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Form of Yanghtze River! Shape of Russian Bear!

With all the talk about the emergence of Europe as an economic rival to the US, is there a more likely rival emerging? A real strategic partnership between Russia and China could be exactly the combination of nuclear power, boots on the ground, and economic momentum to truly create a new bipolarity. Apparently, there has been serious collaboration in military philosophy between the two powers at least since the USSR broke up, and flash gamers have known about it for at least a couple years, but now it is becoming very real. Conventional wisdom says that there are longstanding disputes over trade and territory, but things generally seem to be warming up. You want to know what the world will look like in 20 years? Look to Siberia.
posted by milkman on Jan 20, 2005 - 9 comments

There, you happy now?

Happy Happy (both pdf) The burgeoning field of happiness studies is unearthing all sorts of interesting findings, many of them summarized in these two articles by University of British Columbia economist & "Professor of Happiness" John Helliwell. Rich countries are not happier than poor countries; people tend to revert to the mean after a happy event; money has only a modest effect on happiness; and, hey, good news! you get happier as you get older.
posted by mono blanco on Jan 10, 2005 - 11 comments

And the food had to be satisfying and taste good too, otherwise, what's the point?

The Challenge: Purchase, prepare and eat healthy, mostly organic meals on a food stamp budget. These are the results.
posted by anastasiav on Jan 4, 2005 - 65 comments

Wow! All the crusts of bread I can eat!

How much money do first-time novelists make? Author and upcoming first-time novelist Justine Larbalestier is constantly asked by aspiring writers what first-time novelists should expect in advance payment for their beloved texts. So she asked some of her author friends what they got for their first novels. The responses ranged in time from 1962 to 2004. What didn't change in all that time was the basic amount: Not much. Quoth Larbalestier: "The life of a novelist is, financially speaking, a mug's game. Enter at your own peril."
posted by jscalzi on Dec 24, 2004 - 66 comments

America Beyond Capitalism

America Beyond Capitalism
What a "Pluralist Commonwealth" Would Look Like
from the author of The Coming Era of Wealth Taxation (pdf)
posted by y2karl on Dec 17, 2004 - 22 comments

Sociology

A hundred years of “The Protestant Ethic.” Elizabeth Kolbert on Max Weber in The New Yorker.
posted by semmi on Dec 9, 2004 - 13 comments

Georges Bataille

Georges Bataille. Librarian, surrealist, archivist, writer of works on subjects ranging from economics to the erotic. Father of the notion of transgression as a positive force. Frequently name checked and sometimes very confusing. And at this festive time of year, we may also remember his ideas on the gift.
posted by stinkycheese on Dec 7, 2004 - 6 comments

Math + test = trouble for US economy

Math + test = trouble for US economy For a nation committed to preparing students for 21st century jobs, the results of the first-of-its-kind study of how well teenagers can apply math skills to real-life problems is sobering. American 15-year-olds rank well below those in most other industrialized countries in mathematics literacy and problem solving, according to a survey released Monday
posted by Postroad on Dec 6, 2004 - 86 comments

Becker-Posner Blog

Take a Nobel economist who has devoted his career to studying the effect of social and political change on microeconomic theory. Combine with the most prolific legal scholar of the past half-century and federal judge with immeasurable influence on American jurisprudence. Add Moveable Type and a bit of technical help from our fearless leader, and you've got the Becker-Posner Blog, which debuts today.
posted by PrinceValium on Dec 5, 2004 - 14 comments

The falling dollar may be bad for Europe. And the Canadians, too!

This .pdf (accessible to laypersons) from the labor-backed Economic Policy Institute suggests that a falling dollar is probably very bad news for Europe.

The euro area is one of the slowest growing economic areas in the world, yet it will bear much of the burden of relieving the pressure of the U.S. trade deficits. This will deprive the euro area of demand for domestic products at a time when such demand is necessary to forestall a full-blown recession.

