The Gimmick Economy: how central banks pretend software isn't eating the world

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Mathematician/economist Eric R Weinstein is managing director of Thiel Capital, but that doesn't mean that he thinks capitalism has a future. Read the rest

Forget the one percent, it's the 0.1% who run the show

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The wealthiest one out of 1,000 US families -- the 0.1 percent -- comprise about 115,000 households whose net worth starts at $20M, and goes up and up from there, accounting for at least as much wealth as the poorest 90 percent of US households. Read the rest

Kindle Unlimited is being flooded with 3,000-page garbage books that suck money out of the system

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Amazon's Kindle Unlimited service allows subscribers to download as many books as they want, and then pays writers based on the number of their pages that readers have read. Read the rest

Competing construction companies stage a bulldozer fight in a busy street

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In this video, we see a rare bulldozer duel between construction rivals in Xingtang county, Hebei province. Read the rest

No, tax-havens aren't good for society (duh)

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As the Panama Papers story unfolds and we learn more about the systematic world-scale corruption of offshore tax-havens, the usual suspects have mounted a charm-offensive top defend anonymous offshore bank accounts as critical to democracy and a check against the rise of fascism (no, really). Read the rest

High profits mean capitalism is cooked

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From The Economist to the White House Council of Economic Advisers to Goldman Sachs itself, the staunchest supporters of capitalism are worried about the consistently high profit margins in key industries, especially finance. Read the rest

What is neoliberalism?

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As recently as a couple years ago, using the word "neoliberalism" here on Boing Boing would inevitably provoke an outraged comment from someone who wanted to know why we were "liberal-bashing." Though the term was a little more widely used in Europe than in the USA, it still pretty obscure there. That obscurity is the ideology's strength. Read the rest

Three pieces of statistical "bullshit" about the UK EU referendum

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Economist Tim Harford attacks three of the statistics being widely cited in the campaigns over the upcoming referendum on the UK remaining in the EU, two from the "leave" camp and one from the "stay" camp. Read the rest

Uber and Lyft don't cover their cost of capital and rely on desperate workers

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Uber and Lyft are only economically viable because they offload their cost of capital -- the investment and depreciation on cars and the cost of keeping a driver fed and healthy -- onto the drivers, who are only willing to accept such a bad deal because the labor market sucks. Read the rest

Classic paper on economic models is secretly a masterclass in thinking, talking, writing and convincing

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Hal Varian, now Google's chief economist, wrote "How to Build an Economic Model in Your Spare Time," a classic paper, in 1994 while teaching at UC Berkeley (he's still an emeritus there). Read the rest

Piracy dooms motion picture industry to yet another record-breaking box-office year

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Once again the MPAA has released its box-office numbers for the year, and once again, this year has smashed all records (as has been the case throughout our young century) (really!). As always, the astronomical rise-and-rise of their fortunes is somehow used to launch a call for more publicly subsidized enforcement against "piracy." Read the rest

Online casino bankrolls largest-ever, ruinously expensive war in Eve Online

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Eve Online ("spreadsheets in space") is the infamously intricate massively multiplayer space trade/conquest game where real cash can be exchanged for in-game currency , making the battles fought there consequential in a way that sets it apart from other games. Read the rest

Cuba's free med schools are the meritocratic institutions that America's private system can't match

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The median parental income of the parents of new med school students in America is $100,000 -- twice the national average. In Cuba, America's brilliant, working class med students pay nothing -- free tuition, lodging and meals -- and they come home to America and provide front-line medical services to families who are frozen out of the US system, in which debt-saddled doctors opt for lucrative specialties instead of family medicine. Read the rest

After we make peace with robots doing all the work, will our lives have meaning?

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Philosopher John Danaher's new paper "Will life be worth living in a world without work? Technological Unemployment and the Meaning of Life" assumes that after the robots take all our jobs, and after the economic justice of figuring out how to share the productivity games can be equitably shared among the robot-owning investor class and the robot-displaced 99%, there will still be a burning question: what will give our life meaning? Read the rest

Starving pensioners in Japan responsible for shoplifting crime-wave

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Japan's recently expanded prisons are already at 70% occupancy, an incarceration epidemic blamed on hungry pensioners who account for 35% of the nation's shoplifting, with a high rate of re-offending. Read the rest

STUCK: Public transit's moment arrives just as public spending disappears

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More Americans are riding public transit than ever before, and not a moment too soon, because between oil's direct and indirect costs, climate change, the expense of roadworks, and the scaling problems of private cars, the increasingly urbanized nation needs something to keep its cities from imploding under the logistical challenge of getting everyone everywhere. Read the rest

Student loan garnisheeing topped $176M in three months

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The latest figures on government-backed student loans are in, and with them, the news that the US government took $176 million out of ex-students paychecks and Social Security in the last three months of 2015. Read the rest

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