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 […]

Mainstream economists and politicians have answers for everything. Lose your job? Well, that’s just globalization and technology at work. Not much that can be done about that. And if you still want a job? Then just move to where the jobs are—and make sure your children go to college in order to prepare themselves for […]

Yesterday, I showed that conventional thinking about factor shares has been finally overturned: they are not necessarily constant, especially within existing economic institutions. In fact, labor’s shares have been declining for decades now. The opposite is true of capital’s shares: they’ve been rising for almost three decades. The profit share of national income has, of […]

source First, it was conspicuous consumption. Then, it was conspicuous philanthropy. Now, apparently, it’s conspicuous productivity. According to Ben Tarnoff, the acquisition of insanely expensive commodities isn’t the only way that modern elites project power. More recently, another form of status display has emerged. In the new Gilded Age, identifying oneself as a member of […]

I find myself thinking more these days about the fairness of Social Security and other government retirement benefits. One reason, of course, is because I’m getting close to retirement age—and, as I discover each time I raise the issue with students, young people don’t think about it much.* Another reason is because Social Security (in addition […]

One of the arguments I made in my piece on “Class and Trumponomics” (serialized on this blog—here, here, here, and here—and recently published as a single article in the Real-World Economics Review [pdf]) is that, in the United States, the class dynamic underlying the growing gap between the top 1 percent and everyone else was […]