Via Marginal Revolution.
posted by trharlan on Nov 28, 2004 - 38 comments

Economic 'Armageddon'

Economic 'Armageddon' predicted by Stephen Roach, the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley. He's been right before.
posted by stbalbach on Nov 23, 2004 - 68 comments

Currency Events

Will Currency Wars Effect You? Oldman gives a quick run-through of the geopolitics of America's budget deficit, with some likely scenarios for the next 2-5 years.
posted by alms on Nov 18, 2004 - 26 comments

How the other half lives...

How the other half top quintile lives... Coldwell Banker has released the first Coldwell Banker(R) Luxury Index, a "study conducted in August 2004 of U.S. luxury homeowners -- those owning homes valued at $1 million or more -- concerning their attitudes, preferences and purchasing behavior related to luxury goods and services." You might be interested to discover that 61% of those surveyed stated recent increases in interest rates would have no impact on their luxury item purchases.
posted by Irontom on Nov 16, 2004 - 8 comments

How the U.S. Uses Globalization to Cheat Poor Countries Out of Trillions

Conscience of an Economic Hit Man Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviews John Perkins, a former international banker on how globalization is leveraged to cheat poor countries.
We've built the largest empire in the history of the world. It's been done over the last 50 years since World War II with very little military might, actually. It's only in rare instances like Iraq where the military comes in as a last resort. This empire, unlike any other in the history of the world, has been built primarily through economic manipulation, through cheating, through fraud, through seducing people into our way of life, through the economic hit men. I was very much a part of that.

posted by ao4047 on Nov 9, 2004 - 17 comments

Nobel Prize Market

Nobel Prize Market - trading is now over; at least we can see if the economics market outperforms the others.
posted by MzB on Oct 10, 2004 - 1 comment

Framing the Economic Debate

Framing the Economic Debate. If you read Metafilter, you've no doubt seen a few links criticizing Bush's handling of the economy. The unabashed partisans at the Heritage Foundation have put together a document from which many of Bush's talking points about the economy (tonight, and throughout the campaign) are likely to come.
posted by Kwantsar on Oct 8, 2004 - 16 comments

Flat Earthers for Bush!

Don Luskin dismisses high school economics as Democrat propaganda in the National Review:
Be that as it may, there is no unique virtue to inflation-adjusting — except that it makes all changes in income look worse, which well serves the liberal agenda of the Times’s economic reporting during an election year.
The National Review has always been conservative, but I'm unaware of when a writer for a mainstream publication has so explicitly dismissed something as common-sensical as real dollars. What's next? Gravity? Heliocentrism? Via Brad DeLong.
posted by goethean on Oct 4, 2004 - 16 comments

SocioEconomics of GoogleAds

The Price of/for Attention
"While it's interesting (and soul-crushingly depressing) to discover bidding wars over keywords associated with human suffering, I'm focused on the idea that I can pull data about web users' interest in different subjects out of this data."
The fight to get attention on humanitarian crises, the dynamics of web browsing, and something like statistical game theory meet for a greased wrestling match in GoogleAds.
posted by freebird on Oct 1, 2004 - 6 comments

bakesales! lemonade stands!

Dick Cheney claims that disappointing jobs numbers are undercounting ebay power sellers. The man is on a tear!
posted by luser on Sep 10, 2004 - 47 comments

If you see something, say something

The malefactors of great wealth and the religious right. Economist Paul Krugman on insufficient necessity.
posted by the fire you left me on Sep 5, 2004 - 19 comments

True Cost Economics

truecosteconomics.org: “Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.” – Kenneth Boulding. Adbusters latest campaign is against (surprise?) neoclassic economics. A tad less controversial than their last endeavor.
posted by Quartermass on Aug 18, 2004 - 22 comments

Shirky: Spectrum as resource

A nice article on some of the engineering and economics aspects of WiFi, and the history of frequency regulation in the USA.
posted by freebird on Aug 16, 2004 - 9 comments

CarFilter

Vehicle Lifecycle Cost Analyzer
posted by alms on Aug 13, 2004 - 12 comments

Life and Debt

An interesting study by The Century Foundation. I found it while perusing the NY Times op-eds...specifically, Bob Herbert. It seems that "Household debt and personal bankruptcies are reaching record highs despite low interest rates and rising real estate values."
posted by BlueTrain on Aug 9, 2004 - 59 comments

Why do we need the IMF?

