Wednesday Links

Heilbroner

Here are some items I’ve been meaning to post:

(1) ASSA Protests:  My last post mentioned the planned protests at the ASSA;  there was a bit of a buzz about the protests at the conference, and there was pretty impressive coverage in the Washington Post:  The protesters who are trying to upend the ‘fantasy world’ of economics, with the subtitle: At a gathering of America’s top economists, a small group of students is battling for the soul of economics.  The protesters, mostly grad students in economics, did projections like the one in the image above, and did aim to “disrupt” some of the sessions, including some involving Greg Mankiw, Larry Summers, and Carmen Reinhart. (It’s pretty hilarious to read Reinhart claiming that her session was heterodox in the Post article.) Mankiw’s blog had an odd post titled “An Odd Question,” in which he spoke of hecklers, one of whom apparently asked a question about Mankiw being funded by the Koch brothers. But one of the organizers of the protests, Keith Harrington, said that the hecklers weren’t from the protesters. Mankiw’s blog doesn’t take comments, so Keith emailed him this:

Thank you for sharing the Washington Post article about our initiative on your blog. Since there is no place to leave comments on any of your posts, I just wanted to send this quick note pointing out that the heckler that you mentioned was not a part of our group. We made a point to only challenge you and your colleagues on the substance of your work and viewpoints, and to avoid any purely provocative, conspiratorial commentary such as the Koch Brothers remark.
Sincerely,
Keith Harrington

Mankiw’s response:

Thank you for your note.

Greg

Polite, but not so self-reflective.  Reminds me of the response I got when I emailed James Poterba about a weird remark he made at an American Academy of Arts & Sciences event in 2010 (recounted here).

(2) Let Us Now Praise Corporate Personsby Kent Greenfield in the Washington Monthly. ARthur MacEwan raised some of the same issues on corporate personhood in an “Ask Dr. Dollar” column a couple of years ago: How Important Is Citizens United?.

(3) Political Cartooning Is Almost Worth Dying For, by the wonderful Ted Rall in the LA TImes, about the horrific Charlie Hebdo attack.  (Hats off to all the Twitter folks who have been pushing mainstream outlets to cover the #NAACBombing.)

(4) Piketty Responds to Criticisms from the Left, an interview by Potemkin Review.

(5) Several Items on #BlackLivesMatter and the NYPD that I’d meant to mention here but hadn’t had time: Andy Cush at Gawker, The NYPD Is an Embarrassment to the City of New York; Ari Paul at Jacobin, Smash the Lynch Mob;  Corey Robin at his blog, A Weimar-y Vibe (about the NYPD and PBA/Patrick Lynch after the shooting of two NYPD officers); Max Blumenthal at Alternet (nice redesign!), Emails and Racist Chats Show How Cops and GOP Are Teaming Up to Undermine de Blasio; and flawed, but worth reading, Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone, The NYPD’s Work Stoppage Is Surreal (<–this one from Taibbi was itself kind of surreal, for his saying he “understood” (i.e., sympathized with?) why the cops are mad at de Balsio, and that de Blasio’s reference to his son Dante was “clumsy”–which led to an unfortunate Twitter fight between Taibbi and Blumenthal). And two segments from Doug Henwood’s wonderful Behind the News have been great on the Ferguson/#BlackLivesMatter protests:  the interview with Alex Vitale (second half of the December 4 show), and the interview with Kevin Alexander Gray (first half of the October 30 show).

That’s it for now.

Friday Links: Gaza, Ferguson, Argentina, and unemployment

(1) Max Blumenthal, interviewed on Jung & Naiv.  An excellent interview with Max Blumenthal, contextualizing the assault on Gaza in the rise of right wing and genocidal rhetoric in Israel.  (Hat-tip to Marjo van der Veen.) A wide-ranging interview, well worth watching the whole thing, but one point he makes (in response to a question from the interviewer, who is German, about anti-semitic rallies in Berlin) that is especially good:  “Zionism is using Jews as human shields; they’re speaking in the name of all Jews, and claiming that this war they are carrying out is being conducted in the name of all Jews.” He also talks about the overlap between Zionism and anti-semitism, e.g., when Israel points to anti-semitism in France or Germany and encourages French or German Jews to move to Israel (as if to agree with the anti-semites that Jews don’t belong in France or Germany). (I posted a great Real News Network interview with Blumenthal on Facebook and Twitter, but not here; it’s also worth watching. See also Jason Stanley’s Boston Review piece, When Protesting Israel Becomes Hating Jews, which I mentioned in my last links post.)

(2) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Dave Zirin on Ferguson:  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a really powerful piece in Time magazine, The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race, relating the protests in Ferguson to inequality and class warfare.  Dave Zirin has an interesting response in The Nation, The Major Problem With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Powerful Essay on Ferguson, which essentially praises Abdul-Jabbar’s piece but takes him to task for prioritizing class over race. I stopped reading the comment section on Zirin’s piece–even at The Nation‘s website, comments can be so toxic. But I can’t help feeling that Zirin misinterprets Abdul-Jabbar.  Anyway, both are worth reading.  Also check out this Real News Network interview with Kevin Alexander Gray, a lawyer who is working with organizers of the Ferguson protests. 

(3) Jayati Ghosh and Greg Palast on vulture funds and Argentina:  D&S author and pal, investigative journalist Greg Palast, spoke with the Real News Network about Paul “the Vulture” Singer, whom a U.S. judge said Argentina must pay $3 billion for bonds Singer paid $30 million for. And here’s economist Jayati Ghosh, one of the founders of and bloggers for our sister blog Triple Crisis, talking about the ramifications for the global financial system of the judgment and the Argentine default that would result if Argentina did pay Singer and the other hedge funds that have refused debt restructuring: The Outrageous US Court Judgement Causing Argentinian Default, from NewsClick.

(4) Heidi Shierholz, Bill Barclay, and Ron Baiman on the job market: The summer drought of new material on Doug Henwood’s excellent radio show, Behind the News, is finally over; he posted a couple of new episodes recently.  My commute to and from New Hampshire will be informative again for a while, vs. melting my brain with NPR, as I’ve been doing. The July 10 episode includes a segment with the Economic Policy Institute’s Heidi Shierholz, talking about the flaccid job market. Doug’s interviews with Heidi are just so great. (The second half of that episode features an interview with Sean Jacobs on the political economy of soccer. The “Active Culture” article in our current issue has a piece by our awesome intern Zion Griffin about “The People’s Cup” activism in Brazil around the World Cup, which Jacobs discusses in the interview.)  And here is what Bill Barclay and Ron Baiman wrote for CPEG about the July jobs report; and here is a statement Bill gave to the D.C. Jobs Summit in July.

That’s it for this week.

–Chris Sturr