Posts Tagged ‘economics’

Trump Awards Arthur Laffer the Medal of Freedom

June 20, 2019

Trump Awards Arthur Laffer the Medal of Freedom

Failed businessman Donald Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist Arthur Laffer. “Freedom” here must refer to freedom from reality. Dr. Laffer popularized the “supply side” theory of economics, which holds that if you cut the taxes of rich people so they have even more money, some of it will magically trickle down to society’s less wealthy. This fiction was a favorite of Herbert Hoover, daddy of the Great Depression, and early-onset Alzheimers Ronald Reagan. You can see why the notion would be attractive to Mr. Trump, who became a millionaire at the age of 8.

Arthur Laffer revived this “supply-side” zombie with a visual aid, the “Laffer Curve,” allegedly first drawn on a cocktail napkin in 1974. That theoretical chart, based on wishful thinking and zero data, purports to show that tax cuts for the rich will boost the economy and pay for themselves. While the curve’s drinking-binge origin tale seems apt, it’s a fiction, mythologized by Dr. Laffer’s hype man, conservative pundit Jude Wanninski. The story is now enshrined in GOP dogma and, embrassingly, at the Smithsonian.

Donald Trump, despite the populist rhetoric of his campaign, enthusiasticly slashed taxes for the rich once elected, which helped no one but the wealthy. The medal award is yet another example of Mr. Trump doubling-down on a lie. How could the Laffer Curve be untrue when Arthur Laffer got the Medal of Freedom? Of course, maybe he really got it for co-authoring a book of fawning fiction called Trumponomics.

More:

“Trump is giving Arthur Laffer the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Economists aren’t smiling.” Elizabeth Popp Berman, Washington Post

“Trump Awards Medal to Controversial Tax-Cut Champion Laffer,” Margaret Talev and Justin Sink, Bloomberg

“Trump Awards Kook Art Laffer for Inventing Fake Curve,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Why are we still pretending ‘trickle-down’ economics work?” Morris Pearl, The Guardian

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Stephen Moore, Trump Fed Nominee, Withdraws

May 2, 2019

Stephen Moore, Trump Fed Nominee, Withdraws

Following the lead of pizza czar Herman Cain, Trump Federal Reserve Board nominee and alimony cheat Stephen Moore has withdrawn himself from consideration. In his bid to exert influence on the independent central bank regulatory agency, President Trump is having difficulties finding stooges with any degree of plausibility.

More:

“Stephen Moore says people don’t want to debate his economic ideas, but those are bad, too,” Matt O’Brien, Washington Post

“Why Stephen Moore’s Fed Bid Failed,” David A. Graham, The Atlantic

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Uber Shrugged

March 27, 2019

Uber Shrugged

Somehow, the sharing economy turned into the sharecropping economy. Mike Monteiro believes it was Ruined by Design, and also that Ayn Rand is a dick.

“Silicon Valley, and specifically the venture capital firms of Silicon Valley, are mostly run by old white men who read Ayn Rand in high school, thought it was great, and never changed their minds.”

“For those of you not familiar with Ayn Rand, she wrote crappy books about the power of individual achievement while she collected social security and started some pseudo-philosophy called ‘objectivism,’ which can be summed up in five words: I got mine, f*ck you.”

Those are the guys who fund the “sharing economy.”

“Once Uber’s goal moved from providing a car-sharing service to using a car-sharing service to make themselves and their investors rich, the delicate balance between drivers, riders, and Uber was destroyed. Only one of those parties was going to benefit from Uber’s future success. There’s nothing wrong with making money, but there is something inherently wrong with profiting from the labor of others without giving them a piece of the success they’ve earned.”

More from Ruined by Design here.

Related:

“Thousands of Uber drivers are striking in Los Angeles,” Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox

“Lyft Drivers Protest Falling Wages as Execs Drum Up Investor Money for $25 Billion IPO,” Patrick Howell O’Neill, Gizmodo

“Lyft’s latest driver perks: bank accounts and car repairs,” Matt McFarland, CNN

“’I’m Pretty Sure That I’m Losing Money at the End of the Day,’” April Glaser, Slate

“Uber and Lyft slashed wages. Now California drivers are protesting their IPOs.”
Faiz Siddiqui, Washington Post

“Lyft and Other Gig-Economy Giants Cash In With IPOs Before Labor Laws catch Up With Them,” Lee Fang, The Intercept

“As IPO soars, can Uber and Lyft survive long enough to replace their drivers with computers?” Faiz Siddiqui and Greg Bensinger, Washington Post

Updates:

“Uber and Lyft Leave Their Drivers by the Side of the Road. Again.” Joe Nocera, Bloomberg

“Disgruntled drivers and ‘cultural challenges’: Uber admits to its biggest risk factors,” Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian

“The Mounting Fallout from Uber and Lyft’s Disruption of the Taxi Industry,” Angie Schmitt, StreetsBlog

“D.C. Uber Drivers Often Don’t Know What They Earn After Expenses (As Little As $5 An Hour), Study Finds,” Jordan Pascale, DCist

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Image by Mike Licht. Download copies here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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If 100 People Lived on Earth ….

March 7, 2019

“If 100 People Lived On Earth,” it would be a lot easier to grasp the world’s demographics.

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Trickle-Down Economics Is Trickling Away

October 11, 2018

Trickle-Down Economics Is Trickling Away

That old voodoo economics has the president in its spell, but where’s the magic?

Noah Smith: “If Trump’s corporate tax cuts end up having no observable effect on workers’ pay, it will be the final blow to the supply-side worldview.”

— “Trump Puts Supply-Side Economics to Its Final Test,” Noah Smith, Bloomberg

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How to Sell a Million Dollar Work of Art

August 23, 2018

How do you sell (very) strange artwork for millions of dollars? Dion Lee explains.

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The Economy: Growth Is Not Enough

July 27, 2018

In 2014, economist Kate Raworth spoke to the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). This excerpt was animated by Marija Jacimovic, designed by Milan Perisic, and produced by Benoit Detalle. See the full presentation here.

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Economics: John Maynard Keynes

May 17, 2018

John Maynard Keynes proposed the idea that governments should stimulate demand during economic downturns, and was was the creator of the IMF and the World Bank. Learn more in this video by The School of Life.

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Equal Pay Day 2018

April 10, 2018

Equal Pay Day 2018

It’s Pay Equality Day, last of the 99 extra days into 2018 that American women worked to finally make the same amount of wages that men made by Dec. 31, 2017. The concept originated with the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996 as a way to point out the economic injustice of  American women earning 82 cents when men are earning a dollar. Want to change that inequity? Look here.

In a timely decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that employers can’t use workers’ salary histories to justify paying women less.

More:

“When Is Equal Pay Day? 2018 Is The Year Women Can Help Close It Once & For All,” Sarah Friedmann, Bustle

 

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Greed

February 14, 2018

“Charlie Chaplin on Greed,” by Korbinian Blendl and Marco Bader.

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