What you should read

27 Jul

These are some of the latest and greatest articles that I have meant to send to you.

  • Mother Jones ran a fantastic article a few months ago explaining how the American oligarchy has succeeded in its war against the middle class.  Key to their strategy was the the destruction unions in the United States through Ronald Reagan’s  attack on the working class.  These fascinating charts show how the bottom 80% of Americans have had a net loss of income over the last thirty years that has been transferred to the top 10%.  Most of that went to the top 1%.  That means that every year $743 billion is lost from 80% of Americans and $673 billion of it goes to the top 1%.  Inequality has also slowed economic growth as money circulates through fewer and fewer hands.  A must read.
  • TIME ran an interesting article on a number of myths about the recession and the “recovery.”  They end concluding that the solution for America’s jobs crisis is German style industrial policy.  Not everyone should go to college, and it is important for the economy to produce middle and lower tier jobs that rely on skilled labor developed through technical or community colleges.  That also relies on re-emphasizing industry over services, something the United States has refused to do.  Besides Obama’s bailout of the automobile companies, he has made no significant efforts to support heavy industry in the United States.
  • Is India developing into an oligarchy? – Raghuram Rajan warns that India’s development is very unequal and could potentially turn into oligarchic capitalism like Russia or many Latin American countries.  Economic development would proceed up to a point and then fall into a middle income trap whereby any further development of the country would depend on breaking the power of large, powerful, and well-connected industrial families.  India is not there yet, but if the connections between businessmen and politicians grow even more then the country will come to resemble Mexico and not South Korea.  Given that Rajan  warned that financial deregulation was making the world economy more unstable long before the financial crisis, he is worth listening to.
  • Are vaccines a CIA plot?  – a common complaint heard in the Muslim world is that vaccine drives are really a conspiracy against poor people by the United States.  Polio drives in India fail often in Muslim neighborhoods where this belief is common.  Unfortunately, The Guardian, reveals that the CIA really did run a fake vaccine drive in Pakistan to “find” Osama bin Laden.  Naturally, Doctors without Borders is not amused.  This can undermine public health everywhere!
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