Tag Archives: United States

Causes of poverty: perceptions, ideas and policy making

The former chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke recently said the “the greatest forces in Washington are ideas, and people prepared to act on those ideas.” (2013: 5). The following research demonstrates this power of ideas. Much of the research explaining … Continue reading

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What is academic freedom?

“The most important aspect of freedom of speech is freedom to learn. All education is a continuous dialogue — questions and answers that pursue every problem on the horizon. That is the essence of academic freedom, of all scientific inquiry.“ … Continue reading

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Credit makes you free! Neoliberalism, politics of debt and the subjugation of the working poor

Under the rubric of ‘financial inclusion’, lending to the poor – in both the global North and global South – has become a highly lucrative and rapidly expanding industry since the 1990s. A key inquiry of Susanne Soederberg’s penetrating and … Continue reading

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Religion, “free trade” and faithful globalization: producing a sacred vision of the economy

Religious leaders and groups can play a crucial role in economic and political life through their discourse; such discourse is a central way that they produce the sacred in the economic realm. This is true across a range of religious … Continue reading

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The original email that started Occupy Wall Street

On September 17, 2011 thousands of women and men gathered in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City’s Wall Street financial district.  It was a day when Occupy Wall Street (#OccupyWallStreet) movement was publicly born, gradually receiving global attention and spawning the … Continue reading

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History of Profit in the US: Corporations, Accounting and Capital

The case of The United Steel Workers of America v. The United States Steel Corporation (1980) concerned the closing of two steel mills in Ohio. The steelworkers claimed U.S. Steel had promised to keep the two mills open so long … Continue reading

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Putting a human face on ‪statistics: unemployed‬ ‪women‬ in the public ‪workforce‬ system

An ethnographic sociologist Mary Gatta (Rutgers University) went undercover, posing as a client in a New Jersey One-Stop Career Center which is supposed to be an unemployed worker’s go-to resource on the way to re-employment. Weaving together her own account … Continue reading

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How slavery shaped the market economy and abolitionism gave rise to ideals of human rights?

For over three centuries enslavement promoted the rise of capitalism in the Atlantic world, but study of slavery as a pivotal force in western ascendancy and dominance is still mostly neglected. In The American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights, … Continue reading

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In economic policymaking ideas matter. But how and whose? Campbell and Pedersen have insightful answers

John Maynard Keynes has famously said: “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood.” In politics, policymaking and in the economy, ideas matter indeed. … Continue reading

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Racism is more than individual prejudice. It’s about power, capitalism and class struggle

Racism is about more than individual prejudice. It relies on the interests of those who have the real power in society and the economy, and use every possible means to hold onto it. It’s about capitalism and class struggle. This … Continue reading

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Corporate central planning and American industrialization

The Rise of Planning in Industrial America, 1865-1914 shows that the giant corporations that dominated the American economy through the 20th century were, first and foremost, unprecedented examples of successful, consensual central planning at a very large scale. Richard Adelstein’s … Continue reading

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Between slavery and capitalism: former slaves and slaveholders construct a new model of racial labor market after the Civil War

At the center of the upheavals brought by emancipation in the American South was the economic and social transition from slavery to modern capitalism. In this new book Between Slavery and Capitalism: The Legacy of Emancipation in the American South, Martin … Continue reading

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Who Are the Foreclosed? A portrait of Americans displaced by the mortgage foreclosure crisis

Based on data from the National Suburban Survey from September 2010, Christopher Niedta & Isaac William Martin found that the person who has experienced home mortgage foreclosure since September 2007 resembles the average American but is somewhat likely to be … Continue reading

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Inequality is not just about money. Inequality is literally a killing field.

Inequality is a socio-cultural order which reduces our capabilities to function as human beings, our health, our dignity, our sense of self, as well as our resources to act and participate in the world— argues Göran Therborn (University of Cambridge) … Continue reading

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Union Strength, Neoliberalism, and Income Inequality in the US since 1950

Do historically contingent political accounts help explain the growth in family income inequality in the United States? In an interesting paper “Union Strength, Neoliberalism, and Inequality: Contingent Political Analyses of U.S. Income Differences since 1950” published in American Sociological Review, David … Continue reading

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