Forget Trickle-down BS—Let’s Push Percolate-up Economics

The past year proves that a lot of conventional economic wisdom is neither true nor wise. For example: “We don’t have the money.” The power elites tell us it would be nice to do the big-ticket reforms America needs, but the money just isn’t there. Then a pandemic slammed into America, and suddenly trillions of dollars gushed out of Washington for everything from subsidizing meatpackers to developing vaccines, revealing that the money is there. “We can’t increase the federal debt!” Yet, Trump and the Republican Congress didn’t hesitate to shove the national debt through the roof in 2017 to let a few corporations and billionaires …

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Welcome to the Shooting Gallery

Welcome to the Shooting Gallery, folks, at the Great American Firearms Bazaar! Step right up and win your sweetheart a Kewpie doll! No background check required! No waiting period! Just plunk down your $$$$$, pick up a gun, and start blasting away! It’s easy! It’s fun! Guaranteed to win a prize every time! Just when we thought things were looking up—coronavirus vaccinations increasing by the week, Cadet Bone Spur relegated to Maybe-Lar-Gesse and facing dozens of law suits and maybe some criminal prosecutions too, a real president in the White House, and the crocuses and daffodils beginning to bloom—we get forcefully and depressingly reminded that …

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Now, Robots are Coming for White-Collar Jobs

In CorporateSpeak, there are no “job cuts.” Instead, firings are blandly referred to as “employment adjustments.” Now, though, corporate wordsmiths will need a whole new thesaurus of euphemisms, for masses of job cuts are coming for employees in the higher echelons of the corporate structure. Don’t look now, but an unanticipated result of the ongoing pandemic is that it has given cover for CEOs to speed up the adoption of highly-advanced RPAs (Robotic Process Automation) to replace employees once assumed to be immune from displacement. As one analyst told a New York Times reporter, “With RPA you can build a bot that costs $10,000 a …

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The Advantages of Being Useless

This essay is about learning how to be useless. As such, it dovetails nicely with a recent piece I wrote on these pages about striving for idleness. I agreed with Mark Taylor’s Buddhist notion that “idleness allows time for the mind to wander to places never before imagined and to return transformed.”⁠1 Being useless, like idleness, is often equated with being old. And, indeed, that is what I am. I spend a lot of time in reverie, which most would call idleness. I have to keep pulling myself back to the present. However, I’m not meditating but practicing what has been called the curse of …

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Will You Settle for Returning to Politics as Usual?

It took Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., Commander-in-Chief #46, only about five weeks to start dropping bombs on other countries. And he’s decided that he’s not going to penalize Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for ordering the brutal murder and dismembering of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. And so I was very quickly reminded of why I voted for Uncle Joe: he’s not Cadet Bone Spur. It isn’t all bad, of course. Biden’s cabinet appointments have been nothing short of historic: a gay secretary of transportation, a Native American secretary of the interior, a Black secretary of defense, a secretary of education who’s actually …

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The GOP’s Shameful War on Voters

After looking into one of their main issues, I have to agree with Republicans: Our elections are being rigged. Anyone who takes an honest look can see that the electoral process is being stolen in broad daylight. By Republican lawmakers. In state after state, GOP governors and legislators are on a rampage to rig the system so you can’t vote. By “you,” I mean you African-Americans, Latinx voters, Asian-Americans, Indigenous Peoples, and practically all other non-white citizens. Also, you seniors, union members, poor people, students, immigrant families, and others with a tendency to vote for Democrats. Fraudulently shouting “fraud!” GOP officials insist that they must …

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