falling living standards

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pages: 388 words: 125,472

The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones

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anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, G4S, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, housing crisis, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, James Dyson, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Neil Kinnock, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, popular capitalism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing, union organizing, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent

But there remains little sense of guilt or shame within the City. Siddarth sums up the general mentality: ‘I think the City is a convenient whipping boy, because everybody loves having a scapegoat,’ he says. ‘Everybody was more than happy to get a zero per cent interest rate on their credit card, everybody’s happy to spend, consume, and spend money that ultimately they don’t have.’ In truth, workers who had been experiencing real-term falls in their living standards long before the crash had been forced to top up their increasingly meagre income with cheap credit. In the City, you risked ridicule for even mentioning the impact of austerity on people’s lives. ‘If I started talking to people about cuts, I would be a figure of fun,’ says former City trader Darren. ‘If you tried to bring up anything like that to someone, you would be dismissed, shouted down, or ignored.

‘But I think now that it’s only purpose is to serve itself.’ Modern capitalism has become completely ‘financialized’, as Professor Costas Lapavitsas puts it. Modern businesses themselves indulge independently in financial speculation with their retained earnings, or the money that is not distributed to shareholders. Households are ever more dependent, too, as the growth of home ownership and the dependence on credit to top up falling living standards lands them in debt. The modern Establishment has been financialized to an unprecedented degree. Above all, the financial sector is a threat to British democracy. Governments have surrendered their economic powers, whether it be through the abandonment of exchange controls or the promotion of deregulation. Through lobbying, political donations and the concentration of so many former City figures at the heart of power, the financial sector wields formidable clout.

We should levy restrictions on foreign ownership of residential property, deflating potentially economically crippling housing bubbles that price Britons out of the market.6 Above all, this would shift economic sovereignty from corporate interests to elected governments, representing a sizeable blow to the Establishment’s position. A democratic revolution would have redistribution of wealth at its very heart. The bank accounts of the wealthy continue to boom, even as the recession causes a fall in living standards. This is not just manifestly unjust; it also represents a huge pile of cash that is not being invested and could be put to productive use. Money is being hoarded when it could be invested and put to social use. And while the poorest 10 per cent pay 43 per cent of their income in taxes, the richest 10 per cent pay just 35 per cent – surely an indefensible state of affairs from any rational perspective.7 More prosperous European countries, such as Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands and Belgium, have significantly higher top rates.


pages: 222 words: 75,561

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier

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air freight, Asian financial crisis, Bob Geldof, British Empire, Doha Development Round, failed state, falling living standards, income inequality, mass immigration, out of africa, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, trade liberalization, zero-sum game

Although the reforms were modest, they were remarkably successful: output grew more rapidly than at any time during the oil boom. But these few percentage points of growth in non-oil output were completely swamped by the fall in the value of oil and the switch from borrowing to repayment, with the consequent contraction in expenditure. The reform-induced growth only helped slightly to offset the misery of falling living standards. That is what happened, but it is not what Nigerians think happened. Unsurprisingly, Nigerians think that the terrible increase in poverty they experienced was caused by the economic reforms that were so loudly trumpeted. Until reform, life was getting better; then along came reform, and poverty soared. Given that belief, Nigerians go on to ask the obvious question: why did we undergo such devastating “reform”?


pages: 212 words: 80,393

Getting By: Estates, Class and Culture in Austerity Britain by Lisa McKenzie

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British Empire, call centre, credit crunch, delayed gratification, falling living standards, financial exclusion, full employment, income inequality, low skilled workers, moral panic, New Urbanism, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, unpaid internship, urban renewal, working poor

The government’s own figures in 2010 estimated there were one million more people living in ‘severe poverty’ (defined as earning 40 per cent of the average national wage) than in 1997 (CSJ, 2006). This has risen significantly since the austerity measures started to have an impact on communities after the 2010 General Election. In 2013 the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) published a report revealing that in the first full year of the coalition government, 300,000 more children faced a real fall in living standards that had pushed them into dire levels of poverty (Cribb et al, 2013). The entire increase is from homes where parents are working – there are now 2.4 million children in working households living in severe poverty. And on top of the 300,000 extra young people living below the breadline, half-a-million working-age adults have fallen into the extreme poverty bracket, along with an additional 100,000 pensioners (Cribb et al, 2013).

