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Say goodbye to more jobs

Say goodbye to more jobs? This is an interesting research report from the Gartner Group on the future of banking, money and economic transition. One of the participants at a conference that Gartner cites is Bernard Leitaer, who is interviewed here. Leitaer is the author of the book The Future of Money. He argues " the malaise Japan has suffered since the early 1990s reflects an economic challenge the whole developed world has begun to face. Today, European and U.S. factories, too, suffer from overcapacity. The vaunted productivity growth spurred by the digital revolution has raised the economy’s stall speed. If the natural growth rate of the U.S. economy has risen to 4% annually, anything less than that rate will cause firms to trim capacity. A firm’s revenue growth often must come at the expense of competitors as well as its own profits because companies have trouble raising prices. In response, companies cut costs any way they can, usually by laying off employees and squeezing suppliers, which causes further layoffs. For developed countries, the safety valves that limited damage during contractions in manufacturing may not work. In past recessions, laid-off factory workers in the Great Lakes states, for example, could migrate to the growing Sun Belt to find new jobs. In the present transition, areas with job growth may lie overseas." The long heralded rise of the information economy, the death of distance and the rise of the global knowledge workers is paradigm shift that our goverment leader's seem ill equiped to handle.
posted by thedailygrowl on Mar 16, 2004 - 36 comments

Country Studies

Country Studies: a comprehensive description and analysis of the country or region's historical setting, geography, society, economy, political system, and foreign policy.
posted by hama7 on Feb 8, 2004 - 11 comments

Art in Ruins

Art In Ruins chronicles the economic and cultural transformation of Providence, Rhode Island through the eyes of artists, architects, and urban planners.
posted by PrinceValium on Feb 7, 2004 - 3 comments

Live from Davos

Live From Davos: Frank talk and subtle spin as heads of state take Q&A from corporate honchos, in a session heavy on talk of terror: John Ashcroft shares the stage with Prince Turki al Faisal al Saud, Pervez Musharraf touts his vision of "enlightened moderation," the handsome young King of Jordan keeps his finger on the roadmap, and embattled Ecuadoran president Lucio Gutierrez takes a break from the tear gas to reassure skeptical capital markets. CSPAN for foreign filmgoers. (RealPlayer and Windows Media)
posted by hairyeyeball on Jan 26, 2004 - 6 comments

We're so money

An interesting documentary I stumbled across about international banking's rise to power through history. It features poor quality video with not-quite-synced audio, yet it kept me riveted. Part two goes on to explain how the country will never be able to escape debt under the current monetary system.
posted by timb on Jan 24, 2004 - 28 comments

The phrase ''Banana Republican'' comes to mind

I.M.F. Report Says U.S. Deficits Threaten World Economy
With its rising budget deficit and ballooning trade imbalance, the United States is running up a foreign debt of such record-breaking proportions that it threatens the financial stability of the global economy, according to a report released Wednesday by the International Monetary Fund. Prepared by a team of I.M.F. economists, the report sounded a loud alarm about the shaky fiscal foundation of the United States, questioning the wisdom of the Bush administration's tax cuts and warning that large budget deficits pose "significant risks" not just for the United States but for the rest of the world. The report warns that the United States' net financial obligations to the rest of the world could be equal to 40 percent of its total economy within a few years--"an unprecedented level of external debt for a large industrial country," according to the fund, that could play havoc with the value of the dollar and international exchange rates.
From The Brookings Institute: Sustained Budget Deficits: Longer-Run U.S. Economic Performance and the Risk of Financial and Fiscal Disarray (Full Report PDF)
posted by y2karl on Jan 8, 2004 - 60 comments

Movin' On Up in The Jobless Recovery: Not!

Good Bye, Horatio Alger The other day I found myself reading a leftist rag that made outrageous claims about America. It said that we are becoming a society in which the poor tend to stay poor, no matter how hard they work; in which sons are much more likely to inherit the socioeconomic status of their father than they were a generation ago. The name of the leftist rag? Business Week, which published an article titled "Waking Up From the American Dream." The article summarizes recent research showing that social mobility in the United States (which was never as high as legend had it) has declined considerably over the past few decades. If you put that research together with other research that shows a drastic increase in income and wealth inequality, you reach an uncomfortable conclusion: America looks more and more like a class-ridden society. And guess what? Our political leaders are doing everything they can to fortify class inequality, while denouncing anyone who complains--or even points out what is happening--as a practitioner of "class warfare." So how do you move on up in the jobless recovery, anyhow?
posted by y2karl on Jan 1, 2004 - 118 comments

