Critiques of orthodox economics 2021

Orthodox economics and the economics of harm Lane Vanderslice Journal of Economic Issues September 2021 (full text of pre-publication copy.)
Orthodox economics understands productive activity, which obtains income by benefiting others, but does not have an adequate conception of activity which obtains income by harming others. There is a broad and important range of activities which obtain income by harming others. This paper considers the analysis of some of these including conflict theory, rent-seeking, corruption, harm of workers, consumers, and nature, economic historians’ consideration of extractive political and economic institutions, and the varieties of discrimination. The omission of harm is evident in undergraduate textbooks in microeconomics and public economics.   The fundamental political economic system of past and present, a productive plus harmful one, is not being taught to economics students. [The link for those with access to the Journal of Economic Issues. If you do not have access to JEI but need a final published version of the article, email your request to]

The ideology of human supremacy Jeremy Lent Resilience July 6, 2021
The somber truth is that the vast bulk of nature’s staggering abundance has already disappeared. We live in a world characterized primarily by the relative silence and emptiness of its natural spaces. Underlying this devastation is the ideology of human supremacy—claiming innate superiority over nonhuman forms of life. But is human supremacy innate to humanity, or rather something specific pertaining to our dominant culture?

The proletarianization of the professoriate and the threat to free expression, creativity, and economic dynamism Jon D. Wisman and Quentin Duroy Journal of Economic Issues Issue 3, 2020
Over the past four decades, forces have been set in motion that are proletarianizing professors—reducing their control over their workplaces. This has been in part propelled by a resurgence of laissez-faire doctrine that has legitimated public policies which have fueled soaring inequality. This article addresses the threat to freedom and economic dynamism posed by the debasement of professors by examining six forces that are driving the proletarianization of the professoriate: the replacement of tenured with contingent faculty, an expansion of for-profit colleges and universities, the rise of online education, the introduction of annual evaluations and merit pay, the development of outcomes assessment, and the increased reliance on external research funding. The essay then surveys how laissez-faire doctrine and rising inequality have led to cuts in government funding for higher education, have placed an increased emphasis on providing student consumers with vocational training as opposed to a liberal education, and have reshaped higher education through the introduction of corporate values within universities’ systems of governance.

Developed nations profit by exploiting the global South Ariane Lange Academic Times April 18, 2021 Original article: Plunder in the Post-Colonial Era: Quantifying Drain from the Global South Through Unequal Exchange, 1960–2018 Jason Hickel, Dylan Sullivan, and Huzaifa Zoomkawala New Political Economy 2021

My advice to an aspiring economist: Don’t be an economist. There is a new world that is fast-overtaking us, and it needs to be seen and explained on its own terms. David Bollier Evonomics January 31, 2021

Manifold exploitations: toward an intersectional political economy Nancy Folbre Review of Social Economy August 5, 2020 (Open access)

For women in economics, the bias is out in the open Ben Casselman New York Times February 23, 2021

To tackle inequality, we need to start talking about where wealth comes from Laurie Macfarlane Evonomics March 13, 2021
As Grace Blakeley puts it: “You do not become a billionaire through labour. You become a billionaire through inheritance, corruption or economic rents – or, in most cases, some mixture of all three….If the left is to achieve its historic aim of achieving distributive justice, it can’t do so by parroting a narrative on wealth that was designed to promote the cause of Thatcherism. Instead, we must develop a distinct and compelling narrative about how wealth is really created and distributed in society.”

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