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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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Harm through the market 2022

How public real estate investment trusts extract wealth from nursing homes and hospitals Rosemary Batt and Eileen Appelbaum Institute for New Economic Thinking August 1, 2022

As the Great Salt Lake dries Up, Utah faces an ‘environmental nuclear bomb’ Christopher Flavelle New York Times June 7, 2022
Climate change and rapid population growth are shrinking the lake, creating a bowl of toxic dust that could poison the air around Salt Lake City.

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Harm through the government 2022

How France underdevelops Africa Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram Inter Press Service August 30, 2022

The march towards U.S. fascism began with the corporate hijacking of democracy Thom Hartmann Common Dreams August 24, 2022
Political corruption and the idea that corporations can be people are the cancer at the core of our national crisis.

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Economic Principles and Problems: A Pluralist Introduction by Geoffrey Schneider

Economic Principles and Problems: A Pluralist Introduction. Reviewed by Lane Vanderslice Harmful Economics August 23, 2022

I have just finished reading Geoffrey Schneider’s Economic Principles and Problems: A Pluralist Introduction. This is a wonderful textbook. It is a revelation in how an introduction to economics can and should be taught.  I would urge any heterodox economist who teaches introductory economics to order an evaluation copy and see for themselves.

Three observations.

–Part II, early in the book, is a hundred-page economic history, beginning with communal societies, but emphasizing major periods of capitalism since it began.  This history is very important, giving a good idea of how economic structures and society itself evolved—material just ignored in standard principles texts.

–This history establishes the approach of looking at the major problems of the specific period, and how major economists analyzed them.  This approach continues throughout the rest of the book—what are major contemporary issues, and what do both orthodox economics and heterodox economics have to say about them. This is a very valuable approach to teaching economics, rather than constructing models which reflect current orthodox thinking, positing some more-or-less everlasting principles, as standard intro texts do.

–The book considers economics as one science.  Orthodox principles texts fail this basic test by not considering heterodox economics, or important aspects of the broader society.

The home page for this book provides more information, including ordering an examination copy and the table of contents.

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