Business Ethics Links 7-24-2016 The Revenge Porn Edition

Revenge Porn is Wrong. 

Now, after over two years of delicate negotiations, Congress is finally introducing such a law — the federal revenge porn bill — which, if passed, could help revenge porn victims like Vora prosecute their aggressors.

The Intimate Privacy Protection Act (IPPA) was introduced by Rep. Speieralongside co-sponsors Ryan Costello (R-Pa.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Thomas Rooney (R-Fla.), and Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.).

Revenge porn is the layman’s term for nonconsensual pornography, a crime that typically involves sharing or publishing nude or sexualized images of someone without their consent. Emerging alongside increased access to smartphones and social media, revenge porn often looks like what happened to Vora, but it can take various forms. In one of the highest-profile revenge porn cases, rapper 50 Cent published a privately acquired sex tape starring the ex-girlfriend of one of his rivals in order to shame him. The woman, Lastonia Leviston, sued and was awarded a $7 million settlement.

Do you want to join the fight to end revenge porn? – go here! 

Revenge Porn
The Revenge Porn Edition

Password Rage!!! By Stephanie Faris – The best thing written on the Internet in days – READ and ENJOY! 

(A passage from the opening:) 

Like so many of us, I have my browser set to remember all of my login credentials, so when I get the occasional request to re-enter information, I draw a blank. Far too many times, I enter the information I think is correct, only to get that annoying red text: “Your username and password is incorrect. Please try again.”


Passwords used to make sense. They were first used in the 1960s to protect critical computer systems from unauthorized access. A limited number of people used these systems, and each person likely only had one password to remember.

Taxpayer Funded Stadiums are a RIP-OFF. 

The failings of this crony capitalist dynamic have been noticed within the NFL as well. Asked last month what he would do were he the league’s president, Seattle Seahawks defensive star Richard Sherman was quick to point the finger at subsidies. “I’d stop spending billions of taxpayer dollars on stadiums and probably get us out of debt and maybe make the billionaires who actually benefit from the stadiums pay for them,” he said. “That kind of seems like a system that would work for me.”

When billionaires con the public into paying for their expenses, the public loses. In many cases, long after the stadium is demolished taxpayers are still paying on the bonds that paid for the construction. This isn’t rocket science. Giving multi-billionaires huge sums of tax money is a form of theft. That it happens so regularly is a savage indictment of the insularity, stupidity and lack of a public service mission in our morally bankrupt ruling class. jp

Michael Moore Predicts Trump Victory – he might be right. 

Sexual harassment at the Fox network? 

More sexual harassment at the Fox network? 

Is Trump a racist? 

Here we have a man who for more than four decades has been repeatedly associated with racial discrimination or bigoted comments about minorities, some of them made on television for all to see. While any one episode may be ambiguous, what emerges over more than four decades is a narrative arc, a consistent pattern — and I don’t see what else to call it but racism.

No matter what you’ve been told, it is not illegal to be black! 

My Black Opinion!

The New Working Class

The decades-long destruction of American manufacturing profoundly changed the working class — neighborhoods, jobs and families. What had once been nearly universal, guaranteed well-paying jobs for young men fresh from high school graduation were yanked overseas with little regard for the devastation left behind.

To add insult to injury, the loss of manufacturing jobs was often heralded as a sign of progress. As the economic contribution of these former working-class heroes to our nation dwindled and the technology revolution sizzled, in many people’s minds, millions of men became zeroes. They seemed to be a dusty anachronism in a sparkling new economy.

That these people, their lives and their jobs meant and mean so little to our ruling class is a giant exclamation point on the need for system wide change. When millions of peoples’ lives become irrelevant, it is time to boot out the current band of besotted fools who told us that all these trade deals and all the job destruction were good things. jp

Will Women Stop Trump? This maybe the election where women voters have their biggest effect ever. 

But nothing seemed to stop Trump. And now, joined by Gov. Mark Pence, the most extreme anti-woman vice presidential candidate in a generation, a man who spouts nothing but reckless, vicious and hateful rhetoric is just one step away from the nation’s highest office.

But there is one group that can and will stop him: women. Women, who have been so frequently criticized, derided, humiliated and underestimated by Trump, will be the ones to bring him down.

It’s a numbers game, plain and simple. Women, who make up a majority of the general population and 53 percent of voters, unsurprisingly have an overwhelmingly negative opinion of the man fond of calling them “bimbos,” “dogs” and “fat pigs.”

