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.
Prices, Profits, and Power: An Analysis of 2021 Firm-Level MarkupsMike Konczal and Niko LusianiRoosevelt Institute June 2022 (Download of a 12 page PDF file) How to understand and respond to inflation has become one of the central debates of this economic recovery. This research brief is the first to explore the size and distribution of markups (essentially the difference between sales and marginal costs) and profit margins across 3,698 firms operating in the US in 2021…. The evidence of this unusually and suddenly high jump in markups fits all three of the main explanatory stories of inflation being debated—namely those related to changes in demand, supply, and market power. First, we see broad markup increases across many types and sizes of firms, suggesting a demand side of the story. Second, the data points to a historically unique movement of markups between industries in 2021, suggesting a supply story. Lastly, we find that, adjusting for size, pre-pandemic markups are a strong predictor of the increase in markups during 2021, suggesting a role for market power as an explanatory driver of inflation.
Ten ways billionaires avoid taxes on an epic scalePaul KielProPublica June 24, 2022 After a year of reporting on the tax machinations of the ultrawealthy, ProPublica spotlights the top tax-avoidance techniques that provide massive benefits to billionaires.
Racism’s ill effects on the health-care system — and the body itselfJerald WalkerWashington Post June 10, 2022 Equal treatment within the health-care system, Villarosa argues, regardless of class or social status, remains elusive because of three primary obstacles: long-standing institutional and structural discrimination; implicit biases in the medical profession resulting not only in misdiagnoses but even blame for being unwell; and “weathering,” which, Villarosa writes, refers to the “struggle with anger and grief triggered by everyday racist insults and microaggressions … [which] can, over time, deteriorate the systems of the body.”
The Jakarta Method, Then and Now: U.S. Counterinsurgency and the Third WorldSarah RaymundoMonthly Review June 2022 Increasing numbers of left-wing activists around the world are turning to Vincent Bevins’s The Jakarta Method: Washington’s Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program That Shaped Our World to learn more about the horrific atrocities committed by the United States against peoples’ struggles for the right to self-determination in the so-called postcolonial era.