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Dan Crawford

Dan Crawford

aka Rdan owns, designs, moderates, and manages Angry Bear since 2007. Dan is the fourth ‘owner’.

Articles by Dan Crawford

Gentrification

1 day ago

By Peter Dorman (originally published at Econospeak)
Gentrification
This is the bane of urban development, right? Old housing stock, built for yesterday’s working class, is spiffed up and priced far out of reach of today’s regular folk. High end shops replace hardware stores, bric-a-brac recyclers and appliance repair centers; a tide of designer coffee flushes out the cheap, refillable kind. Who can afford to live there?
But wait! Those refurbished old houses are beautiful. It’s a pleasure to peruse delicate artisanal fabrics and custom-designed furniture. The food is fresher, healthier and tastier. And what’s the alternative—to put a blanket over everything old and keep out all improvements? Is gentrification even a problem?
It is. It’s wrong if whole

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Insanely Concentrated Wealth Is Strangling Our Prosperity

2 days ago

Dan here…Angry Bear Steve Roth’s clear and thorough writing continues…please go to the original for more graphs…I could not include the largest in the Angry Bear format in its proper place.  Go straight to read more to view the whole post….
By Steve Roth (originally published at Evonomics)
Insanely Concentrated Wealth Is Strangling Our Prosperity
Remember Smaug the dragon, in The Hobbit? He hoarded up a vast pile of wealth, and then he just hung out in his cave, sitting on it (with occasional forays to further pillage and immolate the local populace).
That’s what you should think of when you consider the mind-boggling hoards of wealth that the very rich have amassed in America over the last forty years. The picture at right only shows the very tippy-top of

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Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Limited Art of Interpretation

4 days ago

By Peter Dorman (originally published at Econospeak)
Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Limited Art of Interpretation

Among the least persuasive writers on contemporary politics, for me, is Ta-Nehisi Coates.  Mind you, I often agree with him, but only because I agreed with him before reading him.  If I go into a piece of his with a different perspective, nothing he says has an effect on me.
Now, if I were intellectually stubborn, the sort of person who rarely changes his mind, that would be a statement about me, not Coates.  In fact, I’m always changing my mind.  Nearly every day my views are shifting, sometimes only slightly, sometimes a lot.  When I go back and read what I wrote several years ago, my first instinct is to grab an editor’s pen.  Maybe I’m too

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Carbon Gridlock Redux in Washington State

6 days ago

ByPeter Dorman (originally published at Econospeak)
Carbon Gridlock Redux in Washington State

A year ago—it already seems like another era—an initiative to set up a carbon tax in Washington State, I-732, was defeated by the voters.  The proposal was to use the money for tax reductions in accordance with the standard economic view that taxing “bads” rather than goods generates a double dividend.  I disagree with that (I think the deadweight loss case against taxes is weak), but I agree that carbon prices operate like a sales tax and are regressive, so it’s a good idea to return the money according to an egalitarian formula, preferably equal rebates per person.
But most of the political left sees it differently.  When they look at carbon pricing they see a

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Social justice activism in your own backyards?

7 days ago

By Peter Dorman (originally published at Econospeak)
Another Year of Equity at Evergreen

The following email was forwarded to me and many other Evergreen faculty:
On [date deleted], students, staff and faculty of The Evergreen State College will hold a Re-Convocation Rally on Red Square to express and affirm their commitment to goals of equity, inclusion and success for all in pursuit of higher education. The rally is organized by Staff and Faculty Acting for Equity, a group that works in partnership with Evergreen students. Rally organizers stated that the “focus will be on healing from the events of last spring and celebrating our collective cultural wealth as the Evergreen community.” Evergreen community members and friends are invited to participate

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Does Single Payer Pay for Itself?

7 days ago

By ProGrowthLiberal (originally published at Econospeak)
Does Single Payer Pay for Itself?
Was this the message of the title of the latest from Dean Baker:
The economies of a single system can be viewed as analogous to the Social Security system, which has administrative costs that are less than 1/20th as much as privatized systems in places like Chile and the United Kingdom. The analogous institution in the health-care sector is of course Medicare, which has administrative costs of less than 2 percent of benefits in the traditional fee-for-service portion of the program, roughly a tenth the cost for private insurers.
I will agree that the 20% gross margins received by the health insurance companies are obscene. This margin breaks down into a 14% operating

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On The Relationship Between Wahhabism And Salafism

9 days ago

On The Relationship Between Wahhabism And Salafism

I apologize if this seems an esoteric topic, but it is one that seems to be a matter of seriously contentious dispute, as well as one that Iis relevant to various controversies and issues in the Middle East now. It is triggered by the biggest argument I have ever had with Juan Cole, whom I usually agree with, and indeed I agree with the vast majority of his recent post http://juancole.com/2017/09/saudi-arabia-improve.html that advises Saudi Arabia on how they can make themselves look better to the rest of the world, which includes such obvious items as allowing women to drive (the last of 7).
My disagreement with him was over a line just dropped incidentally that he would later defend ardently, that the

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2.5 cheers for 2016’s new high in real median income!

