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Links 1 through 10 of 311 by Amy Gahran tagged economics

fascinating podcast on the evolution of a new way for people to transfer money where they don't have good access to banking.

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Reich’s new tract Aftershock, neatly coincidental with Larry Summer’s retirement from the White House, is a polite populist’s effort to seize a teachable moment in this season of anger. The disease in the economy and the public mood, he’s arguing, is not debt; it’s not even that we’re living beyond our means. It’s the 30-year trend to an obscene concentration of wealth — one percent of the population reaping more than 20 percent of the income — that has so diminished the means, so drained the purchasing power of the average American. Few politicians and policy wonks are as clear as Reich about the remedy to rebalance and build the whole economy: boost all incomes under $50,000 with direct supplements; and restore real taxes on the biggest earners with a marginal rate of, say, 55 percent. Today’s pattern of concentration, speculation, bust and stagnation recapitulates the crisis of the Great Depression, he’s saying. A

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"Despite burying the Soviet Union and having things their own way for 30 years (at least in Britain and the US), the end of history has proven to be a period as uncertain as any other. Far from ushering in a von Hayekian utopia, capitalism has been rocked to its foundations by a financial crisis few of its apologists saw coming. Keynes has been dug up and reanimated to get things going again, but at the same time the spectre of Marx has been disturbed and has taken to haunting their imaginations.

Zombies as a horror staple are the result of some unfathomable biological or supernatural crisis that cannot be reversed. They are mindless. They are faceless. They are ugly. And they want to invade your home and feast on your flesh. If this does not work as an allegory for bourgeois attitudes to and fears of the working class, I don't know what does."

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" The $649.99 no-contract price (probably still locked to T-Mobile USA) seems a bit high for a tablet form factor half the size of a $529 3G iPad. While $399 also sounds reasonable, we don’t yet know what the monthly wireless cost will be and if it is like the typical carrier netbooks we will see something like $50+ per month just for the data."

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"Just as the video brought justice to King and Grant, it brought exposure, ridicule, and, ultimately, death to Clementi.

Cephus Johnson will speak, as well as educators and social activist like Bobby Seale and blues musician Taj Mahal. We will hear from young scholars like George Hayes, a master’s degree candidate in the UC Berkeley School of Information, who will discuss what minorities can expect from mobile cell phones in the future.

Our panelists will discuss some social and cultural complexities of the fastest-growing of all new media, the cell phone. In having the event in the heart of Fruitvale, we seek to do what UC Berkeley and othe institution have not done: integrate our education to include people of color."

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""How about this," he continued. "Haggling isn't unilateral. If you ask for $10, I'll ask for $20. See? They're $20 bucks now."

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"Are we fooling ourselves in thinking $139 is cheap? Maybe not. It's widely held in consumer electronics circles that $100 is the holy grail of all price points, that "magic" spot, as Wired's Gadget Lab put it, where people start to make purchases out of impulse rather than careful calculation.

"E-readers are inching toward that point. Forrester analyst James McQuivey writes on his blog that some e-readers may hit the $99 mark by the holiday season this year. In five years, he says, only the very-high-end models will cost that much, with lower-end e-book readers going on shelves for just $49. (By comparison, Apple's iPad, which some use as an e-reader, currently starts at $499.)"

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Mark Fiore consummately nails the evils sides of mobile -- something I need to write about more.

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Looks like the BART airport connector project is back on in Oakland. This whole concept has serious problems, especially considering the current state of local transit issues. This money could be much better spend on bus rapid transit and on AC Transit.

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"it may be best if marketers approached this question as if the answer is zero -- unless and until the brand does something to create value with Facebook Fans."

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