Category Archives: Social policy

University of Southern Maine, Facing Organized Opposition from Students and Faculty, Rescinds Proposed Cuts

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Good news, which I hope travels fast to other universities. Maine Sunday Telegram: University of Southern Maine President Theodora Kalikow on Friday rescinded the 12 faculty layoffs that had prompted weeks of protests, saying she’s open to alternative plans for finding up to $14 million in cuts. (I know! I […]

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Yanis Varoufakis: Think Big, Think Bold – A Green New Deal

Yves here. One of the common frustrations expressed by the NC commentariat is that we spend a lot of time on diagnosis and not as much on solutions. I actually don’t think our emphasis on forensics and analysis is misplaced. Too often, people are uncomfortable with examining deep-seated problems and thus rush to devise remedies that are incomplete or worse, counterproductive.

A second frustration, which I sympathize with, is that many of the solutions recommended by economists to our current problems (income disparity, high unemployment, increasing looting of the private sector and government) is based on restoring growth, which will make redistribution and other measures less contentious. Readers correctly point out that more growth is a 20th century remedy, when the 21st century is faces with global warming (meaning an need to start containing and better yet, reducing energy consumption) and resource constraints.

Yanis Varoufakis addresses both issues in his outline of what he calls a “Green New Deal”.

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US University Science: The Shopping Mall Model

US universities resemble high-end shopping malls. They use nice buildings and good reputations to attract good students and good faculty. To pay for this, external funding – once viewed as a luxury – is a necessary condition for tenure and promotion. This column argues that this model emerged at the initiative of universities not the federal government. Today’s stress is the harvest of what universities and faculty sowed in the 1950s and the 1960s.

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Columbia Tosses Out Star Faculty Researchers for Failing to Pay 80% of Their Own Way

From a reader: “two eminent professors with decades of serious work have been dumped unceremoniously by Columbia because they could no longer bring in the grant millions for the university business to extract rent from. This is Ivy-league neoliberalism at its worst thanks to the spineless Democrats/Obama White House allowing government science funding to get pummeled while Bush’s tax cuts are preserved. “

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Yanis Varoufakis: Can the Internet Democratize Capitalism?

Yves here. Trust me, you must read this post. In its entirety. Varoufakis discusses the operation of “liberal democracy” as opposed to “classical democracy,”. and argues that voter apathy is a feature, not a bug. But the real meat is in his discussion of how the economic rights of laborers has changed over time and how that has had profound implications for democracy.

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