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Themes of 2016

Posted: 6 January 2017 in Uncategorized

Looking back over the past year, here are the ten major themes I found in my blog posts: inequality critique of mainstream economics the U.S. presidential election, especially Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump class and surplus epistemology, especially uncertainty utopia working-class corporations and capital academy critique of liberalism We’ll see what happens in the current year. . […]

It was Paul Samuelson who, in 1997, declared with morbid optimism that “Funeral by funeral, economics does make progress.”* What Samuelson presumed is that, over time, wrong ideas would be killed and laid to rest and better ideas would flourish, thus creating the foundation for progress in economic thought. That’s what I consider to be […]

I’ll admit, there are times when I regret the fact that I’m a relativist. Wouldn’t it be nice, I say to myself on occasion, to be able to claim—beyond a shadow of a doubt, to my students, colleagues, or readers of this blog—that something or other (neoclassical economics or capitalism or name your poison) is […]

Apologists for mainstream economics (such as Noah Smith) like to claim that things are OK because good empirical research is crowding out bad theory. I have no doubt about the fact that the theory of mainstream economics has been bad. But is the empirical research any better? Not, as I see it, in the academy, […]

The election and administration of Donald Trump have focused attention on the many symbols of racism and white supremacy that still exist across the United States. They’re a national disgrace. Fortunately, we’re also witnessing renewed efforts to dethrone Confederate monuments and other such symbols as part of a long-overdue campaign to rethink Americans’ history as […]

As we know, the share of part-time faculty in U.S. higher education has increased dramatically over the past four decades. According to the latest report from the American Association of University Professors (pdf), Part-time faculty today comprise approximately 40 percent of the academic labor force, a slightly larger share than tenured and tenure-track faculty combined. […]

  Are mainstream economists responsible for electing Donald Trump? I think they deserve a significant share of the blame. So, as it turns out, does Dani Rodrick. My argument is that, when mainstream economists in the United States embraced and celebrated neoliberalism—both the conservative and liberal versions—they participated in creating the conditions for Trump’s victory in the […]

Here’s the link to Adam Morton’s generous—and, in my view, perceptive—review of my book, Development and Globalization: A Marxian Class Analysis. The main point I want to articulate is that the book is indispensable reading for class in the twofold sense that this phrase can be read. First, as indispensable reading for class in that key chapters in […]

Dan Rodrick, like most mainstream economists, wouldn’t know left-wing economics if it bit him on the proverbial nose (as I explained in early 2015). What he’s really referring to—in his essay, “The Abdication of the Left”—is liberal economics, the left-of-center wing of mainstream economics. But, if you replace all his references to “the Left” with “liberalism,” you can read Rodrick’s latest column […]

Regular readers of this blog know that I take seriously the idea that representations of the economy are regularly produced and disseminated in many different forms and social sites. They are generated, of course, within the discipline of economics as well as by official (degreed) economists in think tanks, financial institutions, the media, and elsewhere. But, I argue, […]