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Showing posts from August 25, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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The Rise of Market Power and the Macroeconomic Implications

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[This is actually a PDF of a research report. Excellent work; the free market, if it ever existed, is extinct. Points 1 to 7, below, succinctly summarize the effects of unfettered neoliberalism in fighting the class war. *RON*]

Jan De Loecker & Jan Eeckhout, UPF-ICREA-GSE and UCL, 24 August 2017


Abstract

We document the evolution of markups based on firm-level data for the US economy
since 1950. Initially, markups are stable, even slightly decreasing. In 1980, average markups
start to rise from 18% above marginal cost to 67% now. There is no strong pattern across
industries, though markups tend to be higher, across all sectors of the economy, in smaller
firms and most of the increase is due to an increase within industry. We do see a notable
change in the distribution of markups with the increase exclusively due to a sharp increase
in high markup firms.

We then evaluate the macroeconomic implications of an increase in average market power,

An Intimate History of Antifa

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[I've pre-ordered a copy of Bray's book to get a better idea of what, exactly, they espouse. "There is a moral logic to this notion of anticipatory self-defense, but the progression, from writing letters to fighting with guns, is worrisome nonetheless.... Should anti-Fascists start toting AR-15s, like the right-wing Oathkeepers?" *RON*]

Daniel Penny, New Yorker, 22 August 2017

On October 4, 1936, tens of thousands of Zionists, Socialists, Irish dockworkers, Communists, anarchists, and various outraged residents of London’s East End gathered to prevent Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists from marching through their neighborhood. This clash would eventually be known as the Battle of Cable Street: protesters formed a blockade and beat back some three thousand Fascist Black Shirts and six thousand police officers. To stop the march, the protesters exploded homemade bombs, threw marbles at the feet of police horses, and …

Risk of UK recession on the rise as consumer spending drops

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[The populists and haters have cut off their collective noses to spite their collective faces. *RON*]

Jayna Rana, Professional Advisor, 25 August 2017

Economists have warned a recession could be on the horizon in the UK, as consumer spending continues to fall and threatens to cripple growth.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released yesterday showed consumption had grown by only 0.1% in the three months to June, the weakest quarter since the end of 2014.

Economists said the data suggests a squeeze on household finances and spending as inflation outstrips wages, according to The Times.

Consumer spending accounts for almost two-thirds of economic output, so a collapse could be devastating for the UK, pundits have warned.

This has had a further knock-on effect on shops, as the contraction in retail sales in the year to August has led to plans to lay staff off.

In its monthly distributive trades survey, the Confederation of…

People smugglers post torture videos on Facebook 'to extort money from refugee families'

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[Your friendly, neighbourhood social network. Tech giants should 'put some real effort into stopping these smugglers from using their platforms for racketeering,' says UN agency. *RON*]
Jon Sharman, The Independent, 25 August 2017

Slavers and people smugglers are openly broadcasting the torture of refugees on Facebook to extort money from their families, it has been reported.

Libyan gangs have allegedly posted videos showing the torture of east African migrants, including one in which a Somali man was being crushed under a concrete block.

Along with the footage came demands for thousands of pounds, while the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said clips had been sent to victims’ families, The Times reported.

The paper also said gangs had openly advertised services offering to transport migrants to Europe in Facebook groups.

The social media platform has reportedly taken down swathes of the content, and told The Independent it…

Income inequality becomes more entrenched in Canada

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[One statistic here stuck with me: "inequality, including economic inequality, is associated with premature death of 40,000 Canadians a year." The fentanyl 'epidemic' killed 2.458 people across Canada in 2016. *RON*]
Sharon Murphy, Halifax Chronicle Herald, 24 August 2017


The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, in a recent study on income inequality, arrived a startling conclusion. It stated that by 7:47 a.m. on the first working day of the year, Canada’s top 100 CEOs have already pocketed $49,510 — a sum it takes most Canadians a year to earn.

It should not have taken me by surprise, after a lifetime of living and working in the area of poverty as a social worker. Income inequality is an important indicator of equity in a country. It has implications for social outcomes such as crime, life dissatisfaction and poverty.

The most common measure of income inequality is the Gini coefficient. A Gini coefficient of 0 represents exa…