Subjects Archives: Political Economy

  • Rising Tensions on the Rails

    The threatened New York City Transit strike is just the latest sign of a growing labor-management confrontation across the US railroad system. While the workers of Transit Workers Union 100 battle off attacks on their pensions and health care, Bush Administration hirelings on the Amtrak Board prepare to launch an assault on the national passenger […]

  • Commodity Fetishism: A Concept for Organizing against Sweatshop Labor and Neoliberal Globalization

    Two URPE Insights First, I should start by assuring you that I have not gone round the bend. I am not about to suggest that we dust off our volumes of Capital, corner some poor unsuspecting soul, and then launch into some long-winded exegesis of the concept of commodity fetishism. That sounds more like a […]

  • “This Is a Cover-up and Paul Martin Knows It”: Kevin Pina on Canada’s Role in Haiti

      A cross-Canada week of action in solidarity with Haiti will be kicked off by a November 12 demonstration on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Solidarity committees are springing up across the country, objecting to the central role that the Canadian government played, along with France and the United States, in overturning the democratically-elected government of […]

  • Bolivia: Elections and Left Strategy

    The small Andean nation hit the news again on October 31, 2005 with the announcement that elections originally scheduled for December 2005 were to be postponed indefinitely. This most recent political crisis was orchestrated by the agro-industrialist elite from Santa Cruz, who are using procedural rules to thwart the move towards the deepening of democracy. […]

  • The Political Economy of Sham Justice: Carla Del Ponte Addresses Goldman Sachs on Justice and Profits

    On October 6, 2005, Carla Del Ponte, prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), gave a talk before an audience at Goldman Sachs in London that throws light on the role of the ICTY as well as the character of Ms. Del Ponte and qualities of her efforts.1 Speaking before this […]

  • Fearless Speech in Fearful Times: An Essay Review of Capitalists and Conquerors, Teaching against Global Capitalism and the New Imperialism, and Teaching Peter McLaren

      Capitalists and Conquerors: A Critical Pedagogy against Empire by Peter McLaren (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005) Teaching against Global Capitalism and the New Imperialism: A Critical Pedagogy by Peter McLaren and Ramin Farahmandpur (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005) Teaching Peter McLaren: Paths of Dissent, by Marc Pruyn and Luis M. Huerta-Charles (New […]

  • In Patents We Trust: How the U.S. Government Learned to Stop Worrying about Monopoly and Love Intellectual Property

    Today, patents supposedly exist to provide an incentive for new discoveries. Patents had a different purpose at their origin. When the Venetians invented what today we would call intellectual property in the fifteenth century, governments openly treated it as an element of state power.  Workers could enjoy monopolistic privileges only if they continued to strengthen […]

  • Neo-colonialism — a Palestinian Nightmare

    The Israeli occupation of Gaza Strip didn’t end — it merely changed form. With the completion of the Israeli army withdrawal from Gaza Strip, and the eviction of all the settlers from there, its occupation has seemingly ended. And indeed, if by “occupation” we mean, as the Israeli establishment wants us to understand, a mere […]

  • Personal Debts and US Capitalism

    There is no precedent in US — or any other — history for the level of personal debt now carried by the American people. Consider the raw numbers. In 1974, Federal Reserve data show that US mortgage plus other consumer debt totaled $627 billion. By 1994, the total debt had risen to $4,206 billion, and […]

  • Two Forms of Resistance against Empire

    Today the planet is an immense gulag. The resources of the periphery of the empire — the great majority of human beings — are channeled towards the imperial centre — the richest countries — in the manner of a colossal funnel. There are now in the world two practical routes of resistance to the US […]

  • The Euro — Going Global, Making Trouble: Why the Europeanization of “Modell Deutschland” Does Not Make a World Currency

    Going Global Supporters and even critics of the European Monetary Union (EMU) often see its policies — its rejection of Keynesian demand management that was written into the Maastricht Treaty and later transformed into the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), as well as its monetarist belief in the priority of anti-inflationary policies over any other […]

  • Spinning Wheels of Globalization!

      The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, in such quantity as he might see fit, and reasonably expect their early delivery upon his doorstep; he could at the same moment and by the same means adventure his wealth in the […]

  • New Bargaining Strategies? USWA and the New Economy

      The new economy has placed a variety of pressures on collective bargaining in Canada. These pressures should, in the first instance, be understood in the context of long-term Canadian economic under-performance. Lower growth and productivity performance than the US, combined with higher unemployment, has placed extensive labor market pressures on wages in Canada since […]

  • New Orleans:

      The world watched as people of New Orleans were herded into the Superdome, only to find themselves in a wretched and unsanitary place with no food, water, or proper medical care. Those in areas of high flooding fled to their rooftops, begging rescue helicopters to airlift them to safety. Many died trapped in their […]

  • Tributes to David Houston

    David Houston changed my life.  If it weren’t for Dave, I wouldn’t be a political economist, a political activist, and I wouldn’t have a sense of my life as part of a larger historical struggle for economic and social justice. Dave, along with his friend David Bramhall who concentrated on teaching undergraduates, were the sole […]

  • Europe, Capitalism, and Socialism

    In the Spring of 2005, workers’ votes in France and the Netherlands made the difference in defeating the draft European constitution and ending socialist party control of the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg. In the few weeks after those momentous events, most politicians and reporters offered one basic explanation. It tells us much more about the […]

  • Let’s Put the Nature of Work on Labor’s Agenda: Part Four

      [Author’s note: Let me repeat my invitation at the end of Part Three of this series. Readers are invited to submit short essays, about 1,000 words, about their work. What do you do? In what ways is your work satisfying? In what ways is it not? How could it be made better? Send your […]

  • Global Capitalism in Danger

    Global capitalism is in danger. Leading lights of global finance capital are sending out warning signals with growing urgency and desperation. Alan Greenspan is puzzled, referring to the decline of long-term interest rates at a time of rising short-term interest rates as a “conundrum.” To solve the conundrum, Martin Wolf of the Financial Times argues, […]

  • Koizumi Goes Postal

    On Monday, August 8th, Japan’s upper house of Parliament unexpectedly joined the French and Dutch electorates to give a sharp slap to neoliberal inevitability. Much to the totally delicious distress of all the usual suspects, from the Financial Times to the Christian Science Monitor, the parliamentarians turned down Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s key piece of […]

  • The Minimum Wage, Part Two: Challenging Right-Wing Think Tanks’ Economics-Lite

    When arguments turn to economics, most of us (a) flee, (b) fall asleep, or (c) give up and figure it’s just too hard to understand. But you can stand your ground, even if you have never taken an economics course. What it takes is being curious and willing to ask questions and challenge claims. It […]