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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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Control of land and natural resources 2021

The U.S. owes Hawaiians millions of dollars worth of land. Congress helped make sure the debt wasn’t paid. Rob Perez Honolulu Star-Advertiser May 7, 2021
In a 1995 law, the U.S. promised to pay its land debt to Hawaiians, thousands of whom are waiting for homes. But Congress, including the state’s own delegation, voted to give the land to other parties.

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Harm through the market 2021

‘Government money that’s gone into vaccine development is being privatized by a handful of companies’ CounterSpin interview with James Love on Bill Gates & vaccine patent politics Janine Jackson Counterspin May 12, 2020

‘No one wants to work anymore’: the truth behind this unemployment benefits myth Amanda Holpuch The Guardian May 7, 2021
US employees are concerned about safety, others have caregiving responsibilities and some are using their job loss as an opportunity to find other work.

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Critiques of orthodox economics 2021

The proletarianization of the professoriate and the threat to free expression, creativity, and economic dynamism Jon D. Wisman and Quentin Duroy Journal of Economic Issues Issue 3, 2020
Over the past four decades, forces have been set in motion that are proletarianizing professors—reducing their control over their workplaces. This has been in part propelled by a resurgence of laissez-faire doctrine that has legitimated public policies which have fueled soaring inequality. This article addresses the threat to freedom and economic dynamism posed by the debasement of professors by examining six forces that are driving the proletarianization of the professoriate: the replacement of tenured with contingent faculty, an expansion of for-profit colleges and universities, the rise of online education, the introduction of annual evaluations and merit pay, the development of outcomes assessment, and the increased reliance on external research funding. The essay then surveys how laissez-faire doctrine and rising inequality have led to cuts in government funding for higher education, have placed an increased emphasis on providing student consumers with vocational training as opposed to a liberal education, and have reshaped higher education through the introduction of corporate values within universities’ systems of governance.

Developed nations profit by exploiting the global South Ariane Lange Academic Times April 18, 2021 Original article: Plunder in the Post-Colonial Era: Quantifying Drain from the Global South Through Unequal Exchange, 1960–2018 Jason Hickel, Dylan Sullivan, and Huzaifa Zoomkawala New Political Economy 2021

My advice to an aspiring economist: Don’t be an economist. There is a new world that is fast-overtaking us, and it needs to be seen and explained on its own terms. David Bollier Evonomics January 31, 2021

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Review of Property, Institutions and Social Stratification in Africa by Franklin Obeng-Odoom

Cover of Property, Institutions and Social Stratification in Africa by Franklin Obeng-Odoom
Cover of Property, Institutions and Social Stratification in Africa by Franklin Obeng-Odoom

From inequality to stratification: Obeng-Odoom’s contribution to the study of inequality in Africa Reviewed by Abdallah Zouache African Review of Economics and Finance Vol. 12 (1) 2020 (8 page PDF file)