9 days ago

Given that I consider jobs and wages for average Americans my #1 focus, it’s only fair that I write about this week’s release of the real median household income for 2016, don’t you think?

A few years ago I wrote that real median household income was the most misused statistic in the entire econoblogosphere.  That’s because:

it is NOT a measure of real wages.  It includes all income — things like pensions, dividends, and social security.
it includes ALL households, not just those headed by workers. A household of full time students is included.  Your 85 year old grandparents are included. A household where one or more persons is unemployed is included.  A household where one spouse stays home to raise the children is included.
it is subject to

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Why a Case Against a Dark Money Charter School Group Is Great News for Democracy

11 days ago

Via Alternet:
Why a Case Against a Dark Money Charter School Group Is Great News for Democracy
Billionaire charter school backers in Massachusetts wanted their identities kept secret. In one of the most important decisions ever about dark money in politics, a Massachusetts charter school advocacy group has been ordered to make the names of its donors public, and pay the largest campaign finance fine in state history. The case is likely to reverberate across the nation.
This week, the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) exposed the charter school advocacy group Families for Excellent Schools, not as the education reform group of its own masquerade, but as a dark money front designed to hide millions in contributions from

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Deficits Do Matter, But Not the Way You Think

12 days ago

Dan here…a reminder about our federal deficit.
Deficits Do Matter, But Not the Way You Think
07.20.10    Roosevelt institute  L. Randall Wray
In recent months, a form of mass hysteria has swept the country as fear of “unsustainable” budget deficits replaced the earlier concern about the financial crisis, job loss, and collapsing home prices. What is most troubling is that this shift in focus comes even as the government’s stimulus package winds down and as its temporary hires for the census are let go. Worse, the economy is still — likely — years away from a full recovery. To be sure, at least some of the hysteria has been manufactured by Pete Peterson’s well-funded public relations campaign, fronted by President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal

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Price Gouging

13 days ago

By Peter Dorman  (originally published at Econospeak)
Price Gouging
Whenever there’s a natural disaster, a famine or some other such crisis, people zero in on price gouging.  Are grain merchants jacking up prices to take advantage of a food shortage?  What about airlines raising fares to cash in on desperate attempts to flee an impending hurricane, or stores that double or triple the price on bottled water?  And generators that suddenly only the rich can afford?
Most think this type of exploitation is unjust and even wicked, but Econ 101 says the opposite: it’s a rational, socially desirably market response to a change in supply and demand.  Higher prices for goods made scarce and valuable by a disaster encourage both more provision and greater care in

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Who owns the Wealth in Tax Havens?

14 days ago

WHO OWNS THE WEALTH IN TAX HAVENS?, an NBER working paper, points to following the money:
Drawing on newly published macroeconomic statistics, this paper estimates the amount of household wealth owned by each country in offshore tax havens. The equivalent of 10% of world GDP is held in tax havens globally, but this average masks a great deal of heterogeneity—from a few percent of GDP in Scandinavia, to about 15% in Continental Europe, and 60% in Gulf countries and some Latin American economies. We use these estimates to construct revised seriesof top wealth shares in ten countries, which account for close to half of world GDP. Because offshore wealth is very concentrated at the top, accounting for it increases the top 0.01% wealth share substantially in

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“If you tax investment income what will people do? Stuff their money in the mattress?”

14 days ago

“If you tax investment income what will people do? Stuff their money in the mattress?”
Steve Roth | October 15, 2012 9:25 pm
Richard Thaler asks exactly the right question. This from the latest IGM Forum poll of big-name economists, on the effects of taxing income from “capital.”
I’ve been over this multiple times before, but it’s nice to see the thinking validated by a real economist. If you’ve got money, there is no (practicable) alternative to “investing” it. (Those are irony quotes: referring to “buying financial assets,” as opposed to “buying/creating real [fixed] assets,” which is the technical meaning of “investing” in national-account-speak.)
Or actually — there is one alternative to “investing” your money: spending it.
Are the neoclassicals really

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It’s a hoax says Limbaugh

17 days ago

Think Progress reports:
Limbaugh did not recant his earlier statements about Irma, and he did not encourage his listeners in the area to evacuate. In fact, Limbaugh seemed to even double down on his earlier views.
“The views expressed by the host of this program [are] documented to be almost always right 99.8 percent of the time,” Limbaugh said right before announcing he would be leaving South Florida for parts unknown. “There is a reason for that because we engage in a relentless and unstoppable pursuit of the truth and we find and proclaim it and that happens to drive people crazy.”
On his show Tuesday, Limbaugh said he was reading the paths of the hurricane and was certain it would curve into the Atlantic, and even if it did so, Limbaugh said “official”

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Why Economists Don’t Know How to Think about Wealth (or Profits)

18 days ago

By Steve Roth (originally published at Evonomics 2016)
Why Economists Don’t Know How to Think about Wealth (or Profits)
Until 2006, they quite literally weren’t playing with a full (accounting) deck. Most still aren’t.
By Steve Roth
In the next evolution of economics taking shape around us and among us, perhaps no school has been so transformational over recent decades as a loose, worldwide group best described as “accounting-based” economists. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), with its central tenet of “stock-flow consistency” (or stock-flow coherence) is at the center and forefront of this group.
These accounting-based economists more than any others managed to accurately predict our recent Global Great Whatever. And Wynne Godley, rather the pater familias

