What fiscal emergency?

I break into the big time! My antidote to deficit hysteria is up on CNN.com: What fiscal emergency?

Education policy in the USA

Golf, militarism, Jesus, and noblesse oblige. From Mike Allen’s Politico Playbook : IF YOU’RE FREE AT LUNCH: Cornerstone Schools of Washington, an oasis of rigor and stability for 220 African-American pupils in inner-city D.C., is holding its annual benefit golf tournament in Alexandria. At an 11:30 a.m. reception before the golfers tee off, students will be on hand who would love to meet you. You don’t have to golf or give: The students would get a kick out of hearing about your exciting life. The executive director and principal is Clay Hanna,… Read More

Education: how the U.S. stacks up

I’ve just posted the latest in a series of pieces on education that I’ve been doing for LBO. This one is a review of how the U.S. stacks up internationally on spending, enrollment, attainment: “In and out of school.” Capsule summary: we spend lots of money, but enrollment and attainment numbers are mediocre. It’s kind of like our health care system. We pay our teachers badly, don’t reward experience, and prefer spending money on things rather than people. Earlier education pieces: “Charter to nowhere” and “Beastly numbers ”(how poverty explains test scores). Reminder: this… Read More

Learning nothing from crisis (cont.)

An update to Back to the status quo ante bustum: Aline van Duyn reports in the Financial Times that corporate America is once again borrowing money to buy up its stock to boost share prices. The rise in buy-backs and deals marks a turning point in the credit cycle, as companies become more willing to invest their cash and borrow more money. Since the 2008 financial crisis, many companies have been hoarding cash and building up ever greater treasure chests and rainy-day funds. No more of that prudent stuff. But hire, boost capital spending,… Read More

No protest songs!

Reading The Nation’s new list of protest songs, I’ve finally figured out what’s wrong with the whole genre: it assumes you’ll never be able to change anything. It’s like naming your magazine Dissent. You’ll always be on the sidelines, complaining. An outlier on this second Nation list is “The Internationale,” which is about transformation, not whining. But they pick the Billy Bragg version, which drains the song of a lot of its militance in that folky way.

Why wait for Paulie?

Does Paul Krugman crib his columns from LBO? Judge for yourself.

Bankers fly in private jets, regulators ride the bus

These guys are supposed to regulate Wall Street? U.S. Regulators Face Budget Pinch as Mandates Widen: “On a recent trip to New York to tour a trading floor, a group of employees from the commodities watchdog [the Commodity Futures Trading Commission] rode Mega Bus both ways, arriving late to their meeting despite a 5:30 a.m. departure. The bus, which cost $30 a person round trip, saved the agency roughly $1,000 over Amtrak.”

Buy this book!

Excellent collection of interviews (not that I’m praising myself here). Perfect for teaching, or just reading. Order your copies here. Sasha Lilley, Capital and Its Discontents: Conversations with Radical Thinkers in a Time of Tumult (PM Press, 2011) Interviewees: Ellen Meiksins Wood, David Harvey, Doug Henwood, Leo Panitch, Sam Gindin, Greg Albo, David McNally, John Bellamy Foster, Jason W Moore, Ursula Huws, Gillian Hart, Vivek Chibber, Mike Davis, Tariq Ali, John Sanbonmatsu, Andrej Grubacic, and Noam Chomsky.Through a series of incisive conversations with some of the most eminent thinkers and political economists on the Left—including… Read More