new-economics

nytimes.com
Opinion | Is It Time to Break Up Google?
Let’s face it: The biggest tech companies are monopolies.
By Jonathan Taplin

In just 10 years, the world’s five largest companies by market capitalization have all changed, save for one: Microsoft. Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Citigroup and Shell Oil are out and Apple, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon and Facebook have taken their place. 

They’re all tech companies, and each dominates its corner of the industry: Google has an 88 percent market share in search advertising, Facebook (and its subsidiaries Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger) owns 77 percent of mobile social traffic and Amazon has a 74 percent share in the e-book market. in classic economic terms, all three are monopolies.

We have been transported back to the early 20th century, when arguments about the “curse of bigness” were advanced by President Woodrow Wilson’s counselor, Louis Brandeis, before Wilson appointed him to the Supreme Court. Brandeis wanted to eliminate monopolies, because (in the words of his biographer Melvin Urofsky) “in a democratic society the existence of large centers of private power is dangerous to the continuing vitality of a free people.” We need to look no further than the conduct of the largest banks in the 2008 financial crisis or the role Facebook and Google play in the “fake news” business to know that Brandeis was right.

While Brandeis generally opposed regulation - which he worried inevitably led to the corruption of the regulator - and instead advocated breaking up “bigness,” he made an exception for “natural” monopolies, like telephone water, and power companies and railroads, where it made sense to have one or a few companies in control of an industry.

Could it be that these companies - and Google in particular - have become natural monopolies by supplying an entire market’s demand for a service, at a price lower than that what would be offered by two competing firms? And if so, is it time to regulate them like public utilities?

Consider a historical analogy: the early days of telecommunications.

In 1895 a photograph of the business district of a large city might have shown 20 phone wires attached to most buildings. Each wire was owned by a different company, and none of them worked with the others. Without network effects, the networks themselves were almost useless.

The solution was for a single company American Telephone and Telegraph, to consolidate the industry by buying up all the small operators and creating a single network - a natural monopoly. the government permitted it, but then regulated this monopoly through the Federal Communications Commission.

AT&T (also known as the bell System) had its rates regulated and was required to spend a fixed percentage of its profits on research and development. In 1925 AT&T set up Bell Labs as a separate subsidiary with the mandate to develop the next generation of communications technology, but also to do basic research in physics and other sciences. Over the next 50 years, the basics of the digital age - the transistor, the microchip, the solar cell, the microwave, the laser, cellular telephony - al came out of Bell Labs along with eight Nobel Prizes.

In a 1956 consent degree in which the Justice Department allowed AT&T to maintain its phone monopoly, the government extracted a huge concession: all future patents were licensed (to any American company) royalty-free, and all future patents were to be licensed for a small fee. These licenses led to the creation of Texas Instruments, Motorola, Fairchild Semiconductor and many other start-ups.

True, the internet never had the same problems of interoperability. And Google’s route to dominance is different from the Bell System’s. Nevertheless, it still has all of the characteristics of a public utility.

(Continue Reading)

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#BodegaStrike: On February 2, 2017, Yemeni business owners across New York closed 1,000 bodegas and grocery stores from 12:00pm to 8:00pm in response to the Trump administration’s “Muslim Ban” executive order. This shutdown was a public show of the vital role these grocers and their families play in New York’s economic and social fabric. The community organized a rally at Brooklyn Borough Hall in downtown Brooklyn to pray together and share stories of how the Muslim ban has affected their families. 

This was one of the greatest demonstrations of solidarity, love and positivity that I have ever seen. The energy was electric and contagious, I found myself smiling uncontrollably and having so much fun. I hope these photos show that Yemeni Americans are peaceful loving people who deserve to be given a chance at life in this country. 

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Vivek Chibber explains the prevalence of the term ‘neoliberalism’ in leftist discourse and its ties to capitalism’s history as part of the ABCs of Socialism series.

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#BodegaStrike: On February 2, 2017, Yemeni business owners across New York closed 1,000 bodegas and grocery stores from 12:00pm to 8:00pm in response to the Trump administration’s “Muslim Ban” executive order. This shutdown was a public show of the vital role these grocers and their families play in New York’s economic and social fabric. The community organized a rally at Brooklyn Borough Hall in downtown Brooklyn to pray together and share stories of how the Muslim ban has affected their families. 

