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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

Big pharma and GOP allies aim to sabotage Medicare drug price reforms Jake Johnson Common Dreams January 1, 2022
“All the contributions they make and all their lobbying money gives them a lot of power,” Democratic Rep. Peter Welch said of the pharmaceutical industry.

The shameful open secret behind Southwest’s failure Zeynep Tufekci New York Times December 31, 2022 (opinion)

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Conflict 2022

US, Israel vote no as UN approves World Court resolution on illegal occupation Jon Queally Common Dreams January 2, 2022 “The time has come for Israel to be a state subject to law,” said a spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority, “and to be held accountable for its ongoing crimes against our people.”

Negotiate now! A call for diplomacy in Ukraine Stephen Eric Bronner Common Dreams January 1, 2022
Not to talk about peace is to perpetuate war—pure and simple—and that is something the people of Russia and Ukraine cannot afford.

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Harm to the environment 2022

Congress offers $1 billion for climate aid, falling short of Biden’s pledge Lisa Friedman New York Times December 20, 2022
Activists called the funding to help developing countries cope with the impacts of climate change “hugely disappointing.” The pledge was to spend $11.4 billion annually by 2024 to ensure developing nations can transition to clean energy and adapt to a warming planet.

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Opposing oppression and injustice 2022

AOC casts House Dems’ sole vote against omnibus spending bill Bret Wilkins Common Dreams December 24, 2022
“The dramatic increase in DHS and ICE spending… cuts against the promises our party has made to immigrant communities across the country,” Ocasio-Cortez explained as the $1.7 trillion package passed the lower chamber Friday.

Organizers are rediscovering the power of song in movement building Paul Engler Truthout December 24, 2022
Organizers are learning how song culture strengthens the capacity to create social change.

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Harm through the government 2022

It was an attempted auto-coup: The Cline Center’s Coup d’État project categorizes the January 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol Cline Center for Advanced Social Research December 15, 2022
Using the Cline Center’s Coup d’État Project definitions, the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 was an attempted coup d’état: an organized, illegal attempt to intervene in the presidential transition by displacing the power of the Congress to certify the election. In terms of the type of coup attempt, the complex nature of this event leads it to be categorized as both an attempted auto-coup and as an attempted dissident coup, reflecting the distinctive activities of different actors involved in the event. 

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