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"Free markets killed capitalism," Or really, the other way around.

Monopoly is back: Barry Lynn on the concentration of American economic power — and how we can restore fairness. Highlights: [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Jun 30, 2014 - 47 comments

Garbage Everywhere

What refuse in India's streets reveals about America’s hidden trash problem
posted by infini on Jun 22, 2014 - 43 comments

It's last call to do your shopping at the last mall

The Guardian on the decline of America's shopping malls. "Dying shopping malls are speckled across the United States, often in middle-class suburbs wrestling with socioeconomic shifts. Some, like Rolling Acres, have already succumbed. Estimates on the share that might close or be repurposed in coming decades range from 15 to 50%. Americans are returning downtown; online shopping is taking a 6% bite out of brick-and-mortar sales; and to many iPhone-clutching, city-dwelling and frequently jobless young people, the culture that spawned satire like Mallrats seems increasingly dated, even cartoonish.

The trend is especially noticeable in the Midwest, a former blue-collar bastion where ailing malls have begun dotting suburban landscapes. Outside of Chicago, Lakehurst Mall was levelled in 2004 and the half-vacant Lincoln Mall is costing its host village millions in botched redevelopment plans. Dixie Square Mall sat vacant for more than 30 years after serving as the backdrop for the iconic chase scene in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. It was finally demolished in 2012. Many others will similarly lie dormant as they wait for the wrecking ball."
posted by porn in the woods on Jun 19, 2014 - 181 comments

The Big Chill

Why American refrigerators are so huge, and what it says about our culture.
posted by reenum on Oct 6, 2013 - 265 comments

"Big waste country, the U.S."

To a Chinese Scrap-Metal Hunter, America's Trash Is Treasure: Johnson Zeng is a Chinese trader who travels across the U.S. in search of scrap metal. By his estimate, there are at least 100 others like him driving from scrap yard to scrap yard, right now, in search of what Americans won’t or can’t be bothered to recycle. His favorite product: wires, cables, and other kinds of copper. His purchases, millions of pounds of metal worth millions of dollars, will eventually be shipped to China. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 7, 2013 - 29 comments

"Some things...can only happen once."

The Blip: What if everything we've come to think of as American is predicated on a freak coincidence of economic history? And what if that coincidence has run its course?
posted by Sticherbeast on Aug 12, 2013 - 107 comments

"I couldn't afford for Carpentersville to become Detroit"

Tom Roeser was unhappy about the decline of his town, Carpentersville, IL. So he decided to do something about it. Roeser bought some foreclosed properties, renovated them, and then rented them out for below market value.
posted by reenum on Apr 2, 2013 - 56 comments

There's a lot of bullshit coming from America

"Of the top 100 Swiss companies, 49 give shareholders a consulting vote on the pay of executives. A few other countries, including the United States and Germany, have introduced advisory "say on pay" votes in response to the anger over inequality and corporate excess that drove the Occupy Wall Street movement. Britain is also planning to implement rules in late 2013 that will give shareholders a binding vote on pay and "exit payments" at least every three years. Minder's initiative goes further, forcing all listed companies to have binding votes on compensation for company managers and directors, and ban golden handshakes and parachutes. It would also ban bonus payments to managers if their companies are taken over, and impose severe penalties — including possible jail sentences and fines — for breaches of these new rules."
posted by vidur on Jan 21, 2013 - 32 comments

Wonky graphs of 2012

2012: The year in graphs - as picked by the Washington Post Wonkblog's favorite economists, political scientist, politicians and other wonkys.
posted by Artw on Dec 28, 2012 - 17 comments

Fiscal-Cliff-Diving

There's been a lot of talk in the US media about the "Fiscal Cliff" and the "Grand Bargain" What are they?
The "fiscal cliff" is a confluence of three legal changes taking effect Jan. 1: the expiration of a payroll-tax cut, the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, and the advent of mandatory spending cuts known as "sequestration."
Fiscal Cliff 101: 5 Basic Questions Answered. What's Happening: Fiscal Cliff Explained [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 1, 2012 - 214 comments