By 2014 – in the aftermath of the weakest economic recovery since the Victorian era – the Conservative-led coalition government was lauding the return of economic growth as vindication of its assault on public spending. But while it certainly was boom time for the rich – the Sunday Times Rich List recorded a doubling of the wealth of the richest 1,000 Britons between 2009 and 2014 – working people suffered the longest fall in living standards in well over a century. Disabled people faced the slashing of benefits, and the indignity and stress of appealing to win back their desperately needed support; workers enduring plummeting pay packets had their in-work benefits cut in real-terms; while no private pensions, no paid leave or no set hours became the reality for workers driven into zero-hour contracts or bogus self-employment.


pages: 364 words: 99,613

Servant Economy: Where America's Elite Is Sending the Middle Class by Jeff Faux

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back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working poor, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

For all of the progress in sexual equality, the male self-image is still more closely tied to the position of breadwinner. Men are bombarded with macho cultural icons: the athletes, the swaggering Wall Street speculators, and the gunslingers of interactive electronic games. Men have to earn a living, so most will work at whatever they have to, but by and large they will not like it. The surrounding culture will relentlessly push back the shame and ache of falling living standards back on the individual. The pronouncements from TVs, classrooms, and pulpits will continue to hammer home the message that people are responsible for their own fate. Self-help books, videos, and guest lecturers will promise that you can beat the odds if only you submit to the Seven Principles, the Five Steps, or the Ten Tenets of Success. People will be told that they should smile when what they really want to do is cry or hit someone, or they’ll be advised to ignore the abusive boss and swallow their pride.


pages: 464 words: 121,983

Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe by Antony Loewenstein

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, Corrections Corporation of America, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Julian Assange, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, private military company, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Scramble for Africa, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, the medium is the message, trade liberalization, WikiLeaks

The New Economics Foundation found in 2013 that Britain had recently seen the biggest drop in living standards since the Victorian era, most severely affecting public sector workers and women.29 The bald facts of this austerity craze were enough to indicate that something was horribly wrong with modern politics. British prime minister David Cameron felt the need, in 2013, after years of austerity and falling living standards, to teach schoolchildren about the glories of capitalism—which seemed like a defensive impulse. It was vital, he said, to celebrate a culture “that values that typically British, entrepreneurial, buccaneering spirit.”30 Multinational corporations spent the twentieth century gradually reducing their obligations in the various jurisdictions in which they operated. When national and international laws became obsolete or could be circumvented, the relationship between the company, the state, and the public changed irrevocably.

So dreams can unfurl.” 25Andrew Hill and Gill Plimmer, “G4S: The Inside Story,” Financial Times, November 14, 2013. 26“The Shadow State: A Report about Outsourcing of Public Services,” Social Enterprise UK, December 2012, at socialenterprise.org.uk. 27Larry Elliott, “Britain’s Five Richest Families Worth More than Poorest 20%,” Guardian, March 17, 2014. 28Paul Krugman, “The Austerity Agenda,” New York Times, May 31, 2012. 29Nigel Morris, “The Poorest Pay the Price of Austerity: Workers Face Biggest Fall in Living Standards since Victorian Era,” Independent, December 9, 2013. 30Tom McTague, “David Cameron Calls for Capitalism Lessons in Schools to Celebrate Profits in the Classroom,” Mirror, November 11, 2013. 31Rajeev Syal and Alan Travis, “Britain’s Immigration System in Chaos, MPs’ Report Reveals,” Guardian, October 29, 2014. 32Randeep Ramesh, “Hundreds of Contracts Signed in ‘Biggest Ever Act of NHS Privatisation,’” Guardian, October 3, 2012. 33Charlie Cooper, “NHS Funding Crisis: Boss Warns of 75 Pounds a Night Charge for Hospital Bed,” Independent, October 7, 2014. 34Benedict Cooper, “The NHS Privatisation Experiment Is Unravelling Before Our Eyes,” New Statesman, January 9, 2015. 35“‘People Will Die’—The End of the NHS.


pages: 331 words: 60,536

The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State by James Dale Davidson, Rees Mogg

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, colonial rule, Columbine, compound rate of return, creative destruction, Danny Hillis, debt deflation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Gilder, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, Kevin Kelly, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, Parkinson's law, pattern recognition, phenotype, price mechanism, profit maximization, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, school vouchers, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, spice trade, statistical model, telepresence, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto

No less an authority than the Wall Street Journal categorically dismissed our analysis as the nattering of "your dopey aunt." This chuckling aside, the themes of The Great Reckoning proved less ludicrous than the guardians of orthodoxy pretended. • We extended our forecast of the death of the Soviet Union, exploring why Russia and the other former Soviet republics faced a future of growing civil disorder4 hyperinflation, and falling living standards. • We explained why the 1 990s would be a decade of downsizing, including for the first time a worldwide downsizing of governments as well as business entities. 16 • • • • • We also forecast that there would be a major redefinition of terms of income redistribution, with sharp cutbacks in the level of benefits. Hints of fiscal crisis appeared from Canada to Sweden, and American politicians began to talk of "ending welfare as we know it."

