Wall Street Journal exposition of Marx’s Theory of Crises

Overcapacity Fuel Costs Hit Shipping – WSJ

This article parallels the analysis that I used in Railroading Economics to analyze the Great Depression of the late 19th century.  Overcapacity and new technology combine to force companies to invest in technologies that have even greater economies of scale with the effect that they swamp the market even more.

Mayday in Slovenia

I just returned from Slovenia, where I had the privilege of giving a plenary lecture, as did Michael Lebowitz and David McNally.  The experience went well beyond my wildest dreams.  Some 16 years ago some economics students organized the Workers and Punks University.  The staying power alone of this organization deserves great credit.  I have no idea how well the Workers and Punks University operated in its infancy, but its work today is incredible.  During the conference, the organizers held a press conference to announce the beginning of a new political party.

In the United States, such an event would have been ignored, except perhaps for a few snide comments.  In Slovenia, from what I understand the press corps took the party seriously.  Even more surprising, much of the reporting seems to have been relatively positive, according to what I was told.  The goal of the party is to create an alliance with each of the states that made up Yugoslavia.  The only other regions that were in attendance, as far as I know, where Croatia and Serbia.  Unlike the United States where lasting regional resentment about our Civil War continue after a century and a half, I saw no sign of anything similar at the meeting.

In the sessions devoted to the strategy for the party people differed with one another, but they did so with respect.

 

Finally, the level of political and intellectual sophistication I saw was absolutely amazing.  The young people were intensely interested in ideas, especially those relevant to building a new society.

Religion, Economics, and Deskilling Work

Despite the Saudi belief that beheading by skill swordsmen is the way God wants to carry out executions, a shortage of skilled swordsman has led the government to turn to firing squads.

 

Kirkpatrick, David D. 2013. “Saudis Consider Firing Squads for Executions.” New York Times (11 March): p. A 10.

“After centuries of public beheadings, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is considering firing squads as an alternative means of execution.   A special inter-ministerial committee has recommended that “because of the scarcity of swordsmen and their unavailability in a number of regions” the princes who govern Saudi provinces should be free to use firing squads, according to a statement from the committee, reported in Saudi newspapers on Sunday.”

“The few officially authorized swordsmen were so busy traveling between different regions to conduct executions that they sometimes arrived late, “which causes security confusion” complicated by “the resulting spreading of rumors through modern technology,” the statement noted. Saudi Arabia is the only country that still executes criminals by beheading, carried out with a sword and conducted in public. The kingdom has beheaded 15 people so far this year and more than 75 in each of the past two years.”

Rand Paul’s Filibuster.


I have been negligent about keeping the blog up. A recent message gave me a reason to initiate something.  David J. Theroux, Founder and President of The Independent Institute, a very conservative think tank has asked me in the past to post material here.  I offered a trade off, asking him to post some of my left wing material.  As might be expected nothing happened until now.

David asked me to post a short talk about Rand Paul’s filibuster about Obama’s right to kill anyone anywhere as long as he thinks it necessary.  I appreciate most of what you will hear in the video.

Here is the url

http://www.independent.org/multimedia/detail.asp?m=335

A Humorous Lesson in Financial Etymology

Public disgust with bankers is nothing new.  In the fifteenth and sixteenth century the most powerful banking family, which took over much of power and influence of the Medicis.  Their name, Fugger, became a slang word associated with rapacious behavior.

Primitive Accumulation: From Adam Smith to Angela Merkel

I am going to present this paper in Slovenia.  Any comments would be appreciated.

The choice of Adam Smith as an introduction to a discussion of primitive accumulation might seem curious even though he inadvertently began the discussion of the concept.  Like a modern astrophysicist trying to understand the Big Bang, he asserted that “the accumulation of stock must, in the nature of things, be previous to the division of labour” (Smith 1976, 2.3, p. 277).  Smith, who often unintentionally raised important questions in the course of his confusion, was asking, what was the original accumulation that set off the ongoing process of capital accumulation.

I link the history of classical primitive accumulation to the contemporary ravages of neoliberalism.

http://michaelperelman.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/merkel1.docx

 

 

I am going to present this paper in Slovenia.  Any comments would be appreciated.

 

The choice of Adam Smith as an introduction to a discussion of primitive accumulation might seem curious even though he inadvertently began the discussion of the concept.  Like a modern astrophysicist trying to understand the Big Bang, he asserted that “the accumulation of stock must, in the nature of things, be previous to the division of labour” (Smith 1976, 2.3, p. 277).  Smith, who often unintentionally raised important questions in the course of his confusion, was asking, what was the original accumulation that set off the ongoing process of capital accumulation.

I link the history of classical primitive accumulation to the contemporary ravages of neoliberalism

 

https://michaelperelman.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2294&action=edit

Letter from a Student

I find this interesting. My boyfriend just graduated as a mechanical engineer and got a job right away, but our friends (also mechanical engineers) are still having a hard time finding jobs because they were told they would be making a lot more than what little they are being offered. One of them has just settle for a $10/hr job and they are beginning to give up and settle for poor pay. Most of them took out large loans to pay for the extra years it takes to become an engineer and are settling for poor pay just because the interest on those loans is starting to kick in. Thank you for the article.

Fiscal Crock

I think I know what the grand bargain will be.  Obama will be a hero to the left by marginally increasing taxes on the people who earn more than $250,000.  Then you will cave on Social Security and Medicare while bragging about his dedication to progressive causes.  Also, in the name of reforming taxes, he will close the loophole on tax breaks that the middle class relies on by, for instance current collecting taxes on medical insurance provided by employers.

What if economists were held to this standard

Italian seismologists jailed for failing to predict earthquake.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/world/europe/italy-convicts-7-for-failure-to-warn-of-quake.html?hp

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 99 other followers