164 posts tagged with Inequality.
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"You look out here and it's a second Rome"

Capitalism without opposition is left to its own devices, which do not include self-restraint. The capitalist pursuit of profit is open-ended, and cannot be otherwise. The idea that less could be more is not a principle a capitalist society could honour; it must be imposed upon it, or else there will be no end to its progress, self-consuming as it may ultimately be. At present, I claim, we are already in a position to observe capitalism passing away as a result of having destroyed its opposition—dying, as it were, from an overdose of itself.
Wolfgang Streeck, How Will Capitalism End?, New Left Review, 87 (May–June 2014). [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim on Jan 15, 2017 - 44 comments

Through a Glass, Dark Enlightenment

The World's Largest Hedge Fund Is Building an Algorithmic Model of Its Founder's Brain - "Mr. Dalio has the highest stratum score at Bridgewater, and the firm has told employees he has one of the highest in the world. Likewise, Bridgewater's software judges Mr. Dalio the firm's most 'believable' employee in matters such as investing and leadership, which means his opinions carry more weight. Mr. Dalio is always in search of new data with which to measure his staff. He once raised the idea of using head bands to track people's brain waves, according to one former employee. The idea wasn't adopted." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 28, 2016 - 80 comments

How Barack Obama Failed Black Americans

"My Brother’s Keeper is a program premised on the view that young black men constitute a social problem." - Sandy Darity on how the country’s first black president never pursued policies bold enough to close the racial wealth gap.
posted by AceRock on Dec 22, 2016 - 25 comments

Distributional National Accounts: Trading Places

Economic growth in the United States: A tale of two countries - "An economy that fails to deliver growth for half of its people for an entire generation is bound to generate discontent with the status quo and a rejection of establishment politics." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 12, 2016 - 20 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 - 52 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

Inequality in the UK, It's coming sometime and maybe...

"The richest one per cent of the UK population now owns more than 20 times the total wealth of the poorest fifth, making the country one of the most unequal in the developed world, according to analysis by Oxfam. The figures suggest that around 634,000 Britons are worth 20 times as much as the poorest 13 million and the charity urged Theresa May to take action to close the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots”." [SL-Indy]
posted by marienbad on Sep 13, 2016 - 37 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

San Fransokyo

Why Tokyo is the land of rising home construction but not prices - "The city had more housing starts in 2014 than the whole of England. Can Japan's capital offer lessons to other world cities?" (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 12, 2016 - 43 comments

The Curiously Oppresive Power of Positive Thinking

"People with disabilities routinely run into barriers that make realizing the life they want impossible. These barriers are not of our making and cannot be overcome by means of a positive attitude." A rumination on positve thinking, the myth of control and disability by Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg. [more inside]
posted by stoneweaver on Aug 9, 2016 - 71 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

It's almost like he's trying to provoke controversy with the NPR crowd.

Who's to Blame for Inequality in America? Bowdoin's Awesome Cafeteria. Malcolm Gladwell says that, "The food at Bowdoin is actually a problem, a moral problem,” because every dollar spent towards snazzy cafeteria food to attract wealthy students is a dollar not spent on financial aid. Bowdoin responds: "Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast “Revisionist History” (aptly named) takes a manipulative and disingenuous shot at Bowdoin College that is filled with false assumptions, anecdotal evidence, and incorrect conclusions."
posted by leotrotsky on Jul 20, 2016 - 101 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

Life-Hacks of the Poor and Aimless

The inimitable Laurie Penny (previouslies) writes about our current economic and political climate, "the language of self-care and wellbeing almost entirely colonized by the political right," "progressives, liberals, and left-wing groups [beginning] to fetishize a species of abject hopelessness," and a third way with promise. [SLBaffler] [more inside]
posted by coolname on Jul 10, 2016 - 38 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

Three views of poverty.

The Precaritat was only a brief pause on the way down. Slate Star Codex takes a look at three articles on the economic "recovery" and all those it leaves behind.
posted by bitmage on May 24, 2016 - 76 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

The racial divide of the perception of cyclists

Most Cyclists Are Working-Class Immigrants, Not Hipsters [more inside]
posted by Kitteh on May 18, 2016 - 55 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

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

Class warfare in the skies

It’s perhaps no surprise that air rage — instances in which passengers become unruly — appears to be on the rise. The logic is straightforward: When people are strapped to their seats with no escape for hours on end, when they’re hungry and tired and they lack control over their surroundings, that’s when they’re most likely to snap. Except new research suggests that the explanations most commonly offered for passenger outbursts don’t actually explain what’s going on. ... It turns out that what really upsets us in the sky is palpable inequality.
posted by Bella Donna on May 3, 2016 - 137 comments

U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High

"Suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years, a federal data analysis has found, with increases in every age group except older adults. The rise was particularly steep for women. It was also substantial among middle-aged Americans, sending a signal of deep anguish from a group whose suicide rates had been stable or falling since the 1950s." (slNYT) [more inside]
posted by crazy with stars on Apr 22, 2016 - 58 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

Why it's getting harder to prosecute white collar crime.