Therefore, eliminating or sharply reducing the taxes that are negatively compounding against their net worths may not appear to make them much better off-the price of lower taxation is a diminished stream of transfer payments. They will lose income because they will no longer be able to depend upon political compulsion to pick the pockets of persons more productive than themselves. Those without savings who rely upon government to pay their retirement benefits and medical care will in all probability suffer a fall in living standards. This loss of income translates into a depreciation of what financial writer Scott Burns has dubbed "transcendental" or political capital. 88 This "transcendental" or imaginary capital is based not upon the economic ownership of assets but upon the de facto claim to the income stream established by political rules and regulations. For example, the expected income from government transfer programs could be converted into a bond capitalized at prevailing interest rates.


pages: 317 words: 101,475

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones

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Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, deindustrialization, Etonian, facts on the ground, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, pension reform, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, Right to Buy, rising living standards, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working-age population

It would be simplistic to argue a straightforward cause and effect: that unemployment and poverty had provoked the unrest. After all, the vast majority of people who were out of work or poor did not riot. But there are growing numbers of young people in Britain with no secure future to risk. Youth unemployment is running at over 20 per cent. There is a crisis of affordable housing, the biggest cuts since the 1920s, and falling living standards; university tuition fees have trebled and the Educational Maintenance Allowance for students from poor backgrounds has been scrapped. Many young people have been left with very little to hope for. For the first time since the World War II,the next generation will be worse off than the generation before it. of course, we all have agency: we don't all respond to the same situation in the same way.


pages: 323 words: 95,188

The Year That Changed the World: The Untold Story Behind the Fall of the Berlin Wall by Michael Meyer

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Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, BRICs, call centre, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, haute couture, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, union organizing

Nemeth was under no illusions about the depth of Hungary’s crisis, nor why he had been tapped as prime minister. He was being set up. He was to be the communists’ fall guy, the man whom the people would blame when the economy completely crumbled. Grosz and other party leaders feared they could not arrest Hungary’s economic slide—30 percent inflation, the highest per capita foreign debt in Europe, falling living standards and wages. Few Hungarian families could make ends meet without working two or even three jobs. Resentment was growing. So that May, at a fractious party conference, they looked around for a potential scapegoat to become prime minister. Nemeth, then head of the party economics department, was their choice. “I was the innocuous compromise candidate,” he would tell me years later, recounting the story of his surprising rise and expected fall—a man who could be counted on to make no waves.


pages: 354 words: 92,470

Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History by Stephen D. King

9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, air freight, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bilateral investment treaty, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, income per capita, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Long Term Capital Management, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, paradox of thrift, Peace of Westphalia, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Skype, South China Sea, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

London, January 2017 INDEX Abbasids (i), (ii) Abu Bakr (i) Acemoglu, Daron (i) advertising (i) Afghanistan (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Africa (i) China and (i) high levels of ethnic diversity (i) oil, commodities and (i) population percentages (i) ‘scramble for’ (i), (ii) sub-Saharan nations (i), (ii), (iii) trade flows and slavery (i) ageing population (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Agincourt, Battle of (i) Al Qaeda (i), (ii)n2 Alaska (i) Ali (cousin/son-in-law to Prophet Mohammad) (i) Alibaba (i) Allies (Second World War) (i) Almaty (i) Almohads (i) Almoravids (i) Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) (i) Amazon (i) America see United States American Civil War (i), (ii) American dollar (i), (ii) as good as gold (i) global foreign exchange market and (i) peso and (i) premier reserve currency (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) American Dream (i) American Samoa (i) Amin, Idi (i) Amsterdam Treaty (1997) (i), (ii) Anatolia (i) Andalucía (i) Andes (i) Angell, Norman (i), (ii), (iii) Angola (i) ‘animal spirits’ (i) Annecy (i) Apple (i), (ii) Arab nations (i), (ii) Arab Spring (i) Arabic language (i), (ii) Arabs (i), (ii), (iii) Aramaic (i) Arc of Prosperity (i) Argentina (i), (ii), (iii) Armenia (i) ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) (i) Asia see also China and other individual countries 1997/8 crisis (i), (ii), (iii) ageing population (i) balance of payments deficits (i) Central Asia (i), (ii), (iii) Columbus’s belief (i) East Asia (i) emerging market labour (i) events impinging on the West (i) immigrants in America (i) mathematical ability (i) Obama and (i), (ii), (iii) rail connections (i) Russia and (i) Trump and a vacuum (i) Asian Development Bank (i) Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) Asiatic Barred Zone Act (i) al-Assad, Bashar (i), (ii) asylum seekers (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v)n17 see also immigration; refugees Atatürk, Mustafa Kemal (i) Atlantic (i), (ii) Austen, Jane (i) austerity (i), (ii), (iii) Australia ASEAN and (i) Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and (i) average incomes (i) foreign-born share of population (i) Second Gulf War (i) tobacco policy (i) Austria (i), (ii) Austro-Hungarian Empire (i), (ii) Axis (Second World War) (i) Azerbaijan (i) Bagehot, Walter (i) Baghdad (i) Baker, James (III) (i) balance of payments (i) Asian Crisis (i) Latin America (i) Plaza Accord and (i) UK and Suez (i) US (i), (ii) Varoufakis on (i) Balkans (i) Baltic Sea (i), (ii) bancor (i), (ii), (iii) Bangladesh (i) Bank of Credit and Commerce International (i) Bank of England (i), (ii) Bank of Japan (i) bankers (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) see also central banks Barings (i), (ii)n1 Basel I (i) Basel II (i) Basra (i) Battle of Bretton Woods, The (Ben Steil) (i)n4 BBC Two (i) Bedford (i) Beijing (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Belarus (i), (ii) Belgium (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Belt and Road strategy (i), (ii) Benn, Tony (i) Bentham, Jeremy (i) Berbers (i) Bergère, 14 rue (i) Berghof sanatorium (i) Berlin Wall (fall of) asylum seekers after (i) changing times after (i), (ii) Poland goes from strength to strength (i) relative living standards after fall (i) Soviet living standards (i) US military spending and (i) Bernanke, Ben (i) Big Brother (i) Bilderberg Club (i) bin Laden, Osama (i) Bitcoin (i) Black and White Minstrel Show, The (i) Black Death (i) Black Sea (i), (ii), (iii) Blair, Tony (i), (ii), (iii) Blanchard, Olivier (i) Blockchain (i) Blue Feed (i) BMW (i) BNP Paribas (i) Boers (i) Boko Haram (i) Bolsheviks (i) see also communism borders (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) see also cross-border capital flow capital flows see cross-border capital flow EU and (i) globalization and (i) historical accident (i) Mediterranean (i) movement of labour (i), (ii) post-global financial crisis (i), (ii) railways and (i) slowly dissolving (i), (ii) technology and (i), (ii) Triffin Dilemma (i) Boston (i), (ii) Boughton, James M.


