September 27, 2021

Note from Blair Fix: In a series of essays published in 2013 and 2014 on capitaspower.com, political economist Tim Di Muzio explored the concept of ‘sabotage’ as it applies to capitalist power. I recently rediscovered …

September 26, 2021

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow Reagan turned the country upside-down, in a very bad way. The “Reagan revolution” was indeed revolutionary (or, rather, counter-revolutionary), reversing a half-century of progress on social safety nets, workers’ …

September 24, 2021

Originally published at sbhager.com Sandy Brian Hager Earlier this month in Berlin I participated in the third workshop of the “Doing Debt” research network. I received the invitation back in May and was asked by …

September 22, 2021

Abstract For more than a century, political economists have sought to understand the nature of capital. The prevailing wisdom is that there must be something ‘real’ — some productive capacity — that underpins capitalized values. …

September 22, 2021

Originally published at joefrancis.info Joe Francis Recently the Economist published a front-page feature on ‘The Tragedy of Argentina: A Century of Decline‘. By summarising the current scholarship on the ‘Argentine paradox’, the article demonstrates why the study of …

September 21, 2021

Originally published at sbhager.com Sandy Brian Hager The following piece is based on my State of the Art article in Socio-Economic Review. It was originally published for The Conversation and the World Economic Forum Global …

September 20, 2021

Originally published at joefrancis.info Joe Francis I never met my grandsupervisor (the PhD supervisor of my PhD supervisor), but I have enjoyed reading his rants. One in particular made a major impression upon me. In Mickey …

September 18, 2021

Originally published at notes on cinema James McMahon Your movie turned out the be a flop? “Nobody knows anything”. You mistakenly believed consumers wanted to see a movie set in the 1920s? “Nobody knows anything”. …

September 17, 2021

Originally published at dtcochrane.com DT Cochrane I recently saw a misleading presentation of COVID data pertaining to Israel. In this post I’m sharing several graphs that I made to counter this misleading image. Israel is …

September 16, 2021

Abstract According to neoclassical economics, the most efficient way to organize human activity is to use the free market. By stoking self interest, the theory claims, individuals can benefit society. This idea, however, conflicts with …

September 16, 2021

Originally published at sbhager.com Sandy Brian Hager I put together Figure 1 for a paper I will be presenting at the 29th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics in Lyon this summer. The …

August 28, 2021

Originally published at notes on cinema James McMahon Part 1 introduced Scorcese’s argument in his Harper’s essay, which was about much more than Fellini. The first part also explained how we can connect Scorcese’s essay …

August 25, 2021

Originally published at sbhager.com Sandy Brian Hager With the academic term winding down, I thought it would be useful to post some reflections on my teaching experiences this past year. In total, I taught three …

August 21, 2021

Reconsidering Systemic Fear and the Stock Market A Reply to Baines and Hager JAMES MCMAHON August 2021 Abstract This article responds to Baines and Hager’s recent critique of the capital-as-power model of the stock market. …

August 20, 2021

Originally published at notes on cinema James McMahon Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings is a telling example of Hollywood rationalizing its so-called inability to widen the boundaries of its creativity. In this case, the …

August 19, 2021

Originally published at sbhager.com Sandy Brian Hager I’m spending some time during these summer months developing a new undergraduate course on wealth and income inequality. Branko Milanovic’s wonderful new book Global Inequality: A New Approach …

August 17, 2021

Abstract Recent years have seen the convergence of industries that focus on higher protein foods, such as meat processing firms expanding into plant-based substitutes and/or cellular meat production, and fisheries firms expanding into aquaculture. A …

August 16, 2021

Originally published at notes on cinema James McMahon What is more pleasurable: reading Martin Scorcese on cinema or reading reactions to Scorcese on cinema? The reactions compete for our pleasure because they reveal how easy …

August 13, 2021

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix If you listen carefully, you can hear Jeff Bezos getting richer. There’s the sound again. Another billion in Bezos’ coffers. Let’s put some numbers to …

July 27, 2021

Originally published at dtcochrane.com DT Cochrane In Part 2, I looked at the shifts in U.S. household consumption that occurred during WWII. While aggregate consumption increased alongside massive government intervention, the qualitative mix of that …

July 23, 2021

Originally published at dtcochrane.com DT Cochrane In Part 1, I explained the motivation for this series. I want to use the analogy of WWII, as invoked by economists JW Mason and Mike Konczal in an …

July 22, 2021

Originally published at dtcochrane.com DT Cochrane Economist JW Mason recently tweeted the following: Bloomberg writer Peter Coy was motived to perform this research by an NYT op-ed from Mason and Mike Konczal. Mason and Konczal’s …

