Monthly Archives: November 2018

Suffering in South Sudan: hunger, conflict, refugees, child soldiers

‘Life is miserable’: Even when there’s food in South Sudan, many can’t afford it Carolyn Thompson Washington Post November 18, 2018

Photo: Thousand children in South Sudan have routinely been kidnapped and then forced to fight…#southsudan pic.twitter.com/BZdhQSQwuR  –Nino Fezza (@nfcinereporter) November 18, 2018

Photo: Yale New Haven Hospital, now part of a larger hospital group, which has raised hospital admission prices more than elsewhere in the state. Credit 禁书 网

Large firm economic and political power

Oligopolies and monopolies are important ways of obtaining income without providing a productive service.  They produce goods, a productive service. However, they receive additional income by raising prices, and their oligopoly/monopoly profits are distinguished by economists from normal profits and other expenses, which are the returns to productive activity.  There are other harmful aspects to large firms as well, pointed out in these articles.

Investigation of generic ‘cartel’ expands to 300 drugs Christopher Rowland Washington Post December 9,  2018

“What started as an antitrust lawsuit brought by states over just two drugs in 2016 has exploded into an investigation of alleged price-fixing involving at least 16 companies and 300 drugs, Joseph Nielsen, an assistant attorney general and antitrust investigator in Connecticut who has been a leading force in the probe, said…’This is most likely the largest cartel in the history of the United States,’ Nielsen said. He cited the volume of drugs in the schemes, that they took place on American soil and the ‘total number of companies involved, and individuals.'”

What these medical journals don’t reveal: top doctors’ ties to industry Charles Ornstein and Katie Thomas New York Times December 8, 2018

Many doctors have failed to report that their research was supported by industry, despite being required to do so, simply hiding potential or actual conflicts of interest from the scientific community, regulators and the general public.

These next two articles describe how hospital consolidation into large chains, typically described as “saving money through the benefits of consolidation”  in fact have increased prices in the markets studied, as reduced completion makes it easier to raise prices.

When hospitals merge to save money, patients often pay more Reed Abelson New York Times November 15, 2018

The Price Ain’t Right? Hospital prices and health spending on the privately insured Zack Cooper, Stuart V. Craig, Martin Gaynor, John Van Reenen  National Bureau of Economic Research Issued December 2015, updated May 2018.

Across the West powerful firms are becoming even more powerful Patrick Foulis The Economist  November 15, 2018

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Photo: Aspect of the cover of the Global Study on Homicide: Gender-related killing of women and girls.

Discrimination against women

Five feminist economists who change the way we see the world  Ashraya Maria  Feminism in India December 5, 2018

Most dangerous place for women is the home, U.N. report finds Karen Sraick New York Times November 27, 2018

America is blaming pregnant women for their own deaths Kim Brooks New York Times Nov. 16, 2018. (Opinion)

Miscarrying at work: The physical toll of pregnancy discrimination Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Natalie Kitroeff  New York Times October 21, 2018

Opinion: Protect indigenous, community, and women’s land rights for food security and nutrition Fany Kuiru and Paul De Wit Devex October 16, 2018.

Nobel peace prize awarded to Yazidi activist and Congolese doctor Rukmini Callimachi, Jeffrey Gettleman, Nicholas Kulish and Benjamin Mueller New York Times October 5, 2018

Photo: Aspect of the cover of the Global Study on Homicide: Gender-related killing of women and girls.  Credit UNODC

Photo: A displaced family from near the front lines that has been living in front of a Sana school since August. Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times

War causing famine in Yemen

Your tax dollars help starve children Nicholas Kristof New York Times December 9, 2018

How the war in Yemen became a bloody stalemate—and the worst humanitarian crisis in the world Robert F. Worth New York Times November 5, 2018

Photo: A displaced family from near the front lines that has been living in front of a Sana school since August. Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times

Bowl of bean stew.

Cause of death: not enough money to buy food

“If people go hungry, it is often because food is unaffordable: our world is riddled with disparities in the cost of basic nourishment.”  The World Food Program illustrates this important and neglected fact In its recent publication: Counting the Beans: The True Cost of a Plate of Food Around the World. People starve in the midst of food–they just don’t have enough money to buy it.   In the United States most of us are accustomed to not spending very much of our income on food.  In developing countries,  the cost is higher, and very much higher in countries experiencing conflict,

To compare countries around the world, the WFP took a simple meal–a 600 calorie bean stew–and calculated how much of people’s average daily income it would take to buy the meal.

New York 0.6%

El Salvador 5.5%

Egypt 4.4%

India 4.5% Continue reading