The Deadweight Loss Of Chistmas

Some economists debate why we can and if we should give gifts for Christmas. Because a gift is likely to be valued less by the recipient than for the giver, Christmas has been considered by some to be a "deadweight loss" equivalent to tearing up banknotes. To get around this, other economists propose that the value of the gift for the recipient comes from the process of finding a rare gift. On the other hand, perhaps this is one case where we should rethink the basic rationality assumption that economic decisions can be explained by models that maximize individual wealth.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Dec 24, 2003 - 24 comments

Conservation economy

A pattern map for a conservation economy [Flash.] "The pattern map offers a visual guide to the sustainability patterns that provide a framework for developing a conservation economy." [Via WorldChanging.]
posted by homunculus on Dec 7, 2003 - 8 comments

Prisoner Labor: A High-Growth Industry

Looking for a job? Well, one of the hot temp agencies in the nation is FPI, Inc. Recruting from an active base of some 80,000 people across the nation, and enjoying exemption from competitive bidding (although reform is on the way), FPI produces garments and textile goods. In fact, it's the largest supplier of clothing and textiles for the U.S. government. Net sales for fiscal year 2001 were $583.5 million and, despite an economic shortfall, they rose to $678.7 million in 2002. What accounts for such an unlikely success? Well, the secret can be found in FPI's labor base. FPI only employs prisoners, paying them between $.23 and $1.15 an hour. Of course, with so many resumes to choose from, factory expansion and rising sales figures and profitability (PDF), who knows just how high PDI's lustre will soar?
posted by ed on Nov 20, 2003 - 11 comments

Economists in hell.

Problems in infinite decision theory [pdf]. You are in hell and facing an eternity of torment, but the devil offers you a way out, which you can take once and only once at any time from now on. Today, if you ask him to, the devil will toss a fair coin once and if it comes up heads you are free (but if tails then you face eternal torment with no possibility of reprieve). You don’t have to play today, though, because tomorrow the devil will make the deal slightly more favourable to you (and you know this): he’ll toss the coin twice but just one head will free you. The day after, the offer will improve further: 3 tosses with just one head needed. And so on (4 tosses, 5 tosses, ….1000 tosses …) for the rest of time if needed. So, given that the devil will give you better odds on every day after this one, but that you want to escape from hell some time, when should accept his offer? More discussion here.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Nov 3, 2003 - 37 comments

Jump! Jump! Jump!

Has the economy got you down? Studies show that if you give suicide the ol' college try your income will increase 36.3%
posted by palegirl on Oct 29, 2003 - 22 comments

Global stuff

Ranking Emerging Markets by "Market Potential" Michigan State Univ ranks emerging markets by their market potential. Does this mean that all new investment should go to Hong Kong and Singapore? Anyone willing to sink major $ in country #6- Hungary?
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy on Oct 24, 2003 - 29 comments

WalmartFilter

WalmartFilter: "Wal-Mart controls a large and rapidly increasing share of the business done by most every major U.S. consumer-products company: 28% of Dial total sales, 24% of Del Monte Foods, 23% of Clorox, 23% of Revlon... Wal-Mart plans to open 1,000 more supercenters in the U.S. alone over the next five years.. giving it control over 35% of U.S. food sales and 25% of drugstore sales...The $12 billion worth of Chinese goods Wal-Mart bought in 2002 represented 10% of all U.S. imports from China." Setting aside questions of monopoly, isn't this a potentially dangerous monoculture?
posted by alms on Oct 15, 2003 - 95 comments

Unmarried America

Unmarried America According to stats [1,2] gathered in this BusinessWeek story, Marriage in America truly is a fading institution. Married Couple Households "have slipped from nearly 80% in the 1950s to just 50.7% today. That means that the U.S.'s 86 million single adults could soon define the new majority. Already, unmarrieds make up 42% of the workforce, 40% of home buyers, and 35% of voters..."

As a percentage, Never-marrieds, Late-marrieds, Widow(er)s, Single-sex Relationships and Unmarried Cohabitation all have grown significantly, while traditional marriage (and remarriage) has faded. I had no idea that there had been such a downturn. BusinessWeek's angle is that this is an emerging dominant demographic, and will be targeted as a whole, like Gen-X or the Baby Boomers. I Guess that means more flavors of Single-Serving Hot Pockets are on the way.
posted by kokogiak on Oct 14, 2003 - 229 comments

A Science of Social Prediction?

