The Progressive Economics Forum: Corporate rights masquerading as trade (again)

Anti-democratic investor rights deals are in the news again, thanks partly to a Communications Workers of America & Trade Justice Network event that brought Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz to Canada. Professor Stiglitz pronounced the Trans-Pacific Partnership the “worst trade deal ever”, adding that provisions allowing multi-nationals to sue governments are particularly toxic. Professor ...

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The Vile Maxim of the Servants

Adam Smith wrote about “The vile maxim of the masters,” which is, as he describes it, “All for us, none for anybody else.” And the vile maxim of their loyal servants seems to be, “Whatever you say boss. You make the rules.” The vile, amoral service to power – nothing disgusts me more; yet, it ...

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The Vile Maxim of the Servants

Adam Smith wrote about “The vile maxim of the masters,” which is, as he describes it, “All for us, none for anybody else.” And the vile maxim of their loyal servants seems to be, “Whatever you say boss. You make the rules.” The vile, amoral service to power – nothing disgusts me more; yet, it ...

Political Eh-conomy: Economic history in the present: The wage fund and the minimum wage

How many bushels of wheat do you make a year? While this is not the most relevant question to be asking about wages today, some of the discussion around the minimum wage is taking inspiration from a very old economic idea according to which questions like this would be right at home. The idea is ...

Parchment in the Fire: A bit of wisdom from Adam Smith

In light of yesterday’s post, particularly regarding the bleak outlook for the children of the middle class (which takes for granted the bleak present of the children of the working class), I thought I’d share some of the wisdom of Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations) that seems to have been lost on austerians: ‘Is ...

Parchment in the Fire: Smith and Hayek on the Labour Market

Over the past few decades, the work of Adam Smith has been enlisted into the neoliberal cause. His casual reference to the ‘invisible hand’ has permeated popular discourse in a way that implies that it is the theoretical cornerstone of his political economy; like a kind of sophisticated doctrine. Indeed, an entire generation has probably ...

Politics and its Discontents: Another Corporate Bully

A medical device manufacturer named Vante, while defending its employees rights to hold hold and express their own opinions, has fired its chief financial officer and treasurer for expressing his opinion of Chick-fil-A: Recommend this Post

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Too Big to Fail or So Big They Must Fail

g There is an excellent Viewpoint piece in this week’s Time magazine, written by foreign and domestic policy expert, David Rothkopf. Fixing Capitalism Means Taking Power Back From Business Rothkopf discusses not only the rise of big stateless corporations, now dictating foreign policy, but also what domestic capitalism has turned itself into.  Using Newt Gingrich’s attack on ...