Economics @ ITT

Inequality: The Elephant in the Room

Posted in economics, Policy Issues, progressive taxation, Taxation by ittecon on April 30, 2013

Robert Reich discusses the elephant in the room and advocates Keynesian economics over supply-side austerity.

Welcome to the 19th Century

Posted in economics by ittecon on April 30, 2013

“Imagine you’ve just landed a job with a big-time retailer. Your task is to load and unload boxes from trucks and containers. It’s back-breaking work. You toil 12 to 16 hours a day, often without a lunch break. Sweat drenches your clothes in the 90-degree heat, but you keep going: your kids need their dinner. One day, your supervisor tells you that instead of being paid an hourly wage, you will now get paid for the number of containers you load or unload. This will be great for you, your supervisor says: More money!  But you open your next paycheck to find it shrunken to the point that you are no longer even making minimum wage.”

via When Your Boss Steals Your Wages: The Invisible Epidemic That’s Sweeping America | Alternet.

An Open Letter to Joseph Stiglitz, by Kenneth Rogoff

Posted in economics by ittecon on April 30, 2013

Rogoff #Fail :: Follow the link…

“Let’s look at Stiglitzian prescriptions for helping a distressed emerging market debtor, the ideas you put forth as superior to existing practice.”

via An Open Letter to Joseph Stiglitz, by Kenneth Rogoff, Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department, IMF.

Those who choose utilitarian ethics have empathy deficit

Posted in economics by ittecon on April 30, 2013

Not sure I’ve fully digested this one. I’d like to read more about this study, but I don’t feel utility has a clear-cut moral definition—though the study does try to separate personal and impersonal flavours.

“[I]ndividuals who experienced low levels of compassion and concern for other people were more likely to embrace utilitarian ethics, which advocates the greatest good for the greatest number — even if that means harming a minority in the process.”

via Those who choose utilitarian ethics have empathy deficit, study finds | The Raw Story.

US economy gets larger, thanks to Robot Unicorn Attack

Posted in economics by ittecon on April 29, 2013

Can you say “smoke and mirrors”?

The Bureau of Economic Analysis – the government agency tasked with adding up the total volume of all the goods and services produced in the U.S. – is about to overhaul the way it tracks the growth of the American economy. The new accounting rules will give more weight to “intangible and intellectual” assets…

via US economy gets larger, thanks to Robot Unicorn Attack – Economy Watch on

Are Cheap Clothes Worth the Cost?

Posted in economics, International Economics by ittecon on April 27, 2013

The sad fact behind the building collapse in Bangladesh in which hundreds died is that it isnt an isolated problem. The story will leave the headlines at the end of this week but on Monday hundreds of thousands of workers will return to factories that are frankly further tragedies waiting to happen, and will keep producing clothes for high street brands.

via Bangladesh collapse: What cost cheap clothes? –

Wall Street Is Gobbling Up Two-Thirds of Your 401k

Posted in economics by ittecon on April 26, 2013

If you work for 50 years and receive the typical long-term return of 7 percent on your 401k plan and your fees are 2 percent, almost two-thirds of your account will go to Wall Street.

via PBS Drops Another Bombshell: Wall Street Is Gobbling Up Two-Thirds of Your 401k.

Did The Government Cause Our Long-Term Unemployment Problem?

Posted in economics by ittecon on April 24, 2013

I thought not.

Regulations and taxes do make it hard to grow a business and create new jobs, a point I made in my last post.  And extended unemployment benefits do give people an incentive to stay home instead of finding a job.  Indeed, I know people who have done just that.  One of them wrote a novel that sold for a bunch of money and earned back all the benefits theyd collected, and then some.  The rest of them basically sat around and did nothing until their benefits ran out, and then found another job.

via Did The Government Cause Our Long-Term Unemployment Problem? – The Daily Beast.

How Did the Worlds Rich Get That Way?

Posted in economics by ittecon on April 22, 2013

Why are some people so rich and others so poor? Is it from good choices or good luck? Hard work, smarts, and ability—or something else? That depends who you are comparing yourself to. …  [A]s the scale of comparison widens, the amount that’s due to the choices you made—compared to the uterus you gestated in—drops dramatically.

via How Did the Worlds Rich Get That Way? Luck – Businessweek.

Does High Public Debt Stifle Economic Growth?

Posted in economics, macroeconomics by ittecon on April 18, 2013

In capitals, both political and economic, across Europe, across North America, really, across the world, theres been an assumption based on a study done by two eminent Harvard professors, economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, which presented in 2010 their conclusions that 90 percent debt-to-GDP ratio means a collapse in growth. Its that conclusion that leads to policies like austerity, which says even in times of recession, debts more dangerous than high unemployment.

Now joining us to talk about their conclusions, because theyve reached quite different conclusions about the same data, is, from the PERI institute, first of all, Thomas Herndon. Hes a doctoral student in economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research includes political economy and finance. And he coauthored a paper: Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth?, which is a critique of Reinhart and Rogoff.

via Does High Public Debt Stifle Economic Growth?.