The New York Times - Complaints Aside, Most Face Lower Tax Burden Than in 1980

The New York Times examines how American taxes have changed since 1980
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Nov 30, 2012 - 105 comments

Why Obama Now

Why Obama Now - from Simpsons/Family Guy animator Lucas Gray [more inside]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Oct 11, 2012 - 61 comments

Student Loans on Rise -- for Kindergarten

Student loan debt is now extending to K-12 private educations, fueled by parents who believe getting their children into the "right" primary school is essential to future success.
posted by reenum on Apr 7, 2012 - 113 comments

Thanks, Housing Collapse!

14 Year Old Buys House in Florida Meet Willow Tufano, age 14: Lady Gaga fan, animal lover, landlord. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Mar 9, 2012 - 102 comments

The End of the Free Market?

We're All State Capitalists Now 'No, according to some commentators, the contest between the two Asian superpowers is also fundamentally a contest between economic models: market capitalism vs. state capitalism.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 10, 2012 - 29 comments

America's First Suburb Turns 60

America's First Suburb Turns 60 Almost 60 years ago, a planned community embodied the hopes and prosperity of America. Now, it represents a more realistic picture of the American experience. The BBC investigates Levittown, Pennsylvania, as part of a year-long series. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Nov 8, 2011 - 91 comments

What if law schools opened their own law firms?

The job market is saturated and graduates are unable to get hired anywhere to get proper training. Law professors Richard Rhee and Bradley Borden have a solution: law schools should open their own law firms.
posted by reenum on Aug 19, 2011 - 93 comments

Room for one more?

One Job for America. Carla Emil had a good idea. PBS has this report.
posted by GrammarMoses on Aug 6, 2011 - 43 comments

Endgame

The talks between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner "collapsed" Friday with little more than a week to go before the United States may effectively default on its debt. The two parties have been in ongoing negotiations for months over GOP refusal to raise the legal limit on national debt unless tied to a significant package of spending cuts - with some members and activists opposed to any increase whatsoever [more inside]
posted by crayz on Jul 24, 2011 - 3228 comments

The Unemployed Worker's New Friend

Job searchers have begun outsourcing the process of applying for jobs to companies in India. The results have been mixed.
posted by reenum on Jul 16, 2011 - 36 comments

Obama goes to China

Obama proposes Social Security cuts. Amid ongoing debt talks wherein the Democrats are seeking to raise the debt ceiling to prevent the default of Federal debt, "entitlement reform" has been a hot topic. This morning, Obama has taken the unusual step of proposing even larger spending cuts than Republicans have asked for, mystifying many. Has the Grand Bargain arrived?
posted by mek on Jul 7, 2011 - 363 comments

Iowa loophole voids mortgage

Matt and Jamie Danielson, with the aid of their bankruptcy attorney, were able to use a little known loophole in the Iowa law to void their mortgage and own their house outright after making just one payment. However, further investigation has uncovered some unsavory events in the couple's past.
posted by reenum on Apr 21, 2011 - 60 comments

You wait until wheels-up, because that's what you do

"Meanwhile, Important Politician stretches out in his business class seat and listens to his wife talk about the pearls! And the silk scarves! And the amazing food! And IP thinks back to that Foreign Service Officer he just met. And he thinks: what a great life that guy has! He goes to parties at the President's mansion. He drinks fancy wine. He drives around in air conditioned motorcades, with people saluting him as he walks into government buildings. He goes hiking - in the middle of a work day, even! - on the Great Wall. What a cushy life he leads, thinks Important Politician." A proposed pay cut is not going down well with some Foreign Service Officers.
posted by vidur on Feb 26, 2011 - 13 comments

World Government Data

Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults allowing us to check out the numbers for ourselves. This is the Guardian’s gateway to that information. Search for government data here from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand — and look out for new countries and places as they are added. Read more about this on the Datablog. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 25, 2010 - 13 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 comments

Cemented

This fall, law students are competing for half as many openings at big firms as they were last year in what is shaping up to be the most wrenching job search season in over 50 years.

