Category Archives: The destruction of the middle class

Planned Obsolescence Disguised as Innovation, Oligopoly Disguised as a Free Market, and the Enrichment of Oligarchs

We are delighted to feature this post from Roy Poses, who with his colleagues at Health Care Renewal, have been providing consistently high quality analysis of the often dubious practices and economics of the health care system.

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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 Maine Sunday Telegram: University of Southern Maine President Theodora Kalikow on Friday rescinded the 12 faculty layoffs that had prompted weeks of protests, saying she’s open to alternative plans for finding up to $14 million in cuts.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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Philip Pilkington: Misdirection – Galbraith on Thomas Piketty’s New Book on Capital

Yves here. The best review so far on Thomas Piketty’s new book Capital in the Twentieth Century is by Jamie Galbraith, and we’ve featured it in Links. But the article itself is long and a bit wonky, so Pilkington’s recap is a useful distillation of Galbraith’s piece.

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Cokie Roberts Picked a Fight With Alan Grayson on the TransPacific Partnership. Guess Who Won?

I’m clearly too feral to have the proper responses, but I’ve long considered Cokie Roberts to be too lightweight to be worth paying attention to. But since lightweight goes over well in many parts of America, Cokie still has a large following. And it’s separately worth paying attention to a fight she picked over Obama’s stalled trade deal, the TransPacific Partnership. The fact that people with popular followings are still defending it says the Administration remains keen to revive it, so opponents need to guard against becoming too complacent.

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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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