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EconoSpeak

The Econospeak blog, which succeeded MaxSpeak (co-founded by Barkley Rosser, a Professor of Economics at James Madison University and Max Sawicky, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute) is a multi-author blog . Self-described as “annals of the economically incorrect”, this frequently updated blog analyzes daily news from an economic perspective, but requires a strong economics background.

What Does Vaccine Effectiveness Mean?

 When technical specialists adopt an everyday word, they often give it a meaning that differs from its everyday use.  This can be misleading for nonspecialists, especially when little effort is made to explain the difference.  A well known example is “significance”, which means one thing when used in statistical work and another when it just denotes whether something is important.Let’s look at another example, vaccine “effectiveness”.  What do people most want to know about the coronavirus...

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K-12 Schools Opening In July

I long knew it was coming, but it has arrived.  I learned of this because some have closed due to heat and or the pandemic surging, K-12 schools.  This happened in Arizona.  They opened in July.  Really.  People in those districts may think this is fine, but I am horrified.  I view this as a situation where a frog has been in a pot of increasingly hot water that has now boiled, almost literatlly given some of these schools having to close temporarily due to extreme summer heat. What were...

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Socially Ambivalent Labour Time VII: Capital volume 1, chapters one and three.

Afterword to the Second German Edition [of Das Kapital, Buch 1] (1873):I must start by informing the readers of the first edition about the alterations made in the second edition. One is struck at once by the clearer arrangement of the book. Additional notes are everywhere marked as notes to the second edition. The following are the most important points with regard to the text itself:In Chapter I, Section 1, the derivation of value from an analysis of the equations by which every...

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Has The Arab Spring Finally Come To A Full End?

 Arguably the Arab Spring ended a long time ago.  It was after all, Spring 2011, to be precise in terms of when the spring was.  It had arguably started a bit earlier, in December 2010 when an informal street vendor in Tunisia set fire to himself and died as a result of unhappiness over corrupt authorities demanding bribes from him he could not pay.  This led to massive demonstrations against the super corrupt and dictatorial regime of Tunisian President Ben Ali. This led soon after to him...

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Why Did Trump Initially Support The Saudi-UAE Effort To Overthrow Qatar’s Government?

 One of the more curious things in 2017 in the first year of the Trump presidency was how when Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) placed a boycott on Qatar and more directly attempted to overthrow the government of Qatar, President Trump openly supported this effort initiallly.  He would later be pulled back from this position his first Secretary of Defense and that of State also after they noted that Qatar hosts the largest US air base in the Middle East, al-Udeid, from which...

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The Ambivalence of Verfügbare Zeit

Back in December I posted an excerpt from the Grundrisse, Reichtum ist verfügbare Zeit und nichts weiter, without noticing that in it was a prototype for Marx's concept of socially necessary labour time (Gesellschaftlich notwendige Arbeitzeit): Die Schöpfung von viel disposable time außer der notwendigen Arbeitszeit für die Gesellschaft überhaupt und jedes Glied derselben (d.h. Raum für die Entwicklung der vollen Produktivkräfte der einzelnen, daher auch der Gesellschaft), diese Schöpfung...

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The Vaccination/Infection/Political Divergence Where I Am

 In Virginia, cities and counties are separate, not one containing the other as in most of the US. So I live in the City of Harrisonburg, population about 53,000, which is surrounded by Rockingham County, population about 82,000, both in the Shenandoah Valley about 120 miles southwest of Washington.In the past Harrisonburg, which contains James Madison University, tended to politically almost perfectly mirror statewide voting outcomes.  However, since 2008 essentially it has become solidly...

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Socially Ambivalent Labour Time VI: TSV part 3, chapter 21: “Our pamphleteer overlooks two things”

Although Marx discussed socially necessary labour time in chapters 4, 8, 9, 16, 17, and 20, he didn't mention it in chapter 21 where he discussed the 1821 pamphlet, The Source and Remedy of the National Difficulties by Charles Wentworth Dilke. Marx's reticence here is notable if only for the fact that the pamphlet proposed a method for calculating a sort of socially necessary labour time.Dilke's method differed fundamentally from Marx's in that Dilke focused on consumption rather than the...

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Bad News About Iran And Nuclear Deal

 In yesterday's Washington Post it was reported that there will be no further negotiations between the US and Iran (and other parties) in Vienna over the US and Iran rejoining the JCPOA nuclear agreement that Iran had been adhering to when Donald Trump withdrew the US from it in 2018, then reimposing economic sanctions on Iran, with Iran then starting to violate the agreement in various ways starting a year later.  President Biden had promised to rejoin the agreement as part of his campaign,...

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