"They also don’t really have the will. They’re really nervous about it, very trepidatious." Jesse Eisinger outlines why we're seeing fewer successful actions against corporate and white collar misdoings in the United States.
Highlighted is the Thompson memo of 2003. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo on Mar 24, 2016 - 27 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

Bobos in Existential Crisis

A senior editor at The Economist poinders, painfully, what it exactly he (and others like him) finds so compelling about being a workaholic: Why Do We Work So Hard?
posted by Diablevert on Mar 8, 2016 - 55 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

*Some* of the kids are all right

The current crop of 28-34 year old Canadians is the wealthiest ever, according to an internal Finance Canada study obtained by the CBC. This group averaged a net worth of $93k, compared to previous 28-34 year olds' more typical $60K. Most of this wealth is concentrated in the top 10%, whose net worth doubled to $500k, while most others saw a gain of only $1500 (CBC video). But efforts to narrow the gap are underway, in some corners: Ontario announced that students with family incomes under $50K will be getting free tuition for college or university.
posted by cotton dress sock on Feb 26, 2016 - 42 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

Concrete Economics: The Hamilton Approach to Economic Growth and Policy

Why Hamilton—Not Jefferson—Is the Father of the American Economy - "How we can better energize America's economy, create more jobs, and provide more fulfilling lives for our citizens?" By Stephen Cohen and Brad DeLong (previously; [unfinished] book preview) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 16, 2016 - 23 comments

10 things to know about progress in international development

10 things to know about progress in international development (.pdf) Around the world, amazing progress is being made. More than 1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty since 1990, with major gains made in health and education and in other areas that contribute to human well-being.

Lots of problems remain of course. And you can still be very poor and not be below the $1.25 (in $2005) line. But a big deal.
posted by hawthorne on Jan 23, 2016 - 9 comments

UBI in NYT

It's Payback Time for Women - "Society is getting a free ride on our unrewarded contributions to the perpetuation of the human race." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 11, 2016 - 79 comments

The Unseen Threat of Capital Mobility

For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions -"The very richest are able to quietly shape tax policy that will allow them to shield billions in income." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 4, 2016 - 31 comments

Happy New Year from the manufacturers of economic inequality

Venture capitalist Paul Graham starts 2016 with an essay on Economic Inequality
Since the 1970s, economic inequality in the US has increased dramatically. And in particular, the rich have gotten a lot richer. Some worry this is a sign the country is broken. I'm interested in the topic because I am a manufacturer of economic inequality. I've become an expert on how to increase economic inequality, and I've spent the past decade working hard to do it.
[more inside]
posted by nickrussell on Jan 3, 2016 - 88 comments

Inequality impacts retailers too

High-end malls are doing just great. It’s malls in middle-class communities geared to middle-income customers that are suffering from high vacancy rates and failing tenants. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle on Dec 23, 2015 - 33 comments

Where "schools aren’t a place to learn, they’re a place to fear."

In 2007, the Pinellas County, Florida School Board abandoned integration, joining hundreds of US school districts in former Confederacy states that have resegregated since 2000. The Board justified the vote with bold promises: Schools in poor, black neighborhoods would get more money, more staff, more resources -- none of which happened. This past August, the Tampa Bay Times published an exposé, revealing how district leaders turned five once-average schools into Failure Factories. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 18, 2015 - 62 comments

