1044 posts tagged with Economics.
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Fossil fuels are doomed

A meta-assessment by Rembrandt Koppelaar argues that "Solar is able to generate 14 times the energy invested to create the panels" while "oil and gas now generate roughly 11 times the amount of energy invested" in the U.S., due to declining reserve quality.
posted by jeffburdges on Dec 7, 2016 - 37 comments

What your social-media news feed could look like if things go wrong

The Pessimist’s Guide to 2017. Donald Trump and Brexit shocked most of the world in 2016. But not readers of last year’s Bloomberg Pessimist’s Guide, which warned that the unthinkable could happen in both cases. Now the authors are turning their attention to 2017. (SLBBW)
posted by slogger on Dec 6, 2016 - 99 comments

Socialize Finance

The economic geography of a universal basic income - "An underdiscussed virtue of a universal basic income is that it would counter geographic inequality even more powerfully than it blunts conventional income inequality. By a 'universal basic income', I mean the simple policy of having the Federal government cut periodic checks of identical dollar amounts to every adult citizen, wherever they may live. Importantly, a universal basic income would not be calibrated to the local cost of living. Residents of Manhattan would receive the same dollar amount as residents of Cleveland. But a dollar in Cleveland stretches much farther than the same dollar in Manhattan..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 6, 2016 - 50 comments

Conversations with Tyler

Tyler Cowen is an economics professor and chairman / general director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Since April 2015, he has been hosting "Conversations with Tyler", lengthy, one-on-one podcast interviews with "thought leaders from across the spectrum — economists, entrepreneurs, authors and innovators. All have one thing in common — they are making an impact on the world because of their ideas." His latest is with Steven Pinker. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 4, 2016 - 16 comments

Apply yourself to supply your wealth

The Universal Right to Capital Income - "If a universal basic income is to be legitimate, it cannot be financed by taxing Jill to pay Jack. That is why it should be funded not from taxation, but from returns on capital." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 4, 2016 - 54 comments

What if you invested instead?

InvestedInstead.com is a little website with a single purpose, which is to provide you with the answer to the question "if I instead of buying <iconic product> on launch day invested the same amount of money into <iconic product's maker>, what would my investment be worth today?"
posted by Harald74 on Oct 25, 2016 - 39 comments

H₂0™

Liquid Assets: How the Business of Bottled Water Went Mad by Sophie Elmhirst [The Guardian] “Water is no longer simply water – it has become a commercial blank slate, a word on to which any possible ingredient or fantastical, life-enhancing promise can be attached. And it’s working. Over the past two decades, bottled water has become the fastest-growing drinks market in the world. The global market was valued at $157bn in 2013, and is expected to reach $280bn by 2020. Last year, in the UK alone, consumption of water drinks grew by 8.2%, equating to a retail value of more than £2.5bn. Sales of water are 100 times higher than in 1980. Of water: a substance that, in developed countries, can be drunk for free from a tap without fear of contracting cholera. What is going on?”
posted by Fizz on Oct 8, 2016 - 55 comments

'Chabuduo': How China became the land of disastrous corner-cutting

The prevailing attitude [in China] is chabuduo, or ‘close enough’. It’s a phrase you’ll hear with grating regularity, one that speaks to a job 70 per cent done, a plan sketched out but never completed, a gauge unchecked or a socket put in the wrong size. Chabuduo is the corrosive opposite of the impulse towards craftmanship...it implies that to put any more time or effort into a piece of work would be the act of a fool. China is the land of the cut corner, of ‘good enough for government work’.
posted by beijingbrown on Oct 5, 2016 - 69 comments

Congestion in London redux

As the capital’s traffic slows below pre-Congestion Charge speeds, difficult decisions loom. (via @felixsalmon ) [more inside]
posted by hawthorne on Oct 4, 2016 - 94 comments

The Politics of Dancing

The economics of dining as a couple - "I am eternally astonished to find not only that many couples I know failed to discuss this key area before they marched up to the altar, but also that many of them still have not developed a joint dining strategy even after 10 or 20 years together. This is madness." Megan McArdle blends economics and marriage therapy.
posted by GuyZero on Oct 2, 2016 - 98 comments

Dataism: Getting out of the 'job loop' and into the 'knowledge loop'

From deities to data - "For thousands of years humans believed that authority came from the gods. Then, during the modern era, humanism gradually shifted authority from deities to people... Now, a fresh shift is taking place. Just as divine authority was legitimised by religious mythologies, and human authority was legitimised by humanist ideologies, so high-tech gurus and Silicon Valley prophets are creating a new universal narrative that legitimises the authority of algorithms and Big Data." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 7, 2016 - 45 comments