pages: 669 words: 150,886

Behind the Berlin Wall: East Germany and the Frontiers of Power by Patrick Major

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, centre right, falling living standards, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, open borders, Post-materialism, post-materialism, refrigerator car, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Sinatra Doctrine

These were all prominent GDR artists—Biermann had been deported in 1976, while Krug and Mueller-Stahl were allowed to leave the following year. ¹⁰⁴ Cited in Madarász, Conflict, 143. ¹⁰⁵ Jena citizens to Volkskammer, 12 July 1983, exhibit in Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, 2001. ¹⁰⁶ Lehmann to Eichler, 3 Jan. 1975, BAB, DA-5/9013. 212 Behind the Berlin Wall mould growing on their furniture.¹⁰⁷ Others attacked falling living standards. In such cases the authorities usually tried to remedy the immediate cause of the aggravation, in the interests of achieving a retraction. Such applications could, it has to be said, range from the sublime to the ridiculous and petitions officers must occasionally have wondered if pranks were being played. One woman’s reason to leave the country was her inability to get central heating fitted.


pages: 497 words: 143,175

Pivotal Decade: How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the Seventies by Judith Stein

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, desegregation, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, income per capita, intermodal, invisible hand, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, post-industrial society, post-oil, price mechanism, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor, Yom Kippur War

In April 1950 the Bureau of the Budget announced: “Foreign economic policies should not be formulated in terms primarily of economic objectives; they must be subordinated to our politico-security objectives and the priorities which the latter involve.”27 Three years later, the National Security Council urged the entry of Japanese goods to the United States to halt “economic deterioration and falling living standards” in Japan that “create fertile ground for communist subversion.”28 The State Department judged that “Japan’s resistance to Soviet-Sino pressures will depend in large measure on whether the free world [is] willing [to] make reasonable place for Japan’s trade.”29 Many believed that American industry was so strong that it would not suffer from unilateral trade measures that drew in imports from Europe and Japan.


pages: 464 words: 116,945

Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism by David Harvey

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, California gold rush, call centre, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, drone strike, end world poverty, falling living standards, fiat currency, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Food sovereignty, Frank Gehry, future of work, global reserve currency, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, peak oil, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wages for housework, Wall-E, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

The fact that the United States could statistically exit the crisis in the summer of 2009 and that stock markets almost everywhere could recover their losses has had everything to do with the policies of the Federal Reserve. Does this portend a global capitalism managed under the dictatorship of the world’s central bankers whose foremost charge is to protect the power of the banks and the plutocrats? If so, then that seems to offer very little prospect for a solution to current problems of stagnant economies and falling living standards for the mass of the world’s population. There is also much chatter about the prospects for a technological fix to the current economic malaise. While the bundling of new technologies and organisational forms has always played an important role in facilitating an exit from crises, it has never played a determinate one. The hopeful focus these days is on a ‘knowledge-based’ capitalism (with biomedical and genetic engineering and artificial intelligence at the forefront).


