Okay, remembering that these “linkage” posts are really just supposed to be for me to get some recommended reads out without doing my usual (admittedly often overwrought) analysis… trying hard to keep it short and resist extensive comment…
1/4 of Big Corp CEOs Get Bigger Cut than Uncle Sam
That’s right: 25 of the top 100 US corporations pay their CEOs more than they pay in income taxes. In these cases, one guy is benefiting from corporate profits more than the entire public. Also noteworthy, the pay collected by top executives in 2010 was 325 times that of the average worker in that company, up from a factor of 263 in 2009!
A ‘New Economic Utopia’ in Ecuador?
I’m going to have to take a better look at what NEF’s Saamah Abdallah is calling a kind of “utopia” in the remote Intag Valley of Ecuador. Very interesting engagement of localism and alternative economics by villagers.
‘Crisis of Advanced Capitalism’
I just found this unorthodox writer Charles Hugh Smith (what’s up with economists named “Smith”?). I really don’t know what to make of him yet, and wish I could give this piece on “Marx, Labor’s Dwindling Share of the Economy and the Crisis of Advanced Capitalism” a thorough critique. But it’s an interested read.
‘Workers of the World, Good Night’
Labor Unions vs. Corporations
I found this mildly anti-union commentary to be informative in terms of how many “libertarian”-leaning economic observers view unions, especially as compared to corporations. It’s kind of amazing that solidarity and cooperation as principles per se seem like foreign concepts even to economists who acknowledge that these are a key aims of unions in a strictly economistic/functional sense. As the author Adam Ozimek puts it:
If, however, you see anti-competitive behavior as a reason that unions exist, then the comparison [to corporations] falls apart.
I guess from my perspective, it’s funny to consider that “anti-competitive behavior” is not the raison d’etre of labor unions. “Anti-competitive” sounds so much more dastardly than “cooperative”.
Update: I can’t help myself (which means moving on to my real work of the day rather than reading/blogging economics). A few more links:
Latest from EPI
The Economic Policy Institute has a couple of new contributions. One is a study on the “lasting damage” of high joblessness on “wages, benefits, income, and wealth”. No big surprise, but some important research. Also some doozies like “Roughly 31% of U.S. workers experienced unemployment or underemployment at some point in 2009″, and “To fill the [net jobs shortfall] by mid-2014 … 400,000 jobs would need to be created each month.”
Also from EPI, this much-needed decimation of a new book by education pseudo-reform champion Stephen Brill (Waiting for Superman). Called Class Warfare, the book is reportedly even more brazen in its ignorance of educational reality than the documentary. The review pulls no punches in exposing the odd mix of liberal/conservative/”libertarian” figures of this new anti-union “reform” movement:
These crusaders now are the establishment, as arrogant as any that preceded them.
‘Overpopulation’ Bogey Man Haunts Times Square
I will take any chance to lash out at the overpopulation myth, but I’d much rather let others do it for me better. Betsy Hartmann does this in Common Dreams (via Climate and Capitalism). Hartmann is jumping on a new video playing in Times Square that apparently tries to terrify tourists about growing human populations. Hartmann makes short work of this idiocy:
Instead of blaming overpopulation, Americans need to get serious about climate policy, conservation, the transition to renewable energy, and mass transport. And we need to challenge the grotesque and growing inequality of wealth and power in our nation that fuels conspicuous consumption and weakens the government’s commitment to environmental regulation. It’s also high time for environmentalists to stop turning a blind eye toward the role of the military in environmental degradation.