In fact, more than 70 percent of registered women voters view Donald Trump negatively. And it’s not just Democratic women who dislike him; polls show that nearly half of Republican women primary voters — 47 percent — said that they “could not imagine” themselves supporting Trump, despite the fact that he’s their party’s nominee.

Jon Steward, American Hero. 


Business Ethics Links 7-23-2016 The Establishment Verdict on Trump Edition

Washington Post Gives Establishment Verdict on Trump

Mr. Trump campaigns by insult and denigration, insinuation and wild accusation: Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; Hillary Clinton may be guilty of murder; Mr. Obama is a traitor who wants Muslims to attack. The Republican Party has moved the lunatic fringe onto center stage, with discourse that renders impossible the kind of substantive debate upon which any civil democracy depends.

Florida Investigates First Mosquito Transmitted Case of Zika

The Establishment Verdict

A small failure of business ethics. 

The men are accused of making $3m profit by fraudulently trading currencies in advance of a client buying $3.4bn of pounds sterling in 2011, according to the complaint. They are accused of buying sterling in advance of the client’s transaction in a manner “designed to spike the price” to the benefit of HSBC “and at the expense of their client”. They also billed their client for $5m in fees for their work.

Money for Malaysian Economic Development Does Some Serious Traveling (and it’s not coming home, not ever) 

The 1MDB affair has stretched from Malaysia to Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Switzerland, the Caribbean, Hong Kong and the US. The suspected fraud occurred in three phases in which money was laundered through bank accounts in Singapore, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the US, the government said in the court filing.

In 2009, after 1MDB was set up to pursue development projects, officials of 1MDB and others, under the pretense of investing in a joint venture between 1MDB and a Saudi oil company, transferred more than $1bn to a Swiss bank account.
In 2012, 1MDB officials and others diverted proceeds raised through two separate bond offerings arranged by Goldman Sachs Group Inc, according to the justice department.

More than 40% of the proceeds, or $1.4bn, were transferred to a Swiss bank account belonging to a British Virgin Islands entity. More than $1bn was diverted from another bond offering arranged by Goldman Sachs in 2013.

Isn’t it strange that Goldman Sachs shows up so often in these things? jp

Do women make better politicians than men? 

It’s a shame more women don’t run for office, because they truly could improve America. Despite Christie’s accusation that Clinton is a “self-proclaimed champion of women” who helped Boko Haram abduct “hundreds of innocent young girls”, studies show female politicians are good for the world. For example, they tend to focus on providing childcare, healthcare and education, policies that help lift the disproportionate number of low-income women out of poverty. Women are also more collaborative colleagues. Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said they “inject less libido and less testosterone into the equation”, which can often lead to better results. Women in office obtain almost 10% more federal funding than male politicians and introduce about double the number of bills.

Ban the Box Fails??

White power is so pervasive in the US, even attempts to correct it are ruined. Take the recent push to “ban the box”, in which some local governments have made it so that employers can’t ask upfront if an applicant has been convicted of a crime. The idea was to address how the over incarceration of black people discriminates against us in the job market. But a recent study has found that when the box was banned, “the racial gap in callbacks by employers actually increased”, according to economist Amanda Agan.

Why? As NPR’s Shankar Vendantam explained: “When companies were not allowed to check on the criminal histories of applicants, what they did was they fell back on their stereotypes and said, black men are more likely to be associated with crime. So let me just reject black applicants more often or call back white applicants more often.”

Milo, the banned. 

Milo shows no remorse for the avalanche of misconduct he helped direct towards Leslie Jones, who is just the latest victim of the recreational ritual abuse he likes to launch at women and minorities for the fame and fun of it. According to the law of the wild web, the spoils go to those with fewest fucks to give. I have come to believe, in the course of our bizarro unfriendship, that Milo believes in almost nothing concrete—not even in free speech. The same is reportedly true of Trump, of people like Ann Coulter, of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage: They are pure antagonists unencumbered by any conviction apart from their personal entitlement to raw power and stacks of cash.


Business Ethics Links 7-22-2016 The Verbal Judo Edition

The Verbal Judo Edition

Verbal Judo – something we should all learn? 

“There’s so many times when people are screaming and yelling and you just go to them: ‘Hey, buddy, how you doing? My names’s Sergeant Francis, I’m with NYPD, I noticed that you’re really upset, now what’s going on with you, is there any way I can help?’” he said. “What’s the expression on your face, what’s the tone of your voice? A lot of it has to do with keeping yourself calm. We have to have some sort of a professional language to use, and that’s what verbal judo really supplies.”