pages: 525 words: 131,496

Near and Distant Neighbors: A New History of Soviet Intelligence by Jonathan Haslam

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active measures, Albert Einstein, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bolshevik threat, Bretton Woods, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, falling living standards, John von Neumann, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Valery Gerasimov, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, éminence grise

He had finally allowed the imbalance of military power in Europe, which had stood provocatively and overwhelmingly to Soviet advantage since 1945, to be broken unopposed. Behind all this lay a basic truth: Moscow had effectively already given up the ideological struggle. The Russia reborn in 1992 had to confront the unexpected need to substitute at short notice raw patriotism for a long-outmoded belief in a global ideal, all in the face of falling living standards and full consciousness—not least via MTV, now beamed freely into city apartments—of what the West could offer in return for betrayal. The negative impact on intelligence assets and their recruitment was severe, given how heavily Moscow depended upon human resources once attracted by and tied to the Soviet model. Only with the emergence of their own man, former Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Putin, as president in 2000 could the “organs” hope to regain lost ground.


pages: 223 words: 10,010

The Cost of Inequality: Why Economic Equality Is Essential for Recovery by Stewart Lansley

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banking crisis, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, call centre, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working-age population

In an echo of Ronald Reagan’s war on air traffic controllers in the 1980s, this was an attempt to dismantle what was left of union power, one which led to sustained protests across the country. A similar divide has been emerging in the UK. After falling in every year from 2005-2010, real take-home pay is now predicted to continue to fall for the next year or two at least. This is the first time since the 1920s there have been six successive years of falling real living standards, a process that started well before the crash. In both the US and the UK, the likelihood is that wages will continue to lag productivity postrecovery, living standards will continue to stagnate while the wealth and income gap will remain at historic highs. Indeed, the new independent economic overseer set up by the Coalition, the Office for Budget Responsibility, has forecast that the United Kingdom’s wage share will continue to fall until 2016.416 The risk now is that the fundamental economic factor that has driven rising instability and created the conditions for the crash—the two-decade long growing wage-productivity gap in both the UK and the US—is set to continue.


pages: 376 words: 109,092

Paper Promises by Philip Coggan

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, paradox of thrift, peak oil, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, tulip mania, value at risk, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

The first category of defaulters consists of those borrowers whose incomes fall, making it impossible for them to make interest payments. The second category consists of those borrowers who had secured their debts against an asset which has fallen in value. In such circumstances, both the borrower and the creditor lose out. The borrower’s wealth is less than it was and so is the creditor’s. They have discovered, like the clients of Bernie Madoff, that part of their wealth was illusory. The result could be a substantial fall in living standards, rather than just sluggish growth. THE LONG VIEW As this book has explained, the world has seen cycle after cycle in which money and debts have expanded. These cycles are initially self-reinforcing as the extra money begets confidence, as in John Law’s experiment in the early eighteenth century. That is because one of Law’s insights was correct. Money is a medium of exchange as well as a store of value.


pages: 265 words: 74,941

The Great Reset: How the Post-Crash Economy Will Change the Way We Live and Work by Richard Florida

banking crisis, big-box store, blue-collar work, car-free, carbon footprint, collapse of Lehman Brothers, congestion charging, creative destruction, deskilling, edge city, Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, financial innovation, Ford paid five dollars a day, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, invention of the telephone, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labour mobility, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, McMansion, Menlo Park, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, pattern recognition, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, total factor productivity, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, young professional, Zipcar

Workers always produce more than they can consume, more even than society as a whole can consume. Or, as the blogger Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism put it, “The US needs to wean itself of unsustainable overconsumption, and since consumption has come to depend on growth in indebtedness, a reversal, however painful, is necessary. Our excesses have been so great that there is no way out of this that does not lead to a general fall in living standards.”9 At a deeper level, the financial meltdown also signaled the rise of a new economic system broadly. The Long Depression was the crisis of the First Industrial Revolution. The massive growth and productivity of the textile, steel, and railroad industries could not be contained by the larger, mainly rural society of the period. The United States’ spatial fix transformed it from a largely rural country dotted with trading centers and mill towns to a country of giant industrial cities that concentrated production, generated a great wave of innovation, and created a new way of life and a landscape of economic growth.


pages: 464 words: 139,088

The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking and the Future of the Global Economy by Mervyn King

Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, distributed generation, Doha Development Round, Edmond Halley, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, German hyperinflation, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, the payments system, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, yield curve, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

