Showing posts from October 27, 2016

What is the gender pay gap and is it real?

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[A crushingly thorough piece on how women are paid less than men and why it can't be explained away. See also: The gender pay gap will not close until 2186; and Gender pay gap: women earn £300,000 less than men over working life.*RON*]
Elise Gould, Jessica Schieder & Kathleen Geier, Economic Policy Institute, 20 October 2016

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Working women are paid less than working men. A large body of research accounts for, diagnoses, and investigates this “gender pay gap.” But this literature often becomes unwieldy for lay readers, and because pay gaps are political topics, ideological agendas often seep quickly into discussions.

This primer examines the evidence surrounding the gender pay gap, both in the literature and through our own data analyses. We will begin by explaining the different ways the gap is measured, and then go deeper into the data using hourly wages for our analyses,1 culling from extensive national and regional surveys of …

Britain, U.S. sending planes, troops to deter Russia in the east

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[Rumours of world war rumble on. See also: Putin’s Military Buildup in the Baltic Stokes Invasion FearsIf Russia Started a War in the Baltics, NATO Would Lose — Quickly; and Moscow accuses Canada of bringing back the Cold War. *RON*]
By Robin Emmott and Phil Stewart, Reuters, 26 October 2016

Britain said on Wednesday it will send fighter jets to Romania next year and the United States promised troops, tanks and artillery to Poland in NATO's biggest military build-up on Russia's borders since the Cold War.

Germany, Canada and other NATO allies also pledged forces at a defense ministers meeting in Brussels on the same day two Russian warships armed with cruise missiles entered the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Denmark, underscoring East-West tensions.

In Madrid, the foreign ministry said Russia had withdrawn a request to refuel three warships in Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta after NATO allies said they could be used to target c…

Schaeuble says monetary policy has reached its limits

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[Short but sweet. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that Germany has come out against the EU economic party line. Watch this story go nowhere fast in the mainstream press. But is the worm turning? See also: "Should We Rethink Fiscal Policy?" *RON*]
Reuters, 25 October 2016
There is a growing international consensus that monetary policy has reached the limits of its possibilities, German Finance Wolfgang Schaeuble told a group of government officials in Berlin on Tuesday.

Schaeuble also said that he believed that there was an excess of liquidity and excess of indebtedness internationally.

(Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by Andrea Shalal)

Mainstream Economics Has Become a Celebration of the Wealthy Rentier Class

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[The previously two postings tidily explained. *RON*]

By Michael Hudson, Evonomics, not dated.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, everyone complains about inequality, but nobody does anything about it.

What they do is to use “inequality” as a takeoff point to project their own views on how to make society more prosperous and at the same time more equal. These views largely depend on whether they view the One Percent as innovative, smart and creative, making wealth by helping the rest of society – or whether, as the great classical economists wrote, the wealthiest layer of the population consist of rentiers, making their income and wealth off the 99 Percent as idle landlords, monopolists and predatory bankers.

Economic statistics show fairly worldwide trends in inequality. After peaking in the 1920s, the reforms of the Great Depression helped make income distribution more equitable and stable until 1980.[1] Then, in the wake of Thatcherism in Britain and Reag…

New evidence that politics, not economics, drives inequality

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[Sort of. What drives inequality are the interests of the 0.1% rentier class, who have captured the political machine with dark money. See also: Political Road Map: How unlimited cash gets funneled into legislative campaigns. *RON*]

Ohio State University, EurekAlert! / AAAS, 26 October 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio - One of the biggest surprises about rising income inequality in the United States may be that economic factors aren't the biggest cause, a new study suggests.

Sociologists at The Ohio State University found that political factors, along with increases in college-educated adults, provided the best explanations for the rise in income inequality in the United States between 1978 and 2011.

But even higher education levels became less important after the 1980s, said David Jacobs, lead author of the study and professor of sociology at Ohio State.

The study found that presidential administrations that were sympathetic to employers but unfavorable…

Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal doomed, ex-PM Brian Mulroney predicts

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[I don't think anyone opposes actual free trade, which is a win-win proposition. But these are packages designed to ensure corporatocratic rule for the 0.1% rentier class, masquerading under the name of free trade. *RON*]

Canadian Press, CBC News, 26 October 2016
Former prime minister Brian Mulroney says the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is doomed to fail because of hostility in the U.S. Congress and widespread antipathy to trade initiatives in general.

Mulroney made the prediction Wednesday when he was asked about Hillary Clinton's opposition to the 12-nation accord, which the Democratic presidential nominee says benefits drug companies and does not address currency manipulation.

"The TPP is not going to fly anyway," Mulroney said after taking part in a ceremony to formally announce plans for the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government at his alma mater, St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S.