American plutocracy Michael Lewis puts his finger on something important: Ordinary Greeks seldom harass their rich, for the simple reason that they have no idea where to find them. To a member of the Greek Lower 99 a Greek Upper One is as good as invisible.He pays no taxes, lives no place and bears no relationship to his fellow citizens. As the public expects nothing of him, he always meets, and sometimes even exceeds, their expectations. As a result, the chief concern of the ordinary Greek about the rich Greek is that he will cease to pay the occasional visit.That is the sort of relationship with the Lower 99 we must cultivate if we are to survive. We must inculcate, in ourselves as much as in them, the understanding that our relationship to each other is provisional, almost accidental and their claims on us nonexistent. I can’t help but remember that George Papandreou was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, grew up with Greek as a second language, and was schooled in Canada, the US, Sweden, and England.
Globalisation and higher education: Different degrees of success David Hummels, Rasmus Jørgensen, Jakob R. Munch, Chong Xiang , 10 December 2011 Fuelled by concerns over rising income inequality, Occupy Wall Street has grown into a global movement in slightly over 2 months, with protests in over 900 cities worldwide. Nor is there consensus regarding the policies likely to ameliorate inequality. However, there is a growing concern that college isn’t enough. Early work on offshoring and college premium in the 1980s focused on industry-level data and examined average wage bills. When we focus on workers who remain employed with the firm, we find that offshoring raises the college wage premium, both by increasing wages (elasticity +3.6%) for college-educated workers and lowering wages (elasticity -1.6%) for workers without a college education. At first pass, our findings appear consistent with the older literature – that trade raises the college wage premium and with it, inequality. Does globalisation leave all non-college-educated employees behind?
Why Screwing Unions Screws the Entire Middle Class Illustration: Jason Schneider Read more: The 10 richest members of Congress, CEO pay vs. American worker pay, and more infographics on the new gilded era. IN 2008, A LIBERAL Democrat was elected president. Or so it seemed. The first is this: Income inequality has grown dramatically since the mid-'70s—far more in the US than in most advanced countries—and the gap is only partly related to college grads outperforming high-school grads. Second, American politicians don't care much about voters with moderate incomes. Click here for more infographics on America's plutocracy.It doesn't take a multivariate correlation to conclude that these two things are tightly related: If politicians care almost exclusively about the concerns of the rich, it makes sense that over the past decades they've enacted policies that have ended up benefiting the rich. How did we get here? The strength of unions in postwar America benefited nonunion workers, too. It wasn't always this way.
Big society: More than a soundbite? 14 February 2011Last updated at 11:14 ET By Brian Wheeler Political reporter, BBC News It is a "coral reef" and we are the fishes. It is the hidden hand behind all government action. It is everywhere and nowhere at once. It is, in case you hadn't guessed by now, the "big society". When David Cameron unveiled his vision of a more socially active Britain - in which volunteers would step in to take the place of an over-mighty state - some Conservative election candidates were incredulous. How were they supposed to sell this woolly nonsense on the doorstep? But Mr Cameron was deadly serious - and eight months down the line, far from being quietly dropped as some assumed, or hoped, it might be, the big society is being pursued with surprising vigour across Whitehall. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote You can call it liberalism. End QuoteDavid Cameron, July 2010 Some of this activity stems from a natural desire to please the new boss. 'Impact' Continue reading the main story Trust
Tim Harford — Adapt When faced with complex problems, we have all become accustomed to looking to our leaders to set out a grand vision, experts to draw up a detailed plan of action, or gurus who can provide us with some infallible solution. In this groundbreaking book, Tim Harford shows us a new and inspiring approach to solving the most pressing problems in our lives. Harford argues that today’s challenges simply cannot be tackled with ready-made solutions and expert opinions; the world has become far too unpredictable and profoundly complex. Instead, we must adapt—improvise rather than plan, work from the bottom up rather than the top down, and take baby steps rather than great leaps forward. From a spaceport in the Mojave Desert, to the street battles of Iraq, to a blazing offshore drilling rig, to everyday decisions in our business and personal lives, this is a handbook for surviving—and prospering—in our complex and ever-shifting world. Adapt was a Bloomberg Business Book of the Year, 2011. Nature
How Technology is Recreating the 21st-century Economy W. Brian Arthur, PARC Visiting Researcher series: Entrepreneurial Spirit 4 August 20115:30-7:00pmGeorge E. about PARC forum description Every 50 years or so a new body of technology comes along and slowly transforms the economy. Brian Arthur -- an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, pioneer of complexity theory, and longtime PARC Visiting Researcher – will attempt to answer these and other questions in this PARC Forum talk. Digital technology runs deeper than merely providing computation, internet commerce, and social media. presenter(s) W. Arthur pioneered the modern study of positive feedbacks/ increasing returns in the economy -- in particular, their role in magnifying small, random economic events -- and this work became the basis of our understanding of the high-tech economy. Arthur was the Morrison Professor of Economics and Population Studies at Stanford University, and the first director of the Economics Program at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. audio
The 1 Percent Solution - Jim Tankersley “I told you about Mexico,” he says, meaning the villa in Cabo San Lucas. “Did I tell you about the fly-fishing ranch?” Meaning the 170 acres in Montana. Yes, he did. Hanauer is 52 and worth several hundred million dollars. (RELATED: TED's Curator Responds) In 2011, Hanauer says he paid an effective federal tax rate of 11 percent. Like a lot of self-made rich guys, Hanauer has developed a theory on how to fix the ailing economy. The disqualifying notion at the center of Hanauer’s talk was that the innovators and businessmen are not, in fact, “job creators”—that the fate of the economy rests instead in the hands of the middle class. “We’ve had it backward for the last 30 years,” Hanauer said at the TED conference. Emerging research from high-powered experts across the ideological spectrum backs that economic inversion. Widening income inequality helped drive us into the Great Recession and is holding back our recovery. Economists don’t even broadly agree on who is in the middle class.