July 20, 2021

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix Donald Trump took an IQ test … you’ll never guess what he scored! Apologies. That was my attempt at clickbait.1 Now that I’ve hooked you, …

July 9, 2021

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix Prices are caused by supply and demand, right? So say neoclassical economists. If you’ve bought their fairy tale, I recommend you watch the video below. …

June 26, 2021

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix In the early 1970s, Geert Hofstede discovered something interesting. While analyzing a work-attitude survey that had been given to thousands of IBM employees around the …

June 18, 2021

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. In science, the corollary is that a good chart is worth a whole article. Okay, …

June 8, 2021

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix How can we live the ‘good life’ without killing the planet? My last post on energy and empire got me thinking about this question. We …

May 24, 2021

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix They called him the ‘Little Emperor’. Romulus Augustus — better known as Romulus ‘Augustulus’ (‘Little Augustus’) — was the last Western Roman Emperor. He assumed …

May 12, 2021

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix I’ve always been baffled why ‘modern monetary theory’ is called a theory. I don’t mean this in a disparaging way. As far as theories of …

May 4, 2021

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix As some of you may know, I recently became the editor of the Review of Capital as Power (RECASP), a journal that publishes research on …

May 1, 2021

From Commodities to Assets Capital as Power and the Ontology of Finance JESÚS SUASTE CHERIZOLA May 2021 Abstract Assets are a crucial concept of the practice and mindset of the capitalist class. Critical analyses of …

March 29, 2021

Abstract Today, human capital theory dominates the study of personal income. But this has not always been so. In this essay, I chart the rise of human capital theory, and compare it to the rise …

March 29, 2021

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix If it is very easy to substitute other factors for natural resources, then there is in principle no “problem”. The world can, in effect, get …

March 24, 2021

Abstract The theory of capital as power (CasP) is radically different from conventional political economy. In the conventional view, mainstream as well as heterodox, capital is seen a ‘real’ economic entity engaged in the production …

March 15, 2021

Abstract We write this essay for both lay readers and scientists, though mainstream economists are welcome to enjoy it too. Our subject is the basic toolbox of mainstream economics. The most important tools in this …

February 12, 2021

By Cassandra Jeffery1 and M. V. Ramana2 The “largest bribery, money-laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people and the state of Ohio” came to light during an unexpected press conference in July 2020 in Columbus. …

February 10, 2021

Abstract Humanity’s most pressing need is to learn how to live within our planet’s boundaries — something that likely means doing without economic growth. How, then, can we create a non-growth society that is both …

February 10, 2021

Abstract According to the capital as power framework, pecuniary earnings, or profits, are a symbolic representation of the struggle for power between different capitalist groups. In this struggle, capitalists measure their own power differentially – …

February 9, 2021

Abstract This two-part paper details the arguments and evidence that have been marshalled by both climate scientists and social scientists to critique the current procedures and methodologies deployed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change …

February 6, 2021

Abstract Commodity trading firms occupy a central position in global supply chains and their activities have been associated with financial instability, social upheaval and manifold forms of ecological devastation. This paper examines these companies in …

February 5, 2021

Tim Di Muzio1 PDF version available here The phrase, ‘there’s a sucker born every minute’ is typically attributed to the American showman, P.T. Barnum and was made infamous since the mid-19th century by gamblers, hucksters …

February 2, 2021

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix I’ve written a lot on this blog about the absurdity of marginal productivity theory. But I haven’t said much about the other pillar of mainstream …

January 30, 2021

Abstract From the 1980s to the present, Hollywood’s major distributors have been able to redistribute U.S. theatrical attendance to the advantage of their biggest blockbusters and franchises. At the global scale and during the same …

January 12, 2021

Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified longstanding concerns about mounting levels of corporate debt in the United States. This article places the current conjuncture in its historical context, analysing corporate indebtedness against the backdrop of …

January 11, 2021

Abstract Anarchists have generally rejected the idea that there is or ought to be a pure or inherently revolutionary strategy or tactic. In this chapter we make use of the capital-as-power theory of value and …

January 5, 2021

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix If the history of science has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t trust our preconceptions about how the world works. All human societies have …

December 23, 2020

Abstract Until the late 2000s, our work focused primarily on why capitalism should be understood as a mode of power. We argued that capital itself is a form of organized power and researched how capitalists …

December 17, 2020

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix Today I’m going to revisit a topic that a month ago I committed to stop writing about — the productivity-income quagmire. Neoclassical economists argue that …