Monthly Archives: June 2017

Vested Interests and the Common People in Developing Countries: Understanding Oppressive Societies and Their Effects

Lane Vanderslice
The standard economic model of how economies work is that activities
are essentially productive. This is not a correct view of reality. The principal
difficulty is that there is economic activity that is unproductive and harmful (from
the point of view of those being harmed). This is a central feature of the economic
organization of these societies, and creates poverty. The first section of the article
discusses the concept of harm. The second section describes how societies are run
on this basic set of principles: Take and maintain control of the government and
other aspects of society, and use the power of government to obtain income. The
third section of the article describes how this system harms the common people.
Topics include corruption, misappropriation of natural resources, conflict and
other harm engendered by the struggle for control, the influence on present society
of the past operation of harmful economic systems, and discrimination as well as
other “barriers to entry.”

See Vested Interests and the Common People in Developing Countries (Final)

Cover of The Color of Law

A powerful, disturbing history of racial segregation in America

The Color of Law: A forgotten history of how our government segregated America
Richard Rothstein Liveright Publishing

Reviewed by David Oshinsky
New York Times June 20, 2017

In the summer of 1950, with Americans reeling from the news of North Korea’s invasion of South Korea and Senator Joseph McCarthy’s ever expanding “Red hunt” in Washington, Time magazine ran a disarmingly cheerful cover story about the nation’s housing boom, titled: “For Sale: A New Way of Life.” Featuring the builder William Levitt, who had recently transformed some Long Island potato fields into a sprawling complex of starter homes — two bedrooms, one bath and an extension attic for $7,990 — it spoke reverentially of the development’s parks and playgrounds and many rules. “Fences are not allowed,” Time noted. “The plot of grass around each house must be cut at least once a week,” and laundry couldn’t be hung outside “on weekends and holidays.”

One rule, however, was conveniently absent from the piece. Homeowners in Levittown were forbidden to rent or sell to persons “other than members of the Caucasian race.”…Read the full New York Times review