. It is also useful to have an economist debunk the “Let them eat training” recommendation to workers who suffered and offer an […]

Read More

Washington Going Full Andrew Mellon as Stimulus Talks Drag, Inadequate Support Guaranteed

Herbert Hoover’s Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon1 at least had an excuse: he was a staunch believer in a disastrously bad idea. The Republican and Democratic party leaders who are failing to prevent the US economy from continuing to careen down a steep hill via dithering with inadequate stimulus schemes, won’t be able to excuse themselves […]

Read More

Preserve Our Post Office, Before It’s Too Late

Yves here. As you’ll see from our post today on the sorry state of the stimulus negotiations, the Democrats’ interference in the Republicans’ plan to starve the Post Office into privatization is one of the big sticking points. Gah. By Mark Jamison, a retired postmaster who serves as an advisor, resident guru, and regular contributor […]

Read More

Call for ‘Emergency Charity Stimulus’ as Billionaire Wealth Soars and US Nonprofits Sink

Yves here. Charity reform in the US is clearly overdue, particularly since self-promotion entities that pay for family weddings like the Clinton Foundation qualify as charities. But in the US, we have also come to expect charities to fund services and resources that should be provided by governments, from museums (whose entry fees now make […]

Read More

Rents Swoon in San Francisco, Other Expensive Cities, TX-OK Oil Patch Y/Y. But 23 Cities with Double-Digit Rent Increases

By Wolf Richter, editor at Wolf Street. Originally published at Wolf Street Rental markets in the US are shifting in a massive way, with some of the most expensive cities, cities across the oil patch, college-focused cities, and tech and education hubs such as Boston booking sharp year-over-year rent declines. But 60 of the top […]

Read More

So What’s With Those Weird Seed Packets from China?

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Generally the story during the summer’s silly season is shark attacks or a missing white woman. This summer — apparently because 2020’s showrunners thought the murder hornets weren’t making it — besides the election, we have the mysterious seed packets arriving from China. Since I’ve written about seed catalogs, I […]

Read More

The Hijacking of Police Reform by Wealthy Opportunists Resembles the Harm Done to Public Schools

Yves here. It’s depressing to see consultants successfully hawking dubious metrics to water down police reform. But I suppose I should not be surprised. By Sarah Lahm, a Minneapolis-based writer and researcher whose work has appeared in outlets such as the Progressive and In These Times. Follow her on Twitter @sarahrlahm Produced by >Our Schools, a […]

Read More

Vaccine Research on Covid-19: An Update

Yves here. Ignacio’s review of some of the key elements of vaccine research, development, and approval will hopefully serve as an important primer for future discussions. Notice that even this basic discussion demonstrates that a full year after Phase III vaccine trials have started is a bare minimum to reach any conclusions about efficacy….yet the […]

Read More

Thomas Frank: Liberal Elites Will Create Conditions for Another Trump

Yves here. On to the last part of Thomas Frank’s discussion of his new book, The People, No. Here Frank focuses on the danger to the US of demonizing populism. By Paul Jay. Originally published at TheAnalysis.news  Paul JayHi, I’m Paul Jay. Welcome to the Analysis.news podcast. This is Part Three of my discussion […]

Read More

The Consequences of Inequality Can Be Fatal

Yves here. So many of health costs of inequality are obvious, yet most people seem trained to look past them. And Congress fiddles about a new stimulus package, with the odds of getting it back on track soon not looking very good, while Americans have rent and mortgage payments looming. By Richard D. Wolff, professor […]

Read More

Thomas Frank: Corporate Democrats Idolize FDR, but Hate His Policies and the Populists That Supported Him

Yves here. We’re behind on continuing with Paul Jay’s important discussion with Thomas Frank about his new book, The People, No, and the awfully open hatred in the press and contemporary politics for the views of ordinary people. Here Frank focuses on the misuse of FDR’s legacy. Readers like Frank’s cheery tone and pleasant voice, […]

Read More

Thomas Frank: Populism is Not Mob Rule

Yves here. The fact that Thomas Frank has had to write an entire book to salvage the good name of populism demonstrates how reactionary the US has become. By Paul Jay. Originally published at TheAnalysis.news [embedded content] Paul JayHi, I’m Paul Jay, and welcome to theAnalysis.news podcast. Born in Kansas, Thomas Frank, author of, ‘What’s […]

