political_economy   1169

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Opinion | It’s Time to Break Up Facebook - The New York Times
Mark made a call: “We stop those messages from going through.” Most people would agree with his decision, but it’s deeply troubling that he made it with no accountability to any independent authority or government. Facebook could, in theory, delete en masse the messages of Americans, too, if its leadership decided it didn’t like them.

Mark used to insist that Facebook was just a “social utility,” a neutral platform for people to communicate what they wished. Now he recognizes that Facebook is both a platform and a publisher and that it is inevitably making decisions about values. The company’s own lawyers have argued in court that Facebook is a publisher and thus entitled to First Amendment protection.
political_economy  techforhistorians  Technology 
9 days ago by wtokie
In US and UK, the Working and Middle Classes Are Under Attack
The official government economic policies in both countries did little or nothing to change the basic conditions that brought on the 2008 crisis. That is partly why the trends toward greater inequality continued after 2008. In contrast, after the 1929 crash, inequality had decreased. In those years, radical militancy surged within the labor movement, in socialist and communist parties, and thus within the coalitions among them. That militancy moved politics to the left, creating or increasing social welfare programs paid for with tax increases on corporations and the rich.
pol.185  inequalities  Power_in_America  Trump  capitalism  political_economy  policy  class 
19 days ago by Jibarosoy
Capitalism in crisis: U.S. billionaires worry about the survival of the system that made them rich - The Washington Post
Klarman wasn’t opposed to more progressive taxation or regulation. But he worried that these new proposals went much too far. “I think we’re in the middle of a revolution — not a guns revolution — but a revolution where people on both extremes want to blow it up, and good things don’t happen to the vast majority of the population in a revolution,” he said.

He wasn’t the only one who felt a sense of alarm. One of the most popular classes at Harvard Business School, home to the next generation of Fortune 500 executives, was a class on “reimagining capitalism.” Seven years ago, the elective started with 28 students. Now there were nearly 300 taking it. During that period the students had grown increasingly cynical about corporations and the government, said Rebecca Henderson, the Harvard economist who teaches the course.
pol.505  marxism  dialectic  inequality  Power_in_America  teaching_pol_theory  political_theory  political_economy 
28 days ago by Jibarosoy
Trump Wants to Maintain US Empire But Without the Alliances
Trump fetishizes military power, but many aspects of the military make him uncomfortable, including all of the mutual defense pacts. My sense is that he wants power in the world without presence in it. His vision is of a country that is confined to the borders of the contiguous United States, a wall built high around it, and bristling with fortress defenses. That’s very different from the typical pattern of U.S. power, which involves superintending a complicated alliance system, peppering the planet with bases, and fighting via coalitions.
Trump  state  empire  Violence_y_Power  international  political_economy 
4 weeks ago by Jibarosoy
Billionaires and Stealth Politics, Page, Seawright, Lacombe
In 2016, when millions of Americans voted for Donald Trump, many believed his claims that personal wealth would free him from wealthy donors and allow him to “drain the swamp.” But then Trump appointed several billionaires and multimillionaires to high-level positions and pursued billionaire-friendly policies, such as cutting corporate income taxes. Why the change from his fiery campaign rhetoric and promises to the working class? This should not be surprising, argue Benjamin I. Page, Jason Seawright, and Matthew J. Lacombe: As the gap between the wealthiest and the rest of us has widened, the few who hold one billion dollars or more in net worth have begun to play a more and more active part in politics—with serious consequences for democracy in the United States.