Had I seen where the market was going, I would’ve gone to a lower-ranked but less expensive public school,” [a second year law student at Penn] said. “I’m questioning whether law school was the right choice at all."
posted by plexi on Aug 26, 2009 - 214 comments

Many Left Uncounted in Nation's Official Jobless Rate

Paul Solman examines how the number of jobless people who fall outside of official unemployment counts (video) offer a different picture of the nation's economic recovery. Transcript here. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jul 3, 2009 - 41 comments

Going Dutch

[E]ven if you are unemployed you still receive a base amount of [vacation money] from the government, the reasoning being that if you can’t go on vacation, you’ll get depressed and despondent and you’ll never get a job.
[...]
But does the cartoon image of [the Dutch system] — encapsulated in the dread slur "socialism," which is being lobbed in American political circles like a bomb — match reality? Is there, maybe, a significant upside that is worth exploring? [...] I think it’s worth pondering how the best bits might fit.
After a year and a half of living in the Netherlands, American writer Russell Shorto compares the Dutch "welfare state" to the tax, health care and social security systems of the United States.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on May 4, 2009 - 119 comments

“They didn’t tell me I had to do anything particular with it”

At the Palm Beach Ritz-Carlton last November, John C. Hope III, the chairman of Whitney National Bank in New Orleans, stood before a ballroom full of Wall Street analysts and explained how his bank intended to use its $300 million in federal bailout money.

“Make more loans?” Mr. Hope said. “We’re not going to change our business model or our credit policies to accommodate the needs of the public sector as they see it to have us make more loans.”

Personal stories from the front lines of the American bailout.
posted by plexi on Jan 18, 2009 - 63 comments

Watch out for the Holnists.

Russian professor and information warrior, Igor Panarin, has predicted the collapse and breakup of the USA. (Potential artists' renderings 1 2) The interview was originally reported in the Russian newspaper, Izvestia. (Google Translated) The prediction has been met with varying levels of credulity, scoffed at by some and embraced by others. The prediction, which goes so far as to speculate exactly how the US might reorganize, was posted to Drudge and has offended many bloggers who, while excited by the prospects of secession, are insulted by the insinuation that the south may go Hispanic and not Confederate.
posted by Telf on Nov 26, 2008 - 106 comments

The Rise of the Rest

The Rise of the Rest. Fareed Zakaria's Newsweek article about a "post-American" world.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on May 5, 2008 - 42 comments

The Audacity of Government

A very special 'This American Life' about an administration with the endemic belief that laws only apply to the little people, and a limitless refusal to concede on even petty issues, no matter the costs. The highlight is about immigrant widows of US citizens (30:50). The program also discusses the constitutional beliefs of the presidential candidates. [more inside]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 2, 2008 - 43 comments

US Census Bureau's DataWeb

TheDataWeb - a network of online data libraries on topics including census data, economic data, health data, income and unemployment data, population data, labor data, cancer data, crime and transportation data, family dynamics, vital statistics data
posted by Gyan on Dec 26, 2007 - 10 comments

Friends & Foes of The International Northeast Economic Region

Start or stop Atlantica. [via CBC]
posted by boost ventilator on Jun 11, 2006 - 30 comments

Working harder, feeling poorer

Working harder, feeling poorer? You're not alone. A summary report on the performance of the US economy in the past four years.
posted by wilful on Jan 15, 2006 - 80 comments

Tax Man

Tax Man Bush says tax cuts stimulate the economy. Unfortunately, he's fallen more than 2.2 million jobs short of the projection made by his own economists.
posted by Postroad on Jul 28, 2004 - 6 comments

Good news for 308,000 American citizens and one President.

