Nick Turse

Camden, New Jersey… had long been a robust, diversified small industrial city. By the early 1970s, however, its reform mayor Angelo Errichetti was describing it this way: “It looked like the Vietcong had bombed us to get even. The pride of Camden… was now a rat-infested skeleton of yesterday, a visible obscenity of urban decay. The years of neglect, slumlord exploitation, tenant abuse, government bungling, indecisive and short-sighted policy had transformed the city’s housing, business, and industrial stock into a ravaged, rat-infested cancer on a sick, old industrial city.”

That was 40 years ago and yet, today, news stories are still being written about Camden’s never-ending decline into some bottomless abyss. Consider that a measure of how long it takes to shut down a way of life.

futurejournalismproject:

A Trillion Dollar Coin
Wired reports on how a 2010 bull session in the comments section of an economics blog turned into turned into a 2013 legal monetary exercise discussed by economists, pundits and politicians.
Via Wired:

It’s been a remarkable journey. The path of the trillion-dollar coin, as [an anonymous online commentator named] Beowulf described it to Wired, began with a “silly question” in a “pointless … online bull session” in the comments section of financier Warren Mosler’s blog. Anonymous supporters helped spread the concept to the comments of other economics blogs and ultimately into posts on such sites. The idea soon attracted attention from more prominent liberal economists like James Galbraith and Paul Krugman, and then from writers like Matthew Yglesias and Ezra Klein. From there it was a short hop into the center mainstream. NBC’s Chuck Todd hammered a White House spokesman about the coin possibility on Wednesday.
If the president uses such a coin to bypass intransigent Republicans who refuse to raise the debt ceiling, or even if he merely uses the possibility of such as leverage in negotiations, it will underline how ad-hoc online communities, like the anonymous international band of commenters to which Beowulf belonged, are increasingly able to move their ideas from the fringes into the middle of political debate. It’s one thing for bloggers to help bring down a Mississippi senator or to embarrass a presidential frontrunner, as they have in years past; it’s quite another for commenters to re-engineer the funding of the entire federal budget.

Bonus: Also from Wired, Why Stealing a $1 Trillion Coin Isn’t Worth the Price of a Getaway Van. Hint: there’s not much you could do with it.
Image: Charmin’s submission — and possible commentary on the disposability of US currency — to Slate’s User design challenge for the Trillion Dollar Coin.

futurejournalismproject:

A Trillion Dollar Coin

Wired reports on how a 2010 bull session in the comments section of an economics blog turned into turned into a 2013 legal monetary exercise discussed by economists, pundits and politicians.

Via Wired:

It’s been a remarkable journey. The path of the trillion-dollar coin, as [an anonymous online commentator named] Beowulf described it to Wired, began with a “silly question” in a “pointless … online bull session” in the comments section of financier Warren Mosler’s blog. Anonymous supporters helped spread the concept to the comments of other economics blogs and ultimately into posts on such sites. The idea soon attracted attention from more prominent liberal economists like James Galbraith and Paul Krugman, and then from writers like Matthew Yglesias and Ezra Klein. From there it was a short hop into the center mainstream. NBC’s Chuck Todd hammered a White House spokesman about the coin possibility on Wednesday.

If the president uses such a coin to bypass intransigent Republicans who refuse to raise the debt ceiling, or even if he merely uses the possibility of such as leverage in negotiations, it will underline how ad-hoc online communities, like the anonymous international band of commenters to which Beowulf belonged, are increasingly able to move their ideas from the fringes into the middle of political debate. It’s one thing for bloggers to help bring down a Mississippi senator or to embarrass a presidential frontrunner, as they have in years past; it’s quite another for commenters to re-engineer the funding of the entire federal budget.

Bonus: Also from Wired, Why Stealing a $1 Trillion Coin Isn’t Worth the Price of a Getaway Van. Hint: there’s not much you could do with it.

Image: Charmin’s submission — and possible commentary on the disposability of US currency — to Slate’s User design challenge for the Trillion Dollar Coin.

Bloomberg offers up a great piece on wage inequality, comparing a 20-year veteran  McDonald’s worker (who is still making minimum wage!) to the fast food giant’s CEO, who makes several hundred times as much.
For the whole story read: “McDonald’s $8.25 Man and $8.75 Million CEO Shows Pay Gap”

Bloomberg offers up a great piece on wage inequality, comparing a 20-year veteran  McDonald’s worker (who is still making minimum wage!) to the fast food giant’s CEO, who makes several hundred times as much.

For the whole story read: “McDonald’s $8.25 Man and $8.75 Million CEO Shows Pay Gap”

Bloomberg offers up a great piece on wage inequality, comparing a 20-year veteran  McDonald’s worker (who is still making minimum wage!) to the fast food giant’s CEO, who makes several hundred times as much.
For the whole story read: "McDonald’s $8.25 Man and $8.75 Million CEO Shows Pay Gap"

Bloomberg offers up a great piece on wage inequality, comparing a 20-year veteran  McDonald’s worker (who is still making minimum wage!) to the fast food giant’s CEO, who makes several hundred times as much.

For the whole story read: "McDonald’s $8.25 Man and $8.75 Million CEO Shows Pay Gap"

[F]or more than a quarter of a century the fastest growing part of the economy has been the finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sector. Between 1980 and 2005, profits in the financial sector increased by 800%, more than three times the growth in non-financial sectors.

In those years, new creations of financial ingenuity, rare or never seen before, bred like rabbits. In the early 1990s, for example, there were a couple of hundred hedge funds; by 2007, 10,000 of them. A whole new species of mortgage broker roamed the land, supplanting old-style savings and loan or regional banks. Fifty thousand mortgage brokerages employed 400,000 brokers, more than the whole U.S. textile industry. A hedge fund manager put it bluntly, “The money that’s made from manufacturing stuff is a pittance in comparison to the amount of money made from shuffling money around.”

[F]or more than a quarter of a century the fastest growing part of the economy has been the finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sector. Between 1980 and 2005, profits in the financial sector increased by 800%, more than three times the growth in non-financial sectors.

In those years, new creations of financial ingenuity, rare or never seen before, bred like rabbits. In the early 1990s, for example, there were a couple of hundred hedge funds; by 2007, 10,000 of them. A whole new species of mortgage broker roamed the land, supplanting old-style savings and loan or regional banks. Fifty thousand mortgage brokerages employed 400,000 brokers, more than the whole U.S. textile industry. A hedge fund manager put it bluntly, “The money that’s made from manufacturing stuff is a pittance in comparison to the amount of money made from shuffling money around.”

Based on the limited data that are comparable among nations, the U.S. income distribution appears to be among the most unequal of all major industrialized countries and the United States appears to be among the nations experiencing the greatest increases in measures of income dispersion
The U.S. Income Distribution and Mobility: Trends and International
Comparisons
,” a newly updated (November 29, 2012) report from the Congressional Research Service.

Camden, New Jersey… had long been a robust, diversified small industrial city. By the early 1970s, however, its reform mayor Angelo Errichetti was describing it this way: “It looked like the Vietcong had bombed us to get even. The pride of Camden… was now a rat-infested skeleton of yesterday, a visible obscenity of urban decay. The years of neglect, slumlord exploitation, tenant abuse, government bungling, indecisive and short-sighted policy had transformed the city’s housing, business, and industrial stock into a ravaged, rat-infested cancer on a sick, old industrial city.”

That was 40 years ago and yet, today, news stories are still being written about Camden’s never-ending decline into some bottomless abyss. Consider that a measure of how long it takes to shut down a way of life.

bostonreview:

Via the New Economics Institute

bostonreview:

Via the New Economics Institute