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Reading harmfuleconomics.org

This website concerns the economics of exploitation and oppression. The website has two major parts.   The first, the Understanding harm page, gives an analytical overview of harm and social systems that contain harm. The second, this homepage and related pages, feature current news stories and analysis where harm is important.  Orthodox economics principally looks at income obtained from production.  This website looks at income or other benefit gained by harm. This is much more important than suggested by orthodox economics. There is not just a productive system; there is a productive + harmful system. The view taken in this website is that through control of a society and its key elements (economy, government, values) some people/groups in the society obtain income from others. This income is not based on production, but some form of taking away from others. This taking away is typically resisted. Thus there are two basic aspects in a social system where harm is important: obtaining income and maintaining control. This is expressed in the principal categories used in the website, which can be seen in the right column of this and every page.

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Heterodox Economics and the Economics of Harm

Heterodox Economics and the Economics of Harm Lane Vanderslice Journal of Economic Issues June 2022 (15 page PDF download) Much of heterodox economics, such as institutional, feminist, and conflict economics, has focused on major areas of harm, developing and strengthening the analysis of harm. The two costs have been terminologies which differ among the various approaches and the (unmet) need to bring the approaches together in an overall view of harm. Heterodox economics (and the relatively few orthodox authors) are on the right track in understanding productive + harmful economic systems while orthodox economics, as shown by its textbooks, is not. Yet the wrong approach is the dominant one. Will the truth win out?

Link to the article in the JEI https://doi.org/10.1080/00213624.2022.2066914

Harm to the environment 2022

The Barbados Rebellion: An island nation’s fight for climate justice Abrahm Lustgarten New York Times July 27, 2022
The Caribbean is trapped between crushing debt and a climate disaster caused by rich nations. Prime Minister Mia Mottley is battling for a fairer system.

Unearthing the secret superpowers of fungus  Somini Sengupta  and (Photos) Tomás Munita  July 27, 2022
In the fight against warming, a formidable ally hides just beneath our feet. Report from Chile on scientists building a global atlas of underground fungal networks. [After centuries of destruction of natural land, mankind has still not understood its benefits. ED.]

Congo to auction land to oil companies: ‘Our priority is not to save the planet’ Ruth Maclean and Dionne Searcey New York Times July 24, 2022
Peatlands and rainforests in the Congo Basin protect the planet by storing carbon. Now, in a giant leap backward for the climate, they’re being auctioned off for drilling. Promised climate compensation from developed countries did not come through.

Conflict 2022

“Fortress Mentality” among U.S. leaders has trapped us in a cycle of militarism Norman Solomon Truthout July 23, 2022

World is stumbling into a new era of risk Stockholm Peace Research Institute May 23, 2022
With the toll of conflict rising and the natural environment degrading fast, our world is facing twin crises–and governments are just waking up to the scale of the risks these crises pose to humanity. See full report Environment of Peace: Security in a New Era of Risk.

“The drone problem”: How the U.S. has struggled to curb Turkey, a key exporter of armed drones Umar Farooq ProPublica July 12, 2022
Turkey is changing the face of modern warfare with its TB2 drone. As the weapon spreads across the globe, some U.S. lawmakers seek to crack down on the country, saying it’s exploiting its NATO status to obtain key parts from Western manufacturers.

International Arms Transfers Stockholm Peace Research Institute March 2022
Global share of exports of major arms, 2017-2021: U.S. 39%, Russia 19%, France 11%, China 4.6%, Germany 4.5%, Italy 3.1%, United Kingdom 2.9%, South Korea 2.8%, Spain 2.5%, Israel 2.4%, Others 9.2%.

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