U.S. job growth strongest in 4 years in March. Non-farm payrolls climbed 308,000 in March, the Labor Department said, the biggest gain since April 2000. However, the unemployment rate actually ticked upward from 5.6%, the two-year low seen in January and February, to 5.7% in March. Note in passing that this took place during the Bush administration!
posted by msacheson on Apr 2, 2004 - 67 comments

The Hypen Closes

A little coffee shop in a little North Carolina town closes. When I worked in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., the opening of the Hyphen (get it? get it? the Hyphen in Fuquay-Varina?) was a miracle. There, in the midst of antique stores, clothiers, and the Bob Barker Co., was this hip, unique eatery owned and operated by two local artists. Owner Nina Fortmeyer partially cites that the little tobacco town has simply become "Wal-Mart-ized" in its growth, leading to a loss in downtown foot traffic, leading to lost business. This, methinks, is the greatest and most obvious consequence of globalization, the mom-and-pops being run out of town. If this is happening in Fuquay-Varina, it is absolutely happening everywhere. Very sad.
posted by NedKoppel on Jul 8, 2003 - 63 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

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

The End of Empire?

The End of Empire? "You can't sustain an empire from a debtor's weakening position--sooner or later the creditors pull the plug. That humiliating lesson was learned by Great Britain early in the last century, and the United States faces a similar reckoning ahead."
posted by homunculus on Sep 9, 2002 - 39 comments

I'm curious,

I'm curious, isn't this exactly opposite of what we're being told? I'm always hearing the wealthy are benefitting somehow from GWB's new tax plan. I'm certainly no-where near the top 5%, and now I don't want to be.
posted by the_0ne on Apr 9, 2002 - 54 comments

Wishful Thinking Department (Economics Division)

Wishful Thinking Department (Economics Division) Newsweek's Wall Street editor says nation is in the midst of a "quiet economic recovery." As someone who's been out of work since June, I don't see it. What's your barometric pressure reading on the nation's economy?
posted by darren on Oct 22, 2001 - 29 comments

Kevin Phillips on the U.S. economy and the War Ahead.

Kevin Phillips on the U.S. economy and the War Ahead. Sobering historical context for where we're at now (short article via SmirkingChimp).
posted by aflakete on Sep 16, 2001 - 6 comments

Doggie-bag use is up

Doggie-bag use is up - Must be an economic downturn (via Fark). Want to know what the Fed is up to before everyone else? Have a look at the Greenspan briefcase theory. Takeout orders in Washington DC are up? Must be a war!

Anyone know of other 'indicators' like these? No, Groundhog Day doesn't count.
posted by jwells on Aug 28, 2001 - 10 comments


Taliban say

Taliban say they underminded the US economy by halting opium production. ``It's known in select circles.. that opium is more influential than oil in terms of its economic role in America in particular and the West as a whole,''
posted by stbalbach on Jun 16, 2001 - 7 comments

The House has passed the bankruptcy reform bill

The House has passed the bankruptcy reform bill that Clinton vetoed at the end of the last session. I'm mildly optimistic that it won't pass the Senate, given that the Democratic vote in the House was split. But should we be worried at all? At first glance, it doesn't seem like a bad idea. But so many consumer groups are against it, and it seems to benefit credit card companies while hurting individuals, so I'm inclined to think we should leave things as-is. Especially since personal bankruptcies are down and credit card issuers' profits are up. Anyone know more about this?
posted by aaron on Mar 1, 2001 - 7 comments

Gates, Buffett & Soros unite to fight . . . the estate tax?

Gates, Buffett & Soros unite to fight . . . the estate tax? I think this is a good thing. It's definitely odd.
posted by aflakete on Feb 14, 2001 - 81 comments

Is the US really entering a recession?

Is the US really entering a recession? Even with recent layoffs, the last time unemployement was this low before 1999 was 1970. And maybe a recession is not such a bad idea, what with spending outmaching saving in recent years. [more inside]
posted by croutonsupafreak on Feb 3, 2001 - 3 comments

"economy failed to grow for the first time in 117 months"

"economy failed to grow for the first time in 117 months"
posted by tiaka on Feb 1, 2001 - 13 comments

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