One day German voters may rebel against the losses imposed on them by the need to support their weaker brethren, and undoubtedly the easiest way to divide the euro area would be for Germany itself to exit. But the more likely cause of a break-up of the euro area is that voters in the south will tire of the grinding and relentless burden of mass unemployment and the emigration of talented young people. The counter-argument – that exit from the euro area would lead to chaos, falls in living standards and continuing uncertainty about the survival of the currency union – has real weight. But if the alternative is crushing austerity, continuing mass unemployment, and no end in sight to the burden of debt, then leaving the euro area may be the only way to plot a route back to economic growth and full employment. The long-term benefits outweigh the short-term costs. Outsiders cannot make that choice, but they can encourage Germany, and the rest of the euro area, to face up to it.


pages: 934 words: 232,651

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956 by Anne Applebaum

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active measures, affirmative action, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, centre right, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, land reform, language of flowers, means of production, New Urbanism, Potemkin village, price mechanism, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Slavoj Žižek, stakhanovite, strikebreaker, union organizing, urban planning

Initial discussion topics included the peasants’ revolt of 1514 (a pretext for a debate on agricultural policy) and an analysis of Hungarian historiography (a pretext for a debate about the falsification of history in communist textbooks).55 The choice of name quickly proved “double-edged,” as one Hungarian writer put it: Petőfi had been a revolutionary fighting for Hungarian independence and the group bearing his name soon felt empowered to become revolutionary too.56 Changes had been taking place in other regime institutions at the same time. At Szabad Nép, the communist party’s hitherto reliable newspaper, reporters had become restless. In October 1954, a group of them, sent to cover life in the country’s factories, returned wanting to write about faked production statistics, falling living standards, and workers who had been blackmailed into buying “peace bonds.” In a published article, they declared that “though the life of the workers has changed and improved a great deal in the last ten years, many of them still have serious problems. Many are still living in overcrowded and shabby apartments. Many have to think twice about buying their children a new pair of shoes or going to an occasional movie!”


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Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour mobility, land reform, liberal world order, liberation theology, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, mega-rich, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, oil shock, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, urban sprawl, World Values Survey

Even if we discount the 1980s as a decade of adjustment and take it out of the equation, per capita income in the region during the 1990s grew at basically half the rate of the ‘bad old days’ (3.1% vs 1.7%). Between 2000 and 2005, the region has done even worse; it virtually stood still, with per capita income growing at only 0.6% per year.21 As for Africa, its per capita income grew relatively slowly even in the 1960s and the 1970s (1–2% a year). But since the 1980s, the region has seen a fall in living standards. This record is a damning indictment of the neo-liberal orthodoxy, because most of the African economies have been practically run by the IMF and the World Bank over the past quarter of a century. The poor growth record of neo-liberal globalization since the 1980s is particularly embarrassing. Accelerating growth – if necessary at the cost of increasing inequality and possibly some increase in poverty – was the proclaimed goal of neo-liberal reform.


pages: 385 words: 111,807

A Pelican Introduction Economics: A User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, discovery of the americas, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global value chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberation theology, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, post-industrial society, precariat, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, working-age population, World Values Survey

The growth acceleration was so dramatic that the half-century following 1820 is typically referred to as the Industrial Revolution.6 In those fifty years, per capita income in Western Europe grew at 1 per cent, a poor growth rate these days (Japan grew at that rate during the so-called ‘lost decade’ of the 1990s), but compared to the 0.14 per cent growth rate between 1500 and 1820, it was a turbo-charged drive. Expect to live for seventeen years and work eighty hours a week: misery increases for some This acceleration of growth in per capita income, however, was initially accompanied by a fall in living standards for many. Some with old skills – such as textile artisans – lost their jobs, having been replaced by machines operated by cheaper, unskilled workers, including many children. Some machines were even designed with the small sizes of children in mind. Those who were hired to work in factories, or in the small workshops that supplied inputs for them, worked long hours – seventy to eighty hours per week was the norm, and some worked more than 100 hours a week with usually only half of Sunday free.


