Understanding Critical Race Theory Through the Lens of Structural Determinism

The United States witnessed a renewed discussion on issues of racial discrimination, police brutality and criminal justice reform in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in May of last year. While a number of issues came to the public fore, one issue that amassed tremendous amount of attention was Critical Race Theory (CRT). CRT is… Continue reading Understanding Critical Race Theory Through the Lens of Structural Determinism

On the Fairness (or lack thereof) of our Plurality Voting System

Our current plurality voting system (aka First Past the Post) is one of the least fair voting systems in the world because it gives no voice at all to minority viewpoints. Indeed, even a majority viewpoint can be underrepresented if that side of the political spectrum simply runs more candidates, thus splitting the vote (i.e.,… Continue reading On the Fairness (or lack thereof) of our Plurality Voting System

Review of The Cold War: A World History

(image via goodreads) Odd Arne Westad's The Cold War is simply a must-read for anyone who wants a better understanding of the world today. Despite having lived through the Cold War -- and as someone who probably pays closer attention to current events, world politics, and history than your average American -- there was a… Continue reading Review of The Cold War: A World History

Why Does the Fed Have a 2% Inflation Target?

The 2% level is rather arbitrary, but the basic idea is to set a small positive number because it is a lot easier for central banks to fight inflation (a rising price level) than for them to fight deflation (falling prices). The reason is simple: to fight inflation, it can slow spending by raising interest… Continue reading Why Does the Fed Have a 2% Inflation Target?

The Causes of the Financial Crisis

As I see it, the main cause was systemic, namely the securitization of mortgages (e.g., CDOs). This means mortgages being repackaged by lenders and resold to other investors who wanted the income from the monthly payments. This was first done in 1970 by the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA or Ginnie Mae), but securitization didn’t really start taking… Continue reading The Causes of the Financial Crisis

What Do You Think Is the Best Way to Improve Corporate Behavior So as to Prevent Things Like the Opioid Crisis?

(image via The Democracy Labs) One idea is to reform corporate governance away from focusing narrowly on shareholder interests and instead take into account the interests of broader stakeholders. As defined here, stakeholders are “any third party that has some level of dependence upon the corporation” and can include employees, customers, suppliers, and the larger… Continue reading What Do You Think Is the Best Way to Improve Corporate Behavior So as to Prevent Things Like the Opioid Crisis?

Review of All the Devils Are Here

Image from goodreads.com I consider All the Devils Are Here to be the best book on the financial crisis I have read so far, edging out Nouriel Roubini's Crisis Economics and significantly better than Michael Lewis's excellent Big Short. Roubini excels more at explaining more of the economics in systemic big-picture terms and also laying… Continue reading Review of All the Devils Are Here

Electoral Reform, Part I: The Problem with Plurality

Image via FairVote. Originally posted at "fling93 loves fishies," my old blog. Migrated, updated links, and added featured image on 9/21/21. I’ve been carping about our two-party plurality electoral system for so long now that many of you are probably wondering what I would replace it with. This will take quite a bit of explaining… Continue reading Electoral Reform, Part I: The Problem with Plurality