Posts Tagged ‘economics’

Dollar Stores

September 15, 2021

There are more than 34,000 Dollar General, Dollar Store, and Family Dollar stores across the country, more locations than Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and Target combined. A new one opens every 6 hours, usually in a lower-income area. Dollar General is a Fortune 500 company, worth more than Coca Cola. Dollar stores did it the old-fashioned way: scamming poor people.

More:

“The economics of dollar stores,” Zachary Crockett, The Hustle

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Do High Heels Mean an Elevated Economy?

September 2, 2021

Do High Heels Mean an Elevated Economy?

“Trevor Davis, a former consumer products expert at IBM, came up with a theory that matched heel length with economic upturns. ‘The index worked by analysing social media and other online sources for influencer and consumer references to shoes and boots where there was either a specific height of heel mentioned, like ‘four inches’ or a phrase that could be equated easily to a height,’ he says. ‘We then correlated that with a variety of indicators of economic performance to get the index.’ He says the data revealed that when economic indicators turned down the heel height initially went up, but if the economy remained in a recession state for more than a few months then heel heights went down.”

— “Can the ‘high heel index’ predict economic growth?” Priya Elan, The Guardian

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

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The Mustang and the Volvo

June 16, 2021

Political Economist Mark Blyth explains how the structural underpinnings of economies affect their abilities to respond to crisis, like the Covid-19 pandemic

Mark  Blyth, Watson Institute

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We’re In the Pandemic Depression

August 11, 2020

We're In the Pandemic Depression

“What’s clear is that the Pandemic Depression resembles the Great Depression of the 1930s more than it does the typical post-World War II recession. To simplify slightly: The typical postwar slump occurred when the Fed raised interest rates to reduce consumer price inflation. They lowered rates to stimulate growth.

By contrast, both the Great Recession and the Pandemic Depression had other causes. The Great Recession reflected runaway real estate and financial speculation and their adverse effects on the banking system. The Pandemic Depression occurred when infection fears and government mandates led to layoffs and an implosion of consumer spending.”

— “Let’s call it what it is. We’re in a Pandemic Depression.” Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post

 

“The shared nature of this shock—the novel coronavirus does not respect national borders—has put a larger proportion of the global community in recession than at any other time since the Great Depression. As a result, the recovery will not be as robust or rapid as the downturn. And ultimately, the fiscal and monetary policies used to combat the contraction will mitigate, rather than eliminate, the economic losses, leaving an extended stretch of time before the global economy claws back to where it was at the start of 2020.”

“The Pandemic Depression: The Global Economy Will Never Be the Same,” Carmen Reinhart and Vincent Reinhart, Foreign Affairs

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Image (based on a WPA photo by John E. Allen) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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US cities were segregated by design.

June 4, 2020

The 20th Century segregation of America’s cities was not a natural event, explains Richard Rothstein. Unconstitutional schemes and policies ruined cities and left minority residents to languish. We still live with the consequences.

More:

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein, 2017.

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The Economics of K-Pop

May 27, 2020

K-Pop, South Korea’s pop music, is big business. A PolyMatter video.

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Trump Economic Recovery Panel: Libertarian Clown Posse

April 15, 2020

Trump Economic Recovery Panel: Libertarian Clown Posse

President Trump announced the members of his Coronavirus economic recovery panel yesterday. He calls it the Great American Economic Revival and, true to its name, it’s got an amen corner of true believers. Unfortunately for a panel on government economic interventions, they’re fundamentalist Libertarians, believers in a savage free market “red in tooth and claw,” and opposed to any government intervention in American life. The market Malthusian “though leaders” on this committee are from the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and Conservative Partnership Institute. Even the name “Great American Economic Revival” was provided by a Right-Wing media group.

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Is History Important?

March 17, 2020

If we’re headed for a recession, blame the economists who flunked history class, explains Robert Skidelsky in this video from the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

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Banning Stock Buybacks

March 9, 2020

When the Trump administration slashed their taxes, corporations invested the windfall in building new facilities and creating new jobs, right? Of course not. They spent the cash on stock buybacks. That’s good for corporate execs but a disaster for the economy. William Lazonick explains in this video from the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

More:

“Why Stock Buybacks Are Dangerous for the Economy,” William Lazonick, Mustafa Erdem Sakinç, and Matt Hopkins,. Harvard Business Review

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Who pays the lowest taxes in the US?

February 14, 2020

Who pays the lowest taxes in the USA? Yep, that’s right, poor folks.

More:

“How to Tax Our Way Back to Justice,” Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, New York Times

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