Search Results

Most of us pay the taxes we’re required to pay. That’s because there aren’t many ways to avoid them. Sales, property, payroll, or income—the tax is paid at the time of the purchase, the amount is deducted from our paychecks, or the records go directly to the government. There’s no real way around them. And we […]

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. . […]

Where does all the surplus in the U.S. economy go? Well, a large chunk of it is captured by the top 1 percent, whose share of national income almost doubled between 1970 and 2014—from 11 percent to 20.2 percent. Equally interesting is the composition of that growing share of national income, which we can decompose thanks […]

Capitalism is a giant machine for pumping out the surplus from workers—just like feudalism, slavery, and other class-based economies before it. That’s from one perspective. But the capitalist machine isn’t just about the “vampire thirst for the living blood of labor.” It also involves various mechanisms for capturing that surplus—in the form of dividends, CEO salaries, interest payments, […]

The share of income captured by the 1 percent more than doubled (from 10 to 20.1 percent) between 1980 and 2013. How did they do it? Well, we know the tiny group at the top received much higher CEO salaries as well as stock dividends, capital gains, interest payments, and rent on the land and buildings they […]

Economic inequality is arguably the crucial issue facing contemporary capitalism—especially in the United States but also across the entire world economy. Over the course of the last four decades, income inequality has soared in the United States, as the share of pre-tax national income captured by the top 1 percent (the red line in the […]

Ed Wolff is right: For the vast majority of Americans, fluctuations in the stock market have relatively little effect on their wealth, or well-being, for that matter. That’s because, as his research shows (and as I illustrate in the chart above), the bottom 90 percent of Americans own (either directly or indirectly) a tiny share—16 […]

I have often argued—in lectures, talks, and publications—that every economic theory has a utopian dimension. Economists don’t explicitly talk about utopia but, my argument goes, they can’t do what they do without some utopian horizon. The issue of utopia is there, at least in the background, in every area of economics—perhaps especially on the topic […]

Must come down. . . I’m not referring to karma or the application of Newton’s law of universal gravitation. No, it’s just the way capitalism works. Take the stock market, for example. Last Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 666 points, or 2.5 percent, its biggest percentage decline since the Brexit turmoil in […]

Students are much too busy to think these days. So, when a junior comes to talk with me about the possibility of my directing their senior thesis, I ask them about their topic—and then their schedule. I explain to them that, if they really want to do a good project, they’re going to have to […]