"You'd think that predicting human behavior would be easy...everyone should be a rational economizer, busy calculating their individual costs and benefits, and acting accordingly. Right?" So begins the review of Socionomics: The Science of History and Social Prediction on slashdot. I've always thought the Elliot Wave Theory sounded like psuedoscience, but found the rational choice theory problematic as well, even ridiculous at times. What's voodoo, and what's promising in advancing predictive social sciences?
posted by weston on Sep 24, 2003 - 15 comments

A Frank and Sobering interview with Milton Friedman

A Frank and Sobering interview with Milton Friedman In fact, all of the progress that the US has made over the last couple of centuries has come from unemployment. It has come from figuring out how to produce more goods with fewer workers, thereby releasing labor to be more productive in other areas. (via Econlog)
posted by trharlan on Sep 17, 2003 - 50 comments

Pulling back the curtain

Oligopoly Watch. An Oligopoly tracking weblog.
posted by euphorb on Aug 23, 2003 - 8 comments

Dollars, Yuans, and the coming chaos

The Fed is in a dangerous game with China : Chen Zhao, chief emerging markets strategist at Bank Credit Analyst Research Group, has written an article for The Financial Times, postulating that the Central Banks of the US and China are engaging in a massive reflation. When the reflation ends, however, the US may be in a world of hurt. Meanwhile, some members of the Bush administration are calling for china to let the $/Yuan exchange rate float. A prominent expert, however, expects China to continue to peg its currency. Others discuss the ramifications of a floating currency. Read yet another collection of links at the Library of Economics and Liberty.

What should happen to exchange rates? What will happen?
posted by trharlan on Aug 1, 2003 - 24 comments

JobforJohn

This Guy in Minnesota just got laid-off and he's spending his time following around Bush's economic team on their tour of the upper midwest as they share their "upbeat outlook" on our nation's economy. He's following their tourmobile with his own tourmobile and has been chasing them around in parkinglots and at fast food places. He finally cornered the Treasury Secretary whose advice to the job-seeker was to "just wait." What's your economic reality? Is it closer to the sunny optimism of the big shiny tourbus, or the laid-off reality of the homemade minivan? (Check out the particularly funny bit about how he stumbled on the entire press corps only when he was looking for a dumpster.)
posted by amoeba on Jul 30, 2003 - 84 comments

Deficit, anyone?

Is the budget deficit going to be the other shoe that drops on the Bush administration? In the OMB's mid-session review [pdf], it admits the federal budget deficit would balloon to a record $455 billion this fiscal year after absorbing immediate costs from the war in Iraq, and then climb $20 billion higher in 2004. That's a 50% increase since the administration's last forecast five months ago. At least a few economists think even that number is underestimated. To top it off, the consequences of an increasingly large deficit and accompanying tax cuts are being passed on to the states. How's that for a neat twist on federalism?
posted by monju_bosatsu on Jul 15, 2003 - 9 comments

grieder article on deflation

Deflation Nation "This legacy of accumulated excesses lies across the American economy like a heavy wet blanket"
posted by thedailygrowl on Jun 20, 2003 - 6 comments

Whiteness Studies

Whiteness Studies Liberals are going the extra mile to validate economic insanity by Conservatives. Do some people have an economic advantage? Do majorities have something in common that minorities don't share? I went to Japan this year, and sure, being a minority sucks. Does that mean that there is whiteness or blackness or asianness, or the new and exciting hispanicness? No. There's no such thing. Stop the madness: Race and Gender are just more games for people who need hobbies. Insanity inside.
posted by ewkpates on Jun 20, 2003 - 83 comments

plus, we all live in a yellow submarine

All the economy needs is love. "Japan is suffering from deflation and I think there are a lot of people who want to be helped," said one businessman, who had already been hugged twice. Excuse me, fuller has to go camp out in the Sailor Mercury hug line now.
posted by jfuller on Jun 4, 2003 - 14 comments

Bond Funds and the Liquidity Trap

Interest rates are so low that you lose money buying bond funds. A preview of the liquidity trap?
posted by alms on May 20, 2003 - 10 comments

Freely Traded Opinion

I was wrong. Free market trade policies hurt the poor. “As leader of the delegation from the United Kingdom [to Seattle in 1999], I was convinced that the expansion of world trade had the potential to bring major benefits to developing countries and would be one of the key means by which world poverty would be tackled... I now believe that this approach is wrong and misguided.”
posted by raaka on May 19, 2003 - 37 comments

World Fair Trade Day

"Do you know how much effort and time is put into the clothes you wear and the food you eat?"
-Sarah, 12, Bristol
Today is World Fair Trade Day. Even Dunkin' Donuts is giving it a try. Is Fair Trade potentially a better idea than boycotting?
posted by Shane on May 17, 2003 - 24 comments

No, you're wrong! And I can prove it!