Auditing Algorithms and Algorithmic Auditing

How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy - "A former academic mathematician and ex-hedge fund quant exposes flaws in how information is used to assess everything from creditworthiness to policing tactics, with results that cause damage both financially and to the fabric of society. Programmed biases and a lack of feedback are among the concerns behind the clever and apt title of Cathy O'Neil's book: Weapons of Math Destruction." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 6, 2016 - 61 comments

The Court That Rules The World

International investors have a private court of appeal even in criminal matters - "A parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else, helps executives convicted of crimes escape punishment. [ISDS] operates unconstrained by precedent or any significant public oversight, often keeping its proceedings and sometimes even its decisions secret." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 31, 2016 - 39 comments

Graphs of the Economy

Macrotrends has tons of economic graphs. Interactive historical charts of the Dow Jones Industrials Index, gold, crude oil not to mention oats, wheat, silver and aluminum. Also US unemployment perspectives, US debt-to-GDP, US National debt by President and everyone's favorite the 1929 Stock Market Crash. The data and the graphs are free to download.
posted by storybored on Aug 19, 2016 - 4 comments

We’re in a Low-Growth World. How Did We Get Here?

If you live in the US, EU or Japan, and feel like economic growth today has not been like it was for your parents' or grandparents' generation, you are correct. Growth in mature markets has been very slow since the late 1960s. Economist Robert J. Gordon calls 1870-1970, the "Special Century" because of how abnormally strong the growth was in that period. [more inside]
posted by gen on Aug 10, 2016 - 45 comments

Central bank digital currency: the end of monetary policy as we know it?

I argue that taken to its most extreme conclusion, [central bank digital currency] issuance could have far-reaching consequences for commercial and central banking – divorcing payments from private bank deposits and even putting an end to banks’ ability to create money. By redefining the architecture of payment systems, CBcoin could thus challenge fractional reserve banking and reshape the conduct of monetary policy.
posted by Chrysostom on Jul 26, 2016 - 15 comments

"Liberals got out of the habit of arguing for their beliefs"

"But it goes way beyond that. Some researchers claim that liberals aren't motivated by feeling of moral disgust, but I disagree. Liberals think incidents like these are disgusting. Racism is viscerally wrong, it's unacceptable, and it needs to stop." Four years ago Mark Rosenfelder (metafilter's own) wrote The Practical Case For Liberalism (previously). He follows it up now with The Moral Case For Liberalism.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 25, 2016 - 29 comments

The Entrepreneurial State

Mariana Mazzucato is Rethinking Capitalism (pdf; via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 22, 2016 - 16 comments

The open hand and the closed fist

Just print money and give it to everyone by Chris Arnade: "The usual answer to why we don't do this is that it isn't politically feasible and there is no precedent. 1) That has never stopped bank bailouts, which often require a great deal of political and regulatory ingenuity to jam through. (TARP cough TARP) 2) It is a symptom of a system built by and for the bankers to benefit themselves. It is the equivalent of saying, 'We can't do it because we have never wanted to do it'. That we don't do it this way isn't just a small economic quibble with no impact. The most visceral anger I hear from voters across the country is directed at bank bailouts, which they see as evidence of a rigged system. They are right. The system is rigged in the sense that our primary method to stimulate the economy also conveniently bails out bankers." (previously; via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 12, 2016 - 55 comments

The Economics of Genius

Genius comes in two very different forms, embodied by two very different types of people.
posted by romados on Jun 30, 2016 - 56 comments

The Ups and Downs of the Baltic Dry Index

Though obfuscated by rapid increases in China's shipping fleet, it has reliably predicted economic downturns. [SL New Yorker] It reflects the rates that freight carriers charge to haul raw materials, and has emerged as an unlikely barometer of economic health.
posted by Bee'sWing on Jun 22, 2016 - 2 comments

Legal Bodies

China has very strict controls on moving money out of the country. China's new president, Xi Jinping, has been cracking down on corruption at the highest levels, consolidating his control over the government. What to do if you're a corrupt official worried you may find yourself on the wrong side of the new regime? Buy a Japanese son. Japanese surrogacy ring producing Japanese-citizen babies for Chinese nationals: Part 1, Part 2
posted by Diablevert on Jun 22, 2016 - 17 comments

Trekonomics

The Economic Lessons of Star Trek's Money-Free Society - "[Manu Saadia] points to technologies like GPS and the internet as models for how we can set ourselves on the path to a Star Trek future. 'If we decide as a society to make more of these crucial things available to all as public goods, we're probably going to be well on our way to improving the condition of everybody on Earth', he says. But he also warns that technology alone won't create a post-scarcity future... 'This is something that has to be dealt with on a political level, and we have to face that.' " (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 21, 2016 - 102 comments

The Uncanny Mind That Built Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin invented the world's hottest new cryptocurrency and inspired a movement — before he'd turned 20 - "I think a large part of the consequence is necessarily going to be disempowering some of these centralized players to some extent because ultimately power is a zero sum game. And if you talk about empowering the little guy, as much as you want to couch it in flowery terminology that makes it sound fluffy and good, you are necessarily disempowering the big guy. And personally I say screw the big guy. They have enough money already." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 16, 2016 - 62 comments

