Globalization

An Indictment of the Invisible Hand

by Jeffrey Madrick

The implications of Piketty's new book go to the heart of the issue that spurred the Occupy movement in 2011. (Photo: Public domain)

Thomas Piketty’s 700-page book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, has stunned both the economic profession and most political observers. But the economic mainstream is not truly dealing with its most serious implications even as they widely praise his work.

Eight Headlines the Mainstream Media Doesn't Have the Courage to Print

by Paul Buchheit

The following are all relevant, fact-based issues, the "hard news" stories that the media has a responsibility to report. But the business-oriented press generally avoids them.

 

How to Fan the Flames

by Alexandra Bradbury and Jane Slaughter

We troublemakers keep hoping for the spark that will set a wildfire of workers in motion. The worse our situation gets—economically, politically, ecologically—the more we yearn for a vast movement to erupt and transform the landscape.

Where will the next big movement come from? Fights in the workplace can be the training ground. (Photo: OUR Walmart)

Serious Coverage of Trade Issues is Essential — but all too Rare

by John Nichols

President Obama used his European tour to make another pitch for sweeping new free-trade agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Recognizing that there is mass opposition to these sorts of deals in the U.S. and abroad — based on the profound concerns about job security, wages, the circumstance of working farmers, environmental protection and democracy raised by the North American Free Trade Agreement, the permanent normalization of trade relations with China, and more recent trade arrangements — Obama urged critics of race-to-the-bottom trade policies to trust that he would negotiate better deals.
 

"(There’s) no point in getting excited about potential provisions in trade agreements that haven't been drafted yet,” the president said. "There will be plenty of time to criticize trade agreements when they are actually put before the public.”

The Tyranny of the On-Call Schedule: Hourly Injustice in Retail Labor

by Michelle Chen

A century ago, the misery of New York’s urban poor was embodied by the iconic scene of the morning shape-up at the docks, where rough-hewn longshoremen lined up anxiously to see if the boss would pick them for that day’s crew or turn them back empty-handed. These days, the city has a different kind of shape-up—a less visible mill of workers staffing its bustling boutiques and vendors. Instead of assembling at the waterfront, they call the manager to find out how many hours they can get on a given day—stressing about whether they’ll clock enough hours this month to make rent, or hoping their next workday doesn’t interfere with their school schedule or doctor’s appointment.

Finding Populism Today

by Jim Hightower

Mass movements don't just appear out of the fog, fully grown, structured and mobilized. They emerge in fits and starts over many years, just as the American Revolution did, and as did the Populists' original idea of a "cooperative commonwealth." A successful people's movement has to take the long view, to learn about itself as it builds, nurture the culture of its people, take chances, create fun for all involved, adapt to failures and successes, stay steadfast to its principles, have a stoic tenacity — and organize, organize, organize. A little serendipity helps, too, so grab it when you can.

The Real Irish American Story Not Taught in Schools

by Bill Bigelow

“Wear green on St. Patrick’s Day or get pinched.” That pretty much sums up the Irish-American “curriculum” that I learned when I was in school. Yes, I recall a nod to the so-called Potato Famine, but it was mentioned only in passing.

 

Betting the Farm: Will Investor-Led Land Grabs Mean More Corporate Ag?

by Twilight Greenaway

(Image: via CivilEats.com)By all accounts, Jude Becker is a very successful farmer. His organic, pasture-raised Becker Lane pork, is considered the best of the best. It’s for sale in several Northern California Whole Foods and at farmers’ markets in Chicago, as well as on plates in several high-end restaurants around the country. There’s even a small retail market for it in Japan.

Suffering? Well, You Deserve It

by Chris Hedges

People wait in line to enter the Northern Brooklyn Food Stamp and DeKalb Job Center in New York City in 2012. (Photo: AP/Mark Lennihan)

OXFORD, England—The morning after my Feb. 20 debate at the Oxford Union, I walked from my hotel along Oxford’s narrow cobblestone streets, past its storied colleges with resplendent lawns and Gothic stone spires, to meet Avner Offer, an economic historian and Chichele Professor Emeritus of Economic History.

Private Equity Predators and the Great American Farm Grab

Half of US farmland being eyed by private equity interests

by Carey L. Biron

Industry analysts say the institutional share of U.S. farmland ownership is rising quickly. (Credit: Bigstock)

WASHINGTON - An estimated 400 million acres of farmland in the United States will likely change hands over the coming two decades as older farmers retire, even as new evidence indicates this land is being strongly pursued by private equity investors.

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