The National Priorities Project Database provides a dynamic, numbers and graphs comparison of federal and state spending from 1983 to today. Compare labor costs in Louisiana to military spending in Maine, or infectious disease spending in Idaho to hunger in Hawaii. For the political-thread MeFier in your life who has everything, but could use some actual data now and then.
posted by gramcracker on May 13, 2003 - 3 comments

If I stay in the gutter long enough, I might get trickled on

Trickle Down Economics. What with the neo-conservative movement in full swing behind Wolfowitz, the Bush administration is looking to take another cue from the Reagan years with the new tax cut for the rich. George H. Bush called it "voodoo economics". Does TDE or "supply side" economics actually work? Depends who you ask and how they take their statistics.
posted by destro on May 2, 2003 - 38 comments

What if oil was traded in euros?

What if oil was traded in euros? "Even more alarming, and completely unreported in the U.S. media, are significant monetary shifts in the reserve funds of foreign governments away from the dollar with movements towards the euro. It appears that the world community ... seems poised to respond with economic retribution if the U.S. government is regarded as an uncontrollable and dangerous superpower." An analysis of the previous link. Apologies to those I
posted by Birichini on Apr 23, 2003 - 25 comments

IMF Policies Admitted Wrong

Oops! IMF Admits Failed Policies
International financial integration should also help countries to reduce economic volatility, the study said, but in reality this has not happened.

"Indeed, the process of capital account liberalization appears to have been accompanied in some cases by increased vulnerability to crises," the report said.

"Globalization has heightened these risks since cross-country financial linkages amplify the effects of various shocks and transmit them more quickly across national borders."

In the last 10 years, developing countries from Thailand and Russia to Argentina, have seen their economies collapse, even though many of them were trying to follow IMF-prescribed open market policies.

So does this mean corporate facism harms the world's poor?
posted by nofundy on Mar 19, 2003 - 25 comments

bread hours

http://www.Breadhours.org A group of over 300 residents and merchants in California’s Bay Area has established a local currency called BREAD (a rough acronym for Bay Area Regional Exchange and Development), based on hours of work valued at $12 an hour. Through the BREAD network, which now has over $20,000 worth of currency in circulation, members can pay for dinner, carpentry, childcare, tutoring, clerical assistance or organic produce. Tired of traditional activism, founder Miyoko Sakashita wanted to create a positive local economy and “stop our resources from supporting global corporations that are not accountable to people and the environment.” Check it out at Breadhours.org
posted by bureaustyle on Mar 15, 2003 - 28 comments

Turncoats in Bermuda shorts.

Turncoats in Bermuda shorts. Arianna Huffington continues to skewer offshore tax shelters in her latest Salon opinion piece. Despite her patriot-speak denouncing these corporations for avoiding taxes while our young men are getting ready to die for their country, she does shine the light on a growing problem – “basic fairness and economic justice” – or, the lack of it. How can the average American not be outraged at this, when so many of us are expected to be able to account for even the smallest charitable donation we would dare to use as a tax write-off?
posted by archimago on Mar 13, 2003 - 11 comments

War and the Economy

War and the Economy Peace and prosperity, and their enemy, the state. Another side of this Iraq thing.
posted by grefo on Mar 11, 2003 - 1 comment

Budget game

National Budget Simulation Think Washington is doing a poor job of allocating funds? See if you can eliminate the deficit with this little game.
posted by synecdoche on Feb 28, 2003 - 25 comments

Forecast: Fun!

Play the classic lemonade stand game. (jave req'd). Or, for more grown-up fun, play BeerStand (no java req'd).
posted by Ufez Jones on Feb 28, 2003 - 14 comments

Bush Cited Non-Existent eport

Bush Cited Non-Existent eport There was only one problem with President George W. Bush's claim Thursday that the nation's top economists forecast substantial economic growth if Congress passed the president's tax cut: The forecast with that conclusion doesn't exist.
posted by orange swan on Feb 24, 2003 - 82 comments

Iraq War-Capital

Underlying the US drive to war is a thirst to open up new opportunities for surplus capital "In a series of packed lectures in Oxford, Professor David Harvey, one of the world's most distinguished geographers, has provided what may be the first comprehensive explanation of the US government's determination to go to war. His analysis suggests that it has little to do with Iraq, less to do with weapons of mass destruction and nothing to do with helping the oppressed. "
posted by thedailygrowl on Feb 18, 2003 - 34 comments

Another one bites the dust.

