Camden Blues

It’s amazing how we calmly accept the most absurd things, simply because they’ve been that way for a while. Today’s example is the notion that cities are nasty, brutal, crime-ridden places packed with poor people. Why should it be in what way? What makes it that way? No idea; it’s just how things are, in… Continue reading Camden Blues

These Kids Today

In the fiscal year that ended in June, 52,193 undocumented minors were caught crossing the United States’s southern border. That is twice as many as the previous year. Many of these children were unaccompanied. The vast majority are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, into which drug gangs and violence have spread from Mexico. There… Continue reading These Kids Today

No. Stop. Please

Every now and then the threat of a new new Walmart will arise in our local struggling postindustrial city, and a dogged crew of well-read, well-fed progressives will turn out to oppose it. Perhaps the Big-box juggernaut will be thwarted for a time — even though a majority of the city’s struggling postindustrial people may… Continue reading No. Stop. Please

My Tainted Trousers

The main media buzz has — all too soon — drifted away from the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, in which over a thousand garment workers lost their lives, and another 2,500 were injured. I heard the news report when it happened, and even engaged in a few rather brief discussions, over the… Continue reading My Tainted Trousers

Good Luck With That, Jeffrey Sachs

My general impression of Jeffrey Sachs is that the things he says usually make some sense; he’s well-credentialed, widely published, quoted, cited, featured, y’know, and what-all. So I was a bit surprised, yesterday, to see a steaming pile of fresh bull-phunqué under his byline, titled “Time to End the Tax Havens.” Sachs is promoting yet another charity campaign, “Enough Food… Continue reading Good Luck With That, Jeffrey Sachs

Global Poverty: Real and Virtual

Glancing at HuffPost over morning coffee (something that costs about $1.50 these days at most NYC bodegas), I noticed that a couple of bloggers, Jessica Prois and Eleanor Goldberg, are documenting their participation in the “Live Below the Line” campaign of the Global Poverty Project. The challenge they’ve taken on is to feed themselves on no more that… Continue reading Global Poverty: Real and Virtual

On Rent

My awesome colleague Jacob Shwartz-Lucas mused, in his recent WorkandWealth piece, on Rent — which, he notes, “has a very nuanced meaning in Economics.” Though Jacob said “meaning,” he talked about definition — which is understandable. He was making an economic point — and academic economics has done its best to make sure normal readers won’t get a handle on… Continue reading On Rent

Have the seeds of world war III been sown? Dig out the rents before it’s too late.

Optimal Policies for Avoiding World War III. Debt, Depression and the final Crisis of Capitalism. Economic commentator Fred Harrison describes how Land Value Tax could help avert the coming crisis in capitalism & how history teaches us that world wars have their origins in similar crises in the past. It is the unearned increment, the… Continue reading Have the seeds of world war III been sown? Dig out the rents before it’s too late.

What the Plutocrats Don’t Want You to Know: Washington Post Response

I’ve been very excited the past few days to see so many great articles published in big name journals in reference to what I see as the most fundamental issue facing our planet. How do we divide our natural “wealth”, i.e. natural resources, and our (wo)man made wealth? The way we collectively answer that question has broad implications,… Continue reading What the Plutocrats Don’t Want You to Know: Washington Post Response