Monthly Archives: August 2013

Big Business, small businesses, Death & Profits

August 29, 2013

‘Ask a Mortician‘ is a quirky and informative Youtube series with mortician Caitlin Doughty. The most recent video touches on the political economy of the funeral business. The question is based on an anti-funeral business rant on Reddit and asks: “Is the Funeral Industry a Pyramid Scheme?” Doughty quickly sets aside the misleading use of … Read More

The Capitalist Mode of Power: Critical Engagements with the Power Theory of Value

August 26, 2013

This edited volume offers the first critical engagement with one of the most provocative and controversial theories in political economy: the thesis that capital can be theorized as power and that capital is finance and only finance. The book also includes a detailed introduction to this novel thesis first put forward by Nitzan and Bichler … Read More

Labouring in College Sports

August 21, 2013

Sports writer Patrick Hruby offers a breakdown of recent turmoil over the possibility that Texas A&M football star Johnny Manziel broke college sports rules pertaining to the payment of athletes. The piece provides some insights into the complicated political economy of U.S. American college sports. Billions of dollars circulate around athletes who are prohibited from … Read More

Paying for attention

August 20, 2013

The media company 21st Century Fox has purchased a five percent share of the website Vice for $70 million. The website produces a wide range of content. However, much of what it currently does is rabble rousing investigative reporting, like a recent half hour report  on Sarnia’s ‘Chemical Valley’ and the effect of the pollution generated … Read More

Transportation, Markets and Externalities

August 19, 2013

The Brazilian government is due to spend R$200 billion (US$84 billion) on its ports, airports, railroads and roads over the next two years. This spending highlights the impossibility of separating ‘politics’ from the ‘economy,’ as it is meant to reduce transportation costs, an important – and often overlooked – component of production, distribution and consumption. … Read More

The Price of Human Life

August 16, 2013

This American Life is a great public radio show based out of Chicago. They just hit their 500th episode and to celebrate, Ira Glass talked with his other producers about favourite past episodes. Alex Blumberg, one of the producers of Planet Money, reflected on a particular co-production with This American Life. All the way back in … Read More

Markets and Inequality

August 16, 2013

In the August 16 issue of The Financial Times, popularizing economics writer Tim Harford joined the chorus of voices raising the issue of income inequality. He asked whether or not we should care that the income gap is widening. He suggested there are two reasons we might care: process and outcome. On the process, Harford … Read More

Mediating the Intra-capitalist Struggle

August 14, 2013

U.S. regulators have subpoenaed powerhouses of financial intermediation, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, as part of a probe into metal warehousing. Two companies identified with the supposedly ephemeral world of finance are being called to answer questions as owners of the decidedly concrete warehouses used to store aluminum. The investigation is being conducted by the … Read More