Daily Archives: October 7, 2015

Parasites in the Body Economic: the Disasters of Neoliberalism

BOOK REVIEW

Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy, Author: Michael Hudson.
The Octopus, Author: Frank Norris.
Labor in the Ancient World, Editors: Piotr Steinkeller and Michael Hudson.

By Eric Draitser and Michael Hudson – There are two main aims that classical economists had 200 years ago.

One was to free society from debt. You didn’t want people to have to spend their lives working off the debt, whether for a home, for living or to get an education.

Second, you wanted to fund industry, not by debt but by equity. That is what the Saint-Simonians [2, 3, 4, 5] and France did. It’s what German banking was famous for before World War I.

The guiding idea of an economic and tax system should be to lower the cost of living and doing business. I show what the average American wage earner has to pay.

Under the most recent federal housing authority laws, the government guarantees mortgage loans that absorb up to 43% of family income. Suppose you pay this 43% of income for your home mortgage, after the 15% of your wages set aside for Social Security under FICA …

That leaves only about 25% of what American families earn to be spent on goods and services – unless they borrow to maintain their living standards. more> http://tinyurl.com/nk54wlx

The Financial Times and the Future of Journalism

By John Cassidy – Why did the F.T. decide to abandon its metered paywall, which others had copied?

After it was introduced, in 2007, the metered paywall “worked extremely well,” he said, noting that it had driven the F.T. past the milestone where digital subscribers overtook print.

Over time, however, he and some of his colleagues came to believe “there was something of a contradiction in the metered model.” John Ridding explained:

“The real challenge for news media and for journalism in the digital age is it’s fragmenting all the time, and people don’t come to one place. In the old days, people would have a newspaper, maybe two. And then, the usual transition, they would go to the home page.

“But that’s all blown up and fragmented. People are finding F.T. stories and other stories on all sorts of platforms, and different channels. Our approach was to think: ‘How do you recreate that habit, that engagement, of the old print world in the digital world?'” more> http://tinyurl.com/nd3j564

PLM and Digitalization Will Redefine Engineering and Manufacturing

By Pat Toensmeier – “We are in a digital industrial revolution,” affirmed Thomas Maurer, senior director of strategy for PLM software at Siemens.

“We see great disruption in manufacturing — size alone is no longer a sustainable advantage [for companies],” said Scott Reese, vice president of cloud platforms at Autodesk. “Three people with funding can disrupt an industry.”

Autodesk and Siemens cited the following as the game-changers:

  • Analysis of Big Data from smart applications like interconnected machines and systems as well as watches and smartphones
  • The cloud, which allows real-time access to projects worldwide and increases the ability of users to work with designs, production processes, and other aspects of manufacturing

more> http://tinyurl.com/npwoyww

Related>

Autoworkers Go On Strike Against Themselves

By Edward Niedermeyer – Two-tier wages were an easy compromise back in 2007, as everyone knew the UAW had to help lower costs for its struggling employers, and the strategy was to push the burden onto UAW members who didn’t exist yet.

The old-timers who approved the agreement weren’t asked to make any major concessions, and subsequent hires would make up for it by making far less.

It was inevitable, however, that this arrangement would become untenable in an organization whose founding principle is “solidarity” once the lower-paid workers were able to vote on new contracts. more> http://tinyurl.com/ojb8wxb