From Pine View Farm

Political Economy category archive

The New Gilded Age 0

At the Portland Press-Herald, Judith Foster sums up the essence of “personal liberty” as defined by today’s Republican Party. A snippet; follow the link for the complete article.

So, back to personal liberty. What will “we the people” be at liberty to do? Work for the capitalists at whatever wage they choose, with as little in the way of benefits as possible.

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The Long View 0

Methinks that the writer of a letter to the editor of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer makes a good point.

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The Artful Dodger 0

I am reminded of what Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., once said.

I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.

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The Privatization Scam 0

In a letter to the editor of the Newark Star-Ledger, a doctor explains how “Medicare Acvantage” plans work to the advantage of insurance companies, but not to that of anyone else.

Aside:

Being of a certain age, we have been tormented by a torrent of spam phone calls during this “Medicare Open Enrollment” period. And all the callers seem to read from the same script.

I blush to say that I an no longer able to respond to them with courtesy.

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Plan Speaking 0

Man says,

Click for the original image.

Actually, Republicans’ plan is simple.

Make the poor poorer and the rich richer.

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Trickle-On Economics and the New Gilded Age 0

Professor Richard Wolff suggests that the Fed’s actions to control inflation are misguided, ignore the influence of monopoly, and may be leading us down a road to stagflation. An excerpt from Professor Wolff’s comments:

Prices in this economy are set in this economy by employers. Less than one percent of the American people are employers. All their basic decisions . . . are to be governed by how that action impacts the bottom line. Why do what imflation? Because employers raise the prices.

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Trickle-On Economics and the New Gilded Age 0

Robert Reich calls out the con. A snippet:

Trickle-down economics is a cruel joke. The so-called “free market” has been distorted by huge campaign contributions from the ultra-rich. Don’t lionize the ultra-rich as superior “self-made” human beings who deserve their billions. They were lucky and had connections.

In reality, there’s no justification for today’s extraordinary concentration of wealth at the very top. It’s distorting our politics, rigging our markets, and granting unprecedented power to a handful of people.

Follow the link for his reasoning.

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“To . . . Promote the General Welfare” 0

Forty years of Republicanomics have taken their toll.

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Trickle-On Economics 0

Man kicking on vending machine labeled

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Supply Change 0

Sam suggests that the Federal Reserve’s response to the current spike in inflation in the U. S. is based on economic theories that don’t apply in the current situation and may therefore make the situation worse.

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How Stuff Works, Deficit Deceptions Dept. 0

Thom talks with Dr. Stephanie Kelton about the many myths and falsehoods about how government finances work and how the pearl-clutching about government deficits is a misdirection play.

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The Travelers’ Dilemma 0

Crowd of Russians at Aeroflot Russian airlines counter.  Ticket agent says,

Click to view the original image.

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Descent into the Maelstrom 0

Thom and David Corn discuss the Republican Party’s decades long descent into extremism.

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“Quiet Quitting”: No There There 0

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that I think the “Great Resignation” is more myth than movement. Now comes Laura Yuen, who argues at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that “Quiet Quitting” is much the same. Here’s a bit of what she says (emphasis added):

The problem with the concept of quiet quitting is that we’re all starting from different places. Burned-out perfectionists may choose to dial back their efforts from a 10 to a 7, and still manage to be the kind of high-performing colleagues or bosses who attract and inspire talent. The people who were never pulling their weight will adopt this term to slack off even more, making more messes for their teams, all under the guise of self-care.

The framing is also objectionable. Are setting professional boundaries and prioritizing your family, your relationships or your health really “quitting”? If you are performing all of your work duties, the very bullet points listed in your job description, how is that akin to not doing your job?

Read the rest. It is worth your while in these times when memes seem to obliterate evidence and tweets trump (you will pardon the expression) truth.

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Behind the Scenes with the Wizards of Wall Street 0

Title:  How the Stock Market Really Works.  Image:  Man at desk with Ouija Board.  Next to him, a man on the phone says,

Click to view the original image.

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The Indignity of Honest Work 0

Jim Hightower has a suggestion for executives who are concerned about the “great resignation” (which methinks is more myth than movement, but that’s just me). Here’s a bit of his article (emphasis added):

Given the historic continuum of executive-suite disdain for working stiffs, it’s no surprise that the top dogs are still blaming “sluggish” workers for today’s rampant job dissatisfaction. But it’s both hilarious and pathetic that high-dollar bosses are so inept at employee relations that they can’t keep the rank and file on the job, much less keep them quasi-happy. . . . .

Seriously? Memo to CEOs: Try decent pay and benefits, rational scheduling, meaningful goals, real teamwork and personal respect. In a word: Dignity.

Via the Progressive Populist.

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It’s a Global Economy, in Case You Haven’t Noticed 0

Republicans, abetted by a complicit news media that values furor over fact, want to blame President Biden for the current hike in prices in the United States. (Of course, Republicans want to blame everything on President Biden, because blame and fear are their only weapons.)

University of Nebraska Omaha Professor Christopher Decker points out that this recent inflation is a world-wide phenomenon influenced by events well beyond the control of any one person, regardless of what office he or she might hold. Here’s a bit of his article; I commend the rest of it to your attention.

Meanwhile, annual inflation in Germany and the U.K. — countries with comparable economies — ran nearly as high: 7.5% and 8.2%, respectively, for the 12 months ending in June 2022. In Spain, inflation has hit 10%.

It might seem like U.S. policies brought on this predicament, but economists like me doubt it because inflation is spiking everywhere, with few exceptions. Rates averaged 9.65% in the 38 largely wealthy countries that belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development through May 2022.

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The Great Fizzle 0

At Psychology Today Blogs, Nuala Walsh explores the much over-hyped not-so-great resignation. She makes three main points:

  • Many reports of the “Great Resignation” have circulated, panicking employers and fueling employees.
  • This has not materialized at the scale expected, with momentum and motivation now slowing.
  • Employers can stop panicking, as most employees are unlikely to resign in mass volumes.

Follow the link for a detailed exporation of each one.

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The Blame Game 0

The writer of a letter to the editor of the Kansas City Star talks cents.

(Broken link fixed.)

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It’s Bubbleiicious 0

Thom runs the numbers and makes the case that we are in (another) housing bubble.

Aside:

It has long been my opinion that anyone who considers his primary residence an investment property lives in a house occupied by an idiot.

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