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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 […]

Liberals like to talk about all kinds of social ills and identity-laden tensions—but not class struggle. That’s their persistent and enduring blindspot. Except, it seems, when it comes to Donald Trump. Thomas B. Edsall is a good example. Over the years, he’s produced a series of solid, insightful surveys of liberal research and analysis on […]

Donald Trump’s decision to impose import tariffs—on solar panels and washing machines now, and perhaps on steel and aluminum down the line—has once again opened up the war concerning international trade. It’s not a trade war per se (although Trump’s free-trade opponents have invoked that specter, that the governments of other countries may retaliate with […]

Much has been made of the rise of populism in recent years and the threat it poses to liberal democracy. My view is that liberal critics of populism, standing on their heads, get it wrong. If made to stand on their feet, they’d have to admit that populism actually represents the failure of liberal democracy. […]

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 […]