Choose your own adventure! "The following imaginary scenario attempts to picture what would happen if the IMF did not exist. It tells the story of a businessperson in a fictional developing country that is suffering from a shortage of foreign exchange. In the scenario, there is no IMF to turn to in order to resolve the currency crisis. You will soon come to realize the difficulties of carrying on international trade in that imaginary world without the IMF."
posted by livii on Jul 15, 2004 - 21 comments

The Industrial Revolution, past and future

The Industrial Revolution, past and future:

The entire human race is getting rich, at historically unprecedented rates. The economic miracles of East Asia are, of course, atypical in their magnitudes, but economic growth is not the exception in the world today: It is the rule.


Nobel Prize winner Robert Lucas discusses wealth redistribution and the world economy.
posted by trharlan on Jun 13, 2004 - 9 comments

$4/gallon, here we come!

The gas shortage won't get better. Paid more at the pump recently? I hope you don't drive an SUV -- things could get really painful really fast. Demand is always increasing for gasoline, but now we're hitting a point where refineries can't actually refine enough gas to meet demand, and very few places in the world can supply gasoline that meets our environmental standards.
posted by SpecialK on May 3, 2004 - 121 comments

One more bubble, please.

Word on the street is google has filled for an IPO. Hot Damn!
posted by chunking express on Apr 29, 2004 - 35 comments

In their proper place, the depths

Where Wealth Lives
"The top 1% of families, as measured by net worth, receive about 15% of income but own 30% of the nation's assets -- including stocks and bonds, homes, and closely held businesses. That's according to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances. The top 10% of families, as measured by net wealth, own 65% of assets, and the top 50% own a stunning 95% of assets..."
posted by kliuless on Apr 10, 2004 - 23 comments

Economists on drugs

A slim majority of sampled economists favor drug decriminalization, according to this .pdf article in the newly-launched Econ Journal Watch.
Via Marginal Revolution.
posted by trharlan on Apr 1, 2004 - 4 comments

Gross International Happiness

The Gross International Happiness Project. An idea inspired by Gross National Happiness, the Kingdom of Bhutan's alternative to GDP.
posted by homunculus on Mar 30, 2004 - 4 comments

Statistics, Damn Lies or a Damn Shame?

How Rich am I? Heard a talk today from the founder of Gapminder, a non-profit company that creates Flash and shockwave pieces that are somewhere between information visualization, socially motivated art, and interactive educational pieces. Be sure to check out the Human Development Trends, and the Dollar Street (photos of real homes of real people who live on $1-2 per day, $2-5 per day, to $100 per day). See also: Understanding USA for more nice pictures of statistics.
posted by zpousman on Mar 25, 2004 - 6 comments

The Outsourcing Bogeyman

The Outsourcing Bogeyman by economics professor Daniel Drezner describes the myths, facts and economics behind offshore outsourcing. There is also a critique and rebuttal on Drezner's blog. (via kuro5hin).
posted by TheophileEscargot on Mar 24, 2004 - 26 comments

t'ien ming

China's Building Blitz. In scale and pace, the building boom currently sweeping over China has no precedent in human history. China is spending about $375 billion each year on construction, nearly 16 percent its gross domestic product. In the process, it is using 54.7 percent of the world's production of concrete, 36.1 percent of the world's steel, and 30.4 percent of the world's coal.
posted by four panels on Mar 20, 2004 - 16 comments

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

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