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Trump and International Finance

19 days ago

By Joseph Joyce
Trump and International Finance
International trade and immigration were flashpoints of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and in his first year he has shown that he intends to fulfill his promises to slow down the movements of goods and people. Last month negotiations over NAFTA began with Canada and Mexico, with the U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer announcing that current bilateral deficits “can’t continue.” The President threatened to shut down the government if Congress does not approve the funding for a wall with Mexico—a threat that seems to have been retracted in view of the need to approve funding for relief funds to Texas. But another aspect of globalization—international financial flows—seems to have escaped the

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The single most important fact this Labor Day

20 days ago

(Dan here…lifted from Bonddadd blog; better a little late than miss it)
by New Deal democrat
The single most important fact this Labor Day
On Labor Day, highlighting the single most important secular problem in the US economy:

If there is a silver lining, it is that the hemorrhaging has stopped since the end of the last recession.
But we are long past the point where we need another corporate tax cut. We desperately need to increase Labor’s share of our $17 Trillion economy.
Happy Labor Day!

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Trump Labor Policy

22 days ago

Trump Labor Policy  by Noam Scheiber via NYT:
In June, Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of two prominent Obama administration guidances — documents that do not change the law but indicate how a department interprets it and can influence employers.
The first had clarified when a worker could be classified as an independent business operator as opposed to an employee, who is covered by protections like the minimum wage and overtime pay. The Obama approach suggested that many so-called gig-economy companies were improperly treating workers as independent contractors when in fact they were largely dependent on the companies for their livelihood.

The second guidance had laid out when a company could be considered a so-called joint

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A New Type of Labor Law for a New Type of Worker

22 days ago

Via the New York Times, William E. Forbath and Brishen Rogers write an op ed for Labor Day:
A New Type of Labor Law for a New Type of Worker
Labor Day was born in the late 19th century, during a time of raw fear about the path of economic development. Opportunities for decent, middle-class livelihoods seemed to be shrinking, and the “laboring classes” confronted a grim future of what many called wage slavery. Conservatives held most of the seats of power, but reform-minded politicians, activists and policy mavens were thinking big about labor’s rights and wrongs.

We can’t hope to build a more equitable economy unless working people have strong organizations of their own. During and after the New Deal, unions were essential to forging a broad new middle

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Warranted behaviors

23 days ago

Much of the coverage of this incident at a hospital in Utah write of ‘recent changes’ in the law concerning drawing blood, but that, as far as I can tell, was a year ago. Is that a recent change? Certainly not changed by an obscure agency or executive order.
Perhaps this kind of optic will help drive home the need for a less fear based police protocols, or even explaining why the need is there in this situation. It also appears to present distinct feelings of helplessness in many of the players, and with hospital staff knowing the culture of exacting HIPA rules.  Since it is emotions that often drive concern, is this a useful optic and in what way? It certainly impacted nurses that I know.
ABA Journal June 23, 2016
States may not prosecute suspected

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Protecting groundwater and reducing pollution in India

23 days ago

By David Zetland (originally published at Aguanomics)
Protecting groundwater and reducing pollution in India
KA writes:
In developing countries which there is a constant struggle between farmers and utilities over water allocation, most of implemented policies are based on punishment. For example, quotas are assigned to each farmer and if he goes over his quota he will face a sort of a punishment. With this setup, if famers find a way not to be caught they will be the winner and they can take water as much as they want. Nobody makes money by saving water and the one acting responsibly in their consumption will be victims; because the others are being awarded by screwing the system. I strongly believe unless we find a mechanism in which people make money by

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Lead poisoning, gasoline lobbies and crime

24 days ago

By David Zetland (originally published at Aguanomics)
Lead poisoning, gasoline lobbies and crime
Most of you have probably heard how the residents of Flint, Michigan were exposed to unhealthy levels of lead in their water (actually, any level is considered unhealthy) due to political and managerial incompetence.*
Then I read this article on the “lead-poisoned generations of New Orleans,” which pointed out two things. First, there’s a very heavy correlation between lead poisoning and poverty, i.e., the poor are exposed to more lead in their air, water and earth than the rich due to where they live, the jobs they work, their lack of access to public health clinics, and their relative lack of political power.
That article linked to another, fascinating one

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So what now, America?

25 days ago

By David Zetland (originally published at Aguanomics)
So what now, America?
I was going to call this post “I told you so, America,” but I want to change people’s perspectives and motivate action more than be right.
First of all, let’s all agree that the flood damages to Houston were worse due to poor planning that paved wetlands and allowed the city to sprawl into flood plains.
Second, subsidized flood insurance (or the lack of a requirement for insurance) means that many people fail to consider the risk of flooding when choosing where to live. (Me complaining about this 10 years ago, an update 5 years ago, and my student this year.)
Third, climate change means that many models and assumptions are wrong. Houston has experienced three “500-year storms” in

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