Divided We Fall

Kentucky counties with highest Medicaid rates backed Matt Bevin, who plans to cut Medicaid
Owsley County, one of the nation's poorest places [prev], neatly fit the trend. Nearly 1,000 of its 4,508 residents got health insurance after Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear established Kynect two years ago and expanded Medicaid to include people up to 138 percent of the poverty level, which is $16,105 a year for an individual. Newly insured people started to visit the Owsley County Medical Clinic on the outskirts of Booneville. They desperately needed medical care. Even by Kentucky's lax standards, Owsley has high rates of obesity, smoking and poor nutrition, and as a result, greater than normal incidences of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Some patients wept with relief as longtime ailments finally were treated, clinic officials said. [...] The community's largest-circulation newspaper, the Three Forks Tradition in Beattyville, did not say much about Kynect ahead of the election. Instead, its editorials roasted Obama and Hillary Clinton, gay marriage, Islam, "liberal race peddlers," "liberal media," black criminals and "the radical Black Lives Matter movement."
Owsley County voted for Bevin, a Tea Party businessman who vowed to dismantle Kynect, by a 70-25 margin. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 15, 2015 - 91 comments

Faced with gaping moral and economic holes in society

Rewrite the rules to benefit everyone, not just the wealthy - "If there's one thing Joseph Stiglitz wants to say about inequality, it's that it has been a choice, not an unexpected, unfortunate economic outcome. That's unnerving, but it also means that citizens and politicians have the opportunity to fix the problem before it gets worse." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 11, 2015 - 112 comments

A Handout Is The Best Hand Up

A generation of evidence affirms cash transfers as among the most powerful means of eliminating extreme poverty in the world. Transfers of money, along with transfers of food vouchers, have seen Brazilian inequality plummet alongside the numbers of the very poor.
posted by blankdawn on Nov 9, 2015 - 46 comments

Desire Modification in the Attention Economy

The Future of (Post)Capitalism - "Paul Mason shows how, from the ashes of the recent financial crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable global economy." (previously; via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 4, 2015 - 22 comments

“Everyone calls us the Crook Islands now,” he said.

I was lucky that he merely threatened me. A journalist from Newsweek actually was deported from a different tax-haven island (Jersey) for her reporting there, and was banned from re-entering the island, or any part of the U.K., for nearly two years. Even though her story was unrelated to the financial-services industry, it was expected to bring negative publicity to the island, threatening its reputation as a place to do business. The message was therefore quashed by banishment of the messenger. The wealth-management industry does not mess around. Inside the Secretive World of Tax-Avoidance Experts.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Oct 29, 2015 - 25 comments

Getting to the Point with Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren addresses the Edward M. Kennedy Insitute for the United States Senate on the subject of inequality in the US. Transcript [but her delivery is so terrific, watch the video, really. -ed.] Slate reflects on the speech. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Oct 1, 2015 - 41 comments

Basic Income: How to Fix a Broken Monetary Transmission Mechanism

FINLAND: New Government Commits to a Basic Income Experiment - "The Finnish government of Juha Sipilä is considering a pilot project that would give everyone of working age a basic income."[1,2,3] (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 4, 2015 - 24 comments

The road to pigmentocracy

It was ‘invisibilization’. The discourse was that we don’t have race in Brazil, so you don’t have race problems in Brazil...”
Brazil is combating many kinds of inequality. But one of the world’s most diverse nations is still just beginning to talk about race.
posted by adamvasco on Aug 2, 2015 - 7 comments

"The practice is called "pay or stay" — pay the fine or stay in jail."

Supreme Court Ruling Not Enough To Prevent Debtors Prisons Judge Robert Swisher, a Superior Court judge in Benton County, says he'll make judgments based on how people present themselves in court. "They come in wearing expensive jackets," he says referring to defendants who wear NFL football team jackets, "or maybe a thousand dollars' worth of tattoos on their arms. And they say, 'I'm just living on handouts.' " If the jacket or tattoos were a gift, he tells the defendants they should have asked the giver for the cash to pay their court fees instead.
[more inside] posted by sio42 on Jun 4, 2015 - 54 comments

How to fix inequality: Squash the finance industry and redistribute more

Joe Stiglitz on Inequality, Wealth, and Growth: Why Capitalism is Failing (video; if you don't have 30m, skip to 20m for discussion of political inequality, wealth, credit and monetary policy) - "If the very rich can use their position to get higher returns, more investment information, more extraction of rents, and if the very rich have equal or higher savings rates, then wealth will become more concentrated... economic inequality inevitably gets translated into political inequality, and political inequality gets translated into more economic inequality. The basic and really important idea here is that markets don't exist in a vacuum, that market economies operate according to certain rules, certain regulations that specify how they work. And those effect the efficiency of those markets, but they also effect how the fruits of the benefits of those markets are distributed and the result of that is there are large numbers of aspects of our basic economic framework that in recent years have worked to increase the inequality of wealth and income in our society... leading to a society which can be better described, increasingly, as an inherited plutocracy." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 2, 2015 - 27 comments

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