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Amateur Auction Theorist

I am inclined to offer Mr. Vieweg from Berlin an epic poem, Hermann and Dorothea, which will have approximately 2000 hexameters. …Concerning the royalty we will proceed as follows: I will hand over to Mr. Counsel Böttiger a sealed note which contains my demand, and I wait for what Mr. Vieweg will suggest to offer for my work. If his offer is lower than my demand, then I take my note back, unopened, and the negotiation is broken. If, however, his offer is higher, then I will not ask for more than what is written in the note to be opened by Mr. Böttiger.
posted by Chrysostom on Jun 13, 2016 - 7 comments

We have portkeys! Boom! Middle of the ocean!

Cartoonist Boulet (previously, previously, related previously) thinks about the problem with all these elaborate traps in adventure movies.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 1, 2016 - 66 comments

What does it look like when an ideology dies?

You’re witnessing the death of neoliberalism – from within Aditya Chakrabortty comments about the IMF paper titled, "Neoliberalism, Oversold?" that has been making waves. To put it mildly.
posted by cendawanita on Jun 1, 2016 - 41 comments

Sapiens 2.0: Homo Deus?

In his follow-up to Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari envisions what a 'useless class' of humans might look like as AI advances and spreads - "I'm aware that these kinds of forecasts have been around for at least 200 years, from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and they never came true so far. It's basically the boy who cried wolf, but in the original story of the boy who cried wolf, in the end, the wolf actually comes, and I think that is true this time." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 24, 2016 - 23 comments

How the rich got richer

Vox cartoon breakdown of rise in US economic inequality.
posted by MoonOrb on May 23, 2016 - 20 comments

La bohème

What is actually happening with San Francisco rental prices?

From mefi's own urban planning, history, infrastructure, transit and walkability obsessed blogger, Eric Fischer. [more inside]
posted by latkes on May 17, 2016 - 74 comments

It's from The Economist, so they should know.

You are on an airplane. Ten ways to tell you might be sitting next to an economist.
posted by storybored on May 11, 2016 - 32 comments

Redefining Wealth and Prosperity in the 21st Century

Kennedy was right - "Much that is valuable is neither tangible nor tradable... Gross domestic product (GDP) is increasingly a poor measure of prosperity. It is not even a reliable gauge of production."* [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 11, 2016 - 10 comments

A People's History of the Cultural Revolution, 1962–1976

A New Look At China's Cultural Revolution - "Historian Frank Dikötter says newly opened archives offer fresh details about the chaos China experienced in the 1960s, when Chairman Mao urged students to take to the streets." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 9, 2016 - 19 comments

WORLD OF TOMORROW

World After Capital by Albert Wenger [Work in Progress; GitHub; GitBook; PDF; FAQ] - "Technological progress has shifted scarcity for humanity. When we were foragers, food was scarce. During the agrarian age, it was land. Following the industrial revolution, capital became scarce. With digital technologies scarcity is shifting from capital to attention. World After Capital suggests ways to expand economic, informational and psychological freedom to go from an industrial to a knowledge society." (previously)
posted by kliuless on May 7, 2016 - 23 comments

“...the public anger about the economy is not without empirical basis.”

President Obama Weighs His Economic Legacy by Andrew Ross Sorkin [The New York Times] Eight years after the financial crisis, unemployment is at 5 percent, deficits are down and G.D.P. is growing. Why do so many voters feel left behind? The president has a theory. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 28, 2016 - 88 comments

Country of the future; always the future

Perry Anderson - Crisis in Brazil
Long read but probably the most comprehensive account I have read about how this enormous country got to the more chaotic state than usual that it is in today.
(Via LRB and previous).
posted by adamvasco on Apr 27, 2016 - 41 comments

It's not secular stagnation; it's financialization.

Elizabeth Warren has a great idea for making Tax Day less painful - "She's taking on TurboTax and other predatory companies." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 18, 2016 - 233 comments

The New Astrology

Surveys indicate that economists see their discipline as ‘the most scientific of the social sciences’. What is the basis of this collective faith, shared by universities, presidents and billionaires? Shouldn’t successful and powerful people be the first to spot the exaggerated worth of a discipline, and the least likely to pay for it? In the hypothetical worlds of rational markets, where much of economic theory is set, perhaps. But real-world history tells a different story, of mathematical models masquerading as science and a public eager to buy them, mistaking elegant equations for empirical accuracy.
posted by Alterity on Apr 17, 2016 - 70 comments

Luck is not something you can mention in the presence of self-made men.

