Hi there! It’s us, McKinsey, the spreadsheet sociopaths ruining the world and making a pretty penny doing it!
If you haven’t seen the New York Times piece on McKinsey’s latest fuckery, the link is here. Their “latest fuckery” is their work with Purdue Pharma (the OxyContin producer that fueled the opioid epidemic ravaging America right now) and their owners, the Sackler family. Here are some select quotes:
“McKinsey laid out several options to shore up sales. One was to give Purdue’s distributors a rebate for every OxyContin overdose attributable to pills they sold.”
Let me repeat that: A REBATE FOR…
Discussing the Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Controversy
Twitter has been buzzing over the potential of forgiving student loan debt. Passionate arguments both for, and against the proposal. What I would like to do here is (briefly) lay out historical precedent for debt jubilees, explain the shortcomings with a student loan debt forgiveness program, and present an alternative.
“Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics”
Well, as we await the final results in this country that looks more like a banana republic with each passing day, I wanted to take this time to release a short piece that I wrote for work on polling and how it applies to politics generally, not just specifically with the 2020 US election. I’ve edited it for clarity and attempted to explain everything with a lack of jargon and as clear as I can for those unfamiliar with stats.
Ultimately, I will explain why the polls seem to keep missing so drastically, and how…
My next piece on political economy will need to wait a couple days, as I am busy dealing with a few things IRL. Instead, I want to keep you updated on what the plan is for the coming weeks as I complete the political economy series and move on to new topics.
First, the political economy series will roughly have the following structure as it completes:
Section 1: New Foundations of Political Economy (Parts 1–4)
Section 2: Why Capitalism Works (Parts 5–7/8)
Section 3: Why Capitalism Doesn’t Work (Parts 7/8–11/12)
Section 4: The Ethical and Philosophical Principles that…
In the last post, we looked at the system of incentives (firm’s profit motive and consumer’s utility maximization) and signals (prices) that allow capitalism to indirectly coordinate production between firms and consumers. The issue I began to delve into in the last topic was that capitalism’s incentive structure and signals actually disincentivize it from acheiving the greatest good. And as explained in the last post, acheiving the greatest good was the core motivation behind capitalism…
As noted in our previous posts on markets, pricing, and “freedom” in capitalism, nothing in capitalism is truly “free”. First, all economies are planned economies. Second, the ideology of “freedom” and the “free market” hides a significant lack of freedom of association and it wholly obscures the actions of the Sovereign establishing and enforcing ownership norms. So then why do we consider this system “free?” Beyond ideology, I would like to…
(Part 7 of a series on political economy on my blog. Read the introduction to the series here.)
As noted in our previous posts on markets and on pricing in capitalism, the notion that markets are “free” is a misunderstanding. Fundamentally, all economies are planned economies. The key distinction between what we would colloquially refer to as a “market” economy vs. a “planned” economy is the presence of competition. What I aim to do in this piece is continue to investigate the intersection of our idea of “freedom” with capitalism.
(Part 6 of a series on Political Economy I am writing on this blog. See the series Introduction here. See Part 1 here. See Part 2 here. See Part 3 here. See Part 4 here. See Part 5 here. I recommend reading all prior posts — especially parts 2, 4, and 5 — in the series before reading this piece)
Over the past two posts, we laid out the foundational questions/problems of political economy and then explained how capitalism has a built-in system that answers nearly all of them. This system (money+prices) is both incredibly simple and mind-numbingly complex. …
(Part 5 of a series on Political Economy I am writing on this blog. See the series Introduction here. See Part 1 here. See Part 2 here. See Part 3 here. See Part 4 here. I recommend reading all prior posts, especially Part 4, in the series before reading this piece)