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

Is New Technology Destroying Jobs?

On the NewsHour Friday night, in response to the dismal new jobs numbers, Andrew McAfee of the MIT Center for Digital Business blames the loss on “powerful” new labor-saving technology. But if he’s right, is it the technology itself, or the large corporations that install it? The claim that new technology destroys jobs is at least as old as… Continue reading Is New Technology Destroying Jobs?

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

Lonely Tax Reformers Press On

The economy is surging forward. Clean-energy stocks are outpacing the markets. Seventeen of the 20 largest cities in the United States have voluntarily increased their debt-retirement payments to the federal government. This is the climate in which independent film producer Ashley Charles must pitch “The Short List,” her documentary project on economic and tax reform based on… Continue reading Lonely Tax Reformers Press On

Don’t Worry. I’ll Fix It.

I have some good news for you, citizens. Your dysfunctional government gridlock has finally hit bottom. You’ve been thinking, “Why can’t some benevolent King just come in and impose a system that works?” Now, I recognize that democracy is OK, in theory. If you could be confident that your vote would be counted — and… Continue reading Don’t Worry. I’ll Fix It.

In Emergency, Break Glass

Too much of the talk about today’s JOBS issue has been theoretical. Here’s a real-world proposal. We need to put people to work, NOW! What’s more, it would be nice, if these newly-created jobs didn’t create too much environmental harm. My modest proposal involves two basic materials, both of which are abundant, renewable and recyclable.… Continue reading In Emergency, Break Glass