Boing Boing 

Real estate bubble drives urban blight


The West Village's unique identity made it one of the most valued real-estate spots in the world, which is why its bohemian tenants are being forced out by landlords who jack up the rent and leave the place empty until they can convince a multinational to sign a lease -- it's Mark Jacobs versus Jane Jacobs.

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UPDATED: New York school makes poor kids huddle indoors while richer students attend carnival

Flushing's PS 120 asked kids to contribute $10/each to a carnival held in the school-yard during school hours, and kids who couldn't pay had to sit in the auditorium watching old Disney movies and listening to the shrieks of delight from outside.

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Poverty is a tax on cognition

In an outstanding lecture at the London School of Economics, Macarthur "genius award" recipient Sendhil Mullainathan explains his research on the psychology of scarcity, a subject that he's also written an excellent book about.

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To save free trade, kill TPP

The enemies of the Trans Pacific Partnership don't necessarily oppose free trade, but they're foursquare against the kind of corrupt, secretive negotiations that line the pockets of favored industries at the public's expense.

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Anti-austerity parties soar in Spanish elections as Greece threatens default


Two new, anti-establishment parties (including one that grew out of the indignados movement -- a kind of Spanish precedent to Occupy) took key seats in regional and municipal elections in yesterday's Spanish election, which is a kind of dress rehearsal for the upcoming national elections.

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Amazon will finally start paying tax in the UK


The company will abandon the pretense that its UK sales are consummated in Luxembourg and that the money floats in a state of taxless grace in the middle of the Irish Sea.

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Hedge funds buy swathes of foreclosed subprimes, force up rents, float rent-bonds


When a giant hedge fund is bidding on all the foreclosed houses in a poor neighborhood, living humans don't stand a chance -- but that's OK, because rapacious investors make great landlords.

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An Internet of Things that act like red-light cameras


Charlie Stross is preparing for five more years of Tory rule in the UK by thinking up business-models that monopolize mandatory activities and extract rent from them.

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GM says you don't own your car, you just license it


GM has joined with John Deere in asking the government to confirm that you literally cannot own your car because of the software in its engine.

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The Subprimes: a novel of the Piketty/Klein apocalypse

The Harvard Business Review asked me to review Karl Taro Greenfield's magical econopocalypse novel The Subprimes, and I was delighted.

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URGENT: Senate backtracks on TPP fasttrack -- call Congress to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership

Just days after the Senate rejected the Obama administration's bid to fast-track the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership, they've backtracked, and now they're getting ready to rush fast-track through.

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John Deere: of course you "own" your tractor, but only if you agree to let us rip you off


John Deere freaked out over a a petition to the Copyright Office to let tractor owners break the DRM on their vehicles in order to diagnose and fix them.

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Loopholes let billionaires duck NYC property tax


The rules for tax on NYC condos is so sinister and stultifyingly boring that it's not really surprising that they disguise a raft of loopholes that let the richest New Yorkers duck the property taxes that keep the city running.

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Businesses losing big on globalization

The promised returns from globalization just aren't there: poor countries don't have as much to spend, corrupt governments undermine foreign multinationals, domestic rivals hack trade secrets out of multinationals foreign offices and doing business all over the world is complicated and expensive.

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House Republicans hold hearing on politics in science, don't invite any scientists

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British austerity: a failed experiment abandoned by the rest of the world


Writing in the Guardian, Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman analyses the last five years of British austerity, using other developed nations in the EU and elsewhere as a benchmark for the growth we could have had -- it's not a pretty picture.

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In the 21st century, only corporations get to own property and we're their tenants


In the wake of John Deere's claims that the software in its engines means that its farm equipment is "licensed," not "sold," I talked to the Globe and Mail about what digital locks mean for the idea of property in the 21st century.

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