Jim Downs writes for Aeon on the radical socialist roots of the gay liberation movement in America, as well as the role of economics in allowing individuals to shape an openly gay identity....more
Posts Tagged: economics
Martin Kirk writes for Aeon on the paradoxical connection between economic growth and eliminating poverty. Kirk illustrates that increasing the size of the economic pie, by spending the world’s finite resources, with no change in distribution to impoverished populations, will not only not eradicate poverty in the near future, but will only accelerate the depletion of the natural world:
Every forest razed, every armament sold, every industrial pollutant created, even the profits from drugs and prostitution, all register as positive for GDP [the gross domestic product].
At Longreads, Elissa Strauss analyzes the economics and frustrations that come with giving low-income children a summer....more
Creativity is an essential component of a healthy economy, and Western nations are doing a terrible job of fostering intellectual creativity. Writers, artists, and thinkers are underpaid, as developed economies have given priority to a corporate model of shareholders and profits rather than innovation....more
Following her essay about the influence of Adam Smith’s economic theories in Jane Austen’s novels, writing at The Atlantic, Shannon Chamberlain gets back to the topic, this time debating what influence fiction had, and in particular the emerging genre of the novel, in Smith’s production:
“Perhaps this sense of turmoil, of progress that could still be undone, explains Smith’s apparent ambiguity about novels.
While readers today might think of Jane Austen novels as the equivalent of 18th century bodice rippers, money, wealth, and economics played a major role both in their creation and in their narrative. Austen wrote as much for financial benefit as for art....more
On a blog for the Wall Street Journal (where else?), Emily Oster gives advice based on economic theory. For example:
There is a model in economics called the “sS” model. It’s not often applied to relationships, but I think it should be….If something really good happens, or many good things in a row, it pushes you over some threshold (this is the “S” threshold) and you get married.
Nobel prize winning economist and NYT‘s columnist, Paul Krugman expresses his love for sci-fi and fantasy in an interview for Wired magazine.
Krugman cites Isaac Asimov’s novel Foundation as his inspiration for becoming an economist, a damned responsible one at that: “‘I read [Isaac Asimov’s] Foundation back when I was in high school, when I was a teenager and thought about the psychohistorians, who save galactic civilization through their understanding of the laws of society, and I said ‘I want to be one of those guys.’ And economics was as close as I could get.’”...more
At The Atlantic, philosopher Michael J. Sandel breaks down the hidden (or not so hidden) costs of a culture in which almost everything is for sale, and articulates the key distinction between a market economy and a market society....more
A British thinktank, the New Economics Foundation, is advocating for a shorter work week as a cure for Britain’s economic, social, and environmental woes. The economists argue that the solution to fewer jobs due to technological advances involves work-sharing, and a government legislated maximum work week....more
In this interview economic anthropologist David Graeber disputes the standard theory that the monetary system replaces the barter system, arguing that credit and debt come before money.
Graeber sheds light on the complex relationship between debt and morality, transitions from commodity to virtual money, and the relative importance of money versus debt, before dipping into the current financial crisis....more
Children’s books are teaching all kinds of lessons and not just the morals-heavy, value-driven ones that are meant to stave off latent delinquency.
Read between the lines of children’s lit and you can brush up on some conceptual economics. One can begin to understand economic efficiency by reading Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, or learn the perils of overindulgent consumersim (remember what happened to Veruca in Charlie and the Chocoloate Factory?)....more
The whole system of American outsourcing has rendered our industry incapable of producing the next technological innovation, which unfortunately is the key to reconstructing our economy.
One example of this is the Kindle. Amazon doesn’t have the means for the next generation of their techy product to be produced on domestic soil....more
Internationally, labor unions have a weaker presence.
Making up for this slack are the non-governmental organizations that support health initiatives, women’s rights and ebb environmental degradation, etc. The presence of NGOs internationally, even with a history of positive consequences, have been facing governmental tensions over dealing with controversial issues, like food security or anti-corruption activist groups in India....more
The Atlantic discusses job creation in both words and graphs. Derek Thompson breaks down the problem, explains where the jobs are hiding and tells us how we can grow, economically.
“Finally, there is the innovation conundrum. Calling for more innovation doesn’t mean inviting the 25 MacArthur Grant Fellows into a room and asking them to fix health care inflation....more
The other week, The New Yorker published an excellent article by Caleb Crain about the peculiar economics and politics of life aboard a pirate ship in the 17th and 18th centuries. When the captain of an English slave ship was captured by pirates in 1719, his crew begged the pirates to spare his life, since they “never were with a better man.” Thus he lived to tell the tale (and write it up)....more