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Last year, I was honored to deliver the 9th Annual Wheelright Memorial Lecture at the University of Sydney. A couple of weeks ago, my longtime friend and collaborator Katherine Gibson presented the 2017 Wheelright Memorial Lecture, “Manufacturing the Future: Cultures of Production for the Anthropocene.” her work has consistently challenged orthodox and heterodox economics’ primary […]

A week and a half ago, I admitted I didn’t understand the fascination with reviving U.S. manufacturing. Apparently, however, mainstream economists have come up with a new plan to boost the production of goods “made in America,” which will help U.S. industrialists compete on the global stage. After conducting an in-depth analysis of the nation’s […]

I don’t get it. Why is “making things in America” such a high priority? The fact is, manufacturing, as a share of GDP, has declined in the United States and in the world as a whole. And even as the value of the dollar declines and U.S. manufacturing output recovers, it’s not going to generate […]

Both Donald Trump and Eduardo Porter would have us believe the U.S. trade deficit is a serious problem—and that, if it can brought back into balance, jobs for American workers will be restored. Nonsense! Yes, I know, Trump’s attacks on free trade did in fact resonate among working-class voters. And, as I have argued, there […]

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.” Alice in Wonderland […]

Yesterday, in a comment on my “Culture Beyond Capitalism,” which was reposted on the Real-World Economics Review blog, “Econoclast” requested I post the entry on “Capitalism” I wrote for Keywords for American Cultural Studies. Here, then, is the text of the pre-publication version of that entry. Capitalism David F. Ruccio While the capitalist system is […]

Back in 2010, I warned about the widening and deepening of capitalist poverty in the United States. The fact is (pdf), more poor people now live in the suburbs than in America’s big cities or rural areas. Suburbia is home to almost 16.4 million poor people, compared to 13.4 million in big cities and 7.3 […]

New technologies—automation, robotics, artificial intelligence—have created a specter of mass unemployment. But, as critical as I am of existing economic institutions, I don’t see that as the issue, at least at the macro level. The real problem is the distribution of the value that is produced with the assistance of the new technologies—in short, the […]

Yesterday, I discussed new findings concerning the fact that, while the United States is getting richer every year, American workers are not. That same problem is showing up in American cities, which since 1970 have experienced a “hollowing-out” of the middle-class. The graphic above shows the change in income distribution in 20 major U.S. cities between 1970 and 2015. […]

I am quite willing to admit that, based on last Friday’s job report, the Second Great Depression is now over. As regular readers know, I have been using the analogy to the Great Depression of the 1930s to characterize the situation in the United States since late 2007. Then as now, it was not a recession […]