From the archives: the small business myth

This is a piece I wrote years ago for the mostly right-wing Canadian paper The National Post. Though more than a decade old, it’s still mostly true and relevant. Sorry—no links to sources and such. National Post (Canada)—September 23, 2000 SMALL IS NOT BEAUTIFUL Forget the romantic view of small business: for employees, big firms are less nasty places to work Doug Henwood Everybody loves small business. Well, maybe Fortune 500 CEOs and the investment bankers who serve them don’t, but practically everyone else does. Across the political spectrum, it’s celebrated for… Read More

Introduction to Jeffrey Sachs

When I announced via Facebook that I had just recorded an interview with Jeffrey Sachs, and that I was rather soft on him, a little firestormlette ensued. Should I have given him a hard time, demanding penance for the harsh deflationary advice that he gave to Bolivia, Eastern Europe, and Russia, or should I let is slide because he’s doing pretty good stuff now. I went for the latter, but filed my reservations in the introduction to the interview. Here’s what I said. For more, see my review of his 2005 book…. Read More

Radio commentary, November 26, 2011

eurocrisis infecting core The European situation spun more deeply into crisis this week. Interest rates on 10-year Italian government bonds crossed the spooky 7% barrier, yielding 5 points more than comparable German bonds. A year ago, Italian bonds yielded 4.3%, less than 2 points above German rates. In the jargon of the markets, this blowout in Italian spreads is a sign of investor panic. On paper, Italy shouldn’t be so bad off. Its budget is in decent shape, and Italians have plenty of domestic savings, more than enough to cover the government’s financing… Read More

New radio product

Freshly posted to my radio archives: November 19, 2011 Frances Fox Piven of the CUNY grad center—whose greatest hits are collected in Who’s Afraid of Frances Fox Piven?—on the history of social movements and Occupy Wall Street

Fleshing out the corporate person

This is my contribution to n+1’s OWS Gazette #2. You can download the PDF here. It’s full of terrific stuff. There was a witticism circulating—it embarrasses me a bit to say—on Facebook recently that went something like: “I’ll believe that coporations are people when Texas executes one.” Though I’m no fan of capital punishment, but that was the best argument in favor of corporate personhood I’ve ever heard. Because while corporations have the rights of actual living people—more, maybe—they have none of the responsibilities. Corporations routinely get away with murder. Is the problem… Read More

That panel? I’m out.

I  just sent this note to the organizers of Wednesday’s Platypus “Crisis of the Left” panel: On reflection, I’ve decided to withdraw from Wednesday’s panel. I’ve had my reservations about the whole Platypus project for a long time, but in re-reading some of your material, which put words like “imperialism” and “antiwar” in scare quotes, those reservations deepened. But Chris Cutrone’s comment on Facebook that “Platypus aims more at ideological diversity in our events than race/gender/sexuality diversity” was the last straw. If you’re holding a panel on the crisis of the left, then… Read More

New radio product

Just added to my radio archives (click on date to get right to link, or other links to get more info about guests): November 12, 2011 Yanis Varoufakis on the latest developments in the Eurocrisis • Ramsey Kanaan, co-founder of PM Press, on the theory and practice of anarchism

Me and some other guys on a panel

I’m going to be on a Platypus panel on the crisis of the left. Sorry it’s an all-male cast, but I had nothing to do with it. an international forum on the CRISIS OF THE LEFT Chicago*NYC*Philly*Boston*Thessaloniki, Greece Crisis: Pathol. The point in the progress of a disease when an important development or change takes place which is decisive of recovery or death. “…Existing strategies and theories seem inadequate in a bewildering contemporary political scene. Disparate groups have begun to show an interest in rethinking the fundamentals of Left politics…” @New York:… Read More

More on credit unions

From a post to the lbo-talk listserv, which I moderate: A big CU failed in South Florida a few years back. They’d been investing in subprime CDOs, actually. Another few failed in FL and out west – they had large member business ADC loan exposure to projects that stalled at the acquisition phase. Just browse the NCUA news center and marvel at the number of CUs placed into conservatorship or acquired by other CUs in NCUA-facilitated firesales I’ve seen stats saying 2/3s of credit unions don’t have any meaningful member loans, and… Read More

Moving money (revisited)

This is an edited version of comments I made in my November 5 radio show. Much of it is a rewrite of this LBO piece, though updated to reflect the current credit union thing. Along with the Occupy Wall Street movement has grown up a Move Our Money campaign, pushed by a group calling itself the New Bottom Line. It takes off from a brainchild of that great exploiter of unpaid journalistic labor at her eponymous Post, Arianna Huffington. Ariana’s scheme, launched almost two years ago, would have those of us with money in large… Read More

OWS: crackdown imminent?

I can’t vouch for this, but it seems worth getting out there. From: xxx Date: Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 10:03 AM Friends, allies, and troublemakers, I heard through a back-channel (which I did not seek nor cultivate) from a very highly-placed person in the Mayor’s office that they are losing patience with the status quo VERY quickly. This person was rather blunt and without giving me any sort of firm timeline nonetheless made it clear that the city has a plan, the resources, and will likely mobilize very soon (tonight? early next week?… Read More

Fed sees a gloomier future

The Federal Reserve is just out with its latest economic projections. Since the last edition in June, they’ve turned gloomier for the short, medium, and long term. They see growth as slower, and unemployment as higher, for 2011, 2012, 2013, and for the “longer run” than they did just three months ago. For this year, they’re looking for GDP growth to average 1.6–1.7%, compared with a projection of 2.7–2.9% in June. They see unemployment as staying in its current 9.0–9.1% range, instead of falling into the high 8s. For next year, they… Read More