Salon going down? Looks like it. According to this article, they may not make it past Feburary. Even with 47,300 paying subscribers, it still can't pay the bills. What's it take these days?
posted by Hackworth on Feb 14, 2003 - 35 comments

Almost unbelievably, the way being charted to revive the economy is to reinflate the bubble

Almost unbelievably, the way being charted to revive the economy is to reinflate the bubble When you're on a permanent war footing, it's worth being reminded, stupid, that it's all about the economy. A lengthy piece.
posted by skellum on Feb 5, 2003 - 23 comments

The New Global Job Shift

The New Global Job Shift. The next round of globalization is sending upscale jobs offshore. They include basic research, chip design, engineering--even financial analysis.
posted by Ty Webb on Jan 31, 2003 - 50 comments

My Sports Franchise Can Beat Up Your Sports Franchise

There Ultimate Standings. ESPN has done a ranking of the relative value of each major U.S. sports franchise not in terms of mere victories, or championships, or even felony convictions, but in terms of how much value (as calculated here) each franchise is providing its fans. Stunned to see perrennial winners such as the Yankees & Lakers pushed down to the 20s, while small market teams like Green Bay, San Antonio & Sacramento dominate. Clearly life IS better in the small towns, at least for sports fans. Here's a more in depth explanation of what it all means.
posted by jonson on Jan 21, 2003 - 39 comments

Slouching towards Sierra Leone?

US income distribution moves towards 3rd world profile? - US Census Bureau data on growing family income inequality, 1947 to 2001. Also see: The "L Curve" (for a graphic depiction of current US wealth distribution). "The most egalitarian countries have a Gini index in the 20s. European countries like Germany, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Norway, and Sweden all fall in that range, according to World Bank figures. Canada and Australia are just over 30. The United States is around 40...Once inequality reaches 50 percent, disparities become glaringly obvious, to the point where they undermine a society's sense of unity and common purpose....Sierra Leone takes the prize. At 63 percent, it offers the world's most extreme example of inequality." By multiple measures, income inequality in the US is rapidly increasing, and a substantial percentage of middle class Americans may be gradually sliding into poverty..
posted by troutfishing on Jan 15, 2003 - 137 comments

Tax Cuts

How Bush's economic stimulus proposal may affect you. An easy to understand explanation of what we might expect from Bush's tax cut proposal to be announced on Tuesday.
posted by Ron on Jan 6, 2003 - 48 comments

10 Country Expansion Of European Union

My Union Is Bigger Than Your Union: On May 1 2004 the European Union will become 25-country strong and the most powerful political and economic force in the world. And? [More inside.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Dec 15, 2002 - 28 comments

China. Abandons Communism. Gets AIDS. May be about to lose its shirt. While everybody on the pink side of Ebenezer Scrooge is pissing and moaning about the state of America, here's one American who thinks the state of the Middle Kingdom is at least equally interesting (as in ancient Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times.")
posted by jfuller on Nov 12, 2002 - 11 comments

Jiang outlines plans to make China wealthier

Jiang outlines plans to make China wealthier Ah, Adam Smith in and K. Marx out. Brting on the Krispy Kreeme franchises. Bet there won't be labor unions in the near future but an economically powerful China plus the EU will give America some strong competition.
posted by Postroad on Nov 8, 2002 - 14 comments

For Richer: the first in a New York Times series on class in the United States. Princeton economics professor Paul Krugman declares the death of the middle class, pointing out disparities between the rich and the poor, examining efforts to cover up class makeup with quantile data, and probing the transformation of corporate executive ethics and influence. Even Glenn Reynolds is taken to task for his Sweden-Mississippi per capita GDP comparison. Krugman's sources are on the slim side, but the question must be asked: Are we living in a new Gilded Age? And, if so, how can citizens and government work to change things?
posted by ed on Oct 20, 2002 - 53 comments

Doomsayers refuted yet again,

Doomsayers refuted yet again, this time by the United Nations and the Institute for International Studies, who independently released studies declaring that humanity is, for the most part, in the best condition it’s ever been. (Former MeFi-er DenBeste comments here.) With more and more studies reaching similar conclusions as Bjørn Lomborg's "Skeptical Environmentalist" and the CATO Institute's "It's Getting Better All the Time", I'm on my way to buy myself a new pair of shades. The future does indeed look bright!
posted by dagny on Oct 11, 2002 - 32 comments

"By removing both costs and the barriers, weblogs have drained publishing of its financial value, making a coin of the realm unnecessary. A lot of people in the weblog world are asking "How can we make money doing this?" The answer is that most of us can't." Though he finally admits: "Right now, the people who have profited most from weblogs are the people who've written books about weblogging."
posted by zenpop on Oct 5, 2002 - 27 comments

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