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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 Exploitation page, is an analytical overview of exploitation and social systems that contain harm. The second, this homepage and related pages, feature current news stories and analysis where harm is important.  Standard 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 standard 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 of the society (economy, government, social system) 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 So, 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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Oppression and Exploitation News May 21 – May 26

Struggle for control – Staying in power 2020

Democrats open investigation into Trump’s replacement of acting Transportation Department inspector general Ian Duncan and Michael Laris Washington Post May 19, 2020

Trump removes State Dept. Inspector General Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman New York Times May 16, 2020
A top Democrat in Congress described the move as “an outrageous act,” and said that the inspector general, Steve Linick, had opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Coronavirus relief package

Caption: Through the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility, the Federal Reserve will provide $500 billion to companies by buying bonds, but the companies will not be required to retain employees or limit executive pay. See accompanying story below. Credit: Public Domain

Federal assistance during the coronavirus pandemic is crucial. This page will look at ways in which allocation of these resources is directed not to those who most need it, but to large corporations, the wealthy, and the financial sector, as well as basic information about the federal assistance.

This Treasury official Is running the bailout. It’s been great for his family. Justin Elliott, Lydia DePillis and Robert Faturechi ProPublica June 2, 2020

‘Lining up at the trough’: Federal Reserve to offer corporations $500 billion no-strings-attached bailout loophole Julia Conley Common Dreams April 28, 2020

Large, troubled companies got bailout money in small-business loan program Jessica Silver-Greenberg, David Enrich, Jesse Drucker and Stacy Cowley New York Times April 28, 2020
This article describes how companies which would be thought not qualified for a small-business loan program did in fact receive one. Of the $349 billion in low-interest loans for small businesses more than 200 publicly traded [= not-small] companies have disclosed receiving a total of more than $750 million in bailout loans.

The tax-break bonanza inside the economic rescue package Jesse Drucker New York Times April 24, 2020
As small businesses and individuals struggle to obtain federal aid, the wealthiest are poised to reap tens of billions of dollars in tax savings.

Failing to help those who need it most Editorial Board New York Times April 24, 2020 (Opinion)

House passes $484 billion bill with money for small businesses, hospitals and testing to battle coronavirus Erica Werner Washington Post April 23, 2020

Banks gave richest clients ‘concierge treatment’ for pandemic aid Emily Flitter and Stacy Cowley New York Times April 22, 2020
Some businesses seeking coronavirus loans got to avoid flaky online portals or backed-up queues. Many other small businesses couldn’t get their loan requests submitted before the money dried up.

Starve the beast, feed the depression Paul Krugman New York Times April 16, 2020 (Opinion)
Anti-government ideology is crippling pandemic policy.

How the government pulls coronavirus relief money out of thin air Matt Phillips New York Times April 15, 2020
Once-fringe ideas in economic theory are now nearly official policy as government borrowing surges and the Federal Reserve signals it could buy unlimited debt.

Failure to help those that need it the most Editorial Board New York Times April 15, 2020
The distribution of coronavirus bailout funds requires more attention.

Here’s what’s in the $2 trillion virus stimulus package John Harney / Bloomberg Washington Post March 27, 2020 IRS has paid out over $218 billion in stimulus checks Andrew Keshner MarketWatch May 11, 2020

How the Fed’s magic money machine will turn $454 billion into $4 trillion Jeanna Smialek New York Times March 26, 2020
The central bank takes Treasury Department loan guarantees and uses them to stand up huge programs. Here’s how that works.

$29,000,000,000,000: A detailed look at the Fed’s bailout by funding facility and recipient James Felkerson Levi Economics Institute November, 2011 Original and important research detailing the financial sector bailout undertaken by the Federal Reserve during the 2007-09 financial crisis, showing that it was much larger than previously understood. Very helpful for understanding what the Fed is doing now, on what will be an even larger bailout.

Cover of Predatory Value Extraction by William Lazonick and Jang-Sup Shin

Predatory Value Extraction by William Lazonick and Jang-Sup Shin

The economist who put stock buybacks in Washington’s crosshairs Sheelah Kolhatkar New Yorker June 20, 2019

Predatory value extraction James McRitchie Corporate Governance April 29, 2020 Comments William Lazonick Corporate Governance May 7, 2020 Comments Jang-Sup Shin May 5, 2020

Cover of Predatory Value Extraction by William Lazonick and Jang-Sup Shin