Political Economy category archive
The writer of a letter to the editor of the Kansas City Star talks cents.
(Broken link fixed.)
Thom runs the numbers and makes the case that we are in (another) housing bubble.
It has long been my opinion that anyone who considers his primary residence an investment property lives in a house occupied by an idiot.
You’ve heard of “relative ethics.”
Meet “relative economics.”
Michael in Norfolk, who happens to be a real estate lawyer, sees signs of a nascent housing bubble.
I remember during the housing bubble of the early 2000’s reading a column in the Inky by a business columnist named, I think, Alan Heavens in which he posited that one of the first signs of a bubble was persons starting to ask, “Are we in a bubble?”
Atrios reminds us that not all price increases result from inflation.
Given the who-shot-john about recent price increases, most of which result from concrete supply-chain and production issues, his post and the article it links to are worth your while.
Sam and his crew talks with professor Laleh Khalili about the global supply chain backups.
Thom and Professor Steve Keen explore the true causes of the recent inflation and find it is related to the long-term supply chain change.
Remember, China did not “take” American jobs.
American businesses moved them there so as to avoid paying American wages to American workers.
Gabriel Young points to news reports that the two decades the United States spent accomplishing almost nothing in Afghanistan (aside from the capture of Bin Laden) suggests that, as a society and a government, the United States is incapable of rational cost-benefit analysis. Here’s a bit; follow the link for his ideas about what might have been more effective use of those trillions.
Seeing the Afghanistan war in the context of similar quagmires in Korea and Vietnam, it has become clear the US government’s decision-making process regarding war is driven by unrealistic expectations, sunk cost fallacies, and especially misguided values.
In addition to the immeasurable human toll, the Associated Press reports that the US spent over 2 trillion dollars on direct costs of the Afghanistan war alone (Knickmeyer, 2021). The AP points out that because the funds for the war were borrowed, the total cost of merely the war itself could easily exceed 6.5 trillion dollars, in addition to 2 trillion more on future care for veterans and 6 trillion on top of that already spent on other aspects of the War on Terror, which will also incur spectacular interest if not paid off. All told, the cost of the Afghanistan war and related efforts could easily add up to between 10 and 20 trillion dollars.
At The Roanoke Times, Nancy Liebrecht reminds us that American manufacturing jobs didn’t go overseas on their own.
Sam and his crew skewer the glibertarian gibberish of Elon “Drivers Can Play Video Game on Their Touch Screens” Musk.
Words fail me.
Werner Herzog’s Bear makes a convincing argument that our society is suffering from a case of consumption. A snippet:
Once upon a time the social contract may have revolved around a social safety net or human rights but those things are pretty immaterial to most Americans. What makes a successful polity in their eyes is maintaining the flow of cheap consumer goods and services. For at least the past forty years this has been at the heart of everything. Workers’ wages have been stagnant, postindustrial and farming communities are falling apart, but you can still get almost anything you want for cheap at the local Wal-Mart. You might not have much, but you can still afford to go to a fast food restaurant and afford a hot meal made by others who have to serve you. The rise of globalization and consumer credit that accompanied the onset of neo-liberalism have made it possible for massive wealth and income inequalities to not lead to revolutionary change.
We are a broken society.
At the Idaho State Journal, Nick Gier cuts through the caterwauling and continues to the crux. A nugget:
This supply chain problem, starting in early 2020, is worldwide, and President Joe Biden, who was not yet the Democrat’s nominee, obviously had nothing to do with it. It is just as absurd to blame the Dutch prime minister for the record number of cargo ships waiting to unload at Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port.cuts
Follow the link for the complete article.
At The Roanoke Times, Robert F. Boyd muses on what led our polity to its present state, which he refers to as a “Trumpenstein” monster. Here’s a bit:
If one could select one feature that characterized the period of the 1970s to the present it would be greed, both corporate and personal. What changed from the 1970s to now that allowed this to happen?
Follow the link to see how he answer that question.