Robert H. Frank, professor of economics at Cornell University, for The Atlantic: Why Luck Matters More Than You Might Think. "...the luckiest among us appear especially unlikely to appreciate our good fortune. According to the Pew Research Center, people in higher income brackets are much more likely than those with lower incomes to say that individuals get rich primarily because they work hard. Other surveys bear this out: Wealthy people overwhelmingly attribute their own success to hard work rather than to factors like luck or being in the right place at the right time." [more inside]
posted by amnesia and magnets on Apr 15, 2016 - 114 comments

On poverty, surviving, taxes and economic justice in America

"The Throwaways" by Melissa Chadburn, from 2012. (Via. tw: mentions rape, but not graphically.)
posted by zarq on Apr 9, 2016 - 24 comments

Good riddance, gig economy

Uber, Ayn Rand and the awesome collapse of Silicon Valley’s dream of destroying your job
posted by standardasparagus on Mar 28, 2016 - 156 comments

A proper reckoning

Feminist economics deserves recognition - "In 2014 only 12% of American economics professors were female, and only one woman (Elinor Ostrom) has won the Nobel prize for economics.[1,2,3] But in terms of focus, economists have embraced some feminist causes. Papers abound on the 'pay gap' (American women earned 21% less than men for full-time work in 2014), and the extra growth that could be unlocked if only women worked and earned more. A recent paper, for instance, claimed that eliminating gender discrimination in Saudi Arabia could bring its GDP per person almost level with America's. (Feminists, of course, consider gender equality a worthy goal irrespective of its impact on GDP.) That raises a question. Does 'Feminist economics', which has its own journal, really bring anything distinctive?" [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 25, 2016 - 17 comments

Cameron, Corbyn, The City and Steampunk

Despair Fatigue - How hopelessness grew boring. The big lie of austerity, how the crushing of the working classes was commodified, the rise of Corbofuturism and how it might shape a radical 21st century.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 20, 2016 - 45 comments

sources of obligation, sources of value

an introduction to fiat money (pdf) by Steve Randy Waldman:* - "Self-reinforcing bootstrap dynamics hold as strongly for a king's token as it would for any other thing, but much more stably so, since the king can reinforce and assure the stability of his token so long as he retains the political capacity to coerce or persuade payment of tax." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 17, 2016 - 40 comments

Joseph Heath on the benefits of risk-pooling and the social safety net

Privatization and demutualization. A concise explanation of the efficiency gains of health insurance and public pensions, from Canadian philosopher Joseph Heath. Heath points out that the "social safety net" provides tremendous gains from risk-pooling, completely separate from redistribution or reduced inequality. [more inside]
posted by russilwvong on Mar 10, 2016 - 9 comments

What's changed and changing about (American) politics?

The three party system - "There are three major political forces in contemporary politics in developed countries: tribalism, neoliberalism and leftism (defined in more detail below). Until recently, the party system involved competition between different versions of neoliberalism. Since the Global Financial Crisis, neoliberals have remained in power almost everywhere, but can no longer command the electoral support needed to marginalise both tribalists and leftists at the same time. So, we are seeing the emergence of a three-party system, which is inherently unstable because of the Condorcet problem and for other reasons." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 4, 2016 - 77 comments

Finance, old wood, and flame

How do you make a secure record of a debt or exchange if you can't read or write? Cut a number of notches across a stick to symbolize the assets involved, then split the wood lengthwise: you now have two tamper-proof receipts, one for each party to the transaction. The split tally method formed the basis for much of European bookkeeping between medieval times and the modern era. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Feb 25, 2016 - 20 comments

Witness the Firepower of This Fully Armed and Operational Battle Station

Helicopter drops might not be far away - "Central banks could be given the power to send money, ideally in electronic form, to every adult citizen. Would this add to demand? Absolutely."
posted by kliuless on Feb 24, 2016 - 36 comments

The Gilded Age, Henry George, the Land Value Tax and the Progressive Era

Kim-Mai Cutler: Nothing Like This Has Ever Happened Before - "San Francisco Bay Area poverty rates in all nine counties have increased in the last economic cycle, even with the Facebook and Twitter IPOs and private tech boom. The main transfer mechanism is land and housing costs, as rising rents and evictions push service and other low-wage workers to the brink. [Henry] George's solution was a single land tax that would replace all other government revenue sources. If an owner wanted to develop their property to make it more useful or productive, George argued that they should have the right to keep the value from those efforts. But increases in the value of underlying land were created by — and ultimately belonged to — the public at large." (previously: 1,2,3) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 19, 2016 - 33 comments

1 Galleon = $25. 1 Sickle = $1.50. 1 Knut = $0.05.

A Reddit thread recently broke down the exchange rate between Wizard and Muggle money, and in doing so shed some interesting light on the financial disparity between many of the characters in the Harry Potter universe. [more inside]
posted by Hermione Granger on Feb 18, 2016 - 43 comments

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