Category Archives: Economics

A Rational Case for Panic

Paul Mason’s 2015 book, Postcapitalism A Guide to Our Future, provides a striking visualization of a possible exit from the disasters of our current capitalist world system to something else: a more life-affirming, empathetic, creativity-fostering and fun world of cooperative … Continue reading

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Free Market Fool

The Free Market Existentialist, Capitalism Without Consumerism is a 2015 book by Willam Irwin and published by Wiley Blackwell. Irwin is the “General Editor of the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series” and the “Herve A. LeBlanc Distinguished Service Professor … Continue reading

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Thoughts on the Labor Theory of Value

Why does something have value? It is clear that this “metaphysical” question is at the heart of the theory of political economy. Depending on how one answers this question, one sets off in very different directions with one’s economic theory. … Continue reading

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Proudhon and His Critics

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was a prominent radical thinker of nineteenth century France. He was, apparently, the first person to call himself an anarchist. He became a member of parliament during the revolution of 1848. A printer by trade, he was friends … Continue reading

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Piketty’s Capital

  Thomas Piketty is a relatively young economist who has spent most of his professional career teaching at the Paris School of Economics and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales after brief stints at MIT. He has collaborated … Continue reading

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Falling Rate of Profit?

The April issue of Monthly Review contains an article by the contemporary German Marxist scholar Michael Heinrich titled “Failure of the Falling Rate of Profit Theory – Marx’s Studies in the 1970’s.” Marx had maintained in Volume Three of Capital … Continue reading

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Odd Economics

Kenneth Arrow made his PhD thesis into a book in 1951 (Social Choice and Individual Values). It remains one of the most remarkable works in the strange field of economics in the twentieth century. This is the book that launched … Continue reading

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A Sceptical Defense of Rights

Amartya Sen’s 2009 book, The Idea of Justice, will, I think, come to be seen as summing up the intellectual legacy of this remarkable man. The book references hundreds of books, papers, and talks by this Nobel Prize-winning economist with … Continue reading

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The Republican’s “Big Idea” Is a Bald-faced and Cynical Lie

It is election season in the United States. The Republican Party’s “Big Idea” this year, as it has been since the 1980s, is that low top tax rates inspire the “job creators” to hire more workers and give them more … Continue reading

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Bad Samaritans

Ha-Joon Chang is not widely known, even among economists, in the United States, but he is a rock star in his native Korea. He is not mentioned in the index or the bibliography of the recent neo-liberal tract, Why Nations … Continue reading

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