Economics @ ITT

A Free (Rigged) Market is Good for Everyone Except 99% of Americans

Posted in economics by ittecon on September 16, 2013

A nice piece by Paul Buchheit.

Free-market libertarians go to outrageous exremes to convince themselves and others of the infallibility of the market. Even when opposing evidence smacks them in the face, they conjure up sound bites that seem vaguely convincing but are in reality meaningless. Here are some examples.

via A Free Rigged Market is Good for Everyone Except 99% of Americans.

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Good Times at the Top

Posted in economics by ittecon on September 12, 2013

Of the gains made by the top 10 percent, almost none went to the 90-95 group; in fact, the great bulk went to the top 1 percent. The bulk of the gains of the top 1, in turn, went to the top 0.1; and the bulk of those gains went to the top 0.01.

via Good Times at the Top – NYTimes.com.

Putting China’s Low Household Consumption in Perspective

Posted in economics, International Economics by ittecon on July 22, 2013

It is widely known that China needs to rebalance its economy to rely more on consumption, but the extent of China’s imbalance between consumption and investment is not fully appreciated.  Comparisons to other emerging markets and countries like Japan, Taiwan, and Korea that pioneered the East Asian growth model show that China’s low levels of consumption are unparalleled.

via Putting China’s Low Household Consumption in Perspective | NewAmerica.net.

 

This is an article from 2011, but it was mentioned by Paul Krugman’s latest post.

America’s Middle Class Is Sliding Toward the Third World

Posted in economics by ittecon on July 1, 2013

A recent article by Les Leopold informed us that our nation is near the bottom of the developed world in median wealth, probably the best gauge for the economic strength of the middle class. The source of the information, the Global Wealth Databook, provides additional evidence of our decline from our once-lofty position as an egalitarian country with opportunities for nearly everyone.

via More Evidence That Americas Middle Class Is Sliding Toward the Third World | Alternet.

Why Should Taxpayers Give Big Banks $83 Billion a Year?

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 21, 2013

The top five banks—JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.—account for $64 billion of the total [US government tax] subsidy [of $83 billion], an amount roughly equal to their typical annual profits see tables for data on individual banks. In other words, the banks occupying the commanding heights of the U.S. financial industry—with almost $9 trillion in assets, more than half the size of the U.S. economy—would just about break even in the absence of corporate welfare. In large part, the profits they report are essentially transfers from taxpayers to their shareholders.

via Why Should Taxpayers Give Big Banks $83 Billion a Year? – Bloomberg.

America Doesn’t Have Richest Middle-Class in the World

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 19, 2013

America is the richest country on Earth. We have the most millionaires, the most billionaires and our wealthiest citizens have garnered more of the planet’s riches than any other group in the world. We even have hedge fund managers who make in one hour as much as the average family makes in 21 years!

This opulence is supposed to trickle down to the rest of us, improving the lives of everyday Americans. At least that’s what free-market cheerleaders repeatedly promise us.

Unfortunately, it’s a lie, one of the biggest ever perpetrated on the American people.

via Big Lie: America Doesn’t Have #1 Richest Middle-Class in the World…We’re Ranked 27th! | Alternet.

Income Inequality Defers the American Dream

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 4, 2013

Inequality is now one of the biggest political and economic challenges facing the United States. Not that long ago, the gap between rich and poor barely registered on the political Richter scale. Now the growing income divide, an issue that dominated the presidential election debate, has turned into one of the hottest topics of the age.

via Income Inequality Defers the American Dream | Alternet.

We’re living in an Ayn Rand economy

Posted in economics, Taxation by ittecon on May 18, 2013

Ayn Rand’s philosophy suggests that average working people are “takers.” In reality, those in the best position to make money take all they can get, with no scruples about their working-class victims, because taking, in the minds of the rich, serves as a model for success. The strategy involves tax avoidance, in numerous forms.

via We’re living in an Ayn Rand economy – Salon.com.

Installment loans trap low-income borrowers with 182 percent interest rates

Posted in economics by ittecon on May 13, 2013

Installment loans have been around for decades. While payday loans are usually due in a matter of weeks, installment loans get paid back in installments over time 2014 a few months to a few years. Both types of loans are marketed to the same low-income consumers, and both can trap borrowers in a cycle of recurring, expensive loans.

Installment loans can be deceptively expensive. World and its competitors push customers to renew their loans over and over again, transforming what the industry touts as a safe, responsible way to pay down debt into a kind of credit card with sky-high annual rates, sometimes more than 200 percent.

via Installment loans trap low-income borrowers with 182 percent interest rates | The Raw Story.

Is Capitalism Dying?

Posted in economics, externalities, Policy Issues, Regulation by ittecon on May 8, 2013

It’as not very often that I agree with a large part of an article published by Forbes, but here is one.

Capitalism has been the dominant economic system in the Western world for, give or take, 400 years. And in that virtual eye blink in the grander scheme of things it has produced more wealth than all the prior economic systems put together.

via Is Capitalism Dying? – Forbes.