I finally went on spring break as in “I actually got away from work and stuff”. We took our first cruise. For a social and institutional economist with a critical bent that just loves to observe people and capitalism in the wild, let’s just say that a cruise offers a target rich environment. I’ll have … Continue reading That’s No Plagiarism Checker
Like most great conflagrations, it began as a small exchange that touched on a vital point. At OER17 a couple of weeks ago a suggestion appeared via Twitter that DS106 (the pioneering online course, not the NETGEAR router) wasn’t/isn’t really “open” since it wasn’t based on true OER (Open Educational Resources. Exception was taken. The ensuing discussion has … Continue reading What’s Open? Are OER Necessary?
Publishers of digital media, be it music, movies, or software, have long argued that it’s a legal and moral problem. The reasons, they claim, that unauthorized copies (I refuse to call them illegal or pirate) exist is because either organized criminals are stealing their “intellectual property”, or people are too stupid or immoral to respect … Continue reading “Piracy” Is the Result of Market Failures
Well sorry to all for the two-week absence, but I’m back from being on the road and all the end-of-semester stuff the school requires. There’s a myth that’s pushed and carefully nurtured by corporate executives and conservatives. It’s the image that “private enterprise” lives and dies by the market and that the profit motive is … Continue reading Corporate Entitlements: Music Edition
I’m not the most regular blogger. I really do strive to post daily, it often doesn’t work out. Sometimes my schedule pinched. Other times, health issues get in the way (ever try to write with a toothache?). But then there are times when the news makes me so angry I can’t find civil words that … Continue reading Occupy Wall Street Meets Fahrenheit 451 – Whose Property Rights?
Institutions and laws matter for economic development. It is very clear from economic history that protection for property rights is necessary for industrialization and growth. But that was always about property rights in land and physical stuff. In the 1960’s the phrase “intellectual property rights” was created, and many people have just assumed that protecting … Continue reading Do Copyrights Slow Growth?
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
From the Wall Street Journal: Bring Back the Robber Barons . I think I’ll pass. I mean why stop with the robber barons? Why not go all the way back to feudalism where most workers are the personal property of some monied rich baron who’s buddy-buddy with the king? From Maxine Udall (girl Economist): Bring … Continue reading Interesting and Good Stuff from This Week
I’m cross-posting the following with permission from New Deal 2.0. This should be of particular interest to students of American history. Our current struggles and political battles over the relative power and influence of banks and the monied class vs. ordinary citizens, workers, and small businesses, most of whom are dependent on sources of financial … Continue reading Bankers vs. Democratic Finance at The Constitutional Convention
Well, actually it likely wouldn’t save the whales. But, abolishing patents would likely re-invigorate the economy, revive competition, lower costs (particularly healthcare costs), and speed up innovation. Levine and Boldrin help lay out the case against patents in this piece. An excerpt ( I recommend following the link): Abolishing so-called intellectual “property” (IP) won’t solve … Continue reading Save the Whales! Abolish Patents!