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Bad Samaritans: The Guilty Secrets of Rich Nations and the Threat to Global Prosperity by Ha-Joon Chang

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour mobility, land reform, liberal world order, liberation theology, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, mega-rich, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, oil shock, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, urban sprawl, World Values Survey

Even if we discount the 1980s as a decade of adjustment and take it out of the equation, per capita income in the region during the 1990s grew at basically half the rate of the ‘bad old days’ (3.1% vs 1.7%). Between 2000 and 2005, the region has done even worse; it virtually stood still, with per capita income growing at only 0.6% per year.21 As for Africa, its per capita income grew relatively slowly even in the 1960s and the 1970s (1–2% a year). But since the 1980s, the region has seen a fall in living standards. This record is a damning indictment of the neo-liberal orthodoxy, because most of the African economies have been practically run by the IMF and the World Bank over the past quarter of a century. The poor growth record of neo-liberal globalization since the 1980s is particularly embarrassing. Accelerating growth – if necessary at the cost of increasing inequality and possibly some increase in poverty – was the proclaimed goal of neo-liberal reform.


pages: 344 words: 94,332

The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott

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3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, Lyft, Network effects, New Economic Geography, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, women in the workforce, young professional

In fact, one study found that 70 per cent of people aged 70 or under felt there was a minimal chance of selling their house to pay for retirement.7 Another study found that when people retire they are equally as likely to move into a larger house as a smaller one.8 It is generally only traumatic events, such as death of a partner or illness, that tends to trigger house sales as people age. Given that owning a house provides imputed rent, and selling a house involves a fall in living standards, it is no surprise that equity release schemes have been growing in popularity with older home owners. Equity release helps provide financing without the loss of imputed rent. This clearly has a role to play in providing financing for old age, but while these schemes make a contribution, they cannot be relied upon to solve the problem. To use equity release, a person needs to have equity in their home.


pages: 932 words: 307,785

State of Emergency: The Way We Were by Dominic Sandbrook

anti-communist, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, David Attenborough, Doomsday Book, edge city, estate planning, Etonian, falling living standards, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, feminist movement, financial thriller, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, German hyperinflation, mass immigration, moral panic, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, North Sea oil, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, sexual politics, traveling salesman, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Winter of Discontent, young professional

By 1974 just 7 per cent of eligible houses had changed hands, and the next government immediately changed course.20 There were two obvious problems with Heath’s ‘quiet revolution’. The first was that it was not terribly popular. Although most people had read in their newspapers about Britain’s competitive decline, and were certainly aware that the country had lost power and prestige since the Second World War, their own lives, by and large, had been marked by greater affluence and opportunity. They had not yet realized the penalties – in higher prices, falling living standards, pay freezes and strikes – they would have to pay for Britain’s economic problems, and there was little sense that they wanted radical change. What was more, Heath’s bloodless brand of time-and-motion modernization was not always very attractive, a classic example being Walker’s reform of local government. The historian John Campbell argues that since the existing system was such a messy, disorganized patchwork of counties, county boroughs, non-county boroughs, district councils and parish councils, ‘reform was long overdue’.


pages: 488 words: 144,145

Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream by R. Christopher Whalen

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Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, California gold rush, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, debt deflation, falling living standards, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global reserve currency, housing crisis, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, non-tariff barriers, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, women in the workforce

Grant imposed legal tender laws on Americans via the subversion of the Supreme Court set a pattern of duplicity by the Executive Branch that remains strongly embedded in American jurisprudence today. By giving the federal government control over the issuance of “money,” which was now defined as a piece of paper, an expedient war leader doomed future generations of Americans to live with inflation and falling real living standards, the bitter legacy of all legal tender laws going back centuries before the founding of the United States. When émigrés from Europe came to the United States seeking freedom, it was not just religious liberty or freedom from physical bondage, but also freedom from the tendency of monarchs to compel their subjects to use the king’s money, which was frequently light in terms of metal content.


pages: 401 words: 112,784

Hard Times: The Divisive Toll of the Economic Slump by Tom Clark, Anthony Heath

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, Carmen Reinhart, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, interest rate swap, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, unconventional monetary instruments, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor

‘Benefit fraud could lead to 10-year jail terms, says DPP’, BBC News, 16 September 2013, at: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk–24104743 By way of comparison, the official figures for average punishments for some other crimes are reported on by Alan Travis, ‘Rape sentences now average eight years, Ministry of Justice figures show’, Guardian, 27 May 2011, at: www.theguardian.com/society/2011/may/26/rape-sentence-average-eight-years-justice-figures 22. Curtice, ‘Thermostat or weather vane?’. 23. British polling by YouGov from spring 2013 suggests that a majority (52%) of poorer families (gross income below £20,000) anticipate a continuing fall in living standards, compared to less than one-third (31%) of households where income exceeds £70,000. Details reported in: Resolution Foundation, 2015: The living standards election, 2013, at: www.resolutionfoundation.org/media/media/downloads/2015_-_The_living_standards_election.pdf 24. Tom Clark, ‘Britons favour state responsibilities over individualism, finds survey’, Guardian, 15 April 2013, at: www.theguardian.com/society/2013/apr/14/britons-sympathetic-unemployed-france-germany 25.