The Russians Cheat! – Only in an officially sanctioned and thoroughly organized manner. 

I do not pity the 68 Russian athletes who put the appeal in. I pity the athletes who were cheated out of the success they deserved, the athletes who lost their moment on the podium as well as the financial rewards, and have suffered from the continual self-doubt that they just weren’t good enough.

Yeah, this is sports where we send our children to build character and with a little luck permanently harm their bodies through injury or in some cases officially sanctioned drugs. I’m still waiting for the evidence of character building I’ve been hearing about for my entire life. (I have no problem with the no money sports where both adults and children compete for the love of simple athletics and the joy of movement.) 


The Verbal Judo Edition

The madman in his castle? 

Twice in its history the United States has been forced to re-create itself, both times in the face of existential crises. The abolition of slavery was the first such re-creation, born out of the crisis of the civil war. The New Deal was the second, the formation of the modern welfare state in response to the crisis of the Great Depression; had Roosevelt acted any less radically, the profound unrest that in certain places had already flared into outright insurrection – an episode of US history that’s largely forgotten, or ignored – might well have morphed into re-creation by other means. Now we find ourselves in dire need of a third re-creation, a revolution in the psyche as well as the structure of the country that takes account of realities that are already upon us. A broadening beyond the psychic island, the insane castle, the encircling wall of the Wasp that Norman Mailer wrote about nearly a half-century ago. It has to happen; the country’s changing demographics, and the sheer weight of human experience they represent, demand it. The only way it won’t happen is by the outright subversion of democracy, which by definition would constitute a very different sort of re-creation.

Olympics desecrates graves. 

Adilson Batista Almeida, the leader of Camorim Quilombo, accuses developers of riding roughshod over the history of slavery in the area by destroying archaeological remains at the site of an old sugar mill, and depriving the community of a public space for cultural activities that celebrate its Afro-Brazilian heritage.

“One Sunday morning a chainsaw came and devastated everything including century-old trees,” Almeida said. “I regard the ground as sacred because it is where my ancestors were buried.”

The media village is a condominium – Grand Club Verdant – that will be sold to private buyers after the Games. The land was acquired in 2013 by the real estate developer Cyrela which felled hundreds of trees, destroyed a community football pitch and demolished the remains of the old slave owner’s house and the slavery-era sugar mill in order to clear the area for construction.

New York ends tampon tax. 

On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation banning the “tampon tax” – a tax on menstruation products. The measure was approved by the state senate and assembly earlier this year.

“Women statewide will no longer be burdened by a lingering tax that was levied at a time when women were not part of government and the decision-making process,” said Linda B Rosenthal, the bill’s sponsor in the state assembly.

The legislation will exempt tampons, sanitary napkins and panty liners from state and local taxes. It will go into effect in the next sales tax quarter, reported the Associated Press.

When these kinds of products are designated what they are – necessities, and no longer designated as luxuries, we will have taken a step in recognizing the facts of women’s lives rather than the systematic foolishness of old men. jp

“Beware of Darkness” the new Trump anthem? 

Famous Network Leader Leaves Job and all Personal Accountability Behind. 

“While we are glad to see Roger Ailes step down from his position at Fox News, sending him off with zero accountability and a big check is a slap in the face to the … women he harassed during his tenure as CEO and does nothing to fundamentally change the culture of Fox News that he created,” Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet, a national women’s advocacy organization, said in a statement.

North Carolina suffers setback. 

The Atlantic and Washington Post sell out for climate deniers. 

Evidence of human-made climate change is so conclusive that it’s wrong for journalists to treat its denial like a reasonable point of view. But it is a new low for major media groups to sell their brand to lobbyists and let climate truthers go unchallenged.

And The Atlantic was hardly alone. At the Republican National Convention, the American Petroleum Institute also paid the Washington Post and Politico to host panel conversations where API literature was distributed, API representatives gave opening remarks, and not one speaker was an environmentalist, climate expert, scientists, or Democrat.




Business Ethics Blog Posts 7-21-2016 The Concrete Sarcophagus Edition

Fukushima to be entombed in a concrete sarcophagus? 

The idea of leaving the plant as is and creating a sarcophagus around the three melted down reactors is extremely problematic. The groundwater issue is just one problem that would be a permanent problem. Even the ice wall if it eventually works as planned can only operate for a few years. Erosion and groundwater flows would create a permanent problem for the ocean and the region around the plant. This would also leave the fuel and crumbling buildings in place. Building failures, radioactive dust and fuel debris would all still be in place. This would need to be managed not just due to aging but further natural disasters such as typhoons and tsunami. Current problems include fuel fragments that have been found in unit 1′s torus room basement water. These have been a concern as groundwater flows through these basements that if improperly managed, more of these fuel fragments could leave the basement into the groundwater.

