What’s driving abnormal profit margins? Monopoly

Corporate Profits

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MR Online | May 02, 2017

GMO‘s Jeremy Grantham is worried about the perseverance of abnormally high corporate profit margins in the US. The phenomenon is amongst other things upsetting the standard notion that profits are mean reverting to historic averages. But as the following chart from GMO’s latest quarterly letter shows this just isn’t happening:

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The Promises and Limitations of Radical Local Politics

Workers at Whirlpool

An Interview with Steve Early and Mike Parker

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MR Online | May 03, 2017

Steve Early (hereinafter SE) has worked as a labor journalist, lawyer, organizer, or union representative since 1972. For 27 years, Early was a Boston-based national staff member of the Communications Workers of America. He has published many books and articles about labor-related issues. His work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Progressive, and many other newspapers and magazines. His most recent book, Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of An American City (Beacon Press), describes the building of a what is very likely the most successful progressive political organization, The Richmond Progressive Alliance, in the United States, in Richmond, California, a blue collar city long dominated by Chevron Corp.

Mike Parker (hereinafter MP) is a leader of the Richmond Progressive Alliance. He was its candidate for Mayor in 2014, dropping out for another candidate as part of a coalition to defeat Chevron’s multi-million dollar attempt to take the city council. He then became the campaign coordinator for the successful Team Richmond campaign. Before moving to Richmond, Mike worked in the auto industry in Detroit as an electrician and trainer in new technology. He is on the Labor Notes Policy Committee and has coauthored (with Martha Gruelle) Democracy is Power, and (with Jane Slaughter) Working Smart: A Union Guide to Participation Programs and Reengineering, both published by Labor Notes.

This interview was conducted by Michael D. Yates (hereinafter MY) by email.

MY: Steve, after a long and admirable career in the labor movement, you moved from the east coast to Richmond, California. Why Richmond?

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Blacklisted: The Fight for Freedom of Expression on Campus

 John Bellamy Foster

by Morgan Krakow

Ethos | April 17, 2017

From floor to ceiling, John Bellamy Foster’s walls are lined with books. The sociology professor’s library of society, philosophy, and environment reading is extensive, passed down and collected over decades. Foster has taught at the University of Oregon since 1985, and until recently, has maintained a fairly private life. However, in December 2016, his name was added to a list of perceived radical professors by the national conservative nonprofit Turning Point USA, which has a University of Oregon chapter.Read More »

FACE OF AN ECONOMY: Thousands of “evaporated people” are “disappearing” in Japan

A Journal of People report

Thousands of Japanese citizens have reportedly started leaving behind their formal identities. They are seeking refuge in the anonymous, off-the-grid world. They are tormented by the shame of a lost job, failed marriage, or mounting debt.

A report by Chris Weller said on May 1, 2017:

“In Japanese, the word is johatsu, or ‘evaporated people’.

“Tormented by the shame of a lost job, failed marriage, or mounting debt, thousands of Japanese citizens have reportedly started leaving behind their formal identities and seeking refuge in the anonymous, off-the-grid world. Read More »

FACE OF AN ECONOMY: Japan’s fertility problem and a demographic time bomb

R26B / flickr

A Journal of People report

Japan is facing a graver fertility problem.

A report by Chris Weller in Business Insider said:

“It’s the kind of stat you might casually tell a friend at a bar: For the last six years, Japan has sold more adult diapers than baby diapers.

“But Japan’s fertility problems are far more grave than toilet-related trivia.”Read More »