Read More

Even If Joe Biden Wins in a Blowout, the ‘Global Economy’ Is Not Coming Back

Yves here. I hate to sound like a Luddite, but the idea of global production, in the form of China as the world’s manufacturer, was never sustainable. I am still gobsmacked that Western multinational and tech execs would make their operations hostage to a country where they have no influence over their government, and that […]

Read More

Essential – and Expendable – Labor, in Mexico, for the US

Yves here. I’m old enough to remember when US and Japanese automakers along with other manufacturers started moving production across the Mexico border to maquiladoras, not just to lower labor costs but also to escape from workplace safety regulations. As this article explains, the latter remains an ugly motivation in the days of Covid-19. The […]

Read More

Indian Farmers Are Staring at Suicide as Modi Government Looks the Other Way

Yves here. Suicide is not normally a topic in polite company. But the desperate conditions facing Indian farmers, even ones with good-sized plots and high-value crops, means a rise in suicide rates. And as this post make clear, it’s mainly due to debt. The same forces are crushing US farmers, who often sell off parts […]

Read More

How Mitch McConnell’s Hostility to the Unemployment Supplement Puts Ordinary Americans’ Welfare at Risk

Yves here. The evidence is strong that the $600 a week unemployment supplement was critical to keep spending from collapsing and allowing some workers to stay current on their obligations, most importantly housing costs. It got money into citizen’s hands faster than the $1200/adult supplement (I have yet to receive mine) and targeted people in […]

Read More

COVID-19 and the Garment Industry’s Invisible Hands

Yves here. The fashion industry is normally Jerri-Lynn’s beat, but this post gives a sense of how in even a highly fragmented but nevertheless very much international supply chain, like garment manufacture shocks at one key node, in this case demand from the US, propagates through the system. Here, the focus is on the distress […]

Read More

Immaculate Deception, Fed Style

Yves here. How the Fed tries to covers its huge pro-bank bias. By Edward J. Kane Professor of Finance, Boston College. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website During the years leading up to the Great Financial Crisis, Fed officials began to tell outsiders more and more about what members of the […]

Read More

While EU Leaders Squabble, The Elephant in the Room Remains Unnoticed

Yves here. Coronavirus is testing all of our formal and informal systems, and too many are being found wanting. One is the EU. Even though EU nations as a whole did a vastly better job of getting on top of coronavirus than the US and UK, despite Italy being an early train wreck, the EU […]

Read More

There Can Be No Equality Without a Dramatic Renewal of Employment Opportunity for All American Workers

Yves here. For those who didn’t grow up in the era of good union-protected manufacturing jobs, it’s hard to convey adequately how different things were then. Blue collar workers could buy a house and a car, support a stay-at-home wife, and often also afford a recreation luxury, like a boat or a cabin. Those manufacturing […]

Read More

Learning to Love State Capitalism

Yves here. It’s revealing to see how much effort the press and pundits spend in demonizing state capitalism, when the US version of capitalism arguably combines the worst of that system and laissez faire capitalism, by having many key industries so dependent on state support (banking, the military-surveillance complex) that they cannot properly be considered […]

Read More

Covid-19 Bankruptcies Bleeding Out Jobs, Economic Capacity

Even though quite a few American are confessing to having Covid-19 fatigue, there’s no escaping the ongoing damage to the economy, like bleeding out of a major artery. Commercial tenants, particularly of retail space and office space, are either not paying or are pushing their landlords to give a major rent reduction. Upscale business hotels […]

Read More

Another Town Is Possible: Community Wealth Building in the Basque Country

Yves here. Readers sometimes ask for success stories to show that there are possible paths out our present economic and social morass. The Basque has long operated a collective ownership model centered around Mondragon. And it has been successful in protecting the community from economic crises. I was in Portugal and Spain, by happenstance doing […]

Read More

Biden Defends Undying Allegiance to For-Profit Healthcare During Interview With Dying Medicare for All Advocate Ady Barkan

Yves here. I suppose I should not be surprised to see that Biden is such a heartless pol that he could stare down someone who was dying and has had to spend too much of his precious remaining time fighting with insurance companies to defend private health insurance. And the bought and paid for loyalty of […]

Read More