Koizumi asks for help for U.S. veterans who came to Japan’s aid during meltdown. 

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is calling for donations to the relief fund he founded for U.S. veterans who claim their health problems resulted from radioactive fallout after the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Speaking at a news conference on July 5 alongside another former prime minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, Koizumi said of the U.S. veterans: “They went so far to do their utmost to help Japan. It is not the kind of issue we can dismiss with just sympathy.”

Can Economists Reason? 

Neoclassical economics has since long given up on the real world and contents itself with proving things about thought up worlds. Empirical evidence only plays a minor role in economic theory, where models largely function as a substitute for empirical evidence. The one-sided, almost religious, insistence on axiomatic-deductivist modeling as the only scientific activity worthy of pursuing in economics, is a scientific cul-de-sac. To have valid evidence is not enough. What economics needs is sound evidence.

Paul Kiser’s Blog Today!

Liberals are blamed for almost everything, but we are not responsible for the fiasco at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland this week. We did not make a secret deal with Donald Trump to destroy everything Republican. We didn’t pay Rudy Giuliani to do an impression of Hitler speaking to a Nazi rally. We didn’t make Melania Trump look like a Stepford wife and upload her with a speech that was plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s convention speech from eight years ago.

Drug Prices are too high and unfair. 

(This is a particularly good article. You should make a special effort to go to teh original site and read it in full. jp)

First, about 38% of the basic research science is actually funded by taxpayer money—so the public is paying twice: once in taxes and once again for the drugs resulting from the research. This, of course, leaves a significant legitimate area of expenses for companies, but hardly enough to warrant absurdly high prices.

Second, most large drug companies spend almost twice as much on promotion and marketing as they do on R&D. While these are legitimate business expenses, this fact does undercut using R&D expenses to justify excessive drug prices. Obviously, telling the public that pills are pricy because of the cost of marketing pills so people will buy them would not be an effective strategy. There is also the issue of the ethics of advertising drugs, which is another matter entirely.

Third, many “new” drugs are actually slightly tweaked old drugs. Common examples including combining two older drugs to create a “new” drug, changing the delivery method (from an injectable to a pill, for example) or altering the release time. In many cases, the government will grant a new patent for these minor tweaks and this will grant the company up to a 20-year monopoly on the product, preventing competition. This practice, though obviously legal, is certainly sketchy. To use an analogy, imagine a company held the patent on a wheel and an axle. Then, when those patents expired, they patented wheel + axle as a “new” invention. That would obviously be absurd.

Online Charter Schools Seek to Evade Regulation

Ohio’s Steve Dyer reports in his personal blog that defenders of Ohio’s Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, the notorious ECOT online charter school, have even been lobbying delegates to the Republican National Convention here in Cleveland against Ohio’s crack-down on e-schools which seem to have been collecting millions of dollars every year from the state for phantom students.  Dyer writes: “And now, the Ohio Coalition for Quality Education—the state’s ironically named and most egregious defender of poor-performing charter schools… slipped a letter under the doors of delegates to the Republican National Convention….”  The letter “blames sneaky Democratic bureaucrats at ODE (Ohio Department of Education) for ECOT’s problems….”  In fact, as Dyer explains, passage of a bill modestly to increase regulation of Ohio’s charter sector was passed with bipartisan support.  But now, as Ohio’s largest and most profitable charter stands to lose millions of dollars because it has been inflating the per-pupil attendance on which state funding is based, powerful backers are appealing to anyone they can to try to keep their school operating and keep the tax dollars flowing into their profits.

New York Times fails to properly weigh Mike Pence’s education record

Revenge Against the Elites

On the morning after British voters chose to leave the European Union, Obama was in California addressing an audience at Stanford University, a school often celebrated these days as the pre-eminent educational institution of Silicon Valley. The occasion of the president’s remarks was the annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, and the substance of his speech was the purest globaloney, flavored with a whiff of vintage dotcom ebullience. Obama marveled at the smart young creative people who start tech businesses. He deplored bigotry as an impediment that sometimes keeps these smart creative people from succeeding. He demanded that more power be given to the smart young creatives who are transforming the world. Keywords included “innovation”, “interconnection”, and of course “Zuckerberg”, the Facebook CEO, who has appeared with Obama on so many occasions and whose company is often used as shorthand by Democrats to signify everything that is wonderful about our era.

