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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. . […]

The Guardian reports that “white and wealthy voters gave victory to Donald Trump.” Of the one in three Americans who earn less than $50,000 a year, a majority voted for Clinton. A majority of those who earn more backed Trump. Yes, that’s right, according to the CNN exit polls (as in the top chart above). Both […]

Back in 2013 (and in a series of other posts), I have argued that neoliberalism (including so-called “left neoliberalism,” as espoused by Hillary Clinton and her new runnning-mate Tim Kaine) is not a unified period or stage of capitalism but, rather, a project to remake the world. Therefore, what we’re living through now is a […]

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 […]

George Monbiot makes a compelling case that the Left still needs to come up with a viable alternative to contemporary economic and social common sense. Monbiot summarizes that common sense as neoliberalism. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is? Its anonymity is both a symptom and cause of its power. It has played a major role […]

Regular readers know I take statistics quite seriously. So, as it turns out, did Stephen Jay Gould who, in the most poignant story about statistics of which I am aware, explained how important it is to go beyond the abstractions of central tendencies and understand the distribution of variation within the numbers. And right now, […]

For some reason, WordPress didn’t crunch the numbers this year. So, just out of curiosity, I did. As it turns out, this blog was viewed 110,887 times last year—by visitors from 184 different countries, with the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Australia leading the list. I wrote 860 new posts in 2016 (495 without […]

  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 […]

It’s the most obvious criticism of mainstream, especially neoclassical, economics. All of the major models and policy proposals of neoclassical economics—from the theory of the firm through the gains from trade to the welfare theorems—are based on the assumption of perfect competition. But, as is clear in the diagram above, if there’s imperfect competition (such as a […]

Me, I probably would have voted for Remain—stay in Europe to combat neoliberalism and make each country and the continent as a whole more democratic. But my close friend Stephen Whitefield, Tutor in Politics, Rhodes Pelczynski Fellow in Politics, and Professor of Comparative Russian and East European Politics and Societies at Oxford University, disagreed with me. […]