This was one of the greatest demonstrations of solidarity, love and positivity that I have ever seen. The energy was electric and contagious, I found myself smiling uncontrollably and having so much fun. I hope these photos show that Yemeni Americans are peaceful loving people who deserve to be given a chance at life in this country. 

lotta yall canadians, europeans, australians, etc. who are always saying shit we say is happening regarding classism and racism and misogyny and whatever else here in the united states, doesn’t happen in your country, are probably just … willfully ignorant and don’t actually recognize it yourself to see that your countries are just as fucked up as ours.

anonymous asked:

"Abolishing the family" doesn't mean killing moms, dads and their kids, right? Intellectually, whatever. But we need to leave people who are happy with something the fuck alone.

Oh no, absolutely not, we don’t advocate anyone killing anyone there. “Abolishing the nuclear family” just means abolishing the setup as a dominant social institution. Like how conservatives always talk about “the family being the base of society” – they mean nuclear families, and that’s what capitalist society essentially expects of all of us. Two adults, one-to-three kids, quaintly living in whitewashed suburbia paying their own bills, finding community mainly only in each other, and upholding traditional gendered division of labor (cis/heteronormativity pretty much always implied). Obviously not every family fits neatly into that box, but it’s still an institutional expectation created by the capitalist economic system. Where it isn’t explicitly stated to be the “default setup” for humanity, it’s implicitly stated in dominant media. We just want the pressures of the institution gone and people more free to take on communal living, goals accomplished through a new socialist economic system. From there, nuclear families should, by all accounts, be free to live in peace just like the rest. Like @class-struggle-anarchism commented on this post, “abolish the compulsory nuclear family” is probably a more accurate statement of what we want to see.

-Daividh
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“In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries many middle-class women had relationships with each other which included passionate declarations of love, nights spent in bed together sharing kisses and intimacies, and lifelong devotion, without exciting the least adverse comment. … Lillian Faderman’s book Surpassing the Love of Men details innumerable such friendships between women which met with such social approval that a woman could cheerfully write to the male fiancé of the woman she loved, saying that she felt exactly like a husband towards her and was going to be very jealous. … It is not the existence of love between women that needs explaining but why women were permitted to love then in a way which would encounter fierce social disapproval now. … Faderman explains that women’s same-sex friendships came to be seen as a threat in the late nineteenth century as the women’s movement developed to challenge men’s dominance and new social and economic forces presented middle-class women with the possibility of choosing not to marry and be dependent on men. She sees the sexologists who classified and categorised female homosexuality, including within it all passionate friendships, as having played a major role in discouraging love between women.”
Sheila Jeffreys, The Spinster and Her Enemies

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(13/30) a photo of your textbook(s)

of 30 day studyblr challenge by @hayley-studies

here’s a photo of my economics textbook (since i’m studying it right now for my exam tomorrow). this is the study method that i use when i only have a day to study - summarize each points or paragraphs in a sticky note, using your own words as much as possible. in addition, write important informations in another color to differentiate it from the rest.

good luck to any of you guys who are having exams soon! xx

Reliable Prosperity

Reliable Prosperity demands a new approach to the economy. By placing equal emphasis on environmental stewardship, social equity and financial returns we will build a more resilient system that pays dividends far into the future.

Working along with natural principles of development, expansion, sustainability, and correction, people can create economies that are more reliably prosperous than those we have now, and that are also more harmonious with the rest of nature.

– Jane Jacobs, The Nature of Economies

One of the best-known proponents of degrowth, French philosopher and economist Serge Latouche, says that the movement is aimed primarily at promoting a shift away from the pursuit of “growth for growth’s sake”.

It would actually be better to speak of “agrowth” instead of degrowth, just as one speaks of atheism, he believes.

Degrowth supporters call for a controlled and rational decrease in consumption and production, in a way that respects the climate, ecosystems and human beings themselves.

Nevertheless, Latouche stresses that degrowth is not a concrete alternative, but rather a matrix of multiple alternatives. Obviously, any concrete proposal or counterproposal is both necessary and problematic, he adds.

—  An Argentine Perspective on Degrowth - Upside Down World