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Did Canada’s Middle Class Just Get More Affluent Than the US?

April 27th, 2014
in Op Ed

Or Did That Happen a Long Time Ago?

by Joseph M. Firestone, New Economic Perspectives

The New York Times and Dave Leonhardt's Upshot section made a big splash a few days ago by reporting on a study showing that the Canadian middle class had caught the US middle class in median income and likely surpassed it since. The study is based on an effort to measure median income per capita after taxes, and its results are presented as something truly significant.

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Our Oligarchs Can Thank James Madison

April 26th, 2014
in Op Ed, syndication

by Ryan W. McMaken, Mises.org

A recent study from Princeton and Northwestern concluded that the United States is an “oligarchy” ruled by a small group of wealthy elites and interest groups.

According to authors Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page:

The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.

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The Alienation of Work

April 26th, 2014
in Op Ed

by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds

The emerging economy is opening up new ways to reconnect workers to their work and the profits from their work.

One of the most striking blind spots in our collective angst over the lack of jobs is our apparent disinterest in the nature of work and how work creates value. This disinterest is reflected in a number of conventional assumptions.

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Watch Corporations Strip-Mine their Future (and Ours)

April 25th, 2014
in Op Ed

by Fabius Maximus, FabiusMaximus.com

Summary: Al Qaeda (Bin Laden's organization, if it still exists in meaningful form) is a threat to America. A greater threat are our CEO's, some of whom who have discovered discovered a formula to vast personal wealth: leverage the company up (borrow), use those funds to buy back stock (boosting earnings per share), cut capital expenditures (capex) to boost short-term profits, pay most of the profits in dividends - all of which disguises massive payouts to senior managers (via salary, benefits, pensions, golden parachutes, grants of stock and stock options, etc). They're strip-mining away America's future. Slowly people begin to fit these pieces together. Today we help you to do so.

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Economics, Education and Unlearning

April 25th, 2014
in Op Ed

by Dirk Ehnts, Econoblog101

The Post-Crash Economics Society (PCES) has published its 'compelling analysis of the failings in economics education and set out a road map for reform.' The forword is written by Andrew Haldane, who is executive director for financial stability at the Bank of England. I agree with most of it, but think that some parts are worthy of being discussed in more detail. Often, it is exactly those discussions that we do not have that are the most interesting. Blogs are a great way to at least leave a record for those interested in controversies of the time. Let me discuss two points raised in the forword, which spins around the work of Adam Smith.

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