No Shortage of Profit: Semiconductor firms and the differential effects of chip shortages

Chris Mouré Note: this is the manuscript version of an article now featured in The Mint Magazine. Few will argue with the claim that shortages are socially harmful. Shortages, by definition, imply a lack of something – not enough stuff to go around. A shortage of food implies hunger; a shortage of electricity implies darkness. […]

Continue Reading

The antitrust case against Prime

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow The starting gun on Big Tech trustbusting was fired in 2017, when Lina Khan, then a law student (now an FTC trustbuster!) published “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” a law-review article showing how Amazon formed a monopoly without legal trouble. https://www.yalelawjournal.org/note/amazons-antitrust-paradox The key was a Reagan-era shift in antitrust policy, based […]

Continue Reading

The Half Life of a Spotify Hit

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. — Hunter S. Thompson meme1 Browse the internet long enough and you’ll eventually run across Hunter S. Thompson’s meme […]

Continue Reading

The habits of Netflix’s users

Originally published at notes on cinema James McMahon Like other streaming services, Netflix does not make its user data public. To date, there are two exceptions to this privacy. Netflix released a large dataset of anonymized user activity when it offered a one million dollar prize for the best AI model that could predict user […]

Continue Reading

Di Muzio & Dow, ‘Covid-19 and the Global Political Economy. Crises in the 21st Century’

Abstract Covid-19 and the Global Political Economy investigates and explores how far and in what ways the Covid-19 pandemic is challenging, restructuring, and perhaps remaking aspects of the global political economy. Since the 1970s, neoliberal capitalism has been the guiding principle of global development: fiscal discipline, privatisations, deregulation, the liberalisation of trade and investment regimes, […]

Continue Reading

Mouré, ‘No Shortage of Profit: Technological Change, Chip ‘Shortages’, and Capital Accumulation in the Semiconductor Business’

Abstract Rapid technological change is often touted as a fundamental reality of capitalist societies. It is also often presented as concrete evidence for the supposed progressive improvement of material well-being that characterises the capitalist system of social order. Since its emergence in the mid-20th century, semiconductor technology in many ways exemplifies this reality. Yet the […]

Continue Reading

How the Sacklers rigged the game

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow Two quotes to ponder as you read “Purdue’s Poison Pill,” Adam Levitin’s forthcoming Texas Law Review paper: “Some will rob you with a six-gun, And some with a fountain pen.” (W. Guthrie) “Behind every great fortune there is a great crime.” (H. Balzac) (paraphrase) Some background. Purdue was/is the […]

Continue Reading

Kolasi, ‘Pensions and Power: The Political and Market Dynamics of Public Pension Plans’

Pensions and Power The Political and Market Dynamics of Public Pension Plans ERALD KOLASI June 2022 Abstract This paper uses the theory of ‘capital as power’ to analyze the struggle over public pensions in the United States. While mainstream commentators claim that public pensions must be ‘reformed’ because they are ‘under funded’, I argue that […]

Continue Reading

The Ritual of Capitalization

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix There’s something mysterious about finance. The symbols are arcane. The math is complex. The practitioners are impressively educated. And the stakes are high. All of this gives finance the veneer of higher truth — as if quants are uncovering a reality not accessible to the […]

Continue Reading

Patent troll IP is more powerful than Apple’s

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow I was 12 years into my Locus Magazine column when I published the piece I’m most proud of, “IP,” from September 2020. It came after an epiphany, one that has profoundly shaped the way I talk and think about the issues I campaign on. https://locusmag.com/2020/09/cory-doctorow-ip/ That revelation was about […]

Continue Reading

Free Speech For Me, Not You

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix They say that Americans love two things: freedom … and guns. The trouble with guns is obvious. The trouble with freedom is more subtle, and boils down to doublespeak. When a good old boy defends his ‘freedom’, there’s a good chance he has a hidden […]

Continue Reading

Capital as Power Essay Prize Winners, 2022

Blair Fix The Review of Capital as Power is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Capital as Power Essay Prize: First Prize: ‘Costly Efficiencies: Healthcare Spending, COVID-19, and the Public/Private Healthcare Debate’, by Chris Mouré. Second Prize: ‘Hype: The Capitalist Degree of Induced Participation’, by Yuri Di Liberto. Chris Mouré’s ‘Costly Efficiencies’ In […]

Continue Reading

Mouré, ‘Costly Efficiencies: Healthcare Spending, COVID-19, and the Public/Private Healthcare Debate’

Costly Efficiencies Healthcare Spending, COVID-19, and the Public/Private Healthcare Debate CHRIS MOURÉ May 2022 Abstract Proponents of private healthcare often claim that the private sector is more ‘efficient’ at delivering healthcare services. This paper tests the privatization thesis in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a large sample of countries, I investigate how healthcare […]

Continue Reading

Di Liberto, ‘Hype: The Capitalist Degree of Induced Participation’

Hype The Capitalist Degree of Induced Participation YURI DI LIBERTO April 2022 Abstract Power is usually considered as either a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ construct, as in the power to force action versus the power to forbid it. This paper explores a hybridized approach to power based on the idea of ‘induced participation’. Building on Bichler […]

Continue Reading