Imam who believes in evolution retracts statements 7 March 2011Last updated at 02:32 Many British Muslims do not believe in Darwin's theory of evolution An imam has retracted statements about evolution and the right of Muslim women not to cover their hair after death threats were made against him. Dr Usama Hasan, a science lecturer, has voluntarily suspended his role in taking Friday prayers at Leyton Mosque in east London. He said he went too far in the way he defended the theory of evolution. He acknowledged many British Muslims believe in creationism, adding that he intended only to begin a debate. Dr Hasan - a senior lecturer at Middlesex University - used an opinion piece on the Guardian newspaper's website in 2008 to suggest Darwin's theory of evolution was not incompatible with the teaching of Islam. He wrote that there were many Muslim biologists who had no doubt about the essential correctness of evolutionary theory and he added: "Many believers in God have no problem with an obvious solution: that God created man via evolution."
Review: The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett We are rich enough. Economic growth has done as much as it can to improve material conditions in the developed countries, and in some cases appears to be damaging health. If Britain were instead to concentrate on making its citizens' incomes as equal as those of people in Japan and Scandinavia, we could each have seven extra weeks' holiday a year, we would be thinner, we would each live a year or so longer, and we'd trust each other more. The Spirit Level : Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett Epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett don't soft-soap their message. The authors point out that the life-diminishing results of valuing growth above equality in rich societies can be seen all around us. Wilkinson, a public health researcher of 30 years' standing, has written numerous books and articles on the physical and mental effects of social differentiation. There are times when the book feels rather too overwhelmingly grim.
The Future of Advertising How John Roberts Orchestrated Citizens United When Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was first argued before the Supreme Court, on March 24, 2009, it seemed like a case of modest importance. The issue before the Justices was a narrow one. The McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law prohibited corporations from running television commercials for or against Presidential candidates for thirty days before primaries. Chief Justice John G. That day, it was David Souter, who was just a few weeks away from announcing his departure from the Court. The Justices settled into their usual positions. Then Antonin Scalia spoke up. He had long detested campaign-spending restrictions, frequently voting to invalidate such statutes as violations of the First Amendment. “So you’re making a statutory argument now?” “I’m making a—” Olson began. “You’re saying this isn’t covered by it,” Scalia continued. That’s right, Olson responded. Instead, the oral arguments were about to take the case—and the law—in an entirely new direction. “Today.” “Mr.
Lesotho - better than the UK for gender equality 8 March 2011Last updated at 09:09 By Karen Allen BBC News, Lesotho Girls are given football training to raise their self-esteem Lesotho sits like pearl in a shell, surrounded by the land mass of South Africa. But this tiny kingdom of 1.8 million people boasts another jewel, which is perhaps astonishing given its size. Lesotho is ranked eighth in the world by the World Economic Forum (WEF) when it comes to bridging the gap between the sexes. The reasons are cultural, political and economic, but one explanation keeps being repeated when you probe the gender issue, and it relates to Lesotho's recent past. Historically, large numbers of men from Lesotho crossed the border to work in South Africa's mines, forcing women to step into their shoes and take up school places and jobs. Many of the men have now come back, having been retrenched from the mines, and they face a more female-focused world. In politics, one in five government ministers in Lesotho is female. "The defining factor is education.