Economy and psychology The podcasts and blogs below are produced by professionals with extensive experience working in their respective fields as a psychotherapist and an economist. Here they combine what they have learned to explore how the twin crises of the US economy and our psychology interact today. Isolation, anxiety, loneliness, and depression are psychological issues that profoundly impact work, consumption, and debt. Likewise, unemployment, income inequality, and exploitation shape our emotional and intimate lives. Podcasts Meanings of the Election Results Monday, December 3, 2012 Everyone from the candidates to the parties to observers and voters are making their respective senses of what the election results mean. Click here to listen to or download this podcast The Decline of Traditional Families Wednesday, September 26, 2012 The traditional family is a declining institution in contemporary society. Click here to listen to or download this podcast Colorado Killings, Psychology, and Economics Hope
Our Gardenbrain Economy WE are prisoners of the metaphors we use, even when they are wildly misleading. Consider how political candidates talk about the economy. Last month President Obama praised immigrants as “the greatest economic engine the world has ever known.” Mitt Romney says that extending the will “fuel” a recovery. Others fear a “stall” in job growth. Call it the “Machinebrain” picture of the world: markets are perfectly efficient, humans perfectly rational, incentives perfectly clear and outcomes perfectly appropriate. This self-enclosed metaphor is the gospel of market fundamentalists. What we require now is a new framework for thinking and talking about the economy, grounded in modern understandings of how things actually work. In this new framework, which we call Gardenbrain, markets are not perfectly efficient but can be effective if well managed. Gardenbrain challenges many of today’s most conventional policy ideas. Consider regulation. Is it possible to garden clumsily and ineffectively?
Food in Jars - A Canning Blog How Class Works Richard Wolff Examines Class on The Real News Published on May 6, 2013 Richard Wolff is an economist who has studied class issues for more than 40 years. Visit Professor Wolff's social movement project, democracyatwork.info. Permission to reprint Professor Wolff's writing and videos is granted on an individual basis.
The Income-Inequality Myth | Michael D. Tanner As we listen to President Obama, Occupy Wall Street, and much of the mainstream media working themselves into a lather over inequality in America, one thinks of Harrison Bergeron, the 1961 short story by Kurt Vonnegut that posited a society based on perfect equality, “not only equal before God and the law … equal every which way.” The government employed a “Handicapper General” to ensure that no one was smarter, more athletic, or more productive than anyone else. Beautiful people were forced to wear masks, athletic people had to carry weights, and intelligent people wore radios in their ears to interrupt their thoughts with loud noises. Yet for all the sound and fury — and beating drums in Zuccotti Park — almost everything that people presume about inequality in America is wrong. For example, nearly all reporting on income inequality in America has suggested that the incomes of the rich have been rising, while incomes for the rest of us have been stagnant or even declining.
my bff Machines Can't Flow: The Difference Between Mechanical and Human Productivity - Linda Stone More output, produced faster may be great metrics for machines, but for homo sapiens, the most powerful metric is engagement. Workers punching the clock at the SKF roller bearing factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Library of Congress) At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, it seemed machines could do anything. At that time, productivity experts predicted that machines and new technologies would mean we'd only have to work four hours a day. But, as we all know, that's not what has happened. We tend to think of productivity as maximizing output or quantity. A few years ago in a set of interviews, I asked people if they managed their time, their attention, or both. Mid-level managers talked about their best practices for time-management, and at the same time, expressed their concerns: "I just can't get it all done. They expressed anxiety about the future: "Can I accomplish all these things?" What is engaged attention and what is flow? It's time to rethink productivity.
6 Things Rich People Need to Stop Saying All of a sudden, it's like you can't make huge amounts of money without people getting all pissed off about it. And it's only going to get worse -- with the election coming up and the weather getting warmer, this whole "Occupy" movement is probably going to come back strong. The 1 percent will feel even more besieged than before. "What the hell?" you're probably thinking, if you're somehow both rich and reading an article with this title, "I didn't crash the economy!" #6. "The amount that I have to reinvest in my business and feed my family is more like $600,000 ... and so by the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over ..." -- Congressman John Fleming Pictured here with his poverty. "It is hard to ask more of households making $250,000 or $300,000 a year. -- Senator Chuck Schumer What They Think They're Saying: "Come on, we're all in this together! What We Hear: Getty"Look at how tiny my yacht is!" Getty"This stuff? This came up a while back in a previous Cracked article. #5.