The socialist faculty have corrupted our youth

So, I guess we should gird ourselves.  If the Republicans lose in November, watch out for some pretty mean-spirited scapegoating directed at the professoriate.  For clearly in the eyes of those like Luntz the younger generation has been “lost’ to “socialism” all because of us and that cries out for a “solution.”  Never mind, of course, that most academics, even on the left, neither call themselves or actually are socialists of any stripe.  Never mind that the number of classes in which openly “socialist” readings predominate is minimal and at many institutions totally non-existent.  I challenge anyone to identify a single “socialist” Economics department.  Never mind also that the most sacred principles of our profession enjoin us from indoctrination.  And, most of all, never mind that a generation brought up during the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, at a time when income and wealth inequality, not to mention simple abject poverty and homelessness, have grown to hitherto unseen levels might well be likely to question the morality and workability of unrestrained capitalism.  Surely instead it’s the professors’ who are to blame for such allegedly extreme views among the youth, not their life experiences.


‘What do the fateful Brexit referendum, the epidemic spread of Nintendo’s ‘Pokémon Go’ game, the escalating death of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the fivefold growth in tourism since 1980 have in common? The short answer is that they all express symptoms or outcomes of global accelerated change, or ‘overheating’, as I call it in my new book.

Business Ethics Links 7-20-2016 The Orange Leader Edition

RNC votes Trump as nominee. 

This is a radical time in American politics: a time the pundits and elected politicians thought would never come. After two decades of populist anger, the elderly rebels of Pat Buchanan’s pitchfork army finally stormed the barricades of the establishment and hoisted an orange leader atop the smoking rubble.

Don’t hand out union flyers in the South? 

Check your freezer! Massive frozen food recall affects all of U.S. 

Light weights just as good as heavy weights??

“Fatigue is the great equalizer here,” study researcher Stuart Phillips, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, said in a statement. “Lift to the point of exhaustion, and it doesn’t matter whether the weights are heavy or light.”

European truck companies conspire to fix prices. 

“It is not acceptable that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF, which together account for around 9 out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks produced in Europe, were part of a cartel instead of competing with each other,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

The hottest tourist destination? 

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. sued. 

The complaint was filed on behalf of more than 50 plaintiffs who have performed with WWE or its predecessors since the 1970s, including Joseph “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis and Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff.

It accused Stamford, Connecticut-based WWE and Chairman Vince McMahon of intentionally classifying wrestlers as “independent contractors” rather than employees, as a means to avoid liability under applicable worker protection laws.

“WWE placed corporate gain over its wrestlers’ health, safety, and financial security, choosing to leave the plaintiffs severely injured and with no recourse to treat their damaged minds and bodies,” the complaint said.

It is sad that a corporate behemoth like WWE can make suck enormous profits and simply evade any responsibility for the broken bodies it leaves behind. jp

U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Fights for Equal Pay!

These women make the advertising money by winning and winning a lot. They make American soccer a success and get paid less than their male counterparts who are not as competitive. What’s going on here?

Is there a justification here of any significance beyond simple mulish male stubborn pride? 

I don’t think so.

Simple business ethics says equal pay for equal work but in this case the women are doing better work and still not getting the same. jp

Raging Hormones responsible for sexual assault!!!

That’s right! Sexual assault is not an affirmative act committed with intent, it’s a result of raging hormones. Who would’ve thought? In my apparently irrelevant law school, they taught us that rape was an intentional act and punishable by imprisonment and fines. But lo and behold, the new Big Twelve Commisioner has this to say –

“But let it suffice to say as it pertains to all of our institutions, we are very committed as a group of 10 schools to eradicating sexual assault on our campuses. It almost goes without saying that when you combine alcohol and drugs and raging hormones and the experiences of 18 to 22 years old, it’s probably unrealistic to think that these kinds of things are never going to happen.”

It’s just nature. So, you see – we just have to accept that sexual predators are among us. It’s just natural. 

And that means that rigorous enforcement of the laws, the jailing and punishment of the perpetrators whenever found – we are not going to talk about that. After all, nature! 

The Orange Leader Edition

White people are really, really special! 

Women for Trump event poorly attended. Who would have thought? 

Milo Yiannopoulos permanently banned from Twitter

Milo Yiannopoulos, the technology editor for, tweeted as @Nero. Before he was banned, he had more than 338,000 followers and called himself “the most fabulous supervillain on the internet” for his provocations online.

