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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. . […]

In my experience, most mainstream economists have never heard of much less read a word written by Thorstein Veblen, the author of “the most considerable and creative body of social thought that America has produced.” But my students (e.g., in Topics in Political Economy) and regular readers of this blog certainly know about Veblen. Why is […]

Yesterday, I wrote about the attacks of liberal mainstream economists on Bernie Sanders and one of his economic advisers, Gerald Friedman. Today, Neil Irwin tries to explain why the “liberal wonkosphere has a problem with Bernie Sanders.” there may be something broader going on here beyond the specific disagreements about growth assumptions, or cost savings […]

source Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, observes that only the older generation is keeping Hillary Clinton in the race, since Bernie Sanders is polling far ahead of Clinton among younger (18-44) voters. More importantly, Piketty offers a look back to explain the attraction of Sanders’s progressive agenda today. Reagan was elected […]

Liberals are conducting a concerted campaign to criticize Bernie Sanders and to ridicule his supporters, arguing the only way to achieve change is to vote for the “moderate progressivism” of Hillary Clinton. I suspect the anti-Sanders rhetoric is being ramped up precisely because, according to one recent highly respected polling organization (Quinnipiac University), the democratic socialist senator has […]

The working-class—at least the white working-class—has become the main theme of the post-election narrative in the United States. That’s not surprising since, as Jim Tankersley explained: Whites without a college degree — men and women — made up a third of the 2016 electorate. Trump won them by 39 percentage points, according to exit polls, far […]

  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 […]

The election of Donald Trump was a nightmare. But we already need to be thinking beyond his administration, imagining another way forward. The problem is, the past is not so easily overcome. That’s particularly true when it comes to the damage Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign inflicted—in a ruthless, no-holds-barred attempt to defeat Bernie Sanders—on the […]

There are a few chroniclers of the American condition I’ve turned to and cited over the years, journalists whose reporting helps us make sense of the current economic and political predicament in the United States—especially the condition of the working-class and the rejection of much mainstream thinking during the current presidential campaign. They include Thomas Frank, […]

The paradox of the 2016 presidential race is that both major party candidates claim (or at least are identified by those in the media with) support of portions of the U.S. working-class and yet neither campaign offers anything in the way of concrete policies or strategies that actually respond to the real issues and problems faced by the […]