Tag Archives: Economics

Crashing against the Debt Ceiling

If the GOP Congress members don’t soon come to their senses, we will have a debt ceiling crisis. For a visual image, picture a giant Alice in the White Rabbit’s small house.

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Why the Wealthy Get Wealthier

Thomas Piketty turns to Jane Austen and Honoré de Balzac to analyze “Capitalism in the 21st Century.”

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Haikus Make Econ Less Dismal

Haiku competitions in economics classes can get students engaged in the otherwise dry subject matter.

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Haikus for Economic Crisis

Haikus on shutting the government and breaching the debt ceiling.

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Compassion for the Poor Is Not Enough

Speaking with the head as well as the heart against oppressive class conditions is necessary in novels as in public policy.

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On Supply Side and Self Deception

In Wycherley’s “Country Wife,” the entire society grasps at an implausible story to sustain its self deception. Sounds like the GOP and supply side economics.

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Have We Becomes Pottersville?

Using “It’s a Wonderful Life” as a lens through which to view the J. P. Morgan recent financial disaster shows what America has lost in today’s banks.

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Steinbeck Makes Microeconomics Real

Economics teacher Steve Ziliak uses Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” to teach the human side of microeconomics.

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Is America Selling Its Soul?

The 1941 film “The Devil and Daniel Webster” is unsettling by how relevant to our current day economic crisis is its story of America selling its soul.

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Lighten Up, Germany, and Save the Euro

The German film “Mostly Martha” may help explain why the German Parliament has just extended the bailout to Greece and other indebted southern European nations.

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Vote for My Budget or I’ll Shoot Myself

Threats by Congressional Republicans to vote against raising the debt ceiling limit—which would result in the United States defaulting on what it owes–reminds me of the scene in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles where the black sheriff (Cleavon Little) threatens to shoot himself.

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Watching Theater as Shakespeare Did

This past Saturday I got a front row view of what it would have been like watching Shakespeare in the early 17th century. Julia and I journeyed to the replica of the Blackfriars Theater in Staunton, Virginia to watch Comedy of Errors and also John Marston’s 1603 revenge drama The Malcontent. Some of drama’s greatest […]

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Poems That Help Us See the Economy

  Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish has alerted me to a fascinating article in the January issue of Poetry entitled “Haiku Economics: Money, Metaphor, and the Invisible Hand.” In it, Professor of Economics Stephen Ziliak talks about how poetry can help illuminate the dismal science (as economics has been described). The problem with economic models, Ziliak says, is […]

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Dostoevsky’s Support for Troubled Homes

In debates about whether or not to help out troubled homeowners, Fyodor Dostoevsky would probably be in favor.  I am currently reading The Brothers Karamazov and am struck by how applicable it seems to the debate over foreclosures. The mortgage crisis, of course, pushed the world economy into recession, and foreclosures on homes are still […]

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How the Rich Cry Poverty, Austen Style

John Kenneth Galbraith, noted economist and author of The Affluent Society, used to read Jane Austen before he sat down to write. He wanted to achieve the author’s light ironic touch in his own work. Yesterday another liberal economist had me thinking of Austen. Paul Krugman, the Nobel laureate who writes for the New York […]

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Crusoe, A Parable for Our Time

I have been teaching Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe in an Introduction to Literature class and am struck once more by how important a book it is. I say this even though it is not read or taught as much as it once was. Robinson Crusoe continues to be relevant because it goes right to the […]

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