On this labour day...
September 7, 2009 9:13 AM Subscribe
Social mobility, income inequality and wealth disparities.
- After a 30-Year Run, Rise of the Super-Rich Hits a Wall: Over the last two years, the rich became poorer, and they may not return to their old levels of wealth anytime soon.
- Household Debt to Net Worth Ratio Spiking - "While the richest were impacted the most in $ terms, the lower to middle class tend to have more of their net worth stashed in real estate (i.e. their home). Thus, while the financial markets rebounded in 2009, it is likely that the lower to middle class didn't reap the reward (housing has continued to fall). Thus, when data is updated for 2008 and 2009 (though too early to judge where we'll end up this year), expect the discrepancy to be even wider."
- Poverty, growth, and sustainability - "Getting out of poverty means, among other things, having access to more of society's resources for the sake of consumption: better diet, healthcare, education, transportation, housing, clothing, and other goods... Now consider the environmental side of the coin."
- Thin Value, Thick Value - "Profit through economic harm to others results in what I've termed 'thin value'. Thin value is an economic illusion: profit that is economically meaningless, because it leaves others worse off, or, at best, no one better off. When you have to spend an extra 30 seconds for no reason, mobile operators win -- but you lose time, money, and productivity. Mobile networks' marginal profits are simply counterbalanced by your marginal losses. That marginal profit doesn't reflect, often, the creation of authentic, meaningful value. Thin value is what the zombieconomy creates."
- Life Inc. - "about money as a medium, and the way centralized currency and corporate capitalism were accepted as given circumstances of business, rather than inventions of particular people at a particular time... how the world became a corporation"
- The Size of the Bush Tax Cuts vs. the Cost of Health Care Reform - "Tax cuts for the wealthy come before health care for the uninsured."
- Health Care That Works - "Until the mid-19th century, firefighting was left mostly to a mishmash of volunteer crews and private fire insurance companies. In New York City, according to accounts in The New York Times in the 1850s and 1860s, firefighting often descended into chaos, with drunkenness and looting. So almost every country moved to what today’s health insurance lobbyists might label 'socialised firefighting'. In effect, we have a single-payer system of public fire departments... Throughout the industrialised world, there are a handful of these areas where governments fill needs better than free markets: fire protection, police work, education, postal service, libraries, health care. The United States goes along with this international trend in every area but one: health care."
- Professor Paul Krugman at war with Niall Ferguson over inflation - "One of them is a 'poseur'. The other is 'patronising'. One suffers from 'verbal diarrhoea'. The other is a 'whiner'... Those accusations were slung round in an increasingly bitter public row between two of the world’s most distinguished commentators on global finance and economics, professors Paul Krugman and Niall Ferguson, of Princeton and Harvard, respectively. It started as an argument about bond prices. But last week it blew up into a row about racism, printing money, spending our way out of recession, and the fate of the global economy." [1,2]
- Why the Growing Level of U.S. Debt May Not be Inflationary - "The future level of the debt in the U.S. is not a worry if we get effective health care reform (rising health care costs are the major source of projected future deficits)."
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