Arbitrage and Import Controls in Argentina during the 1950s

Originally published at joefrancis.info Joe Francis Following the Second World War, there was a worldwide dollar shortage due to the United States’ high level of self-sufficiency as an agro-industrial behemoth. Governments therefore imposed quantitative controls on imports, in order to ration the available supply of dollars. A study made in 1955 by John Hopkins, an […]

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The rotten culture of the rich

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow In his 2019 book Dignity, Chris Arnade left his Wall Street job and traveled America, talking to poor, marginalized people, mostly at McDonald’s restaurants. Now, in a new essay for American Compass, Arnade delves into the “rotten culture of the rich.” https://americancompass.org/what-about-the-rotten-culture-of-the-rich/ Arnade starts with observations about how rich […]

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Making culture rational … with power

Originally published at notes on cinema James McMahon A survey of academic writing on the business of culture will show that authors seldomly restrain themselves from making predictions or giving recommendations to the hypothetical economic actor. This offering of future-oriented arguments to an audience should not be surprising. The disciplines of economics, business, management studies […]

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Peak Oil Never Went Away

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix Do you remember peak oil? It was all the rage a decade ago. Now, almost no one is talking about it. The funny thing is, the problem never went away. If anything, it’s gotten worse. In this post, I take a deep dive into peak […]

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Problems of the Periphery in Federico and Tena’s World Trade Data

Originally published at joefrancis.info Joe Francis Giovanni Federico and Antonio Tena-Junguito (2016) have produced a data set of world trade that includes exports and imports, in both current and constant prices, going back to the early nineteenth century for over 100 countries. It will give all economic historians a mass of easily available long-term time […]

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80% of Britons want happiness, not growth

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow A YouGov poll found 80% of Britons “would prefer the government to prioritise health and wellbeing over economic growth during the crisis, and 6 in 10 would still want the government to pursue health and wellbeing ahead of growth after the pandemic” https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/10/britons-want-quality-of-life-indicators-priority-over-economy-coronavirus GDP is a terrific example of […]

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New Report – Power Ahead: An Energy System Fit For The Future

Originally published at sbhager.com Sandy Brian Hager In a new briefing with Common Wealth, Miriam Brett, Joseph Baines and I examine ownership and financial data for the “Big Six” UK energy companies: Centrica (British Gas), EDF Energy, E.ON UK, NPower, Scottish Power and SSE. We found that: Privatisation since the late-1980s transferred wealth from the […]

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Deconstructing Econospeak

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix It’s been 20 years, but I still remember the feeling. It was a mix of curiosity and unease. I was curious because I was learning something new. But I was uneasy because something didn’t sit right. The place was Edmonton, Alberta, circa the year 2000. […]

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.ORG has been snatched from the grasp of rapacious private equity billionaires

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow The Internet Society (ISOC) is a nonprofit that is in the enviable position of receiving tens of millions of dollars every year merely for overseeing work that someone else does. ISOC has the contract to operate the Public Interest Registry, which contracts for the maintenance of the .ORG top […]

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Was Argentina Really Better Off Than the United States in 1800?

Originally published at joefrancis.info Joe Francis When a prominent economic historian provides a new estimate of something, it is likely that the estimate will be taken at face value. Other economic historians will cite it, so it becomes reified, until it is treated as fact, even when it is little more than fancy. John Coatsworth’s […]

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The ideology of economics

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century” advanced a simple, data-supported hypothesis: that markets left to their own will cause capital to grow faster than the economy as a whole, so over time, the rich always get richer. https://boingboing.net/2014/06/24/thomas-pikettys-capital-in-t.html He’s followed up Capital with the 1000-page “Capital and Ideology” […]

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The web is unusably beshitted with terrible ad-tech

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow The web is unusably beshitted and encrufted with popups, interstitials, rolldowns, nagware, paywalls, autoplaying video, ads that scroll with the page, and worse. I haven’t looked at the web without an adblocker in years and it’s still barely usable. https://www.cjr.org/first_person/the-infinite-scroll.php The modern web’s equilibrium is “as terrible as possible, […]

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A Requiem for Carbon Capitalism?

Originally published at sbhager.com Sandy Brian Hager News of the immanent demise of companies responsible for a significant portion of global greenhouse gas emissions might sound like a boon for efforts to avert climate breakdown. But just how bad is the outlook for fossil fuels? In this research note, I offer a preview of findings […]

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