A known contrarian who likened rape culture to Harry Potter (“both fantasy”) and affectionately referred to Donald Trump as “daddy”, he emerged as a spokesman for the “alt-right” in the wake of the Gamergate movement.

Some conservative groups urge Republicans to accept climate change as fact. 

Climate change, and other environmental concerns, are unlikely to receive much, if any, attention during the Republican convention in Cleveland this week. This is despite a slew of temperature records being broken – June was the 14th consecutive month of record heat around the world – and extreme examples ofArctic ice decline and drought and wildfires in the US west.

But the Republican gathering has been targeted by conservative voices calling for climate science to be accepted and for national parks to be preserved, rather than opened up for drilling and other development.

First woman to run for president arrested. 

Hillary Clinton will make history next week in Philadelphia when she formally becomes the first woman to be the presidential nominee of a major party. But she is not the first woman to be nominated as a presidential candidate: that distinction is held by Victoria Claflin Woodhull. In 1872, she became a third-party candidate, running against the incumbent Republican president, General Ulysses S Grant, and his Democratic challenger, New York publisher Horace Greeley. She would not have been able to vote for herself – that right would not be granted to American woman for another 50 years – but that did not deter this pioneering feminist from making a historic bid for change.

Her life story would not be out of place in a 19th-century novel. It is peopled by a colourful array of charlatans, churchmen, philanthropists and philanderers. It is also a classic American tale: a triumph over adversity – poverty, abusive parents, and a bad marriage – and a rise to prominence in the most vital social movements of the day.

Business Ethics Links 7-19-2016 The Plagiarism Edition!


Seems to be plagiarism? 

You killed my sister, you’re not a Muslim. 

Revolt Against Neoliberalism?!

New World Religious Dialogue. 

What’s a cat cafe? 

Kelvin MacKenzie’s Comments Called ‘Religious Hatred’

Steve King Says White People Predominant in Civilization Development

The rich cultural history of the deep south – in pictures

Wheelchair Street Racer Eludes Police

Trump and religion.

Only if he changes everything he says – Ouch!!

A fragile white person? 

Business Ethics Blog Posts 7-18-2016 The Neoliberalism Slam Edition

Will Neoliberalism in the end destroy democracy? 

Polanyi was far more broadly educated than most economists, perhaps an equal to Keynes. He was employed in Vienna in the 1920s as the “senior editor for the premier economic and financial weekly of Central Europe”– the Financial Times of its day and region. On the very first page of the opening chapter of The Great Transformation, Polanyi delivers his judgement on where the logic of mandating free markets as the dominant force in society would lead if not tempered with countervailing power:

Our thesis is that the idea of a self-adjusting market implied a stark utopia. Such an institution could not exist for any length of time without annihilating the human and natural substance of society; it would have physically destroyed man and transformed his surroundings into a wilderness. Inevitably, society took measures to protect itself, but whatever measures it took impaired the self-regulation of the market, disorganized industrial life, and thus endangered society in yet another way. It was this dilemma which forced the development of the market system into a definite groove and finally disrupted the social organization based upon it.

Does general equilibrium theory have any actual proof that such equilibrium take place? 

Almost a century and a half after Léon Walras founded neoclassical general equilibrium theory, economists still have not been able to show that markets move economies to equilibria. What we do know is that — under very restrictive assumptions — unique Pareto-efficient equilibria do exist.

But what good does that do? As long as we cannot show, except under exceedingly unrealistic assumptions, that there are convincing reasons to suppose there are forces which lead economies to equilibria – the value of general equilibrium theory is nil. As long as we cannot really demonstrate that there are forces operating — under reasonable, relevant and at least mildly realistic conditions — at moving markets to equilibria, there cannot really be any sustainable reason for anyone to pay any interest or attention to this theory. A stability that can only be proved by assuming “Santa Claus” conditions is of no avail. Most people do not believe in Santa Claus anymore. And for good reasons. Santa Claus is for kids.

Restaurant Associations Don’t Speak for the Industry on Tip Credit Wages

Rapid charter expansion disaster for public schools in Detroit – 

Arnsen’s study documents what many have suspected: the rapid growth of charter schools is itself a factor destabilizing so-called “portfolio school districts” which are conceptualized as school marketplaces managed like a business portfolio in which new schools are opened and so-called “failing” schools are shut down in a constant cycle of churn.  Arnsen concludes his interview with Berkshire: “A place like Detroit is just chaotic. It’s the foremost example nationally of the adverse consequences of a poorly regulated education market… Our charter sector in Michigan is unusual nationally in the extent to which the schools are run by for-profit management companies… (W)e have a situation in Michigan where the charter interests are very influential in the state legislature.  It makes it much harder in this state to reach consensus not only on coherent choice and finance policies, but also on policy relating to all sorts of education issues….”

