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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(Certainly governments, corporations and other organizations do take actions to reduce harm or otherwise improve the lives of the people. This is often, even typically, the result of political action by citizens. This post gives examples.)
International Criminal Court authorizes investigation into bloody Philippine drug war led by Duterte Regine Cabato Washington Post September 17, 2021
Amazon’s warehouse rules lead lawmakers to press for worker protections Jay Greene Washington Post September 10, 2021
Concerns about the high injury rate at Amazon’s warehouses are leading policymakers to push for legislative and regulatory reforms that limit the e-commerce giant’s ability to use performance metrics.
Fears that Trump might launch a strike prompted general to reassure China, book says Michael S. Schmidt New York Times October 15, 2021
In a sign of his concerns, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer also gathered commanders to remind them of the safeguards in the nuclear launch procedures.
Costs of the 20-year war on terror: $8 trillion and 900,000 deaths Brown University September 1, 2021 See also the Costs of War website, perhaps especially the Costs of War subsections.
A report from the Costs of War project at Brown University revealed that 20 years of post-9/11 wars have cost the U.S. an estimated $8 trillion and have killed more than 900,000 people.
How Myanmar’s military terrrorized its people with weapons of war Joyce Sohyun Lee, Shibani Mahtani, Meg Kelly and Attahar Mirza Washington Post August 25, 2021
Renaissance executives agree to pay around $7 billion to settle tax dispute with IRS Reuters September 2, 2021
Purdue Pharma is dissolved and Sacklers pay $4.5 billion to settle opioid claims Jan Hoffman New York Times September 1, 2021 The ruling in bankruptcy court caps a long legal battle over the fate of a company accused of fueling the opioid epidemic and the family that owns it. Richard Sackler says family and Purdue bear no responsibility for opioid crisis Jan Hoffman New York Times August 18, 2021
In a rare courtroom appearance, the former Purdue Pharma president and board member was evasive and defiant.
The sacrifice Jonathan Abrams New York Times August 8, 2021
How Curt Flood made professional baseball’s free agency possible at the cost of ending his career.
How ‘race-norming’ was built into the NFL concussion settlement Will Hobson Washington Post August 2, 2021
The NFL and lawyers for former players blame the controversial practice on doctors. But both sides negotiated a settlement that guaranteed race would affect payouts — and defended the practice long after concerns were raised.
How the Trump tax law created a loophole that lets top executives net millions by slashing their own salaries Robert Faturechi and Justin Elliott ProPublica August 19, 2012
Secret IRS files reveal how much the ultrawealthy gained by shaping Trump’s “Big, Beautiful Tax Cut” Justin Elliott and Robert Faturechi ProPublica August 11, 2021
Billionaire business owners deployed lobbyists to make sure Trump’s 2017 tax bill was tailored to their benefit. Confidential IRS records show the windfall that followed.
Prospect of massive economic packages unleashes lobbying bonanza in Washington Tony Romm and Yeganeh Torbati Washington Post August 4, 2021
Nearly 2,000 companies and other groups have already engaged with Washington officials about infrastructure this year, according to filings, and the intensity is expected to pick up
Biden administration imposes a new round of sanctions on Cuban government, officials Karen DeYoung and Anne Gearan Washington Post July 30, 2021