The Economy

The Uber Controversy Reveals the Rottenness of the Taxi Industry

Uber Taxi Protest in Chicago Photo credit: Scott M LiebensonThe arrival of the smartphone application “Uber” has thrown the taxi industry into a state of disarray. First launched in June 2009 in San Francisco, the application has spread rapidly and today finds itself in over 300 cities in approximately 58 countries. While it offers many advantages over traditional taxis, including lower rates, it is having serious effects on the living conditions of taxi drivers. 

Capitalism's Sickness and its Cure

Martin-Shkreli-increases-Daraprim-price-5500-Turing-jacks-AIDS-drug-up-to-750-a-pillToday, the capitalist class is nothing more than a parasite. It has nothing to offer those suffering from disease and illness but elaborate marketing scams and patent speculation.

Stock Market Meltdown: Harbinger of New World Slump

MarketCrashWorld stock markets have been in meltdown from Shanghai and Shenzhen to London and New York. A sea of red blighted the computer screens of the stock exchanges everywhere in a panic global sell-off. Shock and disbelief among investors was ubiquitous. Even as the Dow Jones claws its way back from its worst losses, extreme volatility pervades the entire system. Could this crash be a one-off event, which will quickly return to normal, or the beginning of a series of shocks in an unstoppable chain of events?

Are Capitalists Job Creators?

needjobsCapitalist apologists—particularly those aligned with the Republican Party—have long referred to the 1% as “job creators.” As this popular myth goes, the capitalists alone are responsible for investing in the economy (“taking risks”), thereby creating the jobs that provide everyone else with a living. The legislative conclusions that flow from this idea include the infamous policy of “trickle-down” or “supply side” economics, which opposes progressive taxation and shifts the burden of funding the government away from the 1% and onto the working class. They justify such policies by arguing that taxation takes money away from the private sector, which the capitalists could otherwise use to invest in the economy. This explanation contains a grain of truth, but unfortunately the outcome doesn’t jibe with the way the capitalist system actually works.

New York: A Tale of Two Cities

15Renwick“New York City is a great monument to the power of money and greed . . . a race for rent.”—Frank Lloyd Wright

In 1857, Seneca Village and several other shantytowns and villages were razed to make way for the construction of Central Park. In total, 1,600 inhabitants—mostly freed slaves and Irish immigrants—were forcibly removed from their settlements. This was no mere side effect of the park’s construction—it was one of the main motivations behind it. In the preceding thirty years, New York City had nearly quadrupled in population, and as development pushed further and further North on Manhattan island, the propertied class increasingly felt a need to “tame the wilds.”

And tame the wilds they did—again and again. Like dozens of similar cities worldwide, New York is no stranger to inequality and the displacement of populations due to increasing costs of living. But the accelerated transformation of New York City in the past fifteen years has gone far beyond what anyone would have imagined possible, leaving many to wonder where “their” New York has gone.