In other words, in a state where far-right Dick DeVos and his Great Lakes Education Project along with owners of the for-profit charters are actively buying political influence, it is very difficult to get the legislature to regulate what is an out of control charter school marketplace.

Student Loan Disaster

Making a long story short, the federal government enabled banks and private equity companies to monetize the federal student loan program, enabling them to make significant profits from the loans and fees. Because many state governments embraced an ideology of selfishness and opposition to public goods, these governments significant cut their support for state colleges and universities, thus increasing the cost of tuition. At the same time, university administrations were growing both in number of administrators and their salaries, thus increasing costs as well. There was also an increase in infrastructure costs due to new technology as well as a desire to market campuses as having amenities such as rock climbing gyms. The result is $1.3 trillion in debt for 42 million Americans. On the “positive” side, the government makes about 20% on its 2013 loans and the industry is humming along at $140 billion a year.

Malaga island and Eugenics

“Eugenics really took hold in both education reform and reform of social service practices in the state by the 1910s,” says Kate McMahon, a doctoral candidate at Howard University who has been researching Malaga Island, “Those who were poor were also institutionalized and many were forcibly sterilized.” With the growth of this social movement, an increase in sentiment of racism within the state, along with a fear that the black faces of Malaga would interfere with tourist’s vision of the picturesque Maine ideal, it was only a matter of time before the residents of Malaga Island became the center of these social policies and prejudicial fears.

Saving South Dakota from radiation

On July 22nd, an engineer is selling, er I mean, discussing, the underground nuclear waste dump…um, I mean, research laboratory.  It puts a nice spin on it, when you call it “research”, doesn’t it??  Clearly, this guy is going to market the idea to people–this is not about giving information to the public so that they can decide whether this is a wise decision or not.  The way that this project has been shoved through without much public input tells you that it is not what the public wants nor needs.

We have report after report on nuclear waste leaking at other sites:  New Mexico and Washington State.  Here’s another reporton it.

I don’t care about geology supporting it here in South Dakota.  It’s not natural and not supposed to be in the Earth.  It will come back to bite us in the arse…we have seen this over and over.  The arrogance is astounding.

Nine hundred million dollars in laundered drug money and they just paid a fine. 

What happens next at Fox News?

The Neoliberalism Slam Edition

Back from the dead! (Go have a look! jp) 

Who is Fethullah Gulen and what is he doing in the charter school movement? 

Better Scientists through Philosophy.


Business Ethics Links 7-18-2016 It’s too damn hot edition!

It’s too damn hot. 

Climate Central’s States at Risk project analyzed historic trends in summer temperatures since 1970 as well as projections for future extreme heat for hundreds of metro areas across the lower 48 states. Using several measures, our findings show that most U.S. cities have already experienced large increases in extreme summer heat and absolute humidity, which together can cause serious heat-related health problems.

We found that scores of U.S. cities home to tens of millions of people will face dramatic increases in dangerous and extreme heat days by the middle of this century if current greenhouse gas emissions trends continue.

NFL to chip balls!!

According to John Kryk of the Toronto Sun (h/t Seifert), the primary objective of the chips is to determine the prospective impact of shortening the distance between the goal posts. The NFL aims to measure how close extra-point and field-goal attempts come to the uprights.

Girls are born to stay at home – or die.

Less than 50% of American high schoolers get adequate sex education. 

The US does not enforce national standards for sex education and schools in many states are not required to teach it. Across the country, SIECUS estimates, only 50% of high school students receive sex education that meets the recommendations of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The other half of students receive anything from an incomplete sex education, to education that emphasizes abstinence, to abstinence-only education, with a focus on delaying sex until heterosexual marriage.

The End of Civilization? 

You can only get whiter than this with bleach!!!

It's too damn hot!
It’s too damn hot!

Wall Street Journal rates restaurants on liberal/conservative customer ratios. 

Pravda on the plains?

Canned wine now acceptable – (just like a beer!). 

A highway knows as the big worm – corruption in Brazil. 

Mental health care bill passes Congress. 

State sponsored doping? 

Politico Perishes? 

Is assassination by drone a war crime? 

One problem has, however, dogged the drone program from the beginning: just like conventional air strikes, remotely targeted missiles and bombs tend to kill the wrong people. Over the last seven years, the count of civilians killed by drones has been mounting. Actual figures are hard to come by, although a number of nongovernmental organizations and journalists have done a good job of collating information from a variety of sources and offering reasonable estimates.

