It shouldn’t be any surprise to you that I often agree with Paul Krugman–I’m both rational and occasionally shrill. For instance, I see a lot of sense in the compressed argument Krugman makes here, in his recent editorial: And right now, by any rational calculation, would be an especially good time to improve the nation’s infrastructure. We have the need:… Read more →
Guess what the newly released Census data shows? U.S. income inequality at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations. There’s more at the article, like this: The top-earning 20 percent of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4… Read more →
Yes, we’re all supposed to be much more interested in the oil spill at the moment, but we still remember that whole huge financial crisis right? If so, then you will want to read Jeff Madrick’s review of Michael Lewis‘ new book The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine. It’s the best kind of review–it not only gives you a… Read more →
If you are at all interested in how the business of publishing may change in response to some current disruptive technology shifts–and particularly if you’re interested in looking at the question from an author’s point of view–you should really pop over to Charlie Stross’ blog and read his post there outlining some thoughts on the question and asking for reader comments. This is one of those cases where the “don’t read the comments” rule does not apply: there are a couple of hundred comments there now with a pretty high signal-to-noise ratio, and lots of interesting (and some very scary) ideas are being kicked around.
I love how the article’s author is so sanguine about this aspect of his analysis, dropping it deadpan in a single sentence at the end of the piece: “The bad news for authors is that their royalties will decrease since they are based off of retail sales price.” Surely the simplification of the production and distribution system should result in less profit for publisher/distributor/vendor–i.e. the parts of the system simplified–and not in less profit for the bit that remains just as hard as ever?
I have an amateur interest in economics that I indulge from time to time, primarily by reading economics-focused blogs. While I was doing that this week I was interested to see Brad DeLong (whose blog is definitely worth following) point to a discussion from the Economist about compensation for bankers and the relation between that and their ability to accurately… Read more →
I love effective visualizations, and the Billion Dollar gram is a very simple and effective way to help normal people understand the relative sizes of some of the ridiculously large dollar values attached to various government, corporate, and public initiatives. As someone who enjoys data visualization I appreciate it. As a human being, I can’t get past that items across the top row without feeling a combination of almost blinding rage and terrible, terrible shame.
One of the reasons I often find things I like in the Guardian is because where else would you find someone like Mark Weisbrot (the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and economics PhD) writing a review of something like Michael Moore’s new film, Capitalism: A Love Story. Regardless of what you think of Moore and his… Read more →
Holiday Monday has kept me too busy to properly blog, so you get a bit of a tab-closing list instead. I’m not sure that it covers anything new, but the piece from More Intelligent Life (the quarterly from the Economist) about authors and drinking was a fun read anyway. I’ve seen some stories about tough people in the news, but… Read more →
Are you familiar with GapMinder? It’s a great resource for visualization of all kinds of interesting data. One particular visualization that I’ve been thinking about lately is this presentation of life expectancy, average income, and population for several countries over time. It tells a primarily positive story about what’s been happening in the world over the last couple of hundred… Read more →
While I’m uploading some MP3s for a music post a little later tonight, let’s do the tab closing dance: Did you see the story about the scientists who unfroze the blob of 120,000 year old life in the Arctic? I can’t do my usual thing of making the news sound like a creepy SF or Lovecraftian story, since the actual… Read more →
I have now been on vacation long enough that I don’t remember what day it is. I think “if it’s Wednesday it must be San Francisco” logic may apply. With that in mind, here’s a list of a few things that caught my eye during my little bits of hotel-room surfing after the child goes to bed: The Pirate Bay… Read more →
Watching Maine becoming #5 this week, it occurs to me that while the process may be terribly slow from the perspective of people who just want to be treated equally (and I know I can only say that off-handedly since I already have all the privileges–white, male, straight, etc.) the whole thing is pretty much inevitable at this point. Even… Read more →
Sales of foundation garments for the gentleman of the house as an extremely reliable economic indicator? Maybe not as silly as it sounds at first.
“One of the biggest wake-up calls of my career was when I saw a record contract. I said, ‘Wait – you sell it for $18.98 and I make 80 cents? And I have to pay you back the money you lent me to make it and then you own it? Who the f**k made that rule? Oh! The record labels… Read more →