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Subjects Archives: Political Economy

The Failure of Climate Change Economics

In 1896, the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius developed a theory to explain the likely impact of burning coal on the climate.  Arrhenius claimed that, due to human activity, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere would increase, creating an “enhanced” greenhouse effect.  His theory did not enjoy consensus in his time, but the scientific community […]

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Double Standard on Divestment

Today, two movements for the promotion of human rights in Sudan and Palestine seek to emulate the successful role played by boycotts, divestment, and sanctions in achieving democracy and equality in South Africa.  The two movements, however, have received radically different receptions on Capitol Hill.  This double standard testifies to official Washington’s selectivity when it […]

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Rick Wolff

The Rating Horrors and Capitalist “Efficiency”

Many aspects of our “efficient” capitalism combined to produce the credit meltdown that now threatens ever more aspects of the global economy.  One was the private rating companies’ failure to accurately assess and honestly reveal the risks of securities based on a “bundle” of loans (securities that provide their owners with a portion of that […]

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Rick Wolff

Neoliberal Globalization Is Not the Problem

“O there are times, we must confess To harboring a whim — we Like to picture old Karl Marx Sliding down our chimney” — Susie Day “Help fund the good fight.   By contributing to MR, you help reinforce the left and reclaim the future.” — Richard D. Vogel “To do my part, I just […]

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Capitalism’s Beverage & the Obesity Epidemic

The Los Angeles Times reports that Disneyland is retooling its boats-on-water rides because of the raging obesity epidemic in the United States, “to deal with the delicate problem of bottoming-out boats.” People are simply getting too fat for the existing rides, including the now satirically named “It’s a Small World”: “Forty-one years after the whimsical […]

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The New Globalized Auto Plant Corridor

Globalization, 2: US Autoworkers, 0

The recent UAW ratification of the Chrysler contract that contains many of the same provisions that were adopted in the labor agreement signed with GM last month is another major blow to the jobs and welfare of US autoworkers.  Globalization, the Big Three’s grand strategy of pitting the workers of North America against one another […]

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Financial Capital: Crises Are Part of the Game

Everything went well during the summer of 2007.  The economy was in an upswing and stock-market prices rose even faster.  Then the end of the housing boom in the United States triggered an international financial crisis.  Up to now it has been contained by heavy central-bank intervention; but the euphoria is gone.  The world of […]

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Rick Wolff

Our Sub-prime Economy

What matters most in economics often gets the least attention.  So it is with the link between wages and productivity: what workers get paid versus the value of what they produce.  Most commentators focus elsewhere.  They hype what their employers want to see or what they want others to believe.  Stock boosters see market upswings […]

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