Kaine PAIN!

Public College Presidents’ Pay Too High!




Business Ethics Links 7-17-2016

For every dollar loaned to a woman owned business, twenty-three dollars are loaned to male owned businesses. 

The journey of one bullet from the factory to the victim. 

Nine evictions in one day.

Donald Trump is part of the problem. 

Women earn far, far less than men in the medical profession. 

What is meant by carefully curated integration? 

Do mass killers start out hating women? 

Poverty is a punishable offense. 

Herbalife gets a thrashing from the government. 



Movement toward Female Equality?

Movement toward Female Equality?

I’ve written on more than one occasion that women’s rights are the most important business ethics issue before us. These last few days, there have been a series of news stories that suggest changes are happening. There is a tremendous range here in terms of importance. For symbolism, I would point to the Miss Teen USA’s abandonment of the swimsuit competition. For importance, I would point to the Marine Corp willingness to allow women to access combat positions. And for sheer practicality (and it is about time) the New York City Council has voted that women will have access to free tampons and pads in schools, prisons and shelters.

Here is a list of five items with the links and short quote from each:

The few, the proud, the fit: Women strive for combat jobs

Six months after the Pentagon ordered all combat jobs open to women, seven female Marines are either serving in those posts or waiting to serve, and 167 are performing noncombat duties in front-line units, according to new data obtained by The Associated Press.

‘Game of Thrones’ effect sees female knights jousting at English castles

Female knights will battle against male counterparts at Bolsover, Kenilworth, Pendennis and Carisbrooke castles.

The grand medieval joust competitions see the knights on horseback, dressed in full armour and armed with a lance.

Traditionally, no women took part in jousting tournaments as all the elite knights were male.

But following in the footsteps of Game of Thrones’ Brienne of Tarth, English Heritage said it had made the decision to allow visitors to see the “most accomplished knights on the circuit”.

New York City Council Approves Free Tampons and Pads in Schools, Prisons, and Shelters

The new bill, which passed 49-0, will establish tampon and pad dispensers in the bathrooms of public schools with female students in grades six through 12 in an extension of a pilot program launched last year. It will also require prisons and jails operated by the city to give inmates menstrual supplies as soon as possible after they ask for them. Current prison systems for tampons and pad distribution vary widely across states and facilities, but in many places, incarcerated women are given an insufficient monthly supply or must buy products with their own limited funds from the commissary.

Movement toward Female Equality?

“Pinklining”: How women of color are disproportionately hurt by Wall Street’s predatory practices

“Pinklining: How Wall Street’s Predatory Products Pillage Women’s Wealth, Opportunities & Futures,” details how sexism and racism are “increasingly exploited and exacerbated by Wall Street and the financial sector.”

The report, which was written by scholar Suparna Bhaskaran, shows how “Wall Street takes advantage of women’s precarious economic position and marginalization to push them deeper into debt,” in a practice Bhaskaran calls “pinklining.”

Structural sexism and structural racism make women and people of color more susceptible to pinklining, the report stresses.

It looks at three primary financial practices in which these inequalities are visible: subprime home mortgage lending, payday lending and higher education lending.

Here is a link to the full report –

Miss Teen USA Ditches The Swimsuit Competition It Should Never Have Had

Miss Teen USA just got a lot less creepy.

Teenage contestants will no longer compete wearing swimwear in the Miss annual competition, pageant officials announced Tuesday. Starting at this year’s event on July 30, the 14-18-year-old contestants will instead model athletic wear before judges.

The change is part of a commitment to “evolve in ways that celebrate women’s strength, confidence and beauty for years to come,” Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart wrote in a letter to the pageant’s state directors. 

“This decision reflects an important cultural shift we’re all celebrating that empowers women who lead active, purposeful lives and encourage those in their communities to do the same,” she continued. “Our hope is that this decision will help all of Miss Teen USA’s fans recognize these young women for the strong, inspiring individuals they are.”

These stories vary in importance and impact. If we compare the Civil Rights movement of the sixties to Women’s rights today, we are struck by the substantive changes in the law for the first and the miserable to and fro actions of the law in regard to the latter. Suddenly almost overnight the law changed to protect blacks in interstate commerce but for women the right to equal pay, to contraception and even to avoid victimization is a grueling backwards and forward fight with no permanent victories.

But change is happening and I am heartened that in some sense progress is being made.

James Pilant