JeremyCherfas / tags / economics

Tagged with “economics” (10)

  1. Promises, Promises: A History of Debt Omnibus part 2

    First broadcast on BBC R4 in 2016. Individual episodes previously huffduffed no longer have attached audio.

    Anthropologist David Graeber explores the history of debt from the use of virtual money in the medieval period and the rise of the slave trade, to the financial crash of 2008. He draws on his years of groundbreaking research to deliver a series that challenges established wisdom over the banking system, the moral power of debt and even the very definition of money itself.

    In this second episode, David takes us back to the medieval period when coinage largely disappeared and money become virtual. He reveals the importance of debt during the conquest of South America and the birth of the modern world economy.

    David goes on to explore the influence of debt during the birth of capitalism and the centrality of debt to the slave trade. The conventional view is that the innovations during the birth of capitalism led to greater material prosperity enabling us to lead happier lives. David argues that, in fact, these times were marked by extraordinary levels of war and violence. He goes on to examine the rise of virtual money since the 1970s and the power of international creditors such as the IMF.

    To conclude, David analyses the financial crash of 2008 and more recent debt crises in the context of the long history of debt. David argues that we are currently living in the early years of a new era in which physical money - cash passing from hand to hand - will be replaced by virtual money. There have been many eras of virtual money over the past 5000 years and David says we cannot yet know what this latest phase will mean as we are just a few decades years into a historical epoch likely to last 500 years.

    Presenter: David Graeber Producer: Max O’Brien A Juniper production for BBC Radio 4.

    —Huffduffed by JeremyCherfas

  2. Bryant Simon, “The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government, and Cheap Lives” (The New Press, 2017) |

    On September 3, 1991, a fire erupted at the Imperial Foods factory in the small town of Hamlet, North Carolina. Twenty-five people died behind the factory’s locked doors that morning. Most of the victims were women, and about half of them were black. In The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government, and Cheap Lives (The New Press, 2017), Temple University history professor Bryant Simon lays out the structural failures in the American and global economic systems which killed those workers. As economic growth slowed and inflation rose in the 1970s, many Americans grew disillusioned with the New Deal era promise of high wages and a robust regulatory state. Instead, Simon argues, Americans began to embrace a culture of cheap, ready-made, products and government policies which benefitted business owners, rather than employees. Food sat high atop the list of cheap items Americans craved, particularly chicken which, just before the Hamlet fire, surpassed beef as the meat most commonly consumed by American diners. It was no coincidence that the Imperial plant in Hamlet processed chicken strips and tenders for sale at national chain grocery stores. Nor was it a coincidence that Imperial relocated to North Carolina in the 1980s, as the state defunded regulatory systems and opened its doors to businesses looking for any edge in a hyper competitive market. The Hamlet Fire is a remarkable and ultimately sad story about the hidden costs of American consumption and global systems of production at the end of the twentieth century.

    Stephen Hausmann is a doctoral candidate at Temple University and Visiting Instructor of history at the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently writing his dissertation, a history of race and the environment in the Black Hills and surrounding northern plains region of South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana.

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    —Huffduffed by JeremyCherfas

  3. Episode 009: The Present and Future of US Beef Markets - AgEconMT

    The AgEconMT crew is joined by Dr. Gary Brester, a Professor of Economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University. Gary discusses insights about the current and future trends in the U.S. beef industry, with a particular focus on how those trends impact cattle producers in the northern Great Plains.

    Topics covered on this episode include cattle prices, issues constraining the expansion of cattle herds, hot topics in trade and whether more open trade is favorable to the beef industry, and the impacts of beef consumers’ changing socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. Gary saves the best for last as he discusses his thoughts about the big trends and changing economics of the beef sector over the next 20 years.

    Are you a cattle producers interested in knowing more about specific issues in the beef industry? Have you noticed factors impacting your bottom line that weren’t mentioned in this episode? Leave a comment or send us a note.

    —Huffduffed by JeremyCherfas

  4. Robert Skidelsky on Money, the Good Life, and How Much is Enough

    Robert Skidelsky, noted biographer of John Maynard Keynes and author (with his son Edward) of the recently published How Much is Enough, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about materialism, growth, insatiability, and the good life. Skidelsky argues that we work too hard and too long. He argues that the good life has more leisure than we currently consume and that public policy should be structured to discourage work in wealthy countries where work can still be uninspiring. Skidelsky criticizes the discipline of economics and economists for contributing to an obsession with growth to the detriment of what he says are more meaningful and life-enhancing policy goals.


    Tagged with economics

    —Huffduffed by JeremyCherfas