Rob Horning has a wide-ranging and insightful essay
up at n+1 that seeks connections between three apparently disparate phenomena: global fast-fashion retailers with dubious labor practices like H&M and Forever 21; self-presentation on social media web sites; and neoliberal capitalism's new demands for workers to embrace precarity by endlessly reinventing their identities. [more inside]
posted by AlsoMike
on Jun 6, 2011 -
According to Financial Blog TooMuch,
a new white paper from AdAge claims that the era of "Mass Affluence is over". This means that because the middle-class no longer have the dominent share of disposable income that marketing directly to the super-rich is the future of advertising. This means that if you're over 35 and make $100,000 to $200,000, Madison Avenue no longer really cares about you.
Apparently no one in America really realised what it meant that "The top 10 percent of American households.. now account for nearly half of all consumer spending, and a disproportionate share of that spending comes from the top 10’s upper reaches."
It reminds me of that Steinbeck quote, that 'Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.'
posted by rudhraigh
on Jun 1, 2011 -
- "Work-sharing schemes, in many different forms, are becoming the norm in Holland and Denmark, and have made inroads in France and Germany. The key element in any such approach is to separate work from income. [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on May 22, 2011 -
‘Everyone is a worker.’ That is a powerful statement, if you think about it. Richard Scarry wasn’t afraid to paint contemporary American society in such bold strokes. Nor was he afraid to explain commerce and capitalism to children.
- What Do People Do All Day
posted by Artw
on May 4, 2011 -
How Private Is 'Private Charity'?
Private charity may be more accurately described
as "private donations coupled with involuntary, tax-financed public subsidies." And it's not fair
: "very low-income people paying only payroll taxes get hardly any leverage for their donations. Very high-income people in states with high income-tax rates – such as New Jersey and New York – can through the tax code virtually double the money funneled to a charity per dollar of their own sacrifice." (previously
posted by kliuless
on Jan 17, 2011 -
How do you tax religious communists engaged in capitalism through an exempt religious corporation? The Stahl Hutterian Brethren is a 65-member community of Hutterites
that runs a 30,000 acre farm in Washington. The community is incorporated as a religious corporation. Its members give all their "time, labor, services, earnings, and energies" to the community. They disavow individual property ownership, draw no salary, and do not contribute to or collect Social Security benefits. Instead, the community provides for its members' personal needs. And now it is the subject of the most fascinating 9th Circuit tax case [PDF]
you'll read this year!
But before you dig into the 9th Circuit opinion, here's a great summary and commentary by law professor Shaun Martin
. The case addresses the very tricky question of whether, as employees of a non-profit religious corporation, the community members should be allowed to deduct their living expenses, which are paid for by the corporation (they're communists, after all). Tricky additional fact: The 65-member community is all one big family.
posted by The World Famous
on Dec 13, 2010 -
(wiki), a "third way"
of economics between capitalism and socialism
, inspired by Catholic social teaching
. Popularized by G. K. Chesterton
), Fr. Vincent McNabb
), Hilaire Belloc
), and E. F. Schumacher
), as well as through the pages of the Catholic Worker
), distributism seeks to put "productive" property into the hands of the many, with implications for urban homesteading
and agricultural reform
, as well as the rebirth of the guild as an idea
. Distributism is not merely an economic system
- it is wholly fused with Catholic teachings
, fusing the left and right
, standing against modern, liberal political and sociological thought
. [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast
on Nov 28, 2010 -
It is not our role to take power. It is our role to make the powerful frightened of us. And that's what we've forgotten. Give up that dream!
Chris Hedges talks neoliberalism and neofeudalism, the civil rights movement, Camden, Obama, Clinton, Tea Parties, moral nihilism, inverted totalitarianism and corpocracy, NAFTA, welfare reform, health care, labor, poverty, Yugoslavia, post-industrial capitalism, economic crisis, imperial collapse, socialism, and democracy, among other things. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog
on Apr 24, 2010 -
SLJaredDiamondOp-Ed: As part of my board work, I have been asked to assess the environments in oil fields, and have had frank discussions with oil company employees at all levels. I’ve also worked with executives of mining, retail, logging and financial services companies. I’ve discovered that while some businesses are indeed as destructive as many suspect, others are among the world’s strongest positive forces for environmental sustainability. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog
on Dec 11, 2009 -
Prelude to Federation
- Like a neocolonial SEZ
) Paul Romer
, not to be confused
"less developed countries contract with capitalist nations to set up Hong Kong's for them... that we rethink sovereignty (respect borders, but maybe import administrative control); rethink citizenship (support residency, but maybe import voice in political affairs); and rethink scale (instead of focusing on nations, focus on cities—on city states like Hong Kong and Singapore)." cf. neocameralism
] [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on May 21, 2009 -
Tragedy of the anti-commons
is the opposite of tragedy of the commons - it's when too many owners create grid-lock, nothing can get accomplished. It exists everywhere from copyright law, tech patents, music industry, airport runway expansion, medicine
, etc.. it is pervasive across all aspects of modern capitalist societies. The concept was coined by Professor Michael Heller who published a book in 2008 called The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives
. In an excellent Authors@Google video, Michael Heller
explains what it is and how it undermines capitalism, in particular over the past 30 years with increased privatization.
posted by stbalbach
on Feb 10, 2009 -