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The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay by Guy Standing

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, first-past-the-post, future of work, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, information retrieval, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mini-job, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, openstreetmap, patent troll, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, remote working, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, structural adjustment programs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the payments system, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar

When someone ‘shares’ a car, apartment or utensils for money, they convert zones of privacy and use value into alienated commodities with exchange value. It is an instance of the Lauderdale Paradox, in which commodification is an act of privatisation that contrives scarcity of space or time. These forms of labour intensify the pressure to commodify all aspects of life. Intensifying self-exploitation is a sad way for the precariat to respond to adversity. It is how those experiencing falling wages and living standards cover up the decline, for a while. In addition, governments will have fiscal problems due to the changing character of labour and work. The shift to taskers will reduce tax revenue through lower employee and employer contributions and will push more people below tax thresholds, for example by expanding part-time labour. In many countries, payroll and income taxes are lower for those classified as independent contractors.


pages: 346 words: 90,371

Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing by Josh Ryan-Collins, Toby Lloyd, Laurie Macfarlane, John Muellbauer

agricultural Revolution, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Bretton Woods, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, debt deflation, deindustrialization, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, garden city movement, George Akerlof, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, land tenure, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, low skilled workers, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, mortgage debt, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, place-making, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, the built environment, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, working poor, working-age population

As shown in Figure 5.2, mortgage debt outstanding has increased from around 30% of real disposable income in 1987 to almost 100%, helping to drive up average house prices from four times disposable income per household to ten times. This of course disguises large regional variations – in more desirable areas such as London and the South East the ratio is up to twenty times (ONS, 2015c). Recent research shows that when housing costs (including mortgage debt and rents) are included in an assessment of changing living standards since 2002, over half of UK households across the working age population have seen falling or flat living standards (Clarke et al., 2016). Figure 5.2 House prices and mortgage debt compared to income in the UK (source: ONS, Nationwide and Bank of England; data de‹ated using 2010 prices) The impact of rising housing costs is not distributed equally across populations of course. In 2013, 1.17 million households had mortgage debts amounting to more than 4.5 times their disposable income – representing nearly one in seven (13.2%) households with mortgages (ONS, 2015a, p. 1).


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The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Gini coefficient, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, liberal capitalism, mega-rich, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, naked short selling, Naomi Klein, Negawatt, new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private military company, quantitative easing, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, short selling, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade liberalization, tulip mania, working poor, zero-sum game


pages: 278 words: 82,069

pages: 1,013 words: 302,015

A Classless Society: Britain in the 1990s by Alwyn W. Turner

Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, British Empire, call centre, centre right, deindustrialization, demand response, Desert Island Discs, endogenous growth, Etonian, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, global village, greed is good, inflation targeting, means of production, millennium bug, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, period drama, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, South Sea Bubble, Stephen Hawking, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce

Equally important to his image as a Thatcherite, however, was a simple cultural perception of his humble origins. His father was a trapeze artist in the music halls, who had moved with some success into the garden ornaments business, before the bottom dropped out of the gnome market on the outbreak of the Second World War. By the time John Major was born in 1943, the family had suffered a severe fall in living standards, and he grew up in straitened circumstances in South London, leaving school with just three O-levels. The fact that he subsequently rose so high was entirely due to his involvement in the Conservative Party, and was seen as a fine illustration of a new meritocracy. ‘What does the Conservative Party offer a working class kid from Brixton?’ asked a Tory election poster in 1992. ‘They made him prime minister.’


pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K


pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

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3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population


pages: 323 words: 95,492

pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

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23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game


pages: 497 words: 153,755

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The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma

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3D printing, Asian financial crisis, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business climate, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, colonial rule, Commodity Super-Cycle, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, currency peg, dark matter, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Economic Geography, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working-age population

In Latin America, the bad times are pushing countries to the right. Spiraling prices for staple foods and collapsing growth conspired to unseat the left-wing government in Argentina and the left-wing legislature in Venezuela. As the price of onions rule warns, rapidly rising prices for basics like onions doom economic prospects and often unseat leaders, particularly when high inflation is accompanied by falling growth and dwindling living standards. One simple rule of thumb is to watch out for countries where inflation is well above the emerging-world average, which has fallen recently to around 4 percent. In Argentina the combination of 25 percent inflation and zero growth toppled President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her populist party, which had been in power for twelve years. Meanwhile, to the north in Venezuela, the pain of 100 percent inflation and negative 10 percent GDP growth ended its socialist party’s hold on the national assembly after seventeen years.


pages: 395 words: 116,675

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, altcoin, anthropic principle, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Corn Laws, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, endogenous growth, epigenetics, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, George Santayana, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hydraulic fracturing, imperial preference, income per capita, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, land reform, Lao Tzu, long peace, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Necker cube, obamacare, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, price mechanism, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, smart contracts, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, women in the workforce


pages: 479 words: 144,453

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pages: 1,152 words: 266,246