Page, Seawright, and Lacombe argue that while political contributions offer a window onto billionaires’ influence, especially on economic policy, they do not present a full picture of policy preferences and political actions. That is because on some of the most important issues, including taxation, immigration, and Social Security, billionaires have chosen to engage in “stealth politics.” They try hard to influence public policy, making large contributions to political parties and policy-focused causes, leading policy-advocacy organizations, holding political fundraisers, and bundling others’ contributions—all while rarely talking about public policy to the media. This means that their influence is not only unequal but also largely unaccountable to and unchallengeable by the American people. Stealth politics makes it difficult for ordinary citizens to know what billionaires are doing or mobilize against it. The book closes with remedies citizens can pursue if they wish to make wealthy Americans more politically accountable, such as public financing of political campaigns and easier voting procedures, and notes the broader types of reforms, such as a more progressive income tax system, that would be needed to increase political equality and reinvigorate majoritarian democracy in the United States.
book  corruption  political_economy  inequality  institutions  political_science  forecasting 
7 weeks ago by rvenkat
Economics After Neoliberalism | Boston Review
Economics is still somewhat insular within social sciences because of its methodological predilections: methodological individualism, model-based abstraction, mathematical and statistical formalism. But in recent decades economists have reached out to other disciplines and have incorporated many of their insights. Economic history is experiencing a revival, behavioral economics has put homo economicus on the defensive, and the study of culture has become mainstream. At the center of the discipline, distributional considerations are making a comeback. And economists have been playing an important role in studying the growing concentration of wealth, the costs of climate change, the concentration of important markets, the stagnation of income for the working class, and the changing patterns in social mobility
Economics  pol.185  methods  teaching_pol_theory  data  political_economy 
february 2019 by Jibarosoy
Who's Responsible For Amazon Quitting Queens?: Gothamist
Greg LeRoy, the executive director of Good Jobs First, a government watchdog group that tracks state and local job subsidies, says that this kind of negotiating tactic is a hallmark of corporations plying the “tax break industrial complex.”
“An essential working part of it is to degrade and demean public officials. It’s to get them to internalize, you Hartford, you New York, you Chicago, are not worth very much. We have lots of other choices. You’ve got lots of problems. If you don’t pay us a lot of money to offset the things we don't like about you, you’re disposable.”
LeRoy added that Amazon initially had “a very strong business case for them to come to New York, and I think they really wanted to come, and then I think they really ran into a buzzsaw.”
“Their arrogance about the way they approached the deal made it much harder for them than it had to be," LeRoy said. "If they had not preempted the City Council, if they had not expected those huge as-of-right incentives from the city, if they had not wired the thing for Cuomo to just run over the City Council, and actually talked to people in the neighborhoods, things might have played out very differently."
newyork  Power_materials  Pol.11  political_economy  Business  capitalism  Pol.12 
february 2019 by Jibarosoy
Strict ID Laws Don't Stop Voters: Evidence from a U.S. Nationwide Panel, 2008-2016
U.S. states increasingly require identification to vote – an ostensive attempt to deter fraud that prompts complaints of selective disenfranchisement. Using a difference-in-differences design on a 1.3-billion-observations panel, we find the laws have no negative effect on registration or turnout, overall or for any group defined by race, gender, age, or party affiliation. These results hold through a large number of specifications and cannot be attributed to mobilization against the laws, measured by campaign contributions and self-reported political engagement. ID requirements have no effect on fraud either – actual or perceived. Overall, our results suggest that efforts to reform voter ID laws may not have much impact on elections.

--so the *real* problem is redistricting?
voter_supression_complex  political_economy  intervention  democracy  via:nyhan  for_friends 
february 2019 by rvenkat
Goodbye to the Dollar
The inept and corrupt presidency of Donald Trump has unwittingly triggered the fatal blow to the American empire—the abandonment of the dollar as the world’s principal reserve currency. Nations around the globe, especially in Europe, have lost confidence in the United States to act rationally, much less lead, in issues of international finance, trade, diplomacy and war. These nations are quietly dismantling the seven-decade-old alliance with the United States and building alternative systems of bilateral trade. This reconfiguring of the world’s financial system will be fatal to the American empire, as the historian Alfred McCoy and the economist Michael Hudson have long pointed out. It will trigger an economic death spiral, including high inflation, which will necessitate a massive military contraction overseas and plunge the United States into a prolonged depression. Trump, rather than make America great again, has turned out, unwittingly, to be the empire’s most aggressive gravedigger.
Pol.12  Pol.11  Power_in_America  political_economy  pol.639  economy  finances  state 
february 2019 by Jibarosoy
Foreign Policy in Trump’s Second Year
After a turbulent 2017, President Donald Trump’s second year in office was marked by turnover among top-level advisers and by shifting policies toward allies and adversaries alike. We look back on some of the major foreign policy developments of the past year and what to read to understand them.
Trump  Pol.12  Power_in_America  Violence_y_Power  international  globalwarming  political_economy 
february 2019 by Jibarosoy
Democracy Does Cause Growth | Journal of Political Economy: Vol 127, No 1
We provide evidence that democracy has a positive effect on GDP per capita. Our dynamic panel strategy controls for country fixed effects and the rich dynamics of GDP, which otherwise confound the effect of democracy. To reduce measurement error, we introduce a new indicator of democracy that consolidates previous measures. Our baseline results show that democratizations increase GDP per capita by about 20 percent in the long run. We find similar effects using a propensity score reweighting strategy as well as an instrumental-variables strategy using regional waves of democratization. The effects are similar across different levels of development and appear to be driven by greater investments in capital, schooling, and health.
democracy  institutions  macroeconomics  political_economy  causal_inference  the_civilizing_process  suresh.naidu 
february 2019 by rvenkat
The Material Power of Ideas and Knowledge — Crooked Timber
-- it would be interesting to dissect the diffusion of interesectional thought as a case study. It has obviously Sapir-Whorf-ed vast swaths of social issues and is en route to becoming part of political campaign argot.
henry.farrell  knowledge  political_economy  economic_policy 
january 2019 by rvenkat

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