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robertogreco : dept   4

Freedom, Autonomy, and Happiness
"Why haven’t Americans become much happier even though they became much richer? I really think there’s something to the idea that the way we’ve lived and worked as we’ve  become richer hasn’t had much payoff in an increased sense of autonomy. There’s a left-wing version of this argument that stresses a sort of enslavement by false consumer desire, an imagined loss of worker’s rights, and so forth. There’s something to this. But I’m stewing up version of the argument that stresses barriers to self-employment, the debt loads and like-it-or-not rootedness encouraged by the American cult of homeownership, that sort of thing. Consider this a preview."
williwilkinson  davidbrooks  thesocialanimal  happiness  autonomy  left  self-employment  homeownership  workers  enslavement  dept  wealth  rootedness  freedom  commitment  cv  ratrace  racetonowhere  wageslavery 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Last One Out Turn Out the Lights | varnelis.net
"Soon Dubai will abandoned to sink back into the sands. I think it'll be much more interesting that way, with feral animals running wild, Chernobyl-style, in the ruins. As for the Times, at a symposium last Saturday at Columbia someone said "What if the Times closed, they have dozens of reporters in the Baghdad bureau… How could bloggers replace them?" Yochai Benkler stated "But they are responsible for the war! Remember Judith Miller?" He is so right. What if our news from Baghdad came from actual Iraqs, people who understand the context and speak the language? Oh tired, old Grey Lady, maybe it's time to shut the doors on the Foster building and call it a day? The face-lift didn't work, it just made things worse. Your structural function as an enabler for the growth machine has been a non-stop embarrassment for all involved and now its time to pay the price."
kazysvarnelis  dubai  bubble  economics  growth  nytimes  cities  architecture  dept  finance  capitalism  journalism  collapse  oma  remkoolhaas  china  iraq  war  cheerleading  realestate  2009 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Contributor - Let’s Have Another Cup of Coffee - NYTimes.com
"This is the dilemma that 30 years of...real Reaganomics — keeping economy overstimulated w/ huge deficits & irresponsible consumer borrowing...has left us with. So what do we do? The nearest thing to an actual plan seems to be something like this: stimulate first, to avert various short-term disasters, and then — at some signal from the Treasury Department — turn around and start saving like mad, to avert various long-term disasters. In other words, we need to get back our consumer confidence, and then lose it again. The first part is fun...just keep doing what we’ve been doing, only more & faster...deficit may soar to $1 trillion/year while government hands out cash to whoever shows up at the teller’s window. Each of us can do our own bit as well. Show your consumer confidence. One last shopping spree. Buy that coffee maker whether you want one or not. Part II will not be fun. Return coffee maker (if the store is still in business) & deposit money in 401(k). Start drinking instant."
economics  consumer  consumption  capotalism  us  crisis  finance  dept  growth  reaganomics 
november 2008 by robertogreco
U.S. financial crisis spreads toward your wallet | csmonitor.com
"In 2006, well before the financial crisis broke on the shores of the American economy, Ann Lee wrote a 22-page paper on "Wall Street's House of Cards." It warned of the danger to the nation from the sale of trillions of dollars of complex financial products called "structured credit derivatives" ... Seeking a reaction to her paper, she sent it to officials in Washington. Lee received an e-mail reply from Lawrence Lindsey, director of the National Economic Council under the first President Bush, who wrote that "both the practitioners and the regulators are well aware of the risks that are out there," including those in the subprime mortgage market. Mr. Lindsey held that the deregulated mortgage market was "much better" in early 2007 than the more regulated one in 1991, when there were also credit-market problems."
banking  finance  dept  economics  us  derivitives  wallstreet  mortgages  subprime  hedgefunds  regulation  deregulation  fauxpenmarkets  transparency 
september 2008 by robertogreco

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