A few ambitious points on fighting the crisis

We are facing two crises at once, health and economic, that are related in very important ways. The covid-19 epidemic has done major damage around the world, but it’s highlighting some serious structural problems with the US social model that better-run countries are not so afflicted by. We are plagued by a deep economic polarization complicated by minimal social protections; severely diminished state capacity, with eroded institutional structures and extremely debased quality of personnel at the highest levels; years of underinvestment in basic infrastructure, both broadly and in health care particularly; and… Read More

Hits to GDP

The hysterical (in the funny sense) report on socialism that the Council of Economic Advisers put out this morning contains this gem of simulation: It may well be that American socialists are envisioning moving our policies to align with those of the Nordic countries in the 1970s, when their policies were more in line with economists’ traditional definition of socialism. We estimate that if the United States were to adopt these policies, its real GDP would decline by at least 19 percent in the long run, or about $11,000 per year for… Read More

Fresh audio product

Just posted to my radio archives: May 22, 2014 Matt Taibbi, author of The Divide, on criminalizing the poor (and dissenters) and letting bankers run free BtN has been fundraising for KPFA all month. This is the first show with original content since April 24—this interview only, less the fundraising. So it’s short. But please contribute to KPFA if you want to keep these shows coming. Be sure to mention BtN when you do.

New radio product

Freshly posted to my radio archives: April 16, 2011 Joel Schalit, author of this piece, on Israeli identity and the problems with saying that the country may be turning “fascist” • Michael Heaney, co-author of this paper, on how Obama demobilized the antiwar movement • Roger Lowenstein, author of The End of Wall Street, on the financial crisis and its aftermath