Posts by sarcozona

If voting changed anything they’d abolish it

I’m really enjoying Ha-Joon Chang’s Bad samaritans: the myth of free trade and the secret history of capitalism. In a chapter discussing some serious tension between free markets and democracy, he discusses typical neoliberal policies and how they actually undermine democracy. He’s talking about developing countries and writing from 2008, but I’d argue that neoliberalism […]

The university hybridized with business and kept only the worst of both

On the one hand, the authors are clearly concerned about the fate of their younger colleagues. On the other hand, I could not avoid the impression that the report considers young scientists not as unique creative individuals with “brains and character, strength and health, happiness and spiritual vitality, interest and motivation, and no one knows […]

Patents can be beneficial, but are often harmful

One obvious problem [of patents] is that patents, by definition, create monopolies, which impose costs on the rest of society. For example, the patentee could use its technological monopoly to exploit the consumers… But it is not just the problem of income distribution between the patentee and the consumers. Monopoly also creates net social loss […]

New Year’s Resolutions for us all

Rapid, planned decarbonization and transition to renewables concomitant with equal restrictions on fossil fuel extractions. Decommodification of basic social goods that we already know are more efficient and effective when publicly provisioned. A vast shift of resources—and sovereign power—to the Global South, not out of moral duty, but out of rational necessity concomitant with a […]

Doing state-owned enterprises right

Enterprises in industries that are natural monopolies, industries that involve large investment and high risk and enterprises that provide essential services should be kept as SOEs [state-owned enterprises], unless the government has very high tax-raising and/or regulatory capabilities. … Privatizing politically important enterprises on the basis of dispersed share sales is unlikely to resolve the […]