Washington's Blog reminds us that things got ugly during the last prolonged depression in the United States. This interesting historical footage from the Great Depression shows what happens when large numbers of people are unemployed for years at a time, get desperate, and perceive that the game is rigged to the benefit of Wall Street. … Continue reading The Economy Has Caused Riots Before – In the Great Depression
In economics the zombies are with with us year-around, not just at Halloween. Thanks to ACEMAXX-ANALYTICS for the graphic. And thanks also to John Quiggin (who also writes at CrookedTimber) for authoring the book Zombie Economics, a must read for understanding how current "mainstream" economics got so far off track from reality.
On the heels of yesterday's post about student loans and their growth. I want you to know that Wall Street is hot on the problem. They've made a quiet proposal to the "supercommittee" that's supposedly addressing government deficits to have the government subsidize the banks via fees without creating any more student loans or taking … Continue reading Banks Want to Do To Student Loans What They Did to Mortgages
Student loans are gradually becoming a crisis. At the macro level, student loans are the only sector of consumer finance that is growing since the recession began 3 years ago. Federal student loans outstanding now total more than $1 trillion. That's more than total credit card debt. From Mybudget360.com: Student loan debt only segment of … Continue reading Student Loans and the Building Crisis
I've already mentioned my initial thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street movement (#OWS). Here's some snippets from a couple of others with some interesting insights. First, historian William Hogeland writes at his blog Hysteriography. He notes how the #OWS movement is a deeply American movement. It has roots in the American revolutionary period as much … Continue reading Some Other Interesting Perspectives on OccupyWallStreet
There are many reasons why costs in higher education have been rising faster than inflation for many decades. A fundamental reason is because education is so labor-intensive and (so far) has been resistant to improved productivity via capital investment or technology. This is called Baumol's Cost Disease. But there are other reasons too. One is … Continue reading Oligopoly and the Costs of Higher Education – Journals Edition
One area I haven't commented on much is the ongoing European "debt crisis". The Greek debt crisis is a part of it, but it's only the tip of the iceberg. The roots are much deeper. One reason I haven't commented is because it's fairly complex and requires a lot of background explanation which I haven't … Continue reading Warning: More Bank Bailouts Possible
Power and riches go together. But nowadays, they need political spin. Throughout history the very rich have usually also been the very powerful. And usually the very rich use that power to both protect themselves from the less well-off and to figure out ways to further enrich themselves. Often the enrichment comes at the expense … Continue reading The Fraudulent Flat Tax Pitch – A Rich and Powerful Tactic
In the constantly churning pool of Republican Presidential candidates, a seemingly political newcomer has risen to the top (for now): Herman Cain. Mr. Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza where he engineered a leveraged buy-out from Pillsbury, isn't really a political newcomer or outsider, though. He only appears to be because he personally has … Continue reading Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan and the 99%
The OccupyWallStreet movement has helped push the meme of the "99%". But to what are they referring? And what's the remaining 1%? The 99% reference refers to income distribution in the U.S. Income distribution is when we line up all the households in order according to their income from lowest to highest. Obviously with somewhere … Continue reading What’s the 99%, the 1%, and the 53% All About?