Bondsy and the Modern Myth of Barter In the first chapters of every Economics 101 textbook there’s a misleading hypothetical about the origins of money. David Graeber, in his book Debt: The First 5,000 Years calls it “the founding myth of our system of economic relations.” This myth is so pervasive that even people who have never taken an Economics 101 class know, and believe in, this myth. We tend to assume that before money there was this awkward barter system where you had to keep all your chickens and yams with you when you went to market to buy a calf. Currencies are a good way of making transactions among people you don’t know or actively dislike. Gold and silver coins are distinguished from credit arrangements by one spectacular feature: they can be stolen. Enter Bondsy. Bondsy is a really fascinating concept because it encourages people to think differently about the value of their material possessions and what it means to no longer fully possess them. Bondsy creator and CEO Diego Zambrano.
Henry Ford, When Capitalists Cared IN the rancorous debate over how to get the sluggish economy moving, we have forgotten the wisdom of Henry Ford. In 1914, not long after the Ford Motor Company came out with the Model T, Ford made the startling announcement that he would pay his workers the unheard-of wage of $5 a day. Not only was it a matter of social justice, Ford wrote, but paying high wages was also smart business. When wages are low, uncertainty dogs the marketplace and growth is weak. But when pay is high and steady, Ford asserted, business is more secure because workers earn enough to become good customers. They can afford to buy Model Ts. This is not to suggest that Ford single-handedly created the American middle class. Riding the dynamics of the virtuous circle, America enjoyed its best period of sustained growth in the decades after , from 1945 to 1973, even though income tax rates were far higher than today. Frank W. Earl S. At the same time, corporate profits were booming.
Wealth Inequality Sep 30 Wealth Inequality in America Perform the following thought experiment. Now, before you know your particular place in society you are told that it is within your powers to redistribute the wealth of that society in any way that you choose. Here is what we found: As you can see from the figure, participants rather badly estimated the current state of wealth disparity! What this tells me is that Americans don’t understand the extent of disparity in the US, and that they (we) desire a more equitable society. Maybe this suggests that when there are no labels, and we think about the core of our morality in abstract terms (and under the veil of ignorance), we are actually very similar?
Two bombshell documents that Citigroup's lawyers try to suppress, describing in detail the rule of the first 1% "Are they real?" That's the question people usually ask when they hear for the first time of the "Citigroup Plutonomy Memos." The sad truth is: Yes, they are real, and instead of being discussed on mainstream media outlets all over America and beyond, Citigroup was surprisingly successful so far in suppressing these memos, using their lawyers to issue takedown-notices whenever these memos were being made available for download on the internet. So what are we talking about? In 2005 and 2006, several analysts at Citigroup took a very, very close look at the economic inequalities within the USA and other countries and wrote two memos which were addressed to their very wealthy customers. So Citigroup did their duty and published two explosive memos, which should have become mainstream news, but eventually did not. Screenshot: The second memo is dated March 5, 2006 (18 pages) and is titled: "Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer" Quote: Quote: IS THERE A BACKLASH BUILDING?
The Glory of the Commons by Timothy Noah July/ August 2013The Glory of the Commons Jonathan Rowe’s brilliant posthumous meditation on the shared, non-commercialized realms of life that sustain us. By Timothy Noah Our Common Wealth: The Hidden Economy That Makes Everything Else Work by Jonathan Rowe Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 123 pp. One of the sharper satirical jabs in People, a recent play by the English writer Alan Bennett, occurs when a consortium of wealthy investors decides to purchase Winchester Cathedral. What makes the joke funny is our understanding that a hallowed monument like Winchester Cathedral could never belong to anyone but the public. Jonathan Rowe, alongside whom I worked at the Washington Monthly in the early 1980s, and who died two years ago at the distressingly young age of sixty-five, would describe Winchester Cathedral as part of “the commons.” Our Common Wealth makes the case for the sort of social arrangements that are seldom acknowledged except to be attacked or dismantled. Similar examples abound.