Featured post

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.

See banner photo caption here

Oppression and Exploitation News August 6 – 12

Opposing oppression and injustice 2020

Bolivia under blockade as protesters choke access to cities María Silvia Trigo and Anatoly Kurmanaev New York Times August 7, 2020
Six million people have been marooned by 70 roadblocks set up to protest the government’s response to the coronavirus and the postponement of the country’s general election.

Discrimination 2020

Why do economists have trouble understanding racialized inequalities? Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven and Surbhi Kesar Institute for New Economic Thinking August 3, 2020
Mainstream economics ignores historical and structural factors by design.

Economics is a disgrace Claudia Sahm Macromom July 29, 2020

Oppression and Exploitation News – July 30 – August 5

Damage to the U.S. economic and financial system 2020

Businesses are supposed to cut debt in a downturn. Why not now? Matt Phillips New York Times July 20, 2020
The Federal Reserve’s efforts to stabilize markets have touched off an even bigger borrowing binge than corporate America was already on. Investors have been so emboldened by the Fed’s actions that even companies viewed as especially risky are having no problem borrowing heavily…. The low costs of borrowing will inevitably keep some companies alive that would otherwise have gone bankrupt this year, creating a class of so-called zombie companies that stagger along but are too weak to invest and grow while sucking up cash that could be put to better use elsewhere.

Harming people – Keeping people oppressed 2020

Hachalu Hundessa, Ethiopian singer and activist, is shot dead Abdi Latif Dahir New York Times May 30, 2020
The musician, 34, was known for political songs that provided support for the ethnic Oromo group’s fight against repression and a soundtrack for antigovernment protests.

Harm through the government 2020

DeVos aide played role in helping failing for-profit colleges, texts and emails show Danielle Douglas-Gabriel Washington Post July 28, 2020

Harm through the market 2020

TurboTax and H&R Block used “unfair and abusive practices,” state regulator finds Justin Elliot ProPublica July 15, 2020
Last year alone, more than 14 million Americans paid around $1 billion to Intuit and other companies for tax prep that they should have gotten for free, according to a Treasury inspector general report.

Damage to the U.S. economic and financial system 2020

A hedge fund bailout highlights how regulators ignored big risks Jeanna Smialek and Deborah B. Solomon New York Times July 24, 2020
The Dodd-Frank financial law succeeded at making banks safer, but empowered shadowy corners of finance that nearly wrecked the system in March.

Businesses are supposed to cut debt in a downturn. Why not now? Matt Phillips New York Times July 20, 2020
The Federal Reserve’s efforts to stabilize markets have touched off an even bigger borrowing binge than corporate America was already on. Investors have been so emboldened by the Fed’s actions that even companies viewed as especially risky are having no problem borrowing heavily…. The low costs of borrowing will inevitably keep some companies alive that would otherwise have gone bankrupt this year, creating a class of so-called zombie companies that stagger along but are too weak to invest and grow while sucking up cash that could be put to better use elsewhere.

Oppression and Exploitation News July 23 – 29

Struggle for control – staying in power 2020

The federal crackdown in Portland is ‘legal.’ That’s the problem with it. Garrett M. Graff Washington Post July 22, 2020
Department of Homeland Security officials are following the letter of the law — and flagrantly abusing its spirit.

Harm through the government 2020

Najib Razak, Malaysia’s former Prime Minister, found guilty in graft trial Richard C. Paddock New York Times July 28, 2020
Mr. Najib was sentenced to up to 12 years in prison and faces fines of nearly $50 million on charges of abuse of power, breach of trust and money laundering.

The Trump administration just admitted it lied about singling out New Yorkers for punishment Editorial Board Washington Post July 26, 2020

Powerful Ohio Republican is arrested in $60 million corruption scheme Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio New York Times July 22, 2020
The House speaker was connected with a conspiracy to enact a $1.3 billion bailout of an energy company, the F.B.I. said.

Trump’s request of an ambassador: Get the British Open for me Mark Landler, Lara Jakes and Maggie Haberman New York Times July 21, 2020
Woody Johnson, the N.F.L. owner, Trump donor and ambassador to Britain, was warned not to get involved in trying to move the tournament to a